We already made the jump, if it helps here is our story. I feel in love just when I lost my roommate, and found myself paying almost $3,000 a month for my space. My girlfriend (now fiance) was paying over a grand. It was a no brainer, we simply combined our rent and found a 1 bedroom at $2,495 in Cupertino just south of Apple. Initially it looked like a good deal until we realized in addition to rent we were paying nearly $200 in water/sewer and ridiculous fees. Then after only 9 months they wanted to raise our rent again.....we had enough. (anecdote....it was as early as fall of 2019 we started noticing the Army of moving vans. Immigration policies meant landlords couldn't just pack and stack tech workers and families, and almost every other person we know was moving to Denver, Austin, etc.) After a work trip to Huntsville, AL I approached my fiance about moving. She was reluctant, but after a brief visit she decided she was willing to give it a try. Despite a lengendary flight from COVID lockdowns we arrived here on April 1 to sign our lease. We couldn't be happier. This place is so nice we keep asking ourselves "what's the catch." Huntsville is a unique blend of technology, military and southern culture. Know as "Rocket City" Huntsville is where German and American scientists (Operation Paperclip) came together to build the Saturn V rocket which took our astrounauts to the moon. Like many emerging tech hubs Huntsville is benefitting from the massive exodous from the Northeast and West, and with a huge development plan they are building something special here. WHY MOVE: This might not be true of everyone, but I was able to keep my job/salary and just relocate. This means I literally just transferred my laptop and kept my six figure + salary. So we went from two jobs feeling like we were getting nowhere to I'm the only one working and we're suddenly well off. Tax savings from leaving California for me are nearly $150 a week........now consider our $3,000k apartment in Cupertino is luxury apartment is $1,100; with other expense (like storage/sewer) it comes out to $1,280. We decided to rent for a year, but could easily buy a house right now. Houses range from $100k-$300K (you could buy more for sure, but good houses) so that means your mortgage will be between $500-$1,500 a month to OWN. COVID sucks, we're not sure when everything will setttle down but that money is now going toward a future we can actually afford. I can actually see where we'll afford a wedding and downpayment on a house. Leaving California was SUCH a hard decision to make at the time, but now that we did it we cannot understand how we put up with the expense, inconvience and genearlly declining quality of live the Bay Area is experiencing. MY advice, don't think......RUN!