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From a math point-of-view - it would depend on what you did w/ the money you aren't putting toward the mortgage in NC. What are those alternatives?

From a risk point-of-view - "housing market has hopefully reached bottom" How much are you (and your wife) willing to bet that is the case? An NC location would help you diversify, and provide some flexibility if something happens down the road.

From a quality of life point-of-view - hard to quantify. Some people like the urban lifestyle, some rural. Personally, I live in a metro area of 400,000 people - median home price $105k. Live in a 4,000 sqft house on 1-1/2 acres bought for $230k, that would be well over $500k in larger markets in the midwest, let alone the coasts. Love the slower pace of life, and the financial flexibility to travel to larger cities when the need/want arises.

Happy deciding!
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