Well we will probably be flying down because my wife has a job interview (nursing) in Greenville, NC. Seems like a lower wage for both of us, but low real estate. But by any standard its lower then here. The average single family home is 420,000 and condo 310,000. Just need to get away from the expensive cost of living and snow! Also the 1300 bike insurance sux!
This may be i bit off topic, but is probably most vital piece of suggestions i could ever give. Trust me on this........NEVER, and i mean NEVER take a pay cut if you value your ability to climb any corporate ladder.
You will run across many varying ideas/thoughts about this, but one thing is undeniable. Any highering company will look at a backwards, or lateral, move in pay as a red flag. Even if it isn't actually a red flag at all HR and the powers that be will always hold it against you.
If there is a COL difference a suggestion to even out the cost of relocation for a company that is difficult to work with but you really wish to stay with them) is to forgo the relocation package as long as you can negotiate a pay increase(no matter how slight it may be). The reason i say this is because here is how it will all shake out to any potential employer.
Any highering company want motivated rising stars to work for them. If every move you make is to the plus you don't have to try to combat any red flags. Say you will relocate but want the company to cover your expenses. The company will do so, but actually want to decrease your pay, or keep it the same. If they are being difficult and you have/want to stay with them for the time being(for whatever reason) then work it out so the recolation package is actually subsidized by a pay increase. I.E. HR says we will pay for relocation, but would rather not offer a pay hike. The smart thing to do is to say you are willing to help them out. Worst case senario as to tell them you will forgo, or negotiate a reduced, relocation package(usually between 10-15K) in exchange for a slight pay increase. Now ever circumstance is different, but you can usually feel it out. Obviously you want to recoup the relocation package as soon as possible through your negotiated pay increase, but even if you have to spread it out over the course of 2 years you still are ahead of the game. Any potential employer will only see the pay increase as a positive and no reg flags are thrown. So you have to wait a year to recoup your relocation expenses....no big deal. This only makes your hand stronger when it comes to future negotiated pay hikes and packages whether it be with the same company or another.
Caveat: Nursing(and the medical field in general) here in the states is in huge demand with little supply. Going to be this way for a long time. Wages and incentive packages are in the employed's favor. Not sure if you know about this but the U.S. has a very well paying traveling nursing program. Basically you are a sub contracted medical professional that goes where the money is. Have run across more than a few nurses that do this and can make just as much as doctors just in wages. Some of these programs have incredible employee packages.