Seeking recommendations for gay-friendly community with affordable homes & good schools in CA
July 31, 2004 1:32 PM   Subscribe

RealEstateFilter Any recommendations for a gay-friendly community in California where three bedroom single-family houses with reliable broadband access can still be found for <$125k in a safe, good school district?
posted by nakedcodemonkey to Home & Garden (23 answers total)

I live in Utah, in the middle of the desert, no stores for 15 minutes, and my three-bedroom cost just barely $<115. One of your variables has got to change if you want to solve this equation, or perhaps live in a scary part of [insert city name].
posted by mecran01 at 3:36 PM on July 31, 2004

I don't think there's any part of California with homes that cheap, unless you want to live at least a couple hours outside of any major metro area.
posted by mathowie at 5:44 PM on July 31, 2004

Is Guerneville/Russian River expensive?
posted by amberglow at 6:08 PM on July 31, 2004

What mathowie says with the addition that there are still desirable areas to live which are hours away from any metro area. Norther California is expensive!

To answer amberglow's question (sort of) $150k will get you this one-bedroom trailer in the russian river area.
posted by vacapinta at 6:55 PM on July 31, 2004

Does it have to be *in* California? You might be able to find something around Medford or Ashland, Oregon. Both are very near the OR/CA border. Actually, Ashland's probably more expensive than that by now.
Seems like I heard Riverside isn't too awfully expensive. Though I've also heard it compared to hell.
Ummm. How about Sacramento? One of my all-time best friends is from there and he thinks it's the best city going. Also, it's the most ethnically integrated city in the country.
If you browse you can see some census data. A lot of the entries reflect average home values.
posted by willpie at 7:10 PM on July 31, 2004

Response by poster: Guerneville's hella expensive. And prone to regular flooding.

Being near a major metro isn't a concern. Staying in-state is.

Folks, there are 3beds around/under $125k in Fresno, Bakersfield, L.A., much of Riverside county, some of the Sacramento 'burbs (the city starts a little too high, willpie, but thanks for the good suggestion), dozens of small towns in the mountain and desert regions... It took a lot of research to come up with those few names and there are still quite a few counties I haven't checked yet. I'd hoped someone could speed up the process by pointing out their hometown or a relevant website. None of the "find a city" sites seem to track info useful for determining broadband availability or quality of life for gay families, and the searching wide areas on is a huge PITA. Agh.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 7:32 PM on July 31, 2004

Riverside county is not ready for gay people yet. Don't go there unless you like for people to stare at you. It creeps me out.
posted by kamikazegopher at 7:44 PM on July 31, 2004

Response by poster: Hmm. Thanks, kamikazegopher, that's good to know.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:18 PM on July 31, 2004

Fresno and Bakersfield are big farming/country type towns, similar to Riverside. Where in LA did you find 3 Beds at those prices?
posted by jonah at 8:24 PM on July 31, 2004

Response by poster: 113th St.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:58 PM on July 31, 2004

That's generally not considered a safe area and certainly not a good school district. I don't know where on 113th street you mean, but it runs from Inglewood, through Watts and into Compton I think. Some of those areas are pretty rough, as indicated by the housing prices.

I would say that anywhere in Los Angeles county where you can buy a 3 bedroom house for under $500k, odds are it is not in a good school district, and more than likely not in a great neighborhood to live.

What about far nothern cal like up in Humboldt County?
posted by jonah at 9:11 PM on July 31, 2004

Response by poster: Nope, even the 2bds in Humboldt County start at $150.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:33 PM on July 31, 2004

Response by poster: Butte County is close on price. Any words of wisdom about the Chico/Gridley/Oroville region? The presence of Stonewall Alliance Center is encouraging and DSLreports says there's broadband to be found.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:44 PM on July 31, 2004

Portland Oregon is pretty damn gay friendly. Straights get to have a good time too, and the land here is very scenic. They don't call it the silicon forest for nothing.
posted by Keyser Soze at 11:52 PM on July 31, 2004

I'd be damn surprised if you could find anything over two bedrooms in the City of Los Angeles proper for less than $250k.

Inglewood, Compton, Watts, Crenshaw, and other such infamous areas of Los Angeles aren't the urban wastelands you've been tricked into believing they are.

In fact, most of these "bad" areas are quite vibrant and alive. A whole bunch of these "bad" areas are currently being revived by the LA Metro light rail and subway system. The "world famous" Skid Row in LA is now rapidly becoming a hip and even expensive loft and art district. "The Crenshaw" is more alive then it ever was.

Are these areas rough? Sometimes, but I'm pretty sure like most places how "rough" your neighborhood is is directly proportional to how much of an uptight and un-neighborly asshole you are.

And it's just these kinds of attitudes that lead to gentrification, flight from urban to suburban, etc; Situations as found in Michael Harrington's Other America. Are you part of the problem in that equation, or part of the solution?
posted by loquacious at 6:59 AM on August 1, 2004

I agree with Loquacious to a point... Up until 6 months ago, I lived on Crenshaw and Adams. While I felt safe walking in my neighborhood, I don't think I would feel especially safe letting children do the same. True, most of my neighbors were wonderful, kind, friendly people (one was even a grammy award winning singer!), but I also woke to the sound of circling helicopters often, and I encountered a few frightening situations, and I don't frighten too easily.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time there because people in that neighborhood actually care for one another. But all the same, my house was broken into, and my neighborhood was cordoned off several times for 'police activity.'
posted by kamikazegopher at 10:53 AM on August 1, 2004

Oh, man, don't rely on 2000 census data for home prices in California. Not even close. See here.
posted by sageleaf at 12:30 PM on August 1, 2004

Sorry, I meant to make reference to Sacramento in that last post, but you may have already figured that out by now.
posted by sageleaf at 12:48 PM on August 1, 2004

loquacious and kamikazegopher - I agree that there are a ton of areas in Los Angeles that are unreasonably categorized as "bad" areas. I love the different neighborhoods and the rapid jumps from culture to culture just by crossing boulevards.

The LAUSD is another story; even in the "nice" areas, the schools are overenrolled and need help. The South Bay and the Westwood Charter schools are nice, but it's not easy to find affordable housing in those areas.

As for areas not being urban wastelands, I don't quite agree with you there. A few weeks ago when I was driving down Alondra from Compton into Paramount, I was very aware of the difference of the landscapes just by crossing the 710. On the Compton side, trees and grass were sparce, liquor stores on nearly every corner, urban blight was apparent. On the Paramount side of the freeway, the medians were nicely landscaped, the roads were in good condition, there is a healthy cluster of business parks and retail shops. To suggest that the differences in neighborhoods is due only to prejudices of perception is too simplistic.

I don't really appreciate the suggestion that I'm an uptight un-neighborly asshole, but I chalk that up to us not knowing each other.
posted by jonah at 3:37 PM on August 1, 2004

The "world famous" Skid Row in LA is now rapidly becoming a hip and even expensive loft and art district.

Rapidly? I think the loftification of downtown peaked around 1990 and skid row now is at least as skid row as ever.
posted by shoos at 10:05 PM on August 1, 2004

Depends on what you consider "Skid Row". The Historic Core is doing quite fine, thank you very much, but the area around the Greyhound Station (at Alameda and 7th) is as bad as ever.
posted by calwatch at 10:13 PM on August 1, 2004

Where all the cardboard box homes are. The same place they were in 1986, give or take 50 yards.
posted by shoos at 10:45 PM on August 1, 2004

How about Sacramento? One of my all-time best friends is from there and he thinks it's the best city going.

Your friend has different priorities than I do, then; I spent almost ten years there, and couldn't get out of that dead flat boring suburban hell fast enough when the chance came. There's nothing *there*; it's not so much a city as a capitol building surrounded by a hundred little tract developments. It sits in a broad flat valley, so there are no natural limits on development, and the endless lines of one-story ranch houses sprawl off into the haze until people get tired of commuting. The weather is wretchedly hot and summers are muggy; you can't get by without air conditioning. Sacramento defines everything I hate about the modern American model of city-building.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:25 AM on August 2, 2004

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