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Old 04-29-2008, 04:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't want to be the guy who takes a big ole dump on in the cornflakes of your dreams, but So Cal is not the place to move "just to try it out". It's a great place to live, but it's just not a financially responsible thing to do. I'm an aerospace engineer and most people would say I am well in the middle class range of incomes; I would say my lifestyle in CA was "borderline comfortable".

Another thing to remember about CA, especially as far south as SD is, is that there is no shortage of willing, "unskilled labor" (I will leave you to interpret that as you will). Just because the cost of living is higher, don't expect that typically minimum wage jobs are going to suddenly start paying $15/hr to compensate. There are plenty of people out there who will be glad to do your job for $7/hr because they are living in a house/apartment with 5 other people and working 2 jobs.

Don't even bother looking to buy a house. You will not be able to afford one. If you do miraculously find one you can pay for, it won't be close enough to where you work/play where it will not cost you even more in fuel and maintenance for your car. Also don't expect to live near the ocean, beachfront is for celebrities, daddy's girls and plastic surgeons. For comparison, I have an "OK" 600 sq ft, one bedroom condo in Long Beach (a "beach" city, but arguably the ****tiest one in LA county), not in visual distance to the beach but not in the ghetto. Mortgage/HOA is over $2100/month. As Lis said, you're pretty much going to need a roommate if you want to function financially there.

Normally I would say look for places around the college campuses, but even those are ridiculous for the most part because students are either a) from SD and living at home b) live in campus housing or c) sponsored by wealthy parent.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I said it a few times on SCPB about this very subject, but you might want to give AZ a try. It's not TOO far from CA (LA is about 6 hrs. on the I-10W from Phoenix), and much cheaper to live in. Unskilled labor is afraid of the county sheriff down here for good reason, so real citizens can actually FIND jobs.

Thing is cali is nice, but as everyone is saying: it's freakin' expensive. If you're permanently relocating, go for it. But if you're just giving the west/southwest a try, consider someplace cheaper, like AZ. I keep saying that b/c I live here so I know what I'm talking about, but you could just as likely try out NV or maybe NorCal (not sure if living conditions are more realistically affordable up there or not though). SoCal is for the rich or was-born-there crowd. I know even at my decent middle class income (I'm an avionics systems engineer), I sure as heck won't move out there. I couldn't afford decent housing AND have any sort of social life, and I make close to $30/hr if you break down my yearly gross to hours....and that's before the state takes more than its fair share.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I do intend for it to be a permanent relocation. As well as having a room mate, he is moving out there with me, and not really looking to buy a house, but just rent.

It is obvious it is expensive. And we are willing to deal with that, but are the apartment prices I see and can book online not a realistic observation? If they are we can make it.

I have been starting to look at some NorCal properties as well, but we are shooting for SoCal if we can. Like I've said, we know it is expensive, we are just trying to get a grasp on actual numbers. We know exactly what we are capable of, so WE can decide if we can make it or not. We just need the numbers to compare against. Thank you for the link to the cost of living calculator.

I appreciate concerns for our frivolous actions, but that is what this is intended to be. Frivolous, fun, adventurous. We get enough lectures of why not to from friends and family. If it really is not doable, then hey, it's not. Just looking for actual facts and figures so we can decide. Thanks for all the comments so far, and I hope for more input from all of you.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You might wanna try the Riverside/Inland Empire area where housing is much more affordable and you're only about 45-60 mins from LA/OC.

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Old 04-29-2008, 05:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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also keep in mind that many rental places have minimum income requirements before they'll rent to you, often as high as 3x the rent, I beleive average is between 2x and 2.5x rent. one place the gf and I looked at required EACH of us to make 3x the rent. we didn't even bother with that one. I mentioned it before on SCP and I'll mention it again. you might consider looking at Seattle Washington. the weather is very similer to SF, with only very rare snow, if you don't live inside the actual city it's not horribly expensive, and it's also full of californians who can't drive worth a damn. for unskilled labor jobs you'll mostly be competing with illegal russians and laid off microsoft executives.
as far as the non college jobs, aim for jobs where speaking english is a plus, sales jobs. (though out in SD they'll likely want bi-lingual) no matter how cheap a guy is, if he doesn't speak a lick of english, he's not going to get a job selling high priced electronic toys to wealthy white people with more money then sense. also look into getting into a trade, union or otherwise, if college isn't your plan. particularly the ones that everyone'll need. ie. plumbing/electrical/etc... you do well in anyone of them and you'll rarely have trouble finding a job.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The apartment rental rates you see online are real, and are actually the lowest rate of one unit that they may have available. San Diego's Craigs list would be your best bet for finding a more decent place from a private owner at a better price. Just be careful you don't place yourself in a situation with a private renter who may be on the brink of foreclosure on the place they are renting out.

San Diego is expensive, but not impossible. I think it's a great place to live and a great place to make money if you know how to make it here.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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By the way, in case no one has mentioned it yet, minimum wage is 8 bucks an hour.

You could probably find a job as a waiter or something like that where your tips would end up leaving you a nice paycheck.

I would also highly recommend you apply at Sears. The one i work at, in chula vista, can pay you pretty well in commission if you are decent at sales. It would help if you know spanish, but if you don't you can still do pretty well.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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not sure if saw on other place but most checker will make about 13 to 15 at max pay if can wait 5 or more years to get since have to start at bottom and work way up in so cal area. so think of this if 15 hr with no set work time too. and if ask for time off do not have to give minnual hr of 24 per week to benefits from union that what should be now since 4 years last time talk to people i know that work for grocery store's
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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check prices in smaller towns. Carpenteria is close to santa barbara, less heat, cheaper rent. It's a small know-your-neighbors hippie beach surfer town. Half Moon Bay up in the SF area is cheaper too, though colder. That's the area I'm from, I like it more. People are less... shut off, than southern california
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I would like to look at some smaller towns surrounding. Our main goal is to be within 15-20 min of a big city and a beach.
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