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Old 01-13-2010, 08:47 AM
3 posts, read 6,115 times
Reputation: 10


Hello all. My family is contemplating a move from NYC to California. Really do need your advice, as have never lived in LA (visited twice). Here's the context below- any thing you guys have to offer in terms of advice, help, insight -- would sooo appreciated.

My wife and I are in our late 20's, with a 1 year old baby boy. My wife currently is a stay-at-home mom, and I work in Finance in NYC. We are looking for a change of pace in lifestyle and weather and cost of living. While we both like NYC, we feel that it may be time to make a move from East coast to West coast.

- better weather year-round
- hopefully better work/life balance and less stress from work. I generally work 50-60 hours a week
- planning to have more children, need more space. real estate and raising a family in nyc is too expensive. we would rather not move to the suburbs of NYC (as I'd have a much longer commute, still cold weather, and still have a stressful job)
- we have family out in LA which helps (cousins, sister, aunts/uncles). It's also closer to Asia than NYC (where we are both from). We usually visit Asia once/twice a year, so the reduction in travel time would be appreciated.
- most importantly, education for our children. nyc schools range from mediocre to excellent, but the excellent schools are either 1) private and $$$ and waiting lists or 2) public but it's a lottery type process, so no guarantee

So my questions are really directed toward:

1, What's it like working in LA? What are the types of industries most people work in? What are the hours generally (obviously depending on industry)? Are people very career-driven, or are they more family-oriented? I'd be willing to take a paycut, since obviously cost of living is less anyway. I currently bank around $120K a year, which is not very much in NYC. We are not lavish spenders.

2. What are some good school/towns to possibly look into around the LA area? Especially for young families, and for children etc. At same time, we also wouldn't be able to afford extremely affluent towns, so something that's a good balance between school and real estate. How much would I need to spend to perhaps get a 3BR condo, in a good school district? Is LA the right city? Should I look into other areas, like Orange County?

Guess that's it, but really any advice you have for a family like us that you can think of would really be great.

Thanks, and yours truly...
-possible future LA resident
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:01 AM
Location: Costa Mesa
10 posts, read 27,964 times
Reputation: 12
I'm not the best person to answer your 1. and 2. questions above, and I'm hoping some others will chime in. But given some of the variables you indicate, the city of Irvine, in Orange County, should be on your ultimate California short list.
Here's some reasons why:

* Highly-regarded schools
* Very family-oriented, particularly 'young' families (your wife would make a lot of friends)
* Decent Asian population, particularly Chinese
* Quiet, clean, safe place to relax after 50-60 stressful hours/week at the office
* Close to John Wayne Airport, gateway to NYC and Asia (via connection)
* Metrolink/Amtrak rail station...direct service to downtown LA, in case you work there
* Virtually equi-distant from LA and San Diego...and with kids you'll be going to SD a lot (zoo, LegoLand, Sea World, etc.)
* It's the epicenter of OC business...you should have plenty of options and not have to work in LA. Sort of like Stamford, Connecticut is to NYC, if you can picture that.

I was born and raised in NYC and now live happily in OC. Good luck!
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