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Old 06-19-2011, 12:32 PM
 
167 posts, read 537,384 times
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Hi there! Well my oldest daughter rents in Novato ( for 1550$ for a nothing small place) and I am trying desperately to convince her to move out here with me as I will never return to that area. I dont like Novato myself, there are so many people there that building a community is hard and people work so hard and are so busy that it doesnt leave much for making friends. I dont like how crowded it is either, I guess I am really sold on NM. Novato is one of my least favorite towns. I am just talking to my daughter now and she doesnt feel it is very community oriented either. She does like the school, however and says there are poor kids, rich kids all colors etc.

I grew up in Marin and its really been a while since I spent any time there. It is so beautiful, especially San Anselmo and Fairfax. Those are really nice towns in Marin. I dont know what the prices are anymore but it could be astronomical. When I left San Rafael it was in 1997 and I moved up the corridor -hwy 101- because I could not afford to rent. I remember at the time rents were around 1000-1500$ a month. Marin is a very wealthy community and people either are quite well off or have owned their homes for a very long time. Sean Penn lives in Marin county. Mill Valley is beautiful but $$$$$$$$

I dont know too much about the East Bay, but I have friends that live in Oakland and Berkely and when I visit I stay with them. I like visiting those towns and think they would meet some of your requirements. Of course certain areas in Oakland. You will not be able to rent anywhere in the East bay that will accept a dog, so if you like animals forget it. Even north it is going to be almost impossible. I hate to think of you renting forever. I just turned 51 and I wanted a home of my own to build something for my future. I think it is wise to live somewhere that owning is an option.

Your possible commute to SF(from anywhere) is going to be harsh. Traffic gets backed up and is miserable. Hours on the freeway are not uncommon.


I know quite a few people who dumped their houses at the peak of the housing bubble and moved elsewhere. Many people though love the area and think it is still a great place to live.

I got really tired of it as I have lived there most of my life and needed a change. I love New Mexico, and it has turned out very well for me. I happen to like the dry, open mesas and got tired of the rolling hills and constant fog of California. When I visit I notice how humid it is there. Also, there are two colors on the hills of California, golden brown and bright vivid green.

I have also visited Utah and love the beauty of it but dont know what it would be like to live there. What are the people like there?
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:22 PM
 
63 posts, read 260,873 times
Reputation: 59
Hello, again.
Sorry for the late response. Thank you for your helpful information. I appreciate it.
In regards to Utah....it is beautiful and there are many outdoor activities here. BUT, it is primarily Mormon and unless you are Mormon, eventually you will find that that you don't fit in and you will then will desire to move from here. Some outsiders find their niche, their own circle of non-Mormon friends, but it is really difficult to be a part of this community, in any city in Utah. The only exception is Park City, where rich people have their 2nd homes and are primarily non-Mormon. They are used to diversity. Park City is the only place I would feel comfortable, but it is fairly snooty and expensive. I have been here for 18 years and have tolerated the ignorance of the Mormon people for that long. Other than the beauty and great skiiing, I have nothing good to say. I am a mixed race (I never really saw myself other than American, until I came here- to Utah) and I have experienced much diversity in my life. Utah has a long way to go. I am not alone in my thoughts. Mormons do not see nor understand what I am speaking of. They simply do not see the discrimination. Non-mormons always see it, feel it, breathe it, live it. We are the ones who tolerate their discrimination on a daily basis. It has been the biggest challenge of my life (and I've had many!). I thought that after 18 years, I would have grown to be an even more tolerant person (and I am known to be quite tolerant already), but I am sorry to say that I have become bitter and angry. Years of psychotherapy have not solved the issue either. I do not wish to have my daughter around this culture because I don't believe that, living in America, my daughter should have to face discrimination as I have, here, in Utah. All of her grandparents and great-grandparents settled in this country for freedoms. They lived and died for individual freedom, so I cringe when I think about her living in Utah- only to have her rights taken away and have the people discriminate against her because of religion. Not only have I experienced discrimination, daily, as a non-Mormon, but I am mistaken for Latino because of my darker skin and hair, and have therefore been discriminated because of this. (I love the Latino cultures and I am angry FOR them as well!) So, as you can see, the ignorance here is enormous and we are bearing the brunt of it. I want my daughter to be free to be who she is and who she wants to become. She is only 5 and we have already been marked as "non-Mormon", so kids can't play with her, etc. It is ridiculous and I refuse to tolerate this any longer. This is probably why I am heading to the most liberal and diverse place that I can think of! Maybe I can go to San Francisco and find a little sacred place to live and eventually, find it in my heart to heal and forgive.

One might think that I am overreacting, but as mentioned, I am not alone in my thought processes. If one were to read the Salt Lake Tribune, one can see the obvious division between the Mormons and the non-Mormons. It is a sad place to live. I will sacrifice house size for freedom any day!

So, there's my two cents on Utah. Sounds like NM is a great place to be. I've met many people who love it there. If San Francisco doesn't pan out, maybe I will look at NM!

Thanks again for all of your info. If you have any more info, feel free to write. Thanks so much!
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,869 posts, read 21,995,378 times
Reputation: 10620
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningWild View Post
Hello, again.
Sorry for the late response. Thank you for your helpful information. I appreciate it.
In regards to Utah....it is beautiful and there are many outdoor activities here. BUT, it is primarily Mormon and unless you are Mormon, eventually you will find that that you don't fit in and you will then will desire to move from here. Some outsiders find their niche, their own circle of non-Mormon friends, but it is really difficult to be a part of this community, in any city in Utah. The only exception is Park City, where rich people have their 2nd homes and are primarily non-Mormon. They are used to diversity. Park City is the only place I would feel comfortable, but it is fairly snooty and expensive. I have been here for 18 years and have tolerated the ignorance of the Mormon people for that long. Other than the beauty and great skiiing, I have nothing good to say. I am a mixed race (I never really saw myself other than American, until I came here- to Utah) and I have experienced much diversity in my life. Utah has a long way to go. I am not alone in my thoughts. Mormons do not see nor understand what I am speaking of. They simply do not see the discrimination. Non-mormons always see it, feel it, breathe it, live it. We are the ones who tolerate their discrimination on a daily basis. It has been the biggest challenge of my life (and I've had many!). I thought that after 18 years, I would have grown to be an even more tolerant person (and I am known to be quite tolerant already), but I am sorry to say that I have become bitter and angry. Years of psychotherapy have not solved the issue either. I do not wish to have my daughter around this culture because I don't believe that, living in America, my daughter should have to face discrimination as I have, here, in Utah. All of her grandparents and great-grandparents settled in this country for freedoms. They lived and died for individual freedom, so I cringe when I think about her living in Utah- only to have her rights taken away and have the people discriminate against her because of religion. Not only have I experienced discrimination, daily, as a non-Mormon, but I am mistaken for Latino because of my darker skin and hair, and have therefore been discriminated because of this. (I love the Latino cultures and I am angry FOR them as well!) So, as you can see, the ignorance here is enormous and we are bearing the brunt of it. I want my daughter to be free to be who she is and who she wants to become. She is only 5 and we have already been marked as "non-Mormon", so kids can't play with her, etc. It is ridiculous and I refuse to tolerate this any longer. This is probably why I am heading to the most liberal and diverse place that I can think of! Maybe I can go to San Francisco and find a little sacred place to live and eventually, find it in my heart to heal and forgive.

One might think that I am overreacting, but as mentioned, I am not alone in my thought processes. If one were to read the Salt Lake Tribune, one can see the obvious division between the Mormons and the non-Mormons. It is a sad place to live. I will sacrifice house size for freedom any day!

So, there's my two cents on Utah. Sounds like NM is a great place to be. I've met many people who love it there. If San Francisco doesn't pan out, maybe I will look at NM!

Thanks again for all of your info. If you have any more info, feel free to write. Thanks so much!
Just for kicks, you ought to go check out the Salt Lake City forum and see what the non-Mormons who have moved to Salt Lake City have to say about "not fitting in" and "wanting to move." It's pretty much a 180 degree different perspective from this post.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:03 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,302 posts, read 12,183,476 times
Reputation: 8048
I like this thread. I don't know why, since I probably won't ever live in that area. I think you would do well to pay attention to Charles, though, the happiest places I lived in as a child were those where there were lots of kids nearby (but also some little woodsy spots and creeks with lots of mud, turtles, and frogs - not vast expanses, views are lost on kids! If you've ever taken children out to some Grand Canyon kind of view, ask them what they think ...... they'll shrug their shoulders and mumble something as they grab a stick to poke some big bug, or try to put a paper skirt on a frog down in a muddy wallow.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
You may like say three acres but your kid will hate it. Likely the rest of the homes are on three acres so the 'kid density" needed for your kids to find other kids to play with other kids is insufficient. Also, on large lots you end up with a lot of retired people who "want their privacy" so the next kids might be three houses away, or a half mile. You end up with bored kids driving you nuts.

Too many retired "Get off my property" people who "like their privacy"; that's why they buy 3 acre lots - so they don't have to deal with neighbors.

He is retired, has no kids, and only leaves his house to go to church, go to the doctor, or eat at Bob Evans.



Kids want to play with other kids. In communities where there are large lots there is a) low kid density, and b) a good chance that your neighbors don't have kids, maybe they are retired.

I don't know if there is a perfect solution, but be aware life on a large lot with a lack of neighbor kids could be quite a challenge.

Your kids might be bored to death. Playdates are a hassle. Most kids would rather play with the neighborhood kids 50 feet away rather than 1/3 mile away.

Your kid want to play with other kids, play ball in the street, spontaneously hang out and goof off. With young kids, you'd hesitate to let them travel by themselves 1/3 mile or so to the nearest house. Kids are sort of isolated.



Your kids will want this:



"Mommy, there's nothing to do. Are you sure you called everyone for a play date?"




Schools:

California School Performance Maps

I just had a sudden intuition that Petaluma would work well for you and your child, maybe even a little better than Sebastopol, but that either place would work well and would improve the quality of your lives.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:47 AM
 
63 posts, read 260,873 times
Reputation: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Just for kicks, you ought to go check out the Salt Lake City forum and see what the non-Mormons who have moved to Salt Lake City have to say about "not fitting in" and "wanting to move." It's pretty much a 180 degree different perspective from this post.
Katzpur, from Salt Lake City. Of course, I have actually looked at the Salt Lake City Forum and other Non-mormons' responses and I disagree with you. Many responses are quite similar to mine, but of course, as mentioned, some have found niches and friends here. Those who love outdoor sports, love it here and tend to ignore the differences. Those who are sometimes ok being here are also considered "white", so have even less of a problem, as they blend in. I also have a business here, which doesn't fare well with this culture. So, please don't tell me what I have and have not experienced in this state. I am glad you are happy here and you have a right to your disagreements, but please know that there really is another side that you may want to open your eyes to. What is your agenda? If you are seriously that blind to the conditions and discriminations here, start asking around. I don't know why you would be blind to this. It is sickingly obvious! You live here!
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:48 AM
 
63 posts, read 260,873 times
Reputation: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof View Post
I like this thread. I don't know why, since I probably won't ever live in that area. I think you would do well to pay attention to Charles, though, the happiest places I lived in as a child were those where there were lots of kids nearby (but also some little woodsy spots and creeks with lots of mud, turtles, and frogs - not vast expanses, views are lost on kids! If you've ever taken children out to some Grand Canyon kind of view, ask them what they think ...... they'll shrug their shoulders and mumble something as they grab a stick to poke some big bug, or try to put a paper skirt on a frog down in a muddy wallow.)




I just had a sudden intuition that Petaluma would work well for you and your child, maybe even a little better than Sebastopol, but that either place would work well and would improve the quality of your lives.
Thanks, Woof. I will check into the Petaluma area.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:54 AM
 
63 posts, read 260,873 times
Reputation: 59
Anybody who wants to start talking about Utah, please refrain, as my thread is about any place but Utah. I already know a LOT about the state I live in, unfortunately. Let's not ruffle my feathers on this topic, please! I realize that I started it, and I should have figured that I would have responses- usually from Mormons, protecting their state, but now, tell me about CA! Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:21 AM
 
289 posts, read 515,946 times
Reputation: 383
It's been a while since I've checked the forum here,but since I'm here I guess I'll chime in

Sebastopol is very "Yippie",it is a great,safe place & very accepting/bohemian,but there is a lot of money around & a different type of "bohemian snootery" with some of the people. The area is extremely overpriced as far as housing,but that's just like my opinion man. You will not find a really nice big house & 1 or 2 acres for under a $850 to a million even in this bad market. It is not uncommon to see a craphole that needs work with not much yard sell for over $500,000 even now,trust me I've looked at plenty,you can't smell them or see the damage & repairs some places need over the MLS website. There are some great properties too,but you have to look around & be willing to spend more or buy a much smaller place/property.

You seem to have a fairly high budget so I'm sure you could find something. Still "kid friendly neighborhoods" are different here. There is not the big 1-5 acre lots with nice new home develpoments to raise kids in like there are in other parts of the US. Most the neighborhoods are older & most the places with a little land are not in neighborhoods they are random properties. Some great neighborhoods in Seb.,you're only going to get a 1/4-1/2 acre at best though,usually less than that.

The coast is close & very beautiful & rugged. Santa Rosa is close for shopping & events. Redwoods are right there,SF & the bay area is only an hour or so. Seb. has also decent shopping & is a cool little town. Overall it's a great place,any negative sounding things I said were just to let you know it's not all perfect & is very pricey for what you get.

I would look in North or East Santa Rosa if I were you or Healdsburg even. There is a kid friendly development called Skyhawk in SR with nice big newer homes & some have big yards like a 1/2 acre or so,Fountaingrove is similar,houses in those neighborhoods now are ranging from $700,000 ish & up. Both neighborhoods are a pretty snooty though,if you want land & chillness I wouldn't worry about the neighborhood thing & just focus on the house & property you want.Petaluma is pricey as far as land,really all of Sonoma county is & Marin is worse. I am thinking of relocating eventually to own some land cause' we just can't afford it here. Most my 'average Joe' friends who grew up here work full time & can't even afford to do more than rent a tiny place. It is one of the nicest places you can live in the US though.

PS. As far as weather,the area is very woodsy & green,but in the summer the hills turn brown/golden & it doesn't rain for 4-6 months hardly at all if any,just some damp coastal fog,especially at night. It rains a lot from Nov. through May,but that's it,very dry & western in the summer.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:22 AM
 
63 posts, read 260,873 times
Reputation: 59
Thanks, BodegaHead. Your information is very helpful and adds a lot of depth in understanding the area better. I appreciate your thoughtful responses! I have begun to come to the realization that the housing situation is somewhat ridiculous (compared to what we are used to), but it was very helpful to hear it from an experienced local. Thanks so much for taking the time to give me your helpful input!
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:50 PM
 
289 posts, read 515,946 times
Reputation: 383
No worries,glad to help. I have a love / hate relationship with Seb.

W. Santa Rosa has some much better deals & you could look into it,very close to Seb. & decent schools. Not as nice as Seb or E. SR though,high Hispanic pop.(if that bothers you) & kinda in the flat mid SR valley. Anyways good luck.
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