Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Jose
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-01-2007, 01:23 PM
 
1 posts, read 28,759 times
Reputation: 12

Advertisements

hello... my sister (age 19) and I (age 22) are looking to move from our current location (Maine!) to Santa Cruz in June of '08. We are having a little trouble getting the information we need without visiting and don't really have to time to do so. We would love to know what the general cost of living is, what the job market is like, how easy it is to find apartments, etc. If there is anyone out who wouldn't mind taking the time to fill us in on the ins and outs of Santa Cruz, it would be much appreciated.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-01-2007, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
2,990 posts, read 8,712,096 times
Reputation: 1516
This is what I know about Santa Cruz. Its a little less cheaper than San Jose, has a large Hispanic population, not much industry so I think a lot of people commute to San Jose over Highway 17. I have a friend that works at Seagate in Scotts Valley, a town in the middle of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is a very nice place with lots of scenery and the ocean gives you a very temperate climate. There is a UC there and the boardwalk is also a popular landmark.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2007, 04:44 PM
 
2,652 posts, read 8,581,667 times
Reputation: 1915
Santa Cruz is expensive. You will see a huge difference coming from Maine. My opinion of Santa Cruz is that it is kind of ghetto. Sorry I couldn't be of much help.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2007, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
2,990 posts, read 8,712,096 times
Reputation: 1516
After the Loma Prieta earthquake, Santa Cruz just went to the dumps. Growing up in San Jose as kids, we use to go to Santa Cruz a lot and hang out at the boardwalk. I remember there use to be an event called "Beach Street", it was a classic car event that was really fun. Seems like now, there are a lot of Hispanic gangs that spread from Watsonville and Salinas areas. Last time I was there was 3 years ago, so it was really not the same Santa Cruz I knew in the 80s when it made a name for itself as a real beach town.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2007, 08:43 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
51 posts, read 260,732 times
Reputation: 27
Santa Cruz is still one of my favorite places in the world. Good luck with your move there!

Yes, it is very, very expensive. But there is a major university there (UC Santa Cruz). Check out their web site - the job and housing information for students might be helpful to you also. Welcome to UC Santa Cruz - Creating knowledge. In a spectacular setting. For over 40 years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2007, 12:10 PM
 
60 posts, read 435,731 times
Reputation: 40
Default More information on Santa Cruz

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAPoolServiceLV View Post
After the Loma Prieta earthquake, Santa Cruz just went to the dumps. Growing up in San Jose as kids, we use to go to Santa Cruz a lot and hang out at the boardwalk. I remember there use to be an event called "Beach Street", it was a classic car event that was really fun. Seems like now, there are a lot of Hispanic gangs that spread from Watsonville and Salinas areas. Last time I was there was 3 years ago, so it was really not the same Santa Cruz I knew in the 80s when it made a name for itself as a real beach town.
I am wondering if you are referring primarily to the Boardwalk/Beach Flats area. Beach Flats is the main low income neighborhood that has problems with drugs, gangs, etc. This neighborhood may have worsened since the Loma Prieta Earthquake.

However, I find much of the rest of the city has become more upscale than it used to be because of the rebuilding of the downtown after the earthquake, which I think is really nice now. Also, it has gotten so expensive that the type of person who can buy there now is of a much higher income level. I went to UCSC in the early 90's, and then lived with my husband there until 2002. I truly miss it. If you can afford it, it is a very nice environment - healthy, abundent nature, lots to do, artistic, relatively intellectual because of the proximity of UCSC, fun and interesting. It is a slower pace of life.

In a nutshell:
*it is stunningly beautiful (particularly the West Cliff and East Cliff walks next to the ocean, as well as the redwoods and Pogonip).
*It has an interesting/odd mix of students and professors, hippy/artist types (though many have left due to the cost of living), lots of people interested in New Age movement, surfers, Silicon Valley/techie types, professionals, blue collar types who have lived there for generations, and everything in between (please excuse any generalizations - I am not sure how else to describe it).
*I personally have always liked the mix of Mexican and Anglo cultures in the city. There are many multicultural art and music events in the city.
*The town is the perfect size, and there are also many other nice small towns in the county. There is tons to do there - lots of movie theaters, concert venues, bookstores, cafes, great parks and recreation department with cheap classes, etc.
*The style is very casual there. I actually found this to reduce the cost of living a bit, since now in Boston, I have to spend a lot more on clothes. People are more formal here, and winter clothes meant for the snow are more expensive
*As far as rentals, it has always been expensive and difficult to find because there are so many students looking for housing as well. The best time of year to find a rental is in the summer, when many students leave. As is always mentioned, check Craigslist to get a good idea.
Hope that helps!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2007, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,784,597 times
Reputation: 2708
Okay....I I live in Santa Cruz!! Here are some links for you:

Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council (http://www.santacruz.org/index.shtml - broken link)

That one above is for santacruz.org and tells a lot of what is in Santa Cruz, proper. It is a young, hip, university town. On the beach, great surfing, lots of shops, restaurants, music, and very liberal people. It's a very young town, too.

Rents are higher here -- you get what you pay for. Look on Craig's list for initial places -- maybe with roommates.

I live in the Santa Cruz mountains above Santa Cruz in an area called Lompico (a section of Felton), which is in the redwoods. It's cheaper in Felton, Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek (the mountain towns) because you have to travel about 6 miles to town (which is NOT far, but people seem to balk at having to travel at all into Santa Cruz). The costs are higher in Santa Cruz because people don't want to drive to the beach, they want to walk to the beach. But if you don't mind driving 15 minutes to the beach, then you'll get a better deal in the mountains. Here is our neighborhood link: Lompico, California - Santa Cruz & Silicon Valley Rural Living - Live Among the Coastal Redwoods, Loch Lomond Lake and Lompico Creek

Avoid Watsonville -- too many gangs -- but it's still far from Santa Cruz.

As for jobs, the County of Santa Cruz has a "job interest" list that you can fill out and you will be notified when positions become open -- just go to the County Personnel Office and ask for the job interest form. The County is often hiring, and you can start at a lower level position and easily promote up. They are located at 701 Ocean Street, 3rd Floor, Santa Cruz.

Many people also work in San Jose because often the jobs there pay more, but you do have to drive "over the hill" then on Hwy. 17 (a windy road). But it's pretty common for people to live in Santa Cruz and work in San Jose.

At any rate, you will have a blast here! Good luck on your move!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-06-2007, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
7 posts, read 61,677 times
Reputation: 18
Hi there, I was so interested to read your post! I am about in your demographic (I'll be 25) so hopefully I can offer some insight. You will have a BIG shock coming from Maine. The cost of living is much much higher here. For renting a 2 bedroom place, you're looking at $1200-$1400 to find a decent place. There are some that cost less, but many are not maintained and are in very poor shape.

One of the women I works with just came from Maine, sold her 4 bedroom home on 4 acres with a 15 year mortgage, and their rental costs are higher than their mortgage was. She said it has been a tough adjustment.

I went to UC Santa Cruz, and have found the job market here is not very good at all for college grads. The average salaries within the area do not keep pace with the cost of living so many need to commute out of county. As someone mentioned, many commute to San Jose via highway 17. I find 17 to be scary because it's 2 lane windy road through the mountains but some people like it. The roads and traffic are horrendous (I live east of Watsonville and it takes me well over an hour to get to work 35 miles away) because there haven't been many infrastructure improvements. There is a 25 year debate that has gone on about widening the highway to more than two lanes. In the meantime, we sit in terrible traffic while people decide what we should do. Public transportation really is not an option, unless you're going downtown or to the university.The cost of buying a home here (eventually) leads me to want to look elsewhere (averages are about $750 for a not very big, oftentimes not well kept up place). What seems to be happening (and that I am considering) is many college grads leave the area after finishing school because they cannot afford to stay. The job opportunities to housing cost ratio do not add up.

A few of the positives are the very friendly people here. Many are very kind, and the support for social services is enormous. Santa Cruz has a very big heart for people less fortunate in general. (Be warned though, there is a big homelessness problem.) It's also beautiful, with incredible beaches, beautiful views, and many scenic areas. It's a nice place to walk and hang out if you like a really mellow atmosphere. People here are very concerned with global warming, conserving resources, and being kind to the earth. Hybrid cars are popular here. The community is extremely liberal, and hates the current administration, on the whole. There are tons of non-profits that do some really fascinating work. The Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary is protected ocean all the way around the bay here, so there are great opportunities to learn about ocean life.

Anyhow, I guess what I would mainly emphasize is that the cost of living here is very high, and for employment prospects it can be quite limited (Dominican hospital and the University are the largest employers by far). It's beautiful with the oceans and laid back atmosphere, and is very liberal. Feel free to send me a message if you have any more questions and I'll do my best!~
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-14-2007, 02:21 PM
 
30,896 posts, read 36,954,250 times
Reputation: 34521
I personally have never lived in Santa Cruz...but here's my take based on visiting with reasonable frequency:

I would not call it "ghetto" as another poster did...but it does have it's share of seedy areas where the houses need to be fixed up, etc. It seems like the whole town just needs to fix up it's streets & sidewalks, etc. But I have seen some nice, new, and expensive development going up downtown.

The area is generally very expensive. Most of the housing stock in Santa Cruz and the surrounding area is rather bland and cookie cutter.

The whole Santa Cruz area seems to have lots of "anti-growth" policies, which means there is not much industry, so people commute 45 minutes or more to San Jose for work. Those anti growth policies are also the reason why housing there is so expensive, even though prevailing wages are not high.

That said, the scenery is beautiful over there. The weather is also nice. Due to the influence of local geography, Santa Cruz has warmer summers than most coastal communities on the (chilly) Northern California coast. Daytime highs average about 60 there in January and in the mid to upper 70's July through September, with cool evenings (sometimes dips below freezing in winter). It can rain a lot in winter, though.

One thing I'd add...the area is very liberal. That can be a good thing. I'm gay so I appreciate it in that way. But Santa Cruz liberals tend to be hostile and snotty to people who don't think like they do (same is true for San Francisco). In that way, they're as intolerant as the religious conservatives they complain so loudly about.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 10-14-2007 at 02:31 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2007, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
2,990 posts, read 8,712,096 times
Reputation: 1516
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
I personally have never lived in Santa Cruz...but here's my take based on visiting with reasonable frequency:

I would not call it "ghetto" as another poster did...but it does have it's share of seedy areas where the houses need to be fixed up, etc. It seems like the whole town just needs to fix up it's streets & sidewalks, etc. But I have seen some nice, new, and expensive development going up downtown.

The area is generally very expensive. Most of the housing stock in Santa Cruz and the surrounding area is rather bland and cookie cutter.

The whole Santa Cruz area seems to have lots of "anti-growth" policies, which means there is not much industry, so people commute 45 minutes or more to San Jose for work. Those anti growth policies are also the reason why housing there is so expensive, even though prevailing wages are not high.

That said, the scenery is beautiful over there. The weather is also nice. Due to the influence of local geography, Santa Cruz has warmer summers than most coastal communities on the (chilly) Northern California coast. Daytime highs average about 60 there in January and in the mid to upper 70's July through September, with cool evenings (sometimes dips below freezing in winter). It can rain a lot in winter, though.

One thing I'd add...the area is very liberal. That can be a good thing. I'm gay so I appreciate it in that way. But Santa Cruz liberals tend to be hostile and snotty to people who don't think like they do (same is true for San Francisco). In that way, they're as intolerant as the religious conservatives they complain so loudly about.

So Santa Cruz is Berkley by the sea? I had a friend that lived in Aptos and liked it. That city is close enough to Santa Cruz and I hear its much nicer when it comes to the neighborhoods? I could be wrong.. but usually nicer comes with a higher price too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Jose

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:27 AM.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top