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Where to live in California?

California   (1,059 Views 5 Comments)
by MovingRN MovingRN (Member)

MovingRN has 4 years experience and specializes in Postpartum/WBN.

1,740 Profile Views; 21 Posts

Hello! I'm just wondering if anyone can tell me their opinions of California. My boyfriend graduates May 2008 from grad school and we will be moving. We currently live in Columbia, MO and are looking for something different. I currently work as a postpartum/well baby nurse here. I have been to San Francisco, CA numerous times (my sister lives in Alameda) and really love it. We are thinking of California more than anywhere else, mostly because of the weather (Missouri is home of the humid, 90-100+ summers and below freezing snowy winters--and I hate the cold, he hates the heat). Ideally we would like to live within an hour of a big city so that we can at least have somewhere interesting to spend a weekend. We also feel fairly strongly about not living in an apartment. We are okay with renting, but need a house, duplex, townhome situation.

Just wondering what things you like and don't like about California (or if you can recommend anywhere else in the US I'm all ears). He is seeing many jobs in the LA area that interest him. I've never been to LA, however my impression of LA has always been that there is boatloads of traffic and an extreme emphasis on appearances/wealth etc. I'd love to hear positive opinions of LA as well.

Thanks!

P.S. I am also wondering what the pay is like in California. I'm sure it varies greatly depending upon setting, shift, etc. Just looking for some ballpark figures, either yearly, hourly, monthly.

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6,487 Posts; 21,380 Profile Views

Central Coast is a beautiful area, 1 hour from San Jose, 2 from SF. Housing is a lot cheaper here than SF. Pay in this area starts around $35/hour or higher with experience.

PS......don't listen to msdobson, he thinks we're in southern California! Man doesn't even know his geography, how's he gonna be able to tell you where you should live??

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kneRN specializes in pediatrics.

13 Posts; 1,016 Profile Views

I lived in L.A. (Santa Monica specifically) and LOVED it. we just relocated to Santa Clara for hubby's job, and, while its nice, its not my ideal place to live. L.A. is a lot more fast-paced, a lot more things to do... I just love everything about it.

its difficult to buy anything out here in or near a big city. I'm sure its better the further out you go, but thats not really an option for my husband and I, so we've never looked. I think the median housing price in San Fran area is around $700k. in L.A. its in the mid $500k. its definitely not cheap to live here.

and I've noticed that nurses in the Bay area get paid a lot more than in the L.A. area.

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WDWpixieRN is a RN and specializes in Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1.

2,237 Posts; 11,129 Profile Views

I always thought the Sacramento/No. California area was beautiful....of course, like all areas, you need to know the neighborhoods...my mom lived in Oroville for some years and it was lovely....it was still pretty rural back then (about 15 years ago), but a very drivable distance to the "big cities" of SF or Sacramento or beyond....

I grew up in the L.A. area and have lived in St. Louis for about 14 years....L.A. will come as quite the culture shock between the traffic, smog, and close quarters, particularly with your coming from such a lovely area as Columbia (minus the weather drawbacks, of course!! :wink2: ).

Good luck!!!

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BeccaznRN has 10 years experience and specializes in NICU, High-Risk L&D, IBCLC.

755 Posts; 11,654 Profile Views

I'm a St. Louis transplant......currently living in Ventura County, which is along the coast between LA and Santa Barbara. The weather here is a huge improvement over Missouri. It rarely gets below 50 or above 75, and we have very little rain and lots of sunshine (after the fog lifts around late morning, of course). Cost of living is extremely high - you would pay about $1500-$2000 to rent a townhome/duplex/house in this area. However, with a couple years of nursing experience you would probably make around $35/hour (which is WAY more than you could ever dream of making in good old Missouri).

As far as good vs. bad about living here, I love the fact that I live in an area where I have the beach on one side and mountains on the other. If you are the type that loves to do things outdoors, this is the place for you. Biking, hiking, camping, off-roading, surfing, skiing - you can do it all here. And while the cost of living is high, the pay is pretty high for RNs as well.

My biggest pitfalls about being here are the ridiculous costs to own a home and having to live in such a heavily populated area. And you are 100% correct in saying that L.A. is pretty much all about how you look and you will have to deal with tons of traffic on a daily basis. My traffic here is way less congested, but it's still a pain in the neck to get around sometimes (especially side streets).

While California is not a place I would stay in permanently, it's definitely a place to experience if you have the opportunity. Good luck!

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