A few days ago the expats were Baby Boomers like myself who had left the Northeast Corridor.
The tipping point for all us was the rapidly escalating cost of housing in the east. So, here we all are in the Southwest. There is no generation divide on this.
One Millennial said that in Brooklyn she felt she had really lucked out to have a room with no private bath or private entrance in a house for about $700. Then little by little she realized she could have a studio apartment or even one bedroom in Tucson for half that.
The fellow Baby Boomer couldn't keep up with the boosts in property taxes. The family house was in a location with a good school system. In Tucson, she rents a one bedroom with a pool and fitness center for about $450.
Good at finding housing bargains, I bumped into a wonderful condo near a waterfall in Connecticut and a short ride to the Atlantic Ocean in Westerly, Rhode Island. The price was peanuts. So were the common charges. The rub was that there had just been a special assessment and another one was due. I had been that with condos when I was in my 40s. They might never end.
After the flirtation with the condo, I joined the wagon train to the Southwest. Where I was renting the monthly nut was going to go up again. Probably that was because of utility costs. Heat bills during the polar vortex had scared the dickens out of landlords like mine who paid the utilities.
It's funny, though. Some natives of the Southwest have decided that even this location is too pricey for housing. They have uprooted and gone to Mexico and Ecuador. Some of us expats from New York Metro could follow, eventually.