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Old 12-12-2006, 09:25 PM
 
23 posts, read 64,045 times
Reputation: 21

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:::This is mostly musing, folks. But please feel free to respond to any or all of this. I'm curious to see what other people think/feel about this:::

We have a serious problem on our hands. I'm a teacher, employed in Anaheim, and I make very good money for a twenty-something. Mmy husband and I together make about $120,000 a year. And yet we CAN'T AFFORD A HOUSE.

We aren't in debt. We have two car payments (necessary, since I commute to OC and he commutes to Marina Del Ray from the South Bay), but other than that, our net income could go straight to a mortgage. Last time I checked, the most we could qualify for (without one of those retarded I-have-to-have-this-house-even-though-I-really-can't-afford-it mortgages concocted by lenders who smilingly collect their commissions and then say, "Hey, it was all in print on the contract you signed. Boo-effing-hoo," when the interest rates take a tiny upward hop and the payment leaps $1000 skyward) was $450,000.

Now, I don't know where y'all are looking but there are no houses (except in sketchy neighborhoods) I'd want to raise kids in for that dollar amount available. I imagine there will be at some point in the next few years and maybe that's reason enough to stay. But why would the prices drop significantly when -- as many of you have pointed out -- there are plenty of people here who are dumb enough to pay $600,000 for an ugly 900 sq. ft. two-bedroom condo in Redondo? (Oooh, that rhymed!) Oh, and then pay the $300 association fee that goes with that condo?

So, I'm supposed to raise my two kids and our dog (and my husband) in a condo, with no yard for them to play in and probably not enough room for each of them to have their own bedroom when they reach puberty? If we do somehow miraculously manage to get hold of a house in an okay neighborhood, it will be a major fixer-upper, and I'll have to use all my skills from growing up a contractor's daughter and being a good reader of how-to manuals to piece together a home out of that. In my parent's house, that process has taken 12 years of near-constant renovation.

Ummm... no thanks.

As if the schools we have down here don't suck enough already, what's going to happen when the older teachers who own homes now retire and the newer ones realize that on their salaries, unless they marry extremely wealthy individuals, they will never own a home? If they're smart enough, and if they like snowboarding and mountain-biking (and realize that there's a requisite three-hour drive to get to a mountain through LA traffic) more than they like surfing (like I do), they're getting the hell outta here.


It's either Tahoe or Denver, mes amie. Yes, I'll take a $9000 pay hit, but a 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 2300 square foot house in Denver costs, oh, $275,000. My kids will have grass, and other kids who will play with them in the neighborhood streets, where it will be safe for them to have a game of roller hockey or ride their bikes without fear of being run-down by some poor road-raging schmo who just spent two hours on the freeway trying to get home the 17 miles from Santa Monica to the South Bay.

So guess what that leaves all of the parents that are still here? Junk public schools with dumb "I'm-doing-my-job-and-my-job-only" teachers.

What about new cops?

And firefighters?

What about the architects and the engineers and the interior designers who ONLY make $80,000 (boo-hoo) a year?

What about the nurses?

The General Practitioners?

The accountants?

How the heck are they going to afford to live their lives here?

Bottom line, ladies and gentlemen, I have NO IDEA. If anyone can explain this to me, I'd be glad to hear it.
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:28 PM
 
23 posts, read 64,045 times
Reputation: 21
Default Keeping up with the Joneses -- Part Deux

I will say that I'm very torn though. Mostly, if I'm honest, it's because I'm ubercompetitive. I want to be "as good" as the cute blonde with the implants in the Benz convertible next to me, and if living in SoCal is the measure of that, then I've failed. My imagination -- and I do have a wild one, so please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong -- tells me that that's what bums so many of us out. We've been sold this idea that the beautiful and successful (I'm both, but apparently not a powerful enough combination of the two ) can make it here, if only because they're prettier and smarter than everyone else. It's Hollywood BS, which we (and everyone else with access to cable) have been eating up since the 20s. So somehow, if you can't make it here, you're less than good.

I effing hate losing.

Then again...

If I get to snowboard every weekend, trail run every morning, ride horses in the afternoons when I'm not mountain biking (or planning lessons or grading essays -- 200 of which I'm currently ignoring in order to read your posts and rant -- ARG!) and raise my kids where the schools are good, where there are only 23 students to a teacher (imagine a high school classroom with less than 35 students in it. "Ha! Impossible!" you say. Yet, I wonder if you all even know that's what our classrooms look like. Oh, nevermind. Better not go down that road...), where my kids can play in a front yard with friends from the neighborhood (why doesn't that seem to happen here?), and where our mortgage doesn't preclude them from having their own bedrooms, playing league ice hockey or softball or going to summer soccer camp, then I'd say that's a durn fine trade-off. (And a durn long sentence! But, grammatically correct. Don't worry; I checked.)

At the end of this long post (bless you, those of you who managed to hang on this long), I think my kids deserve better than what I could give them here, even if it means I don't get to stare down the Barbie next door when she throws her new boobs and her diamond in my face while making a mental checklist of the reasons I'm as good as she is.

But still, can't I be effing p.o.ed that $120,000 isn't enough to live in the state where I was raised?! That a person entrusted with the education of the children who live here can't afford to live here?! That a girl with a Masters (in Literature, not Education -- puh-leeze) who went to Oxford University and got her masters from the University of California didn't have the foresight to make a ton of money in tech instead of doing something for someone other than herself?

Eff it.

I guess we'll just have to content ourselves with the surf at Kalaheo and the freshies at Vail.
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,239 posts, read 15,439,013 times
Reputation: 8108
This is actually already a problem in places like Santa Barbara, whose real estate is even MORE insane than Los Angeles', if you can believe it. Officials are worried that if there is a major flood, earthquake, or fire, that no firefighters or paramedics will be living in Santa Barbara to be able to help!

It is shocking that professionals can't make a decent living here anymore. What you think is a great salary is eaten up by housing costs. I raised my kids in a 2-bedroom apartment; they each have a bedroom, and I have the living room. My daughter is going away to school in January, and do you have any idea how excited I am to be able to use her room while she's gone?! This is no way to live!
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:44 PM
 
3,597 posts, read 7,703,015 times
Reputation: 2878
Quote:
Originally Posted by hllnwlz View Post
I will say that I'm very torn though. Mostly, if I'm honest, it's because I'm ubercompetitive. I want to be "as good" as the cute blonde with the implants in the Benz convertible next to me, and if living in SoCal is the measure of that, then I've failed. My imagination -- and I do have a wild one, so please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong -- tells me that that's what bums so many of us out. We've been sold this idea that the beautiful and successful (I'm both, but apparently not a powerful enough combination of the two ) can make it here, if only because they're prettier and smarter than everyone else. It's Hollywood BS, which we (and everyone else with access to cable) have been eating up since the 20s. So somehow, if you can't make it here, you're less than good.

I effing hate losing.

Then again...

If I get to snowboard every weekend, trail run every morning, ride horses in the afternoons when I'm not mountain biking (or planning lessons or grading essays -- 200 of which I'm currently ignoring in order to read your posts and rant -- ARG!) and raise my kids where the schools are good, where there are only 23 students to a teacher (imagine a high school classroom with less than 35 students in it. "Ha! Impossible!" you say. Yet, I wonder if you all even know that's what our classrooms look like. Oh, nevermind. Better not go down that road...), where my kids can play in a front yard with friends from the neighborhood (why doesn't that seem to happen here?), and where our mortgage doesn't preclude them from having their own bedrooms, playing league ice hockey or softball or going to summer soccer camp, then I'd say that's a durn fine trade-off. (And a durn long sentence! But, grammatically correct. Don't worry; I checked.)

At the end of this long post (bless you, those of you who managed to hang on this long), I think my kids deserve better than what I could give them here, even if it means I don't get to stare down the Barbie next door when she throws her new boobs and her diamond in my face while making a mental checklist of the reasons I'm as good as she is.

But still, can't I be effing p.o.ed that $120,000 isn't enough to live in the state where I was raised?! That a person entrusted with the education of the children who live here can't afford to live here?! That a girl with a Masters (in Literature, not Education -- puh-leeze) who went to Oxford University and got her masters from the University of California didn't have the foresight to make a ton of money in tech instead of doing something for someone other than herself?

Eff it.

I guess we'll just have to content ourselves with the surf at Kalaheo and the freshies at Vail.
You go, girlfriend. *finger snap**fingersnap**bangle earring shake*
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:13 PM
 
23 posts, read 64,045 times
Reputation: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
You go, girlfriend. *finger snap**fingersnap**bangle earring shake*
Gosh, I hope that wasn't sarcasm. I should know better than to be honest on message boards.
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,814 posts, read 12,071,578 times
Reputation: 2000001303
Quote:
Originally Posted by hllnwlz View Post
:::This is mostly musing, folks. But please feel free to respond to any or all of this. I'm curious to see what other people think/feel about this:::

We have a serious problem on our hands. I'm a teacher, employed in Anaheim, and I make very good money for a twenty-something. Mmy husband and I together make about $120,000 a year. And yet we CAN'T AFFORD A HOUSE.

We aren't in debt. We have two car payments (necessary, since I commute to OC and he commutes to Marina Del Ray from the South Bay), but other than that, our net income could go straight to a mortgage. Last time I checked, the most we could qualify for (without one of those retarded I-have-to-have-this-house-even-though-I-really-can't-afford-it mortgages concocted by lenders who smilingly collect their commissions and then say, "Hey, it was all in print on the contract you signed. Boo-effing-hoo," when the interest rates take a tiny upward hop and the payment leaps $1000 skyward) was $450,000.

Now, I don't know where y'all are looking but there are no houses (except in sketchy neighborhoods) I'd want to raise kids in for that dollar amount available. I imagine there will be at some point in the next few years and maybe that's reason enough to stay. But why would the prices drop significantly when -- as many of you have pointed out -- there are plenty of people here who are dumb enough to pay $600,000 for an ugly 900 sq. ft. two-bedroom condo in Redondo? (Oooh, that rhymed!) Oh, and then pay the $300 association fee that goes with that condo?

So, I'm supposed to raise my two kids and our dog (and my husband) in a condo, with no yard for them to play in and probably not enough room for each of them to have their own bedroom when they reach puberty? If we do somehow miraculously manage to get hold of a house in an okay neighborhood, it will be a major fixer-upper, and I'll have to use all my skills from growing up a contractor's daughter and being a good reader of how-to manuals to piece together a home out of that. In my parent's house, that process has taken 12 years of near-constant renovation.

Ummm... no thanks.

As if the schools we have down here don't suck enough already, what's going to happen when the older teachers who own homes now retire and the newer ones realize that on their salaries, unless they marry extremely wealthy individuals, they will never own a home? If they're smart enough, and if they like snowboarding and mountain-biking (and realize that there's a requisite three-hour drive to get to a mountain through LA traffic) more than they like surfing (like I do), they're getting the hell outta here.


It's either Tahoe or Denver, mes amie. Yes, I'll take a $9000 pay hit, but a 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 2300 square foot house in Denver costs, oh, $275,000. My kids will have grass, and other kids who will play with them in the neighborhood streets, where it will be safe for them to have a game of roller hockey or ride their bikes without fear of being run-down by some poor road-raging schmo who just spent two hours on the freeway trying to get home the 17 miles from Santa Monica to the South Bay.

So guess what that leaves all of the parents that are still here? Junk public schools with dumb "I'm-doing-my-job-and-my-job-only" teachers.

What about new cops?

And firefighters?

What about the architects and the engineers and the interior designers who ONLY make $80,000 (boo-hoo) a year?

What about the nurses?

The General Practitioners?

The accountants?

How the heck are they going to afford to live their lives here?

Bottom line, ladies and gentlemen, I have NO IDEA. If anyone can explain this to me, I'd be glad to hear it.
Very well written, salient points, and funny as hell too! I say live on as little as possible for say a two year period and stash a predetermined amount every month into a "house" account. After two years, take off for that cheaper place and use that great income to buy the house you want using a non-predestined to foreclose mortgage
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Old 12-12-2006, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
627 posts, read 2,787,983 times
Reputation: 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by hllnwlz View Post
Gosh, I hope that wasn't sarcasm. I should know better than to be honest on message boards.

I am not sure, but it made me laugh. Either way. NO!!! Please do NOT "know better" and deny us your brilliance. I loved it!! I commented on it on the Why L.A. Sucks thread. Cool stuff, very cool. See that is three, count three cools.

I think he was on a roll from your rhythm . And (Yes, I know, I shouldn't be starting with an AND, but all the great writers do. Even if they tell us it is a no, no.) if he wasn't I am sure deep down he was. It was very distinct and catchy. Great voice.
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Eugene Oregon
347 posts, read 1,981,218 times
Reputation: 301
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! That was THE single (well two) greatest posts I have ever read on a message board. You really nailed the point we all were trying to make on this board but in only two posts. Bravo! That Master's in literature served you well. It's so true. That's what I'm wondering as well. Once the older generation with homes and equity retire there will be no middle class left to take over their very important positions. I'm guessing a lot of people in CA are hoping for an inheritance. Of course, lucky me, my parents don't believe in inheritance and feel it "ruins" a person so they've already informed me that my brother and I get nothing when they pass away. Too bad too since they have massive equity and are loaded. BAH!

hllnwlz - you might also look into Oregon as a possible relocation place. I hear Bend Oregon is a great ski/mountain area with a similar climate to NorCal without getting as cold as Denver does in the winter. I know the town is growing by leaps and bounds too so I'll bet they are in need of teachers there... especially ones with mordantly brilliant wit!
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:09 PM
 
989 posts, read 5,420,011 times
Reputation: 845
I agree with you, 100%. There are so many idiots spending 40/50% of their 30k income on a $1500 apartment!

The same guys lease the C-Class 230, for another $300 per month. And at the end of the day, they own NOTHING. They live paycheck to paycheck.
They show wealth, but are actually shallow and broke!

Let's paint the whole picture too.. There are also very rich people here. You can't ignore that. There are infact more millionaires in Los Angeles County than in any other county in the world; One quarter of a million of them. The OC also has alot, but a little bit less; 1/5 of a million millionaires.

There is no question that there is wealth in SoCal, but the question still remains, Who's just trying to keep up with the Joneses? I have no problem with a motivation to be successful, and do great things. I DO have a problem with shallowness.

Last edited by newportbeachsmostwanted; 12-13-2006 at 08:20 PM..
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:14 PM
 
23 posts, read 64,045 times
Reputation: 21
Default Shallow as a muddy puddle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newportbeachsmostwanted View Post
There is no question that there is wealth in SoCal, but the question still remains, Who's just trying to keep up with the Joneses? I have no problem with a motivation to be successful, and do great things. I DO have a problem with shallowness.
We all say that we have a problem with flimsy, shallow, shells of people, including the flimsy shallow shells of people themselves.

However, here, that's what the whole game is about. To steal a title from one of the best British sitcoms ever, it seems like we're all in a game where the point is simply to keep up appearances.

Thus the leased German vehicles, the rented beachfront bungalows (by the way, many of the owners of said bunglaows spend the majority of the time elsewhere -- my dad's done a lot of work for them having to call them using curious, non-California area codes) the babes with implants and huge diamond Present, Past, Future (De Beers TM) dangling between their siliconically engorged breasts.

That's what this joint requires if you want to be seen as successful.

I don't know if you were accusing me of being shallow or not, but like I said, I'm competitive. I don't think that means I'm shallow. It's this mentality that being "good enough" means driving the luxury car (whether or not it be leased or rented, or hell, stolen) and living on the beach in some exclusive "bungalow" (whether or not it be leased, rented, or hell, squatted in) and having the girlfriend named Candi (with an "i") whose name suits perfectly the reason you're dating her.

I know, I know, the opinions of those shallow, flimsy facsimiles of humanity should not matter to me, whatsoever. And most of the time, they don't. But sometimes, when I watch tv or a movie, I constantly wonder, "How do they afford that car/house/girlfriend?"

And then I realize, durrrr, it's a MOVIE.

Because basically folks, that's what those people amount to; I've been acquaintances of and worked with enough of them to have significant experience with this phenomena. They're protagonists (albeit more flat than your average piece of xerox copy paper) in their own movie, which as we all know (yeah, uh-huh), is simply a sad , insubstantial, two-dimensional projection of real life.

And here's the $24,000 question: What does that make them?

When the credits roll, the wrinkles having taken over and the 34-inch rapidly expanding over the rock hard plastic ab implants, and the silicone breast implants appearing as would a big rock at the bottom of a tube sock, who gets top billing? The producers and the commercial sponsors, not the actors in their little slideshow.

The worst thing about it all is that they're unhappy. Really unhappy. Especially when "Mirror, Mirror, on the wall" isn't being so tactful anymore and that prize home, and car and trophy wife just don't seem to be worth all the money and pain they paid for them.

Wow, I'm just full of joy. Could that be because it's 10:30 and I'm doing student's yearbook work because they flaked on a deadline? I'm such a sucker.
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