So what's been going on? Loads. We are still processing it all.
The trip out west was more than we expected. D, even though he initiated it all, expected to not really like it. When both the location and career prospects kinda impressed him right away, I had to quickly catch up and consider what this could mean for us.
My meetings also went better than expected, surprisingly at the one office I was almost not going to bother with. Funny how things like that happen. It turns out I was inaccurate with how they did things and part time work is very possible there. The only glitch is the location. I would have to commute (drive) for 35 min - 1 hour depending on timing and time of year.
I'm getting ahead of myself.
D, if he chooses to go contract (normal culture there), can make enough to cover pretty much my income. That's huge. It would make the stress of my transition much easier should we decide to make the leap.
Real estate is the biggest stumbling block. Bigger income, bigger expenses, bigger cost of living. That's the way it goes in the large cities we know.
After looking at a number of properties, the cost of entry is 600K for something (house) half the size of what we're used to and not as well built but within commuting distance (walk, bike or public transit) for where D would be and then it would be up to me to either find something local or drive. We would downsize to one car.
Condo or town home living is an option but I am not liking that the fees have to cover utilities (water, heat). We have that at the ski condo and it bugs me that we have to pay for other peoples' non green habits reflected in the annual increases. Condo fees in the units we would be interested in (2 bedroom) are in the $550 - 900/month range. And that doesn't include property tax.
Since our return, we've been looking at our life here with "xray" eyes. Are we ready to leave this? What are we exchanging it for? It has to be more than money. What would be our exit plan?
One thing we do know for sure. It's worth another visit.