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Old 01-20-2011, 01:32 PM
 
306 posts, read 480,210 times
Reputation: 407

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Hello, I currently live in the suburbs of Chicago. I have one child and my husband may be taking a job out in the L.A. area.

L.A. and the immediate area is out due to affordability. What I am looking for is a home between 250-300K that has 3 bed, 2 bath.

I know the market out there is really high. We really liked Pasedena, Santa Monica, etc, but who doesnt! We would like to be by the ocean, but not in our budget. My husband would be making around 100K+ a year.

Also very important is a good community with good schools.

Any suggestions?

Thank you.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Declezville, CA
16,806 posts, read 39,950,586 times
Reputation: 17694
I'm going to start you off with the #1 caveat for Southern California living:

THE KEY TO SANITY WHEN LIVING IN SO CAL IS TO LIVE AS CLOSE TO ONE'S PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT AS POSSIBLE.

In other words, minimize your commute time, lest you go insane.
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:28 PM
 
306 posts, read 480,210 times
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I agree on the commute, my husband's commute right now in Chicago is about an hour. That is fine with us. We have multiple offers. If someone could give a list of burbs and if it is doable in our budget. Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga
34 posts, read 105,504 times
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Do you know what part of LA your husband will be working in? That will play a big part in his commute time. If he is working in the outskirts of LA county, then there are great options in Rancho Cucamonga or North Fontana if you are looking for newer construction. If you don't mind an older home, some areas of La Verne might also work for you guys. For the price range you are looking in, you really can't go much further west of La Verne as the prices out there start getting really high.

From what I have heard, Rancho Cucamonga has some good schools, and certain areas of Fontana are in the Etiwanda School District which is also highly regarded. I'm not as familiar with the La Verne school district so if anyone else can add anything, it's appreciated.

If you guys need any additional information or would like a list of houses in these areas, please let me know. Also, if you are coming out to visit the areas, I would be happy to show you around. Good luck in your search for a new home!
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Southern California
3,113 posts, read 8,380,507 times
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You're right, Riverside is about an hour from downtown Los Angeles - when there's no traffic - but during most of the day it's much much longer. And if he works in Long Beach, or the Valley, they're even further away, and there's even more traffic.

If you live and work near the Metrolink, that's a fairly painless way to commute, and it's faster than driving. But is his place of employment near a station?

There are people who commute from Riverside to Los Angeles everyday, but Fontucky is right, you'll be a lot happier if you can keep the commute short - and to do that would probably require living in LA County, if your husband works anywhere on the west, north, or south of downtown.

Facing a two hour or longer commute each way, every single day, is really really rough.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:33 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,226 posts, read 22,199,581 times
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unless you don't mind high crime areas with school performance that is absolutely disgraceful, you aren't going to find a suburb with houses in your price range that are within an hour of LA. if you stretch up to $400k, which you should be able to afford on your husband's $100k+ salary, you'll have many more options.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:10 PM
 
306 posts, read 480,210 times
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Thank you all very much for your suggestions. In housing out in California, does the 2 1/2 to 3 factor not pertain ?
My husband and I are conservative in our price amount. I find it hard to believe that every household in California is making over 150-200K to afford to live within 1 hour of downtown? Maybe that is the case.
We live about an hour west of Chicago now and I know they are two different real estate markets, but we will probably stay put due to the cost of housing. We love Chicago, but that L.A. weather is sure nice, especially today!
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,113 posts, read 8,380,507 times
Reputation: 3721
Quote:
Originally Posted by westburbsil View Post
I find it hard to believe that every household in California is making over 150-200K to afford to live within 1 hour of downtown? Maybe that is the case.
You're right, not everyone who lives in the area makes that much - but many of them bought their houses long ago, and have lower house payments because of it. And some of them are willing to give up owning, and rent instead, so they can stay in the area. And others worked their way up the real estate ladder, by buying and selling and slowly moving into better and better homes in nicer neighborhoods. And others are willing to live in neighborhoods that are not as desirable, to be close to downtown. Some live with family members. And some are completely underwater, and living on their credit cards! And still others are willing to make the commute to and from Riverside County, if it means finally owning a house.

It's not that you can't make it in LA on less than $150K a year - you most certainly can! But there are tradeoffs.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:44 AM
 
3,322 posts, read 7,973,693 times
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Its pretty much impossible to buy a home in a decent area of LA county with that price scale. Rancho Cucamonga to most of LA is WAY more than hour. I use to drive Fontana to Arcadia and that would take me an hour. I didn't even have to pass Pasadena so theres at least another 25 minutes. Stop telling lies to people about the commute. That is at least an 80 minute commute and the drive back home is usually worse.

I highly suggest looking into the metrolink if his work would be near the LA stops. It would be about 200 bucks a month and about an hour but its really chill compared to dealing with traffic. It is very safe as well since they have LA Sheriff on the train to ensure safety. Problem is, most people don't work near the stops and you have to take a bus to get closer.

Certain parts of Montclair especially north of the 10 freeway are nice. La Verne, San Dimas, and Claremont are closer but I doubt you can find something decent for your price range. La Verne has ALOT of old homes which may fall into your price range but they are very old homes.
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Arizona
512 posts, read 948,136 times
Reputation: 1229
Riverside can be a minimum 2 - 3 hour commute EACH direction to LA during rush hour traffic. The 91 freeway is horribly slow and if there's an accident forget it! I've been on the 91 heading east from Riverside at 5:30 am several times and it has taken me 1 1/2 hours just to get to Orange County!
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