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If you buy in Palmdale, stay on the west side. Don't buy east no matter what. There is a new hospital being built in Palmdale. The better schools are all located on the west side although I have been teaching in the valley for five years at one of the low performing high schools. A few of my seniors have been accepted to Annapolis and Stanford so go figure. I believe life is what you make of it no matter where you live. Here is a list of a few negatives though:
1) Poor shopping. The mall is sub-standard. There is a Dillards but that's it
2) Mini-mall Utopia
3) Section 8 housing
4) NO vision in leadership. How many Wal-Marts are they going to build? Wal-Mart Super Centers at that and no museums, upscale shopping centers, boardwalks, art culture
5) Palmdale Regional Airport? What airport? One airline operating out of the place and that is United to San Fran. That's it. No growth and again no vision.
6)If you are a commuter, your car will fall apart or your mental state, which ever goes first, you will break! Commuting is hell and it is easy to fall asleep on the 14.
7) San Andreas fault runs through Palmdale. Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth are sag ponds. A section of the 14 freeway at Pearblossom highway has a visible rift zone of the San Andreas. Don't believe it? Google it.
8) Mira Loma Detention Facility (prison)
9) Wal-Mart City (did I say that?)
10) High altitude, dry air, little rain (some folks like this)
11) If you are young and single good luck. You will find yourself driving to the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles for any nightlife or culture and with these gas prices you may go broke.
12) Unbearable months: July, August, September, early October
1) Metrorail that takes you to Los Angeles, Long Beach etc.
2) West Palmdale and West Lancaster, Quartz Hills, Acton, Vasquez Rocks, Agua Dulce
3) Skunk Works for employment for those who are qualified
4) Trader Joes (finally built one)
5) New hospital in West Palmdale in the works
6) Restaurant Row by Antelope Valley Mall
7) Affordable housing
8) Crime rate dropping in both Palmdale and Lancaster. Direct result of sub-prime meltdown and the authorities cracking down on Section 8 housing and welfare fraud
9) Edwards Air Force Base/NASA Dryden Center and Desert High School
10) 3-4 hour drive to Las Vegas
11) Santa Clarita and Valencia nearby (Magic Mountain)
12) Disneyland 1-2 hours by car
13) LAX 1-2 hours by car
14) Pacific coast 1 hour by car (no traffic though)
15) In general, quiet and slower paced than Los Angeles
16) If you have a family and can teach at one of the local high schools and live on the west side then not a bad place.
I was a lifelong resident of Los Angeles up until a few months ago. I spent a year in Palmdale from 2005-2006, and my mom spend 2 years in Lancaster. So I feel like I can say a lot about the area from both an outsiders point of view and as a person who was a resident.
I lived on the Eastside, which people say is the bad side. I lived in an older neighborhood (built in the 1980's). I bought the home from the son of an old lady who had just passed away. She had lived there for 20-something years and had obviously put love into it. Luckily I got in and out just at the right time to make a pretty good profit on the home. Now homes in the same neighborhood are going for about 100k less than what I sold that home for.
I never had ANY problems living there. No gunshots, no creepy people in my neighborhood. The worst problem I had was a couple weekends during my time in that house, the teenagers in a house 2 houses over had loud parties. No one called the cops, and the music was LOUD. Me being a young woman myself (in my mid 20's) didn't care enough to call, but I could see how it might bother people who are older or who have kids.
I liked the climate of the area. The Antelope Valley has a distinct aroma in the air which I found very refreshing. Also, the air up there is very clean compared to the cities down below. Being so close to the mountains also makes a trip to the snow in the winter EASY! It takes less than an hour to get to Mountain High (ski resort) and the drives through the mountains are beautiful any time of the year. I also loved Devils Punchbowl, which is about 20 or so minutes away. The hiking there is beautiful! I am a big nature person, though, so I loved all that about the area.
There is absolutely NO nightlife in Palmdale. None. There is one mall which is ok, and a bunch of big box stores (Target, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, etc) all concentrated in one area.
Also, what people have said about it being a bad area aren't exactly lying. I talked to many longtime residents during my time there. They said many people from areas such as Compton and South L.A. have been moving up there recently because it is so much more affordable than even the worst parts of L.A. city. Many of them also go up there to get their kids away from the gangs in L.A., not realizing the kids will bring that lifestyle with them no matter where they go. Palmdale and Lancaster don't have their own police, but rely on the L.A. County Sheriffs to patrol and keep the peace.
There is one main freeway out of the entire Antelope Valley, so you can imagine with 60,000+ (maybe more) commuters the traffic in and out and certain times can be a nightmare. For the most part, though, the drive is nice when it's not rush hour. Still, not something I would want to do more than once a week or so. And with the lack of good jobs in Palmdale and Lancaster, for many people commuting in their only choice.
Overall, it wasn't bad when I lived there but it's not the greatest place to live. Not even close.
It would be best if you listen to palmdaleresident . Palmdale/Lancaster was a nice area 20 years ago. Today its a cesspool.
Interesting; that is quite a statement and would seem in bad form at the very least.
Perhaps you may want to take the time to expand a little, and it would be out of respect to the reader to explain in at least a little detail what you mean by "cesspool". Could it be the climate, the crime, poverty, income level, people in general? Are you comparing to surrounding areas like cities in the SoCal area or distant cities?
Thank you in advance for your more comprehensive response.
I'll back up junkman on this one. I was born/raised in Maine and put my time in Lanscatter or Landisaster. You know, sometimes you want to go into a great dissertation and other times just sum it up in one word; cesspool fits the bill. So let us talk specifics. Climate: There are many chambers out there that boast of 300+ days of sunshine even thought that maybe 5 minutes a day. Here it is the truth. People make generalizations and use words like "never" and "always", but in the Antelope Valley the suns always shines. Rain, ha it never rains. It can go 6 months easy without a single drop, no lie, no exaggeration. So you never have to worry about your car rusting out, or falling through your porch from rot. However, if you want something green, you need to water it every single day. Another big plus for me is no mosquitoes. Don’t take my word for it, look at real estate pictures and you won’t see any screens on the porch because you don’t need them. It’s not all rosy though. Wind: simply awful, right now this minute it is 19 mph gusting to 29. So even though it is nice and sunny and 80 degrees, you can’t enjoy anything outdoors because of the wind. The forecast is for wind advisory till Wednesday, they should say Wednesday in October because that is when it will be calm for a day. Again, look at the pictures and notice all the trees leaning. Let’s move on to crime; I don’t go for the rates you see published, just as I don’t see any benefit in average wind speed because it does not give me a good feel for what it is really like. About half a mile from where I am they found a man with an arrow in his chest, they found a girl wrapped up in an old piece of carpet in a ditch, schools in lockdown again because of someone with a gun, woman is pleading with the school board to extend a 6th grade girl’s expulsion because she poisoned the teacher, lady at work with got side-swiped by a drunk illegal at noontime, my car was hit by flying debris from one of the many hundreds of “mow-blow-n-go” trucks. This is all recent stuff and I could go on for pages. People; I have trouble categorizing them as such, it’s more like you are in a movie and there was a terrible industrial accident and the mutants started taking over. I doubt it is due to poverty as I see many an Escalade and many of the “people” look to weigh twice what I do. I know it is difficult to get a grasp of how bad it is, especially in areas that are somewhat insulated. I know my sisters did not have a clue until I “splained” it to them. Believe me, I have personally seen entire housing tracts destroyed by these “people”, a good analogy would be what locusts do to a crop. If you are going to move here, make sure it is on the west side of the valley as there are still pockets of decency there. You still have to deal with scum when you do anything though. My wife will drive miles to the west side to get gas as she is constantly accosted in other areas of the valley. One poster put restaurant row at the mall as a positive. Last time I was at Olive Garden, a group of “people” acting much like monkeys disturbed a good portion of that restaurant and put a big ding in the dining experience. I don’t think you have to compare this area to any other as it stands on it’s own as a cesspool.
I'll back up junkman on this one. I was born/raised in Maine and put my time in Lanscatter or Landisaster. You know, sometimes you want to go into a great dissertation and other times just sum it up in one word; cesspool fits the bill. ...
While I would not characterize Lancaster as a "cesspool," I hate to say it but I back up every detail of what elousv said. I haven't lived in Lancaster but I have friends out there and I've been visiting the area for decades. Elousv's post depicts an accurate picture of Lancaster, and I apply the same to its bordering and almost indistinguishable neighbor Palmdale.
I would not recommend either place as a relocation destination.
I don’t think you have to compare this area to any other as it stands on it’s own as a cesspool.
elosv is right i've lived in the AV for over 20+ years. At one time palmdale and lancaster was nice to live in. The wind always blows here so thats nothing new.right now its 101 outside with the wind blowing 25mph+.
AS far as crime and safety, thats a big change.
elosv not big on stats however they tell a story.
FBI 2006 crime stats city pop(100,000-250,000)49 calif. cities in that category
Murders:Lancaster 4th. highest in state Palmdale 7th highest in state
Rapes: Lancaster 3rd & Palmdale tied for 2nd. Two years and i'm out of the Hi-desert
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