Does it really cost $131,414/yr to live in CA? - page 2

first let me start off by saying like everyone else, i want to move to ca from tx. the problem is i don't know where to live. so i go on this website called www.bestplaces.net and compare cost of... Read More

  1. by   jjjoy
    The original reference is supposed to be comparison of income needed to maintain an equivalent lifestyle. I don't know how accurate it is. If where you're coming from you can afford the mortgage on a fairly new 3-BR house that's less than an hour commute without traffic from where you work, then it might be correct. Buying even a run-down, one-bedroom house with no yard to speak of in a questionable neighborhood in the LA area would cost over $400,000. "Outskirts" means over an hour commute WITHOUT traffic.
  2. by   FockerInTraining
    I am not trying to sound harsh to the OP, but I still don't understand how some people want to have every possible thing CA has to offer without wanting to pay for it. What I mean is people want the best weather, best places to live, no traffic, and the cheapest rent and then say it costs too much to live here when you only frequent three areas of the state. Everyone that has ambitions to move to CA wants to live in those same areas, of course it is going to cost you. My wife has been a nurse for about 10 months now and makes 39 hr, every month her net is over $5000 and will be more in a few months. We live about an hour from SF, 5 hrs from LA and about 7 hrs from SD. What I'm trying to say, like Liz already did, is that there is more to offer in CA than those three locations. I am also going to school to become a nurse and am not currently employed because of my schedule, but me and my wife will still be purchasing our own 3 br 2 ba 1500sq ft home on one income for between 275,000 and 300,00. So all in all is there are great places to live in CA, just have to expand your possibilities.
  3. by   YoungWiseWoman
    Quote from FockerInTraining
    I am not trying to sound harsh to the OP, but I still don't understand how some people want to have every possible thing CA has to offer without wanting to pay for it. What I mean is people want the best weather, best places to live, no traffic, and the cheapest rent and then say it costs too much to live here when you only frequent three areas of the state. Everyone that has ambitions to move to CA wants to live in those same areas, of course it is going to cost you. My wife has been a nurse for about 10 months now and makes 39 hr, every month her net is over $5000 and will be more in a few months. We live about an hour from SF, 5 hrs from LA and about 7 hrs from SD. What I'm trying to say, like Liz already did, is that there is more to offer in CA than those three locations. I am also going to school to become a nurse and am not currently employed because of my schedule, but me and my wife will still be purchasing our own 3 br 2 ba 1500sq ft home on one income for between 275,000 and 300,00. So all in all is there are great places to live in CA, just have to expand your possibilities.
    First of all, when you start out a post with "I am not trying to sound harsh" you really are, you just don't want to make it seem like it. Second, no one said I was trying to get something for nothing and have "every possible thing CA has to offer". I am trying to get informed about an area I don't know much about. That's the reason I asked questions. Like any other sane person I would not go to the most outrageously priced place and sign a lease without research. For example, I live in the TX Medical Center where a 1-bdrm apt. can cost as much as $1500. I live in the same area and pay $575. REALLY BIG DIFF! That's because I did research and found a really great special. My apartment is not as new as the $1500 one, but I have the same access as those who pay that price and I am in a safe area. I asked about those 3 areas because those are major cities. How would I know about the smaller areas like San Rafael without asking first???:uhoh21: I am open to other areas, but I can't be open if I don't know they exist. Thanks, but no thanks for your response.
  4. by   sirena1481
    the zip for san rafael is 94901. there is tons of great hiking and the ocean is beautiful (check out mt. tamalpais and stinson beach if you're in marin county-the north side of the golden gate bridge) i did a clinical rotation at ucsf and i loved it. i was on the neuro and ortho floor. it is definitely a teaching hospital and there is definitely not that doctor nurse hierarchy thing going on. everyone is pretty equal. i think ucsf is great the only bad thing is that they require you to work nights even if you have a day schedule. what are the wages for rn's in texas and how are the nurse to patient ratios? also is it difficult to work as an rn without a bsn? (i heard that from a traveler nurse from sa, tx). if you have any other questions please ask away!!!:spin:
    Quote from ketcia1908
    thanks for your reply! this is the sort of thing i was looking for because i thought surely there were "outskirt" places to live that would not cost a fortune. i was looking at ucsf because i believe it is a teaching hospital...correct me if i am wrong. i have seen threads about kaiser, but a lot of them don't have good things to say about it. how do you like working there? i am not really sure what other hospitals are in the area. when i finally narrow down at least 3 places to consider, i plan to visit them all in the summer. i will be in anaheim next month, so hopefully i can get a feel then.

    the $1080 apartment sounds like something i am looking for because it's close, but not too close. i like to enjoy the nightlife occasionally, but i really like the water, outdoor activities, and good restaurants. if you don't mind me asking, what is the zip for san rafeal?

    as far as texas goes, i love tx. i have been here all my life though, and would like to experience something different. i visited la once about 5 years ago, and have wanted to live in ca ever since. i figured i should do it now, before i get married and have kids. i live about 15min from the tx medical center and i feel really blessed to have lived and worked here. there is always something to do, and always some place open that has good food to eat. i'm not sure if this makes sense, but i want to live somewhere that i always have the option to do something fun. not somewhere that all the restaurants close at 10p and every store is closed on sunday...make sense? anyway, i would recommend anyone who wants to come to tx to feel free to join. the people are friendly and the food will make you fat!
  5. by   Sheri257
    Quote from ketcia1908
    I am trying to get informed about an area I don't know much about. That's the reason I asked questions.
    My best advice would be to pick the area you're most interested in, rent as cheap as you can, and hit the road with weekend trips to decide where you want to live in the long run. Because there's no way, IMO, to really tell what's going to work for you until you're actually here. The economics with pay, cost of living, commuting, etc. can change dramatically within a 30 mile radius no matter where you are in the state.

    I've lived in both the Bay Area and SoCal. While I love the Bay Area and vacation there at least once a year, my then future husband had a really good job in SoCal and the cost of living was cheaper there so, that's why I moved down here.

    And, obviously, a lot of this depends on what you want and when you want it because things can change. San Fran was great when I was young and single. I had a fantastic time in that city. But, when I was ready to settle down and get married, I didn't really care about being in the middle of everything in a big city anymore.

    When we decided we wanted to buy a house, we didn't want to pay a fortune for it. We'd both lived in expensive places but, at the end of the day, while those places are really nice all we really cared about was having a cheap mortgage payment with decent sized house, pool and property where our dogs could run around with plenty of space.

    However, while we wanted to live cheap, we also wanted to live in an area within decent commuting distance of good paying jobs with lots of wage growth potential. But, at the same, we wanted to avoid nightmarish traffic because some freeways are worse than others. My husband has lived here all of his life and, since he travels all over the state for his job, he knew which areas to avoid for that reason alone.

    We hit the road every weekend for two years looking at towns everywhere. We eventually settled on a house in the desert that only cost us $150K. While it certainly isn't San Fran or LA, far from it, I have no complaints. My house has doubled in value and there are nursing jobs that now pay up to $45 an hour with benefits, which was the kind of wage growth we were hoping for when we picked this area.

    The commute and weather is pretty reasonable also. Even though it's desert, we usually get enough marine layer to cool the area down during the hot summers. But, when it does get hot, our pool certainly helps, which is why we made a point of buying a house with a pool.

    So, I don't know if this answers all of your questions but, this is what we did to figure out what best worked for us in California.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 13, '07
  6. by   Sheri257
    Quote from FockerInTraining
    I am not trying to sound harsh to the OP, but I still don't understand how some people want to have every possible thing CA has to offer without wanting to pay for it. What I mean is people want the best weather, best places to live, no traffic, and the cheapest rent and then say it costs too much to live here when you only frequent three areas of the state. Everyone that has ambitions to move to CA wants to live in those same areas, of course it is going to cost you.
    Actually I don't think Focker is being harsh. I think he's simply referring to numerous posts we often see in this forum where some people (not necessarily the OP) do seem to expect everything California has to offer for cheap with no traffic to boot. Well ... unless you moved here ages ago ... chances are, that's just not going to happen (at least the cheap part).

    I also think it's important to remember that the "in" places to live are constantly changing. There was a time, for example, when Orange County was considered hickville but now it's the posh place to live with the accompanying price tag to boot. It's just the way it is.

    People used to say they'd die before they'd move out to the desert (myself included) and some still do ... but now, those areas are growing really fast. Ok ... if you're a beach freak there's no beach out there but there are nearby mountains, lakes and reservoirs which are big vacation spots for boating enthusiasts and the like just a few miles from where I live.

    And, not only is it cheaper in the desert but the air quality is a hellava lot better than places like LA. I had to make a rare trip to LA for business yesterday and, not only was the traffic much worse than what I'm used to but the air quality was really dirty. I guess I've been spoiled by the desert in that regard.

    The point is: in California ... today's hickville can easily become tomorrow's next boom town. There's still a lot of opportunity here if you make the right choices and get in on the ground floor before an area takes off.

    And, if there ever comes a time when the traffic, congestion etc. gets too bad where I live ... I'll just sell my house for fortune, hit the road and look for the next California boom town that I can invest in for cheap before it too takes off.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 13, '07
  7. by   jewelsg627
    Duplicate post - see next page
    Last edit by jewelsg627 on Mar 13, '07
  8. by   jewelsg627
    Quote from ketcia1908
    Thanks for the reply jewels! I have a few questions...
    -Of the places you named, are any close to UCSF? Close meaning, I won't be in traffic for an hour trying to get to and from work?
    -How long have you been at UCSF and do you know how hard is it for new grads to get in on a Med-Surg floor?
    -And this may be a dumb question, but is the Bay Area considered San Fran...?
    Marin/Mill Valley/Corte Madera is north of SF but very wealthy (read: expensive) - [this is where many UCSF MD's live], San Rafael is north too, but a little less expensive. Oakland/Berkeley/Alameda/San Leandro are directly east. Pleasanton/Walnut Creek/Dublin/Livermore/Fremont are a little further east. South San Francisco/Daly City/San Bruno/Burlingame/Redwood City are all directly south of SF. Further south is Mountain View/Sunnyvale/Sata Clara/San Jose. If you are really desperate, Gilroy/Morgan Hill are about 1 hour south of SF (too far IMHO).

    I have been at UCSF a little less than 1 year and worked at Stanford for 2. I know at least with UCSF, they do have program for recent grads for certain areas, not sure about Med-Surg (Please note: I just applied to nursing school, so be aware I am not an RN yet. After reading this Q I was afraid that you might think I work here as an RN. Not yet, but maybe in the future. ) Just check the UCSF HR website. Under search jobs specify RN and it will tell you if it is a New Grad program or not.

    The Bay Area is technically called "San Francisco Bay Area". So, yes, SF = Bay Area. However, I think some people have different ideas of "boundaries". For example, I would still consider Livermore the Bay Area, others may not b/c it's farther east. The Bay Area (IMO) is pretty big - there are tons of cities.

    One more caveat: While I say they are "less expensive", comparatively, they are still expensive. You have to realize, like lizz, mentioned, it's a great location, so it's an expensive area in general. However, I believe that you can still afford to live here as an RN, comfortably, without having to live in the city itself. There are places - you just have to dig. For example , I live south of the city (close to Mountain View) and the commute takes me about 1 hour, but it's not congested the entire time. It actually is pretty easy. (there are, however many a**hole drivers that make it more difficult - get used to people NOT using blinkers and NOT saying thank you when you let them in!! :angryfire). Having said that, I got my BA from UCLA - I lived in LA for two years - the traffic there is (probably) the worst you will ever see. It could be midnight on a Sunday and you will see traffic on the 405. Horrendous.

    My point is that this is a great location - many cities and many things to see and it is just plain beautiful here (IMO). Therefore, you will pay for what you get. So while I say it's less expensive, it is still going to be more expensive than most other cities in the US. However, you will be making much more as a starting pay (i.e. - My friend just graduated with her BSN form SJSU - she is starting @ 80K. It's all relative....

    I hope this helps. It is possible to live here as an RN. You just won't be drinking champagne and being fed grapes poolside.


    My adivce:

    1.) Go onto www.rent.com and look at apartments etc. for places in the Bay Area and see what you like...

    2.) Go to the UCSF HR website and do a job search, see what's offered, and what the pay is (they give you a pay scale).
  9. by   jewelsg627
    Quote from lizz
    My best advice would be to pick the area you're most interested in, rent as cheap as you can, and hit the road with weekend trips to decide where you want to live in the long run. Because there's no way, IMO, to really tell what's going to work for you until you're actually here. The economics with pay, cost of living, commuting, etc. can change dramatically within a 30 mile radius no matter where you are in the state.
    :yeahthat: Very well said. Excellent advice.
  10. by   jjjoy
    Quote from FockerInTraining
    I still don't understand how some people want to have every possible thing CA has to offer without wanting to pay for it.
    Doesn't eveyone hope that they can afford what they want? Some people want to move to a big city in California. Nothing wrong with wanting that and nothing wrong with their being disappointed if they can't afford it. If someone determines that for their lifestyle and budget that they'd choose to live several hours from a big city, then they might decide they'd rather live somewhere else completely and forget California. There are other people who want to move to California and don't care if they're near one of the big urban centers. They will have lots more options, especially since basic nursing work isn't limited to urban centers.
  11. by   caliotter3
    What people are looking for and what they are willing to settle for may be two entirely different things. When I was looking for work after being downsized many years ago, I was disgusted to see what was available in the so-called affordable areas. There is a thread still alive now where the OP hypothetically talks about $11/hr for RN. I was shown job listings for the bad area of San Francisco for less that half time at less than $8/hr. I was also shown two positions in/near Redding CA for again, less than 20 hrs per week, at around $12/hr. Less than 20 hrs a week, at $12/hr for a licensed nurse? And you should have seen the qualifications they listed for the positions. Where was I supposed to park my car and live in it, to be able to afford less than 20 hrs at that kind of pay? People, all over, get stars in their eyes about living and working in Cali, until they get here and get the rude awakening. Nobody is asking for the Taj Majal or Trump Towers. The majority of us can't afford this. And I am including the costs associated with buying replacement cars for making hours long commutes to jobs from more desirable living areas. A person really needs to do a lot of research and leg work to find the way to make it in Cali. I highly suggest that someone do some travel nursing assignments in Cali and get a good look around before they commit to moving to the state.
  12. by   dijaqrn
    I live in the freakin' desert and you can no longer get a decent apartment in a safe neighborhood for under $1100 a month. Any house selling for under $400,000 is in gangbanger heaven ...... we've got Aryan brotherhood, Asian, Hispanic and African American gangs now because of our "affordable housing". Going rate for an RN at our largest hospital is around $30 an hour.Welcome to small town California!
  13. by   Sheri257
    Quote from caliotter3
    What people are looking for and what they are willing to settle for may be two entirely different things. When I was looking for work after being downsized many years ago, I was disgusted to see what was available in the so-called affordable areas. There is a thread still alive now where the OP hypothetically talks about $11/hr for RN. I was shown job listings for the bad area of San Francisco for less that half time at less than $8/hr. I was also shown two positions in/near Redding CA for again, less than 20 hrs per week, at around $12/hr. Less than 20 hrs a week, at $12/hr for a licensed nurse? And you should have seen the qualifications they listed for the positions. Where was I supposed to park my car and live in it, to be able to afford less than 20 hrs at that kind of pay? People, all over, get stars in their eyes about living and working in Cali, until they get here and get the rude awakening. Nobody is asking for the Taj Majal or Trump Towers. The majority of us can't afford this. And I am including the costs associated with buying replacement cars for making hours long commutes to jobs from more desirable living areas. A person really needs to do a lot of research and leg work to find the way to make it in Cali. I highly suggest that someone do some travel nursing assignments in Cali and get a good look around before they commit to moving to the state.
    Well, since you're an LVN, I have to agree that it's much tougher to make it here. The job opportunities and pay is much better as an RN.

    Nevertheless, I think travelling is a great idea also.

    :typing

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