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Old 07-05-2014, 11:33 AM   #21
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We have lived in south Orange County for 25 years. Have just sold our home to downsize and are renting inland of the 5 just south of Mission Viejo in Ladera Ranch. We are facing the same decisions regarding a home purchase being discussed throughout this thread. We truly are not sure what we want next. Will give it some time and wait for a down market to buy again.

We have seen South OC grow so much, perhaps too much. The access to great dining and beautiful coastline is still much appreciated but is almost counterbalanced by the obnoxious congestion and low value for dollar. Anything ocean close or with more than a hint of ocean view is very expensive. A little inland looks great for 7 months a year. In summer most of the areas I might look at east of the 5 get pretty hot. Not at all unusual for the coast to be 20 degrees or more cooler than 5 miles inland much of the summer.
Don't get me wrong, all of the areas I am talking about are very acceptable to us. We will give the entire left coast a look. Just have to decide about the trade-offs, explore more areas and feel more sure that we are making a good decision before the next purchase. Also with $$ in the bank we hope to buy in a down market all cash.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:36 AM   #22
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If there's a downmarket for coastal properties, your portfolio would also likely be hit significantly.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:58 AM   #23
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Very true explanade so the equity from our recently sold home will be invested very conservatively while we wait for the right time and place to purchase. Right now it is in a couple of different banks doing nothing. At Chase the "savings" account tops out at .1% interest. Guess thats -2.5% if you count inflation. Will have to start research for a truly safe and liquid investment to park that equity. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:11 PM   #24
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Stocks and bonds?

Stocks and real estate both peaked around 2007 and they both busted.

Stocks came back faster. Lot of homes are still underwater.

Some real estate markets have risen a lot but that could be due in part to stocks going up. Certainly in parts of the Bay Area, tech IPOs (as well as tech stocks in general going up) have fueled some real estate appreciation.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:11 PM   #25
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Some have mentioned about the difference between the coast and a few miles inland. It is something to consider. Along the coast we get the June Gloom along the sometimes lasting into July, while 5 miles inland it will be sunny. I have lived both a few minutes walk to the beach and 6 miles inland in the coastal SD County communities and there is quite a difference. For me now I actually prefer being 5 or 6 miles inland, you still get a nice sea breeze, but a lot less coastal clouds and fog and more sunny days. Both areas are great, it really depends on what you like. Just something to think about.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:23 PM   #26
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The distance inland that ocean effects extend varies a lot up and down the coast. From just south of Newport beach and into Camp Pendleton the ocean effect disappears within 5 miles or so. Further north up into much of the LA basin the ocean influence extends further inland. Same for much of San Diego County.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:32 PM   #27
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We will give the entire left coast a look. Just have to decide about the trade-offs, explore more areas and feel more sure that we are making a good decision before the next purchase. Also with $$ in the bank we hope to buy in a down market all cash.
Those are all good points. I have run the numbers and I think it is cheaper for us to buy than rent over a 5 year or so period. Prices would have to drop quite a bit on a 2 - 3 bedroom condo to come out behind after ~5 years with buying, though certainly with buying we would take that risk that it could happen.

We would sell here and then buy a condo with cash or a small mortgage, but we probably won't wait for a general real estate price drop in California to rebuy. We'll just limit our potential downside losses by downsizing and moving to a lower $ per sq foot area within CA than where we are now.

Down markets can be between time periods or between locations, so our down market will be taking advantage of the price differential in housing before the next inevitable tech stock / job bust occurs up here. At least we can do that if we can decide where we want to live.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:39 PM   #28
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What kind of per square foot numbers are you talking about?

Going from how much in the Bay Area to how much down there?
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:53 PM   #29
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Some have mentioned about the difference between the coast and a few miles inland. It is something to consider. Along the coast we get the June Gloom along the sometimes lasting into July, while 5 miles inland it will be sunny. I have lived both a few minutes walk to the beach and 6 miles inland in the coastal SD County communities and there is quite a difference. For me now I actually prefer being 5 or 6 miles inland, you still get a nice sea breeze, but a lot less coastal clouds and fog and more sunny days. Both areas are great, it really depends on what you like. Just something to think about.
That is all good food for thought.

We have been looking online at condos inland on lakes, so for day to day we could walk around the lakes and have water views and sunny weather, and still be within a not too long driving distance to the beach.
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Old 07-05-2014, 01:03 PM   #30
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What kind of per square foot numbers are you talking about?

Going from how much in the Bay Area to how much down there?
If you look on Redfin they calculate the price per square foot for housing by house, zip, city or whatever. Sure you can buy condos for the same price here as there but here they are usually older / higher crime / not as good a school districts / not near the coast compared to there.

For a comparable city, I think we would pay maybe ~$150 less per sq foot.
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:18 PM   #31
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Just looking around Zillow, prices seem all over the map, from under $300 on up. But they tend to be older properties, with some remodeling. There are condo/townhouses under 1500 sq. ft. going for $700-800k and even higher if overlooking the ocean.

Meanwhile Zillow shows properties around where I live in the $500-600 range.
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:30 PM   #32
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We have friends that live in La Jolla but east just before the train tracks. Beautiful area. In a gated community. Single family 3BR not fancy. They have a reasonable yard. But they have heaters and fireplaces everywhere.

Another friend lives in Dana Point. Both areas tend to be too cold for us. We liked Poway only because, at 10 miles from the ocean, it was outside the gray in May and the gloom in June. Fog would roll in around 4pm and then lift again at 10:30am so it was bearable. And just 15 minutes to the beach in La Jolla. We also found it very handy to the Padres games. About 25 minutes drive after the game.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:22 PM   #33
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Just looking around Zillow, prices seem all over the map, from under $300 on up. But they tend to be older properties, with some remodeling. There are condo/townhouses under 1500 sq. ft. going for $700-800k and even higher if overlooking the ocean.

Meanwhile Zillow shows properties around where I live in the $500-600 range.
You have to run your own numbers to see what makes sense for you to do. I don't think you have a 1500 sq ft condo in the Bay Area overlooking the ocean now for $500K so you have to compare apples to apples. Or if you do, let me know where it is and I'll move in next door.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:25 PM   #34
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Central Coast and San Luis Obispo are affordable and beautiful.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:18 PM   #35
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What is the deal with property taxes?

If you bought almost 20 years ago so your assessments have been way below market value, if you buy a property at market value now, would your assessments be based on the purchase price of the home now
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:50 PM   #36
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:00 PM   #37
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What is the deal with property taxes?

If you bought almost 20 years ago so your assessments have been way below market value, if you buy a property at market value now, would your assessments be based on the purchase price of the home now
Homeowners 55 and older may be able to transfer property taxes to downsize -

Orange County, California - Savings for Seniors on Replacement Home
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:23 PM   #38
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I honestly don't think there are is anyplace like La Jolla, hence the prices.

My mom treated my two sisters to a long Spa weekend in La Jolla last year. After returning, my sister who also lives in Hawaii and has sailed the South Pacific and spent a year living in Tahiti, said that La Jolla was still a gorgeous place.
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:39 PM   #39
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Have you looked at Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Fallbrook? I used to live in Laguna Niguel and was looking to retire there, I found plenty of properties there that are much more affordable then the Bay area.
For example, I found this one sold in April for close to $500K for 3 bedroom. Beacon Hill is closer to the beach, within walking distance. The area is slightly older but this house looks gorgeous inside.
http://www.redfin.com/CA/Laguna-Nigu...2/home/5389448
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:58 PM   #40
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Have you looked at Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Fallbrook? I used to live in Laguna Niguel and was looking to retire there, I found plenty of properties there that are much more affordable then the Bay area.
Those are all on our list of places to check out. There does seem to be much more of a selection in our price range in the places you listed from looking online, so I am excited to check them out. We will take a driving trip to see open houses and scope out the area after we have a few house projects done here.

We went for a walk through the Redwoods today. It is lovely here so we are kind of torn.

Anyway, first world problems. Whether Bay Area or Southern California, I don't think either choice will be a bad retirement location for us. They both have their charms.

Thanks for all the input to everyone who contributed to this thread so far.
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