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California lifestyle?

 
Old 03-08-2019, 04:48 PM
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cbrett
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Default California lifestyle?

Hey everyone. My wife and I are considering relocating from OK/TX to California for multiple reasons, but largely due to weather. We are considering LA, Palm Springs and the central coast area. I thought I'd ask for some advice on here as there seems to be a lot of guys from California on the board, and obviously we have some common interests. We don't have kids and aren't tied down. We really enjoy weekend traveling, good food/wine/beer, live music, great drives, and nearby tracks for either DE's or a membership. If you have any recommendations on why you love or don't love your spot in California, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:00 PM
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We moved from Chicago to Orange County , SoCal about 5 years ago. Overall we feel we did the right thing and love many things about living here. Like anything in life there are pros and cons.

In my opinion the move here is clearly a lifestyle choice , doesnít make much financial sense. Homes and state income taxes are much higher , public schools are crowded. As a car guy , I love the year round driving season , awesome roads for weekend canyon drives , tracks are alright and most are 3 hrs or even farther away ( this is a downside for me )

Great Weather , good roads (OC) , beaches and all the end less outdoor stuff , good healthy food choices all make it worthwhile for me. For many itís too much of premium to pay for this lifestyle. Only you can tell if itís worth it.

For your reference , between my wife and I we lived chicago , nyc , nc ,Tx Atlanta. We agree CA is the best place for us.

Good luck !
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:39 PM
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CAlexio
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amazing weather, scenery, food quality, driving roads, outdoor activities, and meeting people from all over the world as your neighbors are all massive positives.. it's like a different country compared to the rest of the USA. However, Norcal and socal offer very different environments, with socal being very crowded and warm, and norcal being a lot less car-friendly, more about nature and tech. it's pay to play by a factor of 10x or 100x in some comparisons with certain areas around the US. also, don't confuse the coast with anything more than 20 miles inland. California the coast is about 20 miles thick, and is a super desirable compressed sliver of land... the inland towns of california are a wasteland which you absolutely don't want to set foot in. The central coast, SLO area is about as beautiful parts of the world as you could hope to see, but very quiet. SoCal is very car friendly but crowded. Norcal probably has more low-key hidden wealth and car collections, but everyone pretends they only drive a Prius. I'm here for the startup and tech environment, love every second of it.. either my company sells for many many millions or in a few years I'm out and will move to Seattle or Portland. Everyone should experience california, not everyone should necessarily spend their life here.
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:45 PM
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The weather in Cali is second to now imho (although it wont stop bloody raining right now in Norcal!!) Generally weather in Socal slightly better in that there's less rain there from a driving / riding pov. Socal does seem to be a lot of concrete though and if you live closer to the coast in the built up areas you have to travel to find the good roads. Norcal is definitely greener and more space. What it also has is options - I've got 4/5 Porsche dealers within a 40 min drive of me for e.g. It is a great lifestyle if you can afford it and there is a different vibe between Nor and Socal so you should make sure you feel that before deciding. Inland - like Palm Springs it gets HOT in the summer but it is a dry heat at least. Both Norcal and Socal have ample tracks to play on but I'd tip my hat to Norcal with Sonoma, Thunderhill and Laguna Seca.
There is no better state in the USA for weather to repeat but just fyi once I retire I'll be heading out - probably towards Colorado. I've just got fed up with the politics, the entitlement, the exorbitant taxes and the traffic.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:01 PM
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I am a Texas native who lived in NorCal for 20 years. Both place are awesome and the quotes below are excellent. Some comments to their quotes below.

Originally Posted by CAlexio View Post
amazing weather, scenery, food quality, driving roads, outdoor activities, and meeting people from all over the world as your neighbors are all massive positives.. it's like a different country compared to the rest of the USA. However, Norcal and socal offer very different environments, with socal being very crowded and warm, and norcal being a lot less car-friendly, more about nature and tech. it's pay to play by a factor of 10x or 100x in some comparisons with certain areas around the US. also, don't confuse the coast with anything more than 20 miles inland. California the coast is about 20 miles thick, and is a super desirable compressed sliver of land... the inland towns of california are a wasteland which you absolutely don't want to set foot in. The central coast, SLO area is about as beautiful parts of the world as you could hope to see, but very quiet. SoCal is very car friendly but crowded. Norcal probably has more low-key hidden wealth and car collections, but everyone pretends they only drive a Prius. I'm here for the startup and tech environment, love every second of it.. either my company sells for many many millions or in a few years I'm out and will move to Seattle or Portland. Everyone should experience california, not everyone should necessarily spend their life here.
This is very true. Assuming you are in tech, there is nothing like living in/near SF and Silicon Valley -- at least once in your life. Yeah, everything is more expensive and a hassle but the vibrancy of being "in tech" is like nothing else. I would also say the following -- the air quality in NorCal is just excellent. There is a freshness to the air (I lived on the Peninsula) that cannot be described -- only felt. Now that I have moved back to Texas, I definitely miss that air quality. LOL.

The "Car Guys" in NorCal are awesome. It is a little harder to find great places to drive but the tracks are better "up North" and okay to get to (1-2 hours). The local PCA chapters in NorCal are all terrific -- very active.

Originally Posted by Ducati1199 View Post
The weather in Cali is second to now imho (although it wont stop bloody raining right now in Norcal!!) Generally weather in Socal slightly better in that there's less rain there from a driving / riding pov. Socal does seem to be a lot of concrete though and if you live closer to the coast in the built up areas you have to travel to find the good roads. Norcal is definitely greener and more space. What it also has is options - I've got 4/5 Porsche dealers within a 40 min drive of me for e.g. It is a great lifestyle if you can afford it and there is a different vibe between Nor and Socal so you should make sure you feel that before deciding. Inland - like Palm Springs it gets HOT in the summer but it is a dry heat at least. Both Norcal and Socal have ample tracks to play on but I'd tip my hat to Norcal with Sonoma, Thunderhill and Laguna Seca.
There is no better state in the USA for weather to repeat but just fyi once I retire I'll be heading out - probably towards Colorado. I've just got fed up with the politics, the entitlement, the exorbitant taxes and the traffic.
Great comments here also (taxes, politics (the homeless problem in SF is simply astonishing...and no easy fix ever).

I actually really do like Palm Springs. If you are into driving the hell out of your cars, there are just a lot fewer people in Palm Springs than in NorCal and (especially) SoCal. Was visiting some friends there recently and I *LOVED* the super long stretches of surface roads between lights and light traffic. GREAT for really enjoying a GT car. Since moving back to Texas, I am finding that since everyone also moved back here it is harder and harder to find good stretches of road to really let our cars run.

The tracks in Texas are also NOT Laguna Seca or Thunderhill (my fave). But those are very unique places and very special tracks. Those tracks would be harder to reach from SoCal and the SoCal tracks are "meh" -- at least to me.

My two picks would be (1) Palm Springs (SoCal) or (2) Sonoma Valley (pick any small town). The big cities (SF to North, LA to South ... doh) are really fun 2 night weekend getaways. We just flew out to LA last weekend "just because". I actually love visiting LA but am glad not to live there.

If you choose Palm Springs, you can always AirBNB a house for August somewhere in the mountains (Northern Utah, etc) to get out of the heat. If you choose Sonoma, you can live there year round.

With AirBNB and other rental sites, another idea is to sign up to a 3-6 month lease in BOTH places and just test them out -- see which ones "feel" like you and your wife's speed.

Just some thoughts. Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:03 PM
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I've just spent 18 months travelling to Pasadena each week. Being close to Angeles Crest and not far from the canyons above Malibu has been magic, The weather is a delight, mountains as a backdrop and a 45 minutes from the beach, not bad. Food choices remain amazing. I don't pay taxes here but I'm guessing the only penalty are taxes and homeless people - there are lots!
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:04 PM
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IMO, San Diego County still has that sleepy beach town feel, for as much as a big city can....AND, I believe it's the most affordable. The further north you go, through SF, it becomes exponentially more expensive. AND, we do have the best weather, compared to NorCal. Within SD County, there are a lot of nice areas, but I feel North County is the best, between Del Mar and Carlsbad, the beaches have less riff raff, cleaner, etc. Rancho Santa Fe has one of the best cars & coffee spots, with a healthy contingent of Porsche folks, you would love it.
Yes, Good Luck!
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:06 PM
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I lived in Orange County for 30 years. The weather is possibly the best in the world. Lots of beautiful women from all over the world. Great food scene. Car scene is amongst the best in the states. Beaches are cool.

Having said all of that we left 10 years ago for Colorado and donít miss it at all. Why? Soul crushing traffic. Astronomical cost of living. Politics are left of Hugo Chavez.

But really, it is the traffic. You canít realiy enjoy going anywhere because the freeways are crowdwd at 2am. Parking is brutal. You end up staying home a lot because going anywhere is too much work. Cost of living is very very high, but that isnít why we left.

California 40 years ago was awesome. It is nothing like that today, unfortunately. We saw her best years, but those days are over. The weather only takes you so far. But you will love it for a while until the above issues are too much to deal with.

Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:08 PM
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Taxes suck
traffic sucks
housing costs
i live by beach awesome
roads awsome
car culture cannot be matched
weather awesome
food and culture awesome.

If you have a job that doesn’t make you sit in traffic or don’t live in the major city areas you can manage with the traffic.
Taxes will follow you everywhere.

Personally palm speings is more of a weekend location. House must be mid century :-)
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:12 PM
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In your position, if you like to walk everywhere, restaurants, wine, hiking, cycling, nearly perfect weather Santa Monica, in my humble opinion is the place to be. Coming to California to move inland requires a Plan B for summer, in my opinion; the coast, during summertime can be 15 or so degrees cooler than other inland areas. Canyons are just 10/15 min away on a weekend early morning.

I hope you don't pay much attention to local politics since that could divert one from the enjoyment. If SM is what you decide for, just PM for restaurants, wine, drive recommendations
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by robmypro View Post
I lived in Orange County for 30 years. The weather is possibly the best in the world. Lots of beautiful women from all over the world. Great food scene. Car scene is amongst the best in the states. Beaches are cool.

Having said all of that we left 10 years ago for Colorado and donít miss it at all. Why? Soul crushing traffic. Astronomical cost of living. Politics are left of Hugo Chavez.

But really, it is the traffic. You canít realiy enjoy going anywhere because the freeways are crowdwd at 2am. Parking is brutal. You end up staying home a lot because going anywhere is too much work. Cost of living is very very high, but that isnít why we left.

California 40 years ago was awesome. It is nothing like that today, unfortunately. We saw her best years, but those days are over. The weather only takes you so far. But you will love it for a while until the above issues are too much to deal with.

Good luck!
I live in Oc and work in Oc. Traffic is not any worse than other metros I lived in. If you have to commute to LA or SD I agree with you itís just about as bad as it gets. Weekend trips to LA and Sd is still doable. Yes itís getting very crowded here compared to even 10 years ago , must be nice in Colorado with a lot of open spaces. How is traffic in Denver ?
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:16 PM
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San Diego is a great city. Its not as crowded as LA/OC.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by vf430 View Post
We moved from Chicago to Orange County , SoCal about 5 years ago. Overall we feel we did the right thing and love many things about living here. Like anything in life there are pros and cons.

In my opinion the move here is clearly a lifestyle choice , doesn’t make much financial sense. Homes and state income taxes are much higher , public schools are crowded. As a car guy , I love the year round driving season , awesome roads for weekend canyon drives , tracks are alright and most are 3 hrs or even farther away ( this is a downside for me )

Great Weather , good roads (OC) , beaches and all the end less outdoor stuff , good healthy food choices all make it worthwhile for me. For many it’s too much of premium to pay for this lifestyle. Only you can tell if it’s worth it.

For your reference , between my wife and I we lived chicago , nyc , nc ,Tx Atlanta. We agree CA is the best place for us.

Good luck !

My wife and I relocated from Chicago as well

I second pretty much everything vf430 just said. We live in West LA and absolutely love it and while there is a premium to live here, we think it's well worth it. Not to get into a real estate debate but I had a major issue with buying a home in the suburbs of Chicago simply because I felt prices are very inflated by a market that is sure to take a down turn at some point. At the end of the day, the land is what appreciates and the house itself is a depreciating asset. I found it crazy to pay 500k-1M for a single family home in the west suburbs that was surrounded by open farm fields just waiting to be developed... There is no lack of inventory when it comes to land and the home prices there don't reflect that.

Here in West LA I'm paying 3-4x that amount but I'm likely to not lose my investment and actually earn a decent return in the long run. I would say that's the biggest thing about being out here. You have to be prepared for 3-4x housing costs (probably even higher if you are coming from OK/TX) for the most desirable areas, higher taxes, more expensive restaurants... everything just costs more.

Only you and your wife can determine if it's worth it to you guys. Personally, I would recommend getting an airbnb for a month or two in an area you are interested in and just try it out. CA (especially LA) can be a bit of a culture shock and some people love it and others just plain hate it. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions about relocating to CA.

P.S. Oh traffic is bad but Chicago traffic was worse. I work from home so I don't drive unless its for fun so I don't ever really see rush hour traffic
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:29 PM
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first, just ignore the politics if you are from Texas great weather, but Palm Springs could get nasty hot, South OC is clean and beautiful , West La is cool but San Diego has the best weather. I do not recommend central California.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:36 PM
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I’m not going to go into the high expenses/taxes/regulations part of living in CA as its so well covered elsewhere, except to say that you may want to wait until after April 15th to get a better selection of higher end housing as the tax refugees will be accelerating their exodus. The market has already been softening for the past year:https://www.zillow.com/research/majo...cooling-23228/
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