California or VA? (San Diego, San Francisco, Thousand Oaks: transplants, rentals, crime)
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Hi everyone. Well my husband is in the coast guard and we will be moving next year. Some of the places that we would like to go are TX or SC, but from what we have been told, these jobs will be filled before my husband is placed in a job. So now we are trying to decide what else is out there. He is considering VA because he is interested in the job there, but there are also billetts available in CA and I am wondering what it would be like to live there. We would like to find a decent sized house (1500 sq ft or more), we might just rent, not sure yet. What is the range of prices for buying a home that size? Im sure its way over what we could pay. lol Anyway,what we'd really like to do is live in a smaller city that is close to a big city in CA, like San Francisco or San Diego. I would really like to know more info about CA. I have heard the weather is nice and that it is really beautiful there. I am curious to know how the west coast beaches compare to the east coast ones. Also, we have an almost 4 year old son so Im curious to know what schools are like in CA.. Well, I would appreciate any info. Thanks all!
If your child's education is paramount, you are better off in Va. While there are certainly exceptions, Va is one of the top rated states in education, Ca is way down on the list.
while you mentioned San Fran or San diego, you didn't mention any Va locations. In general, the cost of living will be higher in CA, and the housing cost even worse.
The weather is a big plus for CA- lower humidity. better for outdoor living, but Va does have four seasons.
I am curious to know how the west coast beaches compare to the east coast ones.
Totally agree. Both are bad for you and your parameters. Are you sure there are billets in California and Virginia and NOT in SC & TX? If not, check them out, else be prepared for extremely expensive living.
Thanks for the info. The job in VA is in Chesapeake VA... Anyway, charles, to answer your question, no the beaches arent critical, I just love the beach. But of course the place with better schools would probably be the best option.. As for the expensive living, the military pays for housing according the cost of living in the area... Anyway, I appreciate all of your help
Chesapeake Va will be way more affordable than san diego or san frn. especially on the housing end. There are great schools in the area but definitely do your homework.
Va is a great place to raise a family. Good education system, lots of culture and history (you can visit Jamestown, Yorktown, Monticello, Civil war battlefields, Mount Vernon, all the smithsonian museums in DC...)
Beaches- the Ca beaches are prettier because people live there year around so it is not so "touristy", also the water looks prettier with the greens, aquas, and blues), but the water is colder than east coast.....the east coast beaches are more tourist destinations so you will see a lot of hotels, souvenir shops- tourist things. The beaches are more crowded, the water is not as pretty, but the water will be about 10 degrees warmer than the west coast due to the gulf stream
Hi. I just spent 12 years in San Diego. The weather is perfect, beaches are wonderful, schools are comparable to any state. The Poway school district in San Diego is one of the better as far as test scores and college out bound graduates. As far as homes. If you are going to rent in San Diego, a 3 bedroom home in a better area will most likely run about 2000. a month.
The prices of homes have even dropped some in the last yaer but I would be willing to state that to buy a average home in SD would cost you starting....5-550 K and up. There are tons of new homes always being built with offers to intice you to purchase, but those are pretty hefty monthly mortage payments. If you are not concerned with any of that ...thenpick Cali! It is wonderful!
Take VA. CA is too overpriced for anybody but the very rich and the very young to have any quality of life. Middle class families with kids are miserable in CA; public schools are terrible, private schools cost a fortune and it will be very difficult to afford a house. Rents are high, and rentals are generally ill-kept and not very nice. CA weather is great, a wonderful dream, but at what price?
SoCal beaches aren't all that great anymore, either. They've become very polluted, at least in L.A.. SD is much nicer, but still, the cost.
Im a Southern Californian. I live in Ventura County, which you did not mention, but thats ok
I am responding because we just came back from the east coast and I fell in love with Virginia. It has to be one of the prettiest states around. Everything is green, and clean, and there is so much history in that area. There are big cities that are not as pretty, but the little towns are just great! I know nothing about the schools or general cost of living but you can get a TON more house for your money than in the San Diego or San Francisco areas. We were only visiting, and we did not stay very long, so I dont know about crime or the weather, or any of that - just going by our first impressions of the areas we visited. The pace of life is much slower than California, too, which was really refreshing. People are polite, very friendly and seemed genuine.
The San Diego area is great, its not cheap, but the weather cant be beat. The city has tons to do. They are known for having decent schools, the economy is good, and tons of great places to eat. San Francisco is a really fun city to visit, but I am not sure I'd want to live there. Very crowded, foggy and cool most of the year, and traffic is intense. Schools are good, one area there has the #1 schools in the state, but that area (I cant remember what it is called) is SUPER expensive.
The California lifestyle is not exactly what is seen on shows like the OC and all that. Sure, there are people like that, or who want to pretend to be like that. The majority of people are just regular people. Most areas of the state are pretty diverse and all types of people are welcomed, which makes it a great place for transplants. I would not want to live anywhere else. The area where we live (Thousand Oaks) has very good schools, and it is a great place to raise kids.
I recently moved to San Diego. I have lived in both Va & NC. Personally, I think that San Diego is a nicer area than Chesapeake. (the whole Va beach/hampton roads area isn't for me).
My boyfriend is in the military and we too get housing. It all depends on the rank of your husband, but my boyfriend's friends that live in San Diego and are either at the MC Recruit Depot or at Miramar- they get between 1300-1550/month... and that's sergeants up to lieutenants. But if you want a 3 bedroom in the Poway area (someone mentioned that it's one of the best school districts), then it will be slightly lower than that. We live just north of Poway, and here prices are about $1100-1300 for 1 bedroom, $1300-1500 for two bedroom, and so much for a three bedroom that we don't even look
Good luck with the decision. (My boyfriend lived in Virginia beach for 7 months... and there's a lot to explore there too... SoCal is just better haha )
Wow. thanks everyone for your help! This is a tough one.. CA seems like a beautiful, fun place to live. I have seen pictures and seen it on TV and wonder what it would be like to live there. By the way, we would get $2800 for BAH in SF,so I think we would find a decent house to rent.. Anyway, as for VA, thanks for the info on that too. Im glad to hear people are nice because we used to live in MD which is not far from VA and its not the nicest place and people are rude, so I kind of assumed VA might be the same. No offense to other VA people on here. I am probably wrong! I have been to VA beach and the beach was very nice IMO! Anyway, I am just kind of confused right now.. The one other thing I am wondering about in CA is the earthquakes. From researching online, they seem to happen every few days, small ones anyway. The biggest one I saw was 5.1.. So what is that like when you have these "little" earthquakes? What kind of scares me are the chances of a big one. Anyway, thanks again everyone for your input!!
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