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Old 12-06-2006, 02:36 PM
 
46 posts, read 582,470 times
Reputation: 87

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Hi,
I'm thinking of possiblely moving to California. I really think I would love it there. But, when I look at the cost of living in California. I find it difficult to see how people afford to live there. It seems that all the apartments are at least $1,100. In general what's the staring salary for most entry level positions in California? Judging from the cost of living it would have to be at least $45,000-$50,00 or you will risk eating at a soup kitchen. I am afraid of Los Angeles because of the traffic and I've had several people tell me that the racial tensions there are high. Is there anywhere in California that is relatively affordable? The areas I'm considering generally are Santa Monica, Agoura Hills, San Francisco, Redwood City, Mill Valley, and San Diego. I would appreciate any information on those areas and California in general. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-06-2006, 03:59 PM
 
8,490 posts, read 27,311,865 times
Reputation: 4742
Quote:
Originally Posted by CUDavidBanner View Post
Hi,
I'm thinking of possiblely moving to California. I really think I would love it there. But, when I look at the cost of living in California. I find it difficult to see how people afford to live there. It seems that all the apartments are at least $1,100. In general what's the staring salary for most entry level positions in California? Judging from the cost of living it would have to be at least $45,000-$50,00 or you will risk eating at a soup kitchen. I am afraid of Los Angeles because of the traffic and I've had several people tell me that the racial tensions there are high. Is there anywhere in California that is relatively affordable? The areas I'm considering generally are Santa Monica, Agoura Hills, San Francisco, Redwood City, Mill Valley, and San Diego. I would appreciate any information on those areas and California in general. Thanks in advance.
None of those areas are affordable.

With rents at 1100, you are looking at less than 25% of your gross income to rent on a 45k salary. That is reasonable anywhere, especially in a big city.

And entry-level professional jobs routinely pay 50k - ask any recently graduated accountant, paralegal, or software engineer. After 5-10 years in the workforce it is completely reasonable to make 100k+ if you play your cards right.

California is a great place if you have the drive and energy to make it. If you are looking for a nice easy life then there are easier places to make it happen than a CA city.
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Old 12-06-2006, 06:38 PM
 
46 posts, read 582,470 times
Reputation: 87
Default Housing Costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassberto View Post
None of those areas are affordable.

With rents at 1100, you are looking at less than 25% of your gross income to rent on a 45k salary. That is reasonable anywhere, especially in a big city.

And entry-level professional jobs routinely pay 50k - ask any recently graduated accountant, paralegal, or software engineer. After 5-10 years in the workforce it is completely reasonable to make 100k+ if you play your cards right.

California is a great place if you have the drive and energy to make it. If you are looking for a nice easy life then there are easier places to make it happen than a CA city.

Not trying to show you up, but $1,100 in monthly rent would be 29.3% of your gross income at $45,000. But, it is a good sign that salaries tend to rise rather highly. But, still I don't see how anyone other than actors and older folks who bought their homes decades ago can afford to live in California. I don't know what caused the sky high housing costs in California, but something needs to be done about it.
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:53 PM
 
8,490 posts, read 27,311,865 times
Reputation: 4742
Quote:
Originally Posted by CUDavidBanner View Post
Not trying to show you up, but $1,100 in monthly rent would be 29.3% of your gross income at $45,000. But, it is a good sign that salaries tend to rise rather highly. But, still I don't see how anyone other than actors and older folks who bought their homes decades ago can afford to live in California. I don't know what caused the sky high housing costs in California, but something needs to be done about it.
2 incomes, one person makes 100k one person makes 45k, etc...

it's the only way
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:10 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,042 posts, read 46,959,487 times
Reputation: 20558
Default $$$$

Quote:
Originally Posted by CUDavidBanner View Post
Not trying to show you up, but $1,100 in monthly rent would be 29.3% of your gross income at $45,000. But, it is a good sign that salaries tend to rise rather highly. But, still I don't see how anyone other than actors and older folks who bought their homes decades ago can afford to live in California. I don't know what caused the sky high housing costs in California, but something needs to be done about it.
Hate to say it, but nothing will be done about the housing costs, at least not anytime soon... my family's been here since 1983, and it's always been about this crazy. Recently, I was paying $1250 for a SMALL one-bedroom in Pacifica, but it was worth it to hear the ocean from my living room. Got a little sick of the lack of space & amenities, though, so I moved to a place where rent is cheaper... but it's literally the ghetto, so there's a definite trade-off. I do plan to move around January, when I figure out where I'll be working (just finished grad school & applying for jobs now), but will probably still be in the Bay Area.

Anyway, people do manage to afford it, otherwise we'd be a very empty state - LOL. As the other poster mentioned, two incomes definitely make things easier, unless your one income is high (which many are, especially here in Silicon Valley). My sister and her husband make around 160K combined, and they own a beautiful 2-bedroom townhouse in a nice neighborhood. Sure, they can't afford a mansion on their salaries, but they will be able to move into a larger home soon. For those who make less money & aren't married/partnered, there are options... you can get a roommate or two, live in a studio apartment, a less desireable neighborhood, and so forth. If you're looking for a higher standard of living, California might not be the place for you - it's a compromise that some people aren't willing to make. Not that that's a bad thing, it's just personal choices and priorities! But California is a HUGE state, so if you're not stuck on the big coastal cities, there are plenty of affordable areas... Sacramento and Central Valley, North coast, etc.

On a personal note, I'm actually planning my escape from the Bay Area eventually... just want to get some career experience under my belt, since jobs are much more plentiful here. But hopefully in 5 or so years, I'll relocate somewhere up north (Oregon, WA, etc.). I've lived in other states & cities, and like what some of them have to offer. Anyway, sorry for the long essay, but feel free to ask any specific questions about this area... I've been here for most of my life, so I know it well!
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:16 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,042 posts, read 46,959,487 times
Reputation: 20558
P.S. Can I ask what job field you're in? That can make a big difference on where you should & can live...
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:15 AM
 
46 posts, read 582,470 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
P.S. Can I ask what job field you're in? That can make a big difference on where you should & can live...

I'm in the public relations/marketing field.
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