Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series. Read the second part here: The exodus from L.A. Tech workers who traded cramped one-bedroom apartments by the ocean for 4-bedroom houses in Las Vegas.

Roger DaSilva, who grew up in New Jersey and lived in New York for two decades, long dreamed about trading the honking horns and gridlock of Manhattan for the sand and ocean breezes of Manhattan Beach.

"When I would visit L.A., it just felt like a different country with the people, the easy going nature, and the genuine friendliness of the people," said DaSilva. "It's that laid back vibe, and I love the beach and the sun."

But there was one thing stopping the move. DaSilva is an outsourced chief financial officer so he can work from anywhere, but his wife works at an advertising agency, which required her to be in the New York office full-time. Then COVID-19 hit and the DaSilva's could work from anywhere. In June, they listed their Murray Hill three-bedroom home and rented a house in Venice Beach while they searched for something more permanent.

"If it weren't for COVID, we would still be in New York," DaSilva said.

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