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Am I Crazy for Considering Moving to Los Angeles


Ceptorman
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21 minutes ago, Ceptorman said:

I have a pretty good gig with work here in Indy. 90% of my work are referrals, and I really don't have to sell anything, price has to be in line though. I can't find anyone or a crew to do this type of work and provide the quality that I need, so I do it all myself.

When we did landscaping/irrigation 100% of jobs came from referrals, all we had was business cards and a printed list of past customers with addresses so they could get ideas of plants they like or dislike. And price somewhat has to be inline, we were positively not the cheapest, we tried that for a short while, not worth it to work that hard and wanting it to come out a certain way. Many times we were the highest price, but had great referrals and did what we promised and more. People were told go knock on the door of the addresses listed (about 40) and ask them if they were happy about the job. 

 

And yes we did all the work ourselves, like you said employees don't care and we did not want to trust them in others yards to do the right thing or act the right way. We did hire help but only to work with us. If i would have hired crews and had 2-3 jobs or more going at one time I would have made a killing just overseeing each job, but didn't feel comfortable doing that.  

 

We just didn't trust others to leave them on jobs, these were mostly really nice homes and neighborhoods and about 50% were huge houses I couldn't even afford the electric bill on. 

 

It was my favorite job of anything I had ever done, to design exactly how we wanted it to look from start to finish.

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It's everywhere I would guess ? 

Many were 3k-4k square feet, and  some were 3 and 4 story houses on 300k + lots. I always thought how many acres I could have at that price where we live and there 50' from the neighbors. Now that's not saying much in a place like California, but here prices are much lower, those houses in California would be a few million easily and up.

 

But we would help them spend there money. :lol: 50% down and the rest when we were done. This with a waiting list of a few weeks, but if you want on the waiting list pay the deposit, they were provided a list of addresses where we would be before we got to there house so they could check on us.

 

I must say we had some really good customers. If the few that even somewhat acted like a jerk when getting an estimate the price automatically went up to make it worth dealing with them. If to much of a jerk we would walk away, there were to many nice people to deal with jackasses who would probably never be happy. 

 

.

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56 minutes ago, dtel said:

Now that's not saying much in a place like California, but here prices are much lower, those houses in California would be a few million easily and up.

about 16 years ago,  I paid a half million dollars for an 1199 sf house in LA. 

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2 hours ago, BigStewMan said:

about 16 years ago,  I paid a half million dollars for an 1199 sf house in LA. 

Even more now, looking at some of these shows where they flip houses roughly that size I am shocked at what they are paying 500k-750k. And these are not in great neighborhoods and the house needs pretty much a complete remodel, it's nuts. 

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34 minutes ago, RandyH000 said:

then you gotta get the permits --in California  ,  you better not be in a hurry  -

Then there not very excited about the smoke it would put off, they once wanted to ban or curb peoples bbq because of the pollution. But like watering your lawn limitations this does not apply to the better neighborhoods like where he will be working, it's only for the common people, the others neighborhoods and people are special exceptions.

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18 minutes ago, dtel said:

Then there not very excited about the smoke it would put off, they once wanted to ban or curb peoples bbq because of the pollution. But like watering your lawn limitations this does not apply to the better neighborhoods like where he will be working, it's only for the common people, the others neighborhoods and people are special exceptions.

 

In California I'll bet there are many lawyers at the starting like, ready to take such inequities to court. 

 

In Oakland, people in Montclair (moderately wealthy) had the very ugly clusters of no parking (right in front of their own houses) signs removed.  I don't know, but I think the same happened in Piedmont (very, very wealthy).  In our middle class neighborhood, a neighbor said, "Say what?"  He demanded that ours be taken out.  They were slow about it, so somebody used an excellent saw that didn't mind cutting metal in the wee hours of the morning.  Rumor has it that some people heard it and put pillows over their ears (we were used to strange sounds in our neighborhood, like a few days after we moved in, a voice from the sky -- police helicopter -- barked down at us, "residents, go into your houses, and lie down on the floor -- take your dogs with you -- there may be gunfire").  In any case one of the signs and its pole was gone by morning.  Most of the others were removed in the following 1 or 2 months.

 

When we finally left that neighborhood, our ~~1,000 cu ft house, built (by amateurs?) in 1928, with a sloping front room floor (disclosed and obvious) sold for $525,000, about 16 years ago.  Zillow's zestimate is now $804,000.

 

When we moved to a mid-sized town in Oregon, where homes of twice the size sell for half the price, our daughter compared notes with a girl in the new neighborhood.  That girl used to live somewhere in LA.  The both agreed that they sort of missed the sound of gunfire at night.

 

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A forum member Minermark who said no water left everyone's grass dying. So a company started up and they would come paint your dead grass green to make it look better.

Then officials said no grass painting, it might run off and pollute, so dead grass it normal.  

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19 hours ago, dtel said:

When we did landscaping/irrigation 100% of jobs came from referrals, all we had was business cards and a printed list of past customers with addresses so they could get ideas of plants they like or dislike. And price somewhat has to be inline, we were positively not the cheapest, we tried that for a short while, not worth it to work that hard and wanting it to come out a certain way. Many times we were the highest price, but had great referrals and did what we promised and more. People were told go knock on the door of the addresses listed (about 40) and ask them if they were happy about the job. 

 

And yes we did all the work ourselves, like you said employees don't care and we did not want to trust them in others yards to do the right thing or act the right way. We did hire help but only to work with us. If i would have hired crews and had 2-3 jobs or more going at one time I would have made a killing just overseeing each job, but didn't feel comfortable doing that.  

 

We just didn't trust others to leave them on jobs, these were mostly really nice homes and neighborhoods and about 50% were huge houses I couldn't even afford the electric bill on. 

 

It was my favorite job of anything I had ever done, to design exactly how we wanted it to look from start to finish.

Sounds like a good gig Elden. Makes one proud to do a great job.

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I did some research on housing in Pasadena when I was there in January. I found a home for sale about identical to the one I own now. 2000 sq ft home was valued at 350k in 2010, property taxes were 3500 a year, that home today is valued at 1.2 mill, and the prop tax is 12k. My prop tax now is 1200 a year. The housing even in Pasadena is about 4-5 times the cost versus living here. That home rents for 5500 a month there.

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1 hour ago, Ceptorman said:

Sounds like a good gig Elden. Makes one proud to do a great job.

Yes it does, just look at that last job you did, it's nice to know it was done right and looks great, cutting corners never works out in the long run.  (not the stone) :lol:

We have gone back after years looking at old jobs, it does make you feel good.

 

1 hour ago, Ceptorman said:

Can I give you the West Coast Rate?😀

 

I was thinking when you were talking about that last job, how much you made compared to price and the first thing I thought was west coast prices are not going to be the same. Also the cost of materials will also be higher.

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1 hour ago, Ceptorman said:

I did some research on housing in Pasadena when I was there in January. I found a home for sale about identical to the one I own now. 2000 sq ft home was valued at 350k in 2010, property taxes were 3500 a year, that home today is valued at 1.2 mill, and the prop tax is 12k. My prop tax now is 1200 a year. The housing even in Pasadena is about 4-5 times the cost versus living here. That home rents for 5500 a month there.

That's part of the rat race.  Once you transition to a "fixed" income on retirement, those kinds of costs will kill you.  Maybe CA has generous tax breaks for seniors; have you looked into that sort of thing?

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6 minutes ago, Jeff Matthews said:

That's part of the rat race.  Once you transition to a "fixed" income on retirement, those kinds of costs will kill you.  Maybe CA has generous tax breaks for seniors; have you looked into that sort of thing?

one of the things that saves some of the seniors some money is prop 13 ... their property taxes are based on the home's value when they purchased it and that doesn't change year to year.   If they sell it, the house is reappraised to the current market value and the new owner is taxed accordingly. 

a decade or so ago, when the housing bubble burst, people were getting their houses reappraised in hopes that their taxes would go down since the value had dropped so much.  I know the county was concerned about losing so much property tax revenue and I'm not sure how they resolved this ... meaning not sure if the continued reappraisals and adjusted taxes were granted or denied.

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20 hours ago, Ceptorman said:

Can I give you the West Coast Rate?😀

 

I was expecting hoping for the 'forum buddy' rate:)

I am serious about the outdoor fireplace. It does not have to be as grand as the one pictured. My backyard is only 30' x 40'

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18 hours ago, BigStewMan said:

I know the county was concerned about losing so much property tax revenue and I'm not sure how they resolved this

There was a small adjustment downwards back then. They have more than made up the lost ground now. They can increase the tax up to 3% a year and they ALWAYS do.

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