Atlanta

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Submitted by kev374 on September 15, 2014 - 8:37am

Considering a move to Atlanta, job will pay the same as here and has good career growth prospects. I don't know much about the city. Any opinions on how the city compares to LA?

I know it does not have the glit and glamor of LA, or the beaches, or the terrific weather etc. in that sense it's a bit of a downgrade but it's substantially cheaper to live there while pay being the same! Could be a reasonable compromise.

As for the humidity, I grew up in the tropics, in a city with more humidity than ATL so I think i'll manage and i'm told it's only a problem between Jul-Sep.

Submitted by kev374 on September 18, 2014 - 11:05am.

Texas does not interest me, I don't like the topography of that area - it's flat as a pancake. ATL is located near the Blue Ridge and Smokey mountains and the landscape is more varied.

As an avid motorcyclist who frequents the track I also have Road Atlanta and Barber closeby which are world-class racetracks. There is virtually nothing in TX. The morons at Circuit of the Americas in Austin have kept the fees so high that nobody does track days there!

Staying in LA/OC is not an option as the numbers simply don't make any sense. Being financially conservative I want to limit myself to 3x my gross for a home and want to pay it off within 15 years. I also have some minimum standards for a place I buy, 2 car garage, 1500sqft for $400k. When I told my Realtor that, he thought I wanted a mansion for my budget. This is supposed to be a mansion? I think things have gone so out of whack here that there is a total disconnect between what is a basic home vs what is a mansion. And a $400k home is not cheap to me, that's close to half million. I don't get the mindset of people in LA/OC, they hardly have $20k in the bank but talk like taking a loan for $500-600k is no big deal. To me that is downright ridiculous and foolish but to each his own.

I could wait for prices to come down but i've waited long enough for that, there was a very very brief window of opportunity in 2012 but unfortunately I could not capitalize on that due to some personal circumstances. By the time I was ready the vultures..er..investors were trampling over each other to buy all the homes and before I even blinked the inventory was zero. I know for a FACT Realtors who were taking kickbacks during that time and selling "pocket listings" to their internal clientele...it was too late before I came to know the dirty tricks of the Realtor trade!! Anyway no point bitching about all that now! Let's just say the LA/OC market is a circus that I no longer wish to participate in. For those that want to, good for you, I wish you luck. As for me time to concentrate on the future :)

It is akin to businesses moving out of state, at some point you have to run the numbers and make a decision about the cost vs benefit. I still think Southern California is one of the best, if not the best, places to live but that is only IF one has craploads of money OR one bought real estate during the cheap era. If you are not in one of these 2 categories then living here is infact much worse - you have to settle for substandard homes in substandard neighborhoods, no thanks!

Submitted by spdrun on September 18, 2014 - 11:23am.

Wait a bit...

Interest rates up 25 basis points on the latest Fed tapering. Hopefully we'll see 4.5 or 5% by October when QE3 is finally put to pasture, giving the real estate market a massive shot in the arm.

And by "shot", I mean shot of Propofol to put it back to sleep, Michael Jackson style. A bit of a drop in prices will put a lot more skells who bought into the last bubble under water, slowing things down further, starting a virtuous cycle.

What's the rush? Wait till the skells have to sell short again, then jump in like a Russian paratrooper late to a party in Donet'sk.

Yeah, there's talk about relaxing mortgage standards so more crappy-credit cretins can buy condos and cribs, but this will take a year or two to happen, what with the QM rules.

Also, keep in mind that if you buy in Atlanta now and rates go up, your value might be hit and you'll regret not buying in CA. Property markets seem to have slowed down or be in the process of doing so. I'd adopt a wait-and-see attitude rather than making a life-altering decision now.

Submitted by desmond on September 18, 2014 - 11:58am.

Here's where you are missing the point sprun. Buying a house in CA is a life-altering decision. In other places it is not. CA real estate will never be affordable, at least compared to other places. Kev, you have a great game plan, smaller home, smaller price. No matter where you choose to live it is up to you to enjoy it.

Submitted by spdrun on September 18, 2014 - 1:40pm.

But at a bit of a discount to today's prices, it would be less life-altering. And SoCal isn't a raging, humid, hot rathole like humidlanta. There's a REASON why prices are higher in CA than in JawhJah.

If one blows their downpayment on a house in ATL that then loses value when rates go up(*), they'll be stuck there until they can save another downpayment.

Skells will have to sell when they smell rates goin' up, best to keep some powder dry so to speak.

(*) - to be clear:
1. The R.E. markets ARE slowing since last year. Fed is tapering anyway. This worked out so well (no sarcasm intended, from my perspective) in 2009 and 2011-12.
2. Rates ARE going up. A +0.25% reaction to tapering that should already have been priced in is significant. Remember that we spiked over 5% after QE1 and QE2 were euthanized, even under ZIRP.
3. Tapering is a done deal. Short of an October cataclysm or nuclear war, there won't be enough data in the next 1.5 months, before the October 29 meeting, that can't be passed off as "temporary."
4. Qualified Mortgage isn't going anywhere, fast. We shouldn't count on a new wave of loser-loans to bailing out markets any time fast.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 18, 2014 - 2:02pm.

spd, I enjoyed you previous comment. I loved the Michael Jackson and Donetsk bit. Funny. Did you consider writing comedy?

I wouldn't move to TX or GA. But some people are meant to move away, which is fine by me. In that respect, shoveler is right. People have been bitching about the high cost of living since the 80s. That's as far back as I can recall.

Unlike NYC, there was no "cheap period" when people moved away en masse. Now, in hindsight, I wish I had moved to Manhattan, and had the same interest in real estate, back in the 80s and 90s. But I was young back then and I liked the California lifestyle.

sdp, I don't have the same tolerance as you for old and need fixing up. But I overall agree. It's better to live below your means and invest the extra money. Eventually, you'll be independently well-off and you can tell your boss to f-off, if you wish.

However, most people, no matter where they live, put all their money in the most personal residence they can get.

Since officially moving to Nevada, I'm saving income taxes. But I didn't put that money into a McMansion. The savings allow me to buy a rental condo every year without affecting my cash flow. And eventually I'll have a good rental portfolio.

Kev, or anyone else considering moving, if you move to GA, TX or a cheap state, put the housing/tax savings into investments. Don't blow it on personal housing.

Submitted by flyer on September 18, 2014 - 3:34pm.

kev374 wrote:
Texas does not interest me, I don't like the topography of that area - it's flat as a pancake. ATL is located near the Blue Ridge and Smokey mountains and the landscape is more varied.

As an avid motorcyclist who frequents the track I also have Road Atlanta and Barber closeby which are world-class racetracks. There is virtually nothing in TX. The morons at Circuit of the Americas in Austin have kept the fees so high that nobody does track days there!

Staying in LA/OC is not an option as the numbers simply don't make any sense. Being financially conservative I want to limit myself to 3x my gross for a home and want to pay it off within 15 years. I also have some minimum standards for a place I buy, 2 car garage, 1500sqft for $400k. When I told my Realtor that, he thought I wanted a mansion for my budget. This is supposed to be a mansion? I think things have gone so out of whack here that there is a total disconnect between what is a basic home vs what is a mansion. And a $400k home is not cheap to me, that's close to half million. I don't get the mindset of people in LA/OC, they hardly have $20k in the bank but talk like taking a loan for $500-600k is no big deal. To me that is downright ridiculous and foolish but to each his own.

I could wait for prices to come down but i've waited long enough for that, there was a very very brief window of opportunity in 2012 but unfortunately I could not capitalize on that due to some personal circumstances. By the time I was ready the vultures..er..investors were trampling over each other to buy all the homes and before I even blinked the inventory was zero. I know for a FACT Realtors who were taking kickbacks during that time and selling "pocket listings" to their internal clientele...it was too late before I came to know the dirty tricks of the Realtor trade!! Anyway no point bitching about all that now! Let's just say the LA/OC market is a circus that I no longer wish to participate in. For those that want to, good for you, I wish you luck. As for me time to concentrate on the future :)

It is akin to businesses moving out of state, at some point you have to run the numbers and make a decision about the cost vs benefit. I still think Southern California is one of the best, if not the best, places to live but that is only IF one has craploads of money OR one bought real estate during the cheap era. If you are not in one of these 2 categories then living here is infact much worse - you have to settle for substandard homes in substandard neighborhoods, no thanks!

I completely agree that if people can't afford to live well (whatever that means to each individual) in CA, with funds to spare for retirement, etc., etc., they definitely need to look at other options before they run out of time and earning power in the marketplace.

It is my philosophy, and I've always told friends, I believe you should try to be financially set by at least 50, whether you continue to work or not, because life can get very unpredictable as you get older. That's just my opinion, and, of course, may not apply to everyone.

Submitted by kev374 on September 19, 2014 - 9:56am.

spdrun wrote:
And SoCal isn't a raging, humid, hot rathole like humidlanta. There's a REASON why prices are higher in CA than in JawhJah.

Actually I lived in the South about 2 decades ago and don't recall it being a humid, hot rathole at all. The weather was fine...many places around the world have such weather, Singapore is an example and even New York City has humid weather. When I go to places like Cancún and Cozumel it's humid there too but I manage to enjoy myself! That in itself is no reason to dismiss a place, people in CA are just too spoiled! As I said I grew up in the tropics, I can handle it.

I was in Bangkok for a while and THAT place is humid, but I absolutely loved my time in Bangkok despite the searing heat and humidity. Same thing about Miami, it was humid as hell but there were other aspects about the place that I liked which took the focus away from the weather.

I have friends who live in the South, a couple in Tennessee and one in Savannah, GA. They seem to absolutely LOVE where they are living. Californians have this delusion that everyone living outside of CA is miserable!

What is a rathole is the various neighborhoods in LA or OC you would find yourself if you have anything less than craploads of money.

Gang infested sh!tholes like Sylmar and Pacoima or Santa Ana and Garden Grove are now your only options if you don't have gobs of cash or super jumbo financing! People here only seem to talk about the weather but what about the other aspects that contribute to quality of life? The ability to have money to spend on other comforts on life besides housing? The ability to live in a great neighborhood? The ability to send your kids to good schools?

What good is the weather going to do you if you're spending half a million dollars, which is a princely sum for even the upper middle class, to live in a gang infested sh!thole?

Submitted by spdrun on September 19, 2014 - 10:22am.

Miami is actually halfway acceptable because it's heavily non-American and multicultural. Not to mention having some very cool architecture.

What about downsizing and just lowering your expectations? Condo of about 1000 sf with outdoor parking. Who needs a gar(b)age in California weather, especially if you drive a used car or two that you don't care about a few scratches on?

I don't see a huge shortage of the above in beach cities for $400-500k.

Submitted by flyer on September 19, 2014 - 3:21pm.

kev374 wrote:
spdrun wrote:
And SoCal isn't a raging, humid, hot rathole like humidlanta. There's a REASON why prices are higher in CA than in JawhJah.

Actually I lived in the South about 2 decades ago and don't recall it being a humid, hot rathole at all. The weather was fine...many places around the world have such weather, Singapore is an example and even New York City has humid weather. When I go to places like Cancún and Cozumel it's humid there too but I manage to enjoy myself! That in itself is no reason to dismiss a place, people in CA are just too spoiled! As I said I grew up in the tropics, I can handle it.

I was in Bangkok for a while and THAT place is humid, but I absolutely loved my time in Bangkok despite the searing heat and humidity. Same thing about Miami, it was humid as hell but there were other aspects about the place that I liked which took the focus away from the weather.

I have friends who live in the South, a couple in Tennessee and one in Savannah, GA. They seem to absolutely LOVE where they are living. Californians have this delusion that everyone living outside of CA is miserable!

What is a rathole is the various neighborhoods in LA or OC you would find yourself if you have anything less than craploads of money.

Gang infested sh!tholes like Sylmar and Pacoima or Santa Ana and Garden Grove are now your only options if you don't have gobs of cash or super jumbo financing! People here only seem to talk about the weather but what about the other aspects that contribute to quality of life? The ability to have money to spend on other comforts on life besides housing? The ability to live in a great neighborhood? The ability to send your kids to good schools?

What good is the weather going to do you if you're spending half a million dollars, which is a princely sum for even the upper middle class, to live in a gang infested sh!thole?

It's true that many people are spending themselves into oblivion to live in CA, and only time will tell how that will play out for them and for their families in their later years.

With your perspective, I think you'll probably enjoy living wherever you choose to go, and, perhaps you'll find yourself in a position to return to CA in the future--should you care to.

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 19, 2014 - 9:07pm.

I don't see the four cities kev pointed out as "sh!tholes." Far from it. Everybody can't live in La Jolla ... or in his case, Laguna Beach or the Palo Verde peninsula.

kev, you might be surprised to learn that many homeowners have paid-off homes in those "sh!thole" cities you mentioned. And many more homeowners in those cities are in the pipeline to have their homes paid off before retirement. In order for this to happen, a prospective buyer needs to actually consummate a sale and begin making mortgage payments. The younger they are able to do this, the better. You never did in the years you were actively "shopping" for a home (even in the post-bubble crash) because you didn't like anything in your price range. You came here several times complaining vociferously that you didn't like any of the inventory you could have placed an offer on. SEVERAL Piggs (me included) tried mightily to guide you here. So, even though you say you love SoCal and you think it is the best place in the nation to live in, you still don't have a house there today. I'm not trying to taunt you here but I just feel you need to own that fact.

flyer, I don't believe the typical homeowners in the cities kev mentioned are the ones we have to worry about "spending themselves into oblivion." Those aren't generally the types of owners who are trying to keep up with the joneses, nor are most of them "young." They're the type who work all of their lives (and often keep working into retirement to have something to do), keep older vehicles running as long as possible and repair their homes little by little as funds allow.

The type of homeowner we should be concerned about decimating our housing values again or complaining that they need a "bailout" are the ones who can't and won't live within their means. Good examples are "worker bee" FTBs who have kid(s) to support but who: 1) can't move into a resale home they just purchased without first going deeper into debt to completely remodel it; 2) refuse to buy a resale home and ends up getting sucked into several hundred dollars per month in MR/HOA fees; 3) buys their first home and immediately after closing goes into deep debt for new furnishings and appliances; 4) refuse to drive vehicles older than 8 years old; and 5) at least one of the two buyers (if a joint purchase) staunchly refuses to take any kind of job at all, even if the family is teetering on the edge of BK and desperately needs operating income.

I'm not saying any of the above is you, kev. But based upon your collective previous posts, I think you could have purchased a home for yourself in LA or Orange County in years past and for whatever reasons, decided you really didn't want one bad enough. In order to get a home in your price range while the getting was good, you had to have been decisive and able and willing to act on short notice (along with having a competent, credible agent). Not sure any of that happened in your case.

kev, I wish you the best if you decide to move out of state but am wondering why you would do so if the pay and promotional opportunities won't be better than staying put or taking a position in the Silicon Valley. If you've got a least a decade left of possible raises/promotions, you need to remember that if you are an in-demand tech worker, your pay should build on itself as you change jobs. If you decide to return to Cali later from a place such as GA, you will have the GA pay from your most recent position for your new employer to verify and any offers of employment they make to you will be based upon a step up from your lower, GA pay (instead of the higher scale that you could have earned if you had stayed here).

Submitted by kev374 on September 20, 2014 - 12:40am.

Thanks for all the input on this. ATL is specifically a good option for me because:

- Extremely good wages (same or higher than LA/OC) and opportunities in my area, ATL is the largest tech hub in the Southeast

- Many world class tracks nearby for me to ride

- I am huge into hiking/camping so there is good hiking in the Smokey mountains (does not hold a candle to the Sierra Nevadas but it's something and much better than anything in TX)

- SCUBA is my other interest - very close to Miami/Keys with cheap flights for weekend trips or I could even drive to FL, there is good wreck diving from Tallahassee, Bahamas is a weekend possibility too! Heaven!

- Ridiculously lower cost of living compared to LA

- 9th largest MSA in the US offering a multi-cultural experience

- Busiest airport in the world offers more connections to the rest of the world than LA

- Saving craploads and sh!tloads of money so I could not only buy a PALACE (by LA standards) I could probably afford a NICE car as well :) instead of living like a pauper in LA.. making 6 figures and down and out LOL! Ok..exaggerating a bit but still trying to make a point :D

Submitted by desmond on September 20, 2014 - 6:20am.

kev374 wrote:
Thanks for all the input on this. ATL is specifically a good option for me because:

- Extremely good wages (same or higher than LA/OC) and opportunities in my area, ATL is the largest tech hub in the Southeast

- Many world class tracks nearby for me to ride

- I am huge into hiking/camping so there is good hiking in the Smokey mountains (does not hold a candle to the Sierra Nevadas but it's something and much better than anything in TX)

- SCUBA is my other interest - very close to Miami/Keys with cheap flights for weekend trips or I could even drive to FL, there is good wreck diving from Tallahassee, Bahamas is a weekend possibility too! Heaven!

- Ridiculously lower cost of living compared to LA

- 9th largest MSA in the US offering a multi-cultural experience

- Busiest airport in the world offers more connections to the rest of the world than LA

- Saving craploads and sh!tloads of money so I could not only buy a PALACE (by LA standards) I could probably afford a NICE car as well :) instead of living like a pauper in LA.. making 6 figures and down and out LOL! Ok..exaggerating a bit but still trying to make a point :D

kev374- Sounds like we are going down the same paths in life, your just a couple of decades behind -Good luck to you. If you are ever in Texas look me up and we can go for a ride

https://www.youtube.com/user/canamrider07

Submitted by desmond on September 20, 2014 - 6:28am.

Not sure about the other 3 cities but defending Pacoima is like the Ravens defending RR.
Some neighbors in Pacoima:

Pacoima Brown Stoner Locos (PBSL), Pacoima Pacoima Cayuga Street Locos (PCSL), Pacoima Pacoima Criminals (PCS,PC), Pacoima Pacoima Crazy Boys (PCB), Pacoima Pacoima Flats (PF), Pacoima – [defunct] Pacoima Goleta Street (PGST), Pacoima – [defunct] Pacoima Humphrey Boyz (PHBs), Pacoima Pacoima Ilex Street (PIXS), Pacoima – [defunct] Pacoima Knock Knock Boys(PKKB), Pacoima Pacoima Lev Boys (PLV), Pacoima [defunct] Pacoima Paxton Street Locos (PSL / PPXT), Pacoima Pacoima Pierce Street Boys (PPB / PPSB), Pacoima Pacoima Project Boyz, aka Paca Project Boys (PJB), Pacoima Pacoima South Side Locos (PSSL), Pacoima Pacoima Terra Bellas (PTBST, PTBS, TBS), Pacoima Pacoima Van Nuys Boys (PVNBS, PVNBZ), Pacoima Pacoima Vaughn (Von) Street (PVS, PVST), Pacoima - See more at: http://www.streetgangs.com/hispanic/city...

Submitted by spdrun on September 20, 2014 - 10:37am.

i- Saving craploads and sh!tloads of money so I could not only buy a PALACE (by LA standards) I could probably afford a NICE car as well :) instead of living like a pauper in LA.. making 6 figures and down and out LOL! Ok..exaggerating a bit but still trying to make a point :D

If you're gonna go that route, better off buying a modest house and a few fo'closures, renting them out, then telling your boss "buh-bye, go screw yourself" when you end up with enough rental property to support yourself. (Keep doing whatever you do full-time on a contract basis to keep busy.)

Submitted by kev374 on November 6, 2014 - 10:27am.

I see prices creeping down slightly...is this the start of a big slide or something just seasonal which will shoot up again next Spring?

I see we are at a point where investors have exited the market, inventory has gone up tremendously and I am seeing price cuts since homes are simply languishing on the market untouched.

Where is the market headed from here? If interest rates creep up due to QE exit that can only depress the market further?

Is it advisable to wait a bit to see where things go?

Submitted by spdrun on November 6, 2014 - 10:31am.

A few forces at work here:
(1) Rates due to QE exit
(2) Mel Watt, the realtors' stooge. He wants to loosen mortgage credit, but so far his "reforms" have been incremental.
(3) Foreclosures stayed by the Homeowners' Bill of Rights coming online again
(4) GOP win. They might succeed in rolling up the GSEs. Of course, there's a veto, but there's also give-and-take.

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