A Carmel reality check

I just completed a post that shows some of the delightfully quirky small houses of Carmel, CA. Before you pack your bags and jump in the car to move to a place where the temperature rarely drops below 60o during the day, the sun shines, and the beach is within walking distance, you might want to know a few things.

Everyone loves it here.

  • That means the streets are crowded, even during Covid times. I can’t go downtown and window shop because of the number of visitors who insist on arriving every day. That includes us, of course.
  • There is always traffic on the highway. “Highway” refers to one lane each way through much of this area.
  • Water is everywhere, but so is drought. We should have gotten about 3 inches of rain during November 2020, and we got 0 in. There is an old sticker on the mirror in our bathroom from a period of water rationing, when people were advised to keep their daily total water usage to 2 gallons. For failing to find alternative water sources for the area, the local water utility was just cut back in the volume of water it is permitted to take from the Carmel River. The utility’s plan to build a desalination plant has been paralyzed by local opposition (desal plants emit hot water into the ocean that kills some sea life, and produce vast quantities of salt that have to be stored somewhere). Water rationing may return.
  • Utility costs are high compared to other places. That includes electricity–remember PG&E was responsible for a couple of the huge forest fires in California and is technically bankrupt several times over. Also gas, water (see above), sewer, and there is only one residential cable/internet provider.
  • The median price for a house in Carmel-by-the-Sea is currently around 1.7 million dollars.


Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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