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Old 05-03-2009, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
18 posts, read 46,673 times
Reputation: 15

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I am in need of your help! Looking to relocate from Chicago to possibly OC (not A FAN of LA - just OK, do not think it is pretty). I have been reading and researching a lot, speaking to tourism bureaus and chambers of commerce, ordering maps, visitor guides and relocation packages, speaking to realtors with whom I will meet and getting listings and lastly, i have been reading this site - so very helpful! As a result, I am very confused and wondering can you help me narrow down?

Choices...

Manhattan Beach? ( I hear high end and I can't afford)

Redondo? ( I hear mixed - "cousin to Manhattan")

Hermosa? ( I hear great, but young? Though "downtown" is nice...?)

Seal Beach? (I hear nice, no details?)

Long Beach? (5th largest city and refurbished, but still only 5 mile oceanfron path??? Most affordable so does that mean young or not very high end?)

Huntington? ( I also hear "refurbished" - "Surf City" - does it have a good downtown and running path along water?)

Newport? (I read great area and pricey)

Irvine? (I hear Irvine is a beautiful, manicured (which i like) planned
community; howver, i hear not near water and more like suburbia with families...?????)

Laguna Beach ( I hear touristy) or Niguel ( I hear not a lot to do?)?

Corona Del Mar?

Dana Point? (Boat Harbor but not much else?)

Del Mar/La Jolla? Hillcrest? Downtown San Diego? (Won't address what i read here, since focusing on OC)

I am looking to relocate from the gold coast of Chicago where I live in a
full amenity, high-rise condo building (24 hr door, pools, tennis, exercise room) with spectacular unobstructed views of Lincoln Park and our 22-mile lakefront, with a wide jogging/biking path that I cannot live without. I am walking distance to the most stunning architecture, arts and culture, best restaurants, lounges and shopping Chicago has to offer. Homes a block away cost as much as 5 million plus. The only thing missing is the year-long warm weather.

I am trying to duplicate as much as possible in an area of OC or Manhattan/Hermosa/Redondo Beach or Del Mar/La Jolla/downtown San Diego for about 300K. Bear in mind I pay $700/mo additional for parking and assessments (HOAs), so price is flexible/contingent on extras.
1 bed, 1 ba min. 800 sf is fine (I prefer high end location/building/unit to space). Though I will rent first, I want to move to an area where my goal to be can be met.

I realize that :

1) My budget may be too small for some areas.
2) There are very few high rise condo buildings and the ones that exist
may not be a popular way to go in CA. ????? Thus, if I must consider
THs I will.
3) Many of the buildings seem older than the ones in Chicago...? Not
looking for a fixer upper or short sale. Prefer newer construction to
older.

Questions:

1) Where can I get views and access to water where I can jog? (Or
close to water?) Much of what I am reading does not indicate a
running path along your ocean - max 5 miles in Long Beach??
Is this right?)

2) Best place to build business/private psychotherapy practice?

3) Best place for single, 45 hip, urban, sophisticated, liberal single female? (Like a lively area, but not frat boy central. Enjoy high end restaurants, lounges, cafes, cute shops, arts and culture , etc. Clubbing not necessary.)

4) Best hospitals for psychiatry?

5) Access to traveling highways or thoroughfares?

I would truly be grateful for any assistance/direction you can provide. Thank you!
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:31 AM
 
37 posts, read 130,428 times
Reputation: 19
sadly, I think a few of the things you want are sorely lacking in the OC... It seems like anyone who runs around here does so on a treadmill-blegh. People out here drive to their mailboxes. Huntington has a great dog beach where I often see people running, but I'm not sure how long it is. It also seems like architechture is really on the back burner around here in favor of massive sprawl... not that there aren't great places, but likely not like what you're used to and still pretty pricey. San Diego might have more of what you're looking for--I LOVE going to the gas-lamp district, and that seems like just what you're looking for, but I don't know a whole lot about down there.
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:50 AM
 
4,486 posts, read 9,901,873 times
Reputation: 3885
You, like many others that post here, seem blissfully unaware of exactly how expensive Southern California is to live near beach communities. Every one wants to live near the beach. Yes yes, of course. Because of that, its not cheap.

You can find rents on small studios and one bedrooms in Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, and Long Beach within a couple blocks of the beach in the $1100-1500 range. Forget about buying even a condo at $300K though except maybe in the downtown Long Beach area, which actually might serve your needs. But the reason its affordable is because its the most run down area. Oh, downtown is nice, but bad elements are only a mile away or so, maybe less, and the thugs do tend to invade the area every now and then. The South Bay(Hermosa, Manhatten, Redondo) are even more expensive. Even in this downturned market, these locations are still high end places.

Eh, I have no idea why people don't come visit for a few weeks before deciding to move here. Based on responses and questions I've read in the few weeks I've been on this site, its clear that some people really have no idea how its possible that Los Angeles is laid out in the manner it is, and words can't adequately describe it to someone who has not spent some time here.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,342 posts, read 89,376,090 times
Reputation: 17728
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamer312 View Post

2) Best place to build business/private psychotherapy practice?
What about the California license?
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:33 AM
 
916 posts, read 3,517,819 times
Reputation: 315
the only thing that comes remotely close to what you're looking for is downtown long beach or downtown san diego
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:43 AM
 
2,652 posts, read 5,142,645 times
Reputation: 1932
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamer312 View Post
I am in need of your help! Looking to relocate from Chicago to possibly OC (not A FAN of LA - just OK, do not think it is pretty). I have been reading and researching a lot, speaking to tourism bureaus and chambers of commerce, ordering maps, visitor guides and relocation packages, speaking to realtors with whom I will meet and getting listings and lastly, i have been reading this site - so very helpful! As a result, I am very confused and wondering can you help me narrow down?

Choices...

Manhattan Beach? ( I hear high end and I can't afford)

Redondo? ( I hear mixed - "cousin to Manhattan")

Hermosa? ( I hear great, but young? Though "downtown" is nice...?)

Seal Beach? (I hear nice, no details?)

Long Beach? (5th largest city and refurbished, but still only 5 mile oceanfron path??? Most affordable so does that mean young or not very high end?)

Huntington? ( I also hear "refurbished" - "Surf City" - does it have a good downtown and running path along water?)

Newport? (I read great area and pricey)

Irvine? (I hear Irvine is a beautiful, manicured (which i like) planned
community; howver, i hear not near water and more like suburbia with families...?????)

Laguna Beach ( I hear touristy) or Niguel ( I hear not a lot to do?)?

Corona Del Mar?

Dana Point? (Boat Harbor but not much else?)

Del Mar/La Jolla? Hillcrest? Downtown San Diego? (Won't address what i read here, since focusing on OC)

I am looking to relocate from the gold coast of Chicago where I live in a
full amenity, high-rise condo building (24 hr door, pools, tennis, exercise room) with spectacular unobstructed views of Lincoln Park and our 22-mile lakefront, with a wide jogging/biking path that I cannot live without. I am walking distance to the most stunning architecture, arts and culture, best restaurants, lounges and shopping Chicago has to offer. Homes a block away cost as much as 5 million plus. The only thing missing is the year-long warm weather.

I am trying to duplicate as much as possible in an area of OC or Manhattan/Hermosa/Redondo Beach or Del Mar/La Jolla/downtown San Diego for about 300K. Bear in mind I pay $700/mo additional for parking and assessments (HOAs), so price is flexible/contingent on extras.
1 bed, 1 ba min. 800 sf is fine (I prefer high end location/building/unit to space). Though I will rent first, I want to move to an area where my goal to be can be met.

I realize that :

1) My budget may be too small for some areas.
2) There are very few high rise condo buildings and the ones that exist
may not be a popular way to go in CA. ????? Thus, if I must consider
THs I will.
3) Many of the buildings seem older than the ones in Chicago...? Not
looking for a fixer upper or short sale. Prefer newer construction to
older.

Questions:

1) Where can I get views and access to water where I can jog? (Or
close to water?) Much of what I am reading does not indicate a
running path along your ocean - max 5 miles in Long Beach??
Is this right?)

2) Best place to build business/private psychotherapy practice?

3) Best place for single, 45 hip, urban, sophisticated, liberal single female? (Like a lively area, but not frat boy central. Enjoy high end restaurants, lounges, cafes, cute shops, arts and culture , etc. Clubbing not necessary.)

4) Best hospitals for psychiatry?

5) Access to traveling highways or thoroughfares?

I would truly be grateful for any assistance/direction you can provide. Thank you!

There are lots of options that fit the lifestyle & amenities that you are looking for. Unfortunately you will need to raise your housing price from $300k to $550-600k to sniff any of them. I would relook at your housing budget and decide what you can really afford to stretch to and reevaluate. ( If you want to really be a californian you HAVE to pay more then your comfortable with for your home - its a state law. )

Also- Outside of LA and some smaller city downtowns there are not a ton of high rises here in So Cal. Apartments/Condos tend to be 2 or 3 story complexes. Many of these may have the same luxury amenities as a North Shore high rise, its just that the buildings are'nt high rise. You may want to open your self up to these as well to increase your options.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
18 posts, read 46,673 times
Reputation: 15
Wow! Thanks so much for all of your responses. Very helpful, albeit a bit disappointing.
A few more questions and responses to posters:

Rest assured, i would never move anywhere I didn't research at length and visit several times. Plus, i would absolutely only rent first, for a year to figure out the true lay of the land.

I wish I could raise my housing allowance, but not possible. Can you find me a great guy with whom I can share the mortgage? LOL!

RE: high rises vs low rises...I am open as i know it is different there, espec. in OC. (Have been to LA and San Diego a few times each, thus why I know I do not care for LA to live and am going to research more of SD)

Also, regarding licensing...I would have to take 7 more classes and 2 tests. Not great as there is no Reciprocity. Much easier to obtain license in sunny Fla. Then again, being a top student and driven to achieve, i know we can all make things happen in pursuit of our dreams.

So, forgetting the high rises, what area might you recommend for a 45 single female? And what do you all think of Irvine (even though not on the water?)

Also, which is the liveliest beach town for someone my age?

Best hospitals (with psychiatry dept.)?

Thank you again for your help!
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:09 AM
 
37 posts, read 130,428 times
Reputation: 19
have you thought about san francisco? It's incredibly walkable and has great architecture, but I have no idea what the real estate market is... still sky high, I'm sure.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:11 AM
 
916 posts, read 3,517,819 times
Reputation: 315
first, you will hate Irvine. of all the places in inland oc irvine is the most sterile and boring. and that is saying a lot because all of inland oc is sterile and boring in my opinion. even for families I think it's boring. People will talk about the safety, good schools, etc of the area but you can find areas just as safe with good schools that don't exist of totally tract developments where the garage is the featured part of the frontal architecture.

also, half the places you are considering are in LA county. The best way to think of SoCal is not LA vs. OC. A better way is inland vs. coastal. You'll find that places like Manhattan Beach and Belmont Shore (both in LA) have a lot in common with other coastal areas (Newport and Seal Beach) which are both in OC. Likewise, Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel (both inland OC) will have a lot in common with Torrance and West Covina (both LA).

At the end of the day, for what you describe you want, I would look at the coastal town closest to you work. You won't see any high rises (with the exception of downtown LB) but you'll get a lot more of the feel, culture you're seeking there than you will in the inland areas.

I would look specifically given your work is flexible at Belmont Heights. You might find a 1br condo in your price range. don't get hung up on the 5 mile thing for Long Beach. It's a great biking/running town. You can run along the coast but also continue onto many inlets of bays, etc.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
18 posts, read 46,673 times
Reputation: 15
San Fran is more expensive than NY - sky high real estate - and not warm enough for me,
but yes, a great city -- to visit!

Naplesres: Thank you for your feedback. I am more interested in coastal towns.
Where exactly is Belmont Heights?

Also, from the coastal towns you mentioned, barring money, which is the nicest (overall) coastal town, in your opinion? Now, which is the best, given my budget? Which has the liveliest area in way of restaurants, cafes, arts, culture, boutiques/shops, things to do, access to water and highways, etc?

Any additional responses are very much appreciated!
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