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Old 02-23-2008, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Montana
93 posts, read 454,970 times
Reputation: 53

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Are there any left?

We are a small family, in our early 30s, looking for:

a big town/small city that is walkable, i.e., there is a residential area within walking distance of a relevant, functioning urban area.

homes under $400k would be nice. is this a fantasy?

there is a fair share of younger families, and not primarily well off young singles or retirees.

decent schools

minimal crime

close access to nature and wild areas for the kids to explore


We've both lived in LA and SF and are familiar with towns in the immediate areas, but none within our price range, and none with the younger family demographic we'd like.

We are planning a road trip this summer to investiagte potential areas, but I'm wondering if we should even bother??
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,342 posts, read 90,086,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parteira View Post

We are planning a road trip this summer to investiagte potential areas, but I'm wondering if we should even bother??
What line of work are you in?
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:13 PM
 
790 posts, read 3,923,153 times
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I'd suggest Soquel in Santa Cruz county ... meets your criteria ... except that i'm not sure about finding a home under $400K. I've heard that the average home in Santa Cruz County is $750K but don't quote me on that.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Montana
93 posts, read 454,970 times
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I am a midwife and my partner is self-employed, does map making, environmental consulting, risk management type work. We both can more or less work from any area so long as it has a decent population of people having babies.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:09 AM
 
816 posts, read 3,644,770 times
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The population along the Central Coast is getting older, so the baby-related jobs might be a struggle. The area is lovely and artistic, but there aren't that many well-paying professional jobs relative to the cost of living.
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:20 AM
 
Location: Concord, California.
430 posts, read 1,351,450 times
Reputation: 99
Smile Try north coast, Ft. Brag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by parteira View Post
Are there any left?

We are a small family, in our early 30s, looking for:

a big town/small city that is walkable, i.e., there is a residential area within walking distance of a relevant, functioning urban area.

homes under $400k would be nice. is this a fantasy?

there is a fair share of younger families, and not primarily well off young singles or retirees.

decent schools

minimal crime

close access to nature and wild areas for the kids to explore


We've both lived in LA and SF and are familiar with towns in the immediate areas, but none within our price range, and none with the younger family demographic we'd like.

We are planning a road trip this summer to investiagte potential areas, but I'm wondering if we should even bother??

Really, you need to look north of the area for that. YES it can still be found!!

Along the north coast, -north of SF the bay area. Begining with Mendicino county, -Ft. brag is aperently quite nice. I know someone who just moved up there, and allthough I haven't been there myself, I have been nearby. Kind of isolated, older and pretty. Housing is above the national average, but I think way under 400K, often under 300K, is still the norm there, -and it's now going down. But of coarse that also depends on what your house size/standards are. The schools may not be the best, but I think are significantly better then the norm for a more "affordable" area in most of Urban California.

Lot's of nature, state parks and beaches, nearby national forest including wilderness areas, Redwood national park, some accessible BLM lands, county parks, etc.., -a lot of great scenery up there and cool small towns, with a definite counter-culture but also "redneck" kind of vibe, -they get along up there these days! The area is left leaning politically, BUT, -not exactly progressive, -more counter culture left I would say, with some strong right wing libertarianism mixed in. Socially a kind of weird hybrid of mountain west conservative and "back to the land" counterculture complete with lot's of pot growing in back woods areas. Really, they kind of blur together up there. It's definitely not like most of the bay area or central coast, but also very different from and hardly close to bible belt style conservatism either.

There is also some modest but growing ethnic diversity, though the region is not diverse at all by california standards for the most part, which is not a value judgment good nor bad from me BTW, but just a demographic fact. There are many farm workers of coarse in some areas, and many Asian fishermen, but diversity is also spreading somewhat up there.

-Fertilaty is lower up there, yes, but there are actualy a lot of young families, and I bet more likely more demand then supply for your line of work.


I wouldn't recomend Eureka in Humbolt county, Nor Cresent city (the latter is near the notorious Pelican bay supermax state prison.), -both are high in crime. Some nearby areas may be OK, though.

Much of the Inland north coast, like Ukia, can be very nice too, and more young families there relitively speaking. I have been there and it is in a lovely ranching and vinyard vally, surounded by wooded and brushy hills and forested mountains. Lake county, even father inland, -is even cheaper, and also nice, but hotter. Clear lake is nice. More family oriented, too, with more births I think but also more retiries and older people.

Best of luck!!!

-Red.

Last edited by bigtallredhead; 02-25-2008 at 05:48 AM..
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Concord, California.
430 posts, read 1,351,450 times
Reputation: 99
The north California coast has the only truly AFFORDABLE cities with what you describe along the California coast.

Good luck with your move! -Red.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Montana
93 posts, read 454,970 times
Reputation: 53
thank you so much for the replies. i will check out ft. brag, i don't know anything about it!
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Concord, California.
430 posts, read 1,351,450 times
Reputation: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by parteira View Post
thank you so much for the replies. i will check out ft. brag, i don't know anything about it!
Actually, my opolagies, I miss spelled the name slightly. It's "Fort Bragg" with two g's not one.

Anyway, good to be of help, and Best of luck!


-Red.
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
7,208 posts, read 15,068,342 times
Reputation: 8347
Bigtalllredhead has some good ideas. I have been through most of those towns as I had friends living up there at different times. Ukiah is actually pretty nice as is Ft Bragg. Even McKinnleyville isn't too bad.

One of the things about these smaller towns that has kept us from considering a move there is their size. There are reasons the home prices are lower. The availability of good paying jobs are far more scarce. Actually pay may be signifcantly less than what you are used to in the larger cities you have worked. But then again if you can find a niche market and make it work, N. Cal. can offer a some of the most 'affordable' living left in CA.

A note on Santa Cruz. We wanted to live there at one point. But the cost of housing is rediculously high, similar to S. Cal. It is more like double the range you are talking about.

Don't rule out Oregon either. That is where we are targeting our families next move. From Portland you can be at the coast or mtns. in ~ 1 hr. Plus there is the Columbia River Gorge. And while Portland is a large city by Oregon standards it is small compared to LA, SD or SF. Oh, and the homes are much more in line with your budget and ours.

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 03-02-2008 at 08:47 PM..
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