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Old 08-08-2010, 10:07 PM
 
267 posts, read 580,733 times
Reputation: 230

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Yes I know I'll bet locals here are tired of seeing yet another humble midwesterner wanting to move out to Southern California, but I do have a plan. In a year I will have a Computer Science degree, which while not perfect, it at least will put me in the "skilled" labor market, which sounds a lot better than the unskilled.

Also I am single and don't want kids, and will be renting, not buying, at least at first. So a 1bd will be fine. I will have a car (paid off). I have overall no problems with diversity, or else I wouldn't be considering moving there, but I would like wherever I lived to be more than 10% white.

My plan would be to get a decent tech, programming, or whatever career out in a tech-oriented place such as Irvine. Now my questions are...

1. How competitive is the job market for computer science related fields? What specifically would I need to do to stand a chance?

2. Would I gain any advantage (i.e. lower apartment costs) by living in some other city than Irvine (or wherever my job is located)?

3. How homophobic is it in say Orange County? Granted I am gay but I'm also very straight acting.

4. How bad is the June gloom? Even if it's bad I still won't care because it beats dealing with snow five months out of the year.

5. What kind of salary could I expect? Vaguely speaking of course... but are salaries higher to at least a little bit compensate for the higher cost of living (I know it doesn't come close to fully compensating but still...)

6. Is it possible to drive to semi-far away places in the off hours? Of course I would figure anywhere near rush hour is a no-go, but I have made friends in far flung parts of the area, and it sounds like it would be an insane drive to reach some of them (one is in Santa Clarita, one is in encino, several are in Long Beach, one in Simi Valley, and one down in Murrieta). Still are those places driveable if I plan ahead and do it in off hours?
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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1 - The economy is in the dumper and you'll be competing with people with lots of experience looking for any job.

2 - Most surrounding areas are cheaper than Irvine. Costa Mesa is popular with the younger crowd.

3 - No idea

4 - "Bad" is in the eye of the beholder. I hate heat so I don't mind the June gloom at all. Some people go into a suicidal depression if the sun doesn't come out until noon three days in a row. The farther inland you go, the sooner the in the day the marine layer burns off.

5 - No idea on salary but it doesn't offset the cost of living. You might get 15% more pay and 100% more expenses. People here settle for less housing. That means having a roomate instead of your own place. Renting instead of buying. Condos instead of houses.

6 - Its possible but traffic is bad, especially in LA, most of the time. We don't really have rush hour. Its more like 4 hours in the morning, 4 hours in the afternoon, and some spots that are clogged nearly 24/7. The farther you have the go, the more chance of encountering major congestion even at times of day you wouldn't expect. Santa Clarita, Encino, Simi Valley, and Murrieta are pretty far. Far enough that the thought of driving there will make you wonder how good a friend that person really is and whether the hassle is worth it. Long Beach, not so much.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:43 AM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 18,898,109 times
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The market depends on your skills/languages and a great deal of luck. I've been offered a paid internship for C#/Oracle @ $20/hr and 15.75/hr for a VB6/ASP position in the past 6 months. Both were what you would consider entry level, except I have 10 years experience(though only about 2 years fully coding). I'd not move out here for less than 40k/yr salary and 1k/mo rent if I wanted to build wealth and not live paycheck to paycheck
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:46 PM
 
267 posts, read 580,733 times
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Well thank you for the advice so far. I plan to work my a off this next year to bump up my GPA and learn everything I can about computers as to be competitive down there. What's the general guideline for rent... your income should be like 40 times rent (rule in general)? From what I've searched, 1bd apartments in Irvine start at $1200/month. Maybe other nearby areas like Costa Mesa would be cheaper? I would hope for at least $50k per year probably more. But I will be pretty minimalist in my living. I probably won't even have a TV because I won't need it, I will be working or on the go all the time.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:19 PM
 
5,381 posts, read 8,027,566 times
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You might be interested in this:

O.C. apartment rents creep up
August 4th, 2010, 11:30 am posted by Jeff Collins
O.C. apartment rents creep up - Lansner on Real Estate : The Orange County Register

“A 15-month run of falling rents appears to be at an end, with the biggest landlords doing an about face and raising rents again as their apartments fill up.
The average rent for a large Orange County apartment complex increased $4 during the quarter ending on June 30, rising to $1,482, according to apartment tracker RealFacts.”

If I recall correctly, rents are highest in: 1. Newport Beach. 2 Irvine 3. Aliso Viejo. I think you will be fine if you are single and frugal.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,664 posts, read 29,346,058 times
Reputation: 5152
Here in So CA we refer to where you are as Mid-East.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:36 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 18,898,109 times
Reputation: 1923
Irvine would be too expensive. Costa Mesa would have prices more in line with what you are looking for while still being generally safe around Orange Coast College(OCC).
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:37 PM
 
267 posts, read 580,733 times
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well I'm from the suburbs of Kansas City... specifically "Johnson County", which has a lot in common with Orange County, but minus the ocean and mountains and with a low cost of living. The snobby materialism supposedly of OC won't be anything I'm not used to already. Technically the area isn't "midwest" but "plains state" region but whatever lol.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:43 PM
 
267 posts, read 580,733 times
Reputation: 230
I did an apartment search on Costa Mesa. the low end apartments were at $1000/month, which seems a little better.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:50 PM
 
5,381 posts, read 8,027,566 times
Reputation: 4538
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason87x View Post
I did an apartment search on Costa Mesa. the low end apartments were at $1000/month, which seems a little better.
Location, location, location. Do you know much about the areas where these cheap apartments are located? I can’t tell you which parts of the city are “challenged,” but I understand that Costa Mesa has some pretty rough sections.
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