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Contributor
Lizard13
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎05-23-2009
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California Real Estate

Why is real estate so expensive in California; specifically Southern California? When you compare the price of homes/land across the US it appears as if we're getting seriously ripped off. Is the weather? The Hollywood mystique? Why?
Gold Contributor
Jazzman
Posts: 1,544
Registered: ‎02-12-2009
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Re: California Real Estate

Good question, and one that often gets overlooked in the debate about overpriced housing. However, I don't think there is really one simple answer to it, and as you say many factors such as employment, the economy, the weather, investor activity, and possibly the Hollywood factor all have a part to play. I think a lot of it lies in the perception, or myth if you will, about a place as being expensive, exclusive, and in mode, all of which has a compounding effect of what people are prepared to pay to be a part of that something "bigger". California is not unique in this respect. The French Riviera oozes exclusivity and draws wealth like a magnet. You may argue that is because it is very beautiful and deserves to be expensive, which is more true of the past than now due to over development, but the myth persists. I personally don't place the monetary value on California that others seem to, but then I don't have to live there for work or whatever. To me it lacks in many areas, such as natural beauty, historical culture, and generally seems a soulless disconnected void full of people wearing rose tinted blinkers. Californians hate me for saying things like this, but it is way many people see it, which inevitably leads to questions like yours.:smileyhappy:
Regular Contributor
Quentin
Posts: 87
Registered: ‎06-02-2008

Re: California Real Estate

Southern California is the epicenter of EVERYTHING.
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Hope62
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎06-01-2009
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Re: California Real Estate

I agree with you Jazzman.  I don't get it either.  I was raised in Orange County, but spent several of the last 10 years in the midwest.  I now find myself  trying to buy a home in Ventura County, and get sick at the difference between So Cal and midwest housing prices.  For the price of of a 4 bed 2.5 bath here, I'd be living in 5000 sq feet of custom home on a beautiful lot out there.  Now before you all jump down my throat for preferring the midwest to So Cal, I admit wholeheartedly that the midwest is not for everyone.  But for us, while  raising kids, the quality of life couldn't be beat.  I can't recreate that quality of life here, partially due to the high cost of housing.  I think as long as there still exists that California mystique, some people will expect, and be willing, to pay a premium for it.
Super Contributor
TuningIn
Posts: 213
Registered: ‎03-29-2009
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Re: California Real Estate

We've been over this topic many times. You can find answers to a lot of questions by utilizing the search.
Silver Contributor
buyerinwaiting
Posts: 435
Registered: ‎04-28-2009

Re: California Real Estate

I think Jazzman's take on it is just as superficial as the people he describes.

 

I grew up in the Midwest and spent more than 1/2 my life there so I believe I can comment intelligently on it. Yes, you can buy a big house on a big lot, but as that all there is to life? Remember, you are stuck with being in the Midwest, with miserable weather and closed minded people. While that doesnt describe everywhere in the Midwest (Chicago and Twin Cities for example), the stereotype for the most part rings true. It took me coming out here to truly realize what I wasnt missing back "home".

 

Try starting a business in an emerging field like tech back in the Midwest...good luck. People are extremely tight with their money, not just for investment purposes, but for buying any of your product or service. Everyone will ask you, "Why would you want to do something risky and start a business when you can work for someone else?" Seriously.

 

Then you get the religious nutbags who dont believe in crazy things like science and evolution who control politics back there. They are stuck in the Middle Ages.

 

The weather is horrible, it is either sleeting, snowing, and freezing with overcast skies every morning that you wake up in the winter, or it is ridiculously humid, so much that you cant go outside for an evening walk without feeling like you are in a steambath. You are lucky to get 2 nice months of fall and 2 nice months of spring. The rest of the year is miserable.

 

 As for the family part, I have two young girls who are school age and the schools here are as good as anywhere. You can raise kids here as well as in the Midwest. It used to be that you could shelter kids from things back in the Midwest, but that was before the invention of cable TV and the Internet. Kids grow up just as fast there as they do anywhere. Don't believe me--check out how many small town kids in the Midwest are in to meth and having sex too early. Not to mention things are so boring back there in the suburbs that kids are always looking to get into trouble.

 

Yes, it is over developed, especially in LA, and crowded with people. However, everyday I wake up I feel like I am on vacation. I can make a decent living here, even enough to compensate for the increased cost of living. I can eat at my choice of different ethnic restaurants. People are diverse here, unique in their own ways, and all around, much more interesting to be around. I have the ocean and natural beauty in places like Palos Verdes, Malibu, the desert, the mountains.

 

In the Midwest, you have FLAT...

 

That's my take as someone that has lived in the Midwest, Southeast, and now, So Cal. There has to be some reason people continue to move here. I dont see a huge exodus of people moving there, and for good reason.

Trusted Contributor
Z-W
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎01-23-2009
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Re: California Real Estate

[ Edited ]

buyerinwaiting wrote:

 

 As for the family part, I have two young girls who are school age and the schools here are as good as anywhere.


Really!...  Is that why LAUSD is one of the worst school systems in the country?

 

Your post is actually as shallow as the one you claim to be responding to.  All you talk about is weather and stereotypes about "midwest" people.

Message Edited by Z-W on 07-19-2009 08:42 AM
Silver Regular Contributor
JustSomeGuy
Posts: 675
Registered: ‎04-13-2009
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Re: California Real Estate

  Also, don't forget the effect of Prop 13. Property taxes are limited to around 1% of the property value. Many states have higher property tax rates. The good thing is that Californians are guaranteed to have a ceiling on their property taxes, which helps house values. The bad thing is that the state therefore has to rely more on more unstable and fluctuating sources of revenue, which in a deep recession will lead to the kind of budget mess that our state is in right now.

Super Contributor
TuningIn
Posts: 213
Registered: ‎03-29-2009
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Re: California Real Estate


JustSomeGuy wrote:

  Also, don't forget the effect of Prop 13. Property taxes are limited to around 1% of the property value. Many states have higher property tax rates. The good thing is that Californians are guaranteed to have a ceiling on their property taxes, which helps house values. The bad thing is that the state therefore has to rely more on more unstable and fluctuating sources of revenue, which in a deep recession will lead to the kind of budget mess that our state is in right now.


 

We may have lower property taxes than other states, but as a whole we pay more taxes per capita than people in other states. Combine our state income, sales, gas + property taxes, and we are in the top 5 when it comes to taxes.
Silver Contributor
buyerinwaiting
Posts: 435
Registered: ‎04-28-2009
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Re: California Real Estate

I dont live in LA proper so your point is moot, Z-W. Most large school systems are not good.

 

Try looking up the school system in the city of St. Louis. It was taken over by the state. LAUSD is a behemoth and it is bad, but it hasnt been taken over by the state. I know a little bit about school systems, being Im on the school board of our town.

 

I think growing up and living 28 years in the Midwest gives me a little leeway to make generalizations. I realize that not everyone in the Midwest is as I describe and not everyone in LA is as the previous posters described. However, my comments are based on lots of years of observation. Have you lived for any length of time in the Midwest, CA, and other parts of the country?

 

As for CA taxes, Prop 13 is the reason the other taxes are so high. It would be nice if they could fix this so we wouldnt have such high income and sales taxes. The chances of this are pretty slim though (changing Prop 13 and lowering any taxes)