Leaving coastal California is a 'no-brainer' for some as housing costs rise


Huntington Beach residents Chris Birtwistle and Allison Naitmazi were about to get married and decided it was time to buy a home.

They wanted to stay in the area but couldn’t find a house they both liked and could reasonably afford — despite a dual income of around $150,000.

So they decided to go inland — all the way to Arizona, where they recently opened escrow on a $240,000, four-bedroom house with a pool just outside Phoenix. Their monthly mortgage payment will be about $500 less than what they paid for a two-bedroom apartment in the Orange County beach community.

“The only hesitation was [leaving] the great weather,” the 31-year old Birtwistle said. “But we talked about what we can get here and what we can get there for the same price and that was a no-brainer.”

From 2007 to 2014, 502,000 more residents earning below $50,000 annually moved out of the state than moved in, while people earning above that level moved in at a greater rate than they left, according to a recent report from Beacon Economics.

If affordability doesn’t improve, lower- and middle-income households will increasingly leave, Beacon principal Thornberg said. But he predicted that wealthy individuals will still come and the economy would just grow slower and tilt toward the rich.

“People moving out of the area, is that a problem? Not necessarily,” Thornberg said. “A lot of it has to do with what your goals are.”

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I would rather stay in a one bedroom condo in the Coast than moving to a 4 bedroom home in the middle of a desert.

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Isn’t $150k the mark for the Bay Area? People below that are leaving and only people above that are moving in.

1-Bd isn’t practical for people that marry and want kids. They’ll go live where they can afford a home that’s big enough for their family.


Then get a 3 bedroom home in Antioch! That is still way better than Phoenix in my opinion.

But, um… didn’t you disclose in another thread that you yourself left SF and moved to East Bay, for similar reasons? I’m sure parts of East Bay were quite desert-like in summer 2016.
I recall… Walnut Creek…

Some people think they can live in Phoenix. I’m not one of them. I’ve been there, was supposed to stay for a few days, but found a way to get on a plane back to SJ on the first day.

So, some people think they are better off out of state. I had some tenants who rented a 2/1apartment from me for $1750. 6 months ago they moved to Oregon where they had secured a 3/2 house(!) for $900. Several of the neighbors here mentioned that number to me (implicating that I charge too much rent)

Well, guess who called me 2 weeks ago? Things in Oregon did not work out so well. Something about employment. So they want to move back into their old complex. Their old unit is rented for $2100 now. I will have a unit for them, but can they qualify now?

I actually have 4 parties vacating within the next 30 days. Going to get keys for the first of the 4 units in an hour. That one was rented for $2300. Will be $3000 in May. One guy gave me notice yesterday (he paid $1500 – will be $2000+ by May 15th).
2 other units to vacate May 1st.

2 of the 4 move out of the area (Sacramento, Bakersfield) … moving closer to family each.

I’m not holding them back. Just don’t expect to come back at the same price.

It’s still best to buy, better sooner than later.


Um… if you think that East Bay is desert like, then something’s wrong with you. Do you see any sand dunes or cactus trees while you were there? By the way, that’s also a slap in the face to anybody who happens to live in the South Bay, because it is just as “hot”.

So long reasonably priced services can be served by nearby cheaper neighborhoods.

yeah, you got that right. I couldn’t live in South Bay either. My climate tolerance border is around Menlo Park, anything south from there… need to stay indoor too much, with AC.

In regards to East Bay… I was thinking further East than WC, Antioch - Tracy area. The hills there look yellow/brown from the dead grass 9 months a year. 2017 might be different with all the rain.

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So then I suppose here in the Bay Area, all the neighborhoods in SF ultimately serves Marina and Noe Valley, all the neighborhoods in the South Bay ultimately serves Atherton and Palo Alto, and all the neighborhoods in the East Bay ultimately serves Alamo and Piedmont.

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Is that Chinese logic? :joy:

Um… even Antioch is better than anything in the middle of nowhere, in my opinion. Antioch is still part of the Bay Area and can be reachable by BART, in the near future. So that’s a big plus for the city.

I don’t know about Tracy… it’s definitely too far removed…

Yes hanera, you need to start shopping. First, buy a house in Atherton. Then, buy one in the Marina. Then, buy one in Alamo. That completes the trio. :slight_smile:

Well, at least you did not capitalize the city when you wrote it. No other place in the world that I know of refers to a city like that. Not San Jose. Not Chicago either.

I was referring to the city as in the city of Antioch, not SF.

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LOL :grin:

Arizona isn’t all desert. Some of it, at 4000-6000ft, is very coastal California-like with just a bit more seasonality. And it isn’t just housing prices that are much lower - electricity costs are about a third lower. Then there are all the things you can have and do in AZ that you can’t have or do, at least easily, in CA including most outdoor activities other than hiking.
This showed up on our local yahoo group this weekend. Looks like we are losing a La Hondan to AZ (won’t be the first) and our only store. That will leave us with one church and one bar (basic human needs :slight_smile: ). This was associated with a thread on the recent huge tax increases (gas, vehicle reg, smokes, etc).

"When I was 18 the lotto was started. Money for the school system, better education new buildings. That never happened. Where that money really went I don’t know. Years ago they raised the gas tax and increased the registration fees to fix the roads. That never happened. Where did the money go? J Brown did it again, and where do you think that money will go? We have the highest tax rate and the worst roads in the country. The fees from the county are going through the roof at the store.
Garbage 1100.00 a month
Weights & measures 800.00 Yr: for some one to come in once a year to check the produce scale
Environmental Heath 1600.00 Yr to come in two times for a five minute walk through to try and find anything to keep their job
Beer and wine license
Tobacco license
Workers comp, taxes after taxes and taxes on the taxes.

I just have to say, I AM DONE!

Small business can not make it in California

My whole family has left CA, and I was to slow to understand why .

But Jerry Brown raised the tax again for roads… It will never get to fixing roads…Why?

I have a store, and a house, and a dog for sale, I might not let go of the dog but Arizona is looking a lot better now and I don’t have to pay 500 bucks for water I won’t drink."

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California, the Bay Area, is survival of the fittest. Strong business and individual will survive and thrive. Weak ones lose out and might have to relocate. Only the best of the best get to stay. Why are home values here sky high? Because it is the most desirable place to be which makes it the most competitive. Our unique combination of weather, tourism, and technology is what’s driving this desire. Out of all places in America, we are unsurpassable, and can be matched only barely by the likes of NY and LA.

Once you leave the BA is hard to return…Very few other places have the same appreciation rate…But to think anywhere else is a desert is very limited. .All of California has something to offer…much more than anything in Arizona. …The BA is about big city living…As long as you have a big income it is great…If not there are plenty of other places close by that are more affordable. .Sacramento is already almost as large as the BA 50 years ago, and is a lot more livable and urban than BA snobs think…


The topic though, is about coastal California, which I doubt Sacramento qualifies. That also explains the pricing of Central Valley as compared to Bay Area and LA.