Is Everybody Moving to California? - page 7

Just an observation but, it seems like there's a flood of posts lately from people inquiring about moving here. Not too long ago the local news seemed to be filled with stories about people... Read More

  1. by   Mimi2RN
    Quote from Jeff A
    In 1997, I lived in California for 2-3 months and I was forced to leave California entirely because I had no chance whatsoever of affording to live there in my own apartment unless I worked two jobs 70-80 hours per week. Sure, maybe I could have moved out to the middle of nowhere and afforded to live there working 55-60 hours a week, but that totally defeats the purpose of moving to California in the first place - weather is no where near as nice, no ocean, and no cultural diversity and socially active city with lots to do.
    In my naive and ignorant youth, I was absolutely shocked to find that the typical blue collar job there pays not one cent more than it does where I am from in NY where the cost of living was literally 1/2 (and now less than 1/2) what it was in CA.

    The disparity between rich and poor in CA is absolutely terrible. In many jobs, the increase in pay is either non existant, or not nearly commensurate with the increased cost of living, and I can already tell based on what I've read here that this is true for nursing too. The competition for jobs and housing is unimaginable. A studio in SF is 1,200 a month minimum, while one here in Tempe, AZ is 550-600 a month for a place in the best part of town. Sure, I could live in a studio in the middle of the desert in California for maybe 800-900, but what's the point?
    The social problems common accross America appear to be acutely magnified and blown out of proportion in the preferred areas of California.

    My brother moved to California (SF) last Novemeber, and his obsession with staying there has been a complete disaster for himself and the whole family, resulting in a huge drain of time, energy, and money on my dad and I.

    I see people saying that California isn't that expensive if you go to the right places. I see people saying 1,300 dollars a month for a mortgage is not too expensive... Where I am from in NY, you can have a mortgage for a nice house for maybe 600-900 bucks, and the difference in pay from that part of NY to California is anywhere from nothing to a few bucks more, depending on the career in question. 1,300 dollars a month for a mortgage in a small town in inland California is completely outrageous. I would never live inland in California far from the ocean and the big cities and pay that kind of money.


    I have a very affluent and intelligent Uncle who lives in California with his wife and two kids. He makes a ridiculous ton of money, and he says he cannot afford to retire in California at all, and that "There is no more reasonably priced land left in California"


    California is still by far my preferred choice to live in the US, with out comparison. However, I am realistic, unlike my brother. I will not be moving to California.

    If you're willing to live in inland California in the desert, why not come to the desert in Arizona, where the cost of living is FAR less than it is in those areas of California?

    As for California bashing, I am a California lover, and a California basher.
    Jeff, I'm sorry that you lived in Cali for a whole 2-3 months, and found the desert in the middle of Cali. I live in an agricultural area in the Central Valley. It's hot in summer, but right now, it's a gorgeous day, going to be about 80F. The temp was down to 50 last night.

    We live next to some of the most beautiful mountains in the US. The ocean is about 3 hours away to the west. LA and SF are 3-4 hours away. We don't have any earthquake faults near us. Mojave is 2 1/2 hours away (that's the desert).

    I get a good paycheck. Even new grads start at $31/hr. I've been off work on FMLA with my husband who had surgery. Paid FMLA. We also have paid California Disability if you have a baby or have surgery. We thought of moving out of California when I was job hunting years ago. I found that some hospitals don't pay into SS, and in other states you have to pay for your own short term disability, or do without a paycheck if you have no sick/vacation time. So, you don't get sick?

    Although I like to visit, I have no desire to live in a major metropolitan area. It's good to drive to work in 5 minutes. We don't have hurricanes, tornadoes, huge snowstorms, major floods or freezing cold. We actually had some rain a few days ago, the first time since maybe May. I like the rain, as long as it's not all the time. I'm from Engand and then the Pacific Northwest, so I know about that.

    Welcome to California!
  2. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Jeff A
    If you're willing to live in inland California in the desert, why not come to the desert in Arizona, where the cost of living is FAR less than it is in those areas of California?
    Two reasons:

    1) No ratio law in Arizona. Sorry but too many travelers have told me how bad the patient loads are there.

    2) Low pay ... Arizona RN's make a lot less than California RN's ... about $15K less, on average.

    As always, it depends on which desert you're talking about. Tucson wasn't that cheap, actually, the last time I visited there ... it was pretty pricey. Some areas have gotten expensive over in Arizona also.

    All I can say is that my mortgage is less than $1,200 a month, I've got two thirds of an acre with a built in pool and decent sized house. I'll be making $98K a year with full benefits when I graduate so ... California desert is just fine by me.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Oct 8, '06
  3. by   Sheri257
    Quote from luv2shopp85
    In new york its cheaper but you're also getting cold weather and snow.
    I've lived in the north east and ... no one could pay me enough to go back to snow.

    Unless it was something like $1 million.

    Ok ... maybe half a million.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Oct 8, '06
  4. by   luv2shopp85
    Quote from lizz
    I've lived in the north east and ... no one could pay me enough to go back to snow.

    Unless it was something like $1 million.

    Ok ... maybe half a million.

    :typing
    Haha! I can't wait to leave the snow and experience life without it!

    I was born to live on the beach (or close driving distance) , not to be stuck in a snowstorm!
  5. by   ChargeNurseAmy74
    Quote from lizz
    i've lived in the north east and ... no one could pay me enough to go back to snow.

    unless it was something like $1 million.

    ok ... maybe half a million.

    :typing
    [font=franklin gothic medium]haaa lizz...no kidding. i love california!!
  6. by   smk1
    Quote from luv2shopp85
    When you live in california your paying for the nice weather with no snow. NYC is just as expensive and usually more expensive than California so I'm not sure which part you're referring to that you live in but its probably not NYC. In new york its cheaper but you're also getting cold weather and snow.
    NYC and easily commutable areas are extrememly expensive however upstate NY is extremely cheap. I know a nurse who commutes 2 hours each way into NYC for the hige wages and bought a very nice 2500 sf home with 4 beds/2 baths for under 150k in a nice town. The wages if she were to work in her town are lower, but still high enough that you come out ahead because the cost of living is so low. She just doesn't mind the commute to NYC because she only works 3 days per week and is building a very impressive nest egg with the high salary coupled with the low cost of living. The down side is that upstate NY has very cold snowy winters from what I have heard, beautiful, but cold. NY state also has high property taxes etc... and certain upstate areas are economically depressed. (not necessarilly the health industry though, and not all areas). It is on our list (towards the bottom though) to check out if we decide to move. I mean come on! Getting to go into NYC for date night!
  7. by   smk1
    Quote from lizz
    Two reasons:

    1) No ratio law in Arizona. Sorry but too many travelers have told me how bad the patient loads are there.

    2) Low pay ... Arizona RN's make a lot less than California RN's ... about $15K less, on average.

    As always, it depends on which desert you're talking about. Tucson wasn't that cheap, actually, the last time I visited there ... it was pretty pricey. Some areas have gotten expensive over in Arizona also.

    All I can say is that my mortgage is less than $1,200 a month, I've got two thirds of an acre with a built in pool and decent sized house. I'll be making $98K a year with full benefits when I graduate so ... California desert is just fine by me.

    :typing
    Lizz, you have the right set up, I'd be fine with living cheap in Cali while making bank! (the desert isn't my favorite climate though.... Probably due to being born and raised in the PACNW... total culture shock!)
  8. by   smk1
    really the PACNW nursing wages are not bad New grads can expect to start between 23-25 dollars/hour at the local hospitals. The problem out this way is that 5 years ago you could buy a starter home for 135k or less (standard 3/2 nice yard nice area) and you could afford that easily on 24 dollars/hour, now though that same starter home is over 200k easily, and the slightly bigger nicer homes are pushing 300k easily. (and this isn't Seattle or commutable to Seattle). The wages haven't kept up with the massive inflation of homes. I like the PACNW rain and all, but liked it better when it wasn't so pricey...
  9. by   NewJA
    Quote from SMK1
    NYC and easily commutable areas are extrememly expensive however upstate NY is extremely cheap. I know a nurse who commutes 2 hours each way into NYC for the hige wages and bought a very nice 2500 sf home with 4 beds/2 baths for under 150k in a nice town. The wages if she were to work in her town are lower, but still high enough that you come out ahead because the cost of living is so low. She just doesn't mind the commute to NYC because she only works 3 days per week and is building a very impressive nest egg with the high salary coupled with the low cost of living. The down side is that upstate NY has very cold snowy winters from what I have heard, beautiful, but cold. NY state also has high property taxes etc... and certain upstate areas are economically depressed. (not necessarilly the health industry though, and not all areas). It is on our list (towards the bottom though) to check out if we decide to move. I mean come on! Getting to go into NYC for date night!
    My main motivation for posting my California gripe was to try to get the people here to prove me wrong, and you have all done a fairly good job. California is where I have wanted to live for the past 10 years, and I hope I may be able to find a way to live there with the career in nursing.

    As for NY, I am from Western NY and I want to let you know that if you are a sun worshipper (like myself), then you may want to avoid Upstate NY, especially western NY. In Western NY, you can go 30 days at a time in the winter without seeing a single patch of blue in the sky. The clouds are usually so thick that you can't tell where the sun is at all for days or weeks at a time. A couple of hours East is considerably better, but still absolutely horrible compared with California or Arizona. Anywhere in Upstate NY, be prepared for winters with very long periods of bitter cold, wind, lots of cloud cover, and summers with high humidity and lots of bugs, along with frequent rain and thunderstorms.

    Thanks for the input on CA, I look forward to reading what others have to say about it also.
  10. by   shodobe
    What is property taxes like back East? The mortgage payment might not be to bad but the taxes will kill you. My taxes on my house, 3 acres in the mountains, will be about 1600 this year. I know people in Texas who paid very little and got alot but the taxes are killing them. Low mortgages are great but no one even mentions the terrible taxes they pay back East.
  11. by   Sheri257
    The bottom line, at least to me, is the numbers ...

    Yeah, cost of living is bad, traffic is bad, etc. etc. etc.

    But statistically at least ... RN's are happier in California.

    Nationwide 17 percent of licensed RN's aren't working ... by choice. They chose to quit the profession for various reasons but, one of them, IMHO, is lousy pay and lousy working conditions.

    In California ... only 6 percent of RN's aren't working.

    So, even with the high cost of living, traffic, etc. California has got to be doing something right because ... we have the highest percentage of working RN's in the country.

    :typing
  12. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from lizz
    The bottom line, at least to me, is the numbers ...

    Yeah, cost of living is bad, traffic is bad, etc. etc. etc.

    But statistically at least ... RN's are happier in California.

    Nationwide 17 percent of licensed RN's aren't working ... by choice. They chose to quit the profession for various reasons but, one of them, IMHO, is lousy pay and lousy working conditions.

    In California ... only 6 percent of RN's aren't working.

    So, even with the high cost of living, traffic, etc. California has got to be doing something right because ... we have the highest percentage of working RN's in the country.

    :typing
    ... and we get to live in California. California rocks! (Just a counter to all the California bashing in this thread...:uhoh21
  13. by   NewJA
    Quote from shodobe
    What are property taxes like back East? The mortgage payment might not be to bad but the taxes will kill you. My taxes on my house, 3 acres in the mountains, will be about 1600 this year. I know people in Texas who paid very little and got alot but the taxes are killing them. Low mortgages are great but no one even mentions the terrible taxes they pay back East.
    I know that NY State has the highest taxes of all the states in the country, that's all I know. I have never had a mortgage anywhere myself. But I am certain that property taxes in NY on my friends and family's houses are WAY higher than 1600 a yr.

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