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Sr FFR builder
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Ok, now I am really confused!

My wife and I have had our hearts set on Florida for some time and in a way still do. However, as I write this post, I am in a hotel in Anaheim and have been here for the last 9 days and find myself perplexed. The weather out here is just short of unbelieveable. Haven't perspired once this trip. There are a few concerns though and I would like you Cal boyz (and ladies if applicable) to offer any input.

First, the weather although unbelivable, was still a bit chilly for my liking in Anaheim. However, I did spend a few days with some former IL neighbors in Rancho Cucamonga and the weather was as perfect as my wife and I could imagine (90's and dry). What amazed us was that in just a 35 minute drive, the weather changed considerably. Is this normal, or are we missing something?

Second, we are very concerned about the schools. According to the internet, CA schools are among the worst in the country (I believe they ranked 47th, OUCH!) One of our biggest concerns has been moving out of one of the best ranked schools (libertyville, IL) to a school district that is challenged to say the least. Can anyone suggest (unbiased of course) the top public schools to consider in southern Cal? I realize that FL is not much better in this category, but we have located a phenominal private christian academy in the area which we believe is even better than most of the IL schools. While you are at it, can anyone recommend any excellent private schools? Mind you my son is only 18 months so we have a while yet, but will need to seek schools for all grades.

Third, the rumors of the crime rates in southern Cal seem to be a bit of a concern. Can anyone offer an unbiased perspective on this. While you are at it, where would be the areas to stay away from when it came to crime areas. I would suspect that LA is definately on the list seeing the endless amount of grafitti that is everywhere when you reach the LA area.

Fourth, the traffic situation. Now I have noticed that the traffic can be a bit brutal, but so far not too much worse than Chicago. The one thing that southern cal has going is that many of the side roads are 3 lanes per side. That is something Chicago can only dream about. Is there areas of southern cal that are worse with traffic problems than others?

Finally, with my cobra already titled and plates in IL, will I have anything to worry about in CA with (is it called SB100?) If so, what do I need to worry about?

You would think that with all I have said so far that I would want nothing to do with CA. But, I can say that everyone we have talked to so far have been super friendly, helpful and pleasant. In addition, there are a ton of things to do and my wife and I enjoy the urbanesque feel of southern cal more so than the rural feeling of central FL. And as much as I love FL, the humidity can indeed be a killer. But with that being said, the weather in Anaheim is not warm enough for my wife and I. We love what we call "pool weather" 90's and up or at least high 80's. And I can really do without that marine layer in the mornings. Has anyone ever seen the sunrise in CA? Of course I can see that the weather in southern cal is much better for cobra owners than FL with their daily rains.

Thanks for all your help
 

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Hey Dan, Welcome to Sunny So Cal. I'm actually in San Diego, but grew up in the San Fernando Valley just north of LA so I'm pretty familiar with SoCal. I'll give it a shot at answering your questions.

As far as the weather goes, its usually nice here for about ten months out of the year if not more. We have had unually wet winters lately, but normally we only see occasional rain in Jan and Feb. The summers will get very hot in July and Aug (not as hot as AZ though)especially in the "inland" valleys. The coastal areas are typically a bit cooler than inland, especially in the summer. From Aneheim, a 35 minute drive could get you to the beach, or to the local "mountains" where you could find a slightly different climate. It also might get you only five miles down the Freeway at peak rush hour. (See answer #4 later)

As far as schools go, I'm not really current on this. I can tell you that So Cal is such a large area, that there are many different school districts, as well as many private schools. My guess would be if you seek out a more affluent area, you'll find the schools are better there also. (more per capita spending per student) You might check with some local realtors for school information in a particular area.

Regarding the crime rate, I think it all depends on where you live (and work). Obviously, the more dense the population, the more crime you'll probably see. Again, So Cal is such a large area, there is a great diversity in both economic and social status. Basically, for example, you could end up in Beverly Hills or Compton or anywhere in between. And that's just LA. Orange County is its own little "world" too. (As is San Diego County) It all depends on where you settle. You might end up somewhere where you are mostly "sheltered" from the daily crime that you see on the news. Graffitti is still pervasive in most of So Cal, its not just in the "inner" cities anymore. You'll get used to seeing it, just hopefully not where you decide to live.

Traffic.... ah traffic.... Worst in LA, bad in Orange County and San Diego. We just have too many cars here. Typically the major freeways are clogged during the morning "rush hour" (7:00 am to about 8:30am) and the after noon rush hour (4:00 PM to 6:00P.M.) It all depends on where you want to go and when. At any given time of the day, there can be traffic accidents which really clog the major freeways. I've spent three and a half hours going from Aneheim to Tarzana before (about 60 miles)and never even left LA couty!. When its bad, its bad. As you mentioned, there are alternative routes with "lots of lanes" but I'd say the majority of the driving is done on the freeways. The trick is to have a job where you can avoid the rush hours, or just live close enough for a short commute. My parents live in LA and I seldom drive up to see them just because of the traffic. If I do, I ususlly leave late at night so I don't hit traffic. Other than that, the freeways and roads are usually a joy to drive on. (You might have noticed the absence of things like ice and snow...


I don't think our DMV here in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia recognizes titles from out of state so you'll have to registar using SB100 or SB1578 (allows specially constructed vehicles to apply for SB100). See the thread below on Club Cobra.
http://www.clubcobra.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=65781

Other than that, CA is a great place to live and to own a Cobra. You're welcome to come down and check out San Diego if you like. If I remember right, you are in the mortgage business also. Our corporate office is in Irvine and we have offices all throught So Cal. PM me, and I'd be happy to see about getting you hooked up with the right people to talk to if that would help.

Let us (your fellow FFROGS)know if you decide to relocate here. We'd be happy to have you!
Ken
 

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Well Dan, Ken has pretty much said it all. The only thing I can add is The humidity here and lack of flying insects verses Florida is a big plus. I moved here 21 yrs ago, and I wasn't really sure I had done the right thing, but I cannot leave now. I don't even really want to leave for vacation. Its hard to find anywhere that I like better (IMHO). I know many folks that have come here from the Chicago area. They are all still here, and I have never heard any of them say they regret it. I agree with Ken, you need to get out abit farther and explore more, this is one huge area of people. Anahiem is a bit crowded and with Disneyland a bit commercial for my taste. Try a bit of San Diego, or southern Riverside County. Heck, drop in on the Bat (Temecula), he's an interesting character to say the least. If you decide this is the place for you, the Cobra community here is simply fantastic. Hope this helps. Your Friend, BenC
 

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Dan,

I live at the beach in So. Orange County.

Our local schools are heavily impacted by the illigal immigrant population. This is a fiscal problem that our great elected leaders continue to ignore. To even address this crisis will get you called a vigilante by you know who. The near term solution will be an increase in property taxes.

Without surfing beaches, the Marina for sailing and several great tracks to run the Cobra I would be out of here in a heartbeat.

Roger
 

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June gloom is still lingering with us - a lot of morning overcast.

You will find that as you go further inland, the temperatures rise and the housing costs go down. Cost of housing in LA or Orange County is outrageous - it's one of the reasons why I chose to live in Riverside 20 years ago. (We currently live in a 4,000 sq ft house on a 1/2 acre lot in a gated community)

You should take a look at the Temecula/Murrieta area - besides being close to the bat cave, its a very nice area that is rapidly growing.
 

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Born and raised in San Diego. Lived here all my life (except for 3 unbearable months in Tulsa, OK, one summer).

San Diego City gets less than 10 inches of rain annually. That's 4 inches less than Lake Havasu, AZ. Our sunnist month of the year is January, according to the National Weather Service. Humidity is rarely an issue.

June gloom? How about Hurricane Dennis? I'll take my June gloom, thank you. And my earthquakes :eek: !

Raised one son through the public school system and my daugther is in middle school. No sweat. It just requires parents to be signifficantly involved...what an original idea.

No place is perfect, but Southern California is excellent! Besides what other state will ever have a "Governator".

Dan, if you decide on Florida, please convince 100 California "transplants" to go with you! But I fear they'd be back after a couple of months.

And Roger, Florida has the second highest number of illegal immigrants, just behind California.

Dave Lowen
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FFR4501, Mark II, No donor build
 

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Dan:

Although born here in sunny CA, I have lived elsewhere, including 6 years in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Been back here for almost 12 years. Moved back when the kids were in grade school, so I know what you are going through.

There are some "pockets" of very good school districts and / or areas to live. Of course that all depends upon where you will be working.

If I can be of assistance, feel free to give me a call (PM me and I will give you my number)!
 

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Dan,

There is a lot to love about SoCal, and like Ken I grew up in "The Valley" and moved to San Diego in 1986, so I can back up what he's saying.

I want to add though that a number of creditable sources, including Credit Suisse Bank, that are projecting the real estate bubble to burst in hot markets... and San Diego (maybe all of SoCal) is a REALLY hot market. So, keep that in mind before you go buying a half-million dollar condo in the rough part of town. :D

I live in a great neghborhood with one of the best school districts in the state: Poway Unified. Low crime, northern inland local (in relationship to downtown) and pretty quick drive (30-45 minutes max) for anything important. We'd love to have ya join us!

Oh, and we have hills and mountains... and our beaches actually have waves. You can't say that about Florida. :D

Clutch
 

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If you get on the I-10 frwy and go inland about 70 miles.You will come across Yucaipa and Calimesa.Both are smaller communities with nice weather and lower crime.This area is basically in the middle of everything.What i mean is,it is about the same distance to the beaches,deserts and mountains.I lived in that area from 1962 to 2000.Five years has gone by,so i have no idea how much growth has happened.By the way,if you are still in Rancho Cuc,you are not far from visiting Yucaipa and Calimesa. Also you wont have the extreme humidity and swarms and swarms of bugs like Florida has.
Good Luck
 

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Dan-

I moved to California in 1958 with my parents. I have lived here in southern California since then. I now live in the affluent community of Camarillo, near the coast just south of Ventura. The schools here are very good, the climate is mild (Mediterranian), and the housing through the roof. A typical 3 bedroom, 2-bath home here costs $750K, but you weed out the undesireables with expensive homes.

My son will start Camarillo HS in the fall, and the school is considered very good. I would love for my two children to attend Oak Christain School (private) in Wetlake Village, but the tuition is $24,000 per year per student.

We have a lovely 4-bedroom home with approximately 2400 sg-ft. Our neighborhood is very quiet. I love it here.

2FAST

2FAST
 

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Zip code is 93010

Summers get up to 85F and the winters get as low as 50-55F. In the evening, the sea breeze comes and cools everything off.
 

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Dan, two words....

Orange County


Very good public schools, great private schools, PCH, hot women, cool cars, awesome places to eat, nice beaches, I could go on and on. Born and raised in LA, moved to San Clemente (Orange County) in 10th grade. Have never left the area except for college.

Roger certainly brings up some valid points with the illegal immigrants. It is a problem in some places, but I don't "see" it as that big a deal.

Camarillo, up where Bill lives, is also beautiful. Can't go wrong up there either.

Good luck and feel free to email my directly with any questions.

Jeff
 

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Dan,
The marine layer is more prevalent in June and early July. In fact they have a name for it, "June Gloom". Summer doesn't really kick in until August, and September is actually our hottest month. You can pretty easily fine tune your personal temperature requirements by moving further back from the beach communities. The cities and new developments along I-15 towards Temecula get downright toasty if that's what you're after. Places like Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Murrietta and Temecula have a lot of nice new development to choose from. Those places NEED a pool. You're still within easy driving distance of the mountains or the ocean if you need a change of pace though. Good luck.
Frank
 
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