MOVERS AND STAYERS
Forbes' Rich Karlgaard writes about his explorations on coldwellbanker.com and reports on the huge cost-of-living disparities between selected coastal metros (NY, LA, SF) and much of the rest of the US. He notes that a chunk of the differences have to do with vastly different local tax rates -- and suggests that some very profitable moves are available.
Why do people like it where they are? The American Housing Survey (2001) asked. Only 28 percent answered "convenient to job". Twenty percent liked their house. Forty-nine percent cited the things outside the home that really matter (convenient to friends and relatives 19%, look and design of neighborhood 18%, good schools, 9%, convenient to leisure 3%). Just 1.6% liked the public services and another 1.6% liked convenient access to public transportation.
Lots more is available at the Census' Why People Move. Interestingly, many of us do move but the disparities cited in Forbes have not caused an uptick in recent years.