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The Antelope Valley is notable for the scenery of the Mojave Desert. It is also a good point of access for the Sierra Nevada mountains to the north, Las Vegas and Arizona to the east, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire proper to the south and the central coast and Central Valley to the northwest. No other part of California has such convenient access to geographical diversity in such a short amount of time.
There are few jobs to be had outside of the aerospace industry. Many of the better-paying jobs in the Antelope Valley are reserved for a network of well-connected, longtime residents and their children. There are tons of people in the Antelope Valley who have good paying jobs that they aren't qualified for. They are often someone's son or daughter or relative or friend. The area is a conservative Republican stronghold and is often called the "Bible Belt of Southern California" because of it's reactionary politics.
Many people who are pushed out of the Antelope Valley job market are forced to commute south into the Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Orange County corridor.
The Antelope Valley is a great place to live if you can obtain gainful employment in the area. Traffic is almost nonexistent there (the exception being rush hour freeway traffic) compared to virtually anywhere else in LA county south of the I-5 / Ca 14 interchange. Housing is very inexpensive and the city is much more quiet and safer than most areas of L.A. county. There is a definate lifestyle difference to be had in the Antelope Valley vs. just about anywhere else in L.A. county. I think most people who live in the A.V. will agree.
the downside to living anywhere in the Antelope Valley is the same as its always been. The overwhelming majority of the tax base are commuters. There are virtually no gainful carreer opportunities available to the young and/or middle aged outside of the aerospace industry and state/local government service. very few people i grew up with are still in the Antelope Valley and i recall everyone wanting to leave that place as soon as they could.
Something worth mentioning is the fact that even though the A.V. happens to be one of the more peaceful regions of L.A. county it is nothing like it used to be. The liberal ideals of the 90's took a devasting toll on the A.V. by relocating a disproportionate share of the bottom feeders from the inner city to the Antelope Valley - at the time they were trying to clean up the inner city, but they disposed of the human garbage in Lancaster and Palmdale (i guess they had to send them somewhere). one need only attend the Antelope Valley fair in Lancaster this fall to draw their own conclusions.
considering the costs associated with commuting to L.A. for work i think it only viable to live in the Antelope Valley if your earnings are at least 90k a year per earner that actually commutes. If you consider the difference in housing costs (A.V. vs the southland in general) you will find that the A.V. is not really as cost effective as the local officials would have you believe. if you commute you will need a new car every 3 years, you will spend at least $500 a month on gas no matter how fuel efficient your vehicle is, your insurance will be high given the miles you are driving, there is a good chance you will spend 5 hours a day or more on the freeway going to and from L.A. and lets not forget pending legislation that will charge extra fees for commuter miles driven.
if you are gainfully employed working in the city you are better off staying in the city. if the difference in housing costs (A.V. vs. the southland) is between a grand and $1,500 a month you will easily save that in transportation costs if you stay in the city. i did it for years and i know what i'm talking about. a cheap house is only good if you have time to spend in it otherwise what's the point of having it? local officials claim its a better place to raise a family, but again what's the point if all your time is spent commuting and working?
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