Love the Bay area and love SD area. I've lived outside of LA for the last 4 plus years...moved from the east coast. Much to love out here, but it's been tougher for us for a variety of reasons, mostly to do with our family situation. But the one thing that I've been okay with is our property taxes per se, despite experiencing a similar situation as you and despite living in a county in the top quarter of all CA counties in terms of property taxes. We pay about 4x that of the previous owner who had bought the house in the early 80s, yet our taxes are roughly the same as they were in VA despite paying 100k more for our CA house. They are roughly the same sqft, though we had 2x as much land in VA. Relatively speaking, not so bad. *We also made sure not to buy a house in an HOA hood or where Mellow Roos tax applied.