has written 2 SperlingViews. Currently, Abhd is living in Charleston, SC and has a little something to say:
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Not for 20somethings--nice vacation getaway. Posted On: 7/13/2006 8:39:09 PM
Jeez, what to say about Santa Barbara...
On the one hand, it is one of the most beautiful places you'll ever likely see. On the other, I think it's best left as a vacation getaway rather than the headquarters. I loved it the first few months I lived there, and perhaps if I were a millionaire I would have loved it more, but I quickly became fed up with how impractical it was to live there and went south to Ventura.
State Street is a cool place that's always bustling and has a pretty good night life scene. However, since virtually everything is downtown, every time you want to run an errand you'll have to deal with State Street traffic and parking.
The cost of living is absurd. Put it this way: after I lived in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles suddenly seemed cheap. Santa Barbara has really strict building codes, which helps maintain its asthetic appeal, but also makes it impossible to find an apartment unless you want to live on Isla Vista with UCSB kids (you don't, unless you are one). You won't see apartment complexes (save for a few, most of which are for senior citizens), and there is virtually no way to find one easily on the internet. If you plan to move there, go visit, buy a newspaper, and plan on driving around a lot.
The median price for your standard 3-4 bedroom/2 bath home is now over $1 million. The average 500 sq ft apartment goes for around $1250/mo. And if you're not from California, I should probably warn you that if you make the mistake of asking, "Is there central A/C?" you will most likely be answered with a half-mocking, half-puzzled, "No."
The 101 is the main way to get to town. The 101 goes from being a six-lane highway to being a four-lane highway (3 and 2 lanes per direction, respectively) around Carpenteria, traffic has a tendency to get extremely backed up during rush hours (7-9am, 3:30-7pm). Being stuck in traffic in L.A. was never as bad as it was in Santa Barbara, and Ventura almost never had bad 101 traffic. I guess maybe it's because you expect it in a bigger city, but when it takes you an hour to go fewer than 10 miles in a city of 80,000 people, it's really irritating. A lot of people who work in Santa Barbara live outside and commute to work, which is cheaper but adds to the traffic situation.
My last complaint is the shopping inconvenience. Need to go to Target? That's a 70 miles round-trip to the nearest store (Ventura). It seems that Walmart is not too popular in southern California, but I
Nice Compromise between LA & Santa Barbara Posted On: 7/13/2006 8:12:49 PM
Ventura is a pretty nice place to live if you don't want to be in a metropolis but still want to access one easily. I first lived in Santa Barbara when I moved out west, but after 6 months I couldn't take it anymore and moved 30 miles south to Ventura. I ended up leaving for other reasons, but it's definitely worth considering you want to be in southern California. It's sunny and beautiful 90% of the time, though it does not get quite as warm as Santa Barbara and LA do during the summer. It's more temperate, which some people love. (I'm personally a fan of heat and humidity, but to each his own.) The area is gorgeous--there are beaches, mountains, and orange orchards in abundance. It's also more affordable than Santa Barbara with tons of shopping, and it's only 55 miles to Los Angeles.