Manhattan Beach 800 square foot home sells for $870,000 in 2007 and now chases market down. Refinancing proposal will not save housing because shadow inventory and bank accounting chicanery is true problem in our economy.

The current administration is proposing new methods of lowering mortgage rates through streamlined refinancing.  On the surface it sounds great to have a lower mortgage rate and the Federal Reserve has essentially served as the buyer of only resort for trillions of dollars in mortgage backed securities.  The current historically low rates we are witnessing are purely artificial like Splenda or Botox.  So the idea behind the current proposal is to help those with government backed mortgages to refinance to a lower rate.  Since most of the market is populated with government backed mortgages, this should happen rather easily.  Yet the bigger issue at hand is the shadow inventory market and how banks are hiding losses and using taxpayer bailouts for their own profit.  Lowering mortgage rates for those who are paying on time does very little in terms of improving the housing market but will make many people happy a year from election time.  Keep in mind that since these are government backed loans, bondholders will get paid less but then again who is keeping track of debt?  We have the Federal Reserve and our government running deficits of 10 percent of GDP.  In the mean time the high priced areas of California are starting to see homes hit the market with significant price cuts including in areas like Manhattan Beach.

Living by the coast in Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is an exclusive area in Los Angeles County.  I think for those not from California it is hard to imagine how prices can get so out of hand in these markets.  Many have visions of giant estates in Bel Air when they think of SoCal housing wealth.  Yet that is not the case.  You certainly have plenty of those homes but the bulk is overpriced wannabe locations that are now quickly correcting to reflect the new realities of the current economy including stagnant incomes and lack of maximum leverage toxic mortgages.  Let us look at a home in Manhattan Beach:

manhattan beach home 1

1801 5TH ST, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Listed    07/06/11

Beds      2

Full Baths             1

Partial Baths       0

Property Type   SFR

Sq. Ft.   812

$/Sq. Ft.               $808

Lot Size 3,825 Sq. Ft.

Year Built             1951

This home was listed in July so it is a fairly new listing.  The home is listed as having a whopping 812 square feet!  That is right, in Manhattan Beach, a place with a median home price of $1.3 million you have 812 square foot homes as well.  The above picture may not give the place full justice so let us look at the place from another angle:

manhattan beach 2

Ah yes!  Wonderful garbage can 2.0 photography yet again in one of the most expensive zip codes in Los Angeles County.  This is something I really have a hard time wrapping my head around.  You are selling a home in a million dollar zip code and include a photo with three mulit-colored trash bins?  Only in Southern California!

Now the photos don’t really offer a good perspective as to how close this home is to the beach.  So let us Google Map the place:

manhattan google

Not close at all.  It is probably useful to look at the pricing history here to get a sense what is going on:

manhattan beach price history

This is where the housing bubble really reveals itself.  The place sold in March of 1997 for $228,500.  This price seems reasonable for an 800 square foot place in Manhattan Beach.  A few months later, it sold for $270,000.  Two years later in 1999 the place sold for $375,000.  So at this point, some might think that simply living in this place will generate $50,000 a year in equity income.  Why work when you can simply live in a home!  Another two years goes by and it sells for $410,000 in 2001.  The biggest price jump occurred in 2007 when it sold for $870,000 at the height of the boom!  This place sold for $1,000 per square foot!  Incredible.  The timing was off here and as they say, the rest is history.  The home was listed for sale earlier this year for $649,000.  It was then dropped to $639,000.  Interestingly enough when it was listed in July it was up for $695,000.  Apparently no one was biting and it looks like it is now down to $656,500.  Are we going to see more chasing the market down behavior here?

Think about the income required to buy this place.  You would need a household income of $200,000 or higher and why would someone want to pay that much for an 800 square foot home?  No doubt, you have plenty of people that are zip code chasers but I think more people are realizing that real estate appreciation is probably not going to happen anytime soon in many parts of the country.   The higher priced zip codes in California have a long way to go in correcting.

Here is the interesting thing about Manhattan Beach:

MLS listings:                       193

Foreclosures:                     2

Short sales:                         5

Now how many properties are in distress in prime Manhattan Beach?

manhattan beach foreclosures

55 and the MLS only shows two foreclosures listed.  Even in a prime area you can see that shadow inventory is a dominant force.

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84 Responses to “Manhattan Beach 800 square foot home sells for $870,000 in 2007 and now chases market down. Refinancing proposal will not save housing because shadow inventory and bank accounting chicanery is true problem in our economy.”

  • For a long time I dreamed about moving to California. I live in Chicago and even though I lived here my whole life, I abhor the weather. I dreamed of sunshine and beautiful days. However, the cost of living there is outright prohibitive. Housing is expensive but so is the state income taxes. How long are Californians going to take this? Are high income earning Californians leaving the state in droves? I would appreciate if someone from Cali would offer their views.

    • LOL. My gf and I moved to the SD area in July 2009. We’ve been looking for two years…made about a half-dozen offers…even had a few offers accepted — but we backed out of those deals, since the eventual cost of home ownership at those prices just didn’t seem reasonable (or doable).
      In my opinion, most houses here are overpriced relative to what you get. I’ve been amazed at the poor condition many of the houses we’ve seen. It’s common to find houses that haven’t been updated in decades…with original appliances and decor from the seventies and eighties.
      Last week we looked at a short sale (listed for $650K) being offered by an elderly couple who are the original owners (they lived there for 34 years). Now, while it DID appear that they remodeled the kitchen at one point, the baths were dated and cheap-looking (as was most of the interior) and the exterior needed substantial repairs…and yet it was listed as a short sale. There’s no way that they paid more than $200K for that house when it was originally built…so well over $450K in borrowed money went somewhere other than into home improvements. That said, I have no doubt that they’ll find a buyer at somewhere near their asking price…since there are still plenty of fools who are willing to pay up to live in this area.
      Myself, I’ll probly move to a less costly area within a few years. Having lived in the Northeast for almost my entire life (aside from seven years spent in Indiana), I don’t really see the advantage of mild, sunny weather as being worth the considerably higher cost of living. That’s just me, though…others obviously disagree, since this area is so damned crowded.

      • I see the advantage of living in So Cal for the weather…are you freaking kidding me? No humidity, no snow, no mosquiyo’s, black flies, may flies, deer flies, horse flies, midges, gnats, or no see-ums.

        It hardly rains, and the ambient temperatures are damn near perfect for a comfortable life. Not too mention the ocean is close, the mountains are close, and the desert is close. There *are* ways to live less expensively, but most people want the 3,000 foot ranch home AND So Cal, while working at a “regular” job. That will never happen again. Look around at all the old peeps cruising the beach, that was THEIR lifestyle, not yours, and not our children’s.

      • “In my opinion, most houses here are overpriced relative to what you get.”

        Guess you haven’t been brainwashed by carnival barkers like ol’ Jim the realtard, who pump & dump properties in SD on a daily basis with the “It’s different here” mantra.

        Personally, as someone that bought silver in 2001-2002 when it was apparent the U$D would be printed to infinity, I’m waiting for the last *gasp* of sucker demand to be pulled forward and banks to be forced to return to *normal* lending practices…

        I ain’t gonna be one of the morons that volunteers to keep the FIRE economy (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) solvent!

      • “In my opinion, most houses here are overpriced relative to what you get.”

        I couldn’t agree more.

      • As a NorCal guy for the last 34 years, I went back to visit the folks in Northwest Florida, the “Redneck Riveria”, this month. Yes, it deserves its name!

        Besides the heat and the humidity, I was bitten by mosquitos and crabs and stung by fire ants and jellyfish.

        I’ll just keep renting here in Silicon Valley until things settle down.

    • Renting in Redondo

      Yes they are. There are actually agressive advertising programs that have been built by other states, notably Texas (or at least that is the state that I hear the most radio commercials for), that are designed to be so attractive to the Californian that they will be willing to give up the weather and the west coast for less taxation (amongst other things).

      • Hahahahaha, yes, Californians are flocking in droves to Texas because of those terribly high California taxes…got any proof?

        Maybe you should read “Pat McGroin’s last sentence again: “It’s so darn crowded here.” Yeah, as in wonderful. Over-priced? Sure, and the Invisible Hand will correct it…to sustainable levels…no panic for those that paid attention…and I bought silver, I bought gold too (now almost 5x what I paid for gold, and 25x what I paid for silver)…because I could see what the idiot Texan was doing to our nation’s financial, educational and ethical well-being.

        Newsboy: You have a wonderful imagination…and Pinocchio’s nose.

        If I had to guess, most of you wannabe Californians (No one from California calls themselves a “fifth-generation Cali person”, btw, no one in California calls it “Cali”) here are jealous or are Mid-Eastern Real Estate agents trying to push your inventory that ain’t selling: The whole country’s R.E. market has collapsed, except @ D.C., where them government jobs keep growing.

        Nimesh: Exactly what do you mean when you ask “Housing is expensive but so is the state income taxes. How long are Californians going to take this?” Take what?

        If they pay high taxes, it’s because they make high incomes. And exactly what is the alternative, living like a third world country..properly spent and applied taxes are what makes society livable. That’s why Scandinavian Socialist countries are rated highest in living standards by their citizens…if you bothered to do any research…other than zombie in front of the BOOBTUBE.

        The fact is, Reagan tripled my state income taxes as governor (and quadrupled the FICA deductions as president), and still couldn’t balance a budget, but the top 1% income earners THRIVED from his tax cuts…the rest of us? Not so much. The other numbskull actor that just left campaigned on cutting taxes (revenue) and look where that left us…..wonderful actor and idiot administrator. Pete Wilson? So bad we had them issuing us “warrants” for our tax refunds. Dukmejian? Left us prisons and Prison guard unions sucking us dry….and absolutely no safer than before…worse in fact.

        However, now we have the guy that COULD balance a budget AND send us REAL tax rebates back in the governor’s seat: Jerry Brown. Trying to undo the awful mess tax cutting actor’s and fake conservatives gave their top 1% income earners while nut-hugging “Sir” Alan Greenspan to death.

        Please, please… stay out of SoCal, NorCal…”Sillycon and Hollyweird”…my high school classmate just “retired” from his corporation…and left them with more cash on hand then the federal government: Steve Jobs, and $87 BILLION in cash…SillyCon that you Fox “Newsboy” nitwit.

        Texas….50th in education and it SHOWS…the land of Megachurch nincompoops and snake oil salesmen governors….it wasn’t California that played fast and loose with the mortgage Fraud…that was NYC bubba…..but if it makes you happy to yap about crap you have no concept of…go ahead…from Chicago, Indiana, and the other frozen wastelands…bwahahahaha. I’ve lived in Chicago suburb as a kid…you couldn’t pay me to live there…fact. Indiana? No way…it smelled so bad in Muncie when I was a kid I thought I’d puke. Loved those Michigan winters…sliding around on icy roads and cars rusting out in 4-5 years…don’t see many classic autos there…but man…look around California…ahhhh.

        Sure, like everyone, the market is taking well-deserved lumps, but they weren’t the ones that abandoned mortgage fundamentals…that was Greenspan, and Bush, and Wall Street and rating agencies committing well-established Fraud. You see peeps: we have the intangibles you just will never have…and our market will adjust, then sustain..yours? Get ready to live like someone from India….or Somalia.

        I see Detroit is doing well too….Ohio…, Indiana….how many manufacturing jobs you lose under Republican, “Tax cutting, job-off-shoring, Fraud-loving” conmen, again? “Those jobs are going boys, and they ain’t never coming back..to YOUR hometown….”

        Have a nice day!!! Tell yourself again how wonderful you have it not being in the Golden State…..bwahahahaha.

    • I’m a fifth generation Californian, love my state and do not plan to leave it in spite of all its faults, geological and otherwise. I’ve been to all 50 states, and while there are a lot of beautiful places in the US, nothing comes close to California.

      It’s been my experience that there are three kinds of people: The ones that leave California and can’t wait to get back, the ones who leave and want to come back but can’t afford to, and the ones who leave and are very happy that they did. So you have a one in three chance of making the right decision in leaving.

      • “I’m a fifth generation Californian, love my state and do not plan to leave it in spite of all its faults, geological and otherwise.”

        I’m also a fifth gen Cali person, and I left in 1996 and made 10X income running a business in NYC, which sucks to live in, but unless you’re a success in Hollyweird and SillyCon valley is even a better business environment.

        Now that I’m independently wealthy I have better things to do than help some wanna-be millionaire hit the housing lottery ;-)

      • My parents moved to the Los Angeles area in the late 1940s from Chicago. I was born here and never plan to leave. Whenever I visit other states and cities, I look forward to coming back to my flawed but amazing state. Angeleno for life here :) Yes the taxes are crippling, but it’s home. Great weather, great cultural diversity, great galleries and museums, universities, vegan dining. We are a childfree couple that rent, no desire OR money to buy a house. Just depends what your priorities are in life I suppose.

    • 2007 was the last year of option ARMs (aka pick-a-pay, pay option negative amortization loans). This was probably a 100% financed option ARM buy in 2007. In 1997 when the price was $228K, a 20% cash down payment was the norm. During the bubble years of 2002 to 2007, 100% financing was the norm.

    • I moved here in 2006 after living in CO for 17 years. (grew up in So Cal though, moved to CO when I was 12). Currently my husband and I are nowhere near affording to buy in Redondo which is where we want to put down roots. Also we own a house we inherited outright with my brother in law in CO, that we could easily live in. I will never leave So Cal, even if we can never buy, here’s why: weather (in South Bay), beach, culture, diversity, activities, state of mind, progressive thinking, open minded populace, Trader Joes, curbside composting, feeling like I live on vacation, etc etc. When I visit CO I cannot wait to get back here.

      • Progressive thinking is very important to me too! Can’t live without Trader Joe’s either :) No red state for me. Never.

    • ChrisNLongBeach

      Great question… but the reality is that renters don’t pay nearly as much as home-debtors in California. I moved to Cali in 1994, lived in LA then Orange County until 2008 when I moved to Florida. The cost of living was low in Florida, but I moved back to Cali (now living in Long Beach) in 2010. I doubt I’ll ever leave California again. Is the traffic crazy? Houses still bubble priced? YES. But the “high taxes” argument is suspect. I believe CA is actually mid pack in taxation. Still, the old prejudices remain… people out-of-state love to mock us, but it’s still paradise. BTW, did you notice the WHOLE name of this blog? “How I learned to love soCal and forget the housing bubble” – It has many problems, as do all the major states, but Californee is still the place to be!

    • California is the most beautiful state in the country and probably the most screwed up. I have lived here for 10 years and loved it but will be moving next year when my child goes to college. If you love the outdoors and are willing to live in a small apt or condo, pay a high state income tax along with a high sales tax you should give it a try. It is extremely hard to get ahead and save here b-c everything is so expensive and I finally threw in the towel when I could not afford a house I would like even with the lower prices. But I enjoyed my time here and you should give it a try, you only live once!

    • I don’t know many Californians leaving the state in droves. I only know one person who left due to high housing prices. However with unemployment what it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if people are leaving for that reason too and yes this includes some professionals. Ca has the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the country.

    • I think many would leave if they weren’t tied down by a mortgage. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and two years ago I moved to Florida. I’m making the same money, and the cost of living is two thirds of what it was in the Bay Area. When I tell people here what I paid for rent – or even just parking – their jaws drop.

      I miss the culture of San Francisco, the people, the walkable neighborhoods, the great motorcycling roads. But the cost is just astronomical, and thanks to Prop 13 the tax structure is utterly dysfunctional – income is taxed very high, businesses and long time residents pay almost nothing in property taxes, and local governments zone for tons of retail because sales tax is their only real revenue.

    • My parents live in Texas. They moved there to avoid high state income taxes 30 years ago. They keep telling me how much more expensive it is in California, and I should move back. “Think of the money I’d save!”

      No, thanks. While prices are higher in California, they aren’t that much higher. For the most part, the difference is much more than covered by the higher incomes. (I speak of the bay area here. In San Diego, you get paid with “sun dollars” instead. While you don’t get taxed on sun dollars and your heating and cooling bills will be low if you are within 5 miles of the coast, sun dollars don’t put food on the table ether! LA, where I’ve also lived, I consider untenable due to traffic dysfunction, unless you live close enough to work you can take surface streets. … but that means living in suburbia, rather than somewhere nice like the Santa Cruz mountains.) The only market where the high salaries don’t offset expenses is in real-estate. However, you aren’t required to buy. San Jose enjoys the lowest rent / purchase ratio in the country. Renting is perfectly reasonable and in line with incomes. I think it is better to have a high income and high expenses than low on both. It gives you more headroom to save money by living frugally.

      The big drag about California is the population density. I often find it necessary to get a reservation to go camping. If you attempt to take a vacation on a popular weekend like labor day or memorial day, you risk getting stuck in a traffic jam in middle of nowhere Modesto, due to all the other vacationers, who are trying to blow through Modesto too. So, I stay home on those big weekends or make a point to be well out pf California for them. However, even this situation is better than Texas, which has few places you’d even want to camp, and you have to drive 1000 miles to get anywhere interesting. 4 hours in a traffic jam, or 14 hrs of driving just to get somewhere. You decide.

      I don’t think I will retire in California.

    • Are high income earning people leaving the state in droves?

      No. It heaven. Wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Besides, work in film. There is nowhere else to go.

  • It sucks here. Please don’t come. And if you do please don’t take up surfing….it sucks too.

  • Doc,
    I think interest rates will stay down for many more years to come. If interest rates go up the US government would immediately go bankrupt as the interest payments on the national debt would skyrocket. I don’t see 30 year mortgage rates going up for years to come.

    • There are limits to the government’s ability to maintain artificially low interest rates.
      Eventually, market forces will prevail.

      The fact that “the US government would immediately go bankrupt, ” is simply one of the factors involved in Real World Markets.

      At that point, the elites in DC will have to address reality again like the rest of us.
      It won’t be pretty, but it will happen.

    • “I think interest rates will stay down for many more years to come. If interest rates go up the US government would immediately go bankrupt as the interest payments on the national debt would skyrocket. I don’t see 30 year mortgage rates going up for years to come.”

      Obviously you haven’t been paying attention.

      The option here is *MASSIVE* currency devaluation, not extended artificial interest rate suppression, which isn’t going to work out well for the middle class whose wages will be permanently flat due to wage arbitration.

      Oh, and all those housing rich in Kali better hope they get out of U$D funny money before the next 50% drop…

    • Big Ben sez he’s parking the helicopter QE III, yet the DOW is on a tear again..

      The whole ‘recovery’ was based on one thing, if you recall: Mark to Market was repealed. The only thing that happened was that all the banks in the world that were bankrupt from the housing bubble were allowed to keep doing business as usual while borrowing at zero and buying Treasury’s to make free, risk-less profits without the hassle of lending to business and people and such.

      We’re still kicking the can down the road, as Doc has said so often, but this road is a dead end. This system cannot be sustained indefinitely.

      Until we start making something to export to trade for our imports, we are just an empire stealing from the rest of the world with our counterfeit currency backed by our obvious willingness and ability to use force to regime-change anyone that questions our Manhattan Masters. Our CA vegans don’t want to hurt a cow, but have no problem mowing down a hundred thousand humans to keep oil flowing to their leased BMW. Peace and cowabunga dudes…try the balsamic artichoke hearts.

  • Some business owners are leaving but certainly not all high income earners. I can just say from my personal experience, no one I know of personally who has a good income has left…but they are mostly liberal and don’t pay attention or admit to the state’s financial straights. I personally, wouldn’t mind leaving but I am in a relationship so I am not totally free. But believe me, many have left and many are planning on leaving because of the state’s leader’s fiscal irresponsibility, totally ignoring of our immigration laws, bad schools, high real estate, etc etc.

  • The game has changed in California. Now that SB 458 is California law, short sales are more effective at purging debt than foreclosures. People still tend to walk away from their debts in foreclosure, but that doesn’t mean the debt is fully extinguished, just much more difficult to collect. From now on, those people who go through a short sale will no longer face the harassing calls of zombie debt collectors.

    Banks won’t have a buyer for their extinguished short-sale zombie debt, so the write-offs will increase. The larger losses will make lenders more willing to foreclose and keep their zombie debt on life support.
    Passage of this law should cause banks to shift away from short sales in California and move to foreclosure roulette to select a quota of kills from the herd.
    Short sale negotiations will now be much more difficult for banks because they don’t have the threat of lingering debt to hold over the borrower. If the borrower doesn’t agree, the bank has no leverage to force them to. The borrower can escape the debt fully in short sale or take their chances after a foreclosure — chances which usually work out in their favor.

    The realtor association that applauded the short sale law is now demanding the banks close more short sales. That’s a knife that cuts both ways: lenders take bigger losses and realtors make more money.

  • pure genius!

  • That lazy realtor couldn’t wait for them to finish the yard work before snapping the pictures, but I’m sure he/she makes more than most educated professionals. What an upsidedown world.

    I follow South Bay real estate pretty closely. This place looks like a real fixer and not located in the prime area of MB. However, there seems to be no shortage of people who think paying 600K plus is totally acceptable to have that sought after MB zip code. This property is a prime candidate to bought and bulldozed and then the building of the McMansion will commence. The lot is kind of small (3800 sq ft.), that could be the only drawback.

    You could literally show up here from another planet and realize there was a massive housing bubble after seeing the sales history for the last 15 years of this place.

  • Seems like this is a lot sale. This is a typical deal for the dirt if someone wants to build a mansion on it. I’m not sure of this particular location, but other small houses such as this sell commonly to those who wish to build. If this one is lingering, it probably means the location is less than ideal

    • It’s pretty much the least desirable area of Manhattan Brach while still being in the zip code. All the areas of MB are pretty nice though.

  • Wow, $228k in 1997. I remember looking at a foreclosure property with my dad in 1994 and the bank was asking $220k but willing to take $215k. It was west of Aviation on 2nd street. The house was tiny (700sq, carport) and original. The lot was friken huge and flat though. Next door was a large mansion taking up its entire lot.

    I’m a housing bear like everyone else here and believe prices will fall past early 90s prices and enter into 80s land. If that’s the case, then what can be said about the DJIA? It was 3000-4000 at that point in 1994.

    Greater depression here we come!

    • late 80′s to early 90′s? I can’t see that happening. I mean, prices are still too high now and have yet to complete the necessary correction to clear the bubble nonsense but realistically, you have to look at what people will be able to afford. If wages grow as they have for the past 20-30 years and interest rates climb back up to the historical norm around 7-8%, looking at the prevailing incomes in an area like Manhatten Beach (median looks to be 100-120k per year according to wikipedia), and assuming a 20% down payment, prices in the 400,000-550,000 range could be adequately supported assuming buyers and lenders are willing to close. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this would seem to be consitent with pricing around the turn of the millennium.

  • The days of speculation in So.Calif. real estate are over for a long time. The higher end areas have at least another 25% correction to go, if not more. The market always reverts to it’s mean and in most booms, past it. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this property bottom out at in the $300,000s, when all is said and done. Just look at those huge gaps up in the late 90s and early 2000s. With prices back to 2003-2004, we still have a long way to go, before reaching the bottom.

    http://www.westsideremeltdown.blogspot.com

    http://www.santamonicameltdownthe90402.blogspot.com

  • PCH, from Redondo to Manhattan, is showing signs of the bubble. Commercial building after building with For Lease signs on them keep growing in number. Still, there are builders/investors who have come in and built new commercial buildings, but they too sit empty. I can only guess that those with the money to invest in building, can wait this out, but it looks to be a long ride.

  • Thanks for the article. I just moved to California 5 months agop and absolutely love living in the South Bay. I have had my eye on MB sinc I moved here, but I have been staying reserved on my emotions and trying to use logic to buy/rent.

    I look forward to seeing other future articles about the South Bay. Everyday I can’t understand how that many people can be that well-off in MB, HB, RB, PV, etc.

    • Zachary, the South Bay has lots of old money and there seems to be an endless supply of new money coming in. Most people agree that the area is very desirable to live in: great weather, beaches, entertainment, safe, good schools, close to job centers, etc. You have lots of young professionals settling here and paying 700K for a starter home isn’t that big of a deal…for now.

      I keep a close eye on South Bay real estate, especially in South Redondo. Any SFR that is halfway decent and in a halfway decent location and priced below 700K will go very quickly. It all goes back to supply and demand, there is little supply coming on the market and quite a demand for these places. Add in the 4% interest rates and I personally don’t see a big drop in prices anytime soon, maybe a very gradual decline over the next couple years. I have faced reality that there are some pockets of Socal that will never be affordable to the average person…the desirable parts of the South Bay will be one of them.

  • I lived a few years in the High Desert (Joshua Tree, CA) and it was magical!

    While I second everything Dr. HB has said in his last 50+ blogs, please note that there are affordable homes in places with few jobs like Joshua Tree or Yucca Valley. Great to retire in though – with a cabin in Big Bear to escape the Summer heat. Back in 2001, I bought a cabin with power and water for < $ 15,000 and it was the best home I ever owned. Yeah, I miss Southern California. Although NAN in Thailand is not bad either.

    These prices are crazy – I had a friend live illegally on some boat at a Marina and in some cheap trailer park for a few hundred bucks rent in Torrence. Who is the target buyer of this place?!? Some single person? Just wondering.

  • I am a third gen socal son and my wife is from NC. I have lived and surfed that area up and down the coast for much of my early life until I was 27. I moved to NC and married. we came back to Socal for 14 years in the inland empire. We started having kids and decided that it would be much more family friendly and near her folks on the east coast. So we landed in SC. 30 minutes to the mountains, 2 hours to the WARM ocean. Surf sucks, but everything else beats CA hands down. less than half the taxes, twice the home for the money, no traffic issues, can live close to work; I drive 4 miles door to door in 7-10 minutes. I visit every year or two and get my surf sessions in. There is no comparison, I have ime for a family and myself.

    Would I come back permanently?…no. It is actually a very unsafe place to live, bad traffic 24/7, illegals mexiforia transformation, poor morals, a cesspool in many things. my old high school looks like a prison! Although I have lots of friends & family in the area, we are so happy in a place that has a far better quality of life on the east coast. Our only fear here is that many more are coming to join us on the midway between the north and FL.
    We are purchasing land outside the country. there are certianly much better places than CA to live, especially now with the mexicanization and poor governance. It is no longer a free state for free people. If you can afford to live in CA, you can live much better elsewhere in the country, or better yet, outside the country. If you only have your sights on CA, I would say that you have a poor perspective of what else is out there. I do not think of myself as a world traveler, but I have been to EU, Asia, South & Central America, India & Eastern EU. But at least I can see the crap for what it is and there is a lot of crap in Socal. Putting the weather colored lipstick on that pig, won’t make it any more than what it is.

    • After reading your comment, I too agree that South Carolina is a perfect fit for you.

    • U had me sold on NC until you said the surf sucks.

      • Actually, IIRC, the surf is pretty good out at Buxton, which is the “point” of Cape Hatteras, i.e. the whole cape sticks way out in the open ocean swells; you’ve got the beach to the south of that famous spiral-striped lighthouse that faces southeast, and picks up swells from that direction, and on the other side of the point is a beach facing northeast, picking up the “nor’easters”.

        It’s just that that (south) end of Cape Hatteras is pretty much vacation/resort only, no high-paying jobs, ferry-access only, etc.

        In general though, everyday (ambient swell) surfing in CA is way better than anywhere on the East Coast, where we surf wind-chop caca, waiting for that close brush of a hurricane (like Irene last week), which brings us the rare combo of big swells plus OFFshore wind to hollow out those “tubes”. For one or two days we can PRETEND we’re in Cali… :D Duh Pacific is just a bigger, better swell generator, no argument.

      • East Coast surf isn’t bad, it’s just VERY inconsistent. Storms are either moving away from you or sliding by you (exception of hurricanes offshore which move east to west). This means you have a short window to get it and if you live far from the beach and don’t have a flexible schedule, that’s an issue. Contrast that to CA where swells move at you from across the Pacific, easy to estimate/plot, they last for days, well organized, and generally there’s always something in the water.

        Obviously if you are a big point break fan – outside of a few select spots it’s a non-starter (NH, RI, Eastern Canada, some oddball spots near inlets/passes on coastal islands – generally fickle and rare birds). Same goes for big wave surfing, if you like 2x overhead there are only a few spots on the East Coast – once again a rare event, only a couple times a year at best and if you need 2.5x-3x OH legit swell with good conditions, you can wait a decade to get it right.

        I’ve had simply magical days at many spots on the East Coast and I’d be quite content living close if I had a flexible schedule. Not living right on the beach and having a relatively demanding job – I just travel for surf when I can.

        If I didn’t have a family, I’d re-prioritize (get my damn waves) but for me East Coast works okay and while I had plans to move to CA some years ago – the housing prices, taxes, and host of other issues keep me out. One more vacant spot in your lineups on me.

    • @Steveo

      You despise California so much that you read a blog dedicated to SoCal real-estate and then take the time to post a reply? You are living in a place you can afford on the East Coast. No shame in that.

    • What do you have against Mexicans? Do you dislike Mexican nationals or are Mexican-Americans also part of your dislike?
      Mexicans, IMO, are a net boon to the state. They work their butts off which is great for businesses. I know small-business owners who could not stay in business without Mexicans and their strong work ethic. They show up everyday, no whining, they get the job done. Also, Mexicans and other Latinos have revitalized aging towns. Take Sylmar, CA for example. An old, worn-out town that once again has a thriving downtown thanks to Mexican immigrants starting businesses. On a recent trip, children of business owners worked at the stores on weekends, which again demonstrates work ethic. Hard workers, family-oriented – aren’t these the type of people any state should be happy to have? Also, in a generation or two, these people become regular Americans just like everyone else. If you don’t believe me, take a look at someone like Abel Maldonado, whose father came as an illegal immigrant, and became CA’s Lieutenant Governor.

      • The Mexican-American citizens that I’ve had the distinct pleasure of knowing are indeed a great people. The Illegals are not. They decimate the local job market (only about 1% work in the fields), and have cost the State tens of billions more than they add, according to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget office.

        That’s you kids’ education, firefighters and police services right there. I hope you’re getting your moneys’ worth. I’m certainly not.

        And to add to that, they come in delightedly breaking the law, ignoring customs and expecting handouts. Tens of billions in freebies.

        Sorry, that is in no way, shape or form an a benefit to this State, and you’d have to be extremely delusional to think so. But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good delusion.

  • I’ve lived in the L.A. area all my boomer life, and I love it. I’d like to stay forever, but we sold our house in 2006 and have been renting, and even now decent places are too expensive for us to buy without a mortgage. (We’re self-employed and have been working in a startup situation for the last two years, so our income has been sporadic, and even if we could qualify, we’re worried about making the payments. That all could change soon because we’re about to launch our first product, but who knows?)

    We can’t leave the state and buy a reasonably priced house in a good location because guess what: we may not be able to get health insurance elsewhere, and there’s no way to be sure what will happen with that until we actually move. So we’re stuck in California being sucked dry by Blue Cross.

    What kind of a country makes it so hard for self-employed people to move from state to state? Ridiculous.

    BTW, if I’ve got it wrong about the insurance situation, I would love to be corrected by someone who knows what they’re talking about!

  • $228,500 for a two bedroom one bath doesn’t even seem reasonable to me….O California.

  • Uncle Sam is now the biggest owner of residential foreclosures at 248,000 homes. They don’t know what to do with it all. Maybe I should rephrase that. The US taxpayer is the biggest owner of forclosures. There….fixed it.

    Now is a horrible time to buy.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-26/u-s-government-struggles-as-the-biggest-seller-of-homes.html

  • I’ve been in and out of SoCal…third time back…and I’m never leaving again. Steveo, my last stay was in Roswell, Georgia. You can keep the southeast. Did Florida too. And Long Island and Chicago. I’m so glad to be back, even if I’m in an apartment. We are not buying so readily this time around. Stupidly, we sold 2 of our homes here and are now back to square one. I’ve been following the Dr. for years…since I was in Roswell… because I knew I had to get out of the southeast, but I also knew SoCal home prices were going through the roof. I appreciate this blog more than I can say because this is one of the few places where you can get the real story…so for now…we will wait and watch the market. We’ve owned 4 homes over the years, but apartment life is not so bad since we are close to the wetlands and the beach (HB). Yes, I do wish we were in a SF home, but I have the patience to “wait and see” what happens before we buy again. Steveo, I’m glad you’re happy in NC though. At least you are close to a beach.

  • I agree with the people that talk about the good things in socal. I born and raised in the Northeast and let me tell you California is a hundred times better. I also hate the taxes and high real estate myself. But the weather is great, I live by the beach and would have it no other way. Yesterday my wife and I spent the day at the beach, while my family back east had to deal with Irene. Power out for a day, roads and bridges washed away, trees in the roadway.
    And as I said before I thought of moving to Texas, but mm I think I heard Houston had over a month with it being a 100 degrees. Yea right move there and doesn’t Texas have high property taxes? I know my Northeast home did. And those Northeast cities with extra city taxes if you work or live in a city and school taxes, and also those township taxes. So who is really being overtaxes. I love the great weather having world class entertainment. I have had the chance to attend movie premieres, award shows etc. Not something you can go anywhere else in America.

  • @stevo the inland empire sucks Its the desert. I have been to the Carolinas many times my father in law was from there. That was on my short list with Texas. But after looking at the quality of life My wife and I would had to give up, we said its not worth it. There is a reason real estate is super cheap there. I still find many parts even in 2011 super backward, plus my wife can’t understand that southern accent and I think it would also drive me crazy, plus the humidity is insane, bugs and lousy
    weather. I bet you pay way more insurance then I do for a great homeowner policy.

  • the only high income workers in Cali now are the state employees. but soon that will dry up also.budget deficits as far as the eye can see.hahaha

  • Contrary to an opinion above, CA education isn’t highly ranked and TX is much better. Education Week in their 2011 rankings has CA at 30th overall and TX at 13th. For K~12 CA is 46th and TX is 17th. I’ve lived here 10+ years and the weather is nice but the state is about as screwed up as you can get. (No, I am not from Texas – I just don’t care for people that shoot from the hip with their answers with no facts.) The state is technically bankrupt and so are most counties and cities. Prop 13 simply created new classes of voters to be played politically off against each other. People living side by side in identical houses paying hugely different property taxes and a huge encouragement for absentee owners keeping rentals because of the property tax advantage. High home costs yet huge tracts of land everywhere that can’t be developed for one reason or another. Even when you can develop, you have so many regulations and requirements that your costs go through the roof. With all this what do the politicians spend their time worrying about? Whether a hotel can use fitted sheets or not and the latest ways to keep Walmart Supercenters at bay!

    California is not Vail Colorado with a few millionaires outbidding each other for a select few homes. At the end of the day, when the dust settles on the bubble that continues to collapse, the average income in CA needs to be able to afford the average house. You might could justify a reasonable premium for the weather, but then again California is doing everything it can to chase away the jobs that could afford the premium on the homes.

    For those of you that want to move here – the weather is fine! The taxes are high. Housing remains very expensive. The services are lacking. The roads are a joke. The schools are some of the worst in the nation. And taxes are likely to continue to spiral upward as the state, counties, and cities seek ways of funding their deficits and unfunded retirement and health benefits. Caveat Emptor.

    • I lived in California for most of the 80′s and 90′s. I always got a kick out of everyone complaining about the roads. Compared to where, lol? In areas where you have a lot of alternate freezing and thawing, the roads are an order of magnitude worse. This used to be in Ohio, but due to global climate change, it has moved north to Michigan.

      Regarding taxes, California is high, but I think the mid west is catching up. Illinois recently raised their state income tax by 66%, from 3% to 5% of 1040 income, I think. I no longer smoke, but I asked a [Michigan] store employee recently what they ask for a pack of premium cigarettes. $7.10 per pack for Marlboro, he said.

      Also in Michigan, following three terms of relatively liberal Jennifer Granholm (Dem), we now have supposedly conservative governor, Republican Rick Snyder. Like most Republicans, he’s against raising taxes. But he has been a demon on increasing enforcement of existing taxes. While this is only fair, it is still a tax increase, both from the standpoint of the person paying more tax and the ultimate drain on the economy by the taxing authority (the State of Michigan, in this case). I’m telling ya, it doesn’t matter what party they run under, they are all big spending ultra liberals, once they take office, lol.

  • SB458..Unintended Consequences.
    This is Ok for the First holder, but (hi $) junior loan holders wont be so eager to sign off for peanuts. They will be inclined to force foreclosure, just to give them access to possible assets at a later date.

  • As someone from SoCal most of the comments are correct about some of the great things here IF you a high income and can live in SoBay or Santa Monica or South Orange County.the other 90% of us California is a bad bet.Horrible traffic, racial tensions, Third Worldization, overpriced. However IF you do have the money, and can buy where you want well that is a different story.
    By the way for those of you who are done working you should check out overseas. This is not thirty years ago. With Globalization you can live your fantasy, great weather, good medical, many things to do for very cheaply. Many, many places around the world now.

    To Paula about being stuck for the insurance. I was in same boat. But stuck at Kaiser! It was like going to a he’ll hole every time. Finally got so sick I am disabled and on Medicare,they take that everywhere. Of course, until we cannot afford that I guess.

    • In support of one of the main themes of Dr. Housing, I remember what Kern County Supervisor, Mary K. Shell, said at an oil company symposium I attended in Bakersfield in the early 1990′s. Shell, herself an owner of a small oil play, said that the percentage of the Kern County economy coming from oil would be steadily shrinking, more or less forever. The reason for this is that Kern County oil production, and in the rest of the state, for that matter, peaked years ago, and has no where to go but down.

      There may have been a secondary revenue peak, with recent high crude prices, but the very high paying oil industry jobs are mainly a function of oil production volumes. Not much oil, not many jobs. So even with very high oil prices, it is almost impossible to sell a house in Bakersfield now for more than half the bubble price from a few years ago.

      Still a lot of agriculture in the Bakersfield and central valley area, but those jobs are mainly burger flipping wage type.

  • I would leave if I could

    My husband works at JPL, so we have to live here in SoCal, there are not may jobs for PhD aerospace engineers (really). We will likely never have a family as I cannot bear to give my children less than I had growing up, and that wasn’t much but it was 1.) a safe place to play outside / range about the neighborhood 2.) a nice little school that wasn’t all trailers and chain link fence 3.) clean air. We have been waiting for years for the market to settle, but now I am 34 and time is almost up. Would I leave SoCal for the NorthEast and give up the admittedly great weather? Yes, in a heart beat. So much of SoCal is just ugly, decrepit, dirty and foul. Give me a working class neighborhood outside Boston versus the desolation along I-5 any day.

    • I think you attitude is common amongst non-Californians. I was talking to a guy from Georgia, and he never liked CA because he preferred the southeast scenery. I love the desert and dry hills, but that’s because I grew up around it.
      But you have to compare apples to apples. The area around Pasadena is considered a close in suburb to LA. If you go to another large city, those close in suburbs are going to be expensive and will spillover of city problems. Comparing a further out suburb of a much smaller city, Boston, to Pasadena is not comparing the same thing. Also, if you’re choosing to live in a large metro area, you do have to make some sacrifices, but you do gain other things. Tradeoffs.

    • That’s a very poignant real-world perspective, matching what I observe when I’m out there solo. (Of course, in the company of So-Cal M-I-Complex family members, or my GF, we tend to only hit the “Ken & Barbie” areas.)

      I can tell from your words that you are truly paying too high a price to live there.

      While there’s no gainsaying the desirability of the So-Cal weather, mountains, surf, etc. that the Cali partisans have pointed out, there’s also no gainsaying that there’s a deeply entrenched power structure in CA, going way back. A crony network of gatekeepers, legally arranged to inflate the price of “Duh Dream”, both the inital buy-in, and the continued milking of the sheeple. Call it the Sacramento (BigGov)-SFBay (BigFinance)-LA (BigMilitary)-Hollywood (BigPropaganda) quadrumvirate… with the NAR spread around, greasing all the right palms. (I mean, do you EVER see a Hollyweird movie that depicts the everyday So-Cal this lady is pointing out?)

      PS: Dittoes on the clean air. That’s a huge upside of not having mountains to “inspire us” here in So-Fla, i.e. “new” air continually blowing in (and out) over hundreds of miles of sun-washed plankton-rich ocean, vs. that stagnant box-end smog bowl of So-Cal.

  • I am a zip code chaser. And that is the reason I actually gave an offer for this house back in march when it was listed as Short sale. It is not new on the market it has rather long history already… It seems now it is foreclosed and back for sale clean cut. I gave offer at $610K when they where “entertaining offers between 639K – 629k” and the response of the bank was counter offer at $715K. Ha-ha-ha! I am not kidding you! I guess they had fun with my offer and I had big fun with their counteroffer… we laughed out well. But the reality is the bank (actually the liquidator of Indy Mac Bank who was running the business) was not reluctant to lower the price. It made some sense because even been only 800 sq f it was the lowest price in MB, so what are your options like a buyer? For me there was a option but not in MB. I bought a 3bed/1bath in Torrance for $520K in April and I am not sorry. My reasoning to give offer for the crap shack in MB was that as percentage the price I was offering had better discount from the pick of the bubble than my current Torrance home for example. For me personally 2 bedroom house was a big compromise and I am king of happy it did not work, but actually I absolutely can see how this one will be sold for $630K to some fool like me… Before me there was offer in the range of the asking price of the bank from a guy who gave the offer and lost his job few days later… This house has no luck, but some other fool…. We are all fools, the people which were waiting for this bubble to burst since 2003… I am not waiting anything as I said I bought in April and I am happy with it. There is no cheaper alternative these days where I was looking. Good luck to everybody reading this blog!

    • Well, I believe there was a cheaper alternative. As it stands, you have probably lost your downpayment “on paper” already on the Torrence property. The alternative to doing that would have been to have kept the money you used for that downpayment in the bank, and continued renting. Perhaps one will be able tu purchase this MB property for $450k in the next year or two, who knows . . .

  • CA rules, I was riding dirtbikes in 8000ft+ Sierras last week, will score big south swells this week, nowhere else in America can you do that. Only those of us who appreciate and partake in all the great geography and oppertunitiy here deserve to stay here. Taht might mean living in a shack, driving an old car, but that is the price you pay!!

  • My understanding is that it is the white middle class that is leaving California. The rich can afford to live wherever they want, and the Mexicans don’t mind sharing a house or apartment with extended family until their name rises to the top of the HUD housing voucher waiting list. California also has very generous programs like free dentistry for the poor.

    The well-off benefit from the presence of illegal laborers to run their businesses, care for their children, clean their houses and pools, and do the gardening. The lower-middle-class suffers because they can’t afford to get away from overcrowded neighborhoods and schools full of non-English speakers.

    • Your comments about Mexicans and non-English speakers are incredibly offensive. Just who do you think you are?

      • What exactly is offensive about my comments, Teresa? Most white people I know do not want their children to be in a school with “too many” foreigners or minorities. For some, the maximum percentage is 10%. Others might be willing to tolerate up to 50% or even more. But at some point, a school with too few whites becomes a school that white families would like to avoid, even if it has good test scores because the school is full of Chinese. Multiculturalism isn’t nearly as popular with the little people as the elites think that it ought to be.

    • Hey Laura, love that slick racist talk in 2011, makes me wish for the good old days. Don’t know how many white middle class you know, but are you speaking from something you heard or reading tea leaves or blowing smoke from your @ss? Plenty of trash from every race. As a Black man that lives at the coast, one bad thing about the summer is the white trash , meth addled, jacked up truck driving yahoos coming to the beach and @ucking it up. Don’t they know they are messing up my community, since most of those construction people are out of work and can’t afford the white trash dream vacation to Cancun they are spending the entire summer at the beach. DAM WHITE PEOPLE. (sorry Dr this was just sarcasm and nothing else)

      • Are you saying that you have never heard of “white flight”? I have read a number of articles over the past 10 or 15 years in which it has been mentioned that whites under the age of 35 often move from California to other parts of the country due to high housing costs and bad schools. I have even seen a couple of articles mentioning that blacks in the under-35 age group are also more likely to move OUT of California than IN. I had no idea that there was some sort of taboo against mentioning this.

    • @Laura
      So what if the white middle class is leaving CA? Are the white middle class somehow better than the Asian middle class, black middle class or Latino middle class that exists in CA? Does their existence somehow magically make a certain state acceptable to live in? Is white-middle class a coded way of saying that those who aren’t white and middle class are somehow leeches on society? Or do brown, yellow and black people scare you for some reason?
      We don’t need people in CA who are uncomfortable with diversity. You can go to the South where you’ll be comfortable.

      • Why is California so broke? Is it possible that the ratio of welfare beneficiaries to worker bees has gotten out of whack?

        Thanks for the tip about moving to the South — I’ve already done so, and YES it IS more comfortable here, primarily because there is very little crime, and I don’t have to spend such a large percentage of my paycheck on housing.

        If I could afford to live comfortably in Southern California near a beach, I would be very tempted to do so, as my children are now grown. But living in a tract house in Riverside, etc., has zero appeal. If money is no object, places like California and Hawaii can be paradise. But if moving to the sticks means you can go for a walk in the evening without fear, or that you can afford to take vacations or buy a brand new car because you have true disposable income due to a lower cost of living, then moving is certainly a rational decision. I moved when my children were in elementary school so that they could live in a SFR in a leafy suburb and attend a really good parochial school. None of this would have been possible if we had stayed in California. If our financial situation had been different, I would probably have remained in California.

        I am scared of black men, and sometimes of Hispanic males. I’m usually not afraid of Asians, although I might be if several or more young males were walking in a group. I feel much safer living in a white neighborhood. Sorry if that offends people. When I lived in California in the 90s, I had a very nice apartment, but it had no garage. My car was vandalized repeatedly. It’s easy for those of you with substantial incomes to blow off the petty concerns of the lumpenproletariat, but if are a single parent with an average income, your life is TRANSFORMED when you leave Southern California and relocate to the South.

        Who are the real snobs here?

      • I left Cali (I’m a native, I can call it whatever the fk I want) 5 years ago. Better salary (software), better weather, lower taxes, quality of life that is order of magnitudes better – not saying where! Cali is becoming a third world hell hole that still has some nice areas but they too are shrinking fast thanks to all that “diversity”. Since I left most of my coworkers/friends have left the state too, all educated and salaries in the 6 figures. I still have family there and they ignore/deny the problems as a coping mechanism. Cali would be a paradise again if it had a third of its current population and a sane government, but instead its on a crash course with an ugly fate. I’m especially sad for the education system there, costs have skyrocketed while quality has if anything gone down.

    • Uh-oh Laura, you stepped on the PC-Third Rail, Cali’s dirty not-so-little secret–cheap, ILLEGAL Mexican–labor, and the “whites” who viciously EXPLOIT them, lol. Having rationalized away their conscience, the exploiters then use the big proceeds to build thee UGLIEST in-bad-taste McMansions imaginable.

      Janitorial services built on this format are legion in So-Cal. Of course this also plays out in TX and FL, but CAli is king!

      You can impugn Laura’s sources and tea leaves all you want, but data posted right on this blog show that the middle-class IS being “hollowed out” in CA, leading, invevitably, to “Banana Republic-anization”, i.e. a few educated elites at the top, in their huge gated homes, and a plethora of low-skills poor folks begging for crumbs.

      When one upscale neighborhood in town is gated, it’s vanity; when ALL the upscale areas HAVE to be gated, that’s a FAILED SOCIETY.

  • As a college student who has studied economics I find it amazing that even with what I have learned this post opened my eyes to how much I don’t know. With the market down in Arizona, where I live, and the threat of even worse value cuts looming it is shocking to see the continental impact of the current state of the economy, and the plummet in demand all around the country when it comes to putting a roof over your head.

    • Jeff, we’re all blown away with what’s going on. I’ve been reading here about six years now and Doc has found more slime under more rocks than anyone could have imagined. Lot’s of bloggers in the know too. But knowledge is power so at least now some of us realize what we’re up against now. I was born in LA about 60 years ago, but that was a world that doesn’t exist any more. Still I’d love to be young again. The world has always been a tough place, but life’s great and I don’t want to miss a day of it. Just know you’re going to have to earn everything from here on.

  • I think many of the people that bash SoCa never took the time to explore and enjoy the many unique experiences that the area offers. We moved to No Nevada after 20 years of living in Westwood, the flats of BH, and W Hollywood. Didn’t move because we felt the traffic was unbearable or the taxes and rents were too high; it was just a number of things happened to coalesce at one time. Our business lease had expired and had to move to a another location, wanted a place for the kids to roam and ride their bikes, and we wished to own nice house, but not be mortgage slaves.

    At the time, it made sense to move and was about a $50,000 per year savings when considering lower rent for the business, no private school tuition costs for 2 kids, and an extremly nice home in the best school district was about 1/3 the cost. Now that the kids are older, the business is portable, and we have tired of the suburbs and their chain store malls, we are thinking of returning to SoCa or perhaps try something new and live in SF.

    I would like to see RE in West LA come down in price, but I think there are too many people like us that are willing to pay a premium to live in those areas and doubt that there is much more than another 10-15% downside in the better neighborhoods.

  • We Don't Make Those Drinks No More

    Lots of hilarious posts. Lots of painful truths.

    If you are a high income earner, bought a house decades ago or moved back home with parents/live rent free, if you have a Teflon job, if you don’t mind spending most of your income on rent/mortgage with the inability to save for the future, if weather, beaches, and easy access to Trader Joe’s are primary factors in your life, California is your place.

    If you are unemployed/unhappy with current job and looking, and lack very specific, highly desirable skills, the job market in California is poor unless you can survive on PT gigs/contract work. If you worry about poor schools, tired of competing with multiple offers on 500k “contractor’s dream” houses in crumbling neighborhoods, tired of being slave to debt, want to start a family/have another child, want to save for the future, run a business with lower costs, relocation out of California might be a good choice.

    Everything has a price. I can’t imagine wanting to start a family but choosing to never have kids because of California weather. I also can’t imagine living in constant debt without the ability to save. Y’all are going to get old someday; can you continue working until you die to pay for the California lifestyle? Where’s everyone going to live when they are older/unable to work any longer with little or no savings; who’s will pay for the housing/food/healthcare for all the aging surfers and beach babes (many with grandiose entitlement attitudes) who saved nothing for retirement?

  • I’ve only visited northern CA, and fell in love immediately. But, I wouldn’t spend the kind of money it takes to live there. My biggest fear for CA is the fallout from Fukushima, radiation is already starting to show in milk, vegetation, air. A meltdown 100 times worse than Chernobyl will affect CA and the west coast, i don’t care what the “experts” are saying.

    • SHHHHhhhhh…. quiet, the Japanese are our “friends”, doncha know. ;’)

      Also, the Japanese were well prepared for this emergency, and are making all the right remedial moves… :roll: The Lamestream Media is “helping” the Japanese concentrate on the problem, by keeping this ongoing story BURIED. :mad:

      SOME news available here:
      http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/tsunamiupdate01.html

      Got Iodide pills? Cowabunga!

  • Greetings all, I live in No. VA. Hot, bugs, recent earthquake, not near real ocean. Love it, though. Socialism is far away. Best business area, moderate taxes, and a lot of us carry caoncealed weapons so the crime rate is quite low. Very different from CA. I visit CA often, but wouldnot live there. CA lives with high crime and fear, the old NYC attitude: well, you shouldn’t have been out at night…. The solution is simple: stop illegal immigration. Two choices: surrender and become part of Mexico, or think things out – become part of China, just like Hong Kong did. Chinese taxes are lower than US plus CA. Business is better. Most CA’s would give up liberty for money, so the change would b pleasent. H and WLA and BH and even Malibu would be fine. China would cut off all illegal immigrants in a flash. CA is doomed to the Newark, NJ syndrome where it is better for the the PARTY to have a million welfare voters than 5,000 producing workers. The PARTY needs the votes and thus a grwoing uderclass is to their benefit – based on welfare. One day, the BH crowd will find themselves out – land reform. It will be by vote. From each acording to his ability. The rest of the US will not bail CA in the fuure, but China might. So, CA should become part of China. Like Tibet. To me CA is quite beautiful. I like desert. Like the Ocean. SoCal is a wonderful place, but the Calis have committed cultural sebaku and hate themselves for any success as they try to placate the masses into forever-squalor, the other interesting CA creation. Drive down Vermont going south past USC. That’s the real LA. Go over into east LA. Talk to them about beaches. One day they will actually organize and take over the politics of the city and the state. really. They will not be kind. And, they will pull CA out of the US. I can also visit Aruba, HI, Malta, SoAfrica, and Monaco. All lovely in their own physical attractions. Good luck, Calis. Virginia gave you a country, a government, and a philosophy of individuality. Thus, our heat, earthquakes, the bugs, and blizzards are part of the great honor to live where George Washington lived. It doean’t hurt that the most beautiful, independent women in the world live here, too. The Beverly Hilton, dinner at Duke’s, Neptune’s Net and that Chinese place out by Zuma – love it. But only to visit. Same in SF, probably the most beautiful city in the US. But, only to visit. Best regards to all.

  • @Laura boy I had you pegged right. Even on the internet I can peg a racist. Well I am afraid of middle age white women, you would not believe the ones that stalk me at the gym. I am sure they have fantasy of jungle fever. I even had to change my work out time, true story and not a joke.
    I would suggest you go to the Santa Barbara natural history museum, they have an exhibit on race.
    But since you love the south so much, why are you on blog that talks mostly about Southern California.
    So I guess with following your logic, I should be afraid of all white people since they enslaved my ancestors and until recent history especially in the south would terrorize and murder black people?
    Thank GOD you can’t afford to live in my neighborhood.

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