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Opinion: California living is too expensive

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By Ashley Hayner 

Living in California is ridiculously overpriced 

The more popular the state, the more crowded it gets. 

People can’t seem to get enough of this all-around gorgeous state. I can’t blame them for it either. California is one of very few states where you can enjoy all four seasons in one day. 

You can literally wake up on a Wednesday afternoon, enjoy the beach on a warm November day, drive to Big Bear to enjoy the snow. After a good snowboard run, you can enjoy your hot top like it’s a spring day and later cuddle up by the fireplace on cold fall evening. Like I said, it’s no wonder everyone wants to move here. 

But because of the enjoyable weather, California has become overly populated and the cost of living has skyrocketed. The Golden State is the most populated state in the nation and the third most expensive to live in. The price of living has gone so high that many Americans who would have been considered middle class 20 years ago are lucky if they are homeowners today. 

According to PropertyShark’s 2019 Real Estate Report, 91 of the 100 most expensive cities in the country are in California.

Once upon time, the most expensive of homes were actually priced at under $1 million. Times have changed.

As California overpopulates, living spaces are stacked on top of one another and traffic becomes more unbearable each day. Any time is a bad time to drive. Homes, apartments and spots on sidewalks or under bridges will continue to be filled, though, regardless of how high the cost of living is. Someone will be making their way in.

But when is too much too much? Most people are not born into royalty and riches. Many can no longer afford to pay the rent, keep the utilities on, make their car payments and still pay other bills on time, especially now with the pandemic.

How do regular people make it? The opportunities are slimming with each passing day. Minimum wage is $13 in our area and employers in some industries make sure to keep from giving their workers too many hours.

Working 32 hours a week at $13 per hour makes it hard to afford even a 600 square foot studio apartment in a low income neighborhood. Nowadays these units start off at $1500 per month.

According to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, rent in California is 50% higher than in the rest of the country. On top of that, voters in what is considered one of the most liberal states failed to approve Proposition 21 this year, which would have expanded local governments’ authority to enact rent control on residential properties.

Taxes are already high and the desirability of California should not be a reason to further gouge people’s pockets. The lack of affordable housing is also vastly contributing to the state’s homelessness problem, which at this point can be seen almost everywhere.

The California Dream is dying. You now need more than a dream, more than the car your parents gave you after high school, and more than the $300 in your savings account to make it here. It’s starting to seem like success in this state requires $1 million in your pocket and a back-up plan.

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