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Old 02-23-2007, 12:31 PM
 
542 posts, read 667,435 times
Reputation: 436
Default What do I have to do to afford California living?

Ok,
I'm an engineer with three years of experience, and since I was in 12 grade I always wanted to live in California. Ofcourse, one matures and find out that a salary of 70 K a year is not enough to afford it. So, is everyone a millionaire in California? Because I have been looking for jobs there in companies like Intel, Northtrop Grumman, Apple, etc., and the pay does not seem enough to afford a good quality of life. Even government jobs in SoCal don't pay enough. I still want to live there since I believe is the best state in the US, but how can I do it? What am I supposed to do? Is 100k a year enough to afford it? Would having an M.B.A help? Let me know, because I really want to move.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,513 posts, read 13,380,868 times
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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.
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:32 PM
 
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 9,828,526 times
Reputation: 908
LOL LA not that expensive? Do I even have to show you those tiny, ugly half million dollar houses?

You can afford California. I have seen cheap land in north CA and in some areas of south CA away from the coast. Youll need to have a house built though. It costs more to buy a lot with a house already built on it, like $300k for a starter house.

Are you interested in a condo or manufactored home? Those of course cost less. Are you willing to commute an hour each way to find cheaper houses in the suburbs? Many people that live in CA are rich while others have been passing down the house generation to generation. Their parents bought the house before they were born and when they moved away or died, they inherited the house.

How much house can you afford? If you can make $100k a year and live alone, you may be able to push it for a $300k house.
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Rolando, San Diego CA 92115
7,059 posts, read 17,351,801 times
Reputation: 2825
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey mouse is dead View Post
Ok,
I'm an engineer with three years of experience, and since I was in 12 grade I always wanted to live in California. Ofcourse, one matures and find out that a salary of 70 K a year is not enough to afford it.
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.

Start small, save your money. It's a struggle at first, but it gets easier as you grow in your career.
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 522,243 times
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Here's from my experience: I am a stay-at-home mom, which means my husband is our only financial support system. We live in a 2-bedroom apartment in a not-so-great complex, located in Rancho Cucamonga/Alta Loma (the Inland Empire) in Southern California. We are not big spenders and are very careful with money; still, we live paycheck to paycheck and never seem to have enough money to get our heads above water.

We looked into buying a house a couple of years back, and were pretty much laughed out the door. The only things we could afford were small condos in drug-infested, run down complexes and dilapidated, fixer-upper houses in crime/gang ridden cities. We said no thank you and are sticking it out until both our kids are in school and I can begin working again. The clencher: My husband makes over $65,000 a year.

If you have eguity going into it, you'll have a much better shot at owning real estate; especially if you don't have a family yet to support. However, if you're coming over here with nothing to put down, you most likely won't get into anything more than a so-so condo, which you'll have to sit on for several years until the market is hot again.

Good luck to you.
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:08 PM
 
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 9,828,526 times
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What is rent costing you for the 2/2 apartment of how many square feet? $65k income for four people is not easy to live on where costs of living is so high. Have you thought of relocation where you guys can all afford a nice big house and live a much better life without having to live paycheck to paycheck? This is one big reason I am leaving south Florida.
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:20 PM
 
177 posts, read 505,700 times
Reputation: 62
Well, you should check craigslist for whatever city you are
interested in. Rentng is so much cheaper right now than buying
so you could live somewhere nice for your 70k renting. And
why buy now in California anyway. Our prices are way out of
reach affordability wise.. one in 5 houses in sacramento for sale
is due to foreclosure. So... come out rent somewhere and wait
for prices to come down. Sacramento in a year or two wil be
a bargain. In the meantime you can rent for like almost half of buying.
We have an income of 100k and are renting a beautiful place in La Quinta
California for 1800 and live pretty well. Eating out etc. And we're a family
of 4.

Last edited by la quinta family; 02-23-2007 at 02:32 PM..
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:05 PM
 
733 posts, read 2,291,893 times
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Again, the cost of living here is not that different from most other urban places, except the housing is overpriced. Then don't buy. Yeesh, the drum beating about the high cost to buy a house obscures the rest of the economic equation. And young people would be well advised to rent as they move up and around in their careers anyway.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 522,243 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need_affordable_home View Post
What is rent costing you for the 2/2 apartment of how many square feet? $65k income for four people is not easy to live on where costs of living is so high. Have you thought of relocation where you guys can all afford a nice big house and live a much better life without having to live paycheck to paycheck? This is one big reason I am leaving south Florida.
We pay $1070 a month, plus electricity and phone; water and trash are covered. We live in one of the cheapest complexes in this city so that we can afford to stay in a nice area with good schools; but the thought of moving somewhere cheaper where we can actually afford to live is very appealing, and I've been looking into it a great deal. We never dreamed we would be in this predicament while earning such a decent wage. It was a huge shock to us to find out that making so much can only get us so little here; it's disheartening.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
96 posts, read 522,243 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by LivingLikeAGradStudent View Post
Again, the cost of living here is not that different from most other urban places, except the housing is overpriced. Then don't buy. Yeesh, the drum beating about the high cost to buy a house obscures the rest of the economic equation. And young people would be well advised to rent as they move up and around in their careers anyway.
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.

Last edited by bkeast; 02-24-2007 at 12:02 AM..
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