Author Topic: Moved to San Diego!  (Read 6133 times)

malacca

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Moved to San Diego!
« on: January 26, 2015, 02:19:19 AM »
Just before Christmas we arrived in San Diego.

Had to get out of the midwest - family smothering us and the weather was hell. I have lived around the world and returned to the US 3 years ago. After 2 1/2 years in Minnesota, we bailed. We chose San Diego for the weather, the people, and the Asian culture. Keep in mind I have reached FI.

We had planned to move & did our research. So I bought a trailer and we packed it full and hit the road! Stayed in nice hotels on the way down - we have millions of hotel points.

Rented out the house.

So far so good.

1) People. The people here are great. I moved from Minnesota where people are generally very nice - pretty much the same here. Two of my neighbors came over and gave us welcoming Christmas presents. One couple bought gifts for my kids. Amazing.

2) Transport. The freeways seem so easy to drive on. Not sure what it is, but I almost fall asleep. Keep in mind I am at FI so I don't commute to a day job during rush hour.

3) Observation: The more Eastwardly you go the more motorized vehicles (working or not) per resident.

4) The weather. Nuff said.

5) Housing.  I have a background in real estate (not as an agent, thank god). Inland land costs are not that high - but housing costs still high. And there are very few rebuilds. Lot's of 500K+ shacks that should be torn down. After a round of golf with a property developer my suspicions were confirmed: There is about a 200K "tax" per property for various fees and requirements by the state, county and cities. Somehow they made a 100K lot with a 200K house cost 550K - or more.

So in essence there is a 200K tax to live in SD.

Is it worth it? For me definitely. I am at FI so I don't have a day job and spend my days outdoors - golfing, hiking, etc.

OK, I have reached FI and have enough cash - so 200K isn't that painful.

6) Food. Lot's of great ethnic restaurants. More towards the ocean. In some areas hard to "eat American". After 20+ years abroad, I am into a variety. Happy. Prices low compared to previous place.

7) Zoo and SeaWorld. We bought memberships. Great value. keep in mind we have kids and we don't have day jobs so we can go often.

8) Beaches. Golden and free. Nuff said.

9) Prices. Hmm.... Housing is definitely more expensive. Gas is 10 to 20% over other states. Near my AZ house gas is $1.63 at Costco. Haven't seen any utility bills yet. Hair cuts cheaper. Food cheaper. Target really sucks here - vs just sucking in MN. My guess is that everything is 10 to 20% more.

10) Jobs. I have had one offer without soliciting for one. I am looking towards the tech / start up sector. Although I am FI, I need something to do. I spent the last 8 years having and educating my kids. I have too much free time.

11) Budget. OK, what I am about to say may not come across well with the MM crowd. Keep in mind I am at the point most of you hope to be.  My monthly budget is 4K. Enough to eat out a lot - join zoo & SeaWorld.

So far, so happy.

Irishtache

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 04:21:49 AM »
Congratulations and best wishes on the move! You seem to have the stache sorted so I don't think you should be embarrassed about your budget, especially given the higher COL in San Diego.

As a matter of interest, do you plan to buy/build or renovate in San Diego or thereabouts? Ken

thurston howell iv

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 06:41:50 AM »
SD is my favorite!!! We lived in North County - Oceanside for some years. COL was high but I was happy to "pay" for the weather. The commute sucks and everything is expensive but it's just SO nice to be there. Congrats!!

PathtoFIRE

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 08:27:05 AM »
My wife is very interested in living/retiring in San Diego (I'm half San Franciscan, but after 2 visits to SD I'm beginning to see the appeal). However, I just don't know if I can stomach the increased housing costs. I feel like renting is a more suitable option, but some good friends of ours moved there a few years ago, and have had to move several times because of renting. I've done enough research to see that it gets less expensive as you move further north, and almost reasonable if you move inland, but then you start to lose either the 'ideal' weather of SD or easy access to the ocean/SD amenities. I'd be curious to hear from your own personal experiences about what areas you considered moving, and what your impressions are of the greater SD area.

zinnie

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 09:09:24 AM »
Welcome! We live in San Diego and enjoy it quite a bit. I am glad your neighbors are friendly; that is one of the first things that struck me when I moved here.

I can't relate to the housing costs being high as I lived in places that cost more than this previously, but our small house in central SD seems very reasonable to us. Of course we are still in the pre-FI, DINK stage of our lives :)

malacca

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 11:42:47 AM »
My wife is very interested in living/retiring in San Diego (I'm half San Franciscan, but after 2 visits to SD I'm beginning to see the appeal). However, I just don't know if I can stomach the increased housing costs. I feel like renting is a more suitable option, but some good friends of ours moved there a few years ago, and have had to move several times because of renting. I've done enough research to see that it gets less expensive as you move further north, and almost reasonable if you move inland, but then you start to lose either the 'ideal' weather of SD or easy access to the ocean/SD amenities. I'd be curious to hear from your own personal experiences about what areas you considered moving, and what your impressions are of the greater SD area.

Yes, housing is more. I rented my previous house out for $1800 and am paying $2000 here - so just $200 more. Keep in mind I don't have a mortgage. Another point - I am in a good but not prime area so costs are lower compared to my previous house which was in a very prime area.

Inland Weather - I can tell you more after a full year. The temps inland very more widely for daly highs and lows. And you can notice the temp change as you drive towards the ocean (sometime for the worse). But compared to most areas in the US, even inland is 100X better. You can go outside 95% of days. In the summer it might get to hot in the day but at least you can go out in the morning or evening. In Minnesota there were just too many days we couldn't go outside.

I originally was looking at living closer to the ocean and the rents seemed to be about $800 more for a similar property.

So my take so far is that if you have $300K cash for housing then SD is very doable (I am thinking for a family of 4. Less if no kids). You will still have a mortgage but only 150 to 200K.

Renting is another option. Keep in mind you don't have to own the house you live in. You can put your housing cash into rentals and use that income to pay or offset your rent. It is laid back here and little "keep up with the Jones" pressure. Older, well worn cars are the norm for middle class.

malacca

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2015, 11:48:27 AM »
Congratulations and best wishes on the move! You seem to have the stache sorted so I don't think you should be embarrassed about your budget, especially given the higher COL in San Diego.

As a matter of interest, do you plan to buy/build or renovate in San Diego or thereabouts? Ken

For now we are just going to rent as we don't know what area we want to be in. Looking at places in Santee.

I am investigating building but it doesn't look good - way too many 'fees' and regulations. I would consider renovating / adding on - there are a lot of shacks here.

MustachianMD

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2015, 04:44:31 PM »
Wife and I were out here when she was finishing her fellowship. We loved the weather out there and do miss our friends. New job in the midwest has been nice, great people, good opportunity. We fantasize about moving back there again once we are FI.

I congratulate you on making the move of your dream (my dream as well).

malacca

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 01:42:44 AM »
San Diego Update.

Coming up to 3 months in SD.

1. Housing still an issue. I am selling two of my properties to finance a house here. I have my house in midwest that we don't need and the rental returns are not that great on it. And I have a house in AZ I am selling. It was our winter escape home but don't need it anymore as no reason to go from SD to AZ (it does rent well though).

Also, as I don't have a day job I can't get a regular mortgage. I have a LOT of real estate with zero debt that make good profit but banks don't care - they want W-2 of 10-99 income. Think this one through. One can lose a job easily. But losing rental income is very unlikely. Sure, I could lose a month of income - or even two - but sooner or later it will rent. Even if I have to discount the rental a bit my profit will be decent as I don't have any mortgages.

I was told by two experienced mortgage / finance guys to get a day job (W-2), then get a mortgage, buy a house and quit day job. I can get a day job easily but I don't want to lie / deceive a company just so I can get a mortgage.

2. Schools are underfunded. Many lack essential facilities.

3. People are good. Haven't met any unfriendly people. Most are laid back and easy going.

4. It is a nanny state. I knew this coming out here. Lot's of regulations on which hand to hold the toilet paper.

5. It is corrupt. Lot's of people sucking money off of tax payers.

6. We love the facilities. SD Zoo, the beaches, SeaWorld, etc.

7. Love the weather!

8. Good food. Lot's of fresh organic veggies. Lot's of good ethnic restaurants.

9. Love the weather!

10. Love the weather!





surfhb

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2015, 09:33:22 PM »
Don't support Seaworld.    The things those shitbags do to these magnificent animals is beyond mention.    Not the best way to teach your kids about respect for the natural world.

Learn to surf.....it will add years to your life and completely change the way you view the world IF you become serious about it.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2015, 09:41:50 PM by surfhb »

clarkfan1979

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 06:55:34 AM »
Congratulations! I lived in San Diego for 5 years and Encinitas for 2 years. Encinitas is my absolute favorite. I lived there when I went to undergrad and a MA program. Some of my friends that had corporate jobs complained that there was a 20% sunshine tax. Employers can afford to pay 20% less for corporate jobs because of the high demand to live in SD.

If you are FI, you successfully avoided this trap. It seems like you also successfully avoided rush hour traffic by being FI.

There is a possibility that I will be moving back with my wife in a few years. I have had a few interviews, but no offers yet. The only way we will be able to afford a house is by selling at least 1 rental.

A&R

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2015, 07:31:39 AM »
Don't support Seaworld.    The things those shitbags do to these magnificent animals is beyond mention.    Not the best way to teach your kids about respect for the natural world.

+1 Have you seen the documentary Blackfish?

Congrats on your move! I currently live in a low COL area with high salaries. I like it pretty well, but my main complaint is the lack of natural beauty around here. The jury is still out on whether I will keep this as my home base and just travel more or if I will eventually relocate.

rubor

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2015, 07:44:22 AM »
For the OP, what about non-traditional ways to get a mortgage? I am in the same boat as you in terms of not being able to get a mortgage because of no day job. I thought about getting a margin loan to buy a house in cash, then getting a home equity loan to pay back the margin loan. But I am sure there are some issues with this plan that I have not figured out yet. Worth considering at least.

DMoney

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2015, 02:37:24 PM »
Hi, there,
How old are your kids and how did they feel about the move?  I'll be 45 when I can FIRE and will have teenagers.  Want to get away from where we currently live but worry that I should just stick it out until they are through high school.

Thanks and congrats on reaching FIRE!

Sayonara925

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2015, 08:15:12 PM »
So you haven't been there long enough to experience a Santee summer.  It's hot!  Actually, already getting hot in March.  Suggest inching a little more towards the coast.  Just 5 miles west makes a big difference.  You'll see.  The problem with the coastal towns to the north is the traffic on the dreaded highway 5.  That and the housing costs.  If you don't need to be on that fwy at peak traffic periods, then maybe not too bad, but I bet there will still be a lot of times you'll be stuck in that molasses.  Amazing how many deal with it.  Also, suggest avoiding areas to the south for the same reason.  In general, freeways going north-south are nasty at rush hour, there are only a few to choose from.

forummm

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2015, 05:44:37 PM »
SD is great. Some relatives know a guy who has a beach condo there that he rents out. They let us stay there for a wedding. Super sweet. I definitely wanted one. They had some new ones down the walkway that were going for only $2.5 million each. Womp womp.

Congrats on getting a nice setup for yourself!

Johnez

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Re: Moved to San Diego!
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2015, 02:28:25 PM »
Love going to SD, seems very "alive" in comparison to Orange County. If you've not been to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Encinitas I highly recommend it. Huge park that tries very hard to replicate natural habitats of the animals.