If You Left Aptos, Where Would You Go? — Times Publishing Group, Inc.

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By Jondi Gumz

An anonymous query the week before Christmas on the Aptosia Facebook page asked this question: If you moved away from this area (with its ocean beaches and beautiful sunsets) where would you go? Looking for all the usual things, less expensive, clean, low crime, nice weather, clean water and air, good job market, decent shopping, less traffic, more housing available, no universities, nature, etc. Schools are not a concern, empty nesters.

More than 300 people joined the conversation.

Clearly a popular topic.

But there is no easy answer.

Some say they would go to the forest and the mountains, Lake Tahoe, Auburn, Twin Harte, Truckee, but you have to shovel snow.

Others would go north up the coast to Eureka or Arcata or Mendocino or south to San Luis Obispo or Avila Beach or Los Osos near Morro Bay.

San Luis Obispo has a Cal State campus, so that’s out.

Plus, just like Aptos, San Luis Obispo is very expensive and has lots of homeless, commenters said.

Central Valley? Too hot.

“Los Osos,” one woman posted. “Wonderful small coastal community that feels like Pleasure Point 30 years ago.”

To which one commenter replied, “Average home $1 million.”

Morro Bay used to be less expensive but now an average home goes for $1 million+ and there are lots of homeless. Compared to Aptos, it’s foggier, rarely burning off in the afternoon, said one woman who moved there from Aptos.

Carmel or Pacific Grove? Must love fog.

Cambria is small but has lots of traffic — and water issues.

Trinidad near Arcata? There is no real employment in Trinidad unless you work for the county, plus it is so wet, you need a dehumidifier, said one woman whose kids lived there. They left after two years for Denver.

One woman reported lots of transients and meth issues and car break-ins in Eureka.

Near Forests

The downsides of Tahoe: Tough job market and lots of traffic.

Nevada City is attractive but the local job market is underwhelming.

Grass Valley is beautiful but one said it has a lot of fireplace smoke and home prices are going up.

The downside of buying a home near the forest is that insurance companies are raising the price to insure it against fire, often unaffordable, leaving the last-ditch choice — the state of California FAIR plan, which is pricey, too.

One man who moved a few years ago near Twain Harte three hours from the ocean and he bought a house for $225,000.

Another bought in Arnold, a three-bedroom home for $400,000 – again three hours from Aptos – in a FireWise certified neighborhood to lower the home insurance rates.

A man who retired and bought a three-bedroom house in Groveland near Yosemite for $169,000 raved about the gated community at Pine Mountain Lake, where his mortgage is $500 a month.

“I love and miss Santa Cruz, but I love it here too,” he wrote. “I can see a bald eagle from my deck!”


One has a brother who moved to Roseville near Sacramento 20 years ago and has a gorgeous home and with huge back lot and pool.

According to Brittany McClellan, who moved from Aptos to Rocklin in 2016 and works as a lender with builders, homes start in the $500,000s.

Another woman said Roseville has “hot as heck summers” and greater Sacramento is getting more expensive and crowded with a big homeless population.

Yet another posted that her family moved to Sacramento County five years ago, but they were not happy as rents increased a lot so they moved back last year — happy with that decision.

Clovis is cute but hot — 110 degrees in summer — and doesn’t have clean air, one shared, but another said it has improved.

“Everywhere in California is expensive,” concluded one. “Maybe a different state altogether.”

A business owner with a family said they been considering South Lake Tahoe, Petaluma and Sebastopol.

And still, one shared, “I’m scared to sell ‘cause I’ll never be able to return.”

“There’s just not a perfect place,” concluded a woman who enjoyed breakfast on the oceanfront deck of Zelda’s in Capitola. “Reminding myself how gorgeous it is here.”

“What you’re looking for is 1970,” one woman posted. “Let me know when you get there.”

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2024-01-09 00:45:45 , TPG Online Daily

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