Guiding your life’s biggest financial moments

Personal Finance

COVID’s silver lining: a quieter life

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Why did you decide to move to Cape Cod from the Bay Area? My husband and I moved to California about 16 years ago for work. He’s in the tech industry, and I’m in financial services. Burlingame is just south of San Francisco, and we loved the Bay Area, but we missed the East Coast because that’s where we both came from. My husband’s family has lived in this city since around 1700, and before the pandemic we had bought a second home here that we intended to retire to when the kids finished school. We always imagined it would be nice to move here, but we never thought it could happen while we were working. Then COVID came along, and my husband and I were both working remotely.

Have you sold your house in California? We arrived at Brewster in May 2020 and put our Bay Area home on the market right after Thanksgiving. We met a great agent, who basically helped us sell our house without us ever going back. Between our agent and some local friends, we packed the house, prepared it for sale, staged it, put it on the market and sold it in less than a week.

What was life on Cape Cod like during the pandemic? We had what seemed like a fairly normal summer, other than wearing the mask and always eating there. Then, as we entered the fall and winter, it was all new territory for us. But we enjoyed it. My husband and I grew up with four seasons so we got to experience it again and with the kids for the first time. The weather is much warmer than we thought. I mean, winter is winter, and I’m glad it’s over, but it was really beautiful. And Cape Town is very quiet this time of year, although all locals will say it was very busy compared to normal as there are so many people like us who have moved in, as well as people who have moved in. second homes and decided to work remotely.

How are your children adjusting? As parents, we thought this would actually be a great place to end up raising them. They had had the Bay Area experience, with all its wonderful diversity and energy, and we knew we could nurture that memory. We also thought it would be good for them to come to a more rural area and be kids a little longer. And it turns out that the school districts are very good, although it was a little difficult because our kids chose distance learning.

Is the cost of living lower? The tax rate in Massachusetts is lower, and there are things we used to pay for that now cost less. Children’s activities seem to be more integrated into the school system or the city’s recreational budget. But we’re going to be doing some work on our house, and it’s probably going to cost about what we paid per square foot in the bay area. And heating a house is much more expensive here than in California. But our water bill is so much cheaper. We saved money, but I also find that we are spending money on things we didn’t have room to spend before – more surfboards, lawn mowers, and bikes.

Do you miss the city? When we made the decision to move my husband and I had to wonder if we were going to miss out on all the attributes of a more urban area. And we agreed that we would seek them out when we needed them and enjoy what has become a great quality of life. The pace of life is just calmer, and therefore our whole life is calmer.

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