Monday, April 17, 2006

Inland Empire: Where the L.A. Dream Landed

I don't usually do this but who can resist an article that includes:

"Say you're 35 years old, well-educated, with a family. If you buy the house in Orange County, Los Angeles or San Diego that you think you deserve, you're broke.",0,931676,full.story?coll=la-travel-headlines

The bubble denialists can call it it a Dream Landing but I'll reserve judgement for a few months.


incessant_din said...

It was a nice place, other than the smog, in the 80s-90s. Rural dairyland within bike riding distance, mountains, beach, city, desert, all less than 1 hour away (if you timed the traffic right). There was enough work and houses were affordable enough to actually buy with local incomes. My family that still lives in Ontario will probably continue to be gainfully employed due to the region's boom, and that's a good thing. There are also lots of bad neighborhoods in the IE. Pretty much all of Pomona, the central portion of Ontario, and lots of Fontanta, Colton, San Bernardino and Riverside.

I wouldn't go back now. When I left in 2001, $400K was the price of SFR in a decent West LA neighborhood. I was shocked that Livermore cost the same when I moved here. I underestimated this bubble a bit. Ontario is not worth, and cannot support this price. When I left, I knew a bunch of people working regular jobs, who were either well on their way to paying off their homes or had paid them off.

The smog is truly terrible. The only nice thing to say about it is that in the 1970s, it was MUCH worse. I like that developers latched onto studies about cow urine contributing to smog to imply that the dairy cattle were a major contributor to air pollution. One other major problem for SoCal is the water supply. Wet years and some well-timed dam projects have postponed the inevitable. I remember rationing when there were a lot fewer people around.

Random stat: "According to the 2000 US Census, the median household income in Los Angeles County was $42,189, down 11% from $46,977 a decade ago and level with 1969 figures. This contrasts with increases in the state and nation. In 1970, Southern California had the 4th highest per capita income among the 17 largest metropolitan regions in the nation. This dropped to 7th in 1990 and 16th in 2000 "
Secondary source (primary source is Census):
SoCal never recovered from the loss of aerospace.

incessant_din said...

I should mention that those figures for median income in L.A. are inflation-adjusted to year 2000. I believe the nominal income dropped from about $44K to $42K over the decade. Ouch.

Rob Dawg said...

BTW, that is a picture of San Bernardino.

incessant_din said...


Excellent. I did not know that. Someday I would like to hike to the top of his big bro, San Gorgonio. Preferably in October during a spring Santa Ana condition, so that I can enjoy what SoCal looks like, yet not worry about being burnt to a crisp.


incessant_din said...

I messed that up. I would like to hike in spring, not in October. October has better skies, but worse fire danger.

Rob Dawg said...

October is still too hot during the day. I'd pick April/May depending on exact location and snowpack. This year towards May. I was up skiing at the cabin in Wrightwood last week, excellent weather but still lots of snow above 7000 feet.