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Old 12-04-2020, 03:14 PM
 
50 posts, read 21,752 times
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My husband and I have recently moved to California and are looking to settle down and start our family. We planned to move to the Bay Area but plans changed and now we're looking for something smaller which lead us to Monterey and Santa Cruz (the cities specifically).

We visited both before Covid and loved the environment and general vibe of both. I am leaning towards Monterey while my husband is attracted to Santa Cruz; but both of us agree either of them would work upon first impressions and would like to know more from others personal experiences. We’re from out of state so we’re not sure how the counties differ from each other or what they individually have to offer the other lacks.

Healthcare is our top concern especially concerning which location is better geared for maternal and child healthcare. I noticed Monterey has a Birth Center which I would prefer over a traditional hospital. I know that most hospitals have a separate area for maternity and birth, but I have a huge phobia of hospitals so we are trying to avoid that as much as possible.

We both work from home most of the time so traffic and picking a location on commuting isn’t that important. I am mainly worried about being close to groceries and places to enjoy with a small child; maybe having other young families to socialize with and have events to attend. We plan on renting ($2,000-$2,200 per month for 1-2 bedroom) and prefer not using our cars so if public transportation isn’t available walkability is desired.

All info about the the counties and cities would be awesome. Unfortunately, Covid has made it hard to explore in person before we’ll have to move down there, so information from locals would be extremely helpful! Any info on neighborhoods, the differences between Santa Cruz and Monterey, or any cool things you think we should investigate would be great!
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:42 PM
 
Location: planet earth
8,156 posts, read 3,566,396 times
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I live in Santa Cruz County, and I think your housing budget is too low for this area - and it would probably be much too low for Monterey.

If it were me, I would base a lot of my decision on crime statistics in particular areas.

Santa Cruz is a fun city, but I don't know that I would want to raise teenagers here (probably not much better in Monterey or elsewhere).

There are lots of activities for kids in Santa Cruz County (when Covid isn't a thing, at least).

Last edited by nobodysbusiness; 12-04-2020 at 04:47 PM..
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:58 PM
 
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I grew up in the Monterey Bay Area so I'm familiar with both areas. I'd say that the Monterey Peninsula tends to be more upscale and a little safer than Santa Cruz. If you're thinking about school quality, Carmel has top notch schools and PG's are pretty good as well. Outside of those two areas, the rest of Monterey and Peninsula (Seaside and Marina) school quality is not so great. Not 100% sure about Santa Cruz's but I don't think they're quite as good as parts of Monterey Peninsula.

I think there's a bit more to do on the Santa Cruz side for families and I prefer the weather on the north side. Because it is south facing, you have more sunny, warm weather. I can remember a lot of times when it would be fogged in in Monterey/Salinas, but sunny in Santa Cruz.

If I were to live on the SC side, I'd look at Aptos or Capitola.

Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2020, 05:25 PM
 
50 posts, read 21,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodysbusiness View Post
I live in Santa Cruz County, and I think your housing budget is too low for this area - and it would probably be much too low for Monterey.

If it were me, I would base a lot of my decision on crime statistics in particular areas.

Santa Cruz is a fun city, but I don't know that I would want to raise teenagers here (probably not much better in Monterey or elsewhere).

There are lots of activities for kids in Santa Cruz County (when Covid isn't a thing, at least).
Thanks for the info!

Right now we're not planning on staying in the area beyond 5 years which is why we're not too worried about schools and such. We noticed that Monterey had a zoo and a couple larger parks to visit which is why I was leaning more there; but I would love to learn more about the Santa Cruz offerings as well!

We were under the impression that our budget would be fine; but absolutely are okay with increasing it. What would your recommendation be in terms of a budget for us? Right now we're factoring it with my husbands income only, but we figured we would have to be flexible and throw more that way if needed.

Are there any particular crime heavy areas we need to avoid or such. If I remember our visit it didn't seem like there was too much blight or crazy homelessness (at least in the areas we visited). We are coming from Seattle and Humboldt county though so our perspective is that not many places can shock us in the crime area.
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:39 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
88,175 posts, read 82,200,765 times
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Did you say, you want to be in the cities of Monterey or Santa Cruz, specifically? Or would elsewhere in Santa Cruz County be ok? Scotts Valley can be a little more affordable, and is a good fami8ly area. The only problem with being in the mountains and in or near the forests is....forest fire potential.

Here's some of what's currently available in your price range in Scotts Valley: (Not much available right now);
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/apa...233439896.html

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/apa...241728845.html

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/apa...233191189.html

If you raise your rent budget to $2500, you have a choice of 2-br. apts. in Santa Cruz:
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/apa...236601706.html

1-br. cottage in Capitola, near SC (Capitola is worth checking out; some people prefer it to SC).
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/apa...239331179.html
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:13 PM
 
50 posts, read 21,752 times
Reputation: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Did you say, you want to be in the cities of Monterey or Santa Cruz, specifically? Or would elsewhere in Santa Cruz County be ok? Scotts Valley can be a little more affordable, and is a good fami8ly area. The only problem with being in the mountains and in or near the forests is....forest fire potential.

Here's some of what's currently available in your price range in Scotts Valley: (Not much available right now);
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/apa...233439896.html

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/apa...241728845.html

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/apa...233191189.html

If you raise your rent budget to $2500, you have a choice of 2-br. apts. in Santa Cruz:
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/apa...236601706.html

1-br. cottage in Capitola, near SC (Capitola is worth checking out; some people prefer it to SC).
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/apa...239331179.html
Thanks Ruth!

We're trying to stick with larger cities. I'm not looking to be evacuated in the middle of pregnancy or with a newborn and my husband get bad respiratory problems. It's sad, but a very real part of our lives on the West Coast now. Even in Seattle we had so much smoke from fires in Oregon and BC it was unlike anything I've experienced.

Honestly if a higher budget is needed then we're game. But I noticed these listings below in Monterey, mostly located in the Del Monte area and didn't think they would be too bad....

For instance; (https://www.apartments.com/455-ramon...ey-ca/x0200zp/), (https://www.apartments.com/262-hawth...ey-ca/6q1m9nv/), (https://www.apartments.com/412-dela-...ey-ca/40jkgxk/)

I know people have been guiding me towards Santa Cruz, but Monterey looks doable and maybe more things going for it (a zoo and aquarium, less dry, an airport). We even heard they're starting direct flights to Seattle which would be amazing as we have family and definitely plan on visiting back and forth once the baby comes. I'm also remembering some amazing food we had in Montory, comparatively Santa Cruz didn't really impress me much but that could have been just me.
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:41 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
88,175 posts, read 82,200,765 times
Reputation: 92514
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuggznsauce View Post
Thanks Ruth!

We're trying to stick with larger cities. I'm not looking to be evacuated in the middle of pregnancy or with a newborn and my husband get bad respiratory problems. It's sad, but a very real part of our lives on the West Coast now. Even in Seattle we had so much smoke from fires in Oregon and BC it was unlike anything I've experienced.

Honestly if a higher budget is needed then we're game. But I noticed these listings below in Monterey, mostly located in the Del Monte area and didn't think they would be too bad....

For instance; (https://www.apartments.com/455-ramon...ey-ca/x0200zp/), (https://www.apartments.com/262-hawth...ey-ca/6q1m9nv/), (https://www.apartments.com/412-dela-...ey-ca/40jkgxk/)

I know people have been guiding me towards Santa Cruz, but Monterey looks doable and maybe more things going for it (a zoo and aquarium, less dry, an airport). We even heard they're starting direct flights to Seattle which would be amazing as we have family and definitely plan on visiting back and forth once the baby comes. I'm also remembering some amazing food we had in Montory, comparatively Santa Cruz didn't really impress me much but that could have been just me.
Wow, direct flights from Monterey to Seattle? What airline?

Yes, an aquarium. Monterey is also cooler in the summers, which some people don't like (foggier than SC), but others appreciate the natural air conditioning the fog provides. And it's more upscale, less crime.

It looks like you can do your own apt. searches. You'll love Monterey. Watch for Mountain Surfer, a regular poster here, who just moved from Monterey, reluctantly, after raising a family there. He has lots of beautiful photos of hiking and paddle boarding in the area. Paddleboarding among the sea otters and dolphins!

You're moving to some people's version of heaven! Lucky you!
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:37 AM
 
Location: Richmond, CA
1,025 posts, read 816,276 times
Reputation: 1434
I think Monterey would be more to your liking. Santa Cruz has the Beach Boardwalk and is a little warmer, but it is centered around the university with good paying jobs over the hill in San Jose. It also has a problem with drugs and homelessness. I know a married couple who finally gave up on Santa Cruz a year ago and moved to San Luis Obispo, and they are much happier now. Monterey is further from the Bay Area, so it feels more self-contained than Santa Cruz, which I consider appealing. I know a married couple (older) who moved to Monterey from Santa Cruz a few years ago, after having lived in San Jose before that, and they by far prefer the quality of life they get in Monterey.
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:08 PM
 
50 posts, read 21,752 times
Reputation: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Wow, direct flights from Monterey to Seattle? What airline?

Yes, an aquarium. Monterey is also cooler in the summers, which some people don't like (foggier than SC), but others appreciate the natural air conditioning the fog provides. And it's more upscale, less crime.

It looks like you can do your own apt. searches. You'll love Monterey. Watch for Mountain Surfer, a regular poster here, who just moved from Monterey, reluctantly, after raising a family there. He has lots of beautiful photos of hiking and paddle boarding in the area. Paddleboarding among the sea otters and dolphins!

You're moving to some people's version of heaven! Lucky you!
Yeah I think we have a pretty good handle on the real estate situation. Budget isn't as important to us as providing us support and benefits that benefit us as new/first time parents. My husband is definitely willing to stretch the budget; I'm just cautious and would prefer to stick to the low side no matter what.

I definitely would prefer some PNW qualities to help ease my potential homesickness during pregnancy so someplace cooler would be excellent. The flights are being offered from Alaskan which is awesome since I try to fly with them exclusively. I told my husband it's a sign we were meant to move lol; but really it would be excellent for bringing family down. I'm not sure what I would do without having my mother and Mil around honestly.
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:20 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
88,175 posts, read 82,200,765 times
Reputation: 92514
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuggznsauce View Post
Yeah I think we have a pretty good handle on the real estate situation. Budget isn't as important to us as providing us support and benefits that benefit us as new/first time parents. My husband is definitely willing to stretch the budget; I'm just cautious and would prefer to stick to the low side no matter what.

I definitely would prefer some PNW qualities to help ease my potential homesickness during pregnancy so someplace cooler would be excellent. The flights are being offered from Alaskan which is awesome since I try to fly with them exclusively. I told my husband it's a sign we were meant to move lol; but really it would be excellent for bringing family down. I'm not sure what I would do without having my mother and Mil around honestly.
It sounds like things are coming together for you, which is, indeed, an encouraging sign.
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