Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

moving to LA area?

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
335
I had posted a while ago that we are thinking of moving from Mpls to LA, and asked for some suggestions on where to look. We are heading out Mon to search out areas that aren''t too far from Century City. I have to say that I am even more shocked at housing prices than I expected to be. I sell real estate here in Mpls, so I thought I was prepared. I mean a million for a fixer upper? Crazy!


For those of you who live in the LA, Southern Cal area, what do you love? I know the weather is a huge bonus, but what else do you like about living in the area?
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
I lived there all my life til moving to Philly. Weather can be a huge plus, but I like the seasons now too. I do not love blizzards, but a bit of snow is not that bad to me, where I live it is tolerable.

Prices are high, it is crowded, overall the schools are not the best except for certain districts, so private school is usually a good choice. Funny, I go back there now and really do not feel any pangs or desire to live there, and I was there for 32 years. I had a nice childhood and lived in a very lovely place, went to good schools etc, but now I think the cost of living there is so high, and you do not get a lot for your money. Traffic is a bear there, if my hubby were working in Century City I would not want to live in a place that is too far because his commute would be tough. That really leaves Westwood near UCLA etc, Cheviot Hills and parts of Beverly Hills, or the West side area (bordered by Olympic, Pico, Overland...maybe a bit more west than Overland like Bundy). You will easily spend a million on a small house on small lot, and the house will likely need some work.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, lived there from the age of 2 to 20. My parents live there now (but way far out in the outskirts, near Magic Mountain). I now live in San Diego and have also lived in the Sacramento area, but I still love LA. There is so much to do and see, between theatre (both live and film), museums, shopping, parks, the beach, retaurants etc. If you''re outdoorsy there are lots of campgrounds w/in a few hours driving distance. San Diego and Santa Barbara are just a few hours away, etc. There are some areas that are so fun to explore: Burbank, Montrose, Monrovia, etc.

That being said, it definitely has its faults. It''s a sprawling city and the mass tranportation system is lacking and as a result traffic is awful. There is also a ton of smog (you can see the layer that lays over the city when driving down South down the 5 into the city). And, as you''ve discovered, real estate prices are outrageous.
 

AmberWaves

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
3,672
Gail, I love how everything is close.There are markets, malls, health food stores, pet stores, anything you''d want in a five mile range. I don''t drive, so I really notice these things.
There are a lot of friendly people here, some may disagree. You mentioned the weather, I couldn''t imagine living anywhere else. My FI and I will be going somewhere, and it''ll be so beautiful, we just say, "We are so lucky we live here". The cultures here are so diverse, and there are so many options for restaurants. If you find some of the little pockets of towns (like my hometown Culver City), there isn''t a better place to raise kids. The atmosphere is great, you can take a walk anywhere, Marina Del Rey, Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, Venice Beach... it''s just a wonderful place to live. There is no other place for me.
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
335
I am excited to take a look at the areas, and to have some sun. It is 19 degrees here today. We have been to LA many times, but never looked at is, as maybe living there. It does make me appreciate the nice home we have here, and the land that goes with it. I guess it is all what you are used to. I do wonder though how so many people can afford a home.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
You just have to be realistic. Last time I visited in Oct 06 and Jan 07, I saw the prices of homes where I had lived before coming here. AVERAGE home price was 4 to 5 million in those areas, and these were not necessarily bring your toothbrush scenarios. Some of those homes needed major work, and the lots were very small, you were cheek by jowl with your neighbors. If you are used to land or spaciousness most of L.A. is not giving you that, unless you are buying estates in certain areas that have a bit more land per home. When we moved to Philly, we were stunned to see homes in the area, right outside the city, on 2 acres or more, I was amazed, coming from L.A. where my largest lot in Holmby Hills was under half an acre and I thought it was a good size based on what else was out there.

Also, you need to really investigate the local schools, some of them are pretty poor, and you might need to factor in the costs of tuition at private school (I assume you have kids) and getting them to and from if the school is not close by. You could spend an hour each way getting kids to and from school. The weather is great, the outdoor lifestyle is wonderful, but you need to really see the pros and cons, I know people that moved there to escape bad weather in the east and really are finding that there are negatives that they are not liking much at all. It is all a balancing game. Your dollar might not go as far there, but if you find a house within your budget and the schools are good where you will be moving, it might be just fine...
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
335
We do not have kids but I realize that living in a good school district is good for resale. I know there is alot to consider......we would be going because it would be a great opportunity for my husband, and we would make more money to cover most of the expenses. But friends and family are worth something too, and we have none of those there.....yet.
 

Miranda

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
4,101
We''re faced with a similar predicament. I''ve never lived in LA, but, have always lived in SO CAL. There is so much to do in LA. MY BIL lived there for 10+ yrs in Malibu (Pepperdine days) Santa Monica, and Westwood. They were all nice areas, but, he says he wouldn''t want to move back now that he has a family. You have to be very careful about the schools. I don''t know if that is a factor for you, but, it''s something to think about if kids will be in the 5 year plan. My SIL taught at El Rodeo Elementary for a few years and says it is a great school so I don''t know if something within Beverly Hills School District will be possible...Even if looking at it from a resale point of view. There is a remote possibility that we will move to the Westlake Village area of LA. DH has been doing some consulting work for a company there and they are trying to talk him into coming in full time. I''m really not too excited about moving because, like you said, family and friends will be farther away and we LOVE where we are now (coastal OC - south of LA). I know that area is nice and the schools are good there and in Calabasas (which would be another moving consideration for us) but, I just don''t want to leave where we are now.
 

rockzilla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
1,286
I don't know how old you are or what point of life you are in, but as a professional in my early 20s, I think LA is a great place to live.

I work in Century City, and I live about halfway between my office and the beach (Santa Monica). Yes, the traffic is bad, but for me the key is to live close to where I work. Prett quickly you realize that 15 miles in one direction can take 3x as long as in another direction, or at another time of day.

I don't know if you are looking at areas to buy a house or a Condo (its a bit different) but there are areas were you can get RELATIVELY (relative to LA is key, not relative to anywhere else :) reasonable places. For houses, one of my favorites is Rancho Park (the area north of pico blvd and west of westwood blvd). This area is super convienent to Century City. Another is Cheviot Hills (pricey) or Mar Vista (particularly the area near the Mar Vista recreation center).

A little bit further down on the "gentrification" scale (at least the areas I have seen) are Culver Ciy and Palms. But I have friends who live in these areas who love them, you just have to get in on the right street.

As for Condos, the market is INSANE. A lot of the condos here are twice as big as the HOUSES where I grew up in Massachusetts. Of course, you don't have any yard space, but they can be really nice. Also, the Condo market is coming down a bit faster than the single family home market.

If you have any specific questions about neighborhoods near Century City let me know...I look at real estate as a hobby (not yet in either the life stage or financial position to buy yet) so hopefully I can help =)

RZ

Edits: As for what I love...I read somewhere that was comparing US cities that there are 12,000 restaurants within 20 miles of my house. You can always find amazing food, in a range of budgets. Shopping is great, the beach is great. In one day you can go surf at the beach, go skiing in the mountains, and go party in Vegas [This was actually a senior trip at my college]
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
Miranda, I went to El Rodeo for K through 6th grade back in the day!!!!
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
I love LA. But...

I grew up in a small town in Illinois, so I definitely understand the painful difference in real estate here. My parents' 7,000sq.ft. house (on one full acre with a huge pool) in Illinois just appraised for under $600,000. Just for fun they had one of their friends appraise it as though it were in Sherman Oaks, CA (The Valley) but otherwise the same. New value? $6 millon.

FI and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that, unless one of us hits it big (we're both in the entertainment industry), we will be renters at least until our 30's--and even if/when we can buy a house (or, more realistically, a condo), it will likely be a dinky one in the valley.

I think that in order to love this area you have to love what it has to offer. I may be a little biased because for my profession, there is absolutely no other place I could live, so I have to love it--but that's not why I do. There's just so much here!! You have hundreds, if not thousands, of choices for whatever you want to do... dance/fitness classes, restaurants, parks, shopping, you name it! Don't like your hairdresser? Go to one of the other 34698672560236 in town. I like having choices


Also, if you choose the right area, the people are great. In my hometown people were very gossipy, small and closed-minded (we lived at the tip of the bible belt). In my building there are multiple gay couples, but we figured that out on our own after months of living here--in IL it would have been the first thing neighbor X wanted to complain/gossip to us about. I like the open-mindedness here.


Then again, I've only lived in LA for four years, and most of that was during college, so I don't have as much of an "adult work force" outlook on the city. I love it for what it has to offer me, not for the crime rate or school quality or real estate accessibility!
 

codex57

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
1,492
Housing is kinda crazy around the Century City area. Back when I was near there, condos seemed to be the only reasonable thing. Unless you could afford $700,000+.

I dunno if it''s cuz of where I grew up, but I much prefer the suburbs. Preferably down south. Torrance, Long Beach, Palos Verdes, Cerritos, and the OC cities like Anaheim (and Anaheim Hills), Fullerton, Irvine, Mission Viejo, etc.
 

Miranda

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
4,101
Too funny! She was there from the mid 90s to 2005ish I think. It''s such a small world.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
Well, I was born in 1965 so I was definitely long gone, but I live near there, my mom still does. I walked or rode my bike to school from home from about 4th to 6th grade.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
P.S. I just wanted to second what DF said about living close to work... my commute is 15 minutes without traffic. Some days I''ll leave early because it''s rush hour, and end up 45 minutes earlier than I intended. Or I''ll leave 15 minutes ahead of time during an off time (11am, 3pm, 10pm) and it will take me over an hour.

LA traffic is so unpredictable!
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
Date: 4/6/2007 4:18:56 PM
Author: codex57
Housing is kinda crazy around the Century City area. Back when I was near there, condos seemed to be the only reasonable thing. Unless you could afford $700,000+.


I dunno if it''s cuz of where I grew up, but I much prefer the suburbs. Preferably down south. Torrance, Long Beach, Palos Verdes, Cerritos, and the OC cities like Anaheim (and Anaheim Hills), Fullerton, Irvine, Mission Viejo, etc.

Codez, unless that is a reverse commute somehow, it is really too far to go if you work in Century City. Anaheim is nearly two hours without traffic. No one wants to live in their car. Quality of life is something to factor in, if you have to live at least an hour from work in order to afford something decent, and spend 4 hours a day driving, well, nice weather or not, I would not deal with that. But to each his own. The only real viable options are the Beverly Hills area, near Olympic, south of Wilshire, and Cheviot Hills, West L.A. going west on Pico or Olympic toward Westwood Blvd. or Mar Vista. When I was growing up (mid 60''s to the 80''s) Mar Vista was not the nicest place, though I am sure there were nicer areas. It was near Venice and not that safe to wander in. There is Westchester, but you have airport noise from LAX. North of Century City you have Westwood, Holmby Hills etc...all pretty pricey. The San Fernando Valley is a bear for getting to Century City, all of the major canyon roads and the 405 S to Sunset, Wilshire or Olypmic can be a parking lot at any time of the day. I used to live at the top of Beverly Glen and Mulholland and hubby worked on Wilshire in Westwood and it could take an hour for him to get to or from work. Try sitting on a canyon road where you cannot get off til you hit the next major street, sometimes miles, and you will know frustration. Century City only has high rise condos or Century Woods, which are also expensive. Not sure what school district you would be in if you lived in Century City. My advice? Rent if possible, see how you like the area and the drive...makes more sense to me than buying, at least in the beginning.
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
335
Thanks to all of you for your input and suggestions. We are in our mid 40''s, my hubbie is a attorney with a large firm that has an office in LA, and another office if Mpls. I sell real estate-actually new construction which is really not doing well here at all at the moment. So if we move, I would have to start all over, but it can be done, and it may be a good opportunity for me . The move would be a great professional move for my hubbie. We have no kids and will not have them-only a few cute puppies.

We are going out Mon to look in the Valley and on the west side-whatever that means. We have a realtor who has been in the biz a long time who will no doubt give us good advice. I have heard horror stories about the traffic and it seems amazing to me. I think we have to go out and see it for ourselves. I have been to LA many times,, and love the shopping, restaurants, all of it.

I will let you know how it goes....
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
335
Rockzilla

Thanks for all the specific info-is Rancho Park considered a city? How do I search that out? We will want to buy a home. We could rent for a while I suppose, but if my hubbies firm is going to help us financially, I would rather bite the bullet sooner and buy a home so we know what they will help us with. Otherwise I am afraid we will rent and not get enough financial help. My hubbie''s firm is not in the habit of moving people, so they have no set procedures.

This actually brings to mind a whole ''nother question-. Just what do you ask for, when you are getting transferred to a more expensive place. Does anyone know? I will have to give up my job, and our current mortgage is at 4.25%, with only 7 more years to go. Yikes.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
The west side is basically to the west of Beverly Hills going toward the beach. I highly DO NOT recommend the valley if he is working in C City. Rancho is like Cheviot Hills, it is basically south of Century City, immediately so, and as such is quite close to his office. If you do not have kids your needs are different, and Rancho Park or Cheviot Hills is great.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Gail--

I would recommend not living more than 4.5-5 miles away from where your husband will work (that would rule out the Valley and some of the other areas suggested). I think that the only reason to live far from work is if the place you work is horrid as far as crime rate, upkeep, etc., which is not an issue with Century City area (it''s really a great area).

Especially for those who are not used to LA traffic, it''s just not worth putting yourself through more than a 5-mile commute... Even if you live only 5 miles away there may be days that it will take you 30+ minutes to get home!

I chose Studio City to live, which was the nearest nice/safe neighborhood (15 miles away, mind you) and still makes for a commute anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour and a half (as I posted about earlier). It''s only worth it to me because living south of downtown is dangerous and disgusting!

This all becomes moot of course if your housing budget only allows for homes that are further away--but I just wanted to warn you! Good luck with the house hunt
 

MommaBear

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Messages
485
I''ve lived in LA for most of my life. (2 till now)
it''s crowded but theres anything and everything anywhere and everywhere.
total melting pot.
depending on what area you are looking into, there are + and -''s no matter what.
the weather is by far THE BEST around.
i grew up in the san gabriel valley (pasadena, san marino, alhambra)
and i''m getting tired of it.
I''m actually moving next weekend to GARDENA which is in the South Bay (torrance, Palos Verdes)
i''m excited. I want to be closer to the water since FI and I surf.
It''s seems that if you are near the major freeway interchanges, it''s CRAZY
i live by the 10 fwy and the 710fwy. going through the city streets is the only way to get to Pasadena.
it''s always hard to get from one side of the city to the other because i have to
cross under or over the freeways and deal with the people exiting and entering the freeways.
hope this helps :)
 

rockzilla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
1,286
Rancho Park is technically a neighborhood in LA (so you would have an LA zip code). But I think it is really nice and SUPER close to century city. (Less than 2-3 miles I'd say)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rancho_Park,_Los_Angeles,_California

This Wikipedia link will give you an idea of the geography. And, your real estate agent should know what it is.

BTW, the link mentions the Santa Monica Blvd construction - that is actually done now, but the thing about LA is that there is always some construction somewhere. They just finished the new CAA (creative artists agency...that a lot of the stars go with) building across from my office on Ave of the Stars...and of course, now they're working on a big condo development on the OTHER side of the street. It never ends.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
Century City itself is going to be undergoing huge construction projects, a lot of new high rise condo''s being built.

The Santa Monica Blvd work was horrific, it is nice now that it is done, but boy I know how tough that made a lot of driving for people.

There is no rush hour per se in L.A. anymore, it is all the time potentially.

That is why being as close as possible to Century City is worthwhile.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Believe everyone when they talk about the traffic. It''s horrendous. Draining. Life sucking.

I love living here, but I work from HOME. Does that tell you something about how I manage to live here? TGuy is a technician and drives the traffic everyday (405 freeway, ick!) But he gets paid by the hour and I remind him that he is getting paid just to hang out, drive and listen to his much loved Sirius radio. That helps him. In fact, I discouraged him from asking for a flat salary because it will drive him crazy when he realizes that whether it takes him an hour or 10 minutes for the drive, he gets paid the same.

I love the South Bay, but do not live here and commute to Century City! You really dread your week on Sunday nights. Personally I am not a fan of the west side...so congested and it''s just a nuisance to go to the grocery store. It''s just such a tough city to move to if you haven''t lived here all your life and know how to deal with the crappy aspects.
 

codex57

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
1,492
Date: 4/6/2007 8:39:50 PM
Author: diamondfan
Date: 4/6/2007 4:18:56 PM
Codez, unless that is a reverse commute somehow, it is really too far to go if you work in Century City. Anaheim is nearly two hours without traffic. No one wants to live in their car. Quality of life is something to factor in, if you have to live at least an hour from work in order to afford something decent, and spend 4 hours a day driving, well, nice weather or not, I would not deal with that. But to each his own. The only real viable options are the Beverly Hills area, near Olympic, south of Wilshire, and Cheviot Hills, West L.A. going west on Pico or Olympic toward Westwood Blvd. or Mar Vista. When I was growing up (mid 60''s to the 80''s) Mar Vista was not the nicest place, though I am sure there were nicer areas. It was near Venice and not that safe to wander in. There is Westchester, but you have airport noise from LAX. North of Century City you have Westwood, Holmby Hills etc...all pretty pricey. The San Fernando Valley is a bear for getting to Century City, all of the major canyon roads and the 405 S to Sunset, Wilshire or Olypmic can be a parking lot at any time of the day. I used to live at the top of Beverly Glen and Mulholland and hubby worked on Wilshire in Westwood and it could take an hour for him to get to or from work. Try sitting on a canyon road where you cannot get off til you hit the next major street, sometimes miles, and you will know frustration. Century City only has high rise condos or Century Woods, which are also expensive. Not sure what school district you would be in if you lived in Century City. My advice? Rent if possible, see how you like the area and the drive...makes more sense to me than buying, at least in the beginning.
It all depends on your tolerance level. For Century City, I''d stay in LA County. My wife commuted to West LA from Cerritos, and it took her about 1.5 hours a day. I commuted from West LA to Burbank (as did many of my coworkers), and that also took 1.5 hours a day. Different distance, different traffic. My wife nearly went nuts cuz she''s from the Bay Area and not used to that kind of traffic. I grew up in LA, so while it sucked, it''s just something I grew up having to live with. Turns out, my current neighbor did a West LA to Irvine commute for a while. THAT really sucked, but you get used to it after a while.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
I just would prefer not to spend hours a day in my car getting to and from work. Are there people who can deal with it better? I am sure. However, day in and day out, that is just a lot to deal with. Anyone can deal here and there, but if it is each day I think it would be tough. So, to me, that leads one to Cheviot or Westwood or West LA, little Holmby (sort of Westwood but a it is really east of Hilgard, south of Sunsest and North of Wilshire) or parts of BH, and that should yield some great options. Most likely Marina del Rey would be tough, most beach areas would be, but one can weigh if living at the beach is worth the extra time in the car. I spent all day in my car most days, and I did not work, it was just the back and forth coming from Mulholland and Beverly Glen, up and down the canyon and into Brentwood, Santa Monica, Century City, Beverly Hills, the Valley...whereever I had to go...and it was quite draining. I am just pointing out that if he works in C City, there are great options within 5 to 10 miles and that will still take time due to the construction going on in and around Century City...
 

LAJennifer

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
2,018
Also consider West Hollywood - lots of things to do within walking distance (shopping, restaurants, Melrose, S. Monica Blvd.). I live right on the border of West Hollywood and Hancock Park and I never have to get in a car on weekends - that makes for a really nice quality of life (considering the traffic in LA). West Hollywood isn''t too far from Century City.

I would also consider renting when you first get here - you''ll have more time to carefully choose a neighborhood where you want to buy. The market is also dropping - and there will be better buys for you money in the next 6 - 18 months.
 

rockzilla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
1,286
Try a cost of living calculator like this one:

http://www.bestplaces.net/col/default.aspx

I tried it for Minneapolis to LA and a salary of $100k/year. It said you''d have to increase your salary by 34% to have the same standard of living. I like this one because it breaks it down by things like food, housing, health, etc. So while utilities are 30% more expensive in minneapolis (heating..yikes!) Housing is twice as expensive in LA.

RZ
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top