Sunday, September 16, 2007

Living in Valencia, CA? Tired of the Traffic?

Last Wednesday around 12:30pm, I left my house here in Sherman Oaks to visit my friend in Valencia for lunch. Thinking it would take me up to 30 minutes to get there (worst case scenario) and hoping to avoid any traffic, I was surprised when I was stuck in traffic right past the 118 freeway.

Let’s just say if I got out of my car and walked all the way to the 14 freeway, I would get their faster. It took me 90 minutes to get to the 14 freeway which should have taken no more than 10 minutes. There was a small accident on the way but with all the looky-lews, and huge 18 wheelers, traffic slowed to a crawl.

This is the major reason why I moved back to the San Fernando Valley 4 years ago. When I bough a home in Valencia 6 years ago (North-Park area), you kind of knew when to avoid the freeways. Most of the time you pray hoping you avoid the traffic especially on those 3-day holidays. The amount of money being spent on gas, maintenance and time, outweighed the benefit of living in a new community with lower priced homes.

So why would anybody in the San Fernando Valley want to move to Valencia? I suspect the same mistake I made. I was hoping to own a new home in a well-developed community at a lower price. What everybody failed to mention was that traffic on the freeways was bad and only going to get worse over the years.

I cringe every-time I get a call from a buyer who would leave the sanctuary of the San Fernando Valley to live in Valencia because they probably don’t know what their getting themselves into. Don’t get me wrong, Valencia is a beautiful vibrant community with firefighters and Sheriffs/Police officers at every turn – even your neighbors. But what most people don’t realize is the loss time and money spent in traffic. Is it really worth it? That would depend on your work and lifestyle.

If your thinking of buying a home in Valencia or the neighboring areas including Stevenson Ranch, Saugus, Canyon Country and you currently live in the San Fernando Valley, the best way to know if living there will make your life more comfortable is to stay the night and drive to work the next morning. Then when work is finished, drive back to Valencia as if you live there. Try that for a week and you’ll know your answer.

BTW, I have no problems with Valencia itself as it’s a beautiful area and I’ve sold homes in the Santa Clarita Valley to former San Fernando Valley residents. But as a professional, I always want to make sure my buyers understand the ramifications of living in an area which depends mostly on a few major freeways to get into and out of the area – especially when they are bogged down by traffic during normal rush-hour.

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