Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

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dwade1109
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Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by dwade1109 »

My soon to be fiancée and I are currently in long distance coast to coast. We’ve narrowed done potential long term areas to warm locations and from there narrowed it down further based on our jobs and parents retirement living preferences to the following:

Santa Barbara/Ventura
Palm Beach County
Sarasota/Bradenton

Obviously different taxes and costs of living. But having never lived in any of these places (and only having visited) any thoughts on life/school options/diversity (we are both second gen immigrants)?

Thanks in advance!
Josh
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MP123
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by MP123 »

Santa Barbara is very nice, but much cooler (if you're looking for warm beaches) than FL. It's also relatively isolated which could be good or bad depending on what you want. A long drive to LAX on little highways.

As you mention there are significant issues with taxes and COL. Santa Barbara is very, very expensive ($1M+) in a high tax state. FL has no income tax and at least the option of more affordable housing.

Without knowing your budget and employment prospects I would have to say FL might be a better choice but that part of California is certainly nice.
Jazzysoon
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by Jazzysoon »

I think like any place you need to consider where you will be/can afford to live vs where you will be working. I've been to Santa Barbara, which I love and it's close to incredible cycling just north of there by Solvang. What are your hobbies/interests and how long will you be driving on weekends to enjoy them? I'm from Midwest and am currently overwintering in Sarasota, lovely city, lots of culture, close to beaches, outdoor lap pools, but the drivers/traffic are nuts. Keep in mind the average age of the communities you are looking at, in Sarasota focus is on those with a few years on them. And depending on where you live, in season (Jan-early April) everything is crowded with snowbirds.
dustinst22
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by dustinst22 »

Hands down Santa Barbara. Florida humidity is brutal. But, be prepared to pay for it. You might also consider San Diego county.
123
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by 123 »

Santa Barbara is a winner. Santa Barbara gives you a dry climate with maybe a wildfire every couple of years, usually in the fall, some chance of earthquake. You will have higher heat expenses during the winter in Santa Barbara than you will in Florida. Florida gives you humidity and bugs. You would have no state income tax in Florida, California state income taxes are not inconsequential.

Palm Beach would seem to the most private/insular community.
Last edited by 123 on Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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curiouskitty
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by curiouskitty »

Florida is cheaper but you sacrifice a lot in terms of quality of restaurants, humidity, and state programs / infrastructure. California is a wonderful place and I would choose it if the numbers work.
dustinst22
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by dustinst22 »

123 wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:40 pm anta Barbara gives you a dry climate with maybe a wildfire every couple of years, usually in the fall, some chance of earthquake. You will have higher heat expenses during the winter in Santa Barbara than you will in Florida.
Haven't lived in Santa Barbara, but I've lived in coastal HB for 15 yrs within a quarter mile of the ocean. Never a concern about a fire or earthquake, and we pay $0 for Heat or AC. Climate is very close to SB. I grew up in Alaska which has a bigger earthquake problem. It's an overrated concern due to the dramatized media.
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dwade1109
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by dwade1109 »

Thanks for all the replies.

San Diego would be amazing on paper but job market is pretty terrible so we left it off of our list.

I did not realize Sarasota traffic was bad. As a young couple in our 30s planning to start a family in the next couple of years this is a big decision!

Outside of taxes is COL that much higher in SB and other areas of California? I am assuming it’s the real estate issue?
staythecourse
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by staythecourse »

If you have aging parents I would eliminate Florida. Florida has a terrible reputation for healthcare. For whatever reason. The stories I hear from my snowbirds throughout my career actually makes me give a preamble to them to NOT get anything but emergent care down there. Even that I have seen bungled numerous times.

Good luck.
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stan1
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by stan1 »

dwade1109 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:55 am San Diego would be amazing on paper but job market is pretty terrible so we left it off of our list.
Huh? Not true in general but perhaps you are physicians so you are referring to the "sunshine tax" because there is a large supply of docs wanting to live there and salaries are somewhat lower than in other places? Plus its a trash market for medical care: high percentage of patients in managed care and four very large medical groups competing for patients (UCSD, Sharp, Scirpps, Kaiser).

I'd pick Santa Barbara over Florida due to drier climate and having mountains nearby but those are personal preferences.
Outside of taxes is COL that much higher in SB and other areas of California? I am assuming it’s the real estate issue?
Yes mostly the cost of real estate but you'll find that if you wanted to live in Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Palos Verdes, or Atherton that the cost of the houses you wanted to buy might be almost as high as Santa Barbara. If you are physicians I'd also point out that the young physicians I know (under 50) can't afford to live in those areas I just mentioned; they live in adjacent less expensive places like Irvine (OC) and Carmel Valley (San Diego).
rich126
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by rich126 »

stan1 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:14 am
dwade1109 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:55 am San Diego would be amazing on paper but job market is pretty terrible so we left it off of our list.
Huh? Not true in general but perhaps you are physicians so you are referring to the "sunshine tax" because there is a large supply of docs wanting to live there and salaries are somewhat lower than in other places? Plus its a trash market for medical care: high percentage of patients in managed care and four very large medical groups competing for patients (UCSD, Sharp, Scirpps, Kaiser).

I'd pick Santa Barbara over Florida due to drier climate and having mountains nearby but those are personal preferences.
Outside of taxes is COL that much higher in SB and other areas of California? I am assuming it’s the real estate issue?
Yes mostly the cost of real estate but you'll find that if you wanted to live in Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Palos Verdes, or Atherton that the cost of the houses you wanted to buy might be almost as high as Santa Barbara. If you are physicians I'd also point out that the young physicians I know (under 50) can't afford to live in those areas I just mentioned; they live in adjacent less expensive places like Irvine (OC) and Carmel Valley (San Diego).
I was wondering about the job comment as well. I've been job searching and have found a number of tech related jobs in SD. So it must depend on what you are looking for.
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bltkmt
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by bltkmt »

I went to school in Santa Barbara (UCSB) and would have (should have?) stayed there, but the job market is not all that great. I would pick it over Florida in any case, assuming you have the employment opportunity. It is the US version of the French Riviera - beautiful.
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Saraso

Post by Gill »

Stay away from Sarasota. It’s so crowded no one goes there anymore. :happy
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dwade1109
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by dwade1109 »

Yes we are physicians and for each of our specialties it’s pretty limited options in San Diego
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by smitcat »

I would never rank healthcare or crime by state as it has a more local significance but if you wanted to do that here is a link...
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states ... re-quality
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ResearchMed
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by ResearchMed »

dwade1109 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:41 pm Yes we are physicians and for each of our specialties it’s pretty limited options in San Diego
Is there enough choice in Santa Barbara?
That's a smaller area.

I lived there for two years quite a while ago, and it was one of the best places I lived in. However, it was much less crowded then. But the geography and the weather!
But it was a bit provincial, in terms of major cultural events.

(And from there, with all sun, I moved to Seattle, which I also loved, but didn't see much sun. It was also a much bigger "town", to put it mildly.)

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gs2offroad
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by gs2offroad »

Santa Barbara in a heartbeat if you can afford it.
Bobby206
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by Bobby206 »

If you can afford it California is awesome but maybe look at south OC or north SD area. Real nice down there. Year round nice weather. Takes big bank to buy a decent house though.
muddlehead
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by muddlehead »

"**Haven't lived in Santa Barbara, but I've lived in coastal HB for 15 yrs within a quarter mile of the ocean.**"

Curious. What is coastal HB?
ThankYouJack
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by ThankYouJack »

dwade1109 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:41 pm Yes we are physicians and for each of our specialties it’s pretty limited options in San Diego
Another vote for Santa Barbara. I've lived there and absolutely loved it. I'm surprised there's jobs for you in Santa Barbara and not in San Diego. But I would still choose SB over SD. Just be prepared to rent or spend ~$1.5 million on a starter home.
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by stoptothink »

muddlehead wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:53 pm "**Haven't lived in Santa Barbara, but I've lived in coastal HB for 15 yrs within a quarter mile of the ocean.**"

Curious. What is coastal HB?
My guess is Huntington Beach.

I'm a SoCal native and it would take F-U money to get me to even consider ever moving back. Santa Barbara is the one and only area in the state I might consider.
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by Trader Joe »

dwade1109 wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:14 pm My soon to be fiancée and I are currently in long distance coast to coast. We’ve narrowed done potential long term areas to warm locations and from there narrowed it down further based on our jobs and parents retirement living preferences to the following:

Santa Barbara/Ventura
Palm Beach County
Sarasota/Bradenton

Obviously different taxes and costs of living. But having never lived in any of these places (and only having visited) any thoughts on life/school options/diversity (we are both second gen immigrants)?

Thanks in advance!
Josh
Santa Barbara/Ventura by far. Not even close.
stan1
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by stan1 »

If you both have good prospects in Santa Barbara this year I think you'd want to seize the opportunity as that might not be the case every year or even most years in a smaller market. Especially if you have two great opportunities right now at the Sansum Clinic.
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Saraso

Post by Scrapr »

Gill wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:37 am Stay away from Sarasota. It’s so crowded no one goes there anymore. :happy
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by TimeRunner »

SB, "home of the newlywed and nearly dead" - there's truth in that. Sansum Clinic and Cottage Hospital are the healthcare big dogs (and are excellent), but there's plenty of specialty practices, surgery centers, dermo clinics, etc. You can find everything from terrible student/slumlord housing to Oprah's Montecito mansion neighborhood within a fifteen mile stretch of relatively narrow land twixt surf and the mountains behind town. Try city-data.com for more targeted forum. LA is not that far away - after all, lots of well-compensated Hollywood peeps live in SB and limo to LA for a few days work before returning to their getaway home. Shhh....
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ThatGuy
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by ThatGuy »

The Day Hell Hit Santa Barbara

The Santa Ana is no joke. Still, of the places you listed, Santa Barbara is the only one worth living in.
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Topic Author
dwade1109
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by dwade1109 »

Seems like an overwhelming response!

Now have to figure out if we can afford a house ...
dustinst22
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by dustinst22 »

muddlehead wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:53 pm "**Haven't lived in Santa Barbara, but I've lived in coastal HB for 15 yrs within a quarter mile of the ocean.**"

Curious. What is coastal HB?

Huntington Beach, border of Newport. My personal favorite spots to live would be Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Diego County (i.e. Encinitas), and South OC. All little pockets of heaven imo.
Last edited by dustinst22 on Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
pkjr
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Re: Where to live: Santa Barbara area versus Palm Beach versus Sarasota?

Post by pkjr »

From all the places you mentioned Sarasota is a hidden gem. Get a house close to Siesta Key and enjoy the live.
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