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Old 06-09-2013, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Orlando
220 posts, read 381,077 times
Reputation: 230

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It was 15 years ago I met my wife who is from the west coast. A trip out to Seattle during the summer, combined with me working for several silicon valley tech companies while living back east, was all it took. We work/live to travel so we have been out to the west coast about 30-40 times in the last 15 years. I guess if weather was not an issue I/we would choose Washington or Oregon but the grey skis are just a bit too much for me to handle. We live in a very nice area around Orlando and actually like it but……we can not shake the burning desire to also live somewhere that allows us closer/drive-able access to the nature, mountains, clear lakes, etc. that are present from Colorado to the coast.

We have structured our business so within a one-year time frame, we can and want to find a second place to live for a portion of each year. We want the location to offer the potential opportunity for our kids to adjust and thrive so that if we like/love it so much they might even want to go to school a semester or two at the new or second location. We would like to research and visit some cities that would allow us to check off the following things: Kids are into competitive rowing/crew and lacrosse. We would love the location to have really good bike paths that are relatively flat and more isolated from traffic. Top rated middle and high schools. Price range is flexible but lets say if we keep it in the $ 550-800k range that would be ideal and for this we are only looking for a nicely finished house with 4 Bedrooms. California is so beautiful BUT so diverse and large that even though we have visited it so many times it is hard to pin down a place. Northern California is the prettiest from a nature standpoint but Southern California is such a draw with LA/SD etc. So far we found a few cities that might work:

* Folsom (near Sacramento – best bike trail I have seen, good schools, near Tahoe/mountains and easy drives to San Francisco/Napa and can even drive to Oregon for summer trips). Weather is nice and it seems to be out of the gray weather pattern that hits Oregon and Washington. Also appears to be away from a major fault zone (which I know is crazy to be considering since we deal with hurricanes and lightning storms).

* Black Mountain area north of San Diego (Poway). Near the beaches, looked like nice trails, great school system, nice houses……..We thought we were on to something at this location but someone showed us this crazy bond issue thing that is going to really impact the taxes in this county several years down the road.

* San Luis Obispo. This is the only one we have not visited but we have driven through twice and we have stayed in Santa Barbara on three different occasions and thing SB and surrounding area is beautiful.

I was also thinking longer term in that if we find a place that starts as a second location from Orlando it might end up being a place we consider for retirement once the kids are out of the house.....and finally if we did end up retiring to this place it would be nice if the location was within a few hours of major future college graduate job opportunities so the kids might find work that ends up being drivable for us to visit each other (probably why we would not choose places like Bend - too cold anyway - Oregon or lets say Prescott AZ.

Does anyone have any other city/location ideas? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:49 AM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,376 posts, read 14,647,453 times
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Rowing will probably be one of the more narrowing requirements.
East to west: Austin, TX; Tempe, AZ, and then on to CA: Mission Bay (SD), Long Beach; Newport Beach; Marina del Rey; Ojai; further north, I'm not too sure, but likely wherever you find a decent body of smooth water.
You may really like Lake Oswego, OR. It's a great town near the "big city" (Portland) and should have decent schools.
Regarding schools, this is the website for that:School Performance Maps
And yes, SLO is a great town. One of my favorites.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:02 AM
 
7,150 posts, read 9,625,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snort View Post
Rowing will probably be one of the more narrowing requirements.
East to west: Austin, TX; Tempe, AZ, and then on to CA: Mission Bay (SD), Long Beach; Newport Beach; Marina del Rey; Ojai; further north, I'm not too sure, but likely wherever you find a decent body of smooth water.
You may really like Lake Oswego, OR. It's a great town near the "big city" (Portland) and should have decent schools.
Regarding schools, this is the website for that:School Performance Maps
And yes, SLO is a great town. One of my favorites.
And here I was expecting a recommendation for Arvin.

Yes, the rowing issue caught my eye as well. California is not a hot bed for that sport. Seattle and Portland certainly are.

Otherwise than the rowing, if the OP visits San Luis Obispo, they'd likely not even go back for their stuff in Florida.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:14 AM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,376 posts, read 14,647,453 times
Reputation: 11802
Arvin goes without saying.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Orlando
220 posts, read 381,077 times
Reputation: 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
And here I was expecting a recommendation for Arvin.

Yes, the rowing issue caught my eye as well. California is not a hot bed for that sport. Seattle and Portland certainly are.

Otherwise than the rowing, if the OP visits San Luis Obispo, they'd likely not even go back for their stuff in Florida.
Snort and you are awesome - Arvin :-) = I saw that in some other posts. OK how about we actually move to Arvin and then 10 years from now turn it into theeeeeeee place to live in California = then I invite both of you to Arvin to see what you have really been missing all your lives :-)

In all seriousness I knew the rowing thing was going to make it the most difficult. After trying several other sports our daughter found rowing a few years ago and she is so passionate for it. It keeps her in awesome shape and has made her more outgoing and confident.....etc....all the things you get out of team sports. So giving that one up will be hard. SLO has been brought up to us before by a few people and I can not believe we have been to so many cities in California but have only driven through there. I did google rowing and of course the High School does not field a team in SLO. The reason I brought up Folsom was only because they have an outstanding rowing club on the Sacramento River and this club rivals the really good club she is a part of now. Lacrosse seems easy and Folsom is known for great schools and has that awesome bike trail along the river. With that said I know there might be much better locations in California that would really get us that much more excited (like all the places you guys have mentioned EXCEPT Arvin).
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:11 AM
 
7,150 posts, read 9,625,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric1026 View Post
Snort and you are awesome - Arvin :-) = I saw that in some other posts. OK how about we actually move to Arvin and then 10 years from now turn it into theeeeeeee place to live in California = then I invite both of you to Arvin to see what you have really been missing all your lives :-)

In all seriousness I knew the rowing thing was going to make it the most difficult. After trying several other sports our daughter found rowing a few years ago and she is so passionate for it. It keeps her in awesome shape and has made her more outgoing and confident.....etc....all the things you get out of team sports. So giving that one up will be hard. SLO has been brought up to us before by a few people and I can not believe we have been to so many cities in California but have only driven through there. I did google rowing and of course the High School does not field a team in SLO. The reason I brought up Folsom was only because they have an outstanding rowing club on the Sacramento River and this club rivals the really good club she is a part of now. Lacrosse seems easy and Folsom is known for great schools and has that awesome bike trail along the river. With that said I know there might be much better locations in California that would really get us that much more excited (like all the places you guys have mentioned EXCEPT Arvin).
You don't like carrots? (Arvin -- carrot capital of the universe.) Your loss.

Hey, Folsom is not a bad place at all. Other than the summer heat. Access to the Sierras is obviously excellent. And you are close to the Delta river system for boating, swimming (in that summer heat!) and fishing. There are also good lake trips in several directions from there. If it has good rowing, there you go. Of course, after just a couple more years, that part of your life will be changed ... no rowing requirement and there you are established in Folsom. So what about waiting the move a couple years and let daughter finish rowing where she is now?

Then you can move to Crescent City -- or Arvin ...
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:17 AM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,376 posts, read 14,647,453 times
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When they had the olympics in L.A. in '84, they used Lake Casitas for rowing. It's near Ojai, which is a great little town near to everything, if you don't already know it. Here's a link to the rowing site:Casitas Rowing

Ventura, Carpinteria, and Santa Barbara are close by. I know they have a good private school in Ojai.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:08 AM
 
5,381 posts, read 7,643,373 times
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Have you thought about getting a condo in Dana Point, a small beach town in OC?:

24676 MORNING STAR Ln #368, Dana Point, CA 92629 | MLS# OC13107864 | Redfin

23404 HIGHCREST Rd, Dana Point, CA 92629 | MLS# OC13105803 | Redfin

Your daughter could row in the harbor:
Dana Outrigger Canoe Club | Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point, California
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:33 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 13,442,420 times
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Look at Ventura, Oxnard and Thousand Oaks. Good access to beach, hiking, biking, in your price range, near enough to LA.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Orlando
220 posts, read 381,077 times
Reputation: 230
I had no idea the rowing issue would be such a limiting factor. This excludes SLO which sounds like it would be such a nice place otherwise. We had visited San Diego and focused on the Poway and surrounding areas but now that I look into it more, the closest rowing club/team would of been down in Mission Bay which is not going to happen since that drive would happen 6 times a week (M-F right after her school and even Saturday mornings). Folsom is still an option but as I look through US News and World Report on school rankings there are dozens and dozens of California schools that are ranked even higher. The weird thing is we are living in a very exclusive area of Orlando that is known for the public schools but when it comes to the "A" rated high school our kids will be attending in 2 years, there are at least 70-80 California High Schools rated higher according to US News. I have read so many city data forum posts that try to dog the California school system but if you go off of US News the Cal system completely dominates the Florida system (and most other states too).

* So far the Newport Beach suggestion meets the criteria. There are 3/4 High Schools that are ranked really good = Corona Del Mar, Northwood, Arnold O Beckman, Laguna Beach.

* The Casitas Rowing option is something we never knew about (near Ojai). I had a hard time finding High Schools that were rated as good around that area (the drive should not be greater then 20-30 minutes to the rowing or that would suck to do 6 days a week after all the other normal parental driving).

* Lake Owego - Oregon. I have to say this sounds like a really good place and for some reason I just get the feeling that the people and culture around Portland would be a shock for us......in a very good way. My wife is familiar with this area and she knew several people from there that love it. However this gets back to the weather.....I can get all pumped about a place like LO-Oregon and then it takes only one city-data thread to remind me they get grey skies for 7-8 months on end (that is the price you pay I guess for all those trees and scenery).

nullgeo was right in that one option IS our current option which is stay where we are at for a few more years (it would actually be 7 years because our youngest child is just going into middle school). Our issue with that is if we purchased a second place and/or rented somewhere we like on the west coast and then we like it so much we evolve the move to a permanent one then by living out there sooner rather then later it gives us an opportunity for the kids to establish some roots and friends and potentially jobs on the west coast which increases the odds they will live relatively close to us (at least on the same coast). My fear with staying here until both graduate and then having us retire to the west coast is realistic odds of the family staying close long term go down to almost hill......and one more thing = if we did find a place we loved it would be a little nice to get out of this heat/humidity thing.

If there is any other suggestions please let me know. We have already booked summer travel plans this year but I/we can commit the times around Thanksgiving and New Years to go out and visit places to help us further any decision.
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