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Old 06-25-2008, 12:36 PM
 
3 posts, read 7,441 times
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My company is moving from LA to Agoura Hills (my husband and I live in Orange County). We're not sure if we should move for my job--its easy for him to transfer jobs. We both love what we do & thats the only reason why we would consider moving--so we could both stay happy with our careers.
Yet, we're thinking about starting a family soon and looking to buy an affordable, single family home, somewhat near the beach. We cannot do that in the area where we live (unless we want a fixer-upper for $700K+). In order to maintain a beach lifestyle that we're used to (we rent a condo across the street from the beach); we were thinking it could be affordable for us to buy in Ventura. We both went to college in Santa Barbara & are excited about the possibility of being close to SB again (which we still love!).
Can anyone tell me what the commute from Vta to AH is like? I noticed there isn't a carpool lane on that section of the 101 yet (I vanpool to work, which is nice)! I heard that taking PCH (from Vta) to Kanan Rd (near Malibu), is an option--but is it long? Also, we love the area where we live--we can ride our bikes to good restaurants, walk our dog in a nice neighborhood & everyone is mellow/friendly. Are there any neighborhoods in Vta that are like that & good for families too? We are mostly familiar w/ the Main St. area.
Thanks, sorry for the long post!
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:08 PM
 
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The commute to AH is going to be around 45 minutes in the morning and over an hour coming home. Taking the PCH to Kanan will take longer. There aren't plans for a carpool lane for a long time yet.
We really only have one beach neighborhood and that's Pierpont and it has 2 styles. There are the more funky, beachy, higher density places in the "lanes" and then there's more typical homes near the Keys. Downtown and Midtown are very cool places with a lot of diversity of housing types and prices. Both are a short walk to the beach and have their own restaurants. I live in Midtown and it's about a 15 minute walk to the beach and 30 minute walk to downtown.
Good luck with your decision!
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,347 posts, read 77,221,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCtoLA View Post
Yet, we're thinking about starting a family soon and looking to buy an affordable, single family home, somewhat near the beach. We cannot do that in the area where we live (unless we want a fixer-upper for $700K+). In order to maintain a beach lifestyle that we're used to (we rent a condo across the street from the beach); we were thinking it could be affordable for us to buy in Ventura. We both went to college in Santa Barbara & are excited about the possibility of being close to SB again (which we still love!).

Also, we love the area where we live--we can ride our bikes to good restaurants, walk our dog in a nice neighborhood & everyone is mellow/friendly. Are there any neighborhoods in Vta that are like that & good for families too? We are mostly familiar w/ the Main St. area.
Thanks, sorry for the long post!
Fellow Gaucho here, UCSB 1996.

The commute time above sounds about right.

There are suburban type homes a little inland from the coast in the Ventura/Saticoy area. Between downtown Ventura and Victoria Street. I'm sure there are others. Work the real estate databases.

What is your price range?

While I understand the desire to live in Ventura, it is a really cool place, literally and figuratively, the communities around Agoura Hills (in general the Conejo Valley) are outstanding places to raise a family. Great schools, kid friendly amenities, and close to work. It is hotter though, but it is closer to the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles should you ever change jobs. Ventura is way out there in that sense; If you lose your job then the only direction to go is east.

You should start monitoring this site during the times you expect to commute:

Sigalert.com - Ventura Traffic Report
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:39 PM
 
3,415 posts, read 6,051,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
Fellow Gaucho here, UCSB 1996.

The commute time above sounds about right.

There are suburban type homes a little inland from the coast in the Ventura/Saticoy area. Between downtown Ventura and Victoria Street. I'm sure there are others. Work the real estate databases.

What is your price range?

While I understand the desire to live in Ventura, it is a really cool place, literally and figuratively, the communities around Agoura Hills (in general the Conejo Valley) are outstanding places to raise a family. Great schools, kid friendly amenities, and close to work. It is hotter though, but it is closer to the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles should you ever change jobs. Ventura is way out there in that sense; If you lose your job then the only direction to go is east.

You should start monitoring this site during the times you expect to commute:

Sigalert.com - Ventura Traffic Report
Really Charles, you don't think an hour is a little long? Agoura Hills is right next to Westlake Village and it takes me 30 minutes to get to Ventura and 40 minutes if theres traffic.
For the OP if you can't afford to be near the ocean there are 3 lakes in the area. If you get a place on Westlake lake you can take your boat to good restaurants and tie-up right in front of them. There's also Lake Malibou and Lake Sherwood (expensive but boating, swimming and fishing).
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,347 posts, read 77,221,476 times
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Originally Posted by laysayfair View Post
Really Charles, you don't think an hour is a little long?
One hour might be a little long, I guess that would be worst case. It's 36 miles so 30 minutes with no traffic, 45 with light to medium traffic which is what I would expect in the afternoon.
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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Thanks for the advice! The commute doesn't sound as bad as I feared--I live 40 mi. south of my office already. Yes, I'm concerned about being "stuck" in Ventura if I decide to change jobs, but job security isn't an issue w/ my company or my husband's.

We considered a move to Agoura, but can't bear to think of driving far (20 min+ & fighting for parking) to the nearest beach (when we can walk/ride bikes--we're spoiled living in our current place & SB). My husband surfs & would love to be near his old fave. surf spot again--Little Rincon--so thats why we settled on Vta.

Our ideal price range for our first home would be around $600K for a SF 3bd/2 ba home, that isn't a complete fixer. Thanks for the tips on the Pierpont/Down/Midtown area.

We'll have to check out the 3 Lakes area too. Although, I was under the impression that Westlake Village is pricey & not as "mellow".
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,347 posts, read 77,221,476 times
Reputation: 17265
Quote:
Originally Posted by OCtoLA View Post
Thanks for the advice! The commute doesn't sound as bad as I feared--I live 40 mi. south of my office already. Yes, I'm concerned about being "stuck" in Ventura if I decide to change jobs, but job security isn't an issue w/ my company or my husband's.

We considered a move to Agoura, but can't bear to think of driving far (20 min+ & fighting for parking) to the nearest beach (when we can walk/ride bikes--we're spoiled living in our current place & SB). My husband surfs & would love to be near his old fave. surf spot again--Little Rincon--so thats why we settled on Vta.

Our ideal price range for our first home would be around $600K for a SF 3bd/2 ba home, that isn't a complete fixer. Thanks for the tips on the Pierpont/Down/Midtown area.

We'll have to check out the 3 Lakes area too. Although, I was under the impression that Westlake Village is pricey & not as "mellow".
How often will you be going to the beach vs commuting to work? I would think you would commute more often.

Also, you wrote that you might be starting a family. The chances that either of you will have time to go surfing and enjoy the beach on the daily basis with a baby or two in the house while one or both of you work are "slim" and "none" and "slim" has terminal cancer. If one parent works the other person will be burned out at the end of the day so the working parent has to step in - no surfing. If both parents work, then who wants to go surfing when the kid has been in day care all day? Sure, someone will write "Well we take our baby to the beach", OK, once in a while. Also, gas is $5/gal; Are you sure you want to commit to an extensive commute with gas at these prices (and a lot of people think a lot higher in the future)?

Still, Ventura is a nice place to live. Thirty five miles one way commute is kind of far. You would have to weigh everything out. Why not rent for a while and see if living in Ventura and commuting to Agoura is worth it?
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:43 PM
 
3,415 posts, read 6,051,232 times
Reputation: 1396
Quote:
Originally Posted by OCtoLA View Post
Thanks for the advice! The commute doesn't sound as bad as I feared--I live 40 mi. south of my office already. Yes, I'm concerned about being "stuck" in Ventura if I decide to change jobs, but job security isn't an issue w/ my company or my husband's.

We considered a move to Agoura, but can't bear to think of driving far (20 min+ & fighting for parking) to the nearest beach (when we can walk/ride bikes--we're spoiled living in our current place & SB). My husband surfs & would love to be near his old fave. surf spot again--Little Rincon--so thats why we settled on Vta.

Our ideal price range for our first home would be around $600K for a SF 3bd/2 ba home, that isn't a complete fixer. Thanks for the tips on the Pierpont/Down/Midtown area.

We'll have to check out the 3 Lakes area too. Although, I was under the impression that Westlake Village is pricey & not as "mellow".
Westlake Village is pricey and more family then you may be looking for.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:33 AM
 
3 posts, read 7,441 times
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Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I don't like commuting but I've been doing it for years now, so its like second nature to me. I've made it work by joining a vanpool, so that saves a lot on gas, wear/tear on my own car & stress. I only put up with the commute because I love my job--it wouldn't be worth it if I hated what I do. I would hope to either car/vanpool from Vta to AH, if we decide to move.

The thing about living by the beach is that its so ingrained in our lifestyle--we don't want to give up on that yet. My husband & I aren't "urban", thats why we don't live in LA. Plus, we love being able to enjoy the beach on the weekends to go surfing, running or hanging-out, w/out making it a huge excursion. We would consider a nice suburb like AH or TO, but those areas seem much pricier than Vta. And they don't really seem situated for walking/biking to restaurants or shops--you always have to drive in the 'burbs.

There is a lot to consider about the move. But even if we don't move for my job, I'd be working for another company in LA doing something similar to what I do now, being unable to afford a home & commuting. Only time will tell, thanks again!
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,347 posts, read 77,221,476 times
Reputation: 17265
Quote:
Originally Posted by OCtoLA View Post
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I don't like commuting but I've been doing it for years now, so its like second nature to me. I've made it work by joining a vanpool, so that saves a lot on gas, wear/tear on my own car & stress. I only put up with the commute because I love my job--it wouldn't be worth it if I hated what I do. I would hope to either car/vanpool from Vta to AH, if we decide to move.

The thing about living by the beach is that its so ingrained in our lifestyle--we don't want to give up on that yet. My husband & I aren't "urban", thats why we don't live in LA. Plus, we love being able to enjoy the beach on the weekends to go surfing, running or hanging-out, w/out making it a huge excursion. We would consider a nice suburb like AH or TO, but those areas seem much pricier than Vta. And they don't really seem situated for walking/biking to restaurants or shops--you always have to drive in the 'burbs.

There is a lot to consider about the move. But even if we don't move for my job, I'd be working for another company in LA doing something similar to what I do now, being unable to afford a home & commuting. Only time will tell, thanks again!
I totally understand. Your reasons are totally valid. Sounds like you have a feel for all the pluses and minuses.

Just a couple of thoughts..I think Ventura might actually seem more urban than anything in the Conejo Valley. Maybe because the older City of Ventura, the area around the mission, the pier, California Street seems denser to me. It has been awhile since I've been there. The Conejo Valley seems decompressing for some reason.

Also, prices are freefalling in the Conejo Valley, for example, my old zip 91362 has fallen 21% May07 to May 08 and I don't think the free fall is close to done yet. $5/gal gas (for now, it could get much worse) is making exurbs less desirable for those folks commuting into the central core of a city.

Last edited by Charles; 06-26-2008 at 09:57 AM..
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