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Old 04-12-2020, 04:02 AM
 
Location: Placerville, CA
4 posts, read 3,513 times
Reputation: 10

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Howdy folks,

I'm in Placerville (just east of Sacramento) and folks are getting slammed out here with homeowners insurance rates skyrocketing and cancellations. I'm ready to buy a house but after seeing how this past year has gone...not here! I'm planning a week-long trip to explore, up to Mendocino & Eureka/McKinleyville and then up to check out Crescent City...as soon as CoronaMadness has subsided and all's well for travel. I'm medically retired with a decent income, so I don't need to commute to a job & can live anywhere I like. My only issue is that I have to be able to get to a hospital every 8 weeks for infusions, anywhere they do chemo will work. Due to medical insurance requirements, I can't leave CA for another 20 years. No need to be overly concerned with school systems, no kiddos (but I know it does matter for resale).

That said, does anyone care to share insights on northern coast cities? Here's the type of things that are hard to find on a demographic stats site...opinions on these sorts of topics would be super helpful:

- Cost of housing? I'm aiming to buy for $300K or so, less if it's possible.
- Cost of insurance? Homeowners/Auto...insane prices or reasonable? Are rates stable?
- Cost of living? Gasoline/Food/Restaurants/Etc.
- Taxation in specific counties or cities? It all adds up.
- Stability of utilities? I'm getting real tired of PG&E shut-offs here.
- Conservative or Liberal? I'm not very political, just curious what the general tones are.
- Climate? The more sun, the better.
- Any other significant aspects that I ought to consider before making a decison?

Thanks in advance for any insights you care to share, much appreciate it.
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Old 04-12-2020, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
9,509 posts, read 12,545,597 times
Reputation: 14875
There have been innumerable posts on Humboldt and Eureka. Suggest you review them. Happy Easter.
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Old 04-12-2020, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
9,301 posts, read 10,383,658 times
Reputation: 15822
Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka1 View Post
There have been innumerable posts on Humboldt and Eureka. Suggest you review them. Happy Easter.
While true, it can be a pain to dig though old threads and some the info might not be up to date. Plus the OP is also asking about Mendocino co. And DelNorte co.

OK a couple of things: going from eastern CA to said counties may subject you to culture shock. It is a different world. If you are a pot smoking hippie. Might be ok. If your focus is to move to away from people, you might be ok. Crescent city is depressing and the economy is centered around the prison. Main Street Eureka is scary. Mendocino and Ft Bragg are cliquish. Compared to Placerville, medical care is poor to mediocre. If you like foggy weather, the above mentioned towns will work

As a side note, the insurance companies use the same criteria for any forested area. Make sure you can get insurance before buying
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Old 04-12-2020, 03:31 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,827 posts, read 81,562,175 times
Reputation: 91666
Well, I don't mind discussing/rehashing Humboldt et al. for a newbie! I've had my eye on the area for awhile. The main downside for me is that the local hospitals aren't that great, except there's one someone said was better than the rest; Redwood Memorial in Ferndale, I think. You'd have to see if the area hospitals offer the service you require, OP. And they've had trouble retaining qualified staff (doctors, nurses), because the location is remote, so people don't want to stick around long-term (a few do stay, though), and the hospitals can't afford to offer pay incentives to bring good practitioners in and keep them. What I notice from the hospital reviews, though, is that it's the night shifts that are bad (long waits, even if there are very few people waiting, which means--understaffed). People going in for routine services like you would be, seem to feel fine about the service.

Crescent City: can be very stormy with gale-force winds, shabby little town without anything going on.

So you want sun, eh? Well, there are parts of Humboldt that get more sun (and heat) than others. The farther inland you go, the warmer it gets, and there are sunny areas. Ferndale is more sunny and warm, for one thing. Parts of Arcata get a little more sun. People say Arcata is run-down and funky, but I've found some nice neighborhoods with well-designed, well-maintained housing for both renting and buying. If you visit the area, have an agent show you around and get you oriented. Look at listings on RE sites, to see if you can find something in your budget. Try Fortuna, too. Even Eureka has some decent areas, at lower prices than Arcata, where the university is.

McKinleyville: fast-growing because it's more solidly middle-class than Arcata and Eureka. Arcata has a lot of run-down rentals for university students, while the faculty live in McKinleyville, generally. I've been looking at Trinindad, north of McKinleyville, too. Sometimes you can luck into a small but well-maintained home that's plenty adequate for one person. Some of it is just being in the right place at the right time, when the right place opens up. But for your price point, south Humboldt might be a better bet.

Also check Blue Lake, one of those farther-inland locations with warmer weather and lower RE costs. Has an interesting acting/theater workshop located there. The local tribe is doing impressive things with environmental projects, renewable energy, etc.

OK, now it gets down to: reliable utilities, namely, your fave: PG & E! I asked one of our Humboldt-resident members here about this. Humboldt still gets their electricity turned off, even though it's not at much risk for wildfires, because of the fog and rain, except for the inland up-mountain parts of it. That's the other thing that concerns me. Conceivably, if you bought in a sunny area, you could have some solar panels installed as a back-up so that at least you could keep a small fridge and some lights going, when the PG & E goes off. I guess that would add to your housing cost, but there might be some credits available or some sort of funding...

About your price point (revisiting it, just now); the Sierras are unique in CA; beautiful, but affordable. Humboldt and Mendocino are, like it or not, The Coast. They're going to have higher prices, even though Humboldt & Del Norte at least, are remote and a less desirable part of the coast. Let us know how you do in your search, though. It could help others in the future.

I can't answer your questions about insurance, utility & other costs, as I haven't lived there.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Placerville, CA
4 posts, read 3,513 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all,

As my undergrad is from UC Berkeley, hippies are a-ok with me. I thoroughly combed through all of the previous postings on this subject, most of which spanned the years of 2006-2011...and reviewed hours of YouTube postings along with the published standard demographics reports. The triangulated result: there is a significant economic transition underway from the time span of 2011 to today, driven primarily by shifts in cannabis legalization and resulting market factors. Note: there is a very similiar shift occurring in Amador and El Dorado counties as well.

Having current on-the-ground insights is VERY appreciated! I hadn't realized that Blue Lake, Trinidad or Ferndale might be good places to add to my list of places to look into with my medical requirements. GREAT ADVICE! I'd pretty much decided to eliminate Eureka, Crescent City and some of Arcata given the crime statistics and general environment. I do think it might be feasible in parts of South Humboldt. One area that popped up since the post is Shelter Cove: Does anyone have comments on this particular area? I'm hesitant given it's very isolated location but it's worth looking into.

Also, THANK YOU for the heads-up on the high cost of insurance and the PG&E shutoffs. It seems there is no way to avoid it if I prefer to live in a rural setting and it may be worth the cost of solar or whole house generator to escape the choking crowding and noise pollution of Sacramento (where it's SMUD vs PG&E). Given this highly unusual market situation we are in, who knows, it may be possible that a downtown could bring some of the housing prices down to help with affordabilty...but of course that could go either way with the Fed and fiscal policy!

AGAIN, much appreciate the input and I would be happy to lay out my findings for all who may find it helpful.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:27 PM
 
Location: N.Sierra Nevadas (California)
68,664 posts, read 5,403,312 times
Reputation: 22699
A note on solar panels, I have neighbors who have them & they do not generate power, when we get the PGE shut offs on windy days. So you would be better off with a generator, if you have to have power.
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:40 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,827 posts, read 81,562,175 times
Reputation: 91666
Quote:
Originally Posted by classy_k View Post
Thank you all,

As my undergrad is from UC Berkeley, hippies are a-ok with me. I thoroughly combed through all of the previous postings on this subject, most of which spanned the years of 2006-2011...and reviewed hours of YouTube postings along with the published standard demographics reports. The triangulated result: there is a significant economic transition underway from the time span of 2011 to today, driven primarily by shifts in cannabis legalization and resulting market factors. Note: there is a very similiar shift occurring in Amador and El Dorado counties as well.

Having current on-the-ground insights is VERY appreciated! I hadn't realized that Blue Lake, Trinidad or Ferndale might be good places to add to my list of places to look into with my medical requirements. GREAT ADVICE! I'd pretty much decided to eliminate Eureka, Crescent City and some of Arcata given the crime statistics and general environment. I do think it might be feasible in parts of South Humboldt. One area that popped up since the post is Shelter Cove: Does anyone have comments on this particular area? I'm hesitant given it's very isolated location but it's worth looking into.

Also, THANK YOU for the heads-up on the high cost of insurance and the PG&E shutoffs. It seems there is no way to avoid it if I prefer to live in a rural setting and it may be worth the cost of solar or whole house generator to escape the choking crowding and noise pollution of Sacramento (where it's SMUD vs PG&E). Given this highly unusual market situation we are in, who knows, it may be possible that a downtown could bring some of the housing prices down to help with affordabilty...but of course that could go either way with the Fed and fiscal policy!

AGAIN, much appreciate the input and I would be happy to lay out my findings for all who may find it helpful.
Well, OP, when I said I was looking in Trinidad, I wasn't necessarily recommending that for you. When I think about it, you and I have different goals weather-wise. I want cool summers, you want sunny, warmer areas. Trinidad is right on the coast, so it'll be more foggy. Still, the little community has some redeeming qualities that interest me. But that's me.

Probably south Humboldt will be more affordable to you, and also Blue Lake. But Blue Lake will be within Mad River Hospital's turf, and it's been having issues lately. Since Ferndale's hospital seems to be the best of the 3 hospitals in the area ("best" being a very relative term in Humboldt), you might want to stick with south H. for medical and for affordability. I'm interested in north Humboldt for a variety of reasons, one being proximity to the university.

Here's Ferndale. There are some nice properties on the hill, which would be a sunnier area. Anyway, a local RE agent can give you guidance on where to look. Hopefully, there will be something decent in your price range. Don't forget to look at nearby Fortuna, too. There are some amazing places there in your price range! And, correction, the hospital's in Fortuna, not Ferndale. https://www.stjoehumboldt.org


Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 04-12-2020 at 11:44 PM..
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:35 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,827 posts, read 81,562,175 times
Reputation: 91666
Thanks for this thread, OP. I 've really enjoyed browsing Humboldt. Got my mind off of the virus, haha.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:57 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,827 posts, read 81,562,175 times
Reputation: 91666
OP, you may have missed some of the Humboldt threads, because they focus on only one or two towns. Here's one that will interest you. Fortuna, it turns out, is known as "sunny Fortuna".
https://www.city-data.com/forum/cali...ive-there.html

Here's another article that might interest you, re: tribal businesses in Blue Lake stay open amid PG & E shutdowns. https://www.washingtonpost.com/clima...y/?arc404=true

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 04-13-2020 at 12:17 AM..
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Old 04-13-2020, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
1,357 posts, read 883,690 times
Reputation: 914
Ferndale looks interesting
Attached Thumbnails
Considering a move to Humboldt or Mendocino County...Thoughts?-screenshot_2020-04-13-536-main-st.jpg  
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