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Escaping California Thread


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#61 touch

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 12:12 PM

View PostJMG_02, on 07 June 2017 - 09:25 AM, said:

As a native Texas, stay away from Houston.  I wouldn't live in that city except under extreme circumstances.  As others have said, the humidity is downright ridiculous.  I'm talking about walking outside in December and your glasses fog up and it feels like you just walked into a bathroom that you wife just used up all the hot water in an hour long shower.

Yes, it gets hot.  Really hot.  

The hill country is pretty popular now (relatively low humidity and great weather just about all year).  San Antonio and west of there.  Austin is great as previously mentioned.

I have heard the anywhere in the greater Houston area,  you go outdoors and can smell a faint petroleum odor due to the refineries.
Anyone?

I agree JMG 02, Houston is one of the most oppressive places for heat and humidity. Like New Orleans.


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#62 bigred90gt

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 01:03 PM

View Posttouch, on 08 June 2017 - 12:12 PM, said:

View PostJMG_02, on 07 June 2017 - 09:25 AM, said:

As a native Texas, stay away from Houston.  I wouldn't live in that city except under extreme circumstances.  As others have said, the humidity is downright ridiculous.  I'm talking about walking outside in December and your glasses fog up and it feels like you just walked into a bathroom that you wife just used up all the hot water in an hour long shower.

Yes, it gets hot.  Really hot.  

The hill country is pretty popular now (relatively low humidity and great weather just about all year).  San Antonio and west of there.  Austin is great as previously mentioned.

I have heard the anywhere in the greater Houston area,  you go outdoors and can smell a faint petroleum odor due to the refineries.
Anyone?

I agree JMG 02, Houston is one of the most oppressive places for heat and humidity. Like New Orleans.

To your question, not really. If you are in Baytown (my hometown and where I still unfortunately live), Pasadena, Deer Park, Laporte, etc (basically east and southeast side of town), yes if you're not from here you will smell it. I've lived here for 35 of my 36 years, and I don't smell it, but that's because I live in it every day. It's not necessarily a petroleum smell, just that refinery smell. Hard to explain unless you've smelled it, but when you do, it's not overly pleasant.

Houston is hot and humid, just like New Orleans, or anywhere along the upper gulf coast (never been to south florida, so I cant compare, but I've been all over the gulf coast from Houston to Panama City, FL). It can be quite oppressive if you are not accustomed to it, but much like the smell and refineries, it is just part of life for me and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. At times, during the summer when the wind blows, it feels like you are standing in front of an iron with the steamer on. The air is hot and damp.

If heat and humidity doesn't bother you though, the Houston area is a great place to be. The cost of living is amongst the most affordable in the nation, and it is easy to make plenty of money to live a very comfortable life. I never finished college, have never set foot in a plant, ad make a great living for this area. If you are willing to work in a plant, you can make 6 figures working 6 months out of the year (most do 4 on/4 off rotating between days and nights). If you can make $100,000 in the Houston area, it would take probably $400,000-$500,000 in Cali to live a comparable lifestyle (I spent a lot of time in Orange county, and almost moved there, so I do have an idea). To give you an idea, I had a 1400 sq/ft house on 1/2 acre that I paid $135k for. A comparable home in Orange County (house size anyway, 1/2 acre lots are few and far between unless you are in the hills in a multi million dollar mansion) would cost you $700k-$800k. I looked at a 400 sq/ft studio condo in HB and it was $495k.

Most people that retire from the refineries around here do so very wealthy, as most of them have stock options and pension plans. Half of my family works for, or retired from Exxon (which is in Baytown), and they are all more than comfortable.

And there is a bit of an exaggeration in JMG_02's post. There have been plenty of times we have "shorts weather" in December, but it's typically not THAT hot then. usually, December is anywhere from 30-70 degrees. With the oppressive heat and humidity, also comes humid winters though. So, while 30 degrees in Colorado or Minnesota, or some other state that does not know the definition of humidity is comfortable, here it will make you miserable. The cold damp air is brutal. Add any kind of breeze to that, and it is downright miserable. It cuts through anything and everything you wear. It feels colder here at 30 degrees than it was when I lived in New Jersey and it was single digit temps and snowing.

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#63 touch

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 10:02 PM

Bigred
Thanks for answering my question.
I liked reading your informative take on Houston as well.

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#64 JMG_02

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 09:45 AM

I guess it was a bit of an exaggeration if anyone took my post to mean that it was like that always during December, which of course isn't true.  But, it DOES happen in December.  That virtually never happens in North Texas (muggy, humid/warm day in December) and the last time that happened was December 26th, 2015 when we had a F4 tornado wreck Rowlett.

But my mom and her whole side of the family is from Houston and I've spent many Thanksgivings and Christmas holidays down there, and I stand by my earlier statement that I wouldn't live down there.  :)

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#65 bigred90gt

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 11:49 AM

View PostJMG_02, on 09 June 2017 - 09:45 AM, said:


But my mom and her whole side of the family is from Houston and I've spent many Thanksgivings and Christmas holidays down there, and I stand by my earlier statement that I wouldn't live down there.  :)

I've spoken to plenty of people who said the same thing, especially those out in Cali. My only response is "good, we have enough traffic as it is", lol.


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#66 thug the bunny

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 04:23 PM

Interesting that no one mentioned the NE corridor - DC, Philly, NY, and Boston. Back when I was young people flocked there from everywhere.
So there is really only here and now

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#67 seasuks

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 04:23 PM

I was in the Navy for 22 years.  Lived in Orlando, Charleston, Kings Bay, GA (north of Jax), Columbia, SC, Norfolk, Charleston, Norfolk, Columbia, and finally San Diego.  I got here in 2008 and stayed after I retired in 2014 due to the wife's job.

The only thing I like about SD is the weather and the fact that I can wear flip flops just about anywhere and no one bats an eye at me.  My wife grew up in between Seattle and Vancouver, went to SC, and has been in California ever since (LA, Bay Area, and here) and said she never wanted to leave, which was...depressing.

However she's started looking for new career challenges and asked me where I'd be open to moving.  I spend a ton of time in Denver for work, but she doesn't want snow, so that's out.  That left us looking at Austin, San Antonio, and Charleston (because those are where the companies she's interviewed with so far are).  

The problem with Austin is it's becoming the San Francisco of the heartland very quickly.  Bunch of young, new money is flowing in and prices for condos downtown are on par with, or higher than, San Diego with no view of the ocean.  

Can still get some really nice houses cheaper than San Diego in the burbs, but I've also heard about the traffic and while that doesn't concern me because I work out of the house when not traveling, it does concern my wife.  We've been to Austin and I really liked the city...feels a lot like San Diego since it's also a college town, so it has that laid back vibe I really enjoy.  I don't care about people's politics, just how they treat me, so Austin with no state taxes, affordable housing (for now), and decent weather is an option for us...for now.  If we moved there, I'd want something close to one of the lakes, for sure.

Charleston was a surprise to me when she said she had interviews with companies there, but I'd go back in a heartbeat.  People are friendly, USC means South Carolina (I went there for undergrad and grad school) state taxes are 5% lower, $300 flat tax on car purchases (vice 8.5% here in CA), no traffic unless you're evacuating from a hurricane, and a great food scene downtown.  Tons of good, not necessarily great, public golf, but if we end up in Chucktown I'm making it a stipulation of moving that I get to join a private club just for the convenience and because I want to know I'll always be able to get an early tee time when it's hot in the summer.  Daniel Island (where I want to live) has some great schools as well as other parts of town.  Great beaches and the water actually gets warm in the summer, unlike the Pacific.  Charleston is also 30% cheaper cost of living compared to San Diego on the online calculators.

Wife and son have spent the last two spring breaks in San Antonio, TX and have absolutely loved it.  Ridiculously cheap housing, what appears to be good golf, and no state taxes, which is a 13% instant pay "raise."  Property taxes are only 1% more than what we pay here in the Point Loma area of San Diego, so we'd definitely come out ahead.  Looks like there's some really good school districts as well.  San Antonio is 40% cheaper cost of living on the calculators.

For comparison, my wife and I have a 2100 sf house that has a view of the ocean since we cut down the two big trees blocking it as soon as we moved in.  We paid $815K in 2013 which pissed me off to no end since I grew up in Ft. Wayne, IN and there isn't a house in the entire city that costs that much.  Estimates are that if we sold it now, without really putting any cash into it other than painting it, it'll be around $1.1M which while awesome for my pocket is also absurdly ridiculous.  I have been looking at houses online and Austin and Charleston are about the same...around $500K for 4/4 with 3500sf in a good area.  San Antonio was about $350-400K, so significantly cheaper.

If I had my druthers though, I'd move to Columbia, SC.  Great, small town with a ton of stuff to do for a city that size and great food.  2 hours from the ocean and two hours from the mountains if you want to go skiing.  Private golf courses there are ridiculously cheap (< $2000 initiation and 400/mo) for something that's always in phenomenal shape.  Lake Murray on the north side of town is a fishing and boating paradise as well.  Only time you have to worry about traffic is when there's a home football game at Williams-Brice.

The only upside to living in SoCal, other than the weather, is that you can save more into your 401k if your employer matches before retirement since salaries are significantly higher for the same job than they are in the midwest and southeast.  Once you have enough saved up to move and be comfortable though, you should get out as soon as possible, IMO.

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#68 ohioglfr

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 08:13 PM

View Postthug the bunny, on 09 June 2017 - 04:23 PM, said:

Interesting that no one mentioned the NE corridor - DC, Philly, NY, and Boston. Back when I was young people flocked there from everywhere.
Go there if you love toll roads.

They're everywhere.

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#69 ws6

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 08:40 PM

I have lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles, both were good experiences.  I prefer southern California slightly.  

I'm from North Carolina, but I've been gone from the south for 20 years, and I have lived all over.  My wife is from Colorado, so we are really different in where we want to live.  I always wanted to end up in the panhandle of Florida, and she wanted to go Durango, Colorado.  Oregon has been a surprising compromise for both of us and we're staying for good.  

I really like Oregon, even though the politics are in the left ditch, the state has great people who are nice. It isn't cheap here, but the quality of life is very good.

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#70 PZero

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 04:40 PM

View PostBeerPerHole, on 06 June 2017 - 02:13 PM, said:

Well, I plan to assimilate wherever I end up. That's what my friends who left have done, too. California is in real trouble. But I won't get into politics...

Unfortunately, many that are fleeing the problems they helped create aren't learning their lesson and repeating the same mistakes in their new location.

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#71 JasonFL

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 06:00 PM

View Postthug the bunny, on 22 May 2017 - 10:55 PM, said:

It's funny how you call it 'escaping'. Hotel California is a weird place. I moved to the bay area from Jersey, and 5 yrs later I escaped back to Jersey. I'm not saying that Jersey is a paradise, but..

I would check out Austin, Nashville, or Ashville NC.

Those three are my top three.  Nashville being first.
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#72 Munich77

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 07:16 PM

View Postohioglfr, on 10 June 2017 - 08:13 PM, said:

View Postthug the bunny, on 09 June 2017 - 04:23 PM, said:

Interesting that no one mentioned the NE corridor - DC, Philly, NY, and Boston. Back when I was young people flocked there from everywhere.
Go there if you love toll roads.

They're everywhere.

And insane property prices!  And humidity in the summer

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#73 thug the bunny

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 10:02 PM

View PostMunich77, on 11 June 2017 - 07:16 PM, said:

View Postohioglfr, on 10 June 2017 - 08:13 PM, said:

View Postthug the bunny, on 09 June 2017 - 04:23 PM, said:

Interesting that no one mentioned the NE corridor - DC, Philly, NY, and Boston. Back when I was young people flocked there from everywhere.
Go there if you love toll roads.

They're everywhere.

And insane property prices!  And humidity in the summer

All true. But, someone once said 'there's no place like home'.

The NJ Turnpike Authority is a corrupt organization. They are trying to force everyone to adopt the EZ Pass system where they charge you a variable rate. Recently I got 2 tickets when I dumped the change into the basket, and didn't get the 'paid' sign so I drove off. In 40 yrs of driving the garden state parkway, I never got one. Now suddenly I get 2 in 3 months. Something very fishy going on here. Needless to say, I will not pay the fines. I would rather pay a lawyer $500 than give that POS organization the $150 in fines.

Edited by thug the bunny, 11 June 2017 - 10:03 PM.

So there is really only here and now

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#74 OsnolaKinnard

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:58 PM

Texas is full.
LAWS of golf + Whippy Tempomaster = CRUSHING IT

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#75 OsnolaKinnard

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 07:10 PM

In all seriousness...Portland, TX is about to boom financially.

Exxon Movile is building a huge polyethylene plant there...something like $50B in total construction.

I live on north padre about 30 minutes from Portland.

Fishing and hunting are awesome...Golf is good.  Weather is hot and windy...winters are mild.

There is no cheaper place for coastal living in the CONUS.

I am in a 2450 square foot house less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico....houses in my little town like that are low to mid 300s.

Canal lots are about 50 - 60%  more.  

Insurance is a biotch because of hurricanes.

I freaking love it there...I ran 40 miles down Padre Osland national seashore on saturday and fished and played 18 sunday afternoon aftwr church.

And it's Texas.

Edit to add:  As a University of Houston Alum...Houston sucks.  Would not live there for twoce what i make now.

Edited by OsnolaKinnard, 12 June 2017 - 07:16 PM.

LAWS of golf + Whippy Tempomaster = CRUSHING IT

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#76 thug the bunny

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 08:18 PM

View PostOsnolaKinnard, on 12 June 2017 - 07:10 PM, said:

In all seriousness...Portland, TX is about to boom financially.

Exxon Movile is building a huge polyethylene plant there...something like $50B in total construction.

I live on north padre about 30 minutes from Portland.

Fishing and hunting are awesome...Golf is good.  Weather is hot and windy...winters are mild.

There is no cheaper place for coastal living in the CONUS.

I am in a 2450 square foot house less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico....houses in my little town like that are low to mid 300s.

Canal lots are about 50 - 60%  more.  

Insurance is a biotch because of hurricanes.

I freaking love it there...I ran 40 miles down Padre Osland national seashore on saturday and fished and played 18 sunday afternoon aftwr church.

And it's Texas.

Edit to add:  As a University of Houston Alum...Houston sucks.  Would not live there for twoce what i make now.

I want to know who first came to what is now Houston and said, 'Yeah, I want to settle down here'...
So there is really only here and now

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#77 OsnolaKinnard

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:35 PM

My wife is from Katy...can'tstand going back.  Feels very plastic and fake...like all the women's boobs over there.


LAWS of golf + Whippy Tempomaster = CRUSHING IT

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#78 BeerPerHole

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:21 PM

View PostOsnolaKinnard, on 12 June 2017 - 07:10 PM, said:

In all seriousness...Portland, TX is about to boom financially.

Exxon Movile is building a huge polyethylene plant there...something like $50B in total construction.

I live on north padre about 30 minutes from Portland.

Fishing and hunting are awesome...Golf is good.  Weather is hot and windy...winters are mild.

There is no cheaper place for coastal living in the CONUS.

I am in a 2450 square foot house less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico....houses in my little town like that are low to mid 300s.

Canal lots are about 50 - 60%  more.  

Insurance is a biotch because of hurricanes.

I freaking love it there...I ran 40 miles down Padre Osland national seashore on saturday and fished and played 18 sunday afternoon aftwr church.

And it's Texas.

Edit to add:  As a University of Houston Alum...Houston sucks.  Would not live there for twoce what i make now.
Thanks for that "inside baseball". On paper, the place looks like what I'm looking for, although wind is a constant. Fortunately, I have some good engineering experience in wind power (which would suit me well in my semi-retirement). I love the tales I've heard on the fishing there. And, hell, I'd be happy as a lark windsurfing on the bay all day with a belt of beers around my waist.

Everybody, thanks for the info and pontification. Just today, for giggles I was checking the real estate prices where my brother and dad live in Reno and Carson City. Frankly, the real estate there is rapidly climbing in price as the Californians escape like rats leaving a sinking ship.

Without getting political - I am saddened by what's happening to California. In my youth, we (like any working-class family) could live near the beach. The schools were good. There was lots of industry here (my dad made a fortune in the aerospace business - now gone). This was an amazing place. Now, the natural beauty is the only draw for most. Somebody here mentioned San Diego. I love SD but, frankly, I'd have to win the Lotto to afford what I'd want there. I'll be down there doing a presentation next month and, hopefully, down there for a tuna fishing trip soon. Love the place. I still have some family there and I tease them for not owning any cold-weather gear. Everybody in SD is smiling all the time and the women are incredible.

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#79 WKent

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 08:24 AM

View Postthug the bunny, on 09 June 2017 - 04:23 PM, said:

Interesting that no one mentioned the NE corridor - DC, Philly, NY, and Boston. Back when I was young people flocked there from everywhere.

Are you crazy?

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#80 thug the bunny

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 10:23 AM

View PostWKent, on 17 June 2017 - 08:24 AM, said:

View Postthug the bunny, on 09 June 2017 - 04:23 PM, said:

Interesting that no one mentioned the NE corridor - DC, Philly, NY, and Boston. Back when I was young people flocked there from everywhere.

Are you crazy?

Hey it's paradise on Earth! (tongue firmly in cheek) Actually, when I came back from my California mistake, I 'discovered' that S Jersey is actually pretty wonderful because you have great recreation and it's uncrowded (except for summer weekends), but it's close enough to the great NE cities if you want to partake.

So there is really only here and now

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#81 LouieLouie

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:01 PM

View Postthug the bunny, on 12 June 2017 - 08:18 PM, said:

View PostOsnolaKinnard, on 12 June 2017 - 07:10 PM, said:

In all seriousness...Portland, TX is about to boom financially.

Exxon Movile is building a huge polyethylene plant there...something like $50B in total construction.

I live on north padre about 30 minutes from Portland.

Fishing and hunting are awesome...Golf is good.  Weather is hot and windy...winters are mild.

There is no cheaper place for coastal living in the CONUS.

I am in a 2450 square foot house less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico....houses in my little town like that are low to mid 300s.

Canal lots are about 50 - 60%  more.  

Insurance is a biotch because of hurricanes.

I freaking love it there...I ran 40 miles down Padre Osland national seashore on saturday and fished and played 18 sunday afternoon aftwr church.

And it's Texas.

Edit to add:  As a University of Houston Alum...Houston sucks.  Would not live there for twoce what i make now.

I want to know who first came to what is now Houston and said, 'Yeah, I want to settle down here'...
Not to throw this topic too far off subject but...
LOL I think that about a lot of things, especially about some of the ingredients in food.
It is a fact that vanilla flavoring is actually made from the juices that come out of a beaver's rearend. Who is the first person that said, "Yep! I'll try that! Tastes like vanilla!" LOL
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#82 thug the bunny

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 08:38 PM

I always wondered that about mayonnaise. Let's see, I think i'll mix raw egg and oil together, yummy!
So there is really only here and now

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