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Old 04-13-2009, 07:32 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,867 times
Reputation: 12

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Hello,
My family and I are considering relocating to California from Indiana and I would like to solicit your comments. We are considering Santa Rosa / Sonoma County or possibly south of San Francisco. Our reasons for wanting to move are many but I will give brief explanations and our details as to try and get the most informed opinions possible.
I am a professional graphic designer and advertising specialist who has run my own agency here for a few years. Work has really dried up as our primary industry is virtually dead after the financing debacle. I have an impressive portfolio and high profile client list. I am also an in demand session musician in our area as well as an experienced studio engineer. I have a long list of studio credits as well as thousands of stage hours logged (rock music).
She has a history in Nursing but is really looking to do something else. She has strong skills and a solid employment history. She would like to work in an animal related field such as veterinary medicine or equine care and training. She also has strong interests in organic foods and the arts.
As I said, we have a lot of reasons for wanting to leave and for choosing California. We have discussed it for years and have done a fair amount of research.We have both been to CA and loved it. We are very liberal people and Indiana is ultra conservative. Our son is into dancing & acting instead of sports and here that is the source of much ridicule both from children and adults. There have always been few opportunities for the arts, creative professionals, and musicians here, and there are even fewer now. We feel that CA may provide more opportunities for people with our skill sets and views. I understand that unemployment is high in CA but here it is almost 20%. Lastly, we are sun loving people and Indiana weather is awful (has to throw that in). We are not expecting to go to California for the promised land and gold. We expect the same trials we have now. Just in a place we like more.
Where would be a good place for us to live? Safe, affordable, good schools, and close to metro areas where live music is popular. Or... are we just over-romanticizing California? I know...I'm not asking for much right? But seriously...any thoughts you have would be really appreciated. This is a pretty big decision. Thanks for looking.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,342 posts, read 90,008,311 times
Reputation: 17770
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubberSoul View Post

I am a professional graphic designer and advertising specialist who has run my own agency here for a few years.
I have an impressive portfolio and high profile client list.
I am also an in demand session musician in our area as well as an experienced studio engineer.
She has a history in Nursing
She would like to work in an animal related field such as veterinary medicine or equine care and training.

are we just over-romanticizing California?
Everything depends on where you will find a job. Anyone can pickup and move to California. Anyone can want all these virtues you describe. That's the easy part.

The hard part is finding a job.

Have you applied?
To where?
Any hits?
How long have you been applying?

Once you find a job, the forum can assist you in finding a place to live.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:28 PM
 
301 posts, read 1,446,071 times
Reputation: 275
Burbank.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,804 posts, read 97,903,170 times
Reputation: 49114
you certainly are going to need a job before you even think of a move,especially with a child. I also wonder about your son being into dance and arts, yes, Sonoma is very liberal so he would fit in, but it isn't very close to the city. I think you may want to consintrate more on some of the liberal areas surrounding Los Angeles...

You mention unemployment at 20%, the stats do not show it nearly that high, it does show Ca 3rd worst in the country. You mention your wife doesn't want to stay in the nursing field, but she will need extra training to change fields, do you have the resoureses to live for maybe a year without jobs?/ All this has to be considered. I do think you would love Sonoma..

Nita
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
2 posts, read 3,082 times
Reputation: 12
I would suggest a city surrounding Los Angeles. Nursing jobs are still available and with your work history you might have a good chance finding graphic or studio work.

Marc
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:12 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,867 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks for all of the replies so far. I tried to be as detailed as possible in my original post, however now I feel that I may need to expand a little. First let me clarify on unemployment. While Indiana is just around 10%, our particular region has seen the near demise of it's primary industry and is around 20%. Think Allentown and the steel mills. I also feel that CA is no different than Indiana in that many of the unemployed people I have met are unemployed by choice. There is work here just as there is work there. But some would prefer to collect benefits rather than paychecks. I have always contended that unemployment rates should be figured at half of what they are because of the willfully unemployed. I would also like to clarify that as I mentioned, I am a moderately successful professional who is intelligent enough to not move my family across the country without first having employment lined up. At this point I have several suitable offers on the table in several areas of CA ranging from north to south. I would also like to point out that I didn't have much difficulty finding them either. Some internet searches, contact, follow up, education, and skills seem to go a pretty long way in CA just as they do in the rest of country. We are by no means in financial trouble and would not be if we chose to remain here. I merely included the job details in an attempt to be thorough. It is really more about the environment and social climate for us. I am most interested in learning more about the pros and cons of different regions of CA and life in there. Thanks again for the replies and I look forward to hearing more.
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,342 posts, read 90,008,311 times
Reputation: 17770
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubberSoul View Post
We are considering Santa Rosa / Sonoma County or possibly south of San Francisco

I have several suitable offers on the table in several areas of CA ranging from north to south.

Where would be a good place for us to live? Safe, affordable, good schools,

What is your housing budget?

Consider posting this on the Bay Area forum.
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:54 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,867 times
Reputation: 12
I would like to rent initially as a purchase is a far bigger step than I am willing to make at this point. Naturally I would like to keep our rent as low as possible but I would like to try to cap it at $1,800 - $2,200 for the early stages. Of course the lower the rent the better the chances for success, so $1,300 - $1,600 sounds even better I have found through my research that the latter figures seem to be reasonable for a 2 bedroom house in Santa Rosa, which is where we have been leaning towards. Is this correct? My other concern is the quality of the public school system in Santa Rosa. Any insight?
Thanks
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,342 posts, read 90,008,311 times
Reputation: 17770
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubberSoul View Post
I would like to rent initially as a purchase is a far bigger step than I am willing to make at this point. Naturally I would like to keep our rent as low as possible but I would like to try to cap it at $1,800 - $2,200 for the early stages. Of course the lower the rent the better the chances for success, so $1,300 - $1,600 sounds even better I have found through my research that the latter figures seem to be reasonable for a 2 bedroom house in Santa Rosa, which is where we have been leaning towards. Is this correct? My other concern is the quality of the public school system in Santa Rosa. Any insight?
Thanks
There was a great website www.schoolperformancemaps.com but it seems to have gone offline. I'd start there and greatschools.net
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:30 PM
 
10,629 posts, read 25,535,306 times
Reputation: 6751
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubberSoul View Post
I also feel that CA is no different than Indiana in that many of the unemployed people I have met are unemployed by choice. There is work here just as there is work there. But some would prefer to collect benefits rather than paychecks.
Not to go too far off on a tangent, but I think this is only true in the sense that some people are unemployed because they are unwilling to pack up and move to a new town or county; there are many reasons people can't do that, or can't do that easily (children, owning a house, a spouse with a job, etc.) - it's great that you have job offers, but it's pretty insulting to insinuate that "many" of the unemployed here are unemployed by choice. I know many people who are un- or underemployed, and these are all people with college and graduate degrees, years of experience, and extensive contacts in the field. The idea that unemployment figures should be considered at half the numbers is simply not reflecting the reality. Maybe things are different there, but in California the unemployment problem is real, and is directly impacting people at all economic levels, of all occupations, and of all educational backgrounds. In many liberal circles in California (which is what you say you're after) the "blame the victim" mentality in these times won't win you many friends.
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