For 10 years I lived and worked on the CA coast. It was very expensive. Homes in Ventura (where I lived) ranged from $300K to $600K (remember, this is in the late 90s and very early 00s) and homes in Santa Barbara (where I worked) ranged from...well, hell, $400K would barely get you a teardown. A proper 3-bedroom family home in a decent neighborhood wasn't happening for less than $800K.
Can you imagine waking up one morning and realizing that despite not living in NYC or San Francisco, you owed three-quarters-of-a-million dollars on a 3-bedroom suburb starter home?
Yeah, me neither. So we started looking around for affordable places to live on a developer's salary (about $80K at the time).
We ended up in the heart of Central California's farming belt. I never even knew that CA had a farming belt, or that it supplied massive amounts of food for the rest of the country. The home prices were much better (about $150K for the same kind of home that was $350K - $800K on the coast), but there have been tradeoffs.
1) Local talent. I'm close to Fresno, which has a decent talent pool, but it's nothing like living in LA/San Jose/San Francisco/NYC/Austin/etc.
2) The market for consulting work is soft, because a lot of businesses here are behind the times and simply don't consume freelance type technical or creative work.
3) Culture shock. Oh my God, the culture shock. I've been here for 10 years and I still don't feel like I fit in.
Now, on to the good stuff.
1) The local talent issue has been a boon for me in the end, because it opened me up to remote work to a greater degree. Once I had projects to do and I needed talent, going remote was kind of my only choice. Ultimately this helped to push me into the 21st century to a greater degree than otherwise. Bootstrapping is all about finding affordable remote talent.
2) It's cheap here! Having a hard time transitioning from consulting to product (ahem)? Having a slow start getting customers on your Saas app? Barely at ramen profitability levels? No problem. This is one of the most affordable areas to live in CA, a fact that saved my bacon numerous times when I lost my job and was struggling to make up the income with consulting work. Living cheap is good for bootstrapping stuff.
3) It's outside the bubble. You know what I'm talking about. If you live in San Jose and want to do a software product, there's a 90% chance you'll get caught up in the VC chase. How could you not? Out here, there is no VC chase. There's just you, 500,000 people in the Fresno metro area, and a bunch of small business owners with real problems that need real solving. That's not bad for a bootstrapper.
If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably bail on CA and move to Austin, TX. But I didn't, and in all honesty I'm probably stuck here until my youngest goes off to college. But in retrospect, I could have had it much worse in terms of living in a place that isn't conducive to bootstrapping a business, be it product or consulting.