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Old 10-11-2010, 05:52 PM
 
1 posts, read 26,877 times
Reputation: 12
Default Best places to live in California for a young family??

Hello all!
I'm a young mom (mid-twenties) with a toddler looking for affordable, safe places to live in California. I've been working in the health field for several years now, and have a fairly good amount of money saved up, and have no problem living in an apartment or condo. I have a TON of family in the Los Angeles area (I'm from there originally), however, I dont want to live somewhere that is THAT crowded. I dont need to live on the coast, but would like the beach to be 2 hour or less drive. I dont mind the heat too much (I currently live in Phoenix lol), but I prefer the weather a bit cooler. Any suggestions?? Oh yes, I dont want to live TOO up north
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 51,646,460 times
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Depends on your job situation. Where will you be working? Ideally near your family support network.
Rent or buy?
Budget?
Spouse? Working?
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:06 PM
 
Location: South Whidbey Island
1,684 posts, read 1,318,127 times
Reputation: 1817
CA is a BIG state, so you will probably receive a lot of options. I will give you one option:

Temecula, CA. It is in the Inland Empire region. About an hour NNE of San diego. The nearest beach is Oceanside/Carlsbad about 45 minutes away.

Pros:

1. VERY family oriented town. There are a ton of parks to take the kids to and everyone is friendly there. My wife has met a lot of friends just taking the kid to the park.

2. Very safe town. A lot of policemen and firefighters live here.

3. Great school options. The public school system is one of the better ones, and there are some great charter and home schooling programs. They also have an unusual number of very good private schools. I think Temecula has to be one of the cheapest towns in CA that has a good school system.

4. Big enough to have amenities, but you'd never know there are 100,000+ people here. Temecula has the customary malls and shopping centers. You won't be without anything. We have a population of 107,000 but it really feels like a small town. It is a well planned city with large wide streets. There are a number of ways to get to anywhere else in the town. Hardly any traffic.

5. It's a wine town. There are 34 wineries in Temecula.

6. Cool "Old Town". Old Town Temecula is designed to be a throwback to the old wild west days. Very neat part of town.

7. No part of town is bad. Really, even the worst part of Temecula is still a very safe and good place to live.

Cons:

1. It gets hot in the summer. Like most inland areas of CA, you can have several heat waves where temperatures can soar into the 100's for days at a time. It's not always, but when it does happen it bites. It is not as hot as Phoenix though. Nothing like where you live now.

2. Inland areas of CA have that semi-desert look. Temecula hides it well with good irrigation and plenty of trees, but still.

3. Because Temecula is one of the better Inland Empire towns, it's a tad pricier. It's still inexpensive, but there are other nearby areas that are cheaper. Of course, those areas have worse schools and get even hotter.

Nearby Amenities:

Wild Animal Park: ~30-40 minutes away in Escondido
LegoLand: ~45 minutes away in Carlsbad
DisneyLand: ~1:15 away in Anaheim
San Diego (Zoo, Balboa Park, Sea World): 1 hour away.
Idyllwild: Nice mountain town about 1:15 minutes away.
Palm Springs: ~1:15

I'm looking to move away only because I want to see more green, and tend to like NoCal (or Seattle or Boston) better. I long to find a stream to go Salmon fishing. We couldn't find any place up there in our budget so we decided to spend a few years in Temecula. My wife and I have been very surprised with Temecula. We heard it was one of the better Inland Empire towns and we weren't disappointed. A very pleasant surprise I would recommend to anyone.

Last edited by CarawayDJ; 10-11-2010 at 07:33 PM..
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:11 PM
 
Location: LB/OC for now...
5,112 posts, read 11,284,948 times
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I would second Temecula based off the information you presented
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:33 PM
 
981 posts, read 837,100 times
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The problem with Temecula, is that it is very crowded for its size. If you go there it seems like you are in OC. Also the 15 freeway is bad, it is the only freeway into Temecula and it is only 3-4 lanes on each side(i do not count 215).

If you are commuting to places in SD and Riverside county then it is a good option.

Another option is San Jose. It may be a large city, about 1m people but it is spread out and has nice suburban like commuties.

I would also prefer North San Diego because it is safe and not crowded like Downtown. One of my favorite things about San Diego is that it has its suburbs within city limits making it a spread out city, with the exception of Downtown.

I choose those places because those areas have a lot of jobs and I am assuming you will be living near a larger city .
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:24 PM
 
Location: South Whidbey Island
1,684 posts, read 1,318,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattClyde View Post
The problem with Temecula, is that it is very crowded for its size. If you go there it seems like you are in OC. ...
Wow, I have never ever ever heard that from anyone that lives here. Except for I-15 at rush hour, there is hardly any bad traffic in Temecula. When family and friends visit me from elsewhere, they are usually surprised to hear there are over a 100K people living in Temecula. It just doesn't seem like it.

However, the subdivision layout does give it some of that OC feel. I'll have to agree there.

I also love San Diego, but so does everyone else; hence the price differential. The area with schools equivalent to Temecula around San Diego would be Poway. I guess it all depends on the OP's budget. On a cost is no cost basis I'd choose San Diego. In fact, if NoCal or Seattle or Boston doesn't work out for us, we will move back to San Diego (Sunset Cliffs/Point Loma). Well, that assumes I have at least $900K to get something decent in that part of San Diego :^(
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
47,263 posts, read 37,235,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessyBell View Post
Hello all!
I'm a young mom (mid-twenties) with a toddler looking for affordable, safe places to live in California. I've been working in the health field for several years now, and have a fairly good amount of money saved up, and have no problem living in an apartment or condo. I have a TON of family in the Los Angeles area (I'm from there originally), however, I dont want to live somewhere that is THAT crowded. I dont need to live on the coast, but would like the beach to be 2 hour or less drive. I dont mind the heat too much (I currently live in Phoenix lol), but I prefer the weather a bit cooler. Any suggestions?? Oh yes, I dont want to live TOO up north
Jessy,

I don't know that anyone can tell you "the best place" but depending on what part of the medical field you are in and the job availability, off the top of my hat I would suggest the Inland Empire or the eastern edges of San Gabriel Valley. Of course whether this is in your price range might be a question as well. It would put you within a nice driving distence from your family in the L.A. area and get you somewhat, away from the crowds. The only down part at all is the smog.

Nita
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Temecula, CA
372 posts, read 1,134,982 times
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I love Temecula as well. San Diego is expensive but if you can afford it I'd go for it. I personally also like parts of Ventura County.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Orange County
78 posts, read 153,982 times
Reputation: 51
You may also want to consider Rancho Cucamonga. It's pretty cheap, has decent/good schools, and offers lots of amenities. It's very similar to Temecula besides the facts that traffic is worse and it is a bit older. The plus side, though, is that Rancho Cucamonga is close to many more employers than Temecula and you will be closer to your family in L.A. Same goes for its neighboring city, Upland.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,814 posts, read 1,638,566 times
Reputation: 3838
My suggestion? Try another state. I will gurantee, even if you come to California, within a year, you will leave. This state is very expensive and most who come here, who were not raised here, cannot handle the costs. Raise your child in another state, where you can afford more; that isn't here.
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