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moving to southern california- need your input!

Hi ladies!  We are currently living in Austin, but once our house sells, we'll be moving somewhere in Southern California.  We're looking as far North as Manhattan Beach, as far South as Newport Beach.  Other than the coastal cities in between Manhattan and Newport, we've really only considered Irvine. 

 Would love to hear any and all feedback on living in these areas:

 Manhattan Beach

Redondo Beach

Huntington Beach

Newport Beach

Hermosa Beach


Any great places that we're leaving out of our search?  (in this general vicinity)

Re: moving to southern california- need your input!

  • You are potentially looking at some very pricey places.  What is your budget? Renting, owning??? Where will you be working?  These are all crucial things for us to know in order to help you pinpoint a better place to live.
    [center]Married 7-3-05

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    10 retrieved/8 mature and all 8 fertilized / 2 embies transferred ... nothing to freeze

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  • What are you looking for in a community? Assuming one of you works, where is the office?  Work locale would be a main determiner in where I chose to live in SoCal.
    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
  • yeah... you are just moving here without any jobs in mind whatsoever??? To a place that's at least 5x the price of what you're used to? Might want to get the job situation figured out and look for places in that area, because you do NOT want to be stuck commuting to work in these areas.
  • image KaliChick:
    You are potentially looking at some very pricey places.  What is your budget? Renting, owning??? Where will you be working?  These are all crucial things for us to know in order to help you pinpoint a better place to live.

    Ditto this. 

  • Newport Beach all the way, but wow, good luck finding something sweet for less than 1 Mil! 

  • hi ladies- sorry I didn't give enough info.  we are aware of the high COL- we've only been in TX for 2 years and moved here from San Francisco.   My husband works from home and I am a SAHM, thus our fairly extensive search area.  The only location factor is a major airport, which I realize means Manhattan and Redondo are our best bets for LAX.  If we went further south, he could fly out of John Wayne, but would be more limited in flights/non-stops.  (In addition to working from home, he does travel).

     renting vs. buying is the BIG question right now.  with housing prices being at a low in CA, now is the time to buy.  but we plan to move to CA and stay there (dh's family lives in high dessert- TX was a temporary work thing).  

     so, buying makes sense from the perspective of making our money go as far as possible.  but renting seems smarter so that we can figure out where we REALLY want to spend a large portion of the next 20 or so years.  a good compromise for me would be to try really hard to figure out now where we think we want to be, so that if we do rent, at least we are renting where we *think* we want to buy, as opposed to renting in Huntington Beach and then buying in Manhattan.

    Thanks for any input!! (schools, lifestyle, anything!)  I do have a decent idea of housing prices,- I realize Newport is probably the MOST expensive, folloewrd by Manhattan and then Redondo..Huntington seems to be the cheapest of the beach cities, and Irvine is where our money will go the furthest....

  • Your additional information is definitely helpful. 

    If I were in your situation and had a small child and possibly looking to have more children, I would live in the Redondo/Manhattan/Torrance area.

    I have lived in Newport, Huntington and Redondo, so I can speak to each.

    My preference for the South Bay area is for a few reasons.  I personally love Los Angeles (west side, downtown, hollywood, etc.) and like that living in the South Bay I can get to all of those places easily.  I like the culture and diversity (food, theater, musuems, etc.) that those areas get me.  I don't think you can get those things as easily living in Orange County.  Crossing the 605 is just something that doesn't happen too often.

    My second reason for liking the south bay over the beach towns in Orange County is that I find them to be a bit quieter, less rowdy/party like, and less crowded.  So, for raising a family, I would prefer to be in the south bay area.

    If you are interested in the south bay area, you could also look in the Torrance, Lawndale, El Segundo (super cute town, Mayberry like) areas to bring the prices down but still be in close proximity to the beach.

    So, there's my two cents...

  • Welcome back to CA! I too would vote for South Bay for the same reasons posted above. I would recommend checking out the Palos Verdes Peninsula (Palos Verdes, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills...). Some don't like it because it is slightly more isolated, but that is exactly why I like it. You're in the big city, but it also has a small town feel. The schools are great, and there are a lot of activities to get involved in. Good luck with your move, and feel free to continue to post any questions as they come up!
  • i can't decide why exactly, but this thread is highly amusing to me.
    <img width=100 src="http://tinyurl.com/6q2woyb">
    <a href="http://www.wanlifetolive.com">[the bliz-og]</a>
  • Low prices or not, new construction in MB is still going to cost over a million, and a "starter house"/non-tear down will still be around $800k.  A lot of lenders around the South Bay are also asking for 50% down for a house over $1 million.

  • thanks for the info.  the more i research, the more i am hearing that manhattan and redondo are great areas...irvine seems to be a clean, happy place without much character and huntington/hermosa have a party scene/feel.

     we've pretty much ruled out the palos verdes areas...we have family who live there and it just seems to be more private/isolated than what we are interested in.  we should probably at least check it out though...


    cheapbeachbride- my husband has talked with a mortgage broker there who quoted him 30% down over $1 mil.  

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