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 Post subject: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:33 pm 
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Hi there all. So it looks like my husband may get a new job in SoCal and we would need to leave our beloved rainy Portland behind to live in the sun (what a terrible prospect :P). We are kind of clueless where we should live, it's all intimidating and so insanely expensive! He has two kids that will be living with us full time, so it needs to be pretty family friendly and not the hood. We also have a small zoo that needs to be happy and can go outside to soak up the sun (yard). I don't want to be too isolated but also don't want crazy city life. I like quiet and nature around me but have the health food stores, restaurants and some shopping nearby. His job will give him the opportunity to basically live anywhere between LA and San Diego. Any input from you all would be greatly appreciated! I know my info is kind of vague, but what I know of SoCal is kind of vague too. I know I won't be able to get a house like I have here in Portland (basically 5 bedrooms 2 bath 3000 sq feet) 10 minutes from downtown in a nice enough neighborhood. I will need to settle for smaller and way more expensive. I wish someone could just move me so I didn't need to stress about it anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:40 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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I wouldn't totally dismiss the prospect. Our house is 4br/3.5ba, 3100 sqft, and it's within our housing allowance.. We did have to look at about 10 overpriced shiitakeholes before that, though, to find a place we loved, but it's worth persevering! We live in Normal Heights (San Diego), and I mostly love this neighborhood, but if you need to be near decent schools that will probably rule out a lot of places.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:58 am 
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Your neighborhood sounds great, but I think we decided to live in the middle of both cities because he will need to get to both places within a few hours without getting a hotel room. Rancho Santa Margarita area perhaps. Seems awfully suburban for me, hope I won't go crazy.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:42 am 
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I worked in RSM for 4 years? And uhhh... I really wouldn't recommend anyone living there. It is suburbia of suburbia. Basically, southern orange county will be your most expensive option (RSM is southern orange county although cheaper than nearby Mission Viejo). Honestly, my vote would be Oceanside. The drive between Oceanside to San Clemente is quick because there is zero traffic. I commuted from Oceanside to RSM for 2 years and it took me 40 minutes tops.

Another option would be northern Orange county, like Huntington Beach. I think San Clemente might be another option as I think it is the cheapest option in southern orange county.

I can't tell you how much I hate RSM. I really wouldn't recommend anyone living there.

Your other option, very suburban but slightly older community than RSM is Temecula. Basically putting you east, gives you cheaper options but I think the commute to/from San Diego/LA might be easier. There is a toll road along the 15 to San Diego which helps.

Do you know where in LA he will be working? If he is working in the east part of the county, I do think Temecula might be a better option.

And regarding Oceanside, where my parents live is a pretty sweet spot in terms of price/value. They get Carlsbad schools (big deal in real estate terms) but the houses are smaller. They have a 1400 sq ft 4 bedroom house, built in the 1960s. Their house is built on a hill so they have 2 backyards basically where they grow a ton of veggies. There are houses in their neighborhood that have 5 bedrooms, slightly bigger sq footage, big yard though for the most part. They are close to Costco and an awesome health food store and 15 minutes or so from another awesome health food store (that has a ton of vegan baked goods). The houses in their area are around $400k I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:57 am 
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obVegan: there's a Veggie Grill going up in Carlsbad and a Native Foods in Encinitas, so you're covered for burgers near Oceanside at least!

Temecula is a little less accommodating foodwise, but it does have a lot of tasty beverages.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:37 pm 
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I live near RSM. Please don't do it! Boredom city at its best. Right winged homophobes at its worst. Try long beach. We 're moving back there soon. I love it. Like Portland by the beach... Kind of.

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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:51 pm 
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Well and not to put down southern orange county more but... not only is it super right winged, people are generally concerned about things like how much money you have and what car you drive. There are a lot of bored, rich housewives, etc, etc. My grandmother's side of the family originates from San Juan Capistrano and nearby areas but my aunt and her family were the ones that held out there (most others moved to Oceanside/Carlsbad). I can't tell you how much I hated my aunts neighbors/friends in the area. All they would talk about was spending money and 'those liberals' (which everyone in my family was except my aunt/uncle). I went to school in Irvine, where I was somewhat sheltered from the surrounding areas but I lived in Aliso Viejo for a while just to ease my commute and the people were just horrible.

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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Thank you all so much for this info. I was afraid RSM was awful. My husband thinks it could be a good option but we were also looking at Temecula. That would be farther out but a lot cheaper at least. My friend says Temecula is trashy (her words). I'd rather not be around a bunch of snooty people because I would certainly get judged by them. I like the idea of Long Beach a lot but it's also expensive and he worries about his kids and their future school. We can't afford private school. Would I be ok in Temecula with occasional trips into SD and LA? I won't have to work for a year or so, maybe a bit longer if we can stretch it, so I just want some nature to go hiking and running. His job will be in entire SoCal basically. He will travel about three days a week to either anywhere in the greater LA area or SD area. Rest of the week he will office at home.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:09 pm 
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My friend I mentioned lives in Thousand Oaks and she loves it there. I don't know, I will need to go down there and check it out. I just don't want to be stuck feeling like a lost housewife in suburbia. Oh god.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:16 pm 
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I don't think Temecula is trashy at all (but maybe *I'm* trashy? Huh!).. I mean, it's mostly wineries and the downtown area is kind of kitschy wine tourism stuff. It's not exactly Napa, but I certainly love a day trip there, and it's a beautiful area.

I have to say the OC Navy League does a lot with our boat and is sort of an unofficial social sponsor, and they are really fantastic people not not snobby at all! But I guess I *am* a "lost housewife in suburbia" to some extent, so….

I would say don't really count on living in any particular place until you see and experience it. Our first tour here we just assumed we'd live in Point Loma to be close to my husband's work but we really did not like the area at all, and I was very glad we discovered the North Park area. I would definitely not have wanted to rent something there sight unseen.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Nah, I don't think Temecula is trashy. I have some cousins that live there, it isn't bad. I wouldn't live there because honestly I'm a beach city snob when it comes to living in Southern California. Temecula is generally a clean city, not too different than Orange County but with less snobbery.

I'm also not sure how expensive Tustin is? That may be yet another option.

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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Yeah when she said trashy I knew I would like it more than the pristine suburb she lives in. I'm sure people would look at us as trashy with our tattoos etc. we are fairly normal looking for Portland. If he doesn't get the job I won't need to worry anymore and stay in
my vegan bubble. But it would be good for us financially if he got the job. Being a responsible adult is not always fun. We will need to nail down an area that we have to stick with because we can't keep moving his kids from school to school. I feel bad enough for them already that they may need to leave their friends and school behind. I am excited about the prospect of not working for a year or so. If I get bored I will get a job of course, but I am already fantasizing about driving to the beach on a weekday with my dog. It wouldn't be the end of the world if we can't eat out as much anymore, because it's another way for us to be more thrifty.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Well if you move to Temecula, my cousin has an ice cream shop there (as well as San Diego). Her sorbet's are good and every time I see her, I put a plug in for coconut milk ice cream.

Whatever happens, I wish you guys the best. We have been waffling about moving to So Cal, some weeks we are like "hey let's do this!", others it is "meh". Part of the problem is space especially since both of us would have to work at home.

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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:18 pm 
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Thank you Linalil. I will post with an update once we find out. I'm excited about shaking things up a bit in my life! And am so freaking sick of my job, I would be ecstatic to quit. Stay at home dog mom in the house!


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:26 pm 
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i'm excited for you to eat mexican food in san diego! definitely check out neighborhoods before deciding based on location. when i was a kid i had a good friend who lived in temecula and i remember it just being a lot of gated community type housing areas. that was in the 80s though, so it could be really different now or have more going on, but i do really like oceanside and it cuts a little bit of travel time out of a trip to LA vs living in san diego proper. once you get used to driving in southern california where everything is really spread out, traveling from oceanside to san diego won't seem like that big of a deal. I would just avoid areas that are too inland. it's gets so hot!

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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:06 am 
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Oceanside looks affordable! That may be a great option.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:35 am 
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I'd suggest looking in the tri-city area (towards vista/Carlsbad) where my parents currently live but there are other areas as well. I grew up in Oceanside but what you may call the 'hood or more aptly, the barrio. Like many cities, it has it's good parts and bad. Where I grew up is better today than it was when I lived there but it isn't somewhere I'd recommend living, not that I'm personally opposed to it. If you have any interest in Oceanside, let me know, I have dozens of family members in the area and can ask about certain areas. Places that were hot spots when I lived there may not be the same now.

Oceanside also has an awesome pier, monthly street fairs and is fairly easy access to a number of beaches. If your kids want surfing lessons, there are a number of camps and companies that offer that in Oceanside.

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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:10 am 
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Yes please! I'd really appreciate it. I looked at housing all night and we can afford up to about 500 k, maybe a bit over but I'd like to stay close to lower 4. I saw plenty of realty in that range but have no idea about crime ridden areas of course. I was there about 15 years ago and only remember the beach. I will research Carlsbad and vista while I'm at work today, heheh. I figured camp Pendleton keeps prices a bit lower maybe?


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:42 am 
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I looked last night and the prices have jumped somewhat again, so near $400k may be tough but under $500k is doable.

For Oceanside, the crime is mostly petty crime but sometimes not and I do think it has gotten better since I lived there. I'd avoid the area just east of I-5, north of Mission Ave. (This is where I grew up). I'd avoid living right near Oceanside High school. My mom always complains about the area near Libby lake so I'd avoid that for good measure. And the area near the back gate of Camp Pendleton also has a bad reputation (I looked, and it looks to be around Vandegrift and Douglas). I think Douglas has a somewhat bad reputation although I lived in an apartment off of Douglas and the area seemed fine to me but we weren't too close to the back gate, we were closer to I-76.

Areas, I'd recommend to look at are near College and Lake, just south of I-78 and College. This is where you'd get Oceanside prices but Carlsbad schools (a better school system). Near Rancho Del Oro is pretty nice and actually most areas south of I-78 will be decent with some areas north of I-78 being ok. The same goes for Vista, the Shadowridge area tends to be nicer along with most areas south of I-78.

And Oceanside schools aren't bad, I know Oceanside high school has spent a lot of money on building a huge science center and investing in academics but their big thing is football with a number of students going onto the NFL, if not college football. El Camino high school had a better reputation or academics when I was in high school but I think they are probably near equivalent now. If you happen to live near the College area/I-78 area and get carlsbad schools, there is a brand new huge high school that is state of the art everything.

I'm also going home next month and I'll scout my parents neighborhood for for-sale signs. The area is safe, the homes are a bit older so you get a somewhat better bargain and what not.

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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Wow, you are amazing! We should know before Xmas so I will let you know if not to look when you're down there. Of course we will travel out there to drive around and get a feel of the area. I've lived in Oakland, Baltimore/ DC in not great areas and my husband is from NY area, and we both grew up poor, so what I think is pretty nice might be the hood for someone else and vice versa. His company will hook us up with a realtor that specializes in relocation. Thanks again for all this helpful info.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:34 am 
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False alarm. Husband did not get the job and is pretty crushed. Now we will have to suffer in Portland until he finds a better job. I was so looking forward to moving to the sun although I love Oregon so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:54 pm 
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Oh no! Sorry to hear that. Good luck (to your husband) with the job hunt.

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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:03 pm 
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Thank you Linalil.


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:50 pm 
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Bumnost! And good luck on making it down here someday. We'll be sad to leave in a few months..though if you could see the weather today you wouldn't want to move here!


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 Post subject: Re: Potential move to SoCal - where to live???
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:51 pm 
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What was the weather like today? I guess I can google it. If my husband gets another opportunity like this within the next year we could be moving anywhere in the US. Right now I need to just forget about it and focus on life here in Portland. Someday I would like to live in a warmer climate. I've lived in Texas but that was a bit much with the heat. I can do a hot dry heat.
Where are you moving Annak?


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