Questions about living in California (=

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Tim Holyoke, May 1, 2005.

  1. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    I had a thread a couple months ago about wanting to get out of Wisconsin after I'm done with college next spring. I was kind of thinking Missouri, Carolinas, Washington, or California. Well, after some thought and reading, California seems like it'd meet a lot of my requirements. Other than the insane cost of living, it seems like a wonderful place to help me forget I ever lived in WI. (FYI - I'm 22)

    A nice guy from around San Louis Obispo has been helping me via another forum. Some of the areas he and others recommended I look into are his area (SLO), Ventura, Ramona, Alpine, Temecula, Gilroy, Rocklin, Auburn, Ojai, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, and Morgan Hill.

    I'd prefer a small to medium sized city, in the 20,000 to 150,000 range. I don't want ungodly hot summer weather. Cost of living, while a factor, is also kind of a win-lose for me. I plan on working in financial planning, ideally with my own office down the road. If I'm in a low COL area, there probably won't be as much income for the residents and therefore customers for me. If I'm in a higher COL area (which from what I understand is basically the entire state [​IMG] ), I'll be paying an arm and a leg for a home, but should have more paying clients. Ugh. Home ownership is something I covet, but obviously not right away. I grew up on a farm and enjoy the agricultural settings, so farming communities are also appealing.

    The central coast region seemed to fit my bill the most, so the others told me. What do you think? I'm not really looking for everyone to tell me their hometown is the best, I'd like to hear why to look into certain areas or avoid others. I really appreciate any ideas.

    Tim
     
  2. Scott_lb

    Scott_lb Supporting Actor

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    I grew up in Wisconsin and went out to L.A. for graduate school. I enjoyed my time in California quite a bit, and the only reason I'm still not there is the extremely high cost of living and the lack of available jobs for my profession.

    On the plus side, the weather is beautiful, the landscape is amazing, and there are always plenty of things to do. I also liked being in a city that was larger and more diverse than Milwaukee. If you can figure out the financial aspects of moving to California, I'd wager you'd like it quite a bit.

    By the way, in your post you mentioned wanting to forget you ever lived in Wisconsin. What part of WI are you from? I used to think the same thing, however, after moving away I learned to appreciate the good things that WI has to offer. Now that I'm back, I look at the state in a new way.
     
  3. Matt Souza

    Matt Souza Agent

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    !!?? Lompoc! Around here we referr to it as Lompton. I'm in Santa Maria (20 min S. of SLO, and 20 min N. of Lompoc) and it sound to me that Arroyo Grande/SLO area might be the place to be if you can manage it. Santa Maria is cheaper COL than thoses, but it is an Ag area, so there's LOTS of immigrant labor in town. I say take a vacation and see for yourself the areas that you mentioned [​IMG]
     
  4. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Thanks Scott. My ,"forget I ever lived in WI," comment was kind of meant as sarcasm, kind of not. I'm from Monroe, S. of Madison. Growing up on a farm, my dad has always told me not to let yourself get attached to something like he has his farm - he wished he'd have moved somewhere else 20 years ago. Some aspects of the state I would definitely miss. It's just that I'd like a clean slate and a chance to "remake" myself, if you will. I don't want to end up moving to an area that I don't like as much as WI, and always be wishing I was back home. Of course I could always just move back to WI if I hated it that much wherever I moved. So my decision is partially of my own desire, and partially because of the encouragment of family.

    As you said, cost of living is the main factor I think. I'm confident I'll be able to find work in the financial planning field, I just don't want to be far in debt before I get my feet on the ground. My finances now are in good shape, with no student loans and a fair amount of savings. But I fear if I'm not making a decent living that savings will dwindle quickly.

    Thanks for the message.

    Tim
     
  5. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Haha, thanks Matt. Lompton, eh? [​IMG] Thanks for the input, that's what I need - I was just throwing out some cities others mentioned. A trip is indeed what I think I need.
     
  6. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    Suggest you locate an area of employment first and then a place to reside. Traffic from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border is a bear. 'Course, if you don't mind sitting in a car for a couple hours each way going to work and back then my suggestion doesn't matter. [​IMG] The Inland Empire area is one that's still growing. Many people are transplants from the Los Angeles/Orange County areas that are relocating for a variety of reasons (lower housing and COL costs among them....but still $$$) Average family income in the Temecula Valley is above $60K IIRC.

    Mort
     
  7. Matt Souza

    Matt Souza Agent

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    Lompoc has really gone down hill since the gov. had really cut back activity at Vandenberg after the Challenger mishap in the 80's. Coupled with the fed. pen just up the road and a very low avg. income, and well you can draw your own conclusion...

    If you can manage to stay clear of the beach areas the house prices come down quite a bit, but still high. Though I don't think you could get hurt buying a house in this area. It's a growing area, with people getting out of the rat race of LA and SF and moving to the central coast driving the house prices up. You might want to check out the Paso Robles / Atascadero area, still pretty reasonable and just 20min N. of SLO and 20min E. of the coast.
     
  8. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Not to sound condescending, but it's a bit naive to pick out a city, move there, and assume you'll be able to find work there doing exactly what you want to do. It's normally the other way around: you get a job offer and move to wherever that job requires you to live.
     
  9. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Seth - I agree completely. I didn't mean to sound so confident that I'd definitely be able to find a job exactly where I want. Basically, I'm looking for a general area, some cities that I might like. Then I'll look for jobs in those areas, interview, etc. I'm not moving until I know I have a job I want. Since I'll be working for a smaller company, I'm not too worried that I'll have to go to X city or whatever. For somebody getting a job with a big corporation right out of college, I'd agree you go wherever the work takes you. Thanks for the thought though.

    Tim
     
  10. Ryan Wishton

    Ryan Wishton Screenwriter

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    I say if you have the shot, then go for it.

    Don't end up regretting passing up something you really wanted to try for the rest of your life.

    You will one day be dead. Might as well go out as happy and successful as possible. Besides, you said if things didn't work out that you could go back to Wisconsin. Take the shot.

    Just be sure to have something lined up before just going sight unseen. It will be less difficult that way.

    Whatever you decide, best of luck. Don't let people take you out of it if you really feel you can make it work. Consider yourself very lucky that you seem to have a supportive family as well.

    If it's what you really want and have thought it out, Nike slogan dude. "Just Do It."
     
  11. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    I appreciate the encouraging words, Ryan. A quote I've got stuck on a piece of paper in my desk drawer that I've been making more of an effort to live by recently...

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain.

    OK, cheesy Hallmark moment over [​IMG] :b .
     
  12. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    How did you know what I was doing? [​IMG]
     
  13. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

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    Paso can get pretty hot in the summer time.

    SLO is nice. I lived there for 5 years. [sarcasm] Good luck finding a job [/saracasm]

    Actually, I wish I could have found a job there. Very nice place and its mostly a college town so the residents are perpetually an average of 21 yrs old. Cant beat that !

    Of course, they stay the same age while you just get older. :wink: hehe...

    I have lived all over in CA, so I'll throw this in the ring: try Northern San Diego county and work your way out from the coast. Obviously, the coast is going to be the most expensive, and the weather is absolutely perfect (I grew up there) so maybe research your way inland to an area that is comfortable (weather, COL, etc.)
    You may end up in Temecula. who knows !
    San Diego county (which is huge) has a lot to offer and many oppurtunites. Yes its expensive, but hey, its cheaper than Orange County ! haha...
     
  14. Scott_lb

    Scott_lb Supporting Actor

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    Tim - your post reminds me of what went through my mind when I first moved to California (realizing that I wasn't intending to stay long-term). There were a lot of people who told me I was nuts and questioned why I would ever want to leave Wisconsin. Six years later, I'm glad I went out there. My views on just about everything have changed (largely due to my experiences in grad school), and I feel much more "rounded" after living in an environment that is completely different than the one I lived in for the first 25 years of my life. I think the one thing that was most striking to me SoCal was the difference in cultural diversity. I am now much more aware of differences in culture than most people I know here in Wisconsin. Bear in mind that I live in the most populated portion of the state as well! Lately, I've done a lot of reflecting on my life and while I cannot say that choosing to attend grad school is something I'd do again, I can say that I certainly do not regret moving to California. Whether you end up in California or somewhere else, I'm sure you'll grow individually as well.

    That said, don't set your expectations too high or you might set yourself up for dissapointment. The reality of California was quite a bit different than what I was expecting. Once my expectations became more realistic, my experience became much more pleasant. If you do end up going, I wish you the best of luck on the new phase of your life!
     
  15. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    I just checked the real estate listings for Valencia, the lowest price house available is $400,000

    Move to the high desert and you can still find a place for less than $200,000
     
  16. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    It's equity refugees from LA and SF areas that are making housing in the Central Valley of CA almost totally unaffordable. Stuff that went for $115k ten years ago is now upwards of 300k, and that's a crappy little 1300 sq. ft. tract house on a 4000 sq.ft. lot.

    I'm not really complaining, my 1400 sq.ft. condo in central Fresno is worth 3 times what I paid 7 years ago, and it's gonna be paid off in 4 years or so. My current house payment is $424 a month, and I owe less on this house than I do on my Mazda 3.

    As for where to live in CA, my #1 dream is to win the lottery and move to the central coast somewhere between Pismo and Big Sur, in a crap old house on a hill just across highway 1 from the beach, open a video rental store to keep myself busy and have a herd of Welsh Corgis running around.
     
  17. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Have a great time while you are young since you will never have that chance again.
    I never lived in the Silicon Valley since it was boring as hell and women were non-existent.
    San Francisco was expensive as hell but well worth it and I never thought I could afford a bird bath let alone a place to live
    People go broke to $$$$$ many times a life, you are only young once
    Good Luck
     
  18. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    Boy, you must have been going to all of the wrong places. [​IMG] I moved to San Jose after college in 1988 and just moved away last week. When I was a single guy, I never had a problem finding activities or meeting women. Unfortunately the housing market is just crazy there and many of the companies have moved away. I'm glad that I finally moved out although I'll miss the weather.
     
  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And, now, it is Southern California's turn at the most-expensive housing game. Though SF is starting to recover from the dot-com crash, the lack of affordable housing and a consistently decent economy down here now make us the most-expensive place on the West Coast. (Though, honestly, if there were decent media opportunities up in SF and I had a job offer I'd move up there in a heatbeat.)

    Tim, you're taking a balanced approach to this, which is to be applauded. Have you been to California? Also, have you ever spent any time in larger cities? Lots to consider, but, again, your approach is sensible. Best of luck.
     
  20. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Thanks guys. I appreciate all the advice. Jack - I actually haven't been to CA, and plan on taking an "exploratory" trip, if you will, either this summer or next Xmas break. My time in larger cities has been limited to Milwaukee and Chicago, for the most part. I've spent quite a bit of time in Milwaukee, which while not real big has terrible traffic - so I'm somewhat used to that [​IMG] . I'm sure I don't want to be right smack in the middle of an LA or SF, but within an hour or so drive (non-commute driving [​IMG] )...though from what I understand it's pretty much non-stop cities from San Diego to north of LA (Santa Barbara?)?

    One possible dilemma is my occupation. I really want to be a financial planner, own my office, really build strong client relationships. If I end up doing this, I'll basically be forced to stay in this one area my entire career - not exactly easy to move away, leaving clients and looking for new ones. That's why I want to make [email protected] sure I like the place I end up moving to. Sure, I'll have a few years working under somebody else before I have to truly make the decision to stay, but after that I'm stuck. I just want to be "stuck" somewhere I'll enjoy.

    Some people have recommended Santa Barbara as an area that has a lot of "older" people who will need financial and estate planning in the coming years - and have a lot of $$$ to throw at an advisor [​IMG] . These same people advised me SB is incredibly expensive and a lot of people commute from places like Ventura. Any thoughts on either of these locals or others nearby?

    Where do you suggest checking out on my exploratory trip?

    Again, I appreciate the help. Thanks.

    Tim
     

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