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Old 06-20-2013, 11:02 AM
 
Location: California
1,028 posts, read 1,137,548 times
Reputation: 827

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Grew up on the California coast most of my life, but have a family now and need more square footage and yard space. To get it on the California coast I'd have to go to med or law school (or however it is that people get rich), but I like my current law enforcement gig, so maybe just looking to transfer, and am willing to look at Oregon and Washington areas if need be.

When I say "bang" I mean some geographical beauty (rolling hills, trees, water, vineyards), within commutable distance (even if it's a fairly long commute) to a metro area so we can still access good amenities, jobs and higher educational opportunities, and definitely not a town where half the residents are on welfare and many of the neighborhoods are blighted. What is the most affordable area for a place like this?

Temecula? Sacramento suburbs (Auburn, Marysville)? Inland San Diego? Livermore(I remember it used to be fairly affordable when it was being built up but I don't know about now)? Paso Robles area? Santa Rosa area or it's suburbs? Portland or Eugene Oregon? Any suburbs of Seattle?
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:17 AM
 
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are you looking for any particular type of climate and what is affordable to you??

Temecula is much more affordable than san diego county, and its beautiful in its own way. Always sunny, very hot and brown in the summers, green and cooler but still fairly warm in the winters. there are vineyards which are beautiful. The small mountains/large hills surrounding parts of temecula are covered in rocks, not trees. You can drive up into the mountains about an hour for cold weather in the winter, and even snow, and you can drive an hour in the other direction to san diego beaches. a little over an hour in yet another direction to get to LA. its a good location, if you like this type of weather. You can get a nice house for 200k+. Its pretty safe. Most of the complaints I've heard is there isnt enough for kids/teens to do. Most of the activities seem to revolve around shopping/eating out/church. There are a lot of hiking opportunities but I honestly find it boring since there isnt much water to be found anywhere most of the year and not much greenery.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:32 AM
 
Location: California
1,028 posts, read 1,137,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmooon View Post
are you looking for any particular type of climate and what is affordable to you??

Temecula is much more affordable than san diego county, and its beautiful in its own way. Always sunny, very hot and brown in the summers, green and cooler but still fairly warm in the winters. there are vineyards which are beautiful. The small mountains/large hills surrounding parts of temecula are covered in rocks, not trees. You can drive up into the mountains about an hour for cold weather in the winter, and even snow, and you can drive an hour in the other direction to san diego beaches. a little over an hour in yet another direction to get to LA. its a good location, if you like this type of weather. You can get a nice house for 200k+. Its pretty safe. Most of the complaints I've heard is there isnt enough for kids/teens to do. Most of the activities seem to revolve around shopping/eating out/church. There are a lot of hiking opportunities but I honestly find it boring since there isnt much water to be found anywhere most of the year and not much greenery.
Climate isn't much of a concern, though I don't like dry or desert towns that are really hot (Palm Springs, the Central Valley). As for affordability, I haven't crunched the numbers, but I cringe when I see 1500 sqft houses built in the 70's with no back yard going for $450k and up.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Oroville, California
3,177 posts, read 4,659,725 times
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If you're in law enforcement you may want to research a group of potential cities to see which, if any, are hiring. Local budgets are still tight in many. Real estate is starting to take off again in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys and you may well find you're going up against all cash investors looking for rentals. If you're living in the Monterey Bay Area (guessing from the 831 in your user name) about the only way you'll better yourself from a property owning perspective in CA is to head inland (which is what I did in 2008 from Monterey).
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:23 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,379 posts, read 13,270,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surftown831 View Post
Climate isn't much of a concern, though I don't like dry or desert towns that are really hot (Palm Springs, the Central Valley). As for affordability, I haven't crunched the numbers, but I cringe when I see 1500 sqft houses built in the 70's with no back yard going for $450k and up.
Those are low, low numbers for most of coastal CA.
Have a look at Lake Oswego, OR. I think it's a great place and you're still in the Portland area.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:56 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
77,722 posts, read 69,599,259 times
Reputation: 75370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surftown831 View Post
Grew up on the California coast most of my life, but have a family now and need more square footage and yard space. To get it on the California coast I'd have to go to med or law school (or however it is that people get rich), but I like my current law enforcement gig, so maybe just looking to transfer, and am willing to look at Oregon and Washington areas if need be.

When I say "bang" I mean some geographical beauty (rolling hills, trees, water, vineyards), within commutable distance (even if it's a fairly long commute) to a metro area so we can still access good amenities, jobs and higher educational opportunities, and definitely not a town where half the residents are on welfare and many of the neighborhoods are blighted. What is the most affordable area for a place like this?

Temecula? Sacramento suburbs (Auburn, Marysville)? Inland San Diego? Livermore(I remember it used to be fairly affordable when it was being built up but I don't know about now)? Paso Robles area? Santa Rosa area or it's suburbs? Portland or Eugene Oregon? Any suburbs of Seattle?
Here's a hot tip: Mill Valley has subsidized housing for local law enforcement, firemen and teachers. But you're required to have lived and worked in the community on your own for 2 years before you qualify for the subsidized units. I don't know if you could swing that, but I thought I'd mention it. They want their public servants to live in the community, not be forced out by high housing costs, and commute in. So if you could get a job there, you'd have a foot in the door.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:37 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,453 posts, read 11,313,334 times
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You could afford some of Ventura County like Oxnard, and most of Humboldt County like Ferndale. They are both on the coast.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:38 PM
 
Location: California
1,028 posts, read 1,137,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Here's a hot tip: Mill Valley has subsidized housing for local law enforcement, firemen and teachers. But you're required to have lived and worked in the community on your own for 2 years before you qualify for the subsidized units. I don't know if you could swing that, but I thought I'd mention it. They want their public servants to live in the community, not be forced out by high housing costs, and commute in. So if you could get a job there, you'd have a foot in the door.
More cities should do this. I've heard horror stories of San Francisco cops commuting from the Sacramento area. I used to work with a guy who did a 1.5 hour commute to work everyday. He fell asleep on morning on the road and crashed. Luckily he wasn't seriously injured though.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,480 posts, read 12,277,094 times
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Surftown831, you are describing either Santa Cruz or Monterey/Carmel in terms of your current housing situation.

Law Enforcement can pay well depending on the local department. The more affluent areas also pay more, especially with overtime. A coworker friend of mine worked in Sunnyvale as a police officer and said the combo of pay plus OT and benefits were excellent. He lived in Morgan Hill.

IMO, based on what you are describing the more southern Central Coast would be ideal *if* you could find an opening.
I would take a look at the greater SLO area which is one of the best bangs for the buck along the CA coast IMO. This includes locations such as Templeton, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Los Osos, Arroyo Grande, Pismo and Shell Beach. One of the main reasons for the lower home prices is distance from larger metros such as LA, SF, SJ.

Keep in mind that whatever area you select for a family school districts play a significant role. Check out this school performance map and zoom in to the areas under consideration: California School Performance Maps

We have friends in Temecula who really like it. But, yeah, you have to drive an hour to get somewhere else fun like the beach, etc... Still for the cost of housing I would definitely take a look if you can handle that hot, drier weather. Everything comes with trades offs, right? No place is perfect except maybe the 831 area code when $ in no object.

Oregon and Washington are gorgeous places as long as you can deal with more grey skies, colder water, and rain throughout the year. We almost moved to the Portland area. But my wife couldn't handle the weather or distance from extended family in CA. Distance from grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc... is an important consideration. We discovered that after moving to CO for several years for the same reasons - growing family, more house, lower overall COL. In the end we discovered that more affordable housing while nice did not compensate for the things we enjoyed most about living on the West Coast. A house is just a place to live in and lay one's head down at the end of the day when not out making a living or having fun doing the things one really enjoys such as this for us:












Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 06-21-2013 at 12:25 AM..
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:45 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
77,722 posts, read 69,599,259 times
Reputation: 75370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surftown831 View Post
More cities should do this. I've heard horror stories of San Francisco cops commuting from the Sacramento area. I used to work with a guy who did a 1.5 hour commute to work everyday. He fell asleep on morning on the road and crashed. Luckily he wasn't seriously injured though.
Mill Valley's a beautiful town. Anywhere in Marin County would be good. It gets more affordable as you go inland, away from the Bay.
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