A lot of things has happened in the past two and a quarter years since we've relocated to the Inland Empire. Wife no longer commutes to Orange County to work. In fact, she stopped commuting since Fall of 2015. Her company set her up with a sweet home office set up, saving us tremendously on transportation fares. Despite my daily commute being 100.4 miles round trip, life was great, quality of life increased, quality of living was fantastic - until baby Ethan arrived. When he arrived, he was a game changer and pretty much threw a monkey wrench into the cogs of our plan. You see, the original plan was to lease an apartment here in the Corona-Riverside area to see how we adapt to the I.E. life style, such as commute, pace of life, variety of restaurants, climate, etc. before we commit to buying a house. Ideally, I would eventually land a job somewhere in Orange County or the Inland Empire. That appears to be no longer the plan.
The company I've been working at for the past five years has promoted me and even sent me to Japan last September for a crash course training and to visit our R&D centers in Ueno, Kawagoe, Tsukuba and Tsuchiura. The company is also relocating into a newer, state-of-the art building that we are building ourselves. So rather than start over with another company, I'm content with where I am, I like my new position / responsibilities, I like my workmates and I enjoy the perks. But with baby in the mix, it's no longer a two man crew so to speak (even though it's just us taking care of baby).
These past couple of weeks I've been debating: spend 3+ hours on the road everyday or spend extra time with my family? Lose the precious moment that could be spent watching my son grow up or sit on the road with thousands of other commuters? Reality hits. It's a no-brainer. Growing up, my dad used to work long hours just to support our family and I would be lucky to see him for 2 hours each night. By the time he comes home, I would already be sleeping. I certainly do not want to raise our son in a similar situation.
Our lease expires this November and we are already looking to move back to the South Bay, hopefully in a single family home with a yard and that's within walking distance to my work, so I can spend more time with my wife and son. Gaining three hours of additional sleep is definitely an added benefit. The beauty of renting is we can pack our bags and move as often as we want and whenever we see fit. Cost of living in the I.E. is significantly less than in L.A. county, so we were able to aggressively build our nest egg during the 2.5 year period.