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looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

by andrea28 Online Now Dec 7, 2004 at 9:24 AM

My husband and I are planning to re-locate ourselves and our business to California. We have family in Rio Nido and they suggested Santa Rosa as a place to live. We are eager to know any info about Santa Rosa and cost of living and general info about the area. I am 28 and my husband is 33. We are a young couple with west coast dreams. we have never made a huge move like the one we are planning and would appreciate any advice. We are studying Cali. everyday and are planning a trip there (Rio Nido) in Jan. to see if we really want to move. We appreciate all replys Thanks, Andrea

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  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo

    Re: looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

    by Jeannette1 Online Now Dec 7, 2004 at 9:42 AM

    hmmm Brace yourself for the cost of housing in Santa Rosa! J.

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  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

    by Jeannette1 Online Now Dec 7, 2004 at 9:52 AM

    mostlivable.org/cities/santa... Check out this site. Santa Rosa is rated as one of the most livable city in the US.

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  • Dumpymotel's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

    by Dumpymotel Online Now Dec 7, 2004 at 10:03 AM

    Santa Rosa is nice but it is VERY expensive. And then there is the traffic. Lots of people know a good thing when they see it. It is a bedroom community of SF

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  • mydreamquest's Profile Photo

    Re: looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

    by mydreamquest Online Now Dec 7, 2004 at 11:43 AM

    A must for Santa Rosa, especially if you like coffee. Have coffee at Aromas (95- 5th Street) and then see a movie at the theatre which is a relatively small, but intimate one with fairly contemporary movies. It gets really hot in Santa Rosa in the Summer, lots of 100 F days. One cultural experience that you must do once while you and your husband are still young is to experience a night out on town in Petaluma, which is a short 10-20 mile drive west of Santa Rosa I believe. There is a great place where there are concerts in Petaluma called The Phoenix Theatre just off Petaluma Ave (Blvd, Way???...the main street in Petaluma). Also there is an excellent place to have steak, beer, and socialize with the locals (usually a karoake night, or dancing, sometimes line dancing and trust me, I normally do not like country music, but it's very fun). The place is called: Kodiak Jack's: http://www.kodiakjacks.com/ Anyways, Friday and Saturday nights around Kodiak Jack's are filled with fun, intimate things to do. It's kind of dark, but lit enough to go for a safe night stroll. In the day there are makeshift fruit stands as many sell fresh strawberries and stuff when in season. You'll like the area. Keep in mind, I haven't even mentioned San Francisco, the Napa Wine region, and the Casinos and Skiing in Reno and Lake Tahoe. Santa Rosa is a great city to live in. You've made an excellent choice. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the noise pollution and road rage is not as appealing. For a young married couple like yourselves, I think you'll find Santa Rosa to be romantic. Though I hear the traffic, like cancer, is even over there on Saturdays sometimes. Have fun. I promise to do VT write ups on Petaluma and Santa Rosa when I have a chance to go there again and take pictures.

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  • CaliforniaMovers's Profile Photo

    Re: looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

    by CaliforniaMovers Online Now Dec 9, 2004 at 11:06 AM

    Hi Andrea, I am 38 and have lived in California my whole life. You will love the weather out here, and if you like to drink wine you are very close to the wine country (Napa, and on the rise... Livermore). My husband and I live in Livermore about an hour and a half from Santa Rosa. We really love it here. In the summertime you BBQ like crazy, go to outdoor concerts, we have lots of art and wine festivals, tons of camping around and much much more! In the winter if you like the snow, then Lake Tahoe is a must. Can you business be located anywhere? Here is a link to search realestate out here, it will give you a good idea of the steep California home prices. http://www.realtor.com Feel free to e-mail me with any other questions. CaliforniaMovers@vtmail.com Good Luck, Kimberly

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  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo

    Re: looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

    by karenincalifornia Online Now Dec 10, 2004 at 12:14 PM

    Hi Andrea, I live 30 minutes south of Santa Rosa. It's a very pretty area in the heart of the wine country. Santa Rosa is the biggest city in Sonoma County, Over the past 10 years, it's seen a lot of development, new subdivisions with cookie cutter homes, and yes, it is a SF bedroom community even though it takes an hour to get from SF to Santa Rosa in light traffic. It has it's share of traffic problems because the freeway (101) running between Marin County and Santa Rosa and beyond has only 4 lanes and was not built to accommodate the larger population. Sonoma County is working on solving the problem, but there will always be a lot of traffic. There are a lot of younger couples living there. It's considered a good place to raise kids. Because of the new development, a lot of the schools are newer and not run down like so many California schools. Everyone moving to California is shocked by real estate prices. The other VTers are right. Brace yourself. Even though Santa Rosa is lower than other places to the south, real estate prices will still seem outrageous to you. If I were moving to the area, I'd look seriously at some of the smaller communities near Santa Rosa. Healdsburg is one. it is the most charming town and not as crowded or big as Santa Rosa. Weather is generally nice. It doesn't get super cold in the winter, although you will get some rain. The highs in the summer are usually in the 90s with some days a little over 100. I'd be happy to answer any other questions you have. Good luck! Karen

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  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

    by Jeannette1 Online Now Dec 10, 2004 at 4:08 PM

    hmmmm... I wonder if Andrea will check back in with VT to read her answers. I hate to think we gave all this information for nothing :-) Jeannette

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  • Re: re looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

    by artistinnw Online Now Dec 13, 2004 at 8:25 PM

    I am also looking to relocate to Santa Rosa from Seattle, WA and I am used to the outrageous housing costs, can't get much worse than Seattle. We will not be buying a house quite yet, are there nice areas where the rentals have character and are not just those generic apartment complexes. I have been working in Graphic Design and do my own work (painting), are there good jobs in the area or do people usually have to commute miles to San Francisco to find work? Thanks for all the advice...

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  • Sandi-2004's Profile Photo

    Re: Re: re looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

    by Sandi-2004 Online Now Dec 14, 2004 at 1:39 AM

    For each of the questioners, I suggest checking the online SF newspaper, sfgate.com, as well as craigslist.org for information on jobs, rentals and home costs. As Karin explained, Santa Rosa is a bedroom community an hour (or more in commuter traffic) N. of SF. SF would offer many more job opportunities. For the couple planning a trip in January, please realize that in CA all of our rain comes in the winter, so you will be here in the rainy season. After March it hardly rains at all until November. The area N of SF get the most rain. For the Seattle artist, SF will have many more artists than will Santa Rosa, and more jobs is graphic design. It may be more suited to what you are looking for. Both areas will cost about the same in living expenses. SF has some "rent controlled" areas, where prices might be a little less.

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  • WulfstanTraveller's Profile Photo

    Re: looking to re-locate to California from Louisiana

    by WulfstanTraveller Online Now Feb 11, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Since I had only recently joined when this forum was in discussion, I missed this and although it is long since over, I suspect some peope may still rely on this information. To that end, I want to add some information of my own as an update and to clear up what I consider to be some inaccuracies from other posters. Many who have responded apparently do not live in Santa Rosa but I do and I have lived in the area my whole life except when at college. Although I may be suspect as biased, I want to stress that I do know the area.

    First, Santa Rosa is not a bedroom community of San Francisco, or anywhere else. It is definitely a satellite of San Francisco and a few people in the area do commute to SF, but it is a common misconception that this area is full of people who commute to SF, as is the case with nearby Marin. Unlike Marin, only about 4% of all the people in Sonoma County (in which SR is located) actually commute to SF. Many more do commute to Marin, but that is much closer and moreover fully 70% of the employed people who live in Sonoma Co. work in Sonoma County, most in and around Santa Rosa. On top of that, the towns south of Santa Rosa, like Petaluma and Rohnert Park, have a disproportionately large share of the workers who commute to Marin & Sf. Santa Rosa is actually the business, financial, commercial and manufacturing centre of its region and many people actually commute TO it. Also, depiste recent economic problems, there are still some good jobs and thriving hi-tech companies in Santa Rosa and Petaluma.

    That said, there are more jobs in SF and points south while many jobs have recently been lost. On the other hand, housing prices have fallen dramatically so it is far easier to buy a house here now than it was in 2004.

    Santa Rosa is also very varied, due to its size. It has sprawling cookie-cutter suburban areas, especially to the west, yet has a fairly thriving, attractive downtown and extensive old neighbourhoods. If one wants to live in an older neighbourhood, victorian, etc., SR is probably the best bet aside from Petaluma, which is a bit more expensive. SR has many old houses and neighourhoods because even in the past it was much larger than all the other towns except Petaluma. It has many tucked-away areas with an old-fashioned small-town feel. Also, some people operate with the misconception that downtown and the central areas are somehow more dnagerous or crime-ridden than the outer-lying suburban areas. This is the opposite of the truth. It is the outer-lying, newer neighbourhoods, except perhaps for the really, really expensive ones, that are much more prone to crime. I speak from personal experience.

    As for the weather, it is not as hot as indicated above in the summer. Santa Rosa's normal high in the summer is about 82-86 and the lows typically in the 50s. In the summer, SR normally gets cool, wet coastal fog by the late evening and this stays normally until 9 or 10am, when the sun comes out and the day warms up. This provides cool nights and mornings and keeps the overall highs low. We do get hot, sunny weather, but 100 degree days are very rare and even a high in the 90s is an event, if not uncommon. The Bay Area, Sonoma County, and even SR itself, have many micro-climates. One need go only a few miles to experience weather that is hotter, sunnier, colder, or foggier at the same time of the same day. The poster from the East Bay is going to be used to much hotter wheather than we have, especially at night. Even in Sonoma city to the SE or Healdsburg to the north, the summers are much sunnier and hotter than in SR while Petaluma, Sebastopol, and especially Bodega Bay will normally be cooler than SR, perhaps much cooler. For example, on a typical summer day at 2 pm, SR might be 83, Petaluma 80, Sebastopol 81, Healdsburg and Sonoma 89 or 90, Cloverdale 95 (far north Sonoma Co), and Bodega Bay 65. This is obviously good and/orbad depending what you like. The point is that SR gets evening and morning summer fog usually but not always, yet is normally sunny during the day, normally has highs in the 80s in summer and rarely gets to 100, while it is near places much cooler and much hotter depending on the direction.

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