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Well my husband and I moved to Palmdale in 1986, bought our first home in 1988 (Housing was beginning to boom) and moved to Sacramento in 1999
I have seen Palmdale Lancaster grow from a very small town to a big City, there was only one main street in Palmdale and the lights were out by 6:00 PM. It has grown so so much and they have probally every store you can think of now. There wasn't much of ways of jobs enless you were into aerospace work. We had to drive to the Valley for work, 70 miles.
Anyways we had no problems living there at the time, we just got a Wal-mart which was good at the time, but good doctors were hard to find.
I guess now it has a lot more of everything.
Make the best of it, it can't be that bad.
So my husband was wooed by a major company in Palmdale, and it was only a month or so after that, that I found the long and thoroughly disheartening thread on here about the area. I cried for days after reading that thread!
But anyway, he is there and we will be joining him as soon as our house sells here (central Florida). I have looked at Santa Clarita and surrounding areas - sounds great but...no can do. We are currently trying to focus our search for a house to buy in west Palmdale or west Lancaster. We've also looked at Antelope Acres but I can't figure out the schools for the area. Rosamond schools don't impress me, and Acton seems JUST a smidge to high for us, too.
So...what to do? We've been considering a couple properties near Del Sur Elementary, but there are open fields near there and I wonder about who owns those and what might be done with them. The thing is, he loves the work he's doing and as far as he can tell, they are counting on him being there for a LONG time. Otherwise, we'd consider renting. The only other remotely viable option is Tehachapi, but man, that's a long drive each day.
Like I said, I have read all the distressing comments about the area, but we're heading there anyway, so... please help me figure out a way to keep my preschool and elementary school-aged children safe and get them a decent education.
As a current resident of Lancaster I wouldnt want my worst enemy to live out here. We just opened up escrow on our house and we are getting the hell out of California. If you can afford I would look at Valencia as that place is safe and nice but the house prices out there are over inflated. Well I wish you good luck.
Having spent most of my childhood and teenage years in Lancaster and Palmdale, I definitely recommend avoiding the east side at all cost, hell avoid Lancaster and Pamdale altogether! My old neighborhood on 27th and avenue I is now a gang infested hole. Palmdale while booming, is unfortunately going downhill.
Highland Highschool where I graduated from and which is located in the supposedly safer west side is full of gangbangers and wannabe thugs, not a great place to send your kids to. I now attend college in Arizona, and I don't think I'll ever go back to Palmdale.
Now with that out of the way, the areas west of the Freeway 14 is significantly better, the city actually seems to actually pay attention to the West Side. If you have to live in the AV, try finding a home in one of the unincorporated areas of the valley or somewhere in the Santa Clarita Valley which isn't too far from the AV.
Weather in Palmdale and Lancaster? AWFUL! My boss just called me and said it was 19 degrees in Lancaster last night and all her pipes are frozen. In the summer it gets up to 120 degrees and is really nasty hot. According to my boss the builders didn't plan well for the disparity in temperatures. Prepare to deal with all kinds of problems if you move there.
As a 12 year resident of the West Lancaster area I'd like to throw in my 2 cents. If I were moving here today I'd seriously consider the Antelope Acres area provided you don't mind the more rural lifestyle. Here's why: It's quiet, very little crime as of yet, and Del Sur School is a wonderful school located away from all the crap in the valley. It's a combination Elementary and Middle School. Both my kids attended there (although only for Middle School). They have a great teaching staff and the student population is small which allows the staff to better control things. Your problem is going to be when your kids hit High School age. Quartz Hill High School (where my son currently attends) is the best public school in the valley. It has the highest test scores and the least problems. That said, it's getting worse. Four years ago when my daughter started there you might have heard about a few fights a week. Now, they have 4 or 5 a day! It's mainly between the Hispanics and blacks. You'd probably want to seriously consider one of the private schools when the time comes. There may be a silver lining of sorts coming, however. They are slated to build a new high school further west of Quartz Hill which will open (hopefully) in the fall of 2009. So there may be a ray of hope for kids on the west side. The downside to Antelope Acres is you'll need to drive 20 minutes or so into Lancaster for shopping, youth sports, etc. And there are dirt roads leading to the properties (mostly 1 to 5 acre parcels) which turn into dust bowls when it's windy and become very muddy when it rains. Nothing's perfect. But if my neighborhood (which I still feel relatively safe in) starts turning for the worse I may consider moving out there. I'll look for streets that have some kind of gravel on them. Also, many of the homes have paved driveways. Good luck!
This is one of the tipping points for the boom-bust housing market in Inland Southern California. It sounds decent from the outside -- less-expensive houses, within "an hour" of Los Angeles, new stores and schools -- but it's a mirage. Weather is severe, traffic is bad, home pride is low, jobs are narrowly focused and don't pay well, and crime is too high for suburbia. Investors who timed it right, good for them. The rest?
FYI - There is a new housing track being built at the corner of Avenue I and 90th St. W. Houses there start at 400K and are 2100 sq ft and up. It's going to be a gated community so this will help keep the riff-raff out. This would put you near Antelope Acres and Del Sur School without being too far out and dealing with the dirt roads in Antelope Acres. Since your husband is working in the Antelope Valley he wouldn't have such a long commute.
Also, I thought you should at least be aware of some of the positive things out here. We have a minor league baseball team that you can take your family to for not too much money. We do have some real nice movie theatres with stadium seating. The Lancaster Performing Arts Center has numerous shows - everything you can think of. There are plays, concerts ranging from rock to classic to jazz as well as performances from our local organizations. There are also many professional performers that come here as well. You can check out their website for yourself. The Antelope Valley Fair is a wonderful event that we look forward to every year. The concerts there are free with admission to the fair. We've seen everyone from Willie Nelson to REO Speedwagon and STIX there. They have a demolition derby, tractor pull, etc. We have youth sports, dance and gymnastics, boy and girl scout organizations, etc. Plenty for everyone to do here. Yes, the area has its problems and I wouldn't disagree with most of what the previous threads have said about the Section 8 housing and the scum from L.A. coming here. But I do feel you should here the full story - both good and bad. If you move to the west side and make the most of what's good here I think you'll do fine. Good luck to you.
I travel to Palmdale/Lancaster for work at least three times a week from Santa Clarita, and know the area very well. Although the area has its good and bad elements, you will want to stay west of the "14" freeway. There are some pretty good "new" areas to live in Palmdale on Avenue S (west of the 14fwy). Basically, the further west you go in Palmdale/Lancaster, the better you will be! Both areas have experienced tremendous growth over the years, and a lot of new construction. Although Santa Clarita homes are pretty "pricey", there are still some bargains to be had. KB Homes has some new communities off of Plum Canyon which range from the mid to high
$400s. Don't know if that's out of your price range or not, but Santa Clarita is a great place to live and raise a family, and is only 30-45 minutes drive from Palmdale/Lancaster (going against traffic) both ways. Hope this helps, and good luck in your search!
Those overpriced homes you are looking at in Santa Clarita may be 30% to 50% cheaper in just a couple of years. (Check out the way home prices were in that area between 1989 and 1994 -- they dropped about 50% in those five years!)
I used to live in Lancaster. They have a huge 2,500 inmate population at the State prison there. Tecachapi or how ever you spell it, has a huge prison there too. Too far to commute to Palmdale. Palmdale has really nice homes on the west side and Quartz hill is a really really nice little community. Acton is small, but you are looking for traffic to commute. The weather is dry and hot but I liked that. By the way Im not trying to scare you about the maximum security prison but some people might have a problem with that. Its was built about 8-9 years ago. Palmdale is 45 miles from Los Angeles but it takes about 2-3 hours to twist and turn in the traffic. Santa Clarita is ok but again, looking at traffic. If you are looking for brand new homes, really do your home work. The prices are really different from east to west, both palmdale and Lancaster. If you want a nice little older home, like ranch style, I would look QH or west side lancaster. If you want to know more let me know!!!!!! Good Luck!
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