Portland is suffering a severe wind and rain storm that has me hoping my windows were properly installed. (I'm not even sure what I'd do if a window blew out, I don't have sheets of plywood laying around). On the plus side, it's not as cold as it was a few days ago. But it does bring up the fact that the weather here is generally abysmal, with short stretches of "not so bad". Why am I here? Let's break it down:
1) Charming town, with plenty of old-style New England character.
2) Strong social network.
3) I own my condo here (something I'm still kicking myself for, considering this market).
4) Summers are very mild.
1) Job market sucks relative to anywhere.
2) Taxes and cost of living are still way high. Anyone who doesn't think so is either not paying taxes or not buying their own stuff, or has never lived anywhere else.
3) Winters are horrible. There is nothing "charming" or "beautiful" about snow and ice on the sidewalk that requires you to wear rubbers and dig out your car. There is nothing remotely cute about your nose freezing off if you're in -10 degree weather for a minute. And it lasts way too long.
One of the downsides of homeownership is it reduces your mobility. Being on a job hunt sucks anywhere, but especially so when you have to worry about making your mortgage payments. True, I can still sell, perhaps for not much less than I paid, or perhaps by keeping it on the market for a bit, and for the right job it would be worth that hassle. But it's not as easy as if I was just renting now.