Moving from Canada to US- Where should I move?

27 Replies

Hi, my family and I are considering moving to the US. I work in the Tech industry as an indep. Consultant so it's important that I live closer to a regional airport. My wife is in health care so it's important the city has a respectable health sector. We are in our mid 40s, have 2 kids are getting ready for high school. Politically, we consider our selves very liberal, love to be closer to culture and arts. If it makes any difference, we are of Indian nationality but consider our selves a good mix of East/West. I would love to hear your thoughts on "growing" cities that we should look at? On a side note, we also want to start investing in properties. Ideally, somewhere close by to our new home.

So far, we've narrowed down my listing to the following states and cities:

1. NC (Raleigh, Caryany others we should look at?)

2. Texas (Huston, any others we should look at?)

3. Atlanta (don't know much about ATL, except we've been told inside the perimeter is what we want to look at)

We are totally opened to suggestions.  We have a year to make the move.

Are you sure that you'll be able to get a visa? Trump pretty much eliminated additional H1Bs as far as I know.

@Apkesh Kumar

I assume you are asking here because you are also interested in Real Estate Investment.

Keeping that in mind, I would focus on fast growing areas with strong real estate markets and reasonable prices. Places like Atlanta, Phoenix, and Dallas.

While places like California or Seattle share more similarities to Canada, they are more difficult for beginning investors with limited capital.

Hi Anthony, you are on point.  We want to start investing and prefer it be closer to wherever we decide to live in. I am hoping that in 5 to 10 years time I don't have to consult (lots of time away from family) and focus on the little empire we build.  



Originally posted by @Anthony Gayden :

Apkesh Kumar

I assume you are asking here because you are also interested in Real Estate Investment.

Keeping that in mind, I would focus on fast growing areas with strong real estate markets and reasonable prices. Places like Atlanta, Phoenix, and Dallas.

While places like California or Seattle share more similarities to Canada, they are more difficult for beginning investors with limited capital.

@Apkesh Kumar , I'd stick more toward the middle of the US if you're traveling for work. It would stink to live on the East Coast, get a consulting job on the West Coast and have a 6-hour plane ride every time you had to go into the office.

Texas is seeing some pretty strong growth, but it's also immense, so there are places you can go, still be near an airport, and invest for cash flow if that's your thing.

The problem with the center of the country is that it runs very red politically. I will say that you can find liberal neighbors anywhere you go, but if this is a huge deal for you, you may want to reconsider moving to a more blue area. There are areas of the country that I would never live in either.

You're coming from Canada, so you know winters. Chicago is a lovely place to live, has many suburbs that offer great investing, and has not one but two major airports. Their winters are harsh, but nothing compared to Canada.

Hi Apkesh- Apex, Cary, Morrisville, Raleigh in NC ( Wake County) are great places to move to in all the aspects that you are considering. RTP area with its tech concentration, HealthCare industries, Top rated schools and real estate investments might just be the right place. Apex and Cary have been in the "Top places to Live" a few times in Time Magazine. Check the link.
http://time.com/money/collection-post/3984379/apex...

I have lived in this area of NC now for the past 17 years and have been a Realtor for 13 of those years. A nice mix of family, culture and arts and if you are in Wake or Orange county we are the Blue part of this purple State. :)
Send me an email if interested and I will introduce you to many of my clients who have moved here from CA, WA, MA and other places and are very happily settled. You could possibly talk to them to put to rest any doubts you might have.
And ya..did I forget to mention the weather? You will love it! :)

I always say Washington DC.  I can live anywhere in the country I want and I choose to live here.  Having 10 of the 20 richest counties in America (And that doesnt even include DC proper which isnt in a county)  here creates an environment where even mediocre jobs tend to be highly paid.  3 major airports dispersed through the area allows for easy access regardless of what part of the metro area you live in. Easy access to major east coast cities. Great dining and theater scene. Housing may seem high at first glance, but when measured against our incomes here is actually much more affordable than places like San Fran, Denver, Boston, NYC, Seattle.

Oh.,...and you get to run into politicians in real life and you can say some really mean things to them straight to their face with no consequence.  This part might sound like a joke...but Im 100% serious that we do that here.

Originally posted by @Apkesh Kumar :

Hi, my family and I are considering moving to the US.  I work in the Tech industry as an indep. Consultant so it's important that I live closer to a regional airport.  My wife is in health care so it's important the city has a respectable health sector. We are in our mid 40s, have 2 kids are getting ready for high school.  Politically, we consider our selves very liberal, love to be closer to culture and arts. If it makes any difference, we are of Indian nationality but consider our selves a good mix of East/West.  I would love to hear your thoughts on "growing" cities that we should look at?  On a side note, we also want to start investing in properties. Ideally, somewhere close by to our new home.

So far, we've narrowed down my listing to the following states and cities:

1. NC (Raleigh, Caryany others we should look at?)

2. Texas (Huston, any others we should look at?)

3. Atlanta (don't know much about ATL, except we've been told inside the perimeter is what we want to look at)

We are totally opened to suggestions.  We have a year to make the move.

 I think Chicago seems to fit all of your criteria.  Two major airports in the middle of the country, a massive healthcare industry with some elite hospitals, a fairly progressive city especially for being in the middle of the country, outstanding mass transit, walkability, bikeability, an immense amount of culture and arts, a sizable Indian-American population, while the city's population is not growing it is gentrifying and growing in wealth so its a great place to invest.  Definitely look into Chicago and let me know if I can answer any questions about the city.  

Originally posted by @Michaela G. :

Are you sure that you'll be able to get a visa? Trump pretty much eliminated additional H1Bs as far as I know.

 Michaela:

Canadians do not require an H1B, being healthcare and tech sector professionals, the OP and his wife can obtain NAFTA TN visas (at least for now)

@Apkesh Kumar Everything you said points to DC and specifically Northern VA, Fairfax County. Big city, great hospitals for your wife, good schools for your kids and multicultural.

There are over a dozen good possibilities for you still. What type of investing are you hoping to accomplish? Starting with a blank slate, and assuming you have high income and good savings, you really could invest strategically in any market and do well. So the type of REI will really dictate which markets are more appropriate.

And what do you mean by "growing" city? Population and job growth? Or room for much appreciation? You could also check out the city data forums. They have plenty of opinionated folks who are happy to share their thoughts on different regions and cities in the US.

I agree with Mindy's suggestion to consider the midwest for ease of travel to both coasts. This could really wear you down over time. If you are inclined to be more coastal then I would suggest at least a good hub airport. 

Anyway Chicago seems a nice choice for a top tier city. Certainly Atlanta, Dallas and Houston can work well too, though prices have risen quite a bit in all three markets. One advantage that may come into play is TN, TX and FL not having state income tax. That said, depending how taxes work as a Canadian expat it may actually make no difference at all, I don't know. I agree Austin and Denver both make a lot of sense in certain ways, but they are both areas where RE has skyrocketed and I'm not confident there's a lot of room to "grow" price wise. You almost might as well be in Seattle or Cali.

Good luck! 

Houston would take some getting used to climatewise...you should visit in summer as it is very humid and hot and summer is long. Just a friendly heads up...If you can go anywhere, think twice about Houston if like to jog or golf...but maybe heaven for gardeners or having a backyard pool.
Even though I know nothing about the tech or medical industries, I may as well add that DFW is American's hub and while Dallas is huge in telecommunications it is also pretty big in everything else and has maybe the best medical school in the state...Southwestern. And no state income tax in Texas. If you look at the area, don't forget Fort Worth. People I have known always liked living in Fort Worth...but they were Texans. :-)

Hi @Apkesh Kumar

I am based out of Atlanta so can only speak from my personal experience.  I was a management consultant for about 10 years and one thing about Atlanta I liked was direct connection to most airports so Atlanta would check the box of being close to a regional airport. 

Atlanta has a lot of opportunities in Healthcare with companies like McKesson, MedAssets, Emory, Grady to name a few. My wife is in Healthcare and there are plenty of opportunities for employment. In regards to education lots of good options public and private both. The oldest public university The University of Georgia is based in Athens, GA approx ~75 miles from the city. Emory University, Georgia Tech, Georgia State to name a few. 

Additionally, all Georgia residents graduating from high school with a 3.2 GPA or better are eligible for assistance through the state-lottery funded HOPE Scholarship.

Atlanta, Georgia in my opinion has good value for money. Finally, here is a list of 10 cities Americans are moving to..

Good luck and much success 

Updated over 3 years ago

Please note- MedAssets is no longer in Atlanta as indicated in my post.

Originally posted by @Azeez K. :

Hi @Apkesh Kumar

I am based out of Atlanta so can only speak from my personal experience.  I was a management consultant for about 10 years and one thing about Atlanta I liked was direct connection to most airports so Atlanta would check the box of being close to a regional airport. 

Atlanta has a lot of opportunities in Healthcare with companies like McKesson, MedAssets, Emory, Grady to name a few. My wife is in Healthcare and there are plenty of opportunities for employment. In regards to education lots of good options public and private both. The oldest public university The University of Georgia is based in Athens, GA approx ~75 miles from the city. Emory University, Georgia Tech, Georgia State to name a few. 

Additionally, all Georgia residents graduating from high school with a 3.2 GPA or better are eligible for assistance through the state-lottery funded HOPE Scholarship.

Atlanta, Georgia in my opinion has good value for money. Finally, here is a list of 10 cities Americans are moving to..

Good luck and much success 

Medassets is no longer in Atlanta, it was bought out by Vizient which is based in Dallas in 2016.  But otherwise the point of your post is accurate.

@Apkesh Kumar if you are doing independent consulting, then I will assume you are being paid based on the location you visit, not the location you live. I would remove the more expensive recommendations (Denver, DC, maybe others) and focus on somewhere with a lower cost of living that still meets your criteria. Doing this lets you invest locally if you want, plus every dollar you earn in those big city, higher paying gigs is worth more when you get home, and you can still consult in the lower cost cities without problems.

We moved from Toronto to San Diego recently. It's a great place to live. Very liberal, politically speaking, and SoCal probably has the best weather in the country. There is a good healthcare and tech scene here as well. Coastal real estate is expensive (but worth it to live close to the ocean), but the average home price in San Diego county is actually under $500k right now. For real estate and investing, it is more insulated to pricing swings than some other parts of the country.

If SD isn't your thing, I would second Denver, Austin and add Nashville. Huge health industry and a great place to invest.

Originally posted by @Apkesh Kumar :

Hi, my family and I are considering moving to the US.  I work in the Tech industry as an indep. Consultant so it's important that I live closer to a regional airport.  My wife is in health care so it's important the city has a respectable health sector. We are in our mid 40s, have 2 kids are getting ready for high school.  Politically, we consider our selves very liberal, love to be closer to culture and arts. If it makes any difference, we are of Indian nationality but consider our selves a good mix of East/West.  I would love to hear your thoughts on "growing" cities that we should look at?  On a side note, we also want to start investing in properties. Ideally, somewhere close by to our new home.

So far, we've narrowed down my listing to the following states and cities:

1. NC (Raleigh, Caryany others we should look at?)

2. Texas (Huston, any others we should look at?)

3. Atlanta (don't know much about ATL, except we've been told inside the perimeter is what we want to look at)

We are totally opened to suggestions.  We have a year to make the move.

If you view yourself as "VERY" liberal, then I think the only place you would feel comfortable in Texas would be Austin.  Dallas proper has some areas that are very liberal.  Uptown/Oak Lawn, M Streets, south Dallas.  But the metro area is solidly conservative.  Houston is pretty conservative. etc.

One option I would like you to consider is Dallas, TX.  Perhaps the most central hub to all of the US.  One of the fastest growing cities in America and for good reason.

It is not as humid as Houston, not as East Coast as Atlanta etc.  It also is a market that should keep you and your wife busy from the local opportunity side of things while giving you access to the rest of the Americas.  There are no state income taxes in Texas and based on the cost of living your money will go a lot farther.  Sorry, no Tim Hortons here but the outdoor patio approach to eating is ideal for Canadians wanting to be in the vitality of a vibrant city.  My husband is CIPS - Certified International Property Specialist and can assist with most details you & your family will engage.  Good luck with your next step and let me know if we can be of assistance in any way.

Teri

Why not Seattle?  Yes, it's "my" area but liberal leaning, Indian descent, tech industry, and near a major airport?  Seattle comes to mind before anything else.  And Kent, a city about 20 - 30 minutes from Seattle is frequently in the top 10 fastest growing cities in the entire country.  

Many of us think of Seattle is about 6 - 10 years behind San Francisco.  If that doesnt bode well I dont know what will. 

Originally posted by @Tim Shepstone :

We moved from Toronto to San Diego recently. It's a great place to live. Very liberal, politically speaking, and SoCal probably has the best weather in the country. There is a good healthcare and tech scene here as well. Coastal real estate is expensive (but worth it to live close to the ocean), but the average home price in San Diego county is actually under $500k right now. For real estate and investing, it is more insulated to pricing swings than some other parts of the country.

If SD isn't your thing, I would second Denver, Austin and add Nashville. Huge health industry and a great place to invest.

I would classify San Diego as purple and not very liberal.  However pockets can be very liberal or conservative.  Hillcrest liberal, RB conservative. On the positive our city wide candidates that win are mostly moderates regardless of their party.  

I suspect our median price is just over $500k as most sources show between 4% to 5.5%  for 2016.  The numbers I was for below $500k was in first part of 2016.  Safe to say somewhere around $500k median price.  So housing is not cheap.  

I love San Diego but our air port is poor.  For domestic flights it is acceptable but for many areas you will have an extra leg and if you have been to fine air ports you will quickly realize that our air port is not good.  Flights to the north east coast literally could not be further. 

The traffic is not good.  

On the positive San Diego has perhaps best weather in US (in my view definitely best in continental us).  

We have good high tech including bio med.  

The community I live in and some other communities, but not all communities, have good schools for your kids.  

Tim,
SoCal would be our dream destination :) 

But it's also quite expensive (may be not so much if you compare living standards in Toronto- avg house price for a decent house is a million).  

I am writing down all the suggestions folks have been posting here and will take a serious look into the areas recommended. This has been so helpful guys!    

Originally posted by @Tim Shepstone :

We moved from Toronto to San Diego recently. It's a great place to live. Very liberal, politically speaking, and SoCal probably has the best weather in the country. There is a good healthcare and tech scene here as well. Coastal real estate is expensive (but worth it to live close to the ocean), but the average home price in San Diego county is actually under $500k right now. For real estate and investing, it is more insulated to pricing swings than some other parts of the country.

If SD isn't your thing, I would second Denver, Austin and add Nashville. Huge health industry and a great place to invest.

I'm admittedly biased but I think Columbus, OH would be perfect for you. You have warzones like any other city, but then you also have New Albany which is one of the best suburbs in America, and literally everything in between. The cost of living is relatively cheap. While most of Ohio outside of the cities is very conservative, Columbus is very liberal. Large fashion and food scene. There are also a very large concentration of corporate headquarters here such as Nationwide, Battelle, Abercrombie, L Brands, AEP, Cardinal Health, just to name a few. Art and science is pretty big here also.