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Old 05-22-2006, 07:10 AM
Location: Southern Illinois
3 posts, read 66,491 times
Reputation: 31


One reply to a previous inquiry on Bakersfield said it was the armpit of California? Well I am just moving out here intially in August and wonderiing from the viewpoint of two people who dont have a lot of money to invest in housing, is it really that bad? If so, does anyone have any other suggestions of where to live cheaply just starting out in Cali?
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Old 05-22-2006, 11:41 PM
7 posts, read 131,605 times
Reputation: -19
Bakersfield is not really bad. Seriously, I believe that Bakersfield is a great high middle class neighborhood. If you think that Bakerfield is a bad neighborhood then think about Compton, Inglewood, Long Beach and Southcentral. Aren't they a worse neighborhood compared to Bakersfield? If anyone thinks that Bakersfield is bad, then I advise them to cruise through the ghettos of Los Angeles and just see how bad it is down in the hood so that they can learn to appreciate how thankful they are to live in a nice suburban neighborhood of Bakersfield.
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Old 05-25-2006, 10:43 PM
1,398 posts, read 6,435,508 times
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I've stayed in Bakersfield recently for several dog competitions, and the place still appears to center around oil and agriculturally-based businesses. If you're moving there for those reasons, I wouldn't dissuade you. The college kids scatter after graduation, though.

August, huh? You're in for a ...surprise... on how hot it can be there in the central California valley! Are you ready for 110?

Bakersfield's drawbacks are a very rowdy contingent of young farm workers letting off steam, and the recent passing of Buck Owens, the city's own Country music legend . His huge music club, a major attraction of Bakersfield as well, will never be the same.

I have to tell you most people's perception of California is about 40 years out of date. In Southern Calif. in particular, it's dangerous, over-crowded, wildly expensive, and the majority of people here speak little to no English. Your best bet to move to Calif. if you're not a millionaire is to find a job first online, then search for roommate situations to afford anywhere here. Then you'll be able to see firsthand that to which people refer here. Good luck.
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:59 PM
676 posts, read 2,988,879 times
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I was the one who originally called Bakersfield the "armpit of California." I don't know how widely used the expression was, but I heard it a lot from people back when I was a child in the 80's - my father would often have to go to Bakersfield on business. That is how he and his co-workers would refer to the town back then and like I said before, I was never impressed the times I have driven through it. I hate to be the bearer of bad news about living in CA, but affordable towns here mean they are undesirable areas to live. We are in a similar situation as you and people try to be helpful by telling us Modesto, Stockton, Bakersfield, Barstow, Lancaster, etc. are affordable places to live, but I would personally rather move out of state than move to those areas just for the sake of remaining in CA. I know there still is a lure and charm about moving to CA when you are from out of state and that is what got many of the babyboomers out here in the first place, but that ride is now over. The cost of living has skyrocketed and has caused a major decline in the middle-class population. Unless you have some serious money, you will be living in an armpit of a town! Before you make the expensive move, could you come out for a visit to check it out for yourself? I would recommend doing so and you can make up your own mind. I have only been to Chicago, IL so I don't know how you are accustomed to living. My instinct is it would be a sacrifice to your lifestyle living in CA even in places like Bakersfield. Affordable and inexpensive are just not part of the CA vocabulary.
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:51 AM
1,398 posts, read 6,435,508 times
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Fredrock, I just reread your post in the other thread and have to advise that you'll do a lot better finding telecommunications jobs rather farther north than in the city adjoining Bakersfield's agricultural hub. Although northern Calif. is even more expensive than the Fantasyland prices of So. Calif., it would be a better trade-off living hand to mouth in a far nicer environment (no dusty desert, no severe summer weather, people from other countries actually speaking English, prettier environs.) You will, however, be living a parsimonious existence to afford it.

I too am "voting with my feet." The nanosecond my husband retires, we're outta California like JPL rockets. I would imagine for someone starting out, you have to balance the trade-offs of adversities. Yes, winter weather is not severe here, but yes, everything else for people who aren't rich is.

I have exalted enlightenme's reputation for her wise words. Please heed people like this instead of those that rattle off the worst of the low-income areas of L.A. I live in one: low-income, and even low-to-middle class areas of L.A. are similar to the most dangerous pockets of slums in other American cities.
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:08 PM
16 posts, read 147,554 times
Reputation: 29
I was born and raised in Wasco... it's just 28 miles from Bakersfield. Anytime you think you've made the wrong decision to move to Bakersfield... just drive to Wasco. Now this is the armpit of CA. If you look at it like this, Bakersfield has a lot to offer: 50 minute drive to the mountains, 2 hour drive to the beach (Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Shell Beach), Santa Barbara is about 3 hours, 5 hour drive to Vegas (I think they even have like $49 each way flights to Vegas), 2 hour drive to Los Angeles and more beachs, 5 hour drive to San Francisco, you have Yosemite, Lake Isabella, Sequoia Nat'l Forest, and there's more that I'm missing. Here are some areas I would consider if I ever moved back and I have been to all of these places and spent time in all of these places (I'm considering cost of living & places that have yet to turn into armpits). These are all near Bakersfield: Atascadero, Paso Robles, Tehachapi, Glenville, Nipomo, Santa Maria (not my first choice, but they have a lot of affordable housing going in). You might even want to look into condos in San Luis Obispo. My family has been farming for 60+ years now and that's what the San Joaquin Valley is dedicated to, so that's what you'll get in Bakersfield. Most of my family still lives in CA, especially Bakersfield and they like it... especially for what it has to offer around it. There are some nice places in Bakersfield, just take some time and look around. Check out the Rio Bravo Golf Course area. Best of Luck to you!!
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Old 05-31-2006, 05:50 PM
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Ahhh, I'd love to live in Paso Robles, but now it seems to be the realm only of rich horse ranchers.
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Old 06-03-2006, 06:04 AM
Location: California
11,464 posts, read 18,700,513 times
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Bakersfields not all that bad, it is in a good location if you like short trips to the coast or mountians, it's a growing city and there are plenty of jobs to go around, housing is expensive, many people from down south are buying houses and commuting. The summer temps are high, 100+ but you get used to it. I've lived here a long time and I think it's ok, not great but ok.
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:47 PM
Location: Orlando
640 posts, read 2,988,026 times
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I lived in Bakersfield for 4 years from 1990 - 1994. People who have never lived there call it the armpit of CA, I have heard that one many times. If you only drive through on Route 99, you can't really see what the town is like at all. It has many beautifully landscaped areas and homes, new shopping towncenters and many new schools.

It is not that bad of a place to live, it all depends on your situation. My kids loved living there when they were in grade school. We moved there from Ventura with some other friends who couldn't afford high housing prices even back then. We bought beautiful new homes, in beautiful new neighborhoods with beautiful new schools. We found it a very family orientated town. Of course, we lived in NW part of town where everything was nice and new. The East side of town had it's rough spots and older neighborhoods, with plenty of gang activity. (Route 99 is the line you use when distinguishing E or W of town). There were about 95 homicides that year in Bakersfield. But don't forget, Bakersfield is a VERY large town, there were 10 high schools when we moved away.

I'm sure things have changed since I left in 1994, but we found the employment market to be of concern. There weren't enough jobs unless you were in the service industry or teaching. There were not that many larger companies in the area. I managed to land a administrative position with a major oil company, which was one of the best jobs I ever had.

It is hot in Bakersfield, that's no lie. I remember kids not coming out of their houses during the day but coming out at dusk to play. You have go to have a pool or access to a pool when you live there.

I understand it is still reasonable in terms of affordability with the rest of the state. Where else can you buy a home in CA in the 300k price range that isn't a dump? Probably comes with a pool too.

I would say give it a shot, but stick to the NW part of the city. It's like a town of it's own there. Also, even though people say, it's only a 2 hour drive here, an hour drive there, it gets old to be driving all over creation. I felt landlocked living there and was quite happy to move back to the east coast at the time.
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:39 AM
3 posts, read 79,639 times
Reputation: 12
Bakersfield is a good place to live... if you dont mind the heat. Its relatively close to everywhere big in the state. Its fairly cheap, and I would live there if I had to.

Plus... thats where Korn is from.

Last edited by Marka; 06-12-2006 at 01:30 AM.. Reason: merged
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