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Old 04-27-2007, 01:38 PM
111 posts, read 508,746 times
Reputation: 128


My friend who lives in Chicago asked me on the phone the other day, "man, how do people afford to live out there?" You see, he works for Washington Mutual in the home loan department, so he knows how expensive it is to buy a home here... And that got me wondering, "yeah, how are people affording to live out here."

I live currently in Ventura County, and in my area a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home sells between $680K to $750K.

Now, that's a lot of money. Unfortunately when I moved here in 2000, I didn't snatch up a house, or condo, like I should've. I am thinking if I don't get a financial increase, so that I am making $150K + a year, then I won't ever be able to afford a house... It's crazy because rent is so high, you can never save for a down payment, and the houses are so expensive, how in the world can those of us without a house, be able to qualify to buy one of these houses out here.

Yeah, SoCal is a great place to live, but only if you can really afford to have the quality of life, that one would expect to lead out here... Even the gas prices are the highest in the nation here... I was in Atlanta about two weeks ago, and their gas prices was between $2.49 and $2.65, and their housing prices are incredible, especially compared to SoCal... I'm afraid if my money doesn't get right, then I'll be relocating to the Atlanta area.

It feel like over half the people living in SoCal are not really living in Southern California, but only surviving in Southern California.

Let me hear from you all. Voice your thoughts about this.

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Old 04-27-2007, 01:46 PM
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
1,719 posts, read 5,726,231 times
Reputation: 765
I agree.....at least from what I see. And maybe because it seems that its an easy 70% hispanic population if not more in the areas I work, go to school and go out in, but most are just getting by. Not living the life.

The ones who "think" or "act" like they are living the life, are doing just that.
I know people my age (25) who drive new(er) SUVs on BIG rims, dress "nice" and the new fashions etc...but they live at home and are broke with no savings. Even if they do live on their own, once again no savings. It's all an act. I know of one guy from HS, who is/was doing well(havent kept up) in real estate "something" as a bi-lingual rep...he purchased a new 350Z when they were "in".
Thats how it is out here. Keep up with the Joneses. Im sure he could have purchased a place in TX for the money he spent and is probably still spending on the car.

Then you have my girls older sister who has 4 kids now, a husband who works 2 crap jobs making $8/hr, no HS education, and she makes $16 at a supermarket, had to drop out of college with only an AA degree and isnt even using it. They bought a home with some "first buyer" thing and yea they have a home, a track type with no yard, no driveway and the homes touch eachother, but they do it.

Living the life?
If you want to call it that
Struggling and in debt up to their eyeballs not knowing if they can keep the home?
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Old 04-27-2007, 01:55 PM
111 posts, read 508,746 times
Reputation: 128

You're right, man. I'm glad someone else shares my pain.
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:55 PM
989 posts, read 5,059,057 times
Reputation: 817
It's the truth. Well said, kgee..

I know a 27 year-old making $500/ week and spending $500/month on a new Lexus IS300 lease..
It looks nice, but it's not very smart.... How will he ever really own a car like that with zero savings?

-rent a car

-rent an apartment

-rent a life. Die with nothing.
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:55 PM
Location: Los Angeles
644 posts, read 2,928,518 times
Reputation: 327
Southern California is a consumerism lifestyle. Own it now, pay for it forever. It's easier when you split the cost with someone, but as a single person, I just can't keep it up. Weather is great, but there's been no time to enjoy it. I'm cashing out and moving on.

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Old 04-27-2007, 04:17 PM
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA
1,719 posts, read 5,726,231 times
Reputation: 765
The weather is beautiful today...But I am inside the office all day. When can I enjoy it? I guess the weekend...but I have homework and housekeeping to do. lol

And its not "own it now, pay forever"
Its "have it now, pay forever"
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Old 04-27-2007, 04:24 PM
111 posts, read 508,746 times
Reputation: 128
Yeah, it is gorgeous outside, but is it really worth struggling to survive, when some where else, life could be more enjoyable. For instance, I rented a two bedroom apartment for almost $1700.00 a month in Camarillo. For about $1100, I can have a 4bdrm, 3 bathroom brand new house in the northern Suburb of Atlanta.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:00 PM
11,715 posts, read 32,676,112 times
Reputation: 7390
Unless you have some very high paying job that just doesn't exist outside of the LA area, it doesn't make financial sense to live here. $60k is a nice (well above average) income for an individual, but it doesn't even begin to buy a house here. That person could go to almost any other city and make a less money (say $50k) but that $50k buys a house and a much more comfortable lifestyle.

Its a shame when a college educated couple (both working full time) can't afford a house and kids in the area they were raised. We're either going to have to leave the state, settle for a tiny condo for the rest of our lives (bad place to raise kids), or win the lottery.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:46 PM
Location: Alexandria, VA
1,078 posts, read 3,250,005 times
Reputation: 480
We are surviving and we make good money. By surviving I mean DH's job is in LA we live 70 miles from his work because we could not afford any closer and have any kind of life. That was okay 7 years ago, when it took him no more that 90 min one way. Now it can take more than twice that, 6 hours on the road every day is not living the life!! So, thankfully we are leaving. If we could live closer to his job we would stay.

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Old 04-27-2007, 05:50 PM
Location: West LA
723 posts, read 2,620,055 times
Reputation: 290
I make less than $150k/yr and I bought a 2 bedroom condo in Westwood last year for [market value] and I lead a very comfortable lifestyle. The few years prior to 2006, my salary was usually $70-80k/yr

It can be done.

If you can find a home for $500,000 and have good credit you can get a payment for around $3,000/month with only a little money down. (And while I do have an ARM, it doesnt change for 10 years). That's doable on $75,000/yr salary. With a roommate, you have even more financial freedom.

I do not have a roommate, but I go out to eat every day for lunch, and I have no debt. I eat out for dinner a few times a week, and run up decent bar tabs on the weekend. Granted, I am not a fashion plate, and my truck is 5 years old.

Guess it depends on what you consider a "good" life.
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