People are fleeing California, are you?

311 Replies

Here are all my indicators
Apple is about to become one trillion dollar company
Nasdaq is 5 times higher than it’s low in 2009
Us household wealth has exceeded 100 trillion for first time

Does this sound familiar? It’s party like it’s 1999 again. I am not saying California is going to turn into a dustbowl.

The issue with California having so much of its gdp and wealth tied to real estate is that it takes a small blip to have devastating consequence. If you are a techie at a unicorn who has a 1 million dollar mortgage, what does even a 1% downturn in real estate do to you?

Anyway, if it keeps going up, Bay area will become like Tokyo. You will start seeing 40 year and generational mortgage and low birth rate as people work hard just to afford small apartments.

I live in San Diego in 08 to 2010 while in army reserves and I go back almost every year with my youngest kids, and every year it gets more populated and they build more and more. it seems that for every one person that leaves two move in. Also remember that cali has a large military community so statistics may be counting on that community.

Lived here my whole life. Nor cal and so cal. Both are awesome. Weather in so cal is about the best on earth and nor cal isn’t bad though a bit cold in winter and a bit hot inland in the summer but really splitting hairs as the weather is great. Taxes are high but that’s just a weather tax and/or tax to hang out with other progressive people.   We could leave in retirement as would love to live somewhere else but nowhere in the us has the weather. Hawaii is nice but too humid/hot in summer. We might check out a foreign destination to try something different. 

I was born and raised in SoCal and lived in the LA area again for about seven years before relocating to Texas in 2014. I moved for personal/work reasons but nothing to do with economic opportunity or housing. I like TX a lot, and appreciate the lower regulations and lack of state income tax (though people often forget that many TX local gov'ts have very high property taxes, much higher than CA plus no Prop 13 so your base can grow every year). I can see why on the pure economics of it leaving CA may make sense. But pure economics is not the only way to think about the best life. I went back to live in CA in 2007 after decades away with eyes wide open about the economic costs like state income tax, high housing prices, and the non-economic costs like hellacious traffic. I never regretted it. Being in a place I loved was worth the higher costs of living and other annoyances for me. Your mileage, of course, may vary. 

Final note: My whole life since I was a kid in the 80s I've heard these same concerns: SoCal cost of living is too high, people are fleeing, folks in and out of CA bashing the state. In those nearly four decades, despite all the gloom and doom predictions, the state has figured out a way to survive and thrive despite the challenges. No guarantee this will continue, but I still think the odds are in CA's favor.

  • Do you live in California? : YES
  • Have you lived in California in the past 5 years? YES, born and raised in IE, moved to AZ for school, and moved back to CA.
  • If so, where? - I am in Eastern Kern County, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
  • Will you be staying or leaving? - staying
  • Why? - For my hobies, it is an amazing place to live.
  • What is your full time income producing job? Inspector and Investor

It is very sad to see the increasing fees, taxes, and regulations.  If I didn't love living where I do, I would seriously consider moving to a state which values personal freedom.  

I live and invest in one of the most affordable areas of California.  It is still possible to buy houses for under $100k and get cashflow on day one. It is very different here than what most people think of when they think of California.

Most people moving into my area are coming from the bigger cities in California.  They want to live somewhere affordable with great recreation but still be a few hours from family and friends in the big cities.

That said, the policies and politics of California is the main reason I hear people in my area are moving out of the area.  

California is a very big state.  Many people make wide assumptions about the state.  It has many markets which are very different.  Unfortunately, the state regulations, fees, and taxes affect all parts of the state.  

Originally posted by @Vinay H. :

Right now the headline is : Grounds under Presidio in SF worth more than the entire nation of Italy!

 that I don't believe for a second.. ever been to lake Logano  its loaded with 50 million dollar mansions.. IE Cluny and a bunch of very rich Russians.. :)

Originally posted by @Gene Hacker :
  • Do you live in California? : YES
  • Have you lived in California in the past 5 years? YES, born and raised in IE, moved to AZ for school, and moved back to CA.
  • If so, where? - I am in Eastern Kern County, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
  • Will you be staying or leaving? - staying
  • Why? - For my hobies, it is an amazing place to live.
  • What is your full time income producing job? Inspector and Investor

It is very sad to see the increasing fees, taxes, and regulations.  If I didn't love living where I do, I would seriously consider moving to a state which values personal freedom.  

I live and invest in one of the most affordable areas of California.  It is still possible to buy houses for under $100k and get cashflow on day one. It is very different here than what most people think of when they think of California.

Most people moving into my area are coming from the bigger cities in California.  They want to live somewhere affordable with great recreation but still be a few hours from family and friends in the big cities.

That said, the policies and politics of California is the main reason I hear people in my area are moving out of the area.  

California is a very big state.  Many people make wide assumptions about the state.  It has many markets which are very different.  Unfortunately, the state regulations, fees, and taxes affect all parts of the state.  

Exactly  Not all of CA is Beverly hills or SF peninsula.. plenty of modestly priced cities up and down the state.

its a huge place..  in perspective if you left DC and drove to say Jacksonville FLA you would have never left CA.  its long but only 200 to 300 miles wide..  for the most part any property in CA that is within 25 or so miles of the ocean give or take Is or can be pretty expensive relative to other parts of the US..  but inland price points are very much in line with other metro areas.

Although there are no price points like the little cities in the mid west were you can still snag houses at 20 to 30k..  

Enjoyed reading the poll!

  • Do you live in California? 

- Yes

  • Have you lived in California in the past 5 years? - 

- Yes

  • If so, where?

- Santa Clara, CA

  • Will you be staying or leaving? 

- Definitely Staying!

  • Why? 

- Bay Area throws a lot of challenges at you and its not easy living here. We are always on out toes, learning new skills, innovating, having problems & finding solutions & that's why we love it here. A simple life would be quite boring for us. 

  • What is your full time income producing job?  

- My husband is in Hi Tech & I am in Finance, we both work for Tech co's and we have tried some small businesses. 

Live in Lake Tahoe for almost 17 years

I will be staying and raising my kids here despite the ridiculous taxes and the fact that almost all state policy is directly opposite of what I believe. You never know, sanity could return any time.

Staying so kids can grow up right next to mountains and wilderness. If it ever gets too bad, we can always just move across the line to Nevada.

Seattle is not that much cheaper than Penninsula..  and the traffic is just about as bad if not worse and the weather far worse.

now if you said she moved to Friday Harbor or whidby or someplace like that I get that.. but not Seattle .. its just more of the same. sans the nice weather.  

It’s really not about the money for most people. The best I can summarize my thinking about Bay Area is that people flock here to play the startup lottery. They imagine they are gonna make a pile of money and _then_ their lives are going to be awesome. Most never achieve their dream and you can imagine what sort of neighbors they make. Those that do—soon start to wonder if there’s more to life.

Bay Area seems to be great for making money, but not so great for enjoying life. That’s why people move out, not because it’s expensive. NYC is also expensive, but you don’t hear about smart, educated, successful people moving out of New York. Does it make sense?

I was born in San Jose, CA and lived in the true northern California for most of my life (Shasta County) I love so much about the state, but hate seeing what is happening. I'd love to be able to do business there, but I hesitate for the following reasons. It doesn't matter that California has the worlds 5th largest economy if the governor and other elected officials continue to spend and waste all of the revenue on things other than benefiting the citizens, or sock it away for their rainy day funds.  Governor Brown and the leadership are now going to tax water through the guise of conservation. Of course with all the BILLIONS that have banked they could be building more water storage, etc., but they won't. California also has the highest number of homeless, and drug addicts, sleeping in the parks and roadways, openly doing drugs on the city streets and parks, etc. They've decriminalized most felonies, so that it "appears" the crime rates have dropped, when in fact, they just stopped prosecuting violent criminals and other crimes. Police often allow those slumped over in their seats from drugs and pulled over alongside roads to drive off on their merry way. 

The "leaders" continue to enact policies that increase the cost of housing for all, through higher fees, higher gas taxes, solar requirements, and water taxes, etc., while the state is falling apart. 

Though there are highly educated and highly paid people coming into the state, while the middle class leave, the question is, where are all those service workers that will be needed to service those highly paid people be housed, because they cannot afford the rents, etc. in the areas they're needed to work (as teachers, police, fire fighters, retail, etc.) 

The point I think is that there is a huge shift beginning in California, and what will the long term effect be? 

Originally posted by @George Sudarkoff :

It’s really not about the money for most people. The best I can summarize my thinking about Bay Area is that people flock here to play the startup lottery. They imagine they are gonna make a pile of money and _then_ their lives are going to be awesome. Most never achieve their dream and you can imagine what sort of neighbors they make. Those that do—soon start to wonder if there’s more to life.

People's lives are affected by money (some good, some not so good). At the height of the dot-com boom of the 1990s, the local newspaper said Silicon Valley was minting 5 new millionaires a day (I thought the number was much higher than that).

The PBS station in San Francisco had the show This Week in Northern California and one of its segments talked about the land office business some psychiatrists were doing treating Sudden Wealth Syndrome. Some non-tech people were persuing careers as butlers and butler schools were catering to their training need.

Other articles discussed the ethics of how a dot-com family might deal with their non-tech neighbors when their children were best friends and had gone to summer camp together (you want to send your child to a more expensive summer camp this year, but you know your neighbors can't afford to send their child to that same camp -- what do you do?).

All of this self-corrected when the bubble burst. Nordstrom's no-questions-asked return policy meant they clawed back sales commissions when customers returned the gold jewelry they bought during the bubble. Apartment buildings put balloons out and offered free trips (and other inducements) to attract tenants to fill the vacancies left by tech workers forced to find work elsewhere.

I had been in two startups (both unsuccessful) before the dot-com boom took off. I was jaded by those experiences and my focus became paying off the mortgage (I felt like I was walking 3 feet off the ground when that finally happened), building up my cash reserves, and funding my 401K and IRA plans. I watched in awe as people reportedly got rich during the boom. Then I took advantage of the 70% off sales some stores were holding after the bubble popped.

Are we still playing? I'll join ^_^

  • Do you live in California? Yes - Los Angeles Proper
  • Have you lived in California in the past 5 years? No - moved here from Arkansas in 2015
  • If so, where? During my years here, I've lived in Westside LA, mid-city LA, and now 3 blocks  from USC
  • Will you be staying or leaving? Eventually leaving 
  • Why? Potential Business opportunities 
  • What is your full time income producing job?  Currently an analyst at a bank 

So far, Los Angeles has been a great place to grow mentally. At first, I was really upset with the sharp increase in cost of living but then once I accepted the change, I decided to take the most of my time here and also purchase a property in Los Angeles. Yes, the cost of living might be higher but I have to be reasonable about my own expenses and make the necessary adjustments within my control (I believe Grant Cardone calls this massive accountability). It is my personal belief that places with a higher cost of living force people to become more creative and competitive which pushes us to become like a super-saiyan version of ourselves. I'll be sad to leave the state whenever the time does come because I'll miss the culture, food and weather but every state has it's beautiful places, good food, and most importantly the good people.   

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Gene Hacker:
  • Do you live in California? : YES
  • Have you lived in California in the past 5 years? YES, born and raised in IE, moved to AZ for school, and moved back to CA.
  • If so, where? - I am in Eastern Kern County, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
  • Will you be staying or leaving? - staying
  • Why? - For my hobies, it is an amazing place to live.
  • What is your full time income producing job? Inspector and Investor

It is very sad to see the increasing fees, taxes, and regulations.  If I didn't love living where I do, I would seriously consider moving to a state which values personal freedom.  

I live and invest in one of the most affordable areas of California.  It is still possible to buy houses for under $100k and get cashflow on day one. It is very different here than what most people think of when they think of California.

Most people moving into my area are coming from the bigger cities in California.  They want to live somewhere affordable with great recreation but still be a few hours from family and friends in the big cities.

That said, the policies and politics of California is the main reason I hear people in my area are moving out of the area.  

California is a very big state.  Many people make wide assumptions about the state.  It has many markets which are very different.  Unfortunately, the state regulations, fees, and taxes affect all parts of the state.  

Exactly  Not all of CA is Beverly hills or SF peninsula.. plenty of modestly priced cities up and down the state.

its a huge place..  in perspective if you left DC and drove to say Jacksonville FLA you would have never left CA.  its long but only 200 to 300 miles wide..  for the most part any property in CA that is within 25 or so miles of the ocean give or take Is or can be pretty expensive relative to other parts of the US..  but inland price points are very much in line with other metro areas.

Although there are no price points like the little cities in the mid west were you can still snag houses at 20 to 30k..  

Yes, I don't think that many inside or outside Calif are aware you can pick up a SFR walking distance to the ocean for sub 200k, and a 45 minute flight out of Oakland. Once you get out of some of the bigger major population centers, prices could be very reasonable for middle class incomes and still have some growth going on. I guess I should keep this a closely guarded secret but BP is so upside down on ROE values sometimes it won't matter.

  • Do you live in California? Yes - City of Los Angeles
  • Have you lived in California in the past 5 years? Yes
  • If so, where?  Westside LA
  • Will you be staying or leaving? Staying
  • Why? Family and lifestyle
  • What is your full time income producing job?  Finance for an Investment Manager

I've seen these headlines that everyone is leaving CA, but at least where I live there is really no sign of that at all.  In fact, it is the opposite.  More and more people.  It is just that there is almost no place left to build here except high rise, which is expensive.  Kind of reminds me of Yogi Berra saying "no one goes there anymore because it is too crowded".

As for me, I kind of feel like someone who is observing from the outside.  Once you buy a residence things don't really become much more expensive, especially with Prop. 13 on RE taxes.  The people that do leave here do so because of the cost of living almost exclusively, but I bought my place in 1998 when I was quite young and used roommates to help afford it.  LA was much cheaper back then but had bigger problems IMHO.  Much better city now, but more crowded and more expensive.  

Now as I get older and look forward to retiring in the next few years, I'll look to go somewhere not so urban.  Job market won't be important to me and even on the Coast I can get more for my money as long as not super close to a Downtown.  I can take occasional trips into the City at that point.

I do think some days I could be retired in much of the rest of the country.  Only time zone I haven't lived is Mountain so that is where I'd end up.  I can't deal with the weather of the Midwest any more and the East Coast is just too far from family at this point in my life.  I'd need at least mountains or the beach (preferably both), but could probably live with just one.

funny thread, not sure what the point is but I have a guess based on the OP's posts/opinions.

The answer is simple, basic economics of supply and demand.  This thread also seems to mostly fall along political lines.  As they say, if you can get half the country to hate you, you too could be President.  So, I expect half of people to have a negative view/slant towards California.  That's ok, couldn't pay me to live in fly over country either.

I don't get the tax argument, though admittedly I have not done the comparables to other states.  However, I am flipping some houses out of state now (I have some local rentals) and I know that the RE taxes are 4x as much there!  Clearly a political issue, see above.

I pay a hell of a lot more in fed taxes than state as does everyone else.

Also, California isn't an island containing only the SF Bay Area and Los Angeles.  I live in the Sierra foothills less than 2 hours due east of SF and I can ride my bike the 70 miles to Yosemite Valley or the 130 to Tahoe from my front door, done both.  Unfortunately this also puts me in the land of #MAGA but I tolerate it.

One great thing about where I live is that I'm always opposite traffic flow on weekends/holidays.  All the city people come to vacation where I live, I can go spend a weekend in the city with no traffic either way.

I like to visit the city but would never want to live there, regardless of state.

If I had a lifestyle that consisted of doing nothing outside, it probably wouldn't matter much where I lived. I've been all around the country and there are some areas that are just as nice weather wise maybe a few months a year, unfortunately the rest of the year would be intolerable.  Can't put a price on living in a box for a lot of people.

This thread could have been summed up much quicker with a 2 question poll most likely:  did you vote for trump or Clinton.  Done.  

Not sure why it matters on a RE forum.  Maybe I'll start a counter thread "how much would I have to pay you to live in fly over country" to prove, well, nothing.

SF Bay area is one of the best place to live and raise a family in my opinion, plenty of opportunity to everyone. Remember in the Bay area where all the high tech company started and still does.

  • Do you live in California? yes
  • Have you lived in California in the past 5 years? yes 34 years of my 52 years
  • If so, where? San Francisco Bay area
  • Will you be staying or leaving? offcourse
  • Why? best weather, very diverse & smart people
    • What is your full time income producing job? Health Info. Management Analyst & REI.

@Lee S. what is flyover country in 2018? Many cities have grown and changed.  Texas for example has 3 cities in the Top 10 in the nation by population . Houston (4th largest city in America) is the most diverse city in America today. 

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-houston-diversity-2017-htmlstory.html

I'm a bit late to the party, but here goes:

  • Do you live in California? - Yes
  • Have you lived in California in the past 5 years? - Yes, all my life
  • If so, where? South San Francisco
  • Will you be staying or leaving? Definitely staying
  • Why? I travel extensively around the world and often try to imagine living in the various cities I visit.  After a couple of weeks, I honestly become homesick and want to return to the SF Bay Area.  The cultural diversity, stable weather, and food scene are just some of the reasons.  We have some of the most authentic Asian food around -- Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino...  you name it, we got it! My family/ relatives also live in the area, which is a big deal. Everything and anything you can possibly want can be found in CA -- from snow and desert geographies, to Japanese anime and Star Trek meet-ups.  I love it here.  This is home.  I'm very fortunate to already own real estate in CA.  I do feel for those who are just getting started. 
  • What is your full time income producing job? My husband works in tech and I work in local government.  

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