Author Topic: Considering relocating to the Redondo Beach, CA area- looking for advice  (Read 1838 times)

FloridaStache

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Hi all-

I'm currently living in a very inexpensive area of Central Florida (low housing cost, no state income tax) but am quite bored with my (relatively high paying) job and there aren't comparable alternatives in the area.  My wife also has CA roots and would love to move closer to her family there.  I have a serious opportunity to take an exciting new position (step up in title, responsibility, etc.) in the Redondo Beach, CA area and am completely unfamiliar with LA or the South Bay area.

This new job would come with a significant pay increase, however I've run the numbers and much of that would be consumed by higher federal and state taxes and, of course, housing.  We currently save 50% of our after-tax income, and this rate would slip for a bit while my wife found a new job post relocation, but we could probably return to that rate within a year of moving.  I'd love some advice from those who have "been there" in the past. We have no debt and are renters, so we can keep the immediate relocation costs to a decent minimum, especially with paid relocation assistance from the new job.

Have any Mustachians out there relocated to this area from a lower-cost area and managed to maintain their Mustachian ways?  Anyone have recommendations about decent neighborhoods/areas to look for housing that don't involve complete car-clown commutes?  I was looking at Torrance as it seems to have the optimal combination of decent housing without requiring an insane freeway commute to Redondo, but there may be other areas I don't know about.  We would be looking at renting vs. buying at least for the immediate few years after moving.  We have two elementary-aged children so schools are a consideration.  I'd really appreciate any input from LA-savvy Mustachians as I evaluate this potential move.

annegables

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Pay the fee (~$60 for 60 days) to have access to westsiderentals dot com.  Research the communities of El Camino Village (very few rentals) and Del Aire/Holly Glen.  These tend to be more affordable and have better schools than the communities of Lawndale and Hawthorne which they are connected to.  And they are very close to Redondo. 

Something to keep in mind about out here in regards to neighborhoods and schools is that there is almost always a tradeoff.  Manhattan Beach and the ilk have great schools, but the price is usually having to go to school with really wealthy kids who have their own sets of problems.  At least in the elementary schools, it seems as though school performance is directly correlated to the socioeconomics of the family. Also, if you are looking at Greatschools dot org, keep in mind that in 2012, CA did away with whatever testing produced the scores for the tests that thus determine the school ranking.  So while those ranking numbers can give you some idea of the school quality, they are outdated. 

We have lived in other HCOL and LCOL areas and we have been able to keep our mustachian ways just fine.  The parks out here are awesome for kids.  I highly recommend getting only as much space as you absolutely and get rid of any extra furniture that would "require" you to need more housing space.  The market for 4bedroom places is terrible and you will pay a huge premium.   

FloridaStache

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Very helpful insights, thank you!

I had noticed the tradeoff between the "great schools" and the wealthy neighborhoods.  I have also been mentally preparing to downsize a bit and get rid of some of the older excess furniture.  We are currently in 4BR/1800 sqft, targeting more like 3BR/13-1500 sqft in the Redondo Area.

Craigslist has some decent looking places in that criteria in the $2300-$2900 range- ideally trying to stay below $2750/mo in rent.  Am I nuts?

annegables

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PMed you.  Beware of Craigslist scams.

firewalker

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Re: "bored." Remember, the grass is always greener.  Re: Low COL and high income. That combination is pretty sweet in the quest for FI. Re: So. Cal. It's nice, but it's not THAT nice. I don't know your area of FL but when you think So. Cal., think traffic with a capital TrrrAFFIC and SSSprawlll!!!