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Old 03-05-2012, 09:19 AM
 
32 posts, read 49,712 times
Reputation: 26

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I am desperate to move to Laguna Beach. My husband and I have vacationed there many times and dream of living there. However, we know vacationing there is different than living there. We would have to rent an apartment or condo, because we can't afford to buy a home there. We could pay around 2000/mo. in rent. We have a toddler and are worried that he would be ostracized because we are not rich and would probably live in an apartment forever. Currently we live in the suburbs of Chicago, where we own 2 nice homes in 2 desirable towns. One home is a a rental property and the other one we live in, which has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, so we would be sacrificing a lot of space! Are we nuts? Should we just stay put because we fit in here and can live in a nice house? Please help.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:04 AM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,584 posts, read 33,661,426 times
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Laguna Beach does not automatically equal rich. That said, I think you'd be crazy to downsize from a big house to an apartment, but it's your life not mine.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:09 AM
 
2,147 posts, read 4,328,736 times
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You could always rent your homes out, and be a 'homeowner who rents in another state'....that's a different image. lol

It also provides you the option of moving back to Chicago at some point, if you decide you'd prefer it, but still have the chance to go for your dream.

Laguna Beach is amazingly beautiful; I live in a very upscale area of san diego, and we rent an apt. too. My child is not ostracized whatsoever, and in fact there are so many children in the apartments to play with, to boot. LB is not different; you will find families in apartments, townhomes, condos, etc. People like you, making the sacrifice to live where they want, do exist in LB.

In a word, no. Your child will not be socially ostracized, nor will you. I have spent a fair amt of time in LB, as well. Regardless of perception, so cal, including coastal communities, have many families renting apts and living middle or lower middle class. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,013,351 times
Reputation: 6824
I grew up in that area with plenty of friends who lived in apartments and condos. We never thought less of them. I'd rather live there in a cardboard box than a mansion in the Midwest. Your story seems odd because homes in desirable burbs in Chicago aren't cheap. Why not just sell them? Either that or your rental income from them should afford you a reasonable lifestyle in South OC especially if you have a job. Almost wonder if this post is on the level.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:18 AM
 
371 posts, read 645,830 times
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You are not nuts, and there are plenty of families living in apartments or condos in OC, and in Laguna Beach and neighboring cities.

In the neighborhood I live in (Balboa Peninsula, in Newport Beach, a neighboring city to Laguna Beach), many of the families (most?) are renting rather than owning. After all, what thirty-or-fourtysomething with young kids can afford a million+ dollar home? I think a lot of the homes are owned by empty-nesters, seniors, or rich guys with no kids.

I assume the situation is comparable in Laguna Beach, and I know a teacher my wife works with rents there with her husband and young baby. Laguna Beach and some areas of Newport Beach are unique to the wealthy areas of Orange County, in that the have a very wide mix of housing (apartments, condos, tiny old houses, huge new mansions etc...). This probably stems from the fact that they started out as more humble beach/vacation destinations, and then only later grew into wealthy and rich locales.

That means they still have plenty of apartments, old beach cottages and non-owner-occupied dwellings. You can literally find a beat up old 900 square foot beach cottage rented out by a couple of 20-something surfer bums, across the street from a $10,000,000 mansion owned by a CEO.

This eclectic mix, along with the usual Southern California beach vibe also means that there is a general air of tolerance in these towns. I think snobery and elitism are much more rare here then elsewhere.

So, the short answer is: do not worry about raising a family in an apartment or Condo in Laguna Beach.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:23 AM
 
11,715 posts, read 35,872,615 times
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$2000/mo isn't going to buy much space in Laguna Beach. I'm currently in a small apartment with a baby and it sucks. That kid's only going to get bigger and need more space too.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:49 AM
 
32 posts, read 49,712 times
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Wow! I really appreciate all of these replies. Great insight. To the poster wondering if my post was on the level--it is! We love Laguna Beach and want to live there. Housing prices in Chicago burbs are not cheap, true. We bought a house in 2006 for 320,000. We rented it out 2 years ago and have the mortgage covered. We lived with my in laws for 1 year to save money for a down payment on another house (we also have dreams of being house flippers). We bought our current house (a short sale) for 230,000. When we bought the short sale, we thought maybe we would try to flip it in a couple of years for a down payment on something in Laguna. Or if my husband got a great job offer there we would just rent out our 2nd house too. I am telling the truth, I swear. I could write a pretty interesting book about living with my in laws!
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:55 AM
 
Location: outer space
484 posts, read 842,791 times
Reputation: 393
There is a stat I read somewhere.
LB residents: 24K
LB visitors: 3 million

Keep that in mind. I moved out.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:05 PM
 
32 posts, read 49,712 times
Reputation: 26
I guess I don't want to wait a few years to flip our current house! I would rather take our savings and rent in Laguna. Then we would have something to live off of until my husband finds a job.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:13 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 35,872,615 times
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Keep in mind that Laguna Beach isn't the greatest place to be commuting from. Its not close to any freeways and the only routes in or out of town are very crowded, especially in the summer.
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