The Truth about California from a former west coast Girl... (San Diego: to rent, school)
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Go back and read my original post. I stated the good and the bad according to my experience. I also suggested that people do their own research. I truly believe that I was balanced and informative and gave newbies some direction. At the current time my family is looking at a possible move to another state and I am going to different forums asking the same questions that people are asking on this OC forum.. So I have tryed to give people recommendations on what I am looking for in my search as well.
If people are thinking that I am wrong or negative with my accessment and thread than that is fine. It is their opinion. It doesn't make my opinion or experience right or wrong. You are correct when you talk about everyone having different perspectives and likes and dislikes. Hopefully people that are coming to this OC forum are aware of that and they will take my perspective along with yours and a few others, put them all together and then for themselves along with doing research make an intelligent decision. You know what I mean?
My experience with or without stats is my experience. Stats will DO NOTHING to change the fact that I did not personally like living in OC. If I noticed and smelled smog than with or without stats there was smog. If I witnessed and heard a drive by shooting that resulted in a teenager lying dead in the street a block away from my home, then I witnessed a crime. If I participated in bumper to bumper freeway jams causing me to be late for work, once again who cares about statistics. Statistics will not prevent someone from struggling with certain characteristics of a given area.
All in all, my experience was not worth the headache of living there. Disneyland and all the beautiful sunsets would not bring me back. By moving out of the area I have witnessed cleaner air, less congestion, less racial tension, and a beautiful 3600 square ft. home that I never would have been able to afford in OC. So In my experience of living in four different states OC falls very short on the list of great places to live. In fact it is at the bottom of the list with Nebraska of all places as one of the states to use as a comparison. Do you see what I mean???
If I had to go back there and there were no other options I would try and live in the areas south of Irvine (which I have mentioned in several threads). See my pics in the OC pic thread. I would rather downsize, live in a cramped space in a decent area than move to one of the areas that have bad neighborhoods. But then again if I had the choice to move to OC or Arizona I would pick Arizona. Hopefully this helps... And may all the newbies or OC want ta be's do your homework first or better yet go visit and then make your decision if possible.
I never said you did say you hated SoCal...it was just an example. Again, personal experiences are biased and need to tempered with facts. Like the fact that only 56% of people in Orange County can afford an ENTRY level home. This is better than before, but it's still FAR from affordable.
For every minute guys spend watching a sporting event, chicks spend five minutes with their noses stuck in some glamor or movie star magazine.
Not at chicks... I, for one, find magazines like that about a mentally stimulating as staring at a piece of cardboard. I could go on and on about the bad influence fashion magazines have on society... but that's another rant altogether.
You wanted pit\ctures of Santa Ana. Here are a few. I will look for some around town. I do noot know where you wanted them posted. I have some better ones that show the city, just not sure what comuter they are on.
He wanted them in the sticky "Pictures of Orange County" thread at the top of our forum. He thought it was biased that most of the pictures were nice areas like near the coast, south county, etc... and didn't represent all of Orange County. I just told her that those who decided to volunteer and contribute pictures lived in those nicer areas and that you can't force people to go out of there way to drive to a ghetto to take pictures.
Hello, this post is for those who have never been to Southern California and are looking for information regarding the area. Please believe me... I am NOT trying to be negative because I am not a negative person. I am only trying to help you with my own experience living in Southern California. I am only doing this to help those of you who are thinking about relocating to the area and need help. Trust me I have a lot of better things to do with my time but I really feel this is important so please take a few minutes to read this.
For those of you who absolutely have to make the move then this is my advise.. do a lot of research, ask many questions and don't fall for the information that only shows you the beauty of California. The beauty is only a small part of the picture. Just so you know, I was the typical blonde california girl and totally fit the profile. At one point I was training to become an NFL Ram's cheerleader. Unfortunately, I injured my ankle in my jazz class the day before tryouts and I was unable to participate. The very next year the Rams left for Kansas City. By the way, have you ever wondered why such a large place like Orange County does not have a professional football team anymore?? Interestingly this is what I found out.. When L.A. and Anaheim were home to the Raiders and Rams they didn't make enough money because they didn't have enough loyal and supportive fans. So basically both teams packed up and left... Very sad that an area with so much status and wealth does not have any pro teams. I guess everyone is too busy in California so they have better things to do than sit at a football game??? Or there is just too much to do?? Whatever the case they lost their NFL teams. Hopefully for all you football fans like myself.. someday they can get one back..
Before I tell you more of the negative, let me begin with the positive. First of all, there is A LOT of good things about California. Primarily the weather is awesome. It is basically never too hot (unless you are inland) and it is extremely mild in the winter. The sky is blue most of the time and there are places by the beach that are amazing and breathtaking. I love the ocean and it is one of my favorite places to be.
There is a lot to do in California and many great opportunities for the young and old alike. You never get bored because if you have the money there are always fun places to go. Disneyland was a place that I visited on a regular basis. I loved to get an annual pass and go there in the wee hours just before closing to go on Splash Mountain over and over again. No lines late at night!! Knotts Berry Farm is great, six flags not too far of a drive and Universal Studios a couple of hours away. So much to do and too much to list here in this post.
I met my husband in San Diego County, had my first son in Irvine and my second son in Anaheim Hills. So California holds many precious memories for me. I would have to write a book to tell you of all the happy memories I had in California...
What disappointed me is the fact that it is extremely crowded, stressful on the highways and there is an awful lot of crime. It is so expensive that I never owned a home in the 20-years that I lived there. Half the time I couldn't understand my neighbor because everyone spoke another language. Nothing wrong with that (I have many beautiful Spanish speaking friends) but when an English speaking woman goes to the grocery store and can not find something and nobody speaks english, I have a problem with that. I really started feeling like an alien in Orange County. I actually felt very lonely at times
Another issue is the air quality. In the summer there are frequent smog warnings and you are basically told to stay inside unless you have to go out. I had terrible allergies and sinus problems while living there. I know it was the air quality because almost immediately after I moved to Oregon my problems went away.
I think there are absolutely way too many people in Southern Ca. It takes 2-3 hours to get to a 10-mile location most of the time. Even at night... My step-kids and several friends live there and they hate it. They continually tell me that it is getting worse with each passing year.
Finding a job is another problem. Jobs are hard to come by everywhere but read the statistics on California. The state is in a heap of trouble financially.
There are gangs and bad neighborhoods everywhere. You can be in a nice neighborhood and drive a half mile down the street and you will be in a bad neighborhood. For example, at the beginning of my marriage my husband and I lived in a really nice apartment. One night while we were sitting on the patio we heard gunshot. My husband ran down the street to try and help. A teenage boy was dead in the street as a result of a drive by shooting. It is very hard to find a decent place to live unless you are making a huge amount of money.
So again this is my suggestion. If you have to move there do your homework, talk to a lot of people and weigh your options carefully. If you are rich move to a beach house in Malibu, Laguna Beach, Newport, etc. Stay on the beach and don't venture too far inland. Also, there are very nice places along the coast just south of Irvine and nice places in Irvine and Costa Mesa, but then again you will be paying a high price to live there.
And also, home school your children or put them in the best private school you can find... again if you can afford it. Between the gangs and all the other problems it just wasn't worth it to me.
Good luck to you... Again, I hope my honesty will help you in making a decision whether or not to move to California and where to live. At least if you go there you won't be thinking it is just like the movies or a popular television series. I am just sharing my experience with you. Have a great week/weekend.
We lived in WA for 15 years and moved here from Bellevue, WA (next to Microsoft Redmond) in 2005. Love it here in S.CA. At 1st, I lived in Hemet. That was a bad town. My car's lock was broken but it happened in Bellevue as well. By the way, you could get 3000sqf house in Hemet now for $200K. And Hemet reminds me of Eastern Washington, Yakima. then we moved to Menifee, CA. That was an OK town. It has its problems. Then we moved to Foothill Ranch since I got a new job in Lake Forest. We've been living here since. It's really nice here in CA and we would never come back to WA. I also relocated my elderly parents here from WA as well and just got a job for my brother in law. He's moving here in 2 weeks. Traffic sucks, yeah but if you live in Hemet or Yakima, there is no traffic. Then the ocean, jobs, people, food, entertainment. I don't speak Spanish but sign language works for me and i always get what i wanted. I bet you 200 years ago, those who came from Europe had to use sign language to communicate if they were in downtown NY. So, yeah, if you happy with Eastern WA, that's great for you. I'm glad you are happy there. For me, living in WA for 15 years, it's time for a change. I'll let you know if i hate CA or not in another post, 15 years from now.
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