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Old 03-03-2008, 11:06 AM
 
Location: CA
370 posts, read 1,161,470 times
Reputation: 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by parteira View Post
Are there any left?
I would look into Morro Bay. How well it fits your criteria I'll try to answer below:

We are a small family, in our early 30s, looking for:

Quote:
a big town/small city that is walkable, i.e., there is a residential area within walking distance of a relevant, functioning urban area.
The city is quite walkable. Some of it spreads northwards and connects with Cayucous, but the actual town of Morro bay is walkable. not like SLO, mind you, but then again its a small city and not as urban as SLO.

Quote:
homes under $400k would be nice. is this a fantasy?
No, not a fantasy.
Google Search

Follow the above link, narrow your search criteria, and I think you'll see that it's surprisingly affordable.

Quote:
there is a fair share of younger families, and not primarily well off young singles or retirees.
I would describe Morro Bay, as well as it's ugly sister down the way, Los Osos, as middle-class communities with more families than yuppies or retirees, although there are both in either community.

Quote:
decent schools
Don't know.

Quote:
minimal crime
Crime is minimal in the SLO area. Less crime in Morro Bay than SLO.

Quote:
close access to nature and wild areas for the kids to explore
This is where it shines. THere are tons of places for you and the kids to go out in nature. Montana de Oro with the sand spit that you'll see across the bay, lots of hiking/exploring on trails in the hills in the Los Padres Forest, the beaches, etc.


Quote:
We've both lived in LA and SF and are familiar with towns in the immediate areas, but none within our price range, and none with the younger family demographic we'd like.

We are planning a road trip this summer to investiagte potential areas, but I'm wondering if we should even bother??
I'd encourage you to take a look at the city of Morro Bay. You never know till you go there yourself. There are a lot more places that might fit for you in Northern California, but this is one that I think fairly well matches your criteria in Central California, if this area sounds more appealing to you. Any place up north along the coast is liable to be very isolated unless you go to Fortuna/Eureka/Arcata, which is a completely different world.

Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
3,600 posts, read 6,431,025 times
Reputation: 3085
Grimstuff,

When you first said there are homes in Morro Bay for under $400K I thought immediately - ya right, does it come with a roof made of cardboard also! LOL... But your link did reveal a few.

However with the median home price hovering around $550K I think that number is more reflective of typical homes sales in that area.

I have always wondered what people do for a living in these smaller coastal towns. Besides retirement living are there many other options for decent paying jobs/employment? I guess one could always commute into SLO for a little larger economic center and employer base.

I had thought about SLO at one time as I do like the area. The weather actually seems a little better/nicer than Morro Bay and the fog. But the home prices seem more around the $600K range for a decent one for a family anyway (3+ bedrooms, nice neighborhood, not too old/beat up, etc...). That is over double what we would pay in CO or OR. So as nice as it may be it is still a hard pill to swallow for us.

Although for folks who puchased 5-10+ years ago the cost of living to wage ratio is probably not that bad.
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:50 PM
 
Location: CA
370 posts, read 1,161,470 times
Reputation: 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
I have always wondered what people do for a living in these smaller coastal towns. Besides retirement living are there many other options for decent paying jobs/employment? I guess one could always commute into SLO for a little larger economic center and employer base.
SLO is the job center around here, and Morro bay is only 10 minutes away, so the commute isn't bad at all. Yea, I'd say the area has alot of decent (read: middle income) jobs for the population. Cal Poly is a huge employer, as well as Cuesta College, the Men's Colony (just outside SLO toward Morro Bay), the County, etc. It's harder for young professionals to start out due to the relatively small job market, constant influx of intellectual capital from the university, and the cost of housing, but for those with more experience, it's more do-able.

Quote:
I had thought about SLO at one time as I do like the area. The weather actually seems a little better/nicer than Morro Bay and the fog. But the home prices seem more around the $600K range for a decent one for a family anyway (3+ bedrooms, nice neighborhood, not too old/beat up, etc...). That is over double what we would pay in CO or OR. So as nice as it may be it is still a hard pill to swallow for us.

Although for folks who puchased 5-10+ years ago the cost of living to wage ratio is probably not that bad.
Right. For those who've been in the market for 5+ years, they're golden. The housing market here is also a little insulated by the recent housing bust, so that's good for them. For the rest of us, it's still fairly off-limits. I don't plan on settling down here, so for me it's not an issue.
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