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What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: May 29, 2020 10:24AM
I have a possible job in Redwood City. Although I've lived in few states and a couple countries, I've been in the Seattle area for a long time. My entire career has been here, marriage, kids... all in the same house.

I know the cost of living is higher. For a number of years, I used to travel to the SFO area to work with a client. We will probably rent to start. A few years ago a friend moved to CA and one of the things they were caught off guard by was the income tax. While they thought they were getting a good pay bump, it turned out not to be the case because of taxes.

What else should I be thinking about?




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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: May 29, 2020 10:30AM
California is the state with the highest percentage of people living in poverty when you consider the cost of living, and not just some "absolute number" like the federal government's definition of poverty.

The housing crisis is horrendous here, and nobody has tried to do anything about this for decades.


Quote

In 2017, Susanna Cardenas-Lopez left her home in Salinas to visit her brother in Idaho. Three days into her trip, she called her husband and told him they needed to move there.

Back in Salinas, Cardenas-Lopez and her husband were left out in the cold after their landlord decided to stop renting the home they lived in. They couldn’t afford anything else, so they had to move in with a family member, which was stressful.

Now in Idaho, she and her husband have free time and money left over at the end of each month. There’s a bonus — the area is significantly safer, she said.

“I feel like it’s a dream with the quality of life we now have,” Cardenas-Lopez said. “Yes, the pay is less, but that just doesn’t even seem to matter to me. At least we have enough to pay our rent and bills.”

Many of her family members face the same situation. Five months ago, her 35-year-old daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren left Salinas after their rent increased from $1,300 to $2,000 in just three years, she said.

“I love California, but it’s just not the Golden State in my eyes anymore,” she said.

[calmatters.org]
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: timg
Date: May 29, 2020 10:36AM
Taxes are too high, Traffic is terrible (if you want nice highways move to SoCal, they seem to get all the money for that), housing is damn near unafforable unless you have a lot of savings and are pulling down well north of $100K.

But, we do have EARTHQUAKES!



Skill without imagination is craftsmanship. Imagination without skill is Modern Art.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 29, 2020 10:49AM
I think Seattle is a MUCH nicer place to live. Weather isn't as good from about October to March, but you know that already.

I guess the question I'd ask is, 'Why are you thinking about taking the job?"

I'd guess the money would have to be at least 150% of current salary to make it worthwhile to move. Be sure to check out housing prices to see if you can even get a foot in the door!
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: August West
Date: May 29, 2020 10:49AM
Great area, but, as mentioned, housing, etc. at unreal cost. I lived a couple years in Belmont, and loved the quality of life. Gonna have to get used to sunshine in place of all the rain.



Picasso in his studio after the liberation of Paris, taken by my friend and mentor.

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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: May 29, 2020 11:04AM
Quote
anonymouse1
I guess the question I'd ask is, 'Why are you thinking about taking the job?"

The opportunity seems pretty good. It is a "change the world" type of role.




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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: May 29, 2020 11:06AM
Quote
M A V I C
Quote
anonymouse1
I guess the question I'd ask is, 'Why are you thinking about taking the job?"

The opportunity seems pretty good. It is a "change the world" type of role.

You can't change the world if all you can afford to live in is a cardboard box... Not saying "don't move here", just be VERY aware that it's going to cost you a LOT more to live in Redwood City than almost anyplace else in the country except maybe New York City.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

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--
Eureka, CA
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: GGD
Date: May 29, 2020 11:08AM
And if you visit now you're not seeing the real picture. There is very little traffic now because everyone is working from home. Also lots of local businesses are closed so you might not get a good idea of a neighborhood.

That said, given that many people in the Bay Area are currently telecommuting, would you actually need to relocate for this job?

And yes, it's very expensive to live here, mainly due to housing, and that's constrained by the amount of land between the ocean and the bay.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 29, 2020 11:12AM
What everyone else said. Housing is gonna be the big thing.

Assuming You have already bee looking. Redwood City area has several of the most expensive zip codes in the entire USA. Rent is reflective.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: chopper
Date: May 29, 2020 11:17AM
Get ready to pay basically the amount of a decent used car every month for rent, if you can find a place to rent.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: d4
Date: May 29, 2020 11:21AM
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Go for it!



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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: fromish
Date: May 29, 2020 11:27AM
Actually, the rental situation is in a bit of flux out here. The 'no evict even for non payment' edict has made landlords more welcoming and more open to negotiations with prospective tenants with solid, well paid jobs.

Second, Redwood City's proximity to Palo Alto and Santa Clara makes the rent quite high there, but the farther you get from those high tech areas the more you are able to find available. Traffic can be tough, but depending on work start and stop times and possible work from home days, a rental outside the tight tech circle of Palo Alto and Santa Clara is looking more and more viable.

Third, though the cost of living is higher, the quality of life is excellent out here. Great weather, onshore winds for much lower pollution, lack of chemical/industrial plants and Superfund sites, and a strong environmental orientation are all positive notes. The food scene is very diverse and multi-ethnic, so both shopping a eating out offer wonderful quality, variety and flavor.

Fourth, school quality follows average income in a zip code. In less affluent areas, schools struggle with funding, overwhelming numbers of second language learners or students from destitute families, whereas more affluent areas have schools that are as good or better than any in other well to do areas.

The homeless situation is not evenly distributed; areas of San Francisco, San Jose and some Peninsula cities struggle with homeless concentrations, but there is minimal impact or issue outside those areas.

If the financial balance sheet works it's a great place to live. If the money doesn't work, then it would be miserable.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: May 29, 2020 11:46AM
Quote
GGD
And if you visit now you're not seeing the real picture. There is very little traffic now because everyone is working from home. Also lots of local businesses are closed so you might not get a good idea of a neighborhood.

Same is true here. I've been just north of there 30-40 times, and we were south of there last summer (drove through the area.)

Quote

That said, given that many people in the Bay Area are currently telecommuting, would you actually need to relocate for this job?

I'm hoping that will turn out to be the case.

Quote
fromish
Actually, the rental situation is in a bit of flux out here. The 'no evict even for non payment' edict has made landlords more welcoming and more open to negotiations with prospective tenants with solid, well paid jobs.

That's good news. In this city, you have to accept the first applicant. So if it's someone with a history of squatting and turning houses into meth labs, you're out of luck. You're required by law to rent to them.

Quote

Second, Redwood City's proximity to Palo Alto and Santa Clara makes the rent quite high there, but the farther you get from those high tech areas the more you are able to find available. Traffic can be tough, but depending on work start and stop times and possible work from home days, a rental outside the tight tech circle of Palo Alto and Santa Clara is looking more and more viable.

I figured. That's a lot like Seattle.

Quote

Third, though the cost of living is higher, the quality of life is excellent out here. Great weather, onshore winds for much lower pollution, lack of chemical/industrial plants and Superfund sites, and a strong environmental orientation are all positive notes. The food scene is very diverse and multi-ethnic, so both shopping a eating out offer wonderful quality, variety and flavor.

Fourth, school quality follows average income in a zip code. In less affluent areas, schools struggle with funding, overwhelming numbers of second language learners or students from destitute families, whereas more affluent areas have schools that are as good or better than any in other well to do areas.

The homeless situation is not evenly distributed; areas of San Francisco, San Jose and some Peninsula cities struggle with homeless concentrations, but there is minimal impact or issue outside those areas.

If the financial balance sheet works it's a great place to live. If the money doesn't work, then it would be miserable.

Thanks for all that. I've used a few cost of living calculators, and they range anywhere between 18 to 71% higher.

One of the reasons for renting there is we would keep our house here and rent it out.




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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: May 29, 2020 11:54AM
Cost of living increase. Everything else is gravy.

Redwood City is pretty pricey. I honestly doubt you'll ever be able to buy there or anywhere else in the vicinity.



It is what it is.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2020 11:56AM by N-OS X-tasy!.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 29, 2020 12:31PM
It really is silly. Again, Im sure you have already looked -- decent 1 bed apartment rent is $3000, 2 bed $3500... houses closer to 5000.

Decent home is 3 million. To buy a dumpy apartment will set you back $750K.

I design a Lux Real estate magazine in that same area, so I see the prices.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: polychrome
Date: May 29, 2020 12:47PM
If what you’re offered offsets the higher housing cost, high state income tax, especially coming from a state with no income tax, then I don’t see a disadvantage of moving to Redwood City. Change is good sometimes and you’ll have new areas to explore. I spent years in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area and the quality of life is great in both places. Both have terrible traffic and why they rank in the top 5 worst. The difference in weather was big for me.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 29, 2020 12:52PM
A quick guess is State taxes will be another 20% on top of Federal. A large apartment complex might assign you one parking spot, and a floater for a second car but you won't be able to park the second car off street after 3 PM. Schools will to some extent determine local rents. Apartments in a city with excellent schools that have openings for your kids will be $3.5k to $5.5k.

After things get back to normal, traffic can be terrible. Twice a year, it will take an hour to go 20 miles.

This is a complex owned by the same management company that ran my former apartment buildings. I did not like the people running the office of my complex.
[www.essexapartmenthomes.com]

Other Bay Area residents will hopefully have some better recommendations.



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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 29, 2020 12:55PM
.....California.......here I come.......back where I started from.......



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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: vision63
Date: May 29, 2020 12:59PM
Don't be afraid. You can make it work (hopefully). The Dumbarton Bridge is on the south side of Redwood City. That's another area to explore for housing. Aside from everybody's frightening assessments, the Peninsula is a glorious place to live and work.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: May 29, 2020 01:21PM
"What to think about when moving to California?"

...LA is a great big freeway...put a hundred down and buy a car...

(I'm sure I beat Newton to it by mere seconds)
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: d4
Date: May 29, 2020 01:42PM
Man, reading all the negativity is such a buzzkill!

"d4, I found a great job in NYC. Should I move to NYC?"

Heck no. It's awful here.
It's so expensive.
It's crowded.
It smells.
Neighbors don't say hello to each other.

But, d4, you live in NYC.

Do you like it? >> Yeah it's ok.
How do you afford it? >> I live in the suburbs.
Is it too crowded for you? >> Ehh, I got used to it.
Does it smell? >> Nah. People just being dramatic.
Do you say hello to people on the street? >> No. NYers will think you are retarded.

So should I move there? >> Heck no. It's awful here.



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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: hal
Date: May 29, 2020 01:57PM
There are reasons that so many people live here in spite of the high costs. If it really sucked, people would vacate in a second.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 29, 2020 01:58PM
....California girls
We're unforgettable
Daisy dukes
Bikinis on top
Sun-kissed skin
So hot
We'll melt your popsicle
Ooh oh ooh
Ooh oh ooh.......




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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: August West
Date: May 29, 2020 02:23PM
Quote
vision
...the Peninsula is a glorious place to live and work.

+100



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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: May 29, 2020 02:50PM
The Just Do It attitude will work for some.

But for others, especially with a family, if that's a consideration, due diligence is important.

Only M A V I C can know if the move is in his budget.

And without an idea of what it'll cost him in taxes, fuel, transportation and housing, he can't possibly make an informed decision.

Year 'round, we have the best weather in the nation, and in this area, maybe the best in the state.

We also have just about the highest cost of living for just about any product or service.

Know that going in, if one can afford the move, then by all means, follow your instincts (and risk assessments).




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must suffer with him.

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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: May 29, 2020 03:19PM
Meh, Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.



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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: May 29, 2020 03:25PM
Quote
d4
Man, reading all the negativity is such a buzzkill!

"d4, I found a great job in NYC. Should I move to NYC?"

Heck no. It's awful here.
It's so expensive.
It's crowded.
It smells.
Neighbors don't say hello to each other.

But, d4, you live in NYC.

Do you like it? >> Yeah it's ok.
How do you afford it? >> I live in the suburbs.
Is it too crowded for you? >> Ehh, I got used to it.
Does it smell? >> Nah. People just being dramatic.
Do you say hello to people on the street? >> No. NYers will think you are retarded.

So should I move there? >> Heck no. It's awful here.

The question was: "What do I need to think about if considering a move to CA?" The responses have been thorough and thoughtful. Methinks thou doth protest too much.



It is what it is.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 29, 2020 04:03PM
when the mountains and the canyons start to tremble and shake...

Come on, folks. I'm not even a old a some of you geezers here and nobody's quoted that yet?
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 29, 2020 04:23PM
One of the best threads here in a while, IMHO.

My bottom line for you.

1. The money has to work

2. What's the job security like? How long is the guaranteed job tenure or payout if they terminate you early?

3. Change the world? GO FOR IT.

4. If it's Redwood City near the train station, you could actually live In San Jose or nearby, and take the train. It's a great way to commute, especially around there.

5. I am so jealous!
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: numbered
Date: May 29, 2020 04:50PM
Quote
anonymouse1
4. If it's Redwood City near the train station, you could actually live In San Jose or nearby, and take the train. It's a great way to commute, especially around there.

This is a good point. It could expand your choices a bit.

One of the issues in Redwood is that Facecrook is in Menlo, next door to Redwood. There has been significant growth in housing in the Redwood-to-San Mateo corridor but prices have still climbed. The reason is Zuck et. al.

Some of the folks commute across the Bay, but that bridge is horrible in normal times. Others go over the hills to the coast, but the road is mostly two lane.

However, you could consider San Jose, or even south of there. There is limited rail service south, but if you could mix some remote work it might offer alternatives. Caltrain is the rail service.

The other thing I would point out, fwiw, is that the state income tax is not as bad as claimed. There are lots of brackets, so the marginal rates change slowly. The often quoted high rate is only applicable on incomes over $1m. (I suspect this is the issue with some of the salary calculators you tried.)
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: sekker
Date: May 29, 2020 06:06PM
Congrats on an exciting new opportunity. Hope it works out.

I've lived in CA over the years, if the money works out for you, it's a nice state to live in.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: polychrome
Date: May 29, 2020 06:19PM
One cool place to check out that's located at the Burlingame Caltrain station, north of Redwood City, is the Pez Museum. It's small but they have at least one of every Pez dispenser that was ever made. There's also an old donut shop there from the 60's that's pretty good.
[burlingamepezmuseum.com]
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: bfd
Date: May 29, 2020 06:20PM
Everything costs more. So consider that carefully. However, if you're going to overthink this, consider how difficult it was just to get to the point where you have to think about it now.

Take the job. It sounds like a winner. As long as you don't owe more than you bring in every month, and you have enough left to enjoy all the great things there are to see and do, and there's a certain amount of security in the job - that's important right now - there's no reason to look back.

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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 29, 2020 07:50PM
The train is a great way to commute, but I seem to recall it is an hour late or not running at least once a year.

I love the Bay Area. Money no object, I would have homes in maybe five different cities. Having a personal electric helicopter/jetpack to fly over the traffic would be nearly priceless.



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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: May 29, 2020 07:58PM
From what I can tell, I'd be in the 9.3% tax bracket. There are some livable houses for sale around a million. But I'm mainly looking at this like an adventure. So renting is more appealing.

I don't want a long commute. I want a backyard. A basic 3/2 with a garage.

If we moved from here to most other places, we couldn't afford to move back. This would be an exception. If it pencils out, we could always move back. We currently have only one car.

Oh the Burlingame transit station. I've eaten at the in-n-out by there probably 100 times.




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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: GGD
Date: May 29, 2020 08:03PM
Many of the tech companies run their own transit system with buses from where their employees want to live to where their offices are, with WiFi so they can work during their captivity commute. You might ask about their commuter benefits. They might have some sort of shuttle service from the train station.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2020 08:11PM by GGD.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 29, 2020 08:06PM
....the Raisins.......love it there......



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 29, 2020 08:14PM
I have colleagues who work in Palo Alto and live about 20-25 min South in the Mountains. beautiful area and traffic is OK if you can come to work late and leave late.

EDIT: I work and live in NJ, but I was referring to folks who work in the Palo Alto office.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2020 08:15PM by space-time.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: May 29, 2020 08:39PM
I imagine hours will be flexible. It's not a big company, so I doubt it has it's own transportation. But I could see them having a partnership with a bigger company to use theirs.




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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: decay
Date: May 29, 2020 08:46PM
A guy I worked with/for recently retired. His daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandkids live out there. He works at Facebook, she's at Google. Very high salaries, TONS of work perks (free bus, internet on bus, free everything at work - meals, headphones, etc).

It sounds like they are making it work. They're smart, connected people. He worked at the White House for a while.



---
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: vision63
Date: May 29, 2020 09:27PM
Quote
GGD
Many of the tech companies run their own transit system with buses from where their employees want to live to where their offices are, with WiFi so they can work during their captivity commute. You might ask about their commuter benefits. They might have some sort of shuttle service from the train station.

Us regular citizens call 'em all Google Busses, regardless of where they go.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: May 30, 2020 01:34AM
Quote
M A V I C
There are some livable houses for sale around a million.

That’s the Bay Area for you.



It is what it is.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: GGD
Date: May 30, 2020 01:57AM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
M A V I C
There are some livable houses for sale around a million.

That’s the Bay Area for you.

You might find that those asking prices are set to attract multiple offers and bidding wars, and won't actually sell for that price.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 30, 2020 02:22AM
California is expensive for the most part. Job security and being well compensated for your work is important.
California is looked at through its big cities/counties. San Francisco/Los Angeles County (and it’s suburbs)/San Diego. All of them have their issues.. topping the list: traffic/high cost of living/homelessness/policy re:guns

I’ve only lived in CA. I don’t live in any of the “big cities”. (I live 2 - 2.5 hours from 2 on my list). I love it here (there are pockets of goodness throughout the state - Red Wood Forest/Northern Coast was my favorite drive when I drove to visit a friend in Oregon.). Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of people commuting to both LA or San Diego from my area. That’s what you will have to do to lower your living expenses and get out of the city madness.

Good luck in your move and Welcome to California.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: Ca Bob
Date: May 30, 2020 03:23AM
San Francisco is a very cultured place. I would rate the SF Opera and SF symphony orchestra as being marginally better than what you have in Seattle, but compared to Ogallala Nebraska, either is an exciting place. I think the views in SF are amongst the best anywhere. Having lived in Los Angeles, Boston, the midwest, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, and the Bay Area, I think I would prefer the bay if I had scads of money and a lot of free time. Curiously, the music scene is actually a bit better in Los Angeles if you are into serious classical and opera, and the museums are also at a higher level, but nothing on the coast competes with Chicago and New York. Taking the ferry boat from SF to Marin County (you pull in right next to San Quentin prison) is a great experience.

The main thing is that you are almost never going to be really uncomfortable from the weather. You are also driving distance from a lot of interesting places ranging from the Sierras to the high deserts. I'm a big fan of Yosemite and Death Valley, but the lower deserts are kind of an acquired taste.

You are also close to the mid-coastline including places like Santa Cruz and Big Sur.
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: May 30, 2020 05:46AM
It's very important that my stalking rights are protected in any rental or lease agreement.



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The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: Michael
Date: May 30, 2020 06:24AM
I don't have advice--you've gotten plenty of that. But, my folks moved to Redwood City when I was 2. My grandparents loaned my dad the money for a down payment on a little house up on the hill, overlooking the bay. It was on Castle Hill Rd, right up from McNulty Way. It was $12,000 when my parents bought it in 1955. My dad was a physician at Sequoia Hospital and did fine so we moved to Atherton when I was 8, into a house that cost $125,000. At that time my dad gave the Castle Hill Rd house to my grandparents in payment for the loan and for the loans they made when my dad was in med school back in the late 40's. My brother who lives in the area told me that the house sold for over $2 million when grandpa and grandma sold it some years later. They did rather well with the help they provided my parents! Unfortunately, my crummy uncle, who had power of attorney as an attorney used that money to open several (now-failed) law offices in St. Louis where my grandparents lived. Ultimately another lawyer uncle successfully filed suit in St. Louis to get my crummy uncle away from my grandparents assets. They had enough to live ok into their late 90's but not much left when they passed.

I just looked at the house on Google satellite and it looks like it's been expanded and there's a swimming pool in the backyard. I would have liked that when I was a little kid!
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: d4
Date: May 30, 2020 06:52AM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
The question was: "What do I need to think about if considering a move to CA?" The responses have been thorough and thoughtful. Methinks thou doth protest too much.

Similar to NYC, it's easy for jaded residents to focus on the negatives and lose sight of the positives.



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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: sekker
Date: May 30, 2020 11:27AM
Sounds like a post-COVID CA MRF party should happen. Lots of MRFers in CA!
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Re: What to think about when moving to California?
Posted by: wave rider
Date: May 30, 2020 07:27PM
Quote
sekker
Sounds like a post-COVID CA MRF party should happen. Lots of MRFers in CA!

thumbs up



=wr=
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