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Where in Southern California can you find land for Building a home?

Stedye

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We are looking to relocate and build a home that is within an hours drive or less to Los Angeles and want ideas on which cities have land that is a little less expensive than the land available in Orange County. We would desire land in the $250,000-350,000 range on which to build a 3800- 4500 sq ft home.. Please give suggestions ? Is this feasible in California? Open to your ideas and advice. Thanks in advance.
 

Raralith

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With an hour, that space, and budget? Fontanna but pray for no traffic or police.
 

mordecai

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if that price is just for the land, then anywhere. there's a big lot overlooking the silverlake reservoir that's about 300,000. if the amount is for house plus home, i dunno how it would be possible.

edit: actually for that size home you might want to look in the valley.
 

StephenHero

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What kind of home are you trying to build? LA has the most diverse housing stock in the entire country. What are your special needs?
 

Mute

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Good luck. Anywhere in L.A. that would be desirable to build a 3500+ sq. ft. home will likely already be built up with no vacant land. You're best bet is to look for a foreclosure in which you won't mind the cost of tearing the down the existing building.

Truthfully, IMHO as someone who's been in the real estate industry in one way or another since 1986, your expectations, budget wise is not realistic unless you're willing to take a chance on a less expensive (and very likely less desirable) neighborhood.
 

venessian

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It would help if you provided more specifics.

It is certainly feasible in California, but within an hour's drive of LA there is a universe of conditions, from crappy to sublime (and definitely out of your reach).

What are your requirements?
City or "country"?
Coast or inland?
School districts?
Does your budget for land require all utilities (water, sewer, power, etc.) to be already included?
Etc. Etc.

If your planned 3800- 4500 sq ft home is single-story, you would need an ~ 5,700 - 7,000 sf lot.

Plugging in your land budget in one of many land search engines results in these buildable lots...to give you a rough idea.

I'll generally second what Mute stated above.
 

Stedye

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I am flexible in regard to locale,that is, it can be country or laid back lifestyle. I would desire living
in an area that is safe and has Blue Ribbon rated schools for my son who attends high school next
year. What should I realistically budget for the land ? $500,000 - $600,000. All viewpoints and input
is sincerely appreciated.
 

venessian

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I find your original question a bit confusing, then.

Are you truly planning to relocate to SoCal? And you want to eventually acquire some land and build a custom home in the near future? And you have a son who will begin high school next year, right? That seems like priority #1 to me.

Given those circumstances, I don't understand the priorities stated in your OP.

You won't find a buildable lot for your original price in a Blue Ribbon school district. LAUSD is notoriously bad. Santa Monica/Malibu/Pacific Palisades are good school districts but likely out of your budget. Perhaps there are excellent charter schools in other areas, I don't know. (I'm an architect, not a real estate person or educator.)

Do you need to be near LA for work, or can you be a bit further away?

If you are in fact committed to re-locating here, in a location perhaps not very familiar to you, why wouldn't you either rent or buy an existing home at first in an area that meets your requirements, and only then start your search for a lot, etc., through real people you connect with? You surely won't find a lot and a build a house on it by next fall, so what's the rush?

That said, after you move here, maybe then look into Ojai/Ventura, for country/laid back. A bit further than a 1-hour drive, but that's a truly beautiful, serene area. I don't know the land costs though.

Good luck!
 

Stedye

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Venessian.Your points are all valid. My time line is about 1 year out. I have both family and friends that reside all over L.A. I have visited about four times over the last decade. I lived in Long Beach after College and lived there in California for about a year. The Ojai idea sounds like a possibility.It is appreciated. All the best.
 

venessian

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Thanks much, but hey, all the best to you! You're the one contemplating the move! But since you have family/connections here, that will help enormously.

I like Long Beach. The Ojai/Ventura area is very, very nice.

Hopefully some other locals will add some recs and at least those will give you another source for research.
 

Raralith

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Do you need to be near LA for work, or can you be a bit further away?
That's a pretty important factor if you are going to work or home through rush hour. A 20 minute drive with no traffic can turn into 90 minutes with, and was one of the reasons why my wife and I never left the outlying downtown LA cities. Right now, your best best is probably Pasadena or South Pasadena, but expect to buy a small house for $500k. The school system is pretty good and you are roughly 30 minutes away from downtown. Another good city to mention is San Marino, but that's costly really costly.
 

venessian

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Originally Posted by mordecai
i'm surprised to hear someone from venice talk about ojai. did you live here?

Here where?

I am from Venice (Venezia I mean, not LA Venice); right now I live in LA; but in the summer I am moving back to Venice...and getting married!


I just used to drive up to Ojai, etc. a lot. I love the landscape there. I think it is beautiful.
 

mordecai

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Originally Posted by venessian
Here where? I am from Venice (Venezia I mean, not LA Venice); right now I live in LA; but in the summer I am moving back to Venice...and getting married!
I just used to drive up to Ojai, etc. a lot. I love the landscape there. I think it is beautiful.

i live in the city. also used to drive out to ojai and ventura a bunch, just surprised to hear someone else on SF talking about it. congratulations by the way. you working at a firm here?
 

venessian

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Originally Posted by mordecai
i live in the city. also used to drive out to ojai and ventura a bunch, just surprised to hear someone else on SF talking about it. congratulations by the way. you working at a firm here?

Thank you very much. I am so happy to get married, and to a veneziana, and go back home! (I am worried about work there, though...but something will come.)

Surprised, really? I thought Ojai area was very popular with Los Angelenos.

There is a fun outdoor pizza place there, not in Ojai, just outside, but I don't remember the name. There is also that famous small Mexican restuarant in Ventura, not downtown (but maybe on Mil-something Street ???), but again I don't remember the name.


Yes, I used to work at a firm here. Now "freelancing"... = unemployed, mostly, or uninteresting side jobs.


But it's OK; I am very tired of LA.

Did you change your name or something? Or are there 2 architects (I think) here with the same avatar picture?
 

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