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Old 06-02-2009, 04:12 PM
 
15 posts, read 50,977 times
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I currently live in the Atlanta area but dying to move out west. I am an independent CFO and have spent most of my working life in the technology, financial services, and telecommunications industry. I am 50 yrs old, married with three kids (two will be in college next year and an 11 year old).

I am painfully aware of the housing market but am willing to deal with it. However, I'm not sure where I want to live. Up until recently, I was sold on Silicon Valley (weather, tech community, etc.), but after a recent trip down the coast to LA, I am now more confused than ever. I love the beaches and mountains but also liked the excitement of LA (although I know I wouldn't want to live in the city).

I would like to have access to the beach, but not necessarily very close to the beach (maybe 30-45min). I need to be near an active business community (preferable with a tech influence) so that I know I could find work, and decent schools. I am beginning to lean towards the suburbs of LA and possibly down to OC or San Diego. Can someone give me some +'s and -'s and hopefully suggestions?

I would also appreciate referring me to links or guides that I could read if you can't provide guidance personally.

I would greatly appreciate any help from the forum.

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:36 PM
hsw
 
2,144 posts, read 6,725,055 times
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No-brainer choice is Palo Alto area

Tremendous career value of living amongst the many major decisionmakers of both Big Tech and leading start-ups (founders, VCs, senior execs, etc) who tend to live in Woodside, Atherton and Palo Alto....and VCs and PE guys largely work on Sand Hill Rd in Menlo: nowhere on planet has as many tech heavyweights for convenient networking (and career liquidity if want to change jobs)

LA is a weak tech town; Irvine has Broadcom and a few smaller cos.

SD is Qualcomm

But neither LA nor SD has many major VCs (or PE guys) nor an active start-up culture

Would argue housing costs are actually lower in Woodside than Atlanta's Buckhead if compare costs of desirable land

Might be smarter to rent, as prices continue to fall; PA has a relatively liquid rental mkt b/c of the Stanford influence (jr faculty, grad students, etc); and academically PA public schools are some of strongest in US; tremendous intellectual energy in PA for both one's career and for raising kids

LA is a very fun, civilized wkend place esp nr Coast on Westside and many from PA area have wkend places in LA, but LA's a weak place from a career standpoint (or for raising kids)
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Brisbane, Australia
961 posts, read 2,377,783 times
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I agree that Palo Alto sounds like the ticket for you. Wherever you choose to live, I would HIGHLY recommend renting as prices continue to come down in the face of more job losses, lack of financing etc... It is what we are going to do for now.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:15 PM
 
15 posts, read 50,977 times
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Thanks Guys - The one problem with Palo Alto (at least the area I would like to live in) is ~ $1.5 mill for a basic 3 bdr/2bth. I guess I could rent as you suggested.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Brisbane, Australia
961 posts, read 2,377,783 times
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Have you considered Marin county? They have good schools and it is close enough to SF.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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I've considered but the weather (from what I remember) is cooler and foggy; closer to SF weather, which I'm not crazy about. The warmer weather (and the beaches) is what is drawing me a bit south toward LA, OC, or SD. If it weren't for the career issues outside of SV, it would be easier. Do you know how far the beaches are from the Silicon Valley area? Believe it or not, I'm not a crazy beach person but if I make a move, I don't want to regret not moving closer to the beaches....
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:56 PM
 
Location: yeah
5,716 posts, read 15,420,481 times
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The beach is about 45 minutes from Santa Clara Valley, probably less from Los Gatos.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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Thanks - is the beach you're referring to suitable for swimming without a wet suit?
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:38 PM
 
2,952 posts, read 5,499,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobk101 View Post
I would like to have access to the beach, but not necessarily very close to the beach (maybe 30-45min). I need to be near an active business community (preferable with a tech influence) so that I know I could find work, and decent schools. I am beginning to lean towards the suburbs of LA and possibly down to OC or San Diego. Can someone give me some +'s and -'s and hopefully suggestions?
I have lived in Orange County,San Diego,Atlanta and San Francisco. Without regard to employment I definitely prefer San Diego! San Diego has the best weather,the best beaches,the least traffic and the best overall California experience. In addition the beaches in San Diego are easier to access since there is a lot less traffic there compared to LA or OC.

A close second would be Orange County. OC also has a lot of great beaches. Seal Beach,Sunset Beach,Huntington,Newport,Corona Del Mar,Laguna etc. plus it is close enough to have access to LA. One of my favorite areas in Orange County is the North Tustin Hills,zip code 92705. For beaches close to Silicon Valley,look at the map and you see only two basic ways to get there,highway 17 or highway 92. Both are extremely crowded on any sunny weekend with beach weather.

http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/cda/doc/content/us_tmt_2008OCF50.pdf (broken link)

http://www.conway.com/geofacts/pdf/81555.pdf

Drive Through Southern California

Dana Point Harbor
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:26 AM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 18,539,523 times
Reputation: 1904
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsw View Post
No-brainer choice is Palo Alto area

Tremendous career value of living amongst the many major decisionmakers of both Big Tech and leading start-ups (founders, VCs, senior execs, etc) who tend to live in Woodside, Atherton and Palo Alto....and VCs and PE guys largely work on Sand Hill Rd in Menlo: nowhere on planet has as many tech heavyweights for convenient networking (and career liquidity if want to change jobs)

LA is a weak tech town; Irvine has Broadcom and a few smaller cos.

SD is Qualcomm

But neither LA nor SD has many major VCs (or PE guys) nor an active start-up culture

Would argue housing costs are actually lower in Woodside than Atlanta's Buckhead if compare costs of desirable land

Might be smarter to rent, as prices continue to fall; PA has a relatively liquid rental mkt b/c of the Stanford influence (jr faculty, grad students, etc); and academically PA public schools are some of strongest in US; tremendous intellectual energy in PA for both one's career and for raising kids

LA is a very fun, civilized wkend place esp nr Coast on Westside and many from PA area have wkend places in LA, but LA's a weak place from a career standpoint (or for raising kids)
I would disagree that LA is a weak tech town or that it has no startup culture. It's a strong tech town, but not in the Silicon Valley sense. Post-tech boom, tech jobs have spread out over biotech, banking/financial services, aerospace, videogames, etc rather than major Silicon Valley style web or other tech cos. IBM also runs significant consulting operations out of the LA area. There are venture capital firms as well(Zone Ventures for one). One of the startups I worked for in Santa Monica was funded by Zone Ventures(LA based) and Draper Fisher Jurvetson(based in Menlo Park, indicating that it doesnt necessarily matter where the VC is, but what you're making instead).

LA doesn't have a boom or bust startup culture that fueled the tech boom and bust. LA has a workman startup culture. Small and medium business, generally without venture capital, looking to have a sustainable job rather than finding the next big thing. They may not be obvious because they're not going from a garage to a multimillion dollar palatial office, but there are very many out there.
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