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If you could move, where would you go?

Hi All!

Husband and I are contemplating a move and I’ve come to COTH for some advice and experience.

Currently live in the Bay Area and are getting increasingly fed up with the affordability/traffic/rat-race mentality/increased crime/crowds, and we just had our first child and would love to raise baby somewhere else. Currently live with family and would like to purchase our first home, which will not be feasible here.

What we would like:
-Less traffic and people, but still within 1-2 hours of a city/tech-hub
-Good schools, family-oriented community, with more affordable housing
-Horses! I currently ride at an “A” show barn, with the goal of going to 4 shows per year. Board/training costs about $2600/month, and I would like to stay around that number but ideally less. Looking for a good horsey area with access to local shows.
ETA: more interested in looking at climate-change-friendly locations

We would love to stay on the West Coast but are open to learning about places that fit these desires.

Thanks in advance!

In what professions are you employed? That might help.


The west coast has become increasingly more crowded and expensive. I moved to upstate NY and there are a couple of “A” H/J barns nearby. Traffic is non-existent, Albany is a scant hour away, it’s a pretty horsey area all in all. Of course winters are a thing so if you’re not used to snow, well then…


Salt Lake City.

Tech industry is booming if that’s your field. Solid local HJ circuit with out of town rated options like Thermal, Scottsdale, Colorado Horse Park. Very family and kid orientated state with large Mormon population.

Housing is just about as insane as everywhere else but doesn’t hold a candle to San Francisco.


Lol go 2 hours pretty much any direction from the bay area, it will be significantly cheaper and less crowded, and you’ll still have good weather (albeit hotter in summer) and be close to family.


You might consider the areas around Sacramento. Folsom, Carmichael, Rocklin etc. Plenty of good H/J barns too.


If you don’t mind the rain, the PNW has some really nice rated shows (T-bird, Cascade Horse Shows, Wilsonville, etc) and more and more barns have the option to do to California in the winter. I’d look in or around Portland or Bend, or north of Seattle (Snohomish and Skagit counties will keep you within an hour of the city or Whatcom if you don’t mind being 1.5 hours from Seattle).


We have considered that, but California property taxes plus current interest rates are :flushed::flushed::flushed:

Tech and healthcare!

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add in the unaffordability of homeowners insurance due to insurance companies abandoning California

if you really wish to relocate and be near horses, look at either Shelby or Oldham counties of Kentucky. Both have relatively good schools, The area is between Louisville, Lexington Ky and Cincinnati Ohio.


My husband went to Kentucky last Fall and absolutely loved it

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I am in my late 30s and I have maaaayyybe one more “big move” left in me. I moved from the Bay Area for many of the same reasons, and also because watching things burn was very traumatic. I lived very close to Big Basin, and having a fire of that size so close was scary.

So I personally figured climate change into my calculations, and ended up in Hudson Valley, NY. I figure climate change will result in a Virginia-like climate. I was thoughtful about flooding when I bought my property. I reconcile that we may lose snowy winters, which to me is a loss but others may say, well, year round riding.

So if I had to move again, I’d go further North, maybe into Canada, but only because I love snow and real 4 season climate.

I would never recommend buying in Florida or anything really delicate and coastal, or really anything south of the Virginias, unless you really like humid heat that will get worse.

But for you, I would recommend looking at a 100ish mile range all around Milbrook, NY…into Connecticut, Mass, Vermont, etc to find what mix of urban convenience and rural affordability/horsiness you like.


lot of great golf courses there, Louisville’s Valhalla will be hosting the 2024 PGA Championship for the fourth time.

I grew up in Oldham county, really a beautiful place …lot of horses used in nearly ever aspect of the industry

Might add a place not to move to is the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan statistical area which is projected to reach 13 million to 16 million by 2050. I live between Dallas and Ft Worth, there are no natural barriers to the expansion of the cities… just continuous growth in all directions


We also share the same climate-related concerns. Will definitely check these out, thank you!!


This can be almost anywhere when compared to the Bay Area :slightly_smiling_face:


Having lived here my whole life, it’s a hard concept to imagine :rofl:

I grew up there, married at 28 and came to the Mid West and I still remember how awful it was. I can’t fathom how bad it is now decades later but my family still lives there and it is much worse than I remember!

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Move to Oregon-- lots of less expensive locations in the Willamette Valley, access to high quality hunter barns who show extensively and are somewhat less than what you are paying now. Good climate (and thanks to climate change, lots less rain!), high quality education, health care, entertainment and recreation. Yes, there’s traffic on the major freeways, but again, choose a Valley location south of the PDX area and you’ll avoid much of it.

Washington is also an option, but the Puget Sound is equal to the Bay Area in terms of costs/crowding/traffic. Again, if you can work remotely or don’t need to be in a major city, there are many options for areas around the Sound. Sadly, there are fewer show options unless you head to Canada, too.


Seconding this. While there are some great barns and trainers, the traffic is getting awful and you pretty much always travel to horse show - whether its hours away in TX or completely out of state. Don’t get me wrong - I love TX. However, it’s just growing and definitely not slowing.

I’ll also second KY, especially Lexington area (my fav - personally, though Louisville is fun too)
I know its not West Coast but it checks all the boxes!


I agree with this, as it positions you for hybrid type tech roles in and near Boston or NYC. The Pioneer Valley of Western Mass is a spot I often recommend as it is oriented around major universities, so has good energy and amenities, and it’s easy to get from there anywhere else on planes, trains, and automobiles. There is still excellent farmland and a good horse community.