Friday, July 18, 2003

 Sky-high rent at the water's edge 

I've been hearing this for over a year now, about how rents in the Santa Cruz area have been going down gradually. I'm always curious to see if what Cindy and I are paying is above or below the average (or median). The Santa Cruz Sentinel had an article about this yesterday:

According to RealFacts, an average studio rents for $931, a one-bedroom for $1,159, a two-bedroom, one-bath for $1,448, a two-bedroom, two-bath for $1,647, a two-bedroom townhouse for $1,804 and a three-bedroom, two- bath townhouse for $1,700.

We pay $1600/mo to rent our 2BR/1BA house, about 1/2 mile from the beach. So I guess we're pretty close to average, all things considered. Of course, I often think back nostalgically to what I paid to rent a similar-sized house in Davis, or to rent a large 1-BR apartment in Tucson - about a third of what I pay now.

So why do people value living next to the ocean so much, especially when they don't really have to? I know, that sounds like an obtuse question, because I bet most people could spout off an answer right off the bat, even if they've never actually lived near it. But really, what's at work here? What exactly makes "ocean-living" so compelling for so many? I must delve deeper into this topic soon...

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