My dad lives in Marin. Well, Novato, actually. It wouldn't help the OP, but he toys with the idea of leasing out his detached one bedroom apartment and horse setup to a horseperson. The barn is nice, the corral has decent fencing, but the pasture is field fence and loose.
My mom used to live in Loma Mar. No one knows where that is either.
I am inbetween Loma Mar and Pescadero - One day I found a flyer in my mail box for a "Lomamartian" gathering! First thought, Whoa wait! Am I far enough up the road to be a Lomamartian?!
Originally Posted by KateKat
Surprising! Especially since Guy Fieri went to Duarte's.
Duarte's does get quite a line on the weekends. Before that Guy.. guy, it has won a James Beard award for "An American Classic". Their pies, soups and cioppino are still to die for, but the rest of the menu is not the same quality that I remember as a kid (my mom even worked there when I was a kiddo). Dare I say they are too busy for their own good these days!
To the OP - Yes, there is traffic, there are too many people - if you are in the wrong areas (really didn't enjoy the 4 years I lived in San Jose). But there are little towns like mine - that feel like old small town America, but with a modern liberal twist.
Do look into La Honda (east of Loma Mar ) if you are going to be working on the peninsula. The commute isn't too bad - and its a little town off in the redwoods, with a small town feel (everyone knows each other, people tend to not lock their doors etc).
Last edited by Appsolute; Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM.
I live in a unincorporated town called "El Sobrante". Made famous by Les Claypool and the band Primus, but also a bit famous because we seem to birth a lot of Metal bands. It's really a funky place with wonderful local restaurants and businesses, and because it's unincorporated you can still pretty much do what you want with your property. It's less than 45 minutes commute for me into downtown SF everyday, I am minutes from some very expensive and "elite" areas, and surrounded by open space. There's nothing "nice" about where I live from a Bay Area perspective but I adore my neighbors and all the wonderful people that live here. Our local, family owned grocery and hardware store and ethnic foods and...well you get the point.
These pockets exist, but they wont impress anyone that lives in Silicon Valley, or the hoards of people that obsess over which zipcode they live in!!!
I grew up in Los Altos and my parents still live on the Peninsula. My husband always rolls his eyes when I say it, but it used to be a normal place to live, with lots of apricot orchards in the neighborhoods. Now it is 4 huge houses crammed onto a 1/4-acre lot with no yard and you could reach out and trade sugar with your neighbor through the window. Of course there are still pockets of areas that have decent-sized lots and yards; but, wait...it seems like starter houses are at least $800,000, if not $1M. Well, that's in the "not-the-nicest" places to live (not crappy, just not Atherton or Woodside or downtown PA or in the hills). It is so overcrowded now.
Depending on where you live, as others have stated, $200k may not cut it as far as being "comfortable" - certainly not in the Peninsula. And to get into horses? Very expensive.
Commuting sucks, and EVERYTHING is a competition - finding a parking spot, getting in line at the grocery store, getting a dinner reservation...everything.
The great things about it are diversity, great food, great weather, nice open spaces (lots of outdoorsy people and hiking trails and whatnot), culture, distance to the beach and mountains, and prettiness.
I think the East Bay is more affordable, although there are of course fabulously nice places there, too.
I grew up in Los Altos and my parents still live on the Peninsula. My husband always rolls his eyes when I say it, but it used to be a normal place to live, with lots of apricot orchards in the neighborhoods.
The entire Bay Area was a "normal" place to live pre-1990s. My husband's father bought a house in Orinda in the 1970s with ONE middle class salary easily and paid it off in a few years. The same neighborhood is a minimum of a million dollars for a "cottage". They moved to Orinda from San Francisco, where they also easily owned a home with one person working, in their late 20s, in a middle class job.
I am from Orange County which was just another neighborhood. My grandmother bought a house on her hourly wage at the Post Office. You can't by a house in my home town for less than half a million.
Ditto. My patents bought a house in the hills of San Mateo, on a quarter of an acre with a panoramic view of the bay for $90k in the 70's. The land is now worth close to a million, would be more if the house were in better shape (then again, all the houses in San Mateo are old so someone would probably still pay a premium for it)
I too remember when the Bay Area seemed normal and there were only a few "rich" pockets like certain areas of Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Woodside and Hillsbourough/Burlingame. Now wealthy people everywhere, even in places we used to consider "ghetto", lol.
Oh and to add to the waiting in line is everything is small-small streets, small spaces. It just feels very cramped.
Appssolute, when I joined the US Navy, I retired my older mare in Loma Mar, at the house of a friend of my mom's. Then, I retrieved her and moved her cross country to where I was stationed in Maryland. Honestly, there isn't much difference between the Potomac area of MD and the SF Peninsula. At least from the horsey scene. Both are very expensive with pockets of reasonable but land is scarce. The biggest difference in that you still need an orange vest while riding in parts of DC/Beltway. Not an issue in the Bay Area. I can't remember any hunting preserves there.
I grew up in AZ, CA and CO. My folks won't leave the Bay Area now because they could never afford to go back. Me? I left when I went to college and never looked back. Fun place to visit, but I can get so much more elsewhere. I'd rather have more land, personally. Plus, the taxes out there are amazingly high. You have to factor that into your expenses. They can milk you dry. My dad bought a house in Florida and was considering switching his residency (no state income tax here) but CA still has a way to screw him on income made from the Florida house. It makes no sense.
I guess my problem is Southern California spoiled me! SD for two years, and a lifetime in Ventura county (in between LA and Santa Barbara) got me used to perfect weather (in comparison SF is COLD and rains A LOT), lots and lots of space, ample, accessible horse stuff everywhere, and expensive but manageable - no where near the COL of the Bay area.
It definitely does not have the relaxed vibe of SD and most of So Cal - like Pocket Pony mentioned, it feels very, very competitive and crowded, and not very friendly at all.
When we moved to SD, we met people and made friends quickly. Up here we have yet to really meet anyone we don't know - saying hi to people - even in the my new office - gets you glares or indifference. I just really don't enjoy the whole vibe of the area.
Could you come out and visit for a week or two to try and get a feel for things? It's obviously not the same as living here but it would at least give you a taste for it.
I definitely wouldn't live here by choice, but there are obviously people who love it. It really depends I guess on your personality and what things are important to you.
I'd head back to SoCal if I could go anywhere!
It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.