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Old 10-14-2019, 11:56 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,748 times
Reputation: 10

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I've taken a position based in Santa Barbara, but I currently work remotely. I would consider moving closer to SB, but I've found the real estate costs unrealistic within about 30 minutes commute. I'm seeking information on towns and cities within 2-3 hours of SB, where I could find housing that fits my criteria. I would travel to the office periodically. I've done some research and found Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Lompoc, Ventura, Oxnard, and Ventura. I'd love to hear some other suggestions further out from SB.

Must have:
- spacious 2/3 bedrooms
- A have a big dog so either a house with a yard; or condo, townhouse, or apartment with park, dog run,
etc close by
- Under $3000 / mo rent or $500k buy
- Quiet street (no traffic noise in early morning)
- I want to avoid suburban lifestyle, 8 lane streets, endless big box retail; but don't want a heavily urban,
high rise environment, looking for something in the middle like SB!
Nice to have:
- Waterfront or ocean view, or within a 15 minute drive of the ocean
- Somewhat walk-able neighborhood
- No kids yet, but most likely in the future, so good schools would be a plus.
- We are in our thirties and enjoy being in a lively area with events, but like I said not heavy urban.

Thanks!
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:30 PM
 
2,947 posts, read 2,177,760 times
Reputation: 11111
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockinengineer901 View Post
Must have:
- spacious 2/3 bedrooms
What do you mean by "spacious"? Is 1300-1600sqft okay? You're not going to find much bigger than that for under 500K unless you go FAR afield.
Quote:
- A have a big dog so either a house with a yard; or condo, townhouse, or apartment with park, dog run,
etc close by
Too specific. There are houses with yards and dog parks in every city.
Quote:
- Under $3000 / mo rent or $500k buy
- Quiet street (no traffic noise in early morning)
- I want to avoid suburban lifestyle, 8 lane streets, endless big box retail; but don't want a heavily urban,
high rise environment, looking for something in the middle like SB!
Lots of this around. Santa Paula, Ojai, Ventura, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Camarillo, Newbury Park/Thousand Oaks. Very little over 1300sqft but anywhere near 500K right now. Wait for the market to crash again.
Quote:
Nice to have:
- Waterfront or ocean view, or within a 15 minute drive of the ocean
- Somewhat walk-able neighborhood
- No kids yet, but most likely in the future, so good schools would be a plus.
- We are in our thirties and enjoy being in a lively area with events, but like I said not heavy urban.
Thanks!
Ocean views are pretty much $1M minimum these days. No way you'll get even a peek-a-boo ocean view for under 700K. 15m drives are do-able from Oxnard, Hueneme, Ventura. That bumps to 30m from Camarillo, Newbury Park, Ojai, Santa Paula.
Most of the cities I've listed are somewhat walk-able. Newbury Park area is the least walkable / most suburban.
Ventura, Camarillo, Newbury Park are the only cities with decent public schools, and then only in certain areas, or with a lotter/school of choice/magnet school system where you will need to arrange your own transportation.
Most of the cities have lots of outdoor civic events, and the area around Ventura always has tons of stuff going on. That is one of the many reasons it is so desirable and housing prices are so high.

Here's the non-specific unsolicited advice: WAIT.

Wait for the housing bubble to burst. I've been singing this tune since 2014 (when we bought, after waiting out the 2002-2008 bubble). From 2015 until last year was the time to sell. Now we're in market hangover (in my neighborhood where nothing was ever for sale for more than like 3 days, suddenly we've got 5 properties lingering on the market for over a month now, with more coming). People are getting wind of the coming crash and trying to cash out. Don't be the sucker left holding the bag. The wait is probably less than 2 years now, depending on how the next recession and housing market crash plays out. Could be as soon as 8 months.

Once the market implodes, swoop in and find a semi-distressed property. Look for something like a divorce or some trust fund babies squabbling over a dead relatives propertying trying to get a quick regular sale that has either sat on the market for a while, or gone pending and then fallen through multiple times, rather than trying to beat out investors for auction or short-sale properties--especially if you're not sitting on $500K+ cash money.

As for location: Ventura is the best choice for fun, short of SB itself. There are a LOT of vagrants and petty crime/annoyances. Surprisingly, it has some good schools. It seems to have finally tipped over the edge and is following SB property values into the stratosphere, so the next crash might be the last chance to buy in. Newbury Park / Thousand Oaks is best for families/kids, with Camarillo a disappointing compromise between the two.

Oxnard is fun too, but schools are straight terrible. Hueneme is probably the last bad old CA coastal town with territorial surfers, white supremecists, and the like. It's also ridiculously far from the freeway, which is why nobody lives there.

Santa Paula is somewhat forgotten semi-arid retirement community. It's pretty, nice, quiet, and close-ish to most everything. Also, property values are lower but you can still hit the beach in 20-30 minutes of driving. Schools are poor, though. I would still consider it, if I were you. The 126 freeway is never busy.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:55 PM
 
Location: CA for now
112 posts, read 107,898 times
Reputation: 180
The best schools are going to be in the Camarillo/Thousand Oaks area of those options. I'd cross Santa Maria and Lompoc off the list as you're not close to a swimmable ocean. I grew up in SB and Lompoc - We had to drive a bit for a beach to swim in when we lived in Lompoc. I guess Jalama is nearby, but I wouldn't choose to live there if I had other options.

Before kids we lived in Ventura (husband is in military), but I still found myself going to Santa Barbara for nightlife. We plan on moving back to the area and living in Camarillo or Newbury Park/Thousand Oaks because we have school-aged kids. Camarillo is the closest to the ocean of those but Ventura might be the best bang for your buck.

I personally love San Luis Obispo and would consider it if that was an option for me! Avila Beach or Pismo Beach would be within 15-20 minutes from there, but I think it's a little higher pricewise than Ventura/Camarillo.

Or if you can afford it, just rent in SB!

I don't think you can go wrong with most of those choices.
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