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Old 08-06-2020, 07:05 PM
 
27 posts, read 14,529 times
Reputation: 29

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We are definitively moving out of Chicago, but don't want to head back to Texas. California is currently one of the states we are considering. Fam income of about $190,000, likely $215,000 within a couple of years.

We're focusing our research on Orange County right now. I'm starting to gather that the homes w enough space for us and in our budget (family of 5, but one off at college and the other two are 11 and 16yo boys) are all in subdivisions, which is something we'd like to avoid. We would just really like to avoid HOAs, etc.

Do we need to look elsewhere in CA?

A bit of background:

-Single income fam
-homeschool
-progressive
-mixed ethnicity family (I'm Latinx)
-Husband's job is fully remote and will stay that way for a while, but his company has offices and projects in CA. When things are "normal" his job involves a ton of travel, so being near an airport would be great.
-California's appeal for us is the natural beauty opportunities. Nothing within a day's drive of where we lived in TX is beautiful. We love camping, hiking, beach visits, and desert getaways. (I also love Disney parks, but that's not a factor in our interest in CA.)

Reasons for leaving Chicago:

-We were only going to be here 18-20 months. All of our reasons for moving here were eliminated by covid
-We love Chicago at its best, but it's best is shut down for the foreseeable future.
-Lack of nature is really draining us.

I'm okay with heavy traffic, but friendliness and down-to-earthness are big for me. After a day's research, I'm starting to wonder if we should be looking at OC at all, but I also know that people tend to complain more online.

Any feedback or suggestions would be hugely appreciated. I know it must get tiring to answer relocation questions all the time!

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:08 PM
 
27 posts, read 14,529 times
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Want to add that we have not read much about Placentia, Fullerton and Yorba Linda, if anyone has anything to offer about those cities.

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Corona del Mar & Coronado, CA
3,041 posts, read 1,780,973 times
Reputation: 3769
No it isn't mostly subdivisions, but there are a lot. It would help to know your budget.

CA is not a place I'd be moving TO. Lots of bad financial problems coming for the state. I'd be looking in Reno, NV and the greater Salt Lake City area for value, quality of life and outdoor activities.
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:01 PM
 
27 posts, read 14,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimTheEnchanter View Post
No it isn't mostly subdivisions, but there are a lot. It would help to know your budget.

CA is not a place I'd be moving TO. Lots of bad financial problems coming for the state. I'd be looking in Reno, NV and the greater Salt Lake City area for value, quality of life and outdoor activities.
Thanks. I don't know that I'm really up for more red state living after spending most of my life in my red home state. It's just not for us. We homeschool, and it's very important to us to find a secular homeschool community. In red states, homeschoolers tend to trend religious. There's a pretty large secular homeschool community in CA, which is part of the appeal.


This is why quality of life is so subjective. I know other states are cheaper, but many cheaper states are missing a few key qualities that are important for our quality of life. Right now CA is not necessarily at the top of the list, but it is the state we decided to focus on for the week as we explore our options.
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
2,540 posts, read 836,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoorno View Post
Want to add that we have not read much about Placentia, Fullerton and Yorba Linda, if anyone has anything to offer about those cities.

Thanks!
Of those 3, I'd focus on Yorba Linda.
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
13,131 posts, read 8,168,663 times
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What's your budget?
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Corona del Mar & Coronado, CA
3,041 posts, read 1,780,973 times
Reputation: 3769
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoorno View Post
Thanks. I don't know that I'm really up for more red state living after spending most of my life in my red home state. It's just not for us. We homeschool, and it's very important to us to find a secular homeschool community. In red states, homeschoolers tend to trend religious. There's a pretty large secular homeschool community in CA, which is part of the appeal.
I don't know that politics would be a key driver for me, but in any case, NV isn't a "red state". There is only one state wide elected Republican (Sec of State), everyone else is a Democrat; NV has two Democrat U.S. Senators and three Dem Representatives vs one Republican.

Utah is a "red state" overall, but the Greater SLC Area is quite different. There hasn't been a Republican mayor in SLC since 1975 and the current mayor is a woman with a B.S. in Gender Studies; not the typical stereotype of a Utah "housewife". The Congressman for the Salt Lake Valley is also a Democrat. The high tech boom in UT has greatly changed the area.

But be that as it may..... your budget for a house in Orange County will get you better specific answers on where to look.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:50 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
5,000 posts, read 6,765,526 times
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I lived in Huntington Beach for two glorious years (for me, it was like being on vacation for two years). That was 20 years ago so I'm no expert but just a couple comments:

OC is like one big continuous stream of homes, verrrry close together but usually separated pretty nicely by walls of vegetation. I don't think those older homes are in HOAs. My friend and her husband bought a home near Bolsa Chica Preserve specifically because they were sick of living in a condo community with all the rules. I love her development, the homes are all different but mostly all are beautifully landscaped and maintained. It reminds me of the homes in "Desperate Housewives". Not specifically recommending that area but just addressing your HOA concern. As others said, your budget is really going to be key.

I found the people very friendly -- for example, the clerks in the supermarkets would chat and laugh with the customers. One time I was holding up a line at a BedBath doing returns. I turned around to apologize to the people in line. Now on the East coast, they'd have been steaming, but everyone there was so nice, "that's OK, no problem". Again, it was 20 years ago, don't know if it's changed. I definitely felt a change in driver politeness when I came back to visit. When I lived there, people were very courteous on the freeways, letting you change lanes as soon as you put your signal on. When I visited later, I had trucks tailgating me, one person flipped me off on a side street because I was unsure of where I was turning.

I loved the diversity, much more than I was used to on the East coast. Except for black folks -- there weren't many of them until you got up to Long Beach and closer to L.A.

Definitely got a Republican vibe in O.C., noticed it right away when I subscribed to the OC Register. Switched to the LA Times as Repub's not my bag. Otherwise, nobody really talked politics. Again, 20 years ago.

Loved the weather, of course, as well as the natural beauty of the area.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:29 PM
 
27 posts, read 14,529 times
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Thanks for the feedback! We've decide to continue our search elsewhere. Not done looking in CA, but I don't think the OC is quite the right fit. Appreciate the time folks took on this thread to offer their pov!
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
5,380 posts, read 7,257,964 times
Reputation: 4502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
I lived in Huntington Beach for two glorious years (for me, it was like being on vacation for two years). That was 20 years ago so I'm no expert but just a couple comments:

OC is like one big continuous stream of homes, verrrry close together but usually separated pretty nicely by walls of vegetation. I don't think those older homes are in HOAs. My friend and her husband bought a home near Bolsa Chica Preserve specifically because they were sick of living in a condo community with all the rules. I love her development, the homes are all different but mostly all are beautifully landscaped and maintained. It reminds me of the homes in "Desperate Housewives". Not specifically recommending that area but just addressing your HOA concern. As others said, your budget is really going to be key.

I found the people very friendly -- for example, the clerks in the supermarkets would chat and laugh with the customers. One time I was holding up a line at a BedBath doing returns. I turned around to apologize to the people in line. Now on the East coast, they'd have been steaming, but everyone there was so nice, "that's OK, no problem". Again, it was 20 years ago, don't know if it's changed. I definitely felt a change in driver politeness when I came back to visit. When I lived there, people were very courteous on the freeways, letting you change lanes as soon as you put your signal on. When I visited later, I had trucks tailgating me, one person flipped me off on a side street because I was unsure of where I was turning.

I loved the diversity, much more than I was used to on the East coast. Except for black folks -- there weren't many of them until you got up to Long Beach and closer to L.A.

Definitely got a Republican vibe in O.C., noticed it right away when I subscribed to the OC Register. Switched to the LA Times as Repub's not my bag. Otherwise, nobody really talked politics. Again, 20 years ago.

Loved the weather, of course, as well as the natural beauty of the area.
I know what you mean regarding The OC Register, but the county's politics have definitely changed.

Here's a dated (2010) NY Times article which addresses that fact:
Orange County Is No Longer Nixon Country
https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/30/u.../30orange.html
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