Is California worth the premium?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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ThankYouJack
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Is California worth the premium?

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:54 pm

I had the chance to live in Santa Barbara for half a year and absolutely loved having the ocean in my front yard and mountains in my backyard as I love being outdoors and active. But it's sooo expensive. Median home prices $1.2 million and I'm not sure I'd be thrilled with those...compared to my < $400k east coast home that I love. If I moved to California I'd want to live in an ideal location like Santa Barbara, but considering my expenses would be about $40-80k more per year it doesn't seem worth it.

I'm curious to hear from people on here especially those who have lived there, at what point is California worth it? Did you move to there or from there and from/to where?

02nz
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by 02nz » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:00 pm

It sounds like you already answered your own question.

stoptothink
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:05 pm

Lived there for the first 23yrs of my life, it would take a 7-figure salary and the ability to work from home to even consider moving back. My mother and 3 of my 4 siblings have left in the last decade and have the same sentiment. I don't even like visiting.

gtd98765
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by gtd98765 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:09 pm

Clearly for ~40 million people it is worth it. That does not necessarily mean it is worth it to you. I visit 2 or 3 times every year to see family, and love it while I am there, but have not tried to stay a long time in decades.

stan1
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:14 pm

It's a personal preference. For me living in a place with sunshine that's not too hot or too cold at least 330 days of the year, is not humid, and does not have biting bugs, hurricanes/tornados, or ice storms has a lot of value.

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kramer
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by kramer » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:15 pm

I left after long stints in the Bay Area and just north of San Diego. Everyone is different, but I don't like the coastal weather, cloudy and/or cold much of the year. The ocean water in California is always cold in the north and cold much of the year in the south. Most people that live there don't go in the water much, anyway, unless they are regular surfers. It gets cold quickly at night in the Bay Area. Other people seem to not have the same preferences, thus the high prices, and so it was logical for me to leave. Anyway, I left for a warmer climate where I can wear shorts to dinner in the evening year round and lower cost of living, among other things. I was gone permanently four months after I retired. I do miss the summers a few miles inland in southern California, that is really good weather.

dbr
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by dbr » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:17 pm

I know people who most definitely choose to live in California, specifically SoCal and even more specifically SB.

I also know people who have been ecstatic to no longer live in California, at least not LA area.

I guess it is up to the individual. I for one would have/have had no interest in an uphill battle against overpopulation and high costs.

Disclaimer: I have lived in Southern California but don't live there now. I have also lived in and enjoy(ed) real winter climates. But I am not a sun and surf person.

PS: The previous poster is right that California near the water can be quite cold and that people are not in the water a lot.
Last edited by dbr on Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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leeks
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by leeks » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:19 pm

No.

Unless you have close family there or all your closest longtime friends are there.

brad.clarkston
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by brad.clarkston » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:20 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:54 pm
I had the chance to live in Santa Barbara for half a year and absolutely loved having the ocean in my front yard and mountains in my backyard as I love being outdoors and active. But it's sooo expensive. Median home prices $1.2 million and I'm not sure I'd be thrilled with those...compared to my < $400k east coast home that I love. If I moved to California I'd want to live in an ideal location like Santa Barbara, but considering my expenses would be about $40-80k more per year it doesn't seem worth it.

I'm curious to hear from people on here especially those who have lived there, at what point is California worth it? Did you move to there or from there and from/to where?
Betteridge's law of headlines https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridg ... _headlines

Topic Author
ThankYouJack
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:22 pm

02nz wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:00 pm
It sounds like you already answered your own question.
Yeah, I was thinking this thread might sway me one way or another. But for what I'm looking for I don't think it's worth it for me at this point. But maybe in a decade or two if I can save a ton over that time or win the lottery :)
stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:05 pm
Lived there for the first 23yrs of my life, it would take a 7-figure salary and the ability to work from home to even consider moving back. My mother and 3 of my 4 siblings have left in the last decade and have the same sentiment. I don't even like visiting.
I was originally thinking a salary in the $200's would be sufficient but then I started looking at Santa Barbara real estate and realized it would be very easy to be house poor. Renting seems much more reasonable, but not sure I'd want to rent long term

Afty
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Afty » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:23 pm

This is really tied to personal preference. I moved from Boston to the Bay Area in 2011. I’m kind of a city person, so I don't really like the suburban, car-centric vibe in CA. It feels so soulless. However, the weather is wonderful and the opportunities for outdoor activities are amazing. I can get in a trail run up a mountain before work, beautiful beaches are less than an hour away, and skiing is 4-5 hours away. As a runner the weather is ideal year round — never too hot or too cold, never humid.

All in all, I don’t think I would live here if it weren’t for my work. I’m in tech and the best opportunities are here.

Trism
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Trism » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:25 pm

San Diego was home from 1999-2014. We kept our house here when we moved 2,000 miles away for career reasons.

We will always have a place here to spend weekends, but we will not live in California full time ever again, since being taxed to death is not a primary objective. Right now it's looking like a tax on water is imminent. Drinking water. Shower and laundry water. WATER.

I am at our place in SD now, and I just drove home from the grocery store with the top down on the car. That's the part that is hard to leave behind forever, especially when a major blizzard is brewing where we keep our primary home.
Last edited by Trism on Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Raybo
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Raybo » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:26 pm

I was born in California (LA) and lived there and in the Bay Area. I've never lived anywhere else. To me, million dollar homes are the norm and I find it hard to believe that someone can buy a home for a few thousand dollars.

I bought a house in Santa Cruz back in the 1980s. Yes, it was expensive at the time. After while, I fixed it up and then was able to sell it in 2003 and move in with my (now) wife. She, too bought her house in the 1980s.

While housing prices are expensive here, the rest of the expenses aren't all that unusual. Food here is abundant, not overly expensive. There are restaurants for all tastes and budgets. Outdoor activities are everywhere and there is something about riding a bicycle over the Golden Gate bridge that never gets old. Friends want to come and visit. The weather in the summer is foggy and cold and it gets old. The rest of the year, a day is more likely to be sunny than anything else.

Note that Social Security is not taxed in California.

One thing I like about living in San Francisco is that wherever I go in the world, everyone has heard of it!
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squirm
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by squirm » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:29 pm

Unless you like breathing in smoke every summer, it's not worth it.

stoptothink
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:31 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:22 pm
02nz wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:00 pm
It sounds like you already answered your own question.
stoptothink wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:05 pm
Lived there for the first 23yrs of my life, it would take a 7-figure salary and the ability to work from home to even consider moving back. My mother and 3 of my 4 siblings have left in the last decade and have the same sentiment. I don't even like visiting.
I was originally thinking a salary in the $200's would be sufficient but then I started looking at Santa Barbara real estate and realized it would be very easy to be house poor. Renting seems much more reasonable, but not sure I'd want to rent long term
COL has nothing to do with it for us, we make enough to live fairly comfortably anywhere and my wife could easily make twice as much in California (she's in tech sales). FWIW, my wife is also a California native, although we met in Utah, and she dislikes it even more than I do. But, if someone wanted to pay me enough that I could work another 2yrs (from home) and then could call it quits and move, that kinda changes it.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by SrGrumpy » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:36 pm

Too many people here already. You won't like it. Look elsewhere. :twisted:

Luckywon
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Luckywon » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:47 pm

If you favor being in an area with a large Asian community, or enjoy Asian food, the Los Angeles and SF areas are one of a few locations in the U.S. where those are present. They are major reasons I wouldn't consider leaving.

anonenigma
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by anonenigma » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:56 pm

Lots of ideology (discussion of prospective legislation, nasty comments about taxation) in this thread - perhaps the moderators need to intervene?

As far as taxing water goes, the stated purpose is to clean up water systems in areas where water is not safe - not an unworthy goal. According to the Sacramento Bee, "Last year’s proposal would have taxed residential customers 95 cents a month."

Less than the monthly increase for Netflix.

Turbo29
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Turbo29 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:01 pm

I grew up in California. Lived in all 3 big metros: LA, SF Bay, San Diego. It was great but it has changed. I would not go back.

Live in Arizona now. I can visit easily when I want but I don't have to live there.
Last edited by Turbo29 on Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Goal33
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Goal33 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:02 pm

as with most things, it depends.
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Clever_Username
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Clever_Username » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:02 pm

No.

I have a great job and some great friends here. I also have a few family members here.

If I could get the same job in Arizona, I'd move there in a heartbeat. For better or worse, jobs like mine in Arizona just aren't equivalent as it stands. If that changes, it's time to pack my bags.

I could visit friends and family in California if I left. I suspect that a non-empty subset of my family would move with me if I were to leave the state, and I'd welcome their accompaniment. I could visit those that remain.

Maybe it's worth it if you really like the beach, a particular spot, or so on. The weather can be had elsewhere, such as Glendale Arizona, at a lower cost of living. I suppose if you have this idea that you'll be in the movies, you might need to be in the area. As mentioned elsewhere, there are ethnic enclaves that you might prefer.

If I weren't already here, I probably wouldn't move here.
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KlangFool
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by KlangFool » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:09 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:54 pm
I had the chance to live in Santa Barbara for half a year and absolutely loved having the ocean in my front yard and mountains in my backyard as I love being outdoors and active. But it's sooo expensive. Median home prices $1.2 million and I'm not sure I'd be thrilled with those...compared to my < $400k east coast home that I love. If I moved to California I'd want to live in an ideal location like Santa Barbara, but considering my expenses would be about $40-80k more per year it doesn't seem worth it.

I'm curious to hear from people on here especially those who have lived there, at what point is California worth it? Did you move to there or from there and from/to where?
ThankYouJack,

<<But it's sooo expensive. Median home prices $1.2 million and I'm not sure I'd be thrilled with those...compared to my < $400k east coast home that I love. If I moved to California I'd want to live in an ideal location like Santa Barbara, but considering my expenses would be about $40-80k more per year it doesn't seem worth it.>>


1) You had answered your own question. It is worthwhile if you can get paid well enough to live in a 1.2 million house instead of a 400K house.

<<but considering my expenses would be about $40-80k more per year >>

2) Your number is way off. Are you married? Do you have kids? How about the additional taxes? I know that 80K is not enough.

KlangFool

bluquark
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by bluquark » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:11 pm

The premium comes from all the highly paid jobs. If you aren't moving to California in order to start at a highly paid job, then generally not, unless your preferences are very idiosyncratic.

Topic Author
ThankYouJack
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:18 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:09 pm
Are you married? Do you have kids? How about the additional taxes? I know that 80K is not enough.

KlangFool
Married with kids. I wasn't talking about just spending $40-80k a year. That's the increase in spending I was factoring in just to cover housing and taxes. I think that would sufficient since I'd probably rent a place for about $4,000 / month. Do you still think $80k is too low?

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:19 pm

Afty wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:23 pm
This is really tied to personal preference. I moved from Boston to the Bay Area in 2011. I’m kind of a city person, so I don't really like the suburban, car-centric vibe in CA. It feels so soulless. However, the weather is wonderful and the opportunities for outdoor activities are amazing. I can get in a trail run up a mountain before work, beautiful beaches are less than an hour away, and skiing is 4-5 hours away. As a runner the weather is ideal year round — never too hot or too cold, never humid.

All in all, I don’t think I would live here if it weren’t for my work. I’m in tech and the best opportunities are here.
Another one from the Bay State to the Bay Area. Actually from CA to the Bay State to the Bay Area (never in the flyover states). Good weather and nature, but boring otherwise. Except for a small enclave of San Francisco, the Bay Area is not quite city-like. San Jose is barren. Miss all the road races, and the trails and hills I used to run. What a sticker shock of race entry fees! I am also in tech and here is the best place to be for now. Moving turned out to be financially beneficial.

Beensabu
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Beensabu » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:30 pm

If you can afford it, SB is worth it. Many people have come to that conclusion. That's why so many who grew up there can't afford to rent there any more and have had to move away. Others continue to shell out more that 50-60% of income on rent, either because it's worth it to them or they can't save enough to get out with secured shelter. If you can afford to pay $4k a month on rent and still save and have luxuries, you can afford to live there. If you move there, please be kind to the service economy.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next."

FireSekr
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by FireSekr » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:37 pm

Not worth it.

Living near the beach and having 72 and sunny days most of the year is nice but gets old fast when contrasted with the high housing costs, soul crushing traffic, terrible pollution, idiotic taxes, gross government mismanagement and piss poor infrastructure and some of the most socially inept people with extremely low emotional intelligence compared to the rest of the country.

Another thing that boggles my mind about CA is how close houses are together and how large homes are relative to property size and yet everything else is spread out so you need to drive everywhere. Back east, most towns have walkable downtown areas but properties are not on top of each other. Out here everything feels claustrophobic (this is coming from a native NYer) even though you need to drive everywhere.

That said I currently live in SoCal 3 blocks from the beach and can’t wait to head back to the east coast. I hate nearly everything about California aside from the beautiful landscapes and views. Santa Barbara is one of the only areas out here that’s pleasant, but I’d rather be pretty much anywhere in the northeast.

cadreamer2015
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by cadreamer2015 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:39 pm

We moved back to California from New Jersey 3 years ago after being away for 20 years. We love it here in North County San Diego. Less crowded and less expensive than the LA area (yes I know that is a relative thing and it is both more crowded and more expensive than it used to be). We love the weather here near the coast, with lots of sunshine and neither too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. I was very happy to sell our snowblower to our NJ neighbor.

It is expensive and part of that is relatively high taxes, as well as high housing cost (though neither are that much more than the NYC suburbs in NJ where we last lived). But if you can afford it, why not? We can afford it. My object in what remains of our life is not to accumulate the largest estate possible, but rather to live where we like it most and do the things we like.
De gustibus non est disputandum

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:02 pm

I grew up in Arizona and lived there until my 20s. I’ve been living in the Bay Area for the past 22 years now. Things cost a bit more out here except for real estate, which is much more. If you can address that piece of the puzzle, I personally find it worthwhile to live here. However, it is definitely a personal preference. I dislike being cold. I guess my Arizonan roots are hard to shake. That being said, Arizona was way too hot. In addition to the amazing year-round climate in California, there are lots of activities to enjoy.

When I first moved here, the housing costs were just plain shocking to me. I rented with roommates during my 20s. During my 30s, the last recession hit and my wife and I purchased our home since prices came down to a level that was affordable for us. We locked in low housing costs and our property taxes have barely changed in the past decade. Unfortunately, for newcomers, the prices these days are higher than ever. There are lots of options to address that but you have to decide if the tradeoffs are worth it to you. One can live farther away from the best spots, rent, share a home with roommates, live in a small place, spend less in other categories to compensate for the higher housing cost, work more/longer, etc.

Overall, California has been very good to us. I make six-figures as a public school teacher and my wife is able to be a stay-at-home parent. We save a third of our income though my pension alone should cover our retirement expenses. We pay less than $100 per year (not a typo) in income tax to California due to the progressive tax structure. Much of our good fortune is due to being able to solve the real estate piece but the golden state has also provided us with golden opportunities.

I personally feel that bad weather is a form of tax. Rather than hitting financially, it takes a toll on the body and spirit. California can largely eliminate that tax but it is likely to cost you in other ways.

By the way, Santa Barbara is my favorite place in California. We’re thinking of possibly retiring there.

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MikeWillRetire
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by MikeWillRetire » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:03 pm

At age 56, I visited California for the first time last summer. I get it.
Totally worth it.

quantAndHold
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:11 pm

Nobody lives there anymore. It’s too crowded.

More seriously, we lived in San Diego for 30 years, then left for four years for career reasons, and missed it so badly that I quit my job and we moved back. Santa Barbara is crazy expensive, but there are other parts of coastal(ish) Southern California that are more manageable.

KlangFool
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by KlangFool » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:18 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:18 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:09 pm
Are you married? Do you have kids? How about the additional taxes? I know that 80K is not enough.

KlangFool
Married with kids. I wasn't talking about just spending $40-80k a year. That's the increase in spending I was factoring in just to cover housing and taxes. I think that would sufficient since I'd probably rent a place for about $4,000 / month. Do you still think $80k is too low?
ThankYouJack,

<<I think that would suffice since I'd probably rent a place for about $4,000 / month.>>

Why compromise?

<<Do you still think $80k is too low?>>

Yes. Even if you rent.

KlangFool

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steve roy
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by steve roy » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:19 pm

stan1 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:14 pm
It's a personal preference. For me living in a place with sunshine that's not too hot or too cold at least 330 days of the year, is not humid, and does not have biting bugs, hurricanes/tornados, or ice storms has a lot of value.
Yes, but it does have some frisky earthquakes. I rode out a number of them during 69 years in So Cal.

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Go Blue 99
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Go Blue 99 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:24 pm

I sometimes have envy for people that live in San Diego and other parts of SoCal, mainly due to weather and beach access. But I'm too cheap to live in a HCOL area.

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sigmadave_2000
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by sigmadave_2000 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:39 pm

Well, I've lived here almost my entire life. In the past five years, there seems to be a decline in the Quality of Life in Orange County. I don't know about Santa Barbara, but the state seems to be bifurcating into nice areas, generally near the coast, and not so nice areas. In what were middle class areas like Anaheim area (home of Disneyland) and Santa Ana, it seems like there is a dramatic increase in the number of, for lack of a better word, homeless folks. I don't have anything against them, and I understand they are struggling, but when you can't use the local parks because people are shooting up, and you see people pooping in broad daylight, you just don't feel comfortable. I have also noticed people in 1960's style ranch houses adding bars to the windows and putting up fences in their front yard. Also, unless you can afford to live in a nice area, schools are a problem. Two of my neighbours live one block from a school, but send their kids to private schools. Check out your schools before you move! Taxes are high--income, sales, gas, real estate... and everything is kind-of expensive compared to other states.

One of my plumbers moved to Arizona a few years back, and I asked him if he was getting a big raise. His response was that even with a pay cut he could afford to buy a house--that did not need bars on the window, his children could go to good schools, and he would feel that his family is safe. A lot of my Fraternity brothers have moved to Texas and Nevada.

There are a lot of positives like the weather, beaches, and instate-tuition at the UC college system. If you are making good money--consider renting. This gives you the option to move, if necessary.

As one of the other posters stated, public employees are making good money and some of my friends in the public sector are retiring in their early 50s. Someone has to pay for their lifetime pension and health insurance. Taxes will have to go up and service levels will have to go down.

So unless you will be in the public sector or making a lot of money, I would suggest you reconsider.

--> Sorry for the long answer, but I am just frustrated about what's happening to my home state.

Turbo29
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Turbo29 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:51 pm

steve roy wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:19 pm
stan1 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:14 pm
It's a personal preference. For me living in a place with sunshine that's not too hot or too cold at least 330 days of the year, is not humid, and does not have biting bugs, hurricanes/tornados, or ice stormns has a lot of value.
Yes, but it does have some frisky earthquakes. I rode out a number of them during 69 years in So Cal.
Yes, I remember the San Fernando earthquake in 1971 in So Cal and then the Loma Prieta Earthquake in the SF Bay area in 1989. Fun, fun, fun!

Turbo29
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Turbo29 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:52 pm

Go Blue 99 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:24 pm
I sometimes have envy for people that live in San Diego and other parts of SoCal, mainly due to weather and beach access. But I'm too cheap to live in a HCOL area.
Condos were available in Carlsbad (just north of San Diego) for 80K in the early 1990's

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bligh
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by bligh » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:53 pm

steve roy wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:19 pm
stan1 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:14 pm
It's a personal preference. For me living in a place with sunshine that's not too hot or too cold at least 330 days of the year, is not humid, and does not have biting bugs, hurricanes/tornados, or ice storms has a lot of value.
Yes, but it does have some frisky earthquakes. I rode out a number of them during 69 years in So Cal.
Also depending on where you live .. Mud slides and brush fires.

dustinst22
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by dustinst22 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:54 pm

Depends. I absolutely love it and wouldn't live anywhere else. I think it's the optimal place to live in the US. But I also run a business out of my home 2 blocks off the beach and don't need to commute. If I had to commute or if I didn't have a high income, not sure if I'd feel the same.

vbdoug
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by vbdoug » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:00 pm

Of course California is worth it, if you have enough money. And you better have that. Kids will need to go to private school sunless you live in the nicest areas. Safety, ditto. Homeless camps are all over L.A.; its a tragedy. Local government is derelict in their duties. Pets; watch out for the coyotes. Housing prices; you know about it, and the property taxes will gut you. Gasoline, highest prices in the contiguous 48 states.

I was born in L.A. and now live in a prosperous and safe suburb. I have had my condo for 39 years and my property taxes are small. No kids, no pets. I am a Boglehead. And I never forget how fortunate I am.

You bet it is worth it.

ladycat
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by ladycat » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:12 pm

As others have said, it's a personal decision regarding financial priorities. We're in a moderate COL living by CA standards. No snow in winter, no humid summers. Probably won't move out of state when we retire because we enjoy the moderate climate.
Last edited by ladycat on Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

A-Commoner
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by A-Commoner » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:30 pm

Yes it’s worth it to me. Wife and I lived in LCOL Midwest for 25 years. Moved to Los Angeles in 2017. We’re much happier here. Maybe we have seasonal affective disorder and didn’t realize it until we made the move. Life is short. We’ve had enough of slushy wet gray frigid winters. The caveat is we’ve already saved enough money from living in a LCOL area to be able to afford California. YMMV.

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catdude
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Location: Central Oregon

Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by catdude » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:33 pm

Here in Central Oregon we get a lot of California refugees. People make a tidy profit when they sell their houses there, and buy nice big houses here. These folks are voting with their feet, saying No, California isn't worth the premium....
catdude | | "As much as cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens." (Abraham Lincoln)

Turbo29
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Turbo29 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:38 pm

catdude wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:33 pm
Here in Central Oregon we get a lot of California refugees. People make a tidy profit when they sell their houses there, and buy nice big houses here. These folks are voting with their feet, saying No, California isn't worth the premium....
Same here in Arizona.

letsgobobby
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:43 pm

We left fifteen years ago because of:

Traffic
Crime
Cost of living/taxes
Lower salaries
Mediocre public schools except in a few ultra high cost areas, which spoke to values
For me, lack of four seasons was a definite negative
A few other personal reasons which aren't for this forum

No regrets. Reached FI many years sooner, maybe decades sooner. Have enough to travel back any time we want but funny thing is, we don't want to. Last time we went to San Francisco we were appalled. We've moved on.
Last edited by letsgobobby on Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Turbo29
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by Turbo29 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:46 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:43 pm
We left fifteen years ago because of:

Traffic
Crime
Cost of living/taxes
Lower salaries
A few other personal reasons which aren't for this forum)

No regrets. Reached FI many years sooner, maybe decades sooner. Have enough to travel back any time we want but funny thing is, we don't want to. Last time we went to San Francisco we were appalled. We've moved on.
Last time (2016) I went to Los Angeles the traffic was horrendous. I didn't fell well after I left until I crossed the Colorado River and saw the "Welcome to Arizona" sign.

stan1
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:52 pm

catdude wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:33 pm
Here in Central Oregon we get a lot of California refugees. People make a tidy profit when they sell their houses there, and buy nice big houses here. These folks are voting with their feet, saying No, California isn't worth the premium....
Yet someone is paying a lot of money to buy their California house so it is worth the premium to just as many.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:05 pm

Just to set the record straight for those saying the state is going down the tubes, CA has a record setting $30B budget surplus plus a $14B rainy day fund.

https://www.politifact.com/california/s ... y-30-bill/

Yes there are lots of homeless on the streets but the new SF mayor was elected specifically to solve this problem. She’s gotten over 700 homeless off the streets already. Tech firms are stepping up too, with Cisco, Salesforce, and other companies committing tens of millions in private money to solve this problem.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/26/cisco ... on-valley/

So flee to NV or AZ if you’d like. But it seems like the winds of change are blowing there as well.
Last edited by HEDGEFUNDIE on Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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steve roy
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by steve roy » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:09 pm

I grew up a few miles north of L.A. and spent summers in Laguna Beach, one of the small coastal towns between San Diego and Santa Barbara. Laguna was (and is) kind of typical of a lot of coastal communities in So. Cal -- mountains just back of the beach, a narrow strip of sand, lots of surfers, and a laid-back lifestyle. Weather? In the high 60s to the low 80s year 'round, coastal fog in early summer that burns off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (depending on the year).

Ocean temps in my youth were 67 to 73 in summer; I understand the water is warmer now. (Most don't know THIS factoid: the mountains inland from L.A. have more vertical feet of skiing than almost anywhere. You ain't schussing on Sierra-type snow or Utah snow or Colorado snow, but you are skiing.)

I lived for forty-one years in Burbank, a town of 110,000 on the eastern edge of the San Fernando Valley. Burbank, like most of the SF Valley, was very Leave-It-To-Beaverish in the fifties, sixties and early seventies. Stretches of the Valley were truck farms and horse ranches; subdivisions slowly gobbled them up. A lace of freeways made it easy to get around, but population increases outstripped the road-building. Today the roads don't adequately support the number of people, and the criss-cross of San Diego and Ventura freeways in the SF Valley is a challenge to navigate multiple times per day.

The problem with big sections of California is too many people want to live there. (Let's blame the annual broadcast of the Rose Parade). The Magic of the Marketplace has driven real estate prices up and up. The last time houses were semi-affordable was 2009-2012. The last time they were REALLY affordable was 1994, when you could have purchased a nice, newly-built condo in Laguna Niguel for $110,000, a nice house on a San Juan Capistrano golf course for $290,000.

There are still lots of benefits to living in and around L.A. besides the weather and natural resources. The place is a melting pot - Hispanics, Brits, French, Armenians, lots of Asians, and a wide variety of markets and restaurants. And it's possible to use mass transit to advantage if you live in the right place. (I knew people who took rail from Pasadena to Culver City and from San Clemente to Burbank. We used to take the subway from the Valley to downtown Hollywood for screenings at the Egyptian Theater and stage shows at the Pantages Theater.)

We live in Vegas now and it works for us. People ask "Ah, you left L.A. because of the taxes, right?" We answer, "No, taxes were fine. But some of the family is here and the place is more kick-back" (which it is.) California isn't what it was, but it's still a desirable place to live. The biggest obstacle to living there is living costs -- rents and real estate are high. That's the big deal-breaker for many.

clutchied
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Re: Is California worth the premium?

Post by clutchied » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:22 pm

I had a unique experience in CA; it was inland in the foothills and not coastal. I enjoyed it why I was there. Schools were really crummy.

From what I can tell its' really housing that divides. I bought my house there in 2010 during the downturn and it's cheap to own. The climate is so stable that the house doesn't really degrade... It's cheap to maintain. Kept the house so we can go back at some point if we want.
Last edited by clutchied on Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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