Moving to California

Travel Forums North America Moving to California

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1. Posted by jmanjazz (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

this isn't technically about traveling, but i'm going to throw it out there anyway. I don't know if any of you live or have lived in california or not, but i thought id ask... my family is currently located in northern michigan, and we are considering moving out to southern california. problem is, every city we've looked at either is too crime-infested, or the houses are way too expensive. could anybody give me some ideas on cities that have affordable houses, and possibly nice public schools?
any information is greatly appreciated. we are looking at the los angeles area, but as i said everything in there is either way too dirty and bad, or else its so nice that the houses are in the millions.

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I lived in Northern Cali for a year, though I didn't have to worry about expense because my company was paying for accomidations and my car.

My take on California real estate is the further in-land you move, the cheaper things get. I think that you will probably find anything in Orange county, LA, san Diego county, Ventura county or Santa Barbara would be pretty pricey. I think you would have better luck looking in San Bernadino county, though obviously you would be removed from the water.

Everyone in California seems resigned to driving great long distances to get to and from work as well. When I was in San Fran I knew a number of people who had 2+ hours EACH WAY commutes every day. I have only spent a week in LA (Beverly Hills, actually) and I think the traffic situation is the same there.


3. Posted by jmanjazz (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Greg,
i have noticed the same thing, the closer to water you are the more $ it is, but i just thought out of all the coastal citites that 1 or 2 might be a bit more affordable. I have looked at inland citites too, but haven't found that many nice ones yet, tho i'll keep looking.

4. Posted by Imanta (Budding Member 3 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hey, sweet... I can comment on this as I am a Cali native.

First off, to say Southern California is like saying Arizona (big area) so you have to narrow it down a bit to some kind of area at least in terms of how far you will driveto work each day.

So where do you move... okay first rule of thumb is don't go by a city's name. Sun Valley may sound like a ski resort but you DO NOT want to live here. Visit the city first.

Next, how much do you want to spend. I like south of LA towards San Diego. Housing prices are much more reasonable here, but much higher than Michigan still (appr 400k 3 bed/2 bath). You can go NW towards Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks and the houses are pricier but the area is very nice. An hour away and you hit Ventura and 2 hours you are in Santa Barbara. Taking 5 to the NE will bring you to Lyons and Valenica which are becoming the hot spot for commuters but you are getting into the desert climate and lots of traffic...

Lastly, how far do you want to drive and how much do you need to live in LA itself? Cities like Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, etc all have great spots in them you just have to search them out. Over by the beach you can pay more and live in Santa Monica, Malibu, or Huntington Beach but its lots more expensive for what you get.

If you have specific spots, I can comment because I have family there and I was born in Arcadia.

Hope it helps a bit.

5. Posted by zoeitm (Budding Member 30 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

i live in orange county and have lived in san diego. i would definately pick san diego over L.A. its more layed-back and friendlier, with that beachy feel. renting a 3 bedroom house id say would be around 3,000 a month. buying in sandiego or L.A. nearer to the beach will always be pricey.

6. Posted by rickyg (Budding Member 3 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Forget LA. Unless you enjoy breathing smog . San Diego is much nicer, but also very expensive. Mostly all towns along the coast are very expensive in Cal. I live in Las Vegas but I dont advise you to move here either. If you want to move out west, how about Phoenix, Arizona Its really cheap;), and it has lots of sun, mountains and a lot to offer, just no beach of course.

7. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2004 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Ricky kind of misses out on one little detail when talking about Phoenix--like the fact that it averages about 115 degrees everyday during the summer!!

I like Phoenix, but would never want to live there year round for this reason.

Besides, the person was asking about Southern California--so maybe we can stay on topic, please?