Thursday, July 30, 2009

Doubling Up

My cousin, who just graduated UC Davis (after 5 years in the military), has been living with us for the last month and a half while sorting out his life ambitions. He did have employment offers in Salt Lake City, where he grew up, but he prefers to find a job in the Bay Area.

To me, this situation illustrates two important trends. 1) As many have reported, demand for housing and rental units will remain tempered, since unemployment forces people to accept less than ideal housing situations. 2) California will never lose its luster, especially for the young and single.


Dave said...

There is only one constant in life and that is change. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but always change is there. I wouldn't go so far to say that California will always have that pull that it has had for awhile. At one point Socal was a place nobody wanted to live in. The Irvine family got there wealth because they won a piece of "worthless" land in Orange County way back when in a poker game. The place hasn't always been attractive to people and in time it may become unattractive again. Hard to say what the future will be like.

I also have many friends in other parts of the country and many would never imagine living out here. The others have either moved here, stayed a year or two and left, or looked at the place and decided they were better off were they are. California definitely has a pull, but often times the reality isn't as nice as the illusion put off by the media.

Giacomo said...

Don't count on California continuing to draw. It might be as good a place as any to be young and starting out, but it's becoming an increasing hostile place to retire, or run a business. And with continued government corruption and incompetence, I'll expect it to become an ever more expensive place to own property, to buy anything, to build anything or to hire anyone.

husmanen said...

I worked outside the US for over 10 years and traveled and worked throughout Europe, Asia and South America. California has an amazing luster both in the US and internationally. Some of the main draws were not what I would have thought of first, including:

* Business opportunities/climate. Starting a business, not taxes but the thinking outside the box acceptance. Perceived as greater than other states and definitely greater than most other countries.
* Risk/Reward. If they could make it here the reward would be huge, specifically with technology/software related.
* Cultural Diversity. Ability to be become an "American" but have access to "community", feeling like a minority where there are a lot of minorities.
* Weather/Climate. Rarely rains, its pretty predictable/definite season and generally warm all year.
* Diverse Outdoor Activities. Ability to experience various outdoor activities within a days drive of just about anywhere.

True these include a lot of perception, some true others more gray.

For the risk takers there is a definite draw.

Without risk there is little reward, unless, of course you are in the financial sector and receiving PPIP/TARP funds.

husmanen said...

This is interesting too, not sure of the bias in the report though, but it states that the "poor" are those that move out of CA and the "rich" stay despite the taxes.

husmanen said...

Here is the source data to the Public Policy Institute of CA.

From its Wiki page:

"Public Policy Institute of California is an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit research institution. Based in San Francisco, California, the institute was established in 1994 with a $70 million endowment from William Reddington Hewlett. "

Bryan said...

Yeah, the draw is real. Various individuals choosing not to live here (a majority of Americans in fact) doesn't really address the fact that the State is the most populous in the union (even if you just shaved it down to a 20 mile strip down the coast line). If the state has economic problems, the weather and global trade constant will likely remain to survive the temporary difficulties, and then it'll be back to business as usual.

California sucked when it was hard to get there and get goods out. But it's been easy since 1869. If a catastrophe large enough to disrupt that strikes, we'll have bigger problems to worry about than discussing California's continued desireability--and it certainly wouldn't be over an electrically powered Internet.

Giacomo said...

Anecdotally, but a big one:

"Novellus, a leading semiconductor equipment company, announced that it was moving jobs out of California...the CEO said, “If we project taxes going up on our employees, the company will ultimately have to pay the burden of that.”

Giacomo said...

Weather, scenery, the bright lights of Hollywood, etc., all these things are already priced in. There's no new "draw" there.

But financial mismanagement by state government, excessive regulation and increasing tax burdens ARE relatively new forces, however, and those are NOT draws.

ahardy said...

I know things seem bad right now, but California will always be a spectacular place to live. Maybe it takes moving away to realize it, but we can't wait to move back. One taste of a Midwest winter would alter your perceptions!

radiophilejapan said...

Weather, pop culture and diversity. In the US. You can't beat it. And all the apparent problems sticking out of the country average will eventually revert to the mean. Hopefully by the time I establish my home there.
You're lucky, California dwellers.

Buying Time said...

I have lived overseas (in Italy) the East Coast (D.C.), as well as a spell in the midwest (Madison, WI). While all wonderful places, I am very happy to call California home (and was willing to take a paycut to do it!).