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New here with questions

566 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  smurphygt
Hi mamas!

My family is relocating to northern CA from VA, and I was hoping you could advise me because I am so very lost.

We have a choice of several areas including San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco, Salinas, Stockton, Modesto, Turlock, Lodi, Yuba City, Ukiah and some others I can't remember right now. We're looking for a place where the housing is not too outrageously priced, (I think that rules out the big 3) with a good mix of people, and is homeschool friendly with lots of fun stuff to do. I'm partial to the area near Yosemite, as I fell in love with it when I was a teenager, but my husband keeps mentioning Monterey.
: (I never was much of a beach girl, even when I lived in Newport Beach.)

Anyway, I hope I'm not asking too much here, and I look forward to any insight or advice you may have. Thanks!
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Hi, it's me again.

I'm trying to narrow down our options and was wondering about Stockton or Modesto? Looking online, the housing doesn't seem as expensive in those areas, although I'm starting to think we'd be better off renting. Can anyone tell me about those cities?
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Hi. I'm sorry I don't know about those particular areas, but the bay area is fantastic, and if you are renting instead of buying it can be relatively affordable. Good luck!

I was born in the SF East Bay area, left for awhile for college and marriage, and came back about 2 years ago. I live 30 miles from where I grew up, in a town (well, a town of 100,000) called Antioch.

The prices in Stockton and Modesto probably are better. But, there's very little to do up there. It's hotter than it generally is in CA, because of geography. If you and/or your husband work within 40 miles of Stockton, then its worth it.

From the places that you listed, I would actually choose Ukiah, or one of the more northern towns. While there's not a lot to do, per se, the areas are beautiful and there's a lot of outdoor space.

If you have the option of looking into the SF East Bay Area, houses are affordable on the outskirts, such as here in Antioch and Oakley. But the commute will be difficult if you need to go to SF or San Jose. My husband is able to work from home most of the time, but he does spend some time commuting 75 miles (one-way) to be on-site.

You can PM me if you have any questions.

Good luck!
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Thanks so much Robyn for your post! It looks like the army decided for us and they said we're moving to Stockton. After searching through the old threads here on MDC, I'm getting a little worried. Ok, a lot worried. Apparently it's a high crime area and not very pretty. I think we're in for a shock because we're moving from an area with lots of trees and undeveloped woodland.

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Hi. I live in Lodi which is RIGHT next to Stockton. It is not high crime at all. Some areas of Stockton are OK, but when we were looking to buy, we were looking at Stockton, and honestly, Lodi is a worlds apart from Stockton. I am a 10 minute drive from there.
Just wanted to chime in as well in saying that I really wouldn't consider Stockton to be a high crime area. There are problems, but every bog city has them
When are you moving out this way?
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Stay away from STOCKTON!!! Non-friendly people, high crime, nothing to do, and prices are ridiculous! We have been here for a year and half for school, and are counting the days to get out! Move to Lodi if you're thinking Stockton!
Oh Mamma,

I live in the North Bay, where there are some trees, things to do, access to San Fransisco, beach, etc. We moved here 8 years ago from Vermont, where we loved the wilderness. I think you're in for a shock re. climate and landscape. Don't expect much for trees, and do expect dry hot, hot weather. Here, it doesn't rain between late April and mid October. Everything turns brown. Everything. I've found that I acclimate much better to a new place if I get out into my new environment as much as possible. Don't just spend all summer inside with your air conditioning, get out and walk, explore, and find youself a spot somewhere that's green/peaceful. I don't know the area you're moving to, but maybe you can find some parks or some place with a bit of water to help you feel more at home.

It took me two years to adjust to being here, and I still don't really like the summers. (In the winter, it rains lots, so then everything is green and gorgeous.) If you enjoy wildlife, there are lots of western birds here that will be new to you, and birding can be a great way to meet people and get out in the early morning to beat the heat. I wish I had more ideas for you. Even though it's a drive, you should check out the bigger cities if you can, find some redwood trees and visit the coast for a vacation some time, and let youself explore California.

Good luck!

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Betzi Mama,

I couldn't help but think after reading your post that the one spot you would love is the Portland, OR area!!! We are heading up there this August and from what you said, you would really enjoy the weather. haha. I just had to mention that.
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Hi, we are in Manteca which is about 15 minutes from Stockton. Every big city has crime, so do small towns! Stockton is very diverse, and they have a farmer's market. It's not so bad. It is very hot here during summer, but there are lakes nearby. Sacramento is a short drive north, San Francisco is maybe an hour and a half west, Lake Tahoe is 3 hours north east.

Keep an open mind, you might like it here. Plus, there are so many smaller towns near Stockton that you could live in. Lodi is very nice. Plus there are some nice mamas out here to hang with! :)

Thanks mamas! We've been looking online at houses to rent, mainly in Lodi and Manteca. We've seen some nice rentals in Weston Ranch also, but I'm not sure where that is exactly or if the area is nice. How about French Camp? There's govt housing available there. Are there any areas that are best to stay away from, in your opinions? Sorry for all the questions. I'm anxious to get out there and see the area for myself
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Tracy has some really nice spots too. Not sure if that is too far. It's about 20-25 min (depending on traffic) going South from Stockton. My only advise is to avoid the city limits of Stockton if you can. I am in a fairly good pocket and still "see" crime all the time! You do not know how bad it really is unless you actually live here! There is a beautiful housing community walking distance from where we are and they get burglarized every month! Not to scare you or anything, just being honest. I have lived in big cities all my life and have never experienced a place like this. Don't get me wrong, there are some nice people here who truly care about their city, but for the most part, it is really bad in my opinion. Manteca, Lodi, Tracy, and further South are all nice spots.
I live in Stockton, in the very southeast part, almost in Manteca. My sister lives in Weston Ranch. She has a GREAT house, but said the area over there is getting kinda crappy. French Camp is TINY and I mean TINY. I don't think they even have a grocery store? You'd have to go to Stockton or Lathrop or Manteca. I like where I live, except for the fact that we are in a very new development and there is not a grocery close by. The only crime I've dealt with is someone stole a saw out of my garage when we left it open, and some people across the street fight ALL THE TIME, LOUDLY! Other than that we're all good. We are going to try to get DD into the Manteca school district, because the school we are zoned for sucks and the Manteca schools are closer.
Where did you end up moving? Anyone in the Manteca area want to meet up?
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Wow, I forgot all about this thread! Thanks so much for reviving it.

We are living in the Spanos Park area of Stockton, very close to Oak Grove Park. It's o.k., but I do miss the more natural surroundings of VA. Besides that, we've joined a wonderful homeschooling group that I love, love, love! It's nice to be around people that have the same ideals as you, you know? In VA, I was always the weird mom in the group, so this is a welcome change.

Although I'm not living in Manteca, I'd love to meet up and chat. I noticed our babies are only a month apart.

Anyway, I gotta run, but I hope you have a good day!
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