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Old 03-11-2010, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Hereford, AZ
8 posts, read 14,991 times
Reputation: 18
Unhappy Northrop Grumman, El Segundo, potential move, AAACCCHHH!!!

The main reason I put Northrop Grumman (NG) in the title is due to my seeing another poster here who works for NG and I was hoping he/she would chime in at some point...

My husband works for Northrop Grumman in SE Arizona. The contract he was on was canceled and he applied for a position under another division that was "supposed" to keep us here but it turns out that's not the case.

As much as we don't want to move, it's looking like we might need to consider it.

Reasons for not moving:

1. Our youngest is still in high school as a sophomore and will graduate in two years. We moved to Arizona when he was 10 years old and it was a difficult move due to my mother passing away just two weeks after we got here and my becoming disabled with Rheumatoid Arthritis. He's begun showing a tremendous improvement socially in the last year or so.
2. We bought a house when we got here and we are four years into it using a VA loan that requires it be owner occupied for the first five (?) years.
3. We are small-town people and the thought of living in/around LA terrifies us. (Though to be fair, we are not naive enough to believe that life is LA is as we see it on television. I mean, c'mon...) I was looking at photos online and, dang, the houses are close together. I get claustrophobic living that close to people.
4. Before the housing market tanked, we were actually sitting pretty well in our house but were we to sell it now, we'd either break even or lose some money.
5. We'd have to make the change from homeowner to renter (again) and after so many years of renting and living in base housing, we were thrilled to finally be able to put down roots.

Reasons to move to LA:
1. The job that would be offered to my husband is a pay raise and promotion. But is it enough money to support us comfortably in LA?
2. It would put my husband under the Aerospace Division, which is his background from when he was in the USAF (he's retired now) and would pretty much be a dream job.
3. We had never planned to make Arizona permanent, planning to look for a transfer back East once our son graduated. However, a move is a move, it's just earlier than we were planning...
4. I could get out of the godforsaken desert and have a real garden.
5. I am a freelance journalist and a move to LA might actually help my career, even putting me in a position of working for a newspaper or magazine, which I've done in the past and miss a great deal.

I'm interested in hearing what others think and am looking for solid advice from people who have been faced with similar circumstances. The El Segundo schools look great but are there houses for rent there? Living in the country, we have three dogs and that might be a deal breaker for a lot of landlords. Two of the dogs are big, one being a coonhound, the other being a shepherd/lab mix, while the third is a pug. Can we even afford to rent a house? Getting rid of the dogs is a big NO as they are members of our household, just like our kids have always been.

Also, not being familiar with LA at all, where are the best neighborhoods in which to live? I don't necessarily want to live in El Segundo simply because it's close to NG if there are better/less expensive places to live. The thought of giving my husband a two-hour commute, one-way, is scary to me though. I'm lousy in traffic and just driving in and among the horrible drivers in Tucson makes my blood pressure go up tremendously. I'm terrified at the though of making a move to such a large city... I don't know we'd fit in at all as we're just ordinary folks.

Finally, and this is going to sound really shallow and selfish of me but... As a freelance journalist in a small town, I'm kind of used to being a medium wheel (not a big deal as J.A. Jance is from the same area and she IS a big wheel) that a move to LA would put me amongst some pretty stiff competition and I won't look as good on paper as I do here. I have published in some national travel magazines but I wasn't able to finish college (need 30 credits) due to all the military moves. I just won't stand out from a rather large, talented crowd...

Last edited by AzBuckeye; 03-11-2010 at 12:09 PM.. Reason: Forgot to make a point...
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:25 PM
 
Location: LA
6,182 posts, read 11,608,640 times
Reputation: 2526
your housing budget will determine where you will be living. El Segundo is nice, but the houses are small and expensive. Other nearby towns that are cheaper (although not drastically so) with good high schools for your son are Torrance and Long Beach (Wilson High). however, you're not going to get a lot of space unless you have big bucks or are willing to commute well over an hour each way.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:55 PM
Status: "Books on my mind (and on my sofa, tables, etc.)" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: South Bay Native
9,752 posts, read 13,410,741 times
Reputation: 13705
The job that would be offered to my husband is a pay raise and promotion. But is it enough money to support us comfortably in LA?

Probably not. You would be MISERABLE within a 50 mile radius of ES if you are claustrophobic for the denseness of housing here. And justifiably so! The only place you could feel semi comfortable in would be the PV Peninsula (more like Rolling Hills/Estates), but it is prohibitively expensive and the commute would be murder. Not too many homes for rent, as most in the area are owner-occupied, but expect to pay about $5000 to $7000/month. Not sure if the pay raise your hubby would get covers that comfortably.

Regarding the dogs - I am not 100% sure, but I believe the most dogs any one residence is allowed is 2, unless there is a litter, and then there is a limit as to how long you have until the pups are adopted out.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Hereford, AZ
8 posts, read 14,991 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DontH8Me View Post
The job that would be offered to my husband is a pay raise and promotion. But is it enough money to support us comfortably in LA?

Probably not. You would be MISERABLE within a 50 mile radius of ES if you are claustrophobic for the denseness of housing here. And justifiably so! The only place you could feel semi comfortable in would be the PV Peninsula (more like Rolling Hills/Estates), but it is prohibitively expensive and the commute would be murder. Not too many homes for rent, as most in the area are owner-occupied, but expect to pay about $5000 to $7000/month. Not sure if the pay raise your hubby would get covers that comfortably.

Regarding the dogs - I am not 100% sure, but I believe the most dogs any one residence is allowed is 2, unless there is a litter, and then there is a limit as to how long you have until the pups are adopted out.
Uh, the dog thing... Is that state wide? How can they limit the number of dogs one can own? We currently live on a farm and need the big dogs for, uh, farming. If I had to choose to let one go, I don't know I could do it. To me,. that's tantamount to choosing to leave a kid with a new family.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:17 PM
 
2,629 posts, read 2,545,459 times
Reputation: 3159
Eesh. The option that dare not speak its name: Dual household. At least temporarily, for two years until high school graduation and the VA owner occupied requirement is met. This sounds like a great career move for your husband, and I would say take it. He can certainly find a rental large enough for himself and visitors. Can you as a family manage a commute on weekends? Arizona's not so far a flight and El Segundo, Torrance or Redondo Beach, if he rents there, are close to LAX.

Talk to your family. Think about a trial run. By then your husband may find enough familiarity with the area to understand the kind of automobile commute he can tolerate, and the family can move to an outlying area with more space. Sorry that this compromise is the best solution I can come up with given all your factors.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 17,622,422 times
Reputation: 18798
Have you considered one of the Northrop Grumman jobs in northern Virginia? NG has a lot of openings out here. It' expensive out here, but not as bad as LA. Houses are much farther apart, and we're very dog friendly.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 54,199,434 times
Reputation: 16312
If he can work 6-230 or something like that, you can live in the Conejo Valley, an easy 40 minutes in the morning, 50-70 minutes in the afternoon. Excellent schools, not sure about the dog thing. Lots of van pools and car pools too.

Check out www.schoolperformancemaps.com for an idea of potentially good schools.

www.sigalert.com and www.traffic.com are great for getting an idea of where and when commutes might be bad.

Last edited by Charles; 03-11-2010 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Hereford, AZ
8 posts, read 14,991 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunjee View Post
Eesh. The option that dare not speak its name: Dual household. At least temporarily, for two years until high school graduation and the VA owner occupied requirement is met. This sounds like a great career move for your husband, and I would say take it. He can certainly find a rental large enough for himself and visitors. Can you as a family manage a commute on weekends? Arizona's not so far a flight and El Segundo, Torrance or Redondo Beach, if he rents there, are close to LAX.

Talk to your family. Think about a trial run. By then your husband may find enough familiarity with the area to understand the kind of automobile commute he can tolerate, and the family can move to an outlying area with more space. Sorry that this compromise is the best solution I can come up with given all your factors.
We have kind of danced around the "two household" thing. As far as visiting him there, we live on a small farm with many animals. Finding someone to stay with the dogs, etc. is a challenge. One thing I mentioned was his trying to negotiate a four day workweek so he could come home on the weekends. It's only a 1 1/2 hour flight to Tucson... After the kid graduates, then we can re-evaluate things and would probably be in a better position to sell the house. What with the poor market, I don't know we'd come out too well in the deal.

As far as looking at other jobs within NG - um, he hasn't been asked to interview for another job in Virginia or anywhere else. He hasn't been flown to anywhere but El Segundo for an interview. Believe me, we'd be doing that if we were able...

And what's with the whole dog thing? I mean, really? I'm not getting rid of ANY of my dogs.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:20 PM
 
Location: LB/OC for now...
5,112 posts, read 11,794,084 times
Reputation: 1787
Dog ownership laws vary by city and I don't think the state has any specific law about how many you can own. Most of the time if the dogs aren't yappy you can get away with a million of them, but if they're a nuisance neighbors will contact animal control if they aren't licensed or you have more than city regulations permit. My mother in law has 4 dogs in Norwalk CA and has for years. Never had a problem.

As far as land, you're more or less screwed considering the location of the job unless he wants a big commute(a real big one), and not knowing your budget doesn't allow any of us to at least give you specific areas to look at(someone mentioned Rolling Hills, which is very pricey but probably is the best you can get close to El Segundo).
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Hereford, AZ
8 posts, read 14,991 times
Reputation: 18
I wouldn't call our dogs big barkers. However, we currently live in the country and have wild animals that walk through the yard, sometimes. Oh, and don't let a rabbit get inside our fenced in area or the coonhound has a hey day with it! But the day a skunk got in our yard was certainly memorable.
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