Lompoc, Santa Maria, Goleta, Buellton and surrounding area

9 Replies

Hey everyone I may be relocating to Vandenberg. I am hoping to hear something in the next couple weeks. I do not plan on buying anything at the moment just looking for some info on the cities of Lompoc, Santa Maria, Goleta, Buellton and any other areas around Vandenberg AFB. I am looking for the good/bad of the areas. Overall my plan is to buy and hold properties. I will be renting my first house here shortly in California. I am going to start researching some out of state cities because I do not plan on buying another rental in the CA market.

Thank you!

Hi Branden,

Welcome, potentially, to California! I live in Santa Maria so I can give you some feedback.

Lompoc: A relatively small community that is a heavy agricultural area. People either love living there because it's a small town, or they hate living there. It's often windy and/or foggy but it can have plenty of beautiful weather as well. 15 minutes from Vandenberg, 30 minutes from Santa Maria, 45 minutes from Santa Barbara. Not a whole lot exciting going on in Lompoc. More affordable than most of the other places.

Santa Maria: About 100,000 people and many more amenities than Lompoc. Lompoc has WalMart, Home Depot and a bunch of smaller stores. Santa Maria has those plus Costco, Target, and pretty much most everything else you're looking for. Also a heavy ag area. It is often windy and foggy as well but primarily in the spring. More affordable than most of the other places but also not a lot going on. 15-20 minutes to Vandenberg, 30 minutes to Lompoc, 1 hour to Santa Barbara, 20 minutes to Pismo Beach.

Buellton: Also a smaller community but centrally located between Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Barbara. It will cost a bit more to live here but it's a nice community. The smallest of the areas you mentioned so most people from this area have to travel to either Santa Maria or Santa Barbara to do their major shopping (Costco, Home Depot, etc.) Great weather, a little hotter in the summer as it is more inland. 30 minutes to Santa Maria, 30 minutes to Santa Barbara, 25 minutes to Lompoc, haven't driven direct to Vandenberg so not sure but it's a little out of the way.

Goleta: Goleta is nice, close to Santa Barbara, far from Vandenberg, and extremely expensive. The people who can no longer afford Santa Barbara have been moving north to Goleta and pushing up the prices there. Near the beach, 45 minutes to Santa Maria, probably 35-40 minutes to Vandenberg, 25 minutes to Buellton.

Hope at least some of this helps.

Eric

@Eric Black thanks so much for the post it had great information and what I was looking for! How is the crime in Santa Maria/Lompoc. I know there's good and bad everywhere. Ive heard both extremes of those two haha. Thanks again! 

You're welcome. As for the crime, it's hard to tell exactly based on what the media says. First you'll see a story talking about how the murder rate and gang violence is on the rise:

http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/crime-and-co...

And then you can read articles that show that the area has one of the fastest dropping crime rates in the country: 

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/02/16/cit...

I have only lived here since 2012 so I don't have a large block of time to compare but it has seemed like lately we've been hearing about more murders, etc. On the other hand, they just arrested 13 members of a violent Mexican gang who they attribute at least a handful of murders to, so hopefully that will help.

I can't speak to Lompoc but it is quite a bit smaller of a city than Santa Maria so it wouldn't surprise me if their crime rate is lower, but you'd have to compare the per capita rate. 

My advice would be, if you can, make a trip out, even if if just for a few days to drive around and see if you get a gut feeling for or against any of the areas.

Cheers!

Eric

Perfect thank you! If I do get the job offer I will be making a trip down there. I'm in Northern California so it isn't too far. I will let you know if I head down there I would love to meet up if your available!

Yes, please let me know if you'll be heading down this way and we'll see if our schedules match up.

Cheers!

Eric

Hey Branden - I live in Santa Barbara, and have invested out of state, so I'd be happy to share my experiences at some point.  As a disclosure I do sell turn key properties in some of the locations I own in.  Regardless, I mainly buy and hold, and I would be happy to share my experiences in any of these cities: Milwaukee, Tulsa, Davenport, Chicago, Suburbs of Detroit, Kansas City, and Memphis.   Crazy I've owned in so many, which is something I do not recommend.  :)  I tell people to be focused on specific cities, until they have a a very large healthy portfolio, then if needed explore moving to another city.  Anyways, I'm happy to be a resource of info, good luck!

Originally posted by @Branden Smith :

Hey everyone I may be relocating to Vandenberg. I am hoping to hear something in the next couple weeks. I do not plan on buying anything at the moment just looking for some info on the cities of Lompoc, Santa Maria, Goleta, Buellton and any other areas around Vandenberg AFB. I am looking for the good/bad of the areas. Overall my plan is to buy and hold properties. I will be renting my first house here shortly in California. I am going to start researching some out of state cities because I do not plan on buying another rental in the CA market.

Thank you!

 Hi Branden! Firstly, a potential welcome to the area! I live in Lompoc. If you will be working on base, Lompoc is a close/ convenient and affordable option. If you live in town, you can get to the front gate in 10 to 15 minutes and if you're in Vandenburg Village, you can typically get to the gate in 5 minutes once you get on the 1. If you are considering in town, I'm happy to recommend some areas to get into or stay away from.  Lompoc to Santa Maria drive time is about 45 minutes, and Lompoc to Santa Barbara is about 1 hour. Shopping wise, you can definitely get anything you need in Lompoc- but SB and SM are not too far away if you want to spend a whole day out shopping. I personally like living in Lompoc, and if you head this way I'd be glad to meet you!

Another area to consider that is convenient to working on base is Guadalupe. Hop on the 1 and you're there in typically 30 minutes or less. Guadalupe is rural (much less to do than Lompoc), but also closer to Santa Maria for shopping and activities. Best of luck!