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Old 06-30-2012, 10:55 AM
 
32 posts, read 138,132 times
Reputation: 33

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Edit: I want to change the thread title to add "impressions/reality"

I know there are other threads detailing housing costs and how expensive it is, but I'm kind of wondering about the attitude toward the expenses and if it's a bit inflated.

I might be moving to either Orange County or Los Angeles for a job but I swear this board has gotten me so scared about it! I like to save, and I'll be making something in the $30,000 to $40,000 range, but I'd REALLY like to be closer to the coast - I hate extreme temperatures - and would prefer a one-bedroom apartment at $1300 or so. It doesn't have to be ON the coast, just not so inland that it regularly hits 90 degrees. I've looked at it and it seems quite possible, but I'm not in CA yet and haven't had a chance to actually see apartments so I don't really know if their dumps or not.

One thing a lot of people seem to talk about are the state income taxes. But can't you just deduct that when you pay your federal income tax? So it's not really that crippling, right? I can understand the sales tax being a problem - I think I read that there are two sales taxes? - since you can only deduct state sales or income tax, but still, the taxes can't be so crippling if you can just deduct the state income tax. I guess the property taxes are high, but of course I'll be renting. So then Cali isn't totally anathema to regular old folks like me right? I just read a post about California becoming a two-class place with haves and have-nots...again scary.

I've looked at car insurance and it seems to only be $10-$40 more than other places. Are there other costs I'm missing? Other taxes? County/city? But again I think you can deduct local taxes on federal income tax returns.
But I've read posts about people who say they can't believe how little they actually take home after taxes and stuff are taken out of their salaries.
I'm fairly low maintenance, but will California eat up my salary lol? And is the $1300 one bedroom near the coast a pipe dream? I'd like to live in Cali for a while, but I also want to save as much as I can each year, and is that just impossible in CA?

I'm hoping I'm just too impressionable and have been taking these posts/threads a little too seriously. I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that I'm not condemning myself to living paycheck-to-paycheck for as long as I'm there by even considering the move.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:58 AM
 
14 posts, read 37,958 times
Reputation: 15
For your salary, expect to pay between 6-8% of AGI for state income taxes. Yes, state taxes are deducted on your federal taxes, but this is the same for all states. This is not hugely different from elsewhere, but you should remember that a deduction on your federal return is not like money in your pocket. I think that it is the combination of sales tax, high property taxes (high numerical property values), fees (nearly every service has some sort of fee - car registration costs are about 176 for initial registration, electronic waste disposal fee, etc), and state income tax that gets people in the dumps (and then they hear that California is running a 16B deficit).

If you are a careful spender, you can plan for these things. You will also be able to find an apartment in OC for $1300. In some areas, it will be difficult to find a 1 bedroom, but studio will probably not be a problem.

PS Rent an east or north facing apartment.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:22 PM
 
32 posts, read 138,132 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benedizzle View Post
For your salary, expect to pay between 6-8% of AGI for state income taxes. Yes, state taxes are deducted on your federal taxes, but this is the same for all states. This is not hugely different from elsewhere, but you should remember that a deduction on your federal return is not like money in your pocket. I think that it is the combination of sales tax, high property taxes (high numerical property values), fees (nearly every service has some sort of fee - car registration costs are about 176 for initial registration, electronic waste disposal fee, etc), and state income tax that gets people in the dumps (and then they hear that California is running a 16B deficit).

If you are a careful spender, you can plan for these things. You will also be able to find an apartment in OC for $1300. In some areas, it will be difficult to find a 1 bedroom, but studio will probably not be a problem.

PS Rent an east or north facing apartment.
Oh yes I know that it's the same for all states. I just meant it's not really any different from any other states, so it's really no different than not paying state income tax. Of course living in a state like Washington is probably much less expensive in other areas, but I just meant it's not really something to take into consideration when calculating expenses considering you'd just make up the difference in federal taxes anyway.

But thanks for all the other info! It definitely looks like it is possible to handle those fees.

Thanks for the info about apartments! I really want a one-bedroom, but I guess if it came down to it I could settle for a studio. But boy would I like a one bedroom lol...
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:29 PM
 
339 posts, read 238,441 times
Reputation: 411
To be blunt, at no more than $40K a year, forget the beach or coastal regions if you want to live on your own.

But, keep in mind that LA and Santa Monica, for example, have rent control, and there are many renters with locked in low rents who may need a roommate. I have no vested interest in this website, but try out padmapper.com. It gives you a map and then shows places for rent, pulling from Craigslist and other sites. It has been invaluable for a lot of people I know.

Here is a basic rundown:

Rent in a decent but not prime area will be about $700 to $1,000 for a studio and upwards of $1,500 to $1,700 for a 1-BR. Sometimes water is included. Electric bill will be about $50 a month, gas if you have a gas stove and heater and do a lot of cooking maybe $15 to $20.

You can get limited car insurance for under $100 a month.

Basic cable is about $70 or so. Phone service is same as everywhere I imagine.

CA State income taxes are not very much at your salary. There is a CA Income Tax calculator on the internet. I do not have the address, but Google and you will find it.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:14 AM
 
20 posts, read 30,851 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Csonka View Post
But, keep in mind that LA and Santa Monica, for example, have rent control, and there are many renters with locked in low rents who may need a roommate. I have no vested interest in this website, but try out padmapper.com. It gives you a map and then shows places for rent, pulling from Craigslist and other sites. It has been invaluable for a lot of people I know.
Padmapper no longer includes Craigslist ads, unfortunately
Bye Bye Craigslist :-(
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:51 PM
 
14 posts, read 37,958 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by benji55545 View Post
Padmapper no longer includes Craigslist ads, unfortunately
Bye Bye Craigslist :-(
Wow, padmapper is now useless. That sucks. They made a great team.
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