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Old 02-25-2007, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,906 posts, read 6,228,896 times
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Yes, there are cheaper places out there, but when you have a wife, husband and two young children, it's really hard! You may be on a budget, but until you've budgeted with young children, it is hard to understand how hard it is.

Maybe you can PM them and give them info. The reality is, though, that it is just you looking for a place, for them it is four people moving -- finding a job, having two children, relocating, etc. It's not as easy as it sounds. Until you have children and see all that is involved, including extra costs, it will be difficult to understand what she is dealing with.

I suggest PMing them and if your information is really useful for a family of four, with a husband who must find another job, then that's great. Their situation is totally different from yours, so I hope that you are taking those variables into consideration.

Thanks.
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Old 02-25-2007, 08:53 PM
 
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 12,973,621 times
Reputation: 991
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkeast View Post
Right now we live in Rancho Cucamonga, in the Inland Empire, about 30 miles from LA. We could find a house that would be within our budget in surrounding areas, but the Inland Empire is sort of notorious for having run down cities; any house we could afford would be in one of these areas.

Right now we have it pretty good because, even though we live in a run down apartment complex, it's in the midst of a beautiful, safe city with great schools. For a condo alone in this city, we'd be looking at paying about $300,000+, so we have our work cut out for us if we want to own here in the future! Right now we're trying to get our debts down by a considerable amount, and then we'll start considering our options. Hopefully by that time, I'll be bringing in some $ also, which will undoubtedly help.

Did you say you're trying to start your own business? Good for you! I am thinking along those same lines as well. Good luck to us both!

My business is done at home over the internet so I can live anywhere that has internet. Wow over $300k for a condo? Thatll end up costing you alot more than the $1070 you pay renting. You would need about $120k household income to afford a 2/2 condo in your location due to all the other expenses you have. If you each can earn $60k a year then its doable. But then $300k would get you a very seriously big and nice house and youll be living among the rich. Your lifestyle would be soooo much better in Texas than Rancho Cucamonga! You can always just visit your family in CA while living in style in Texas
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 701,707 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Oh, gosh, I feel for you -- two kids, and the bills. I know the feeling, unfortunately.

I'm actually, ironically, looking at Colorado. I lived in Boulder for 5 years and loved it, although now I may consider Colorado Springs, or Ft. Collins, because Boulder is pretty young, and mostly college students.

I guess my view of snow is probably different because I'm from Western New York, originally, and I know what snow is! I loved Colorado because the snow melts! I was stunned by that. I enjoyed having enough snow to make it pretty, but the fact that it melted so fast was amazing to me. Also, that high elevation was the reason it melted -- being up so high the sun melted it fast.

I also liked the high elevation and found it good for the lungs. It takes awhile to get used to it. I remember when I first moved to Boulder and the local bank handed out these brochures that said: "No, you have not become Rip Van Winkle...." meaning the altitude can make you sleepy at first. It takes about 90 days to truly adjust -- the blood literally changes in that amount of time and then you can do anything you want in that elevation -- pretty amazing, actually.

Generally, the snow melts so quickly that they often don't even plow the snow - it just melts the next day, and sometimes, they actually will close down the highway until it melts instead of plowing it (being from a very snowy area, I was shocked by not plowing a few inches of snow and just letting it melt).

I'm still open to other areas, but you're right -- selling and taking the equity is probably the best thing to do for me. In a way, I feel kind of sad that I will leave this area, however, there are many beautiful places out there.

I don't know what your husband does for employment, however, is there a way for him to apply for new positions from there? With two kids, it's got to be difficult, though, for all of you. It can be done, though.

I understand the rental idea -- my dad rents out part of a double that he has -- although he's generally been pretty lucky with tenants. If you bought up in northern California where it's cheaper, maybe that could work -- housing is still cheap up there (comparatively, considering it's CA). A management company could help with tenants.

I realize it may be a financial stretch, and I'm only tossing out ideas because you are concerned about buying a home.

You're right to travel around and check things out -- that's very wise because often people get stuck in places they don't like by being impulsive.

Once both your kids are in school, maybe you can work and since you're already used to living on your husband's salary, then your paycheck could be set aside for savings and after-school care. Or maybe you can get a part-time job while the kids are in school and put that money into your savings goal.

I wish there was an easy solution, however, you are at least young enough to wisely make changes and to work toward what you want. Having kids and living on one income (especially in CA) is tough (actually I think it's tough anyplace) -- I've been doing that for years with my daughter, so we often scrimp, but I still think she had a nice upbringing here.

Gosh, I wish I had more suggestions for you. I just think that once both children are in school you will feel less stress and be able to make other changes. Raising children is the most difficult (although the most rewarding) job in the world, I think.

Hang in there -- you've got good goals, you're actively seeking solutions, and eventually things will come together.

Good luck to you, too!
Wow, I honestly didn't realize Colorado's snow melts so fast! I never would have guessed that. Yeah, the high elevation thing was a definite concern of ours, but you say it gets better after about six months, huh? That's something to think about... We were looking into Castle Rock, just outside of Denver; my husband really likes the mountains that surround it, and I really like the open plains and farmland on the outskirts of town.

As far as my husband's job goes, he's very skilled in wood working, construction, welding, and is in school right now working toward a degree in achitectural drafting, so he'll be able to find work most any place we go. As for me, I was actually in school when I found out I was pregnant with my second child. That really put the brakes on school for me, leaving me with a lot of questions about my future. Having to quit school actually turned out to be a blessing in more ways than one, though, because it caused me to broaden my horizons and consider other options. I have since decided to throw caution to the wind and pursue my dream of being a writer; I've already started my first novel. Who knows, maybe some day it'll happen for me and money will no longer be an issue. If that happens, I'm buying real estate!!!

And the part about you and your daughter scrimping to get by, but her still having a good upbringing- in the end, that's all that ever really seems to matter. My dad was middle class and couldn't afford to give me much, but he was a GREAT dad, and I have nothing but great memories with him. My mom, on the other hand, married a rich attorney and we lived in a huge house in the California hills. I had everything I could ever want when I stayed with her, except her love, and I was miserable.

I take this lesson with me every day when I think about what's truly important in life. My husband and I may not have a lot to give our kids, but they are very rich with love.
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 701,707 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need_affordable_home View Post
My business is done at home over the internet so I can live anywhere that has internet. Wow over $300k for a condo? Thatll end up costing you alot more than the $1070 you pay renting. You would need about $120k household income to afford a 2/2 condo in your location due to all the other expenses you have. If you each can earn $60k a year then its doable. But then $300k would get you a very seriously big and nice house and youll be living among the rich. Your lifestyle would be soooo much better in Texas than Rancho Cucamonga! You can always just visit your family in CA while living in style in Texas
And that is exactly why we're considering buying cowboy hats
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:13 PM
 
625 posts, read 2,249,980 times
Reputation: 503
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferretkona View Post
California has a bunch of engineers. A lot of them. But they are finding work somewhere. LA is not that expensive, a salary of 70K would go a long way here. In my best years I have reached 70 and in the years with less pay it was not hard.

You could always try and get work at Disney, they call themselves imagineers there.
Yeah--that's why employees (current and former) call the place "Mouseschwitz". REAL pleasant place to be, I'm sure.
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,906 posts, read 6,228,896 times
Reputation: 2606
Yes, Colorado is very different from the stereotypes! I found it wonderful, and it's actually only 3 months, not 6 months for your blood to adjust. You actually notice a significant difference in about 2 weeks.

Having your kids love you, and know that you have worked hard for them is so important. My daughter understands our situation, however, she has not been deprived, and we have worked very hard to make sure she is on par with other kids (i.e. we worked for 5 months to get her scholarships to go abroad for a semester of high school -- something most people in our income bracket would never be able to do!).

It sounds like your husband is talented and skilled. If he felt drawn to Colorado, and you liked it, too, but were worried about the snow, then I'd think about it again. Yes, it is weird to be in a place where it can snow 6 inches one night, and then be gone the next day! But it's really nice -- plus there are over 300 clear sunny days a year! Who would think that about the Rocky Mountains?!

You'll do okay. It sounds like you have your feet on the ground, you are looking ahead, and your whole family is supportive of each other.

And remember, you are only renting now, so you could always come back at some point; or you may just want to stay there and accumulate money and then go elsewhere.

As for the writing, I am a published writer, and it is hard to freelance, however, you may want to start with a site called Common Ties -- I think they are new, but accept stories from regular people, and they are a good beginning (although I don't know how long they will be accepting stories). So, while you are working on a novel, you might try them -- they pay pretty quickly. Here is the link: http://www.commonties.com/blog/submit-a-story/ (broken link)

I feel confident that you will make it!
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:14 AM
 
3,035 posts, read 13,224,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassberto View Post
An engineer fresh out of school can fairly easily make 50-65k in California. Top grads can make even more.

With 10 years experience, and some promotions along the way, you should easily make 125k. Specialists and people with skills in high-demand can make even more.
Note that there is a tremendous amount of competition in CA for Engineers Pacific Rim, India).

While many can move into the 100k+ range, there are not alot of jobs that pay that well. In San Diego, from what I've seen entry level Engineers are in the 50s, while more Sr. engineers are somewhere in the 80s.
Engineering Managers may break the 100s, but they will have more responsibilities and may even do some travel overseas. The best way to break the 100k mark and stay there is to mix your engineering background with product marketing/sales. To move into these jobs, both an MBA and some time developing products in a specific area goes a long way.
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Old 02-26-2007, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 701,707 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Yes, Colorado is very different from the stereotypes! I found it wonderful, and it's actually only 3 months, not 6 months for your blood to adjust. You actually notice a significant difference in about 2 weeks.

Having your kids love you, and know that you have worked hard for them is so important. My daughter understands our situation, however, she has not been deprived, and we have worked very hard to make sure she is on par with other kids (i.e. we worked for 5 months to get her scholarships to go abroad for a semester of high school -- something most people in our income bracket would never be able to do!).

It sounds like your husband is talented and skilled. If he felt drawn to Colorado, and you liked it, too, but were worried about the snow, then I'd think about it again. Yes, it is weird to be in a place where it can snow 6 inches one night, and then be gone the next day! But it's really nice -- plus there are over 300 clear sunny days a year! Who would think that about the Rocky Mountains?!

You'll do okay. It sounds like you have your feet on the ground, you are looking ahead, and your whole family is supportive of each other.

And remember, you are only renting now, so you could always come back at some point; or you may just want to stay there and accumulate money and then go elsewhere.

As for the writing, I am a published writer, and it is hard to freelance, however, you may want to start with a site called Common Ties -- I think they are new, but accept stories from regular people, and they are a good beginning (although I don't know how long they will be accepting stories). So, while you are working on a novel, you might try them -- they pay pretty quickly. Here is the link: http://www.commonties.com/blog/submit-a-story/ (broken link)

I feel confident that you will make it!
Oh, thank you so much! I will definitely check out that website and see where it may take me. I know I have a natural talent for writing; I just have no idea how to begin such a career!

It's very daunting when you consider how many hoops you must jump through just to get your feet off the ground; I'm sure you understand completely. I truly hope one day it'll happen for me. In the meantime, I'll just keep on doing what I love; even if it takes me nowhere in the end, I will have had one heck of an adventure getting there. What type of writing do you do, if you don't mind me asking? My passion is fictional horror.

Yes, I'm going to talk with my husband tonight about possibly looking into Colorado again. Who knows, maybe the answer we've been looking for has been in front of us all along! Thanks again, Wisteria.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
174 posts, read 381,289 times
Reputation: 65
Arrow Want to know why I'M lookin elsewhere?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkeast View Post
I really do respect your difference of opinion; however, I must disagree. California may not be that different in price from other places, where general cost of living is concerned (such as groceries, clothing, etc). Even so, to pay a $3000+ mortgage every month outweighs any averages there may be otherwise.

It seems that your solution to those of us fighting this delima is, then just don't buy. But, the truth of the matter is, equity is one of the most important means of obtaining financial security there is. If my husband and I continue to rent for another five years or longer, that would put us not starting on a mortgage until we're in our mid to late 30s. The chances of us having our martgage paid off by retirement age would be slim to none, leaving us having to work until at least the age of 70 before we would be out from under that payment.

Every month that we pay rent, we're pretty much throwing money away because we don't gain equity with it, we don't get to own anything in return, and we don't get a tax break for it either.

I get how it must be irritating to hear everyone constantly whining about real estate prices. I still feel, however, that there is a legitimate point behind it.
Sad as it might seem, to move into one of those crappy condo's is a start on equity. The problem is, that no one's crystal ball is tuned fine enough to discern whether or not the uptrend in pricing is going to stick around. (long term, I mean...I know that prices have fallen lately.) My folks bought a house in lakewood for $19K in 1960. In 2000, after they had both 'left us' I happened to be a hot-shot in the local Real Estate market. I managed to set the record for that 'grid' capturing a colossal $273K for the 3/1, with powerlines running down the back property line! And wanna-be gangsta's movin around the perimeter of the city (in those days-they are really there now!). I saw about three months ago, this very same house listed for $569K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, geometrically figure THAT out. Took 41 years to go up from 20 to 273, and only 5 years to go to over a half-million!

The area is now gang-infested (with mean & rotten punks) and we have long since left. We now live in NoCal, way up on the coast, and we are still now looking to cash out of Calif and do well somewhere else.

So, instead of advice, I would, by example, imply that I am convinced that the longer you wait, the more pricey it will get wherever you move, but the imbalance at this juncture between California 'ocean-view' property, and some river or lake proximity in ID, WA or OR is looking real good. We would already be gone, were it not for health insurance. As soon as EITHER of us finds a job, gets a job with benefits, we are OUTTA HERE LIKE A ROCKET!

They went that-a-way! ----->
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 701,707 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by middleoftheroad View Post
Sad as it might seem, to move into one of those crappy condo's is a start on equity. The problem is, that no one's crystal ball is tuned fine enough to discern whether or not the uptrend in pricing is going to stick around. (long term, I mean...I know that prices have fallen lately.) My folks bought a house in lakewood for $19K in 1960. In 2000, after they had both 'left us' I happened to be a hot-shot in the local Real Estate market. I managed to set the record for that 'grid' capturing a colossal $273K for the 3/1, with powerlines running down the back property line! And wanna-be gangsta's movin around the perimeter of the city (in those days-they are really there now!). I saw about three months ago, this very same house listed for $569K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, geometrically figure THAT out. Took 41 years to go up from 20 to 273, and only 5 years to go to over a half-million!

The area is now gang-infested (with mean & rotten punks) and we have long since left. We now live in NoCal, way up on the coast, and we are still now looking to cash out of Calif and do well somewhere else.

So, instead of advice, I would, by example, imply that I am convinced that the longer you wait, the more pricey it will get wherever you move, but the imbalance at this juncture between California 'ocean-view' property, and some river or lake proximity in ID, WA or OR is looking real good. We would already be gone, were it not for health insurance. As soon as EITHER of us finds a job, gets a job with benefits, we are OUTTA HERE LIKE A ROCKET!

They went that-a-way! ----->
Ah, a way to look at it with a sense of humor; I love it! Yes, it can easily make one's head spin at the thought of how rapidly housing prices went up. In 1996, my parents bought a run down house in Fontana (a very run down city) for right around $200,000. They never made any improvements on it, and actually ran it into the ground even more. In 2005, they sold it for a whopping $439,000! Almost half a million dollars for a run down bucket in the middle of a gang and crime infested, nasty city with schools that have metal detectors and murder statistics. Nice. I know there's a pull to live in this "paradise", but that's just way too overboard for me.
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