Does it really cost $131,414/yr to live in CA? - page 3

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
    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?
    I'm a little confused here. Are you saying that where you live that there's always something to do and always some place open with good food or that you want to move somewhere like that?

    In LA, I've always been surprised at how much it shuts down late in the evening. For late night eats, it's just Denny's or a taco truck. On Hollywood Blvd after getting out of a club that closed at 1am, the only place to eat was a small pizza place a few blocks down, and they were already starting to close down, too! In Santa Monica, we keep ending up at this same old coffee shop because it's one of the few places open 24hrs. On the other hand, there ARE lots of different kinds of food that you don't tend to find away from major urban centers and there are LOTS of things to do - though no matter where you live you'll tend to be driving across town (10-20 miles) fairly regularly to take advantage of those things.

    I would think the big cities in Texas would also have a fairly wide variety of opportunities and a vibrant night life, if that's what you're looking for.

    Reading these threads help a little, because I get an idea of what outside cities are good ones to live in without an hour commute. That is what I DO NOT want...to have to spend an hour getting to work. That sounds really sucky.

    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.
    If you were looking for a place to settle down and buy a house, I wouldn't recommend SF or LA, especially since you say you don't like commuting. But that doesn't sound like your situation. The cost of living comparisons you were looking at probably don't apply so much then.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
    Last edit by jjjoy on Mar 13, '07
  2. by   Sheri257
    Quote from 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!
    For some reason, the "freakin' desert" comment really cracked me up. :chuckle

    True ... with growth comes crime. But I don't think all of the gangs have necessarily left LA, San Fran or San Diego just because those areas have gotten expensive. Last time I checked, those cities still have gang problems.

    As long as they don't let the inmates out due to the overcrowding (which a federal judge is threatening to do) the violent crime rate in California should remain down. There's 150,000 less violent crimes per year than in 1992 when the three strikes law was enacted, even though the state population has increased by 6 million people since then.

    As for the pay, I can do better than $30 an hour where I live in the desert. Yes, some hospitals always try to cheap out but, not all of them have. And it's not that hard to find better pay elsewhere, especially if you're willing to drive ... which I am.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 13, '07
  3. by   sirena1481
    Quote from jewelsg627
    :yeahthat: Very well said. Excellent advice.
    Can I ask you where you decided to buy your house. Is it in southern california?
  4. by   sirena1481
    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.

    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
    Can I ask you where you bought your house? I am thinking of moving to a cheaper area in southern california. I currently rent in Marin, and would like to get my hands on some (somewhat) affordable property. Thanks.
  5. by   YoungWiseWoman
    Quote from 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:
    thanks for the zip! i will start looking at rent.com immediately.

    as far a pay for tx rn's, new grads start out at abt $45-50k per year. the pay ranges from 45-65k for a clincial nurse i (it goes to clinical nurse iii). this is at one particular hospital. i work on an icu floor and the majority of the time the nurse to patient ratio is 1:2, however when it gets short they don't hesitate to triple. my friend works at another hospital on a med-surg floor and she has had as many as 8 patients! and she just graduated in december. not cool! i'm sure you are not used to that. the majority of the hospitals higher adn's. we have 3 adn schools that produce lots of nurses, so i doubt that they are picky. i worked in hr at a children's hospital and we did not make a difference. actually, many of the hospitals hire adn's and pay for them to go back to school. i think that it is important for a job to support employee's furthering their education.

    i did not know that ucsf required their new grads. to work nights. is that sometimes or regularly? is that for new grads or all nurses?
  6. by   YoungWiseWoman
    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.

    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
    Excellent advice! After I get an area narrowed down, I plan to come down and get a closer look at the area. I am going to be in Anaheim next month, so I'll get a chance to look at that part of the state and see if I like it. Thanks a billion for sharing your experience :spin:
  7. by   YoungWiseWoman
    Quote from jewelsg627
    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).
    oh wow! this thread is full of details! i starting copying and pasting the names of the cities in a word document.

    i already know about the none signaling drivers! it used to drive me up the wall, but now i have become one. i have learned that if you put your signal on, no one will let you over. but, i do say thank you. and it does tick me off when they don't do the thank you wave.. i thought that was a southern thing.

    anyway, thanks a lot. your information does help me!
  8. by   sirena1481
    thanks for the info. as far as i know all nurses have to work the night shift, but maybe they have changed the policy. they rotate the night shifts equally between nurses.
    Quote from ketcia1908
    thanks for the zip! i will start looking at rent.com immediately.

    as far a pay for tx rn's, new grads start out at abt $45-50k per year. the pay ranges from 45-65k for a clincial nurse i (it goes to clinical nurse iii). this is at one particular hospital. i work on an icu floor and the majority of the time the nurse to patient ratio is 1:2, however when it gets short they don't hesitate to triple. my friend works at another hospital on a med-surg floor and she has had as many as 8 patients! and she just graduated in december. not cool! i'm sure you are not used to that. the majority of the hospitals higher adn's. we have 3 adn schools that produce lots of nurses, so i doubt that they are picky. i worked in hr at a children's hospital and we did not make a difference. actually, many of the hospitals hire adn's and pay for them to go back to school. i think that it is important for a job to support employee's furthering their education.

    i did not know that ucsf required their new grads. to work nights. is that sometimes or regularly? is that for new grads or all nurses?
  9. by   Sheri257
    Quote from sirena1481
    Can I ask you where you bought your house? I am thinking of moving to a cheaper area in southern california. I currently rent in Marin, and would like to get my hands on some (somewhat) affordable property. Thanks.
    I think it's important to note that the dynamics of the market have completely changed from when I bought my house nearly four years ago. While I would hit the road, start looking for areas I liked and tracking prices I probably wouldn't buy right now unless I had to and here's why:

    When I was looking for a house it was during the boom where prices were going throught the roof so, for me at least, it made sense to go out to the cheaper areas and pick up a low priced property that had a lot of appreciation potential.

    However, we're now in a down market. So it's a whole different ball game. Housing prices are just beginning to fall all over California, and foreclosures are starting to reach an all time high.

    http://www.dqnews.com/

    If you bought a house right now, you could easily pay too much for it because prices will probably drop further. Here's an example:

    I bought my house for $150K and, at the peak of the market it was worth $335K. However, just in the last few months the value of my house has dropped by $20K to $315K. So, obviously, if I was a buyer ... I'd much rather want to save the $20K ... right?

    BUT ... prices could go down even further and they probably will. So, I wouldn't want to buy my house right now and get into a potential negative equity situation if prices drop further.

    During the last real estate crash of '92 prices dropped by 20 percent. And, right now the down turn is just starting. In my experience, at least, when the real estate market starts to crash it takes a good two years or more for prices to reach bottom.

    So ... while I'd start looking and researching, I'd wait until prices got down to about 80 percent of peak values which, in the case of houses in my area would be more like $270K on average. That's when you're most likely to know that you're closer to the bottom of the market and not paying too much because, obviously, it would be much better to pay $270K for a house than $315K, for example.

    Back during the boom even foreclosures were overpriced but, because so many people went nuts paying crazy prices for homes ... foreclosures are going through the roof. There could very well be some really fantastic foreclosure deals closer to the coastal areas in the next couple of years.

    Also ... so many areas are being overbuilt right now. I've seen houses sitting on the market for months and prices being reduced on brand new homes so, that also tells me that prices will probably drop further.

    It's impossible to predict markets with any certainty but, based on what's happened in previous down real estate markets ... that's what I'd do.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 14, '07
  10. by   romsy
    hi there. i work at ucsf (cvt (cardiovascular thoracic) unit) and can honestly say it is the best unit i've ever worked in ( been a nurse 11 yrs)--great learning experiences, terrific teamwork, the nurses are some of the best i;ve ever worked with)..it is a teaching hospital so everyone is really very supportive of the new nurses. when you are new, they require you to rotate day and night shifts every month and then you can put in a preference for your shift a yr after and they might give you more weeks/months of your preferred shift depending on the unit's needs. the more senior you get, the less frequently you rotate shifts but everyone more or less rotates except for the really senior nurses (20 plus yrs or so in the hosp)..but i guess its not all the same for the units because i have a friend who works in ortho and she said she never rotates (havent been there for long)....check the ucsf website as they do have scheduled new grad trainings for each yr.

    i am originally from chicago but moved to southern ca 7 yrs ago..didn't really like it..so i decided to give sf a shot (moved her a yr and a half ago without knowing a soul in the city)... i love it here. it is a great vibrant city with the most beautiful natural setting. it is expensive if you plan to buy a home and settle here i guess but if you just plan on renting , it is very doable. have you thought about living in the city instead of out of it? ..there are some deals to be found in the less posh but still safe neighborhoods plus you dont have to deal with freeway/bridge traffic. check out www.dreamworld.org/sfguide/index.html for a very thorough guide re; the city's neighborhoods as well as craigslist.org for places to rent.....i live in the outer richmond district of sf now. 3 blks to the ocean and a block from golden gate park. it is a very safe quiet area but less expensive than other parts of the city because its foggier than the other neighborhoods and not really in the 'thick' of things. i used to live alone in the same area and found a great deal for a large 1 br w/ parking for only 1100$/mo. i've since moved in w/ roommates for really cheap rent ($500!- outrageous) as i plan to save some more for a future home (wherever that may be)...maybe you can rent something short term or get a roommate until you've decided on which area you want to live...anyway hope this helps and email me if you need any more info

    romsy

  11. by   nursynurseRN
    Hi, well I work in Orange County.... and honestly when your young, want nice things........... It gets really expensive. In Laguna Beach a studio Apartment runs 2000.00 so figure your car payment, gas 3.25/gallon.... living expenses OMG!! I some people making 60,000.00 a year are having a hard time. Just be aware.... Lok into travel nursing.... they pay for your housing which is one of the most expensive things in California.
  12. by   LadyNASDAQ
    First of all, the high cost is apt. rent but... you can look to the Internet like apts.com and rentnet to see what the apts. rent out for. Remember that your salary will rise fast in high cost places and most hospitals do allow some ot.

    If it were me, I would get a roommate and stick with that for awhile until I could affors a place of my own. Also, I can't compare Calif. to anywhere. It's temperate year around weather with beauty. Far safer place to live and the people are great!
  13. by   cuddlebug
    My Fiance is from Texas. We met at the grocery store when he was out here working. He loves it here and we have no intentions of ever moving to Texas. You can rent a 2 bedroom house with a small yard for approximately 1200.00 to 1600.00 a month. Depends what you want. My brother just rented a 2 bedroom home for 1275.00/mo with water paid. Its different here than in Texas. The weather for one is absolutely wonderful compared to Texas. Want to go to the ocean-its not far! How about skiing-well thats not far either. Reno, Hollywood, mountains, desert, snow, ocean, San Francisco-ITS ALL HERE. We love it here and will buy a home here. Yes, the home prices have gone up but so has homes in the rest of the country. You can't go wrong buying a house here because it is definately an investment. You do get less for your money compared to Texas but the way of life here in California is also different. So if you own a house in Texas and sell it, that would be enough for a down payment on a house in California. I have to say that when my parents moved out here it was hard the first few years but we made it and I'm so glad we moved from Nebraska to California. So much more opportunity out here than in other states.

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