As we mull our future and where we want to live, we keep coming back to two aspects: cost versus location.

Cost is obvious and easy to assess. How much is housing? How much are other costs?

But location is considerably more complicated. What family and friends are nearby? What’s the weather like? Is there enough water? What are the politics? The likelihood of plenty of nerds to meet? How safe do we feel being ourselves in public? How safe do we feel in general? Resources like medical care and shopping? And those are just some of our highest priority items.

We’re likely to go somewhere with the kids, so everyone’s needs must be considered. I mean, this may be where any grandkids I may have grow up.

If cost were the only issue, there are plenty of places we could afford to buy a house, even on our low income.

But all of the above location aspects are also pretty vital, and the places with the best matches for those are often prohibitively expensive for us. So we may have to make some tough decisions.

Of course, the default is to go nowhere for a while. But it’s unlikely we’ll be able to buy a house around here, so that is unlikely to be a long-term solution. But I am loathe to go far, as most of my family is in Arizona.

My dream is for them all to decamp to a lovely but affordable location, and we can go there! But that won’t happen.

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