Any rational person would agree that living on the West Coast is better than living on the East Coast. Anybody who tells you otherwise probably has never experienced West Coast living long enough to understand the difference. I’m rational, and I’ve lived on both sides for many years and I don’t believe there’s really much of a debate. Who doesn’t want to live in more moderate temperatures where the sun is always shining? Unless you like super cold winters and uncomfortably muggy summers, the East Coast isn’t for you.
When your family and friends are on the East Coast, it’s hard to leave I understand. We’re afraid of change. I know I am. But, this is not a post to bash the East Coast. This is a post to understand what truly makes the East Coast and other uncomfortable climate zones special.
A friend of mine is thinking about relocating from San Francisco, the best city in America, to New York City or Washington DC for a little work. I think she’s a little nuts leaving our California sunshine behind and I’m trying to understand why, and maybe even why not.
EAST COAST POSITIVES
1) Richer history. Since the Europeans first invaded the East Coast of America, there is a much richer heritage as evidenced by more developed infrastructure and building architecture. Museums are more prevalent, and attractions are more interesting.
2) Closer to Europe. It’s easy to get a direct flight to Europe that’s also cheaper and quicker. Who doesn’t love to visit the bright lights of Paris, and the bustle of London every once in a while?
3) Time Zone Dominance. American TV and major broadcasts still revolves around eastern standard time. The stock market market opening at 9:30am, the French Open finals at 9am, and World Cup matches at 7am are all examples of major events serving the eastern time zone.
4) Food. Certain foods such as hot pastrami sandwiches, pizza, and cheese-steaks always seem tastier on the east coast for some reason. Perhaps there’s no real difference, other than the fact that when you eat a hot pastrami sandwich at Katz’s deli in NYC, it’s just more authentic given the history.
5) Less Earthquakes. Earthquake danger is overrated in California given the infrequency of large shakes. That said, the danger still exists. I’d much rather have a big earthquake every 30 years than tornadoes and hurricanes every year. Sorry, I lied! Stand strong Virginia and East Coasters, stop making fun of us Californians!
6) There’s Only Upside. Imagine if you were born and raised in Kauai. What a drag to leave! Once you live on the east coast, anywhere else you go will be so much better!
EAST COAST NEGATIVES
1) The weather is horrible. Too hot and muggy during the summer, too cold and dreary during the winter. If there’s going to be snow, at least have some snowboardable mountains. The latest blizzard of 2016 has shut down cities and towns for days. Only the Fall is beautiful.
2) Damaging storms, more accidents. Without fail, there always seems to be a blizzard or a violent hurricane every year which wreaks havoc on property and financial well-being. Homeowner’s insurance and maintenance costs are much, much higher than prices on the West Coast as a result. Auto insurance is also higher due to higher rates of accidents due to storms. Feel free to check online for free the latest rates yourself with eSurance. Regardless of where you live, seek to lower your expenses as much as possible!
3) Terrible for allergies. Anybody who is highly sensitive to any allergen should consider leaving the East Coast. I suffered from tremendous allergies while living in the East Coast for 10 years, and as soon as I moved to San Francisco, my allergy attacks all but went away. Perhaps there’s something in the trees or the pollution.
4) More stressed out people. When the weather is terrible half the year, people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Stress levels are higher, people are more overweight, and even suicide rates are higher. Given all these problems, life insurance rates are also higher. Check the latest term life policy rates with PolicyGenius. They are based in Manhattan, and make comparing term life insurance policies across all the major carriers easy. Given policy prices are regulated, you’re guaranteed to get the best rates possible.
EAST COAST LIVING IS MUCH TOUGHER
I really am trying to see the positives of living on the East Coast with my six examples. However, I have to admit I’m struggling to find more reasons. The weather is atrocious for half the year, and it would take quite a premium to leave California. Won’t you help share some of your reasons as to why the East Coast is so wonderful?
Shop around for a mortgage: Mortgage rates have collapsed after Brexit, and US assets are aggressively being bought by foreigners due to our stability. Check the latest mortgage rates online through LendingTree. They’ve got one of the largest networks of lenders that compete for your business. Your goal should be to get as many written offers as possible and then use the offers as leverage to get the lowest interest rate possible. This is exactly what I did to lock in a 2.375% 5/1 ARM for my latest refinance. For those looking to purchase property, the same thing is in order. If you’ve found a good deal, can afford the payments, and plan to own the property for 10+ years, I’d get neutral inflation and take advantage of the low rates.
Look into real estate crowdsourcing opportunities: If you don’t have the downpayment to buy a property, are sick of dealing with bad tenants, or don’t want to tie up your liquidity in physical real estate, take a look at Fundrise, one of the largest real estate crowdsourcing companies today. Real estate is a key component of a diversified portfolio. If you study the asset allocation mix of college endowment funds and high net worth individuals, you’ll see real estate weightings of anywhere between 5% -25%. Real estate crowdsourcing also allows you to be more flexible in your real estate investments by investing beyond just where you live for the best returns possible. For example, cap rates around around 4% – 5% in San Francisco, but over 10% in the Midwest if you’re looking for strictly investing income returns. Check out my Fundrise review as well.
Updated for 2017 and beyond.