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moving to the LA area

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gail013

Shiny_Rock
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Sep 21, 2006
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We have an opportunity to move from Mpls to the LA area. My hubbie would be working in Century City. Is there anyone who can suggest a nice area to look for housing that is somewhat close to that? We have been to California many times and like it, but I see so much negative stuff posted about living there. Does anyone have any adivce for me? I know about the cost of living, but how about the rest of what living there is like? I am actually kind of excited for a new opportunity, although I know I would have to start all over.
 

kcoursolle

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This sounds all too familiar! I moved from the midwest to LA myself. There are quite a few neighborhoods that are nice that are an easy commute to century city.

Are you planning on buying a house/condo or do you plan on living in an apartment? If you have money, brentwood, beverly hills, etc. are obviously very safe, lovely, and easy commutes. To give you an idea of pricing, my friend just bought a nice (but not large) 2 bedroom condo in brentwood for the mid 600's. Crazy, huh!? In MPLS you can get a killer house for 600k! A two-bedroom apartment in the brentwood area is about 2,000 a month and up.

If you don't have quite such a large budget, West Los Angeles and Santa Monica are still safe with many restaurants and things to do and are still an easy commute to century city (the ocean is close too!). I personally like these neighborhoods a bit more because they are not as stuffy as the more expensive neighborhoods. You might find as a fellow midwesterner that the people are a little different here, but you get used to them after a while. Los Angeles is not as bad as the reputation. The ocean, travelling opportunities, great restaurants, etc. definitely make up for other Los Angeles negatives. A two bedroom in Santamonica/West LA/Culver City is about $1500-1900 and a two-bedroom condo would be about 500k.

Be prepared whatever you are doing that commuting is a PITA *everywhere*, you just have to be patient. The drive from Santa Monica to Century City on Santa Monica Blvd. gets congested at times...but everything does.

Century city itself it a nice neighborhood, but I'm not sure I'd want to live there. It doesn't have as much personality as I'd like, it's just a bunch of small sky- scrapers.
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
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335
thanks kcour, we would buy a home there. I do love Santa Monica. We are planning to go house hunting in a few weeks. Its a bit unnerving and exciting at the same time. I think alot will depend on what our company is willing to do for us. Yes in the midwest 600k buys a nice home, and we don''t want to go down in quality just for the opportunity.
 

diamondfan

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Jun 17, 2005
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11,016
Cheviot Hills is just minutes from Century City. It is a nice area overall, not sure about schools though, and prices have gone nuts since I lived there. But, overall I think it is nice, neighborhoody and such. Just do not live right on Overland, which is a very busy street that runs up to Pico and ends at the 20th Century Studio lot. Monte Mar Terrace is nice, and there are streets off off Overland that are lovely too. If you have school aged kids I would look into the schools more in depth.
 

AmberWaves

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I grew up in Culver City, and my family still owns two houses there- I can vouch for how great it is. It''s got a small town feel in a big town area. Marina Del Rey is nice, like all homes near the water, gets a bit pricey. There are a ton of homes in Santa Monica, about 30 blocks from the beach- which is where I work. Cheviot Hills is definitely lovely, my BIL lives over there, and it''s always nice. There is also MarVista, seemingly a bit crowded, until you get to the nicer homes north of Venice Blvd. Which brings to mind Venice, CA. Lovely, very kistchy (sp?), and the houses can be large, but mostly unconventionally built. (i.e. tall houses on small lots, large houses on large lots, etc.) FI grew up in Venice, and wants us to move there at some point. Of course, these are a bit of a commute to Century City, but if you learn some back ways you can get there in no time. You could also try Beverlywood, not as posh as Bev. Hills, but still really nice houses. I think that may be closer to Century City.

I know a lot of people said they''d hate to live here, but born and bred, I love it. I couldn''t imagine anywhere else.
 

marvel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
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1,133
I was born and bred here too and love LA. I live in Redondo Beach, which is south of Century City. The beachs are fun: Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Santa Monica, of course. You might want to rent something first to get a feel for the type of area you like and what you can get for your money. Good luck...I hope you like it here!
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 3/20/2007 6:21:42 PM
Author: marvel
I was born and bred here too and love LA. I live in Redondo Beach, which is south of Century City. The beachs are fun: Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Santa Monica, of course. You might want to rent something first to get a feel for the type of area you like and what you can get for your money. Good luck...I hope you like it here!
I live in the South Bay area where Marvel is talking about. I think it''s one of L.A.''s best kept secrets. However I would not choose to live here if I had to commute to Century city. What should take 30 minutes could easily take 1.5 hours each way if the traffic is really bad. The 405 freeway is a nightmare!
 

marvel

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Date: 3/20/2007 6:24:36 PM
Author: TravelingGal

Date: 3/20/2007 6:21:42 PM
Author: marvel
I was born and bred here too and love LA. I live in Redondo Beach, which is south of Century City. The beachs are fun: Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Santa Monica, of course. You might want to rent something first to get a feel for the type of area you like and what you can get for your money. Good luck...I hope you like it here!
I live in the South Bay area where Marvel is talking about. I think it''s one of L.A.''s best kept secrets. However I would not choose to live here if I had to commute to Century city. What should take 30 minutes could easily take 1.5 hours each way if the traffic is really bad. The 405 freeway is a nightmare!
Yeah, traffic sucks!! I only have to go to El Segundo, so I''m pretty lucky. I remember my daily commute to Santa Monica, and it wasn''t fun. Brentwood would be a great place to live, and I think that''s near Century City.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 3/20/2007 6:29:17 PM
Author: marvel

Yeah, traffic sucks!! I only have to go to El Segundo, so I''m pretty lucky. I remember my daily commute to Santa Monica, and it wasn''t fun. Brentwood would be a great place to live, and I think that''s near Century City.
That''s not bad at all.

Gail, trust me...the key to loving L.A. is having a manageable commute, especially for someone not born and bred here. Don''t let anyone else convince you otherwise!!
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
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Thanks guys for the suggestions. We have no kids so the school aren''t a big deal except for resale value I guess. Can anyone tell me what the housing market is doing there-has it slowed down, or is it still hot and prices keep rising? In the midwest prices have really come down, as there are a glut of homes for sale.
 

kcoursolle

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Date: 3/20/2007 7:53:57 PM
Author: gail013
Thanks guys for the suggestions. We have no kids so the school aren''t a big deal except for resale value I guess. Can anyone tell me what the housing market is doing there-has it slowed down, or is it still hot and prices keep rising? In the midwest prices have really come down, as there are a glut of homes for sale.
From what my friends said who are looking for homes... They didn''t find any decrease in prices for entry level condos and small houses. However, there is some evidence that larger multi-million dollar homes are getting harder to sell and are coming down in price.

Others in real-estate might be able to better answer this question.
 

TravelingGal

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I''ve been watching the market carefully now in my area since last summer. I look at the listings nearly every day, collect flyers, check records to see selling prices vs. asking prices.

Prices are slowly creeping down in the areas that I am looking (South Bay). If there is a well priced house, it does go relatively quickly. But sellers are still asking for too much and homes are just sitting there. Now that we are in spring, I recognize a lot of the "new" homes on the market. Many have come on with notes saying they are leased through this year.

I''ve also noticed a lot of sellers giving incentives...things that aren''t evident in the selling price. I''m no expert, but my guess is that many areas of L.A. will continue to slide.
 

ChargerGrrl

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 17, 2005
Messages
2,865
Another native Angelino here! I too LOVE L.A and cannot imagine living anywhere else.

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, mostly lived in the westside after coming back to L.A after college, bought a townhome in the South Bay (Redondo), and finally settled back in the SF Valley last year just before I got married. L.A is HUGE, and some people (like me) tend to hang out within a 25-mile radius. The Valley down to the South Bay and everywhere in between are our stomping grounds.

Of all the L.A places I've lived in, Redondo was by far my favorite. But I wouldn't recommend it for someone who will be working in Century City. When I did work in Century City, I lived in West L.A where you can find some "neighborhoody" areas, populated mostly by families and not too transitional. You can just shoot up Pico or Olympic Blvds and the drive is 20 minutes, tops. The area where I work now- Miracle Mile/Mid Wilshire has some really cool houses, with character. They're not like your typical McMansions that seem to be commonplace in many areas. And the Grove & Farmers Market are super-close.

The housing market here is strange. Some areas are hot, (like the South Bay as TG mentioned in her post) and some are not. I listed my Redondo townhome in mid-April of last year, got two offers by month's end and escrow closed in mid-June. Then you have my parents, who have had their house on the market (SF Valley) since last November. Granted, the end of the year is a crappy time to have a house on the market, BUT houses are still selling.

Bottom line, you cannot beat the weather here! Hope you decide to make the move. SoCal living has it's perks.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/20/2007 11:28:16 PM
Author: ChargerGrrl
Another native Angelino here! I too LOVE L.A and cannot imagine living anywhere else.

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, mostly lived in the westside after coming back to L.A after college, bought a townhome in the South Bay (Redondo), and finally settled back in the SF Valley last year just before I got married. L.A is HUGE, and some people (like me) tend to hang out within a 25-mile radius. The Valley down to the South Bay and everywhere in between are our stomping grounds.

Of all the L.A places I''ve lived in, Redondo was by far my favorite. But I wouldn''t recommend it for someone who will be working in Century City. When I did work in Century City, I lived in West L.A where you can find some ''neighborhoody'' areas, populated mostly by families and not too transitional. You can just shoot up Pico or Olympic Blvds and the drive is 20 minutes, tops. The area where I work now- Miracle Mile/Mid Wilshire has some really cool houses, with character. They''re not like your typical McMansions that seem to be commonplace in many areas. And the Grove & Farmers Market are super-close.

The housing market here is strange. Some areas are hot, (like the South Bay as TG mentioned in her post) and some are not. I listed my Redondo townhome in mid-April of last year, got two offers by month''s end and escrow closed in mid-June. Then you have my parents, who have had their house on the market (SF Valley) since last November. Granted, the end of the year is a crappy time to have a house on the market, BUT houses are still selling.

Bottom line, you cannot beat the weather here! Hope you decide to make the move. SoCal living has it''s perks.
Chargergrrl, you were lucky you sold April of last year...it has been going down since then. My bro sold back then as well, and got an offer within 3 weeks. Now other homes that are similar on the same street can''t sell...even at 30K less. Starting from summer was when I started seeing the issues...but I was not watching closely before then.

South Bay is still very much in demand, but it''s seeing some weakening in quite a few segments.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
Cheviot is the closest to Century City for sure. Brentwood is pricey, as is Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades, and traffic can be horrible. You might find something nice in Beverly Hills near Roxbury Park, along Olympic Blvd, between Century Park East or Spaulding Drive heading East toward Beverly Drive. Or down Beverwil near Pico. Not at all sure of costs there, or how the neighborhoods are, but those are really going to be the most convenient access to Century City. Another option is my old neighborhood, basically Holmby Hills, south of Sunset, west of Beverly Glen, east of Hilgard and north of Wilshire, it is also very accessible to Century City but the homes can be very expensive. Right after I moved, things went nuts there, so it could be calmer now. You can look up Beverly Glen north of Sunset but both Beverly Glen and Sunset get VERY trafficky...
 
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