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Old 05-30-2008, 08:30 AM
2 posts, read 5,645 times
Reputation: 12


I've read every word of every thread on this site (and several others) that pertains to Ridgecrest CA and I can't decide whether to rent or buy when I move there in August. Anyone familiar with the area enough to predict the future, lol? I'm being assigned there so I have no choice in the matter, but I imagine I'll like the offroading there. I know there's a 400 home development coming and I know the BRAC is dumping money ($200million) into China Lake. So it doesn't seem like a bad time to buy there. The town is just so dreadfully small though. I'd be looking at homes like you see in College Heights in case someone is very familiar, around the $400k range.

How are property taxes and utilities also. Seems like it would be cheap tax and high utilities.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:22 PM
Location: Lakewood, CA
35 posts, read 117,568 times
Reputation: 21
I would not buy sight unseen anywhere. Ridgecrest has long been a Navy Ordinance Testing Station; in the past few years I have seen ads presenting it as a retirement option. It is hot and flat. To the east is Death Valley, over several mountain ranges. To the North is Lone Pine and the Sierras; spectacular scenery to enjoy and explore. Further north of Lone Pine is Bishop, then Mammoth Mountain ski resort (Bishop is 80 miles from Lone Pine). To the west is the Kern River area with smaller mountains. If you like outdoors it has lots of options. It is far from major shopping areas. Years ago I worked at a grocery store in Lancaster and sometimes people would tell us, "Double bag my cold stuff, we have to drive to Ridgecrest." To the south is Mojave, which is a dreary looking area (sorry Mojave) and very windy. To the southwest is Randsberg and other former gold mine areas. Also, to the south is the Red Rock canyon, a place geology classes have been known to go look for minerals. I have not been there in 20 years. I know people who live there and they seem to like it. It is also far from large hospitals, Lancaster being the closest large medical center. Some years ago there was a problem with dust from Owens Dry Lake blowing into the town, but the LA water dept has now been taking steps to lessen that.
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:34 AM
2 posts, read 5,645 times
Reputation: 12
Just thought I'd follow up. I did buy here in Ridgecrest. Should close in the end of September. In the process of buying I've found answers to my own questions. Kern county will assess based on actual purchase price and nothing else. The tax rate is 1% but other "fees" make it more like 1.21%. Utilities are surprisingly reasonable if you have evaporative coolers, around $130/mo in an 1800sq/ft home.

Any other military coming here and reading this should really check out Pentagon Federal Credit union for financing. I shopped A LOT, and they blew everyone away. Just locked 6% with no points, origination fees or closing costs on a 30 year mortgage. No bank could touch it. The biggest reason they beat every other lender though, including navy fed and USAA, was because they don't require an extra 5% down in california's declining market right now.

The closest 2nd place lender I found was Metlife, formerly first horizon home loans, and their broker was promising 6.375% with 1% origination, $4600 in financed up front PMI and normal closing costs. It would have been a smoking deal if it hadn't been for Pentagon Federal. I still think she was making promises she couldn't keep. Chase said they'd have to charge me 3 points to match her and these things all have to go into the secondary market the same way.

Seems to me the housing prices will continue to plateau in this town for several years, but local sales prices have been hovering around 93% of asking, with some actual mini bidding wars resulting in prices higher than asking. I'll hold on to it for at least 6 years so we'll see then.

Last edited by chiplee; 09-06-2008 at 11:48 AM..
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:07 PM
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
132 posts, read 466,756 times
Reputation: 104
Having just visited the area, I would be very interested in knowing how the market is now, three years later from the original post.
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