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Old 04-18-2010, 12:38 AM
 
451 posts, read 688,404 times
Reputation: 227

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Hello everyone,

A few months ago, I moved from LA (WeHo) while knowing upfront it could only be temporary!!! So, while I can still last another year (or two) where I am now, the ultimate hope is to eventually move back!

I liked LA, but it was too expensive, of course. And I REALLY wanted a house but could never afford one there. Now I am looking into all the smaller towns, hoping to find some with cheaper house prices (<$300K), yet as close to the big cities (LA, for one) and the coast as possible.

I've always lived very simple and frugally, I have no interest in "night life" and such, or even the beach, for that matter (being able to go a few times a year on weekend would suffice). So, the house could be pretty old and small (1-bedroom is fine), BUT I do need a yard!! The bigger, the better (garden freak). So, my main motivation for being close to the coast is just climate which I love in CA!

If within an hour drive from bigger town, we could still go to work and school there (some towns have bad schools with no choice). If within a few hours from BIG city - easier to use airport (international travel once a year), and come for unusual shopping sometimes (like Russian stores) or classes.

Southern CA is best, but so far I am open to North as well. Suburbs of LA, Sa Diego, SF, Sacramento... just about anywhere where I can afford a tiny house, as close to the coast and city as possible. Knowing about Russian population might help

Any recommendations are welcome!

Thanks!!!
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:43 AM
 
15 posts, read 36,389 times
Reputation: 42
Do you have kids? Do you care about schools?

The weather and climate are great in Imperial Beach and in Oceanside. Oceanside is a military town, the schools aren't great, but its fairly cheap for a coastal community in California. The other place to look at is Imperial Beach - its kind of biker town. You have a fair number of illegal aliens swimming on shore at night but again very cheap and close to the coast.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:09 AM
 
451 posts, read 688,404 times
Reputation: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by iajo View Post
Do you have kids? Do you care about schools?

The weather and climate are great in Imperial Beach and in Oceanside. Oceanside is a military town, the schools aren't great, but its fairly cheap for a coastal community in California. The other place to look at is Imperial Beach - its kind of biker town. You have a fair number of illegal aliens swimming on shore at night but again very cheap and close to the coast.
Yes, I have one kid, and will be checking every place for good middle schools, as well. (as much as I can juggle all this into a single selection)

Thanks!

Last edited by HappyNewMe; 04-18-2010 at 01:20 AM..
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:27 AM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
3,697 posts, read 6,981,859 times
Reputation: 3198
As I mentioned in the other thread there's no free lunch in CA thats for sure. But some places along the coast do offer a bit more value depending on where one can find work, etc... Take a look at this chart for a good breakdown of prices by city and county.

Now that you have shared more about what you are looking for and some reqiurements I would say take at some of the smaller homes in these cities on RE sites such as redfin:

Central Cal: Seaside, Marina, Atascadero, Paso Robles, Grover Beach, Los Osos
SoCal: Lomita, North Long Beach, Lake Forest, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita

The thing is you are are looking for a starter home, shoebox style with a decent yard. So you may be able to find that in some of the coastal areas now that the CA market has softened overall. Then fix it up/remodel it over time.

Derek
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:31 AM
 
451 posts, read 688,404 times
Reputation: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
... Take a look at this chart for a good breakdown of prices by city and county.
...The thing is you are are looking for a starter home, shoebox style with a decent yard. So you may be able to find that in some of the coastal areas now that the CA market has softened overall. Then fix it up/remodel it over time.
Derek
Thanks!!! Will have a long look at this one.
yes, starter home is what I need
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,197,591 times
Reputation: 16367
Oxnard has great weather, housing in that price target, jobs in a commutable distance, and some OK schools (and a lot of not OK schools). Often in SFR neighborhoods, housing prices are inversely proportional to school quality. Still, if a challenged district has open enrollment (can attend any school in district rather than closest zoned neighborhood school), a person might be able to have his kid attend a higher performing school. One downfall of this besides the logistics, is the kid will have school friends that aren't neighborhood friends - but private school (and that's another option) kids have a similar predicament.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:00 PM
 
451 posts, read 688,404 times
Reputation: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
Oxnard has great weather, housing in that price target, jobs in a commutable distance, and some OK schools (and a lot of not OK schools). Often in SFR neighborhoods, housing prices are inversely proportional to school quality. Still, if a challenged district has open enrollment (can attend any school in district rather than closest zoned neighborhood school), a person might be able to have his kid attend a higher performing school. One downfall of this besides the logistics, is the kid will have school friends that aren't neighborhood friends - but private school (and that's another option) kids have a similar predicament.
Yeah, I was now leaning more toward Oxnard/Port Hueneme vs places further out... that is, if in a couple of years there are still any houses available in the "cheap" range. Good old beat-up 'starter" homes
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Baywood Park
1,634 posts, read 4,253,860 times
Reputation: 625
weather, beach, affordable is Lompoc.
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