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Old 05-31-2008, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
2 posts, read 11,656 times
Reputation: 10

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My husband has committed to a job in Santa Maria and we will be relocating soon, but we're not sure where we would prefer to live in the surrounding areas. We're looking at the Santa Ynez valley, Los Alamos, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, and Nipomo.. and MAYBE Orcutt. Does anyone have any insight or opinions on where *they* would rather be? North vs South? Is Los Alamos too small? Is Grover Beach too overrun with tourists from the San Joaquin Valley? Is Santa Ynez too remote? What are the communities like? Are people open to newcomers? And lastly, is Orcutt all that bad? What would be a good area to start out with?

Please help... I've worked myself into utter confusion over this. Firsthand insight from past/present residents would be great. Thanks!
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:20 AM
 
28 posts, read 95,055 times
Reputation: 30
Where are you currently living? Is it possible for you to go look at the areas you're asking about? That aside, if you haven't already, I think you first need to setup some criteria, ie: rent vs. own; single house vs. condo; price range; schools important? In town vs. out of town?...etc.

When you ask questions like, "is it too remote?" is it too crowded?" etc. you're likely to get several different opinions, many of which might be different than how you would view it, and ultimately may be of very little use. We live in NY but recently bought a home in SM. We were able to hook up with a couple Realtors and, from NY, spent a couple months refining our criteria while looking online home listings and frequent calls to the Realtors. We then scheduled appointments to look at a dozen or two homes that fell into our criteria and flew out to CA and spent a few days looking at them. Best advice is to define what you're looking for and then hook up with a Realtor and go see as many as you can. When it comes to opinions one person's paradise may be another's hell.
Good luck with your search.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:09 AM
 
Location: Baywood Park
1,634 posts, read 4,251,875 times
Reputation: 625
Generally, this is a nice area all around. Santa Ynez would be a bit of a commute. Los alamos is small, no grocery store. It's like 15 minutes to Santa Maria. The neighborhood is nice. Lots are good sized. Arroyo, Grover & Nipomo, they're nice. Grover Beach, Pismo Beach and Oceano are always full of Valley tourists during the summer. That's just how life is there. Orcutt isn't supposed to be bad. Usually it's considered the "better" Santa Maria. I usually only go to Santa Maria to shop at the big-box stores. So I'm not overly familiar with the city. I do know there are parts you absolutely don't want to live in. I recently drove through the neighborhood east of Santa Maria High School, right across the street. An area which I always assumed was low rent. No way. Gorgeous tree lined streets with sidewalks. Manicured lawns, beautiful houses, really nice. One of the nicest neighborhoods I've seen between SLO and Santa Barbara. I had no idea.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:39 AM
 
Location: THEN: Paso Robles, Ca * NOW: Albuquerque, NM
541 posts, read 1,199,306 times
Reputation: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomatillo View Post
...We're looking at the Santa Ynez valley, Los Alamos, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, and Nipomo.. and MAYBE Orcutt.
My friend and her husband lived *in* Santa Maria .. there is plenty of good housing there.

Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach are nice places to live. Neither are "overrun" with tourists, and they seem to be casual, family-type communities. If you want to avoid crazy tourists, avoid the Pismo Beach dunes on the weeks. I think all citizens of Fresno/Bakers. leave and come to Pismo.

Santa Ynez is fine if you want a ranch in the middle of nowhere.

People are open to NICE newcomers. As in most places, locals don't like newcomers who throw their Jimmy Choos and Hummers around. Not to mention LA type driving skills. In all seriousness, we (San Luis Obispo-ans) welcome newcomers as long as box stores don't follow.

I don't think Orcutt is "bad"; it is just more rural. It isn't showy.

I'd start with Santa Maria, then branch out to Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach (Grover is a smaller community than Arroyo Grande).

*I* would rather be in San Luis Obispo (but if that is out of the equation) then Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach would be on my list. Maybe even Pismo Beach would be nice, too ..
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:00 AM
 
142 posts, read 353,279 times
Reputation: 61
There is plenty of nice housing in Santa Maria, I would choose the south end if I were you. It's more upscale then the north end. Orcutt would be a nice place as well, as would Nipomo. If you're in the higher price range, Santa Ynez Valley is very nice. Many beautiful ranches, but the commute to Santa Maria would be anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes each way up and down the 101. The good thing about now, it's a buyers market on housing.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:06 AM
 
8 posts, read 37,714 times
Reputation: 11
Do you have children? If so and you decide to live in the Santa Maria area, choose Orcutt. The Santa Maria schools do not score well at all. There is no way that I would let my children go to the schools in Santa Maria, but thats just my opinion.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:22 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,874 times
Reputation: 11
I am very interested in learning about the area as well! This is all very interesting. To be honest, I've only ever been to Isle Vista to visit friends that went to college in SB, once or twice throughout the years. It is beautiful, seems a little less superficial. I live in Orange County, but recently have had a possible DREAM job offer up in the Santa Ynez mountains. I would be hopefully moving with a friend who would need to find a bartending job... so he would need to be somewhat near a city with a night life, or at least some nice restaurants that are hiring. Any ideas of places that would be a halfway commute for each of us? We have been looking at places here, aiming for around $1500 or so. (Cheapest we can get here!) (2 bedroom... .no kids, but we want a safe area; a pet friendly area.) Also, I am a yoga teacher and a HUGE health freak... is there much of an organic/fitness/yoga culture up there? ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED IN THIS TIME OF CHANGE!!! : )
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:28 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,874 times
Reputation: 11
Oh one more thing.... how extreme is the weather in the mountains? I mean I grew up in Michigan and Oregon I can handle the cold... but I really hate the rain. Is the weather dramatically different from Orange County to Santa Barbara? From the city to the mountains?
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:55 AM
 
Location: San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties
6,390 posts, read 3,413,710 times
Reputation: 2622
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole Marie View Post
I am very interested in learning about the area as well! This is all very interesting. To be honest, I've only ever been to Isle Vista to visit friends that went to college in SB, once or twice throughout the years. It is beautiful, seems a little less superficial. I live in Orange County, but recently have had a possible DREAM job offer up in the Santa Ynez mountains. I would be hopefully moving with a friend who would need to find a bartending job... so he would need to be somewhat near a city with a night life, or at least some nice restaurants that are hiring. Any ideas of places that would be a halfway commute for each of us? We have been looking at places here, aiming for around $1500 or so. (Cheapest we can get here!) (2 bedroom... .no kids, but we want a safe area; a pet friendly area.) Also, I am a yoga teacher and a HUGE health freak... is there much of an organic/fitness/yoga culture up there? ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED IN THIS TIME OF CHANGE!!! : )

A mystery, most of the Santa Ynez range is empty of commercial services, aside from say, the gun range, and Cold Springs Tavern. If you work there, you drive up San Marcos Pass Road, or down. not far from most places in Santa Barbara. And yes, there is an O/F/Y culture in Santa Barbara.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole Marie View Post
Oh one more thing.... how extreme is the weather in the mountains? I mean I grew up in Michigan and Oregon I can handle the cold... but I really hate the rain. Is the weather dramatically different from Orange County to Santa Barbara? From the city to the mountains?
Not extreme, San Marcos Pass will get a bit more precip than Santa Barbara, and occasional snow (the backcountry has snow on the high peaks today) The weather difference between OC and Santa Barbara is minimal.
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