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View Poll Results: Best Place to Live in Monterey County?
North Salinas 2 28.57%
South Salinas 2 28.57%
Watsonville 0 0%
Hollister 0 0%
Prunedale 1 14.29%
Castroville 0 0%
Aromas 0 0%
Spreckles 2 28.57%
East Garrison 0 0%
Seaside 1 14.29%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 03-26-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Florida
2 posts, read 5,594 times
Reputation: 10
Question Moving to Monterey County . . . Location Recommendations near Salinas?

Hello everyone!

So, the hubs and I are strongly considering moving to Monterey County (or surrounding areas) within a year. He's taking a job located in South Salinas. We've been researching housing prices and opinions on the surrounding areas. I've heard conflicting things about Salinas--great town, awful town, incredibly high crime, great community, north section is better, south section is better. Any opinions or information on Salinas itself? I've found lots of promising looks homes with great prices . . . but are they great just because of the economy or does no one want to buy in that area?

We're hoping for somewhere within a thirty minute commute (give or take) with reasonable housing prices. Considering Watsonville, Castroville, Hollister, Prunedale, and Aromas. Any info on the commute or communities in those areas?

Thank you so much for any info! It would be a huge help!

Last edited by PetethePetey; 03-26-2012 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,192 posts, read 3,026,879 times
Reputation: 1932
Nosey question but will you initially be renting (imo, a very good idea until you get to really know the area) and, if so, what's your rental budget?
I don't know Salinas well at all but i do know that there are parts where you most likely do not want to live because of gangs / crime.
The nicest (by far) and generally safe communities in Monterey County are Carmel, Pacific Grove and Monterey. But they are expensive places to rent or buy in.
A couple of those towns on your poll are not in Monterey County btw ... not that it matters but just sayin'.
Watsonville is in Santa Cruz county.
Hollister is in San Benito County.

Monterey County California

Last edited by jaijai; 03-26-2012 at 06:45 PM..
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Florida
2 posts, read 5,594 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks!
Sorry about the wrong counties--I was looking at Google maps. I'll see if I can fix that.

We're hoping to buy rather than rent, but we may end up renting. We've been so focused on finding an affordable permanent home that we haven't really checked out renting prices. We're thinking around $250,000, maybe. We'll be making a trip to visit sometime this summer to check out areas, and we have connections within the area to try to give us ideas.
We weren't sure that we could rent as we have a dog and two cats, and thought that, for the price of monthly rent, we might as well pay off a mortgage.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:04 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
1,467 posts, read 1,599,955 times
Reputation: 1488
If you're husband works in South Salinas you should aim for South Salinas, Las Palmas or Toro Park. About half or two thirds of South Salinas is quite nice - decent sized, well maintained single family homes built in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Toro Park is more upscale, has great schools (if that's a priority at all) and is in a pretty location. Las Palmas is a newer subdivision area between the two and has pretty nice homes and is also in a fairly scenic spot. The older Indian Springs areas is adjacent to it - also nice ranch style homes from the 60s and 70s.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,192 posts, read 3,026,879 times
Reputation: 1932
Quote:
Originally Posted by PetethePetey View Post
Thanks!
Sorry about the wrong counties--I was looking at Google maps. I'll see if I can fix that.

We're hoping to buy rather than rent, but we may end up renting. We've been so focused on finding an affordable permanent home that we haven't really checked out renting prices. We're thinking around $250,000, maybe. We'll be making a trip to visit sometime this summer to check out areas, and we have connections within the area to try to give us ideas.
We weren't sure that we could rent as we have a dog and two cats, and thought that, for the price of monthly rent, we might as well pay off a mortgage.
No apologies necessary.
I was just knit-picking and actually the title of your post is appropriate since Monterey County is probably where you'll want to be.
I'm always amazed that people buy a home before they really experience an area but i understand why someone would rather buy than have their money go down the landlord drain.
For a little while you may want to rent. Having pets makes it more difficult to find a place but it is possible.

Here's a heat map of average listing prices in CA counties.

California Home Prices and CA Heat Map - Trulia Real Estate Search - Trulia.com

And this is Monterey County.

Monterey County Home Prices and Heat Map - Trulia.com
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:00 PM
 
54 posts, read 64,630 times
Reputation: 36
South Salinas is a decent area; my preferred area of Salinas. You could definitely get a home in your price range there. Other affordable areas I would consider are Seaside and Marina. Both offer short commutes to south Salinas.

Like others have suggested, I would recommend renting first to get a feel for the area. You could expect around $1300/mo on a two bedroom apartment in the area. Note that it's tough to find a place that accepts pets (with exception to some of the larger apartment complexes in Salinas) but not impossible.

It's really hard to comment on how good or bad Salinas is as a town since it all depends on what you want out of it. As far as safety goes, Salinas does have gang problems. Most of the problems are in east Salinas. The gang activity is usually at night time and they usually have specific targets. It hasn't been as bad in the last couple of years, but it's still present (we're up to five homicides as of yesterday). Last year we had a very scary incident when a student was shot on the campus of Alisal High School right before school started.

I'm happy to provide more details of the area if you have some specific questions.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:54 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
3,651 posts, read 6,649,745 times
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Do you have (or plan to have) children who will be attending public school?

As others have said I highly recommend cooling your heels on buying right out of the gate - rent first. What's the big hurry anyway? Get to know the areas in question first via your own personal experiences and preferences before sinking your money into a long-term commitment. It makes way more sense financially. Then you will be more confident and happy with your decision. Do you realize how many ppl buy impulsively then come to regret their decision later? That is a big reason we have so many foreclosure and ppl losing a lot of money RE currently. I know a number of families in this boat right now. Even in Monterey County locals vary greatly whether they feel comfortable buying or renting in these more affordable regions which come with other less desirable factors at times (i.e. higher crime, gangs, poor performing schools, etc...). Its a real trade off. That's why you see the varied opinions. There is no one size fits all answer which would make things so much easier I know. We have friends we consider good people who live in Salinas. Yet we would not choose that area for our family. However it may work for your family, after careful consideration and exposure to the area. The same really applies for Seaside, Marina and the other areas in question. Your Best Poll is unfortunately too relative to be very meaningful. My best isn't necessarily your best or the guy down the street who is happy to simply have a roof over his head.

BTW, you missed Las Palmas which has better school options (until High School). I'd pick that over these others. Though Spreckles is pretty good too, though not really in the same price range.

My 2c,

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 03-27-2012 at 12:22 AM..
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:09 PM
 
1,030 posts, read 1,461,888 times
Reputation: 756
I would say South Salinas would be good, if you can get into the Mission Park school district. That is a pretty decent K-6 school, by far the best in Salinas. However, if you live there, you probably would want to start thinking of sending your kids to private school beginning in middle school. Washington Middle school isn't great, neither is Salinas High (both of which are the best public schools for their group in Salinas). Palma/Notre Dame is ok for private school, but your better bet would be the peninsula.

If you can afford to spend a little more, you can live in the Toro Park/San Benancio area. You'll have very good schools K-8 and won't need to think about sending your kids to private school until high school. At that time, you can send them to York, which isn't too far away.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:39 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,756 times
Reputation: 10
Please reconsider your job choices! There is a reason everyone who came to Salinas for affordable housing is now desperately trying to return to where they came from. Unless you are connected to the produce industry, or the city or county government, you should reconsider your options, now! Harken to these words, O ye of too much naivete! What we have here is a third world barrio that will only get worse over time.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:15 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,169 times
Reputation: 11
Hello Bill and others...

I just accepted a job in Salinas, CA. The job I believe is secure, but I am definitely worried about finding a safe, affordable place to rent. I would not commit to an area until I was there at least 2 years. Adding to the mix, I have cats. At the time of adoption I had no idea I would ever move from here. I am relocating from Pittsburgh, land of the cheapest housing ever. I am interested in opinions. The job is in South Salinas. I will be running a clinic there. Kind opinions are appreciated.

Michelle
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