Best Affordable Cities in California

Rob Dawg’s neighborhood!  Hat tip to Eddie89 for sending this in:

Surf, sun and year-round moderate temperatures can sometimes come at a cost.

With a reputation as one of the most expensive states in the U.S., California (thankfully) still has some economically sound places to reside – if you know where to look.

Just to be clear: We didn’t just create this list based solely on the cheapest places to live. The cost of living was part of our methodology, but so was the quality of life, as well as the key components of transportation, housing, food and utilities.

Here are the 5 most affordable cities in California:

  • Oxnard
  • Ventura
  • Simi Valley
  • Vacaville
  • Camarillo

1. Oxnard

About an hour north of Los Angeles, Oxnard offers beachfront living at an affordable price.

The median household income here is $62,349 with median home value settling at $332,600, which is actually a great deal for California real estate.

Golf, winery visits and strolls on Mandalay Beach are all part of living in Oxnard.

With fertile agricultural land surrounding the city, many crops grow in the region. But Oxnard is most famous for its strawberries, with the popular California Strawberry Festival held here each year.

The city has the nickname of the “Gateway to the Channel Islands,” a nearby national park and marine sanctuary.

Link to Full Article

Net Migration Turning Negative

Hat tip to CB Mark for sending in another article on people leaving California – I added the U.S. Census stats for San Diego County at the bottom:

People have long dreamed of moving to California, but increasingly the people in the state are looking to get out.

According to recently released data from the US Census, about 38,000 more people left California than entered it in 2018. This is the second straight year that migration to the state was negative, and it’s a trend that is speeding up. Every year since 2014, net migration has fallen.

California’s population did still increase in 2018 by almost 160,000 people, largely due to the 480,000 people born in the state. But while migration out of the state has accelerated over the past few years, the number of annual births has been steady. The trend suggests in the next decade California’s population will begin to decline.

Besides births, the main reason California’s population hasn’t already started falling has been international migration into the state. Every year since 2011, net domestic migration has been negative—i.e., more people leave California than move in from other states. But from 2011 to 2016, the number of international migrants moving into California was larger than the number of locals who were moving out.

Since then, however, domestic departures have outstripped international arrivals.  In 2018, 156,000 locals left the state, compared to 118,000 international who came.

Link to full article:

https://qz.com/1599150/californias-population-could-start-shrinking-very-soon/

The exodus from San Diego County is picking up steam.  Where the cumulative total of domestic migration over the last eight years was only 46,596 (avg. 5,825 per year), we had 10,835 leave in the most recent 12 month segment – and the international arrivals have slowed considerably too:

125 Best Places to Live in the USA

Are you thinking of moving?

According to the U.S. News & World Report, there are 35 towns in America that are better than San Diego!  And 33 of them are cheaper!

Austin, Texas is #1, with Denver, Colorado Springs, Des Moines, Portland, Seattle, and Raleigh/Durham all in the Top Ten.

Check out the full list here:

https://realestate.usnews.com/places/rankings/best-places-to-live

Buy A Town

Looking for a quaint little place to move?

In Indiana, the town of Story — with a population of three people — is on the market for $3.8 million.

For that price, you get 17.4 acres with a historic general store, fenced horse pastures, an old grain mill, several barns, rental cabins and outbuildings that include two 19th-century outhouses.

And as of 2018, only three people — plus four dogs and a resident ghost — lived in the town, located about an hour south of Indianapolis. The only employer is a bed-and-breakfast called the Story Inn.

The B&B’s owner, 62-year-old lawyer Rick Hofstetter, also owns the town. He plans to keep the hotel — which, as the state’s oldest country inn, attracts visitors — but wants to relinquish the responsibility of managing the rest of the properties.

“The town’s fortunes should be decoupled from our hospitality operations,” he told the Herald-Times. “Macy’s doesn’t own the mall.”

The lucky buyer will get what Hofstetter calls “an entire historic town nestled in the hills of southern Indiana” that dates back to 1851, per the listing.

“This is not a reconstruction of an authentic little town,” Hofstetter told WANE-TV in Fort Wayne. “This is an authentic little town.”

Link to Article

Best Cities To Live

Carlsbad was named as one of the best cities to live in America for 2019, according to rankings released by Niche, that ranked the city as No. 21.

The “Best Places to Live” rankings include cities, city neighborhoods and suburbs. Niche defines a “place” as a “non-rural town” with a population of 1,000 or more, including neighborhoods, suburbs and cities. Niche also separately ranked the best cities, neighborhoods and suburbs in which to live.

Carlsbad received an overall Niche grade of A+, with the following Niche scores by category:

  • Public Schools: A+
  • Crime & Safety: B
  • Housing: C
  • Nightlife: A-
  • Good for Families: A+
  • Diversity: A-

Carlsbad also ranked as No. 7 for Cities with the Best Public Schools in America, No. 11 for Best Cities to Retire and No.13 for Healthiest Cities in America.

The top 10 Best Suburbs to Live in California are:

  1. Berkeley
  2. Santa Monica
  3. Albany
  4. Mountain View
  5. Manhattan Beach
  6. Palo Alto
  7. Solana Beach
  8. Irvine
  9. Los Altos Hills
  10. Hermosa Beach

The top 10 best places to live in America are:

  1. Bluemont, neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia
  2. Carmel, Indiana
  3. Overlake, neighborhood in Redmond, Washington
  4. College Terrace, neighborhood in Palo Alto, California
  5. Davis Island, neighborhood in Tampa, Florida
  6. Rose Isle, neighborhood in Orlando, Florida
  7. Colonial Village, neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia
  8. Okemos, Michigan
  9. Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania
  10. Radnor/Fort Myer Heights, neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia

Niche released its “Best Places to Live” rankings on Monday. The publication says its goal is to “provide accurate, comparable and thorough evaluations of places.” Using data from government and private sources, Niche grades the places evaluated for the rankings on factors like public schools, crime and safety and housing.

Link to Patch

Money Walks

This website charts migration according to the IRS reports, based on incomes:

https://www.howmoneywalks.com/irs-tax-migration/

Folks from wealthier counties love to come here because the real estate prices look so attractive. We’re getting more affluent!

Twice as much money leaving San Diego is going just over the county line to Temecula, etc. than the other four counties combined.

Not surprising to hear that Las Vegas, Phoenix, Prescott, and Austin are the top out-of-state destinations!

Move to Mexico?

Here’s a look at a remote community high in the hills of Mexico – where a realtor says you can get a nice house for $200,000. Medical, prescriptions, and assisted-living all run about one-third of the cost in the U.S. Hat tip daytrip:

Correspondent Mike Kirsch recently traveled to one of the country’s most eclectic melting pots of foreign citizens along the shores of Lake Chapala, south of Guadalajara, to explore a unique expat community.

Quitting California

From the latimes.com:

A report from the state Legislative Analyst’s Office earlier this year confirmed the obvious: People are leaving California. Between 2007 and 2016, we lost 6 million residents to domestic migration. Our population still grew overall, gracias to out-of-staters moving in and our ever-impressive (though declining) birthrate. But the fact remains that many people don’t think staying in California is worth the hassle anymore.

The drop was “low in historical terms,” according to the LAO, but the political right pounced on the findings as proof of the decline of Taxifornia. Conservative pundits and politicians have claimed for years that state policies push our best and brightest to move away; indeed, they hail those who leave as new pioneers who deserve applause for taking their dreams and tax dollars elsewhere.

Those eggheads, however, never seem to check in with the folks on the receiving end of the California exodus. I do, and I bring a message from them. If you’re thinking of decamping, please don’t.

This summer, I drove on what has become an increasingly popular corridor for California’s quitters: I-15 to I-70. It runs through Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado — four of the seven most popular states for expat Golden Staters. Nearly half a million of them relocated to these four states in the past decade, according to the LAO. All along the way I saw the chaos that ex-Californians have wrought.

I sped through Las Vegas, where housing subdivisions now stretch out to the hills and canyons in all directions. A third of the driver’s licenses surrendered at Sin City’s DMV come from California. Henderson nowadays is basically Mission Viejo with worse heat but slightly less snobbery.

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