West Virginia Department of Commerce Home for the holidays to stay!

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Home for the holidays to stay!

Live anywhere. Choose West Virginia.

By Kim Harbour

Four years ago last August, I pulled out a sheet of paper and drew a line down the center.

One side I labeled “pros,” the other “cons.” I started writing.

Pros: My husband and I lived in a nice condo near Venice Beach, 20 blocks from the Pacific. He was a writer. I enjoyed my job at an interactive agency, managing a national account. And it never rained in Southern California… Kally, the author's daughter, playing in fall leaves in West Virginia

Our toddler tugged at me to finish and drive her to the playground. The cons flooded in rapid succession: no backyard, expensive homeowners’ dues, $800-per-month childcare per child (we have two girls), no relatives within 1,000 miles – and our bikes had been stolen!

Later that night I searched the Web and found what would become our new home in West Virginia. When I did the math, what we were paying in monthly homeowners’ dues covered the mortgage on a custom log home on nearly three acres. It was in a good school district, three miles from my brother’s house, six miles from my best friend’s and only 40 minutes from my parents. (The girls would know their grandparents!)

By October, I had found a similar Web marketing job in West Virginia and we were unpacking. We looked out the window and marveled as a flock of 18 wild turkeys meandered through the golden fall leaves in our new yard. This was not LA. My daughter tugged at me again. “Yes, honey. Let’s go play!”

Read about others who CHOOSE to call West Virginia home, again:

Gina Pertee Creating a place to call home
“With technology, you can participate globally from anywhere. There is an abundance of options to create the situation that’s best for you,” explained organizational development specialist Gina Pertee.
 Andrew White Skilled craftsman opens door to world market
“Coming home to West Virginia is like a breath of fresh air. It’s home,” said artisan and entrepreneur Andrew White.
 Maggie Cook-Garcia Fresh ideas, fresh ingredients
“West Virginia is a great place to grow. I just cannot wait to be able to grow my business so that I can employ a lot more people and grow it that way,” entrepreneur Maggie Cook-Garcia said.
 Keith Pauley Incubator’s next stop: the moon
“The work and the people speak for themselves. We can compete with anyone in the world with our science and technology. We’re doing it every day!” said MATRIC's Keith Pauley.