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Old 10-30-2011, 01:39 PM
 
1,232 posts, read 3,118,521 times
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Hi all! I'm thinking of moving from Mesa, AZ. I work from home so can keep my $50k/year job. I have a father near Chula Vista (though he lives on a boat and doesn't know the area well) and a sister in some upscale corner of Escondido. I'll be visiting over Thanksgiving and might have a Chula Vista realtor show my what's in our price range in that area. I'm thinking $150-200k.

My main concern is finding a great school for my only child, a gifted 6th grader. We are white but don't mind Hispanic majority areas, but I don't want her to feel like a persecuted minority, either.

I have two big dogs so need at least a townhouse with a smallish yard. I'm not a fan of giant HOA fees and other monthly fees. I have no debt and it's just the two of us. I should eventually be able to replace my current PT job of college faculty, out there, so that's more income. I'm thinking maybe we should rent for 6-12 months first, and then pick an area if we like it. If it's a failure we can come back here fairly easily, too.

How are scholarships for high-achieving students? I think in AZ as long as she's near the top of her class she will get a full ride to ASU, if things don't change in the interim.

All thoughts welcome! Thanks!
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Hookerville, formerly in Tweakerville
15,110 posts, read 32,130,811 times
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The schools in the Poway Unified School District (www.powayusd.com) are the best. Stay away from San Diego City Schools (www.sandi.net). You can also check out school ratings on Great Schools (www.greatschools.net).
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:28 PM
 
1,232 posts, read 3,118,521 times
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Thanks!

Does anyone know if CA follows the model where motivated high school students can take AP classes in high school and then 'test out' for college credit? I know many states now have top students entering college with up to 60 credits already under their belt. Here in AZ, a student can get a lot of college credit (cheaply) while still in high school.

I suppose I need to look at college tuition costs in CA, too. I'm hoping the high property taxes means better schools and affordable tuition? If I buy out there, property taxes will be about 4X what they are here, for a similarly priced home.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Hookerville, formerly in Tweakerville
15,110 posts, read 32,130,811 times
Reputation: 9689
Does anyone know if CA follows the model where motivated high school students can take AP classes in high school and then 'test out' for college credit? I know many states now have top students entering college with up to 60 credits already under their belt. Here in AZ, a student can get a lot of college credit (cheaply) while still in high school.

I've never heard of this, but maybe someone else has.

I suppose I need to look at college tuition costs in CA, too. I'm hoping the high property taxes means better schools and affordable tuition? If I buy out there, property taxes will be about 4X what they are here, for a similarly priced home.

Not necessarily.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:07 PM
 
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Thanks. I compared some (current) state tuition costs and CA does seem a little cheaper.

Chula Vista and Santee both look interesting. I could get a lot more house in Chula Vista, but better schools, crime stats, etc. in Santee. I will drive around both next month, if I can. Poway (and the other top-rated schools' cities in the area-- La Jolla and Coronado) are going to be out of my price range, I think.

It's looking on paper like Chula Vista is going to be our best fit, as far as good schools, demographics and not taking a huge step down from our current 'quality of housing'.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Poway
1,445 posts, read 2,729,146 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadyFreddy View Post
Thanks!

Does anyone know if CA follows the model where motivated high school students can take AP classes in high school and then 'test out' for college credit? I know many states now have top students entering college with up to 60 credits already under their belt. Here in AZ, a student can get a lot of college credit (cheaply) while still in high school.

I suppose I need to look at college tuition costs in CA, too. I'm hoping the high property taxes means better schools and affordable tuition? If I buy out there, property taxes will be about 4X what they are here, for a similarly priced home.
Yes, HS students can take AP classes which, depending on their test scores, can count as college credit. Each college will determine what is an acceptable AP test and score for credit.

My daughter has taken and is taking several AP classes.

Both my kids go to a Poway Unified school.

Note that these AP classes are tough compared to other HS classes.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:27 PM
 
1,232 posts, read 3,118,521 times
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I'm getting cold feet. Looking what I can buy there vs. here... it's starting to make the summer heat and the Mormons seem worth it. Maybe I'll shoot for retiring there. Or getting a job more on the CA pay scale first.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:47 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,418 posts, read 11,543,520 times
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Poway has some very expensive areas, but also some very inexpensive areas (the older parts). But I'm guessing there's still a significant difference between what you can buy here vs. there.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:55 AM
 
1,232 posts, read 3,118,521 times
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Realtor.com is showing me only one listing in Poway in the 150-200k range: A $200k condo, 984 SF.

Just for comparison purposes, my Mesa house is worth around 200k, and is 2150 SF on 1/3 acre with a pool and also '10'-rated schools (from Greatschools.net). No HOA and cheap taxes.

I think I could probably make more there though if I changed jobs to a SD employer. And a '10' school in Poway might be much better than a '10' in Mesa. I don't know how to tell, since they're graded on totally different tests.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:29 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,226 posts, read 22,100,014 times
Reputation: 3626
did you think the SD and Phoenix areas would be priced the similarly? If so, that would be quite naive. SD is one most expensive areas in the country if you haven't already discovered.
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