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Old 02-07-2014, 12:06 PM
 
Location: MA
7 posts, read 8,536 times
Reputation: 10

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After living in Massachusetts my whole life I think it's time to relocate to California. I just don't know which part yet.

First off a little bit about me. I'm a 24 year old male currently employed in sales for an Engineering/Test Facility. I grew up in the woods of MA and NH and I prefer things a little bit slow, but not dull. I ride a Harley and typically drive sports/muscle cars and trucks. I enjoy the outdoors above all else, whether its riding my motorcycle, walking, hiking, or working. I'll be moving with my girlfriend who graduated college with a degree in photography.

As for my financial situation I currently own a condo in Central MA and currently have about $10k in equity. As of right now I only have about $5k in saving with some money tied up in investments that will turn over within the next 6 months, at which time my savings should be around $9-10k. I just got a raise at my job so I don't think it would be outlandish to say I would have around $20k in savings by the time I was ready to move.

By October of this year I should be in a position where I can work for my current employer remotely and retain my current salary, so work for me shouldn't be an issue. My girlfriend, however, would be looking for employment in photography or some other visual arts field.

I'd really like to stay coastal, but not willing to move to any of the big cities (LA, SF or SD). I have family in Santa Cruz and I've completely fallen in love with that place, but the housing market is through the roof and I'm not willing to rent. I'm in the market for a house/condo around 800-1100 sq ft and I'd really like to only spend around $200k, which I know isn't much for coastal California. After doing some research it looks like Oceanside is the only area outside the city that would really fit our needs. I've also heard that that place is a bit rough. Carlsbad and Encinitas both sound really great, but both are a little out of my price range. Is it worth the extra money to live in either of those places?

I'm looking for tips, opinions and suggestions on where to move, what the best time to look for a house is, how to prepare to move cross country, etc. My guess is that we would be ready around April of next year, so that gives us plenty of time to plan and save. So let me know what you think! Feel free to ask any questions you might have to help me figure this out!
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:26 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 13,985,075 times
Reputation: 12498
Maybe look at Lompoc. It's on the coast, and in your price range.

Last edited by nightlysparrow; 02-07-2014 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:32 PM
 
1,265 posts, read 1,623,450 times
Reputation: 1997
Also look at Oxnard/Port Hueneme & Ventura - maybe even San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,815 posts, read 29,678,793 times
Reputation: 38357
I was thinking Redding, CA would fit your lifestyle, and it's cheap here. Really pretty area, mountains, woods nearby, great fishing, etc. Lots of outdoor recreation.

It's really redneck compared to Santa Cruz, though, and at least 2 hours to the coast. I also don't know about opportunities for your gf regarding photography. You'd have to check that out.

The closest town that might fit your wants besides Redding, in this area, is Chico. It's a university town like Santa Cruz. Lots of woods, outdoor recreation there, too. Is more granola than redneck. Also inland, though.

Here's a search for real estate in Redding for $200,000:

Redding Real Estate - Redding, CA Homes for Sale - realtor.com®

Here's one for Chico:

Chico Real Estate - Chico, CA Homes for Sale - realtor.com®

I am a northern CA gal, so can't advise you on southern CA. But, thought I'd throw in northern CA options, in case you were open to that idea.

As far as beach, there's Eureka on the north coast. Also pretty granola, and kind of chilly, weather-wise, but is in your price range:

Eureka Real Estate - Eureka, CA Homes for Sale - realtor.com®

Good luck to you!
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:44 PM
 
Location: MA
7 posts, read 8,536 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Maybe look at Lompoc. It's on the coast, and in your price range.
I'll definitely look into that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Social Democrat View Post
Also look at Oxnard/Port Hueneme & Ventura - maybe even San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande.
I have a friend in Oxnard that I've visited a few times. It is nice there and it's one of the places I'll be looking at when I visit in June.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I was thinking Redding, CA would fit your lifestyle, and it's cheap here. Really pretty area, mountains, woods nearby, great fishing, etc. Lots of outdoor recreation.

It's really redneck compared to Santa Cruz, though, and at least 2 hours to the coast. I also don't know about opportunities for your gf regarding photography. You'd have to check that out.

The closest town that might fit your wants besides Redding, in this area, is Chico. It's a university town like Santa Cruz. Lots of woods, outdoor recreation there, too. Is more granola than redneck. Also inland, though.

Here's a search for real estate in Redding for $200,000:

Redding Real Estate - Redding, CA Homes for Sale - realtor.com®

Here's one for Chico:

Chico Real Estate - Chico, CA Homes for Sale - realtor.com®

I am a northern CA gal, so can't advise you on southern CA. But, thought I'd throw in northern CA options, in case you were open to that idea.

As far as beach, there's Eureka on the north coast. Also pretty granola, and kind of chilly, weather-wise, but is in your price range:

Eureka Real Estate - Eureka, CA Homes for Sale - realtor.com®

Good luck to you!
Wow thank you for all of that! I've never been north of SF so I don't really know what it's like up there but I've always wanted to go. I love the woods and I grew up around rednecks so that's not really any issue for me. I guess the climate is really the only thing I wouldn't be a huge fan of. But honestly anything is better than where I'm at now. Some of those houses are beautiful and well within my price range. I'll definitely be considering north of SF.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:57 PM
 
2,147 posts, read 4,823,184 times
Reputation: 1666
Also, Sonoma County-sebastopol, cotati, santa rosa, healdsburg and maybe windsor or petaluma and maybe Russian River area. It would be really great to be in that area for photography [also proximity to mendocino and redwood national forest, etc.] If you love santa cruz, you should definitely check out sonoma. Though your price range will be hard for a home, I think it's possible for a condo.

Sonoma county is great b/c you are an hour or so from SFO, plus all the great towns in Marin like sausalito and mill valley [Pt Reyes national seashore, muir woods, too] are a really short drive, for great half day or day trips, etc. Plus less than two hours from anderson valley and mendcino village and coastline.

Also, maybe Auburn, near Sacramento? It's in the foothills.

Chico is great but may be too isolated for you, unless you want small college town. If you do like this, then also check Arcata/Eureka in Humboldt.

Also, I am a MA native, too [metro west and central ma; moved away at 19 and have lived in MT, CO and both SFO and now San Diego]. From your post, I think north of SFO or maybe foothills would be good choices.

Also, I see someone mentioned Redding; there are quite a few 'contentious' threads on this forum about that city-so you may want to read those before considering it.

And oceanside feels like part of the SD metro, just an FYI since you didn't want SD/big city. So do encinitas and carlsbad [feel like metro]. But you're right Oside is a bit rough around the edges and the other two are great. Just part of the metro. Additional So Cal: You might find something in temecula or murrietta, 30 minutes from O-Side beaches and 45 minutes from SD.

For Santa Cruz: Have you checked in the mountains-communities like boulder creek? I don't know what that market is, but it's commutable to SC.

As far as timing, how to prepare, etc. check out past threads on this forum, using search words like 'moving from MA to CA' or 'east coast to CA', NE to SFO or LA'...that sort of thing. Once you've narrowed down your options [based on suggsetions from this thread or other info], post again for more feedback and info.

Good luck; sounds like a solid/good plan, btw!
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:15 AM
 
5,381 posts, read 8,004,196 times
Reputation: 4537
Quote:
Originally Posted by NE-CA View Post
I'm in the market for a house/condo around 800-1100 sq ft and I'd really like to only spend around $200k, which I know isn't much for coastal California. After doing some research it looks like Oceanside is the only area outside the city that would really fit our needs. I've also heard that that place is a bit rough. Carlsbad and Encinitas both sound really great, but both are a little out of my price range. Is it worth the extra money to live in either of those places?
Try the Murrieta/Temecula area. It's very affordable and inland, but not that long of a drive from Oceanside. You can easily find a condo there for under $200K.

Last edited by pacific2; 02-08-2014 at 07:23 AM..
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,815 posts, read 29,678,793 times
Reputation: 38357
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrmsd View Post

Also, I see someone mentioned Redding; there are quite a few 'contentious' threads on this forum about that city-so you may want to read those before considering it.
Very true. What I'd like the OP to know, though, is that the crime in Redding is white trash crime, as opposed to gang crime. For me, that makes a huge difference. I personally find gangs scary. I don't know of any gangs here in Redding.

There is a homeless "problem," but they tend to hang out downtown where the missions are. I never see them in the neighborhoods. I take my dog out in the middle of the night, right here in downtown, and have not felt in danger. I say hello to the homeless people, if I see one, and they usually just say hello back and keep moving.

I knew Redding wouldn't be perfect, but it's what I could afford. And I find that I really like it here. I also looked at senior housing options in Sonoma, but even the subsidized housing was too expensive for me there. So, I had to compromise.

Weather-wise, it's pretty mild in the winter, compared to where you are from. Occasional snow that doesn't stick around (one dusting in November so far), but the summers are really hot. Weird for it being so far north, but somehow because it's at the tip of the inner valley, the heat sits here. I haven't experienced a summer here yet, but there are always trade-offs. I figure that's what the river is for .

BTW: It's 7:33 a.m., 49 degrees and raining right now. That's a winter I can live with...
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:59 AM
 
Location: MA
7 posts, read 8,536 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrmsd View Post
Also, Sonoma County-sebastopol, cotati, santa rosa, healdsburg and maybe windsor or petaluma and maybe Russian River area. It would be really great to be in that area for photography [also proximity to mendocino and redwood national forest, etc.] If you love santa cruz, you should definitely check out sonoma. Though your price range will be hard for a home, I think it's possible for a condo.

Sonoma county is great b/c you are an hour or so from SFO, plus all the great towns in Marin like sausalito and mill valley [Pt Reyes national seashore, muir woods, too] are a really short drive, for great half day or day trips, etc. Plus less than two hours from anderson valley and mendcino village and coastline.

Also, maybe Auburn, near Sacramento? It's in the foothills.

Chico is great but may be too isolated for you, unless you want small college town. If you do like this, then also check Arcata/Eureka in Humboldt.

Also, I am a MA native, too [metro west and central ma; moved away at 19 and have lived in MT, CO and both SFO and now San Diego]. From your post, I think north of SFO or maybe foothills would be good choices.

Also, I see someone mentioned Redding; there are quite a few 'contentious' threads on this forum about that city-so you may want to read those before considering it.

And oceanside feels like part of the SD metro, just an FYI since you didn't want SD/big city. So do encinitas and carlsbad [feel like metro]. But you're right Oside is a bit rough around the edges and the other two are great. Just part of the metro. Additional So Cal: You might find something in temecula or murrietta, 30 minutes from O-Side beaches and 45 minutes from SD.

For Santa Cruz: Have you checked in the mountains-communities like boulder creek? I don't know what that market is, but it's commutable to SC.

As far as timing, how to prepare, etc. check out past threads on this forum, using search words like 'moving from MA to CA' or 'east coast to CA', NE to SFO or LA'...that sort of thing. Once you've narrowed down your options [based on suggsetions from this thread or other info], post again for more feedback and info.

Good luck; sounds like a solid/good plan, btw!
Thanks for the great post! Lots of good info in there. I'm checking out all of the places you mentioned. A lot of them look good and are places I haven't checked out yet or hadn't heard of. Someone on another forum mentioned Sonoma as well so I think I'll look into that some more. The more I hear about Oside the more it scares me. I think when I visit in June I'll be looking very closely at the area an determining if I really want to be there. If I choose SoCal then maybe I'll just suck it up and pay more to live in Carlsbad or Encinitas. I've heard a lot of good things about Temecula too so that's another one I'm putting on my list. As for Santa Cruz it's really a wash no matter where you go. There's a few places that aren't much more than what I'm looking to spend, but they aren't much for how much you'd pay for them. I think I would be willing to shell out the extra money to live there but I'll have to wait and see what my girlfriend thinks. She's only been to SF and San Mateo. If she likes Santa Cruz as much as I do maybe we'll compromise and buy there. Thank a ton for all of your suggestions though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacific2 View Post
Try the Murrieta/Temecula area. It's very affordable and inland, but not that long of a drive from Oceanside. You can easily find a condo there for under $200K.
Temecula has officially been added to my list to check out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Very true. What I'd like the OP to know, though, is that the crime in Redding is white trash crime, as opposed to gang crime. For me, that makes a huge difference. I personally find gangs scary. I don't know of any gangs here in Redding.

There is a homeless "problem," but they tend to hang out downtown where the missions are. I never see them in the neighborhoods. I take my dog out in the middle of the night, right here in downtown, and have not felt in danger. I say hello to the homeless people, if I see one, and they usually just say hello back and keep moving.

I knew Redding wouldn't be perfect, but it's what I could afford. And I find that I really like it here. I also looked at senior housing options in Sonoma, but even the subsidized housing was too expensive for me there. So, I had to compromise.

Weather-wise, it's pretty mild in the winter, compared to where you are from. Occasional snow that doesn't stick around (one dusting in November so far), but the summers are really hot. Weird for it being so far north, but somehow because it's at the tip of the inner valley, the heat sits here. I haven't experienced a summer here yet, but there are always trade-offs. I figure that's what the river is for .

BTW: It's 7:33 a.m., 49 degrees and raining right now. That's a winter I can live with...
White trash crime doesn't scare me at all. I grew up in redneck country MA/NH so I'm used to the type. I think I'd like to check out Redding as well as the others. I know it's not exactly what I'm looking for but I like what I've heard so far. Who knows, maybe I'll end up there.
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