Mixed Feelings About Californians

The Twitter squall below is linked to the tweets. Susie, what is it really like?

This city sure knows how to roll up the welcome mat — that is, if you happen to move here from California.

Just consider last week’s mayoral election. It was the most competitive race in recent memory, a referendum on growth in the rapidly expanding capital of Idaho. And candidate Wayne Richey ran on a very simple platform: Stop the California invasion.

His basic plan to fulfill that campaign promise? “Trash the place.”

Richey figured that would be the best way to keep deep-pocketed Golden Staters from moving to his leafy hometown. He blames them for pushing home prices and rents up so high that Boiseans can’t afford to live here on the meager wages most Idaho jobs pay.

At a candidate forum in late October, he had a terse answer for the question: “If you were king or queen for the day, what one thing would you do to improve Boise?”

“A $26-billion wall,” he said, laughing, drawing out each word for maximum emphasis. As in build one. Around Idaho.

California bashing is a cyclical sport with a long history in the heart of Idaho’s Treasure Valley. Growth spurts have more than doubled Boise’s population since the 1980 census. Four months before federal counters hit the streets here that year, a Washington Post headline crowed, “To Most Idahoans, A Plague of Locusts Is Californians.”

In this current wave, California concerns have made their way into a heated mayor’s race. They have taken up residence on Nextdoor social networks.

And they erupted into a recent tweet storm that swirled around two beloved institutions, Boise State University and football. The electronic uproar caused residents all the way up to Mayor David Bieter to defend their city’s welcoming nature and insist that they like Californians, really they do, despite evidence to the contrary.

The Twitter squall started in late September, when former Boise State University football player Tyler Rausa went out to his car one day. There he found a professionally printed card, white with an elegant charcoal gray and gold border. It had a nicely centered, two-line message in all capital letters.



He posted it online with a very short response: “Hmmmm didn’t think I’d ever find this on my car in Boise. #ThankYou.”

Rausa was a talented kicker for the Broncos in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He scored 219 points for the team then. He is now an NFL free agent. He still lives in Boise. But he kept his California license plates.

The response to his tweet was swift, voluminous and mostly open-hearted. “I hope they are ashamed of themselves,” wrote @NitroJen. “Idaho: The PNW’s Mississippi,” posted @AbsoluteKit, referring to the Pacific Northwest. “Screw them!” @someone tweeted. “You are more than welcome here!”

Then Bieter chimed in. “@T_Rausa, I hope you take all of the positive comments you received here as the real spirit of Boise and #BoiseKind,” the mayor wrote. “We are glad you are here and part of our great community.”

One bit of advice Rausa got during the online fracas was that he should change those California plates — and fast. That’s been a longtime refrain from friendly Boiseans to their newest neighbors.

The Rev. Bill Roscoe, chief executive of the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, heard it from his Realtor when he moved to Boise from Redding in 2002. He keeps a sign on his desk that says, “I am not from Idaho but I got here as fast as I could.”

“If you come here and love it, everything’s fine,” Roscoe said. “If you come here and fly that California flag in your driveway and have stickers on your car that say, ‘Santa Cruz,’ there’s going to be some hard feelings.”

Link to LAT article

Leaving California

Here’s a less-hysterical article about people leaving California – it seems about 28% have been wanting to leave for years, and only 13% have done it. An excerpt:

Berkeley pollsters found 24% of voters had given serious consideration to moving out of California with another 28% giving “some consideration” to such a relocation.

The state’s high cost of living and its political divide were clearly on display in this survey.

Let’s remember, it’s easy to say you’ll leave, especially to a pollster. It’s another thing to pick up and go.

And “I’m moving” talk is up nationally, by one yardstick. Gallup pollsters found 16% of Americans in 2017 and 2018 said they’d permanently leave the U.S. — if they could — up from 10% to 11% seen in the previous two decades.

So how does California crankiness grade on a national scale? Sadly, there’s not a lot of comparable data.

Let’s not forget that on a national scale, the state has a young population. Young people move more frequently, but they are also the future.

Consider a 2015 national poll by Gallup that found 28% of California adults surveyed agreed to the statement “they would like to leave their state if they had the opportunity.”

But that level of unease was mid-range discontent on the countrywide scale: California tied with five states while 21 others had lower shares of residents pondering an out-of-state relocation.

Historically, a small slice of Californians move out of the state compared with the rest of the nation.

Census stats show 4.8 million Californians moving to other states from 2010 to 2017. Yes, that’s 13% of the state’s population in eight years — but it’s also the lowest share (yes, LOWEST!) of exits of any state and nearly half the nation’s 18% rate of state-to-state movers.

Plus, the five big metro areas with the largest increases in length of homeownership between 2019 and 2009 were from California: Ventura County, San Jose, Los Angeles-Orange County, Inland Empire and San Francisco.

Other views

Californians still give their state a high grade. The Berkeley study also replicated a long-running Field Poll question about Californians’ view on the state’s quality of life.

Pollsters found 50% of Californians thinking the state was “one of the best places to live” tying 2007 with the highest score since 2000.

And California looks dreamy to many Americans.

US News & World Report’s annual “best places” rankings include a survey of dream locations to live. Five California locations made the Top 25 this year: Salinas (No. 24), Santa Barbara (16), Los Angeles (11), San Diego (5), and San Francisco, in a four-way tie for No. 1.

Link to Article


Hat tip to CB Mark for sending in this article on Boise, and the California exodus:

An excerpt:

Idaho’s capital—from the city of Boise itself to the surrounding towns that have shifted from farmers’ fields to subdivisions over the past few years—is in the midst of a building boom. While Boise’s economy has been attracting new residents, much of the boom is fueled by migration from others trying to escape expensive coastal cities out west. Even so, the specifics of these moves don’t map exactly onto the stories we tell about who is leaving the coasts and how they’re changing noncoastal cities.

It’s instructive to look past the construction and zero-in on the type of housing being built to get a better sense of what is driving this growth, according to Phil Mount, Boise’s regional realtors president. A lot of the new construction he’s seeing around towns like Eagle and East Boise could best be described as nice single-level homes—with a few added touches, including low-threshold doors that are easier for owners who are disabled, spacious hallways, wide showers, and maintenance-free features. These are easy-to-live-in homes in neighborhoods with clubhouses and walkable access to stores. They are perfect places for older, wealthier retirees to spend their golden years.

“I just had a client, a 70-year-old widow from Northern California, Darolene Mullin, who came out here because she didn’t like what was happening to her home, and the lifestyle here suited her,” he said. “She’s in the area affected by the blackouts (due to fears that downed power lines would spark wildfires), and just decided that Boise is where she’ll spend her retirement years. It’s so much easier here.”

In California, a significant number of older homeowners are hitting retirement. State residents over 65 years old made up 18 percent of the population, a group that grew by 3 percent in 2018 alone, and 80 percent of the baby boomers in the state own their homes. That’s a lot of potential for downsizing and moving out. California citizens aged 65 to 75 are also the most likely of any age group to own property. Some analysts have even said the rush of boomers downsizing will create a shadow inventory” of housing that will help alleviate the great shortage of starter homes.

These homeowners are feeling an additional push to leave the state thanks to the recent tax reform and the SALT exemption repeal, which increases the tax bill for homeowners. According to Dan Walters, a researcher with the state think tank CALMatters, there’s been a rush of retirees or near-retirees making the move to neighboring low-tax states such as Arizona and Nevada. Researcher Joel Kotkin found that a majority of Californians expected to leave the state in the next 10 years.

These older former Californians have also zeroed in on Texas. According to the Economist, a quarter of those moving out of the Golden State between 2007 and 2016 have relocated to Texas. A city employee in Plano, Texas, who had been helping dozens of new arrivals apply for drivers’ licenses, joked that “Everyone is from California. Are they kicking y’all out?”

The main movers are middle class

But the scapegoating of rich Californians ignores many of the facts about who’s really moving. In a survey of economists taken by the San Diego Union-Tribune seeking insight into the state’s retirement climate, the consensus was that older and wealthier residents had more reasons to stay (and California has been a magnet for residents moving from similarly expensive states). Proposition 13, the state ballot measure from 1978 that froze property taxes for long-time homeowners, is a massive subsidy for the wealthy (it saved homeowners an estimated $7.4 billion last year alone).

The working middle class are “fleeing the state,” according to Kelly Cunningham of the San Diego Institute for Economic Research, due to the state’s “dysfunctional nature.” A large part of the problem is housing; per Zillow, the average house in California has risen from roughly $300,000 in 2012 to $550,000 today. Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties have seen massive outflow of residents over the last few years. California is becoming stratified, a statewide gentrification that is holding back economic growth and leaving the vaunted California lifestyle “available to an increasingly select few who can afford it.”

Public sector workers from California have long sought greener, cheaper pastures. According to a report by the Sacramento Bee, 15 percent of the 561,000 pensioners in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System live outside the state. Cops and firefighters have clustered in Grants Pass and Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and other state employees can be found in Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Florida.

“Compared to California, Las Vegas was a no-brainer,” Joe Beck, a former Southern California school district maintenance administrator who moved to Las Vegas, told the Sacramento Bee. “I decided that if I could handle the heat three months out of the year, I needed to move to where my retirement check would be tax-free.”

Vegas, which is close enough for an afternoon jaunt back to Southern California, also offers plentiful sunshine, lots of activities for seniors, and the same single-family-home-style subdivisions that retirees had back home.

The national challenge of finding affordable housing is having a trickle-down effect everywhere. And if Boise is any indication, few cities are adequately preparing for shifting populations and new migrations across the country.

Link to Article

The Palace Bar

Thanks to Bill Iannelli who sent in this tour of the Palace Bar in Prescott, Arizona.

It brought back fond memories of the summer of 1976, when I spent a week there with a landscape crew.  We hung out at the Palace Bar during the annual Fourth of July party, which is insane every year!

If you are thinking of moving to Prescott, this will be a great primer:

Bill Iannelli is a long-time realtor in Prescott – try him out HERE.

Downsizing Out-Of-State

Are you thinking of downsizing and moving out-of-state?

This new survey says half of Californians are considering!  Let’s give it a go!

A few years back, we had sold David Meek’s sister a house in Pt. Loma, and she told him to check me out.  David is a Phoenix-area realtor who has since then emulated the jimjamalama, and has been running his own realtor blog in the Valley of the Sun:


David and I have cherry-picked a reasonably-priced home in an exclusive area close to town as an example of the lower-end house you can buy in a good area of Phoenix.

Obviously, if you spend a little more, you can buy a better home with extras, but at least this video tour gives you a look at what you get for $414,900:


Where and When to Move

You’ve heard friends and family say it, and you may have said it yourself.

“Oh, I’m going to sell!”

It’s said casually, without a real commitment or timeline, with blame placed on politics, taxes, traffic, etc.

With home prices this high, it’s a real temptation because virtually every homeowner can cash out with six or seven figures and leave California for good – which I encourage!

We know you aren’t desperate, you don’t need the money, and you’re not going to give it away. We’ve covered that – heck, I even have a t-shirt!

If making a move is getting to be more than just a temptation, then what should a casual seller focus on?

Know where you are going to move.

Without knowing for sure where they are going to go, people just never get around to selling.

Let me help you – check out my collection here, and take a road trip:


Once you know where, then the next question is when – and look what’s coming in 2020.

We sold houses during Clinton, Bush, Obama, and a couple of years of Trump, so the real estate market won’t come to a halt.  But this election cycle is shaping up to be an all-timer!

As we get closer to the election, more people will decide to wait, causing fewer buyers and sellers.

Let’s work it backwards.

Election Day is November 3, 2020, so we should just take October off, and focus on the World Series…..which should include the Padres.

September won’t be any better, and August and July could slow down too, so It would probably be smart to move by May/June – or wait until Selling Season 2021.

Or just get cracking now, while rates are in the mid-3s!

Get Good Help!

Kayla’s New Team

Kayla has joined the Jacky Teplitzky Team, one of the most successful realtor teams in the history of Manhattan real estate – and she couldn’t be more excited! Her first week on the job was jam-packed with tours of their listings, and other training. Look out now, NYC!


The process began when Kayla was aggressively pursuing a deal on one of Jacky’s listings, and partner Barak took notice and suggested Kayla should work for them. She did interview with two other teams – one at Compass and another Elliman team – but she felt Jacky’s team was a perfect fit for her.

Jacky is known as a leader in the realtor community, and was featured as a panelist this week – an excerpt:

They’re worried about the health of the economy and the state of politics, both local and national. And they’re just as concerned about the rise of disruptors and third-party lead-generation companies. More than 100 people crammed into the lobby of the Elad Group’s under-construction condo on West 43 Street to hear what top residential brokerage executives and agents had to say about it all.

The whiplash between reality and market predictions is leaving many people “starving for information,” according to Shlomi Reuveni, founder of Reuveni Real Estate, who organized and moderated the event. “I have never seen a market like this,” he said. “This is as surreal as it gets.”

While the crowd sipped champagne and picked at a catered lunch, Brown Harris Stevens’ CEO Bess Freedman, Warburg Realty’s Frederick Peters and Modern Spaces’ CEO Eric Benaim debated Donna Olshan, Nancy Packes, Compass’ Kyle Blackmon and Douglas Elliman’s Jacky Teplitzky swapped takes on the health of the market.

Teplitzky called it a “schizophrenic” market, saying that she’s finding there’s “no rhyme or reason” to what transacts. (She did underline a “surge” of buyers from Mexico and potentially Argentina as a bright spot for buyers with some urgency.)

Olshan noted that she believed that the elimination of the state and local tax deductions was “the tipping point.”

Teplitzky disagreed. She attributed the slowdown in purchasing to the vast amount of product buyers can choose from, adding that “there is more off the market than on the market.”


At first they told Kayla that she probably wouldn’t be doing an open house for three months, but her first week went so well that she is having an open house today!

Do you know of anyone who is thinking of moving into or out of Manhattan? Contact Kayla!

Buyers Getting Shut Out

Where to move by color! Just find an affordable blue area that suits you.

From NPR:

Ten years after the housing collapse, a new and different housing crisis has emerged.

Back then, people were losing their homes as home values crashed and homeowners went underwater. Today, home values have rebounded, but people who want to buy a new home are often priced out of the market. There are too few homes and too many potential buyers.

Home construction per household is now at its lowest levels in nearly six decades, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. This isn’t just a problem in San Francisco or New York, where home prices and rents have gone sky-high. It is also a problem in midsized, fast-growing cities farther inland, like Des Moines, Iowa; Durham, N.C.; and Boise, Idaho. In Boise, an analysis by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showed there is a demand for more than 10 times the number of homes being built right now.


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:


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:

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