Author Topic: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)  (Read 1772 times)

anni

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My company has gone remote for the foreseeable future. I live in an expensive city, but cheaply and with roommates I love. Unfortunately, at least one and maybe 2 of my 3 roommates are moving across the country to LA.

I am considering following them. I've never thought about moving to LA before, but it seems like one of the better places to spend a year right now if I can stay close to the beach. I know lots of people hate it, but I'd basically be in it for the roommates and the sun and the occasional beach day. It's far from family and friends, but I can't safely see them for the predictable future anyway, so might as well soak up some sun for the next little while? I've been looking into long term stay AirBNBs as a lower-commitment option, and it seems pretty doable and surprisingly not much more expensive than where I am now, especially if I can split the bill with friends. Of course, the option is also there now to live alone somewhere (pretty much anywhere) for much cheaper, but the tradeoff would be seeing friends much less often which I fear will take a toll. And that sunshine in the winter... hoo boy. If anyone has any cautionary tales about 6-months-ish AirBNB stays I am open to them.

By comparison, I have a couple of work friends who are basically going on working road trips together around the Northeast right now, and while it looks like great fun, I just don't think it's good to hop around every fews days like that right now. They say the Northeast is "doing it right," though, and New Hampshire looks more beautiful (in their zoom backgrounds) than I would have imagined. Anywhere scenic sounds great right now. For another long term option, I might see about renting a spare room from a friend in a ski resort town in Colorado. They already came down with Covid so I don't think it'd be as dangerous. The one thing on my mind anywhere I go is the fear of taking up an ICU bed if I'm already unknowingly sick when I arrive - but I have to leave my current city no matter what, so it's just deciding where to take that burden.

It feels hard to decide on what to do when you can do literally anything. I figure as long as I get tested before I leave and responsibly go full hermit and get my groceries Instacart'd for the first two weeks anywhere, I won't be a danger to others anywhere I go (as long as they've got Instacart...)

I'm feeling very lucky right now. Fully employed, no family obligations, lease about to end, friends all over the country. Recognizing it's a privileged position - is anyone else trying to make a similar decision right now? Where do you think you would go?


mozar

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2020, 04:26:08 PM »
Why not all of the above?

I'm a red panda

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2020, 06:36:08 PM »
I've never seen someone look into LA as an inexpensive option.

I'd probably go somewhere in Colorado or Utah, (since we can't get into Canada- somewhere in the mountains there would be my top pick) but I value mountains over beaches. 

anni

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2020, 07:53:08 PM »
I've never seen someone look into LA as an inexpensive option.

I'd probably go somewhere in Colorado or Utah, (since we can't get into Canada- somewhere in the mountains there would be my top pick) but I value mountains over beaches.

It's not that LA is inexpensive by any means - just sunny, and more or less the same price as where we already are so not too painful if we can share a place. And my roommates seem set on it, so it's like a built-in quarantine social pod :)



Bermuda... shockingly, more expensive than here (on AirBNB at least).

I think all of the above could be nice (except Bermuda...) as long as I could nail down a solid quarantine routine.

bloodaxe

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 06:17:17 AM »
Go south of the border to Baja California. I see a few airbnbs under 300 per month.

Ecky

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2020, 06:49:14 AM »
Vermont has lovely summer weather through the end of September. Toward the end of October it starts to get chilly, but you have the changing of the trees, which is a tourist attraction of its own.

Yesterday we had zero Covid 19 cases state-wide. It's worth noting that this was accomplished by basically having the borders closed. Anyone coming into the state from an area that does not have a similar case load is required to quarantine for 14 days (or you can have an absolute 14 day quarantine before you leave CA), but once you're through that, you're basically in a virus-free zone.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2020, 07:50:05 AM »
I understand the appeal of going somewhere warm, but you couldn't pay me to go to LA right now. I'm not looking forward to a Portland winter where it's unsafe to be indoors with other people. But I wouldn't choose the current California covid hotspot.

Another stay at home order is likely, and beaches might be closed like they were with the first one. Looks like they're open for active recreation only now, so no hanging out on the sand.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/23/us/california-covid-19-cases.html

https://beaches.lacounty.gov/la-county-beach-rules-frequently-asked-questions/#1589498820112-cc3f7dd1-2fae

https://corona-virus.la/faq

If you do go, I would prioritize a rental with private outdoor space.

If I were going anywhere, it'd be somewhere with very few virus cases, and somewhere I can be outdoors and active year-round. Vermont actually looks pretty good for that, like Ecky mentioned.

Greystache

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2020, 08:33:43 AM »
If sunshine is important to you, you might be surprised at how little sunshine you actually get at the beach in LA. You have the rainy season from October through March. In the spring you have a weather pattern known as May gray and June gloom. The marine layer of clouds hugs the coast and does not burn off until the afternoon, if at all. It does not stay sunny along the coast until July-Sept. There are times throughout the year when we get offshore winds (Santa Anna winds) and it gets clear and hot. If you really want sun, you should go a little further inland.
As others have noted, beach front rents around LA are pretty expensive (look up rentals for Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica). With a couple roommates, it's doable, but still not cheap.

slappy

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2020, 09:19:16 AM »
If you're looking for a beach, NH has that!

MissPeach

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2020, 10:33:58 AM »
If sunshine is important to you, you might be surprised at how little sunshine you actually get at the beach in LA. You have the rainy season from October through March. In the spring you have a weather pattern known as May gray and June gloom. The marine layer of clouds hugs the coast and does not burn off until the afternoon, if at all. It does not stay sunny along the coast until July-Sept. There are times throughout the year when we get offshore winds (Santa Anna winds) and it gets clear and hot. If you really want sun, you should go a little further inland.
As others have noted, beach front rents around LA are pretty expensive (look up rentals for Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica). With a couple roommates, it's doable, but still not cheap.

I echo this. I personally like the beach the best when it's overcast though as I am less likely to burn and can enjoy a nice walk/run without roasting. It depends on what you like to do on the beach. I mostly like long walks, looking for shells, and stuff like that. If you're into surfing you'll still need a wetsuit most of the year as the water isn't that warm and I can't put more than me feet into it outside of summer.

On the plus side, a lot of southern CA is build to take advantage of the weather so there are a lot of places that are indoor/outdoor. Even with the restrictions most things are allowed outside at the moment. In certain neighborhoods a lot of places are set up with large windows, rollup doors, etc. so there is more airflow than more places I have seen elsewhere outside of CA. In LA it's more neighborhood specific but it's still there - especially in a lot of the beach towns.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2020, 12:05:07 PM »
Coronado, California.  That is all.

firestarter2018

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2020, 02:55:29 PM »
I have a lot of family and friends that live in L.A. and you'd be surprised how very rarely they go to the beach there. Maybe a few times a year at best.  L.A. is so sprawling and the traffic is so bad that there are a ton of people that mainly stay in their neighborhood/city (L.A. is technically full of independent cities), or a relatively small radius around their area.

If you want to be at the beach regularly then you need to live close by, which is where the rents are most expensive. You didn't mention your/your roommates' price point but take a look at Venice/Santa Monica rents sometime; they'll make you laugh and/or cry. Long Beach is a little cheaper but the beaches around there are a little more depressing (in my opinion). The beaches down in Orange County are much nicer but then you're moving pretty far afield from L.A. proper.

Other people have commented on the soundness of moving to a COVID hotspot, but like they mentioned, keep in mind that depending on how things go you may not even be able to enjoy the beaches and dining and museums that much at all.

slappy

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2020, 03:30:13 PM »
Coronado, California.  That is all.

The place that the Playing with FIRE couple escaped from! Definitely beautiful!

anni

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2020, 04:13:29 PM »
I have a lot of family and friends that live in L.A. and you'd be surprised how very rarely they go to the beach there. Maybe a few times a year at best.  L.A. is so sprawling and the traffic is so bad that there are a ton of people that mainly stay in their neighborhood/city (L.A. is technically full of independent cities), or a relatively small radius around their area.

If you want to be at the beach regularly then you need to live close by, which is where the rents are most expensive. You didn't mention your/your roommates' price point but take a look at Venice/Santa Monica rents sometime; they'll make you laugh and/or cry. Long Beach is a little cheaper but the beaches around there are a little more depressing (in my opinion). The beaches down in Orange County are much nicer but then you're moving pretty far afield from L.A. proper.

Other people have commented on the soundness of moving to a COVID hotspot, but like they mentioned, keep in mind that depending on how things go you may not even be able to enjoy the beaches and dining and museums that much at all.

Thanks everyone for the perspectives - for a little context, most neighborhoods I've looked into where I currently live (when I was thinking of staying here without my roommates) would cost me around $2k to live alone. More for short term stays. I don't think I want to lock in a lease with strangers this time around when I literally can't escape them if they turn out to be crazy. And unfortunately I'm already in kind of a hotspot and getting tested frequently so I guess that biases my perspective a lot too.

It's crazy but living in Venice or Santa Monica with roommates will probably be cheaper than staying here alone, and even if it's only sunny some of the time, I think living with friends and just being able to comfortably go for walks at night in December would do wonders for mental health at a time like this.

We have a couple of months left on our lease so we'll have to see how things improve (or worsen). Vermont and NH look beautiful! But might be hard to enjoy alone (for me anyway). Coronado also looks stunning and I've enjoyed visiting San Diego in the winter the last couple of years - it seems just as pricey as Venice, though 😅

norajean

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2020, 04:28:48 PM »
Some place without any income tax, like the Bahamas; even better if you can get citizenship there and avoid tax as a US citizen.

Abe

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2020, 08:33:25 PM »
Iím not sure how the pandemic has affected rents in Venice and Santa Monica. But unless youíre willing to pay at least $4k (total) youíll be living in a dump. Our place was a nice 2 bedroom about 2 miles from the beach in Santa Monica. It was well maintained but only a small front yard (landlordís house abutted the back). We paid $4.5k but got a discount because we had stable income and the landlord liked us. Market was $5k. In Venice we temporarily rented for a month and it wasnít a hovel, but about as close as would be allowed.  Also just down the street from a big bum encampment in an abandoned store with windows broken out and trash everywhere. That was smaller (1000 sqft maybe), also 2 bedrooms and $3k. Will never, ever, ever do that again. Ever.


ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2020, 10:07:39 PM »
L.A. No, Don't. Just don't!

I was born and raised here. Hollywood is a DUMP. SoCal is a vast trash heap--a vile and disgusting hellhole with the worst traffic in the nation, worst pollution in the nation, worst homeless problem in the nation (TYPHUS!!!! FCKUING TYPHUS for Chrissakes!!!! Look it up if you don't know what it is.), laughable rents and house prices, and attractions! attractions! attractions! Only thing is, most people here NEVER go to any of them, 'cause you're gonna PAY in time on the freeway, even on the weekend! That hot new Korean-Ethiopian taco place all the celebs are eating at (rumor has it that ******TARANTINO****** was even spotted there!!!!!!)?? You're never going to go there, because it'll take you four hours of driving even on the weekend. Also, did I mention that most of SoCal is soul-crushingly ugly?? My friend in Vanouver said, "Your mountains look like dirt. Your hillsides look like dirt. Your skies look like dirt." Sometimes I think dirt would be an improvement.

Don't even think of going to the beach anytime within two weeks of a rainstorm--all the unspeakable filth on our roadways gets washed down the HELL A river (not a river actually, but a concrete ditch) into the beach. And, when I say unspeakable, I mean it--stay away!!

Fortunately my parents and I moved to Pasadena area when I was about 12--a vastly better scene. My wife and I lived in the Bay Area (expensive, but AWESOME!!) for about a decade, and Vancouver BC for four years (expensive, but also pretty cool)

Now, I'm back here for a fairly cushy job with lots of free time, a pension, a nice office, great benefits--and I have to help my aging parents out (only child, thank god).

When I early retire in a decade or so with a nice pension, I will rent a Porsche 911 Turbo S (the only facepunch-worthy thing is if you pronounce it "Porsh"!), and I will lay the hammer down so hard on my way out of SoCal that the earth will probably careen out of its orbit from the centrifugal force of everyone's head spinning in the same direction.

My job is entirely remote now, and if it remains so after the pandemic, we may be looking to Ireland (I am a citizen) or the SF Bay area. The Bay Area is also very expensive (not so bad where we would be), but it is effortlessly cool and awesome in a way that SoCal could not dream of being in forever!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 10:10:56 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

bloodaxe

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2020, 09:00:50 AM »
Iíve been looking for a nice small town to relocate too with warmer weather in  winter but not a 55+ retirement Community.  Also trying to find a no income tax state and the cost of housing may be less than state taxes.. looking at East Tennessee, FL panhandle, west Texas, or maybe Reno area... thoughts?  A little college town would be nice but who knows how many will close their doors since 2020..

I've never lived on the west side of the US, but I can comment on FL and Tennessee.

There's really only 2 cities in the panhandle, Pensacola and Tallahassee. Everything in between are small rural towns or beach tourist traps. I strongly dislike Tallahassee. It's a giant college town that happens to be the capital.

Pensacola is my favorite city in FL. Very close to the beach, great downtown, somewhat bikable and walkable. Might be the most pedestrian friendly in the state, but that isn't saying much.
The beach is also the most beautiful in FL. Water is clear and usually not that packed. The snowbirds and tourists that come down usually go to Panama City, Clearwater, Daytona, Miami, etc.

On the East side of Tennessee, I would take a look at Knoxville, Johnson City, and Chattanooga. I've only been to Chattanooga, and it was great. Lots of mountains, hiking, and outdoor things to do. Great downtown too, if you need to socialize over drinks or food. Knoxville is a college town, so you might want to avoid it.

One thing to mention, if you haven't lived in the southeast before, is prepare to dislike being outside from May - September. It's really hot and humid. At least with dry climates of west Texas and Reno, your sweat will evaporate and cool you down.

spartana

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2020, 12:26:17 PM »
L.A. No, Don't. Just don't!

I was born and raised here. Hollywood is a DUMP. SoCal is a vast trash heap--a vile and disgusting hellhole with the worst traffic in the nation, worst pollution in the nation, worst homeless problem in the nation (TYPHUS!!!! FCKUING TYPHUS for Chrissakes!!!! Look it up if you don't know what it is.), laughable rents and house prices, and attractions! attractions! attractions! Only thing is, most people here NEVER go to any of them, 'cause you're gonna PAY in time on the freeway, even on the weekend! That hot new Korean-Ethiopian taco place all the celebs are eating at (rumor has it that ******TARANTINO****** was even spotted there!!!!!!)?? You're never going to go there, because it'll take you four hours of driving even on the weekend. Also, did I mention that most of SoCal is soul-crushingly ugly?? My friend in Vanouver said, "Your mountains look like dirt. Your hillsides look like dirt. Your skies look like dirt." Sometimes I think dirt would be an improvement.

Don't even think of going to the beach anytime within two weeks of a rainstorm--all the unspeakable filth on our roadways gets washed down the HELL A river (not a river actually, but a concrete ditch) into the beach. And, when I say unspeakable, I mean it--stay away!!

Fortunately my parents and I moved to Pasadena area when I was about 12--a vastly better scene. My wife and I lived in the Bay Area (expensive, but AWESOME!!) for about a decade, and Vancouver BC for four years (expensive, but also pretty cool)

Now, I'm back here for a fairly cushy job with lots of free time, a pension, a nice office, great benefits--and I have to help my aging parents out (only child, thank god).

When I early retire in a decade or so with a nice pension, I will rent a Porsche 911 Turbo S (the only facepunch-worthy thing is if you pronounce it "Porsh"!), and I will lay the hammer down so hard on my way out of SoCal that the earth will probably careen out of its orbit from the centrifugal force of everyone's head spinning in the same direction.

My job is entirely remote now, and if it remains so after the pandemic, we may be looking to Ireland (I am a citizen) or the SF Bay area. The Bay Area is also very expensive (not so bad where we would be), but it is effortlessly cool and awesome in a way that SoCal could not dream of being in forever!
LOL! And don't forget the endless drought (6 months with no rain), the Santa Ana winds, the heat, the crowds and well...I think you covered everything else.

I'm in coastal Orange County about 50 miles south of LA and I really hate LA. Don't like it much here either but if you can learn to ignore lots of the stuff you mentioned its...tolerable and much better then LA. I don't even go to LA to visit...ever. Some cool interesting places but other areas have cool interesting places without the LA problems and I'd look elsewhere myself.

 In the OPs case she can try LA or anywhere in SoCal for awhile and move easily if she doesn't like it. So I say give it a shot. There are something like 30 million people in the LA metro area (and all are trying to go to the beach on hot weekends!) so I'm guessing many of them like it. Like many here I have long term friends, SO, and family keeping me around but as a FIREd person I can take off whenever I want for as long as I want when I get the SoCal horrors. Hard to cone back though after a few weeks in cool green beautiful places with less crowds, traffic, smog, heat and social issues.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 12:33:22 PM by spartana »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Remote work forever... where to go when you can go anywhere? (LA?)
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2020, 12:44:49 PM »
We went to SoCal this summer to scope it out as a potential retirement location, staying in various areas between Santa Barbara and San Diego.

Despite some nice pockets here and there, overall we were rather unimpressed by what we saw and ruled the area out. I doubt we'll be back.

YMMV. But definitely visit first.