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  • Writer's pictureSophie Schillaci

We're Leaving LA! Answering All the FAQs About Our Family's Big Cross-Country Move

Byeeeeee, LA!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen the news that our family is leaving Los Angeles. It's been a long time coming, but the pandemic has certainly pushed things along over the last year.

Now, we're starting to get settled into our new (temporary) home and I wanted to take some time to answer all the frequently asked questions I've been getting about the move!

Plus, stay tuned for a more detailed post and video about the logistics of how we pulled off a cross-country move with two kids under three and two dogs while remodeling and selling our house. (Good lord, I need a nap.)


Big Questions About Our Big Move... ANSWERED!

Where are you moving?

To my hometown of Rochester, NY, where both Mike and I attended college and met.

Um, WHY?!

I’ve been in LA for 10 years and Mike’s been there for nine. We’ve actually always talked about going back east someday, particularly when we were ready to have a family and put our kids in school. We just weren’t sure what part of the east coast we wanted to be in.

(Most of my friends and family are based in Rochester, while Mike’s family is scattered around the New England area.)

We explored lots of options but always came back to Rochester for a massive local support network of friends, family and their kids close in age to ours, proximity to even MORE friends and family all around the northeast, super low cost of living, and excellent public schools. Having reasonable and affordable childcare options will also allow me to explore what I want to do next in my own career.

The nasty weather, however, is something we are going to have to learn to live with.

Honestly, while this is something we've always talked about, the pandemic had a huge hand in highlighting the most important things in our life. The fact that Colton was born at the start of COVID lockdown and is now nearing his first birthday without having met his own grandparents or aunts and uncles is heartbreaking. When you boil it all down to what means the most to us in this life, it's being close to our people. Not just for a few visits a year, but close enough to make frequent lasting and meaningful memories together, even in the mundane. Our kids deserve that.

Thankfully, the pandemic has also nudged "work from home" culture in a direction we've been pushing for for years, which is why we're now able to make this move a reality without compromising on a job Mike loves so much.

What about Mike’s job?

He’s going to continue working remotely for Disney! We hope to be back in LA for annual Disneyland visits and to see our west coast friends once it's safe to do so.

Did you buy a new house yet?

Nope! I’m dusting off my good ol’ Millenial bingo card and moving back into my childhood home (for now). We’ll start thinking about our next home after the one in LA sells.

Wait, didn’t your parents move to Palm Springs? What are they going to do?

They did! And they love it there. But since they own one house in La Quinta and one in Rochester, they often split their time between the two throughout the year. My step dad loves his job running a country club in the desert and hopes to retire there in some years, but will continue to come east for summers and holidays in the meantime. My mom tends to fly back and forth between the two whenever she feels like it, anyway.

So, what's happening with your house in LA?

We're selling it! And the next buyers to snag it are lucky af.

We bought a house in the Valley Glen part of North Hollywood three years ago. We were first-time homebuyers with not a lot to put down and not a huge budget to work with, but we were desperate for space for our growing family, proximity to Burbank (where we both worked at the time), and a backyard for the dogs. We found this place, which needed a TON of work, but had lots of square footage, was located in a family friendly neighborhood and was ugly but livable enough. We knew we could slowly chip away at the work and replacements that needed to be done. The seller was honestly a character, to put it kindly, and we had very little competition from other buyers - so we got it!

In the time we've spent there, we put in new appliances, HVAC, plumbing, landscaping, smart home equipment, paint, and so much more. There's a laundry list of other upgrades we would have liked to do, but never had the time or money to see those aesthetic upgrades through.

When we were ready to start the process of moving, we called our real estate agent to help us get it ready to go to market. She has a great eye for design and her company uses a program to assist with the costs associated with selling. Through that program, we were able to do a handful of renovations we'd always wanted to - plus a few that weren't even on our radar, but truly make the house look like MORE than a million bucks! (That's what we're going for, at least.)

We knew we'd get the most bang for our buck in the sale by vacating the house and letting our agent stage it beautifully with new furniture and decor. I'm happy to say that our group chat is lit up right now with gorgeous photos of the finished project that almost make me want to move back in! (But, as our agent always reminds us... "This isn't Love It or List It! You gotta get out of here."

I can't wait to share photos of the listing with you all once I'm allowed to!


Did I answer all your burning questions? If not, hit the comments here or on Instagram. More to come, as we're just getting started on this crazy next chapter!




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