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Old 08-05-2013, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Matteson, IL
1 posts, read 50,308 times
Reputation: 13

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A decent neighborhood, good schools, malls, movie theater, downtown area. I live in a Chicago suburb so obviously the city wont be as big as the Chi, but I love living in suburban areas.
I'm looking at NoCal because although I love summer, i cant deal with it 24/7 365 days a year and i LOVE the fall time (leaves changing color, halloween, drinking tea, chilly weather, ugh i just love it).
Also how much would someone need to survive out there? Lets assume my future husband and I make 90k a year with one child. I'm 17 and things will probably change in the next 10 years but I'm just curious. I know I probably will not stay in Illinois for the rest of my life, so please, just imagine i'm actually 30 and am looking for plalce to live
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,815 posts, read 29,670,858 times
Reputation: 38356
Folsom. Great schools, safe, close to the mountains for seeing leaves change, etc. Really cool old downtown - with wooden sidewalks like in the gold rush days. Lots of parks, greenbelts, Folsom lake, close to a wine country area. It's the Silicon Valley area of Sacramento area.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Fremont, CA
2,357 posts, read 5,642,885 times
Reputation: 4070
Northern California covers a huge amount of land. It ranges from highly populated areas (Bay Area and Sacramento) to sparsely populated areas to flat farmland to small towns to mountainous areas. There are expensive areas and cheaper areas. There are areas with jobs and areas with very little jobs. There are areas close to the coast and inland areas that take many hours to get to the coast.

I think you may be unaware of just how big and diverse California is.

Based on the assumption you'd have a combined income of $90k with one child, you could probably survive in the Sacramento area. As the previous poster mentioned, Folsom is nice. $90k won't go very far there though. As far as Sacramento suburbs go, it's a more upscale city.

I'd recommend starting with Wikipedia to get a better idea of CA's different regions and narrow down specific areas to ask questions about. There are really too many variables and too many options to give you good recommendations based on your post.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:18 PM
 
1,664 posts, read 3,733,474 times
Reputation: 1876
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaggard107 View Post
A decent neighborhood, good schools, malls, movie theater, downtown area. I live in a Chicago suburb so obviously the city wont be as big as the Chi, but I love living in suburban areas.
I'm looking at NoCal because although I love summer, i cant deal with it 24/7 365 days a year and i LOVE the fall time (leaves changing color, halloween, drinking tea, chilly weather, ugh i just love it).
Also how much would someone need to survive out there? Lets assume my future husband and I make 90k a year with one child. I'm 17 and things will probably change in the next 10 years but I'm just curious. I know I probably will not stay in Illinois for the rest of my life, so please, just imagine i'm actually 30 and am looking for plalce to live
I must commend you as you sound much older than 17! And, you are looking and planning ahead with your life. Too often younger folk can look much beyond next week!

That said,,My favorites in Northern California center around the city of Santa Rosa. It has an access to jobs and decent health care. It is only about an hour or so from San Francisco so you can have a big city fix once in awhile. The Pacific ocean is also about an hour away. It is in the heart of wine country and very lovely in the fall. The Redwoods and forested areas are north for your fall color. It is not so expensive that you cant have a pretty place to live.

I would suggest you visit and drive around the neighboring small towns of Sebastopol, Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma and the rest. Check out the search here in the Forum for more info on the area. I bet you willl be pleasantly surprised! I am a former Illinois survivor!!
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
9,460 posts, read 11,454,770 times
Reputation: 16382
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstnghu2 View Post
Northern California covers a huge amount of land. It ranges from highly populated areas (Bay Area and Sacramento) to sparsely populated areas to flat farmland to small towns to mountainous areas. There are expensive areas and cheaper areas. There are areas with jobs and areas with very little jobs. There are areas close to the coast and inland areas that take many hours to get to the coast.

I think you may be unaware of just how big and diverse California is.
My wife is from Suburban Chicago and a friend of mine, who lives a half mile from us, is also from Chicago Land. They both love NorCal. $90K is plenty to live on when you consider that the median home price where we live is $170K.

The snow situation is much better than what you're used to, although we get about 4 to 5 feet over the course of the winter. But it is not nearly as cold or windy-our temps; down into low 20s and mid-teens. We have four distinct seasons. Nice fall colors.

Sad to say, no palm trees in sight and it's a six hour drive to the ocean, however with Lake Tahoe just three hours away and Yosemite 90 minutes away, who needs the ocean? Well some. We can hit a mall or Costco, but it is a litttle over 60 miles away. But considering the traffic situation it's an easy and pleasant drive on fast and scenic two lane roads (90% of the drive).

No traffic issues, friendly people, low crime and our public schools are well above average!

Yep, we like living in Northern CA-great skiing also, if you're into that!

Last edited by Mr5150; 08-06-2013 at 10:05 AM..
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:22 AM
 
2 posts, read 51,783 times
Reputation: 10
Maybe check out Mill Valley (well, lol, pretty much all of Marin for that matter)... not cheap, lol, but then what is in California anymore. Or... maybe Marvin Gardens (and lol, it's on the way to Bodega Bay even), or there's also some places around Petaluma that are really kinda nice too.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:43 AM
 
2,994 posts, read 4,651,682 times
Reputation: 2563
I would definitely second the Santa Rosa area. the scenery is wonderful, the wine country epitomizes the romance and atmosphere that you are looking for, including the fall colors ( although they may not be that vibrant by Halloween yet, but by Thanksgiving they surely will) and offers a full range of infrastructure such as shopping, dining, and leisure. you'll still get plenty of beautiful California sunshine, especially compared with the Midwest, but not as much as if you were in the Sacramento area. you'll get some sunny mornings, and some cooler nights, especially in the winter when you may get some light frost on some mornings. sure, you're still see some palm trees here and there, but they don't predominate. its the best of everything. Personally, I really like Sacramento, but it's basically 10 months of sunshine and two months of chilly, damp winter. but I think it might be too sunny for you, especially because the sunny season will have months and months on end of straight sunshine, and summers get very hot with quite a few days about 100 degrees, and the average well into the 90's. Santa Rosa will be much nicer by comparison. plus you have access to the coastal redwoods, which are quite far from Sacramento. I don't know where Mr5150 lives above, but it must be in a very remote mountain area to get snow, especially that much snow! if you live in any urbanized part of California, you will basically be at sea level and not have to deal with snow.

Last edited by tstieber; 08-08-2013 at 08:44 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
9,460 posts, read 11,454,770 times
Reputation: 16382
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
I don't know where Mr5150 lives above, but it must be in a very remote mountain area to get snow, especially that much snow! if you live in any urbanized part of California, you will basically be at sea level and not have to deal with snow.
Not that remote-the Gold Country. And Tahoe gets way more snow than I, and is nowhere close to being remote.

Just making the point that NorCal is quite diverse an only a very small portion of it is urban and/or coastal. And some of the most remote portions in the State are found in Humbolt, Mendocino and Trinity counties and they get very little snow in their lower elevations.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:19 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,804 posts, read 97,804,748 times
Reputation: 49113
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaggard107 View Post
A decent neighborhood, good schools, malls, movie theater, downtown area. I live in a Chicago suburb so obviously the city wont be as big as the Chi, but I love living in suburban areas.
I'm looking at NoCal because although I love summer, i cant deal with it 24/7 365 days a year and i LOVE the fall time (leaves changing color, halloween, drinking tea, chilly weather, ugh i just love it).
Also how much would someone need to survive out there? Lets assume my future husband and I make 90k a year with one child. I'm 17 and things will probably change in the next 10 years but I'm just curious. I know I probably will not stay in Illinois for the rest of my life, so please, just imagine i'm actually 30 and am looking for plalce to live
ok, you are dreaming of someplace that does not exist but that is what being 17 is all about. There are very few places in Ca, even NO CA where you will see the fall colors like you see in IL. for starters. There are very few places that will offer you all the suburban life you want in NO Ca. Now, to come as close to what your dream is, I would say someplace like Placerville, but then you have to have a job and the further you are from the city, the harder it is to find decent jobs. Santa Rosa would be another possibility. In todays market you could live on $90,000 in the smaller, northern parts of CA but you would still have to watch your $$s. Good luck with your future and continue dreaming. Maybe your dreams will come true someday, but now, get your education and have fun.

Oh, someone suggested Folsom, it can get hot there, and I don't know how far $90,000 will take you, but it is a great place with good schools and good shopping, plus it is close to Sacramento. Napa Valley and Sonoma are a couple other places. Northern Ca is huge, very diverse and means something different to everyone.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:22 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,804 posts, read 97,804,748 times
Reputation: 49113
Quote:
Originally Posted by jatiwat98 View Post
Maybe check out Mill Valley (well, lol, pretty much all of Marin for that matter)... not cheap, lol, but then what is in California anymore. Or... maybe Marvin Gardens (and lol, it's on the way to Bodega Bay even), or there's also some places around Petaluma that are really kinda nice too.
You could never live in Mill Valley on $90,000 a year and have any spendable income.
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