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Moving to LA advice needed

Moving to LA advice needed

Old Feb 14th 2011, 7:51 am
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Default Moving to LA advice needed

Hello
I am moving to LA at the end of the month , my husband will be working in the Hawthorne area.I have an 11 year old son , a chocolate labrador and a cat who are all coming with us.I am looking for a nice safe area to live in with good schools and would like some advice. My husband is willing to commute preferably within one hour of his work place.
Help would be appreciated !
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Old Feb 14th 2011, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

budget dictates most things here, it really depends on where you can afford to live - Hawthorne is not typically regarded as a good area - Culver City might be your best bet in terms of being relatively close and having it's own school district, which most people think is a good one.

-Matt
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Old Feb 14th 2011, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

I am not familiar with Hawthorne, looking it up it seems to be near Manhattan Beach and Torrance which seem pleasant and I think have their own school districts, but on the pricey side. As mmhendrie says, budget is going to play a large part in your options. I would second Culver City as being a possible choice. All the school districts are currently facing budget problems.
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Old Feb 14th 2011, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

Welcome to BE!

Might also want to have a look through city-data.com for ideas
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Old Feb 15th 2011, 12:45 am
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

Hi Kim,

I live in LA but I don't have kids, so nothing to add about school districts: just wanted to say good luck with the move, and ask if you're getting any guidance with relocation from your husband's company. If you're doing it alone it can sometimes be tricky arranging a rental from overseas when you don't yet have a Social Security Number, or access to a US bank account -- we found many apartment owners weren't overly keen to deal with us. It's definitely possible to work it all out -- we did -- but if you have company support then I'm sure it makes it a lot easier. Do you have a relocation agent, or any possibility of moving into temporary, company-provided quarters for your initial weeks here?

Also will you get, or have you had, a chance to visit and look around LA before the move? If not, then don't tie yourself to a long lease right away -- there are plenty of options for 6-month contracts, ensuring you don't get stuck with a less than ideal house/street/neighbourhood.

Best wishes
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 11:45 am
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

Originally Posted by MoshiMoshi View Post
Hi Kim,

I live in LA but I don't have kids, so nothing to add about school districts: just wanted to say good luck with the move, and ask if you're getting any guidance with relocation from your husband's company. If you're doing it alone it can sometimes be tricky arranging a rental from overseas when you don't yet have a Social Security Number, or access to a US bank account -- we found many apartment owners weren't overly keen to deal with us. It's definitely possible to work it all out -- we did -- but if you have company support then I'm sure it makes it a lot easier. Do you have a relocation agent, or any possibility of moving into temporary, company-provided quarters for your initial weeks here?

Also will you get, or have you had, a chance to visit and look around LA before the move? If not, then don't tie yourself to a long lease right away -- there are plenty of options for 6-month contracts, ensuring you don't get stuck with a less than ideal house/street/neighbourhood.

Best wishes
Hi There
We moving with a decent relocation package and my husbands company are sorting most things out for us.We will be staying in Marina Del Rey for the first six weeks or so. Thanks for your gbood wishes
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 11:47 am
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
budget dictates most things here, it really depends on where you can afford to live - Hawthorne is not typically regarded as a good area - Culver City might be your best bet in terms of being relatively close and having it's own school district, which most people think is a good one.

-Matt
Hi There
Thanks for the info we are l;ooking to spend around 2000 per month on rent and would need a 2 bed 2 bath animal friendly.Any particular area of Culver city ?
Cheers
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

Have a look around Craigslist for listings to get a feel for the asking price. You can't really figure out if a house is in a good area if you're not there and I wouldn't try to get something remotely.

Might also be worth checking with some people who are already there to figure out the cost of utilities (especially electricity, the A/C id going to consume a lot of that) as you might have to adjust your rental budget down.
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

Originally Posted by TimNiceBut View Post
Might also be worth checking with some people who are already there to figure out the cost of utilities (especially electricity, the A/C id going to consume a lot of that) as you might have to adjust your rental budget down.
You have made your point in checking out the actual area. LA has "microclimates" -- the AC use in Culver City will be fairly minimal.
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

just backing the LA microclimates statement. I'd always assumed, and from prior visits, that LA was hot as hell. We moved into West LA 11yrs ago, and not only did we never use the AC, we didn't even have the heating (gas) turned on. After getting to grips with the climate changes as you head inland, we've always stayed within 5-6 miles of the ocean - you pretty much get a perfect year round tempurature.

Most if not all of Culver City should fall within the range. You might need the AC on for a couple of weeks a year if there's a heat wave, but its not a considerable expensive for the west side. That picture can change radically just a couple of miles further inland, or if you head into the valley to the north etc.

I'm a bit out of date on renting (bought 7yrs ago) but, if a condo is ok, I'd be pretty sure you could get a good comfortable setup for $2k in Culver City. Try searching some online listings (Craigslist perhaps?) and use it in coordination with google maps to get arial shots - me personally, I'd avoid 2-3 blocks of a freeway (noise), 1-2 blocks of a major mall (traffic/noise) - all things you can scout on the maps. Are you going to have any time to do some in-person scouting around out here before you move?

-Matt
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

You can look at the following California School Performance Map to get a quick snapshot of the school rankings in the LA area. Click on any symbol to get more information about the school. The school that your child will attend will be dependent on your address.

http://schoolperformancemaps.com/ca/...93042%2C10%2C2
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

Culver City is nice and you can definitely rent for 2k a month there. I guess it’s subjective but if I were to move to Culver City, I am sure I could get a 2 bed 2 bath anything from $1750-2300.

Good luck with the move.
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
Try searching some online listings (Craigslist perhaps?) and use it in coordination with google maps to get arial shots - me personally, I'd avoid 2-3 blocks of a freeway (noise),
we live right by the 405 -- it sounds like, um, a mighty river roaring past day and night. But it doesn't seem to bother us!

In the end we didn't use them, but I heard good things about Westside Rentals. You have to pay to search there. Craigslist drives me crazy! Loonies, scammers and agents trying to lure you to their sites with excellent offers that, when you call them.. oh no... it's just gone, but here's something similar for double the price .

Since you already have starter accom in Marina Del Rey (which is very nice) then at least you'll have a chance to see potential apartments in person. There always seem to be signs up saying AVAILABLE NOW and OPEN HOUSE TODAY, so I don't get the feeling housing is scarce, although of course you'll want to find the right one for you.

To give you an idea of utilities, for a 1-bedroom near Culver City we pay: $50/m power, $30/m sewer, trash and water, $20/m renters insurance, $60/m for 2 cellphones (ugh, and that's the best value we could get), and $100/m for an internet/cable/landline bundle.
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

funny - our first year out here our bedroom literally overlooked the 405 (those white UCLA apartments eitherside of the freeway around National) - I'm a light sleeper and learned to sleep with two pillows eitherside of my head! 10yrs on, and I still do it despite living in a quiet neighborhood now!

One good tip to get the lay of the land for renting - we used this when we rented: http://www.pbmmgmt.com/

They have numerous apartments around the westside. The standard varies highly - some nice places, some real dumps - BUT, with almost any of their listings, you can get the address/cost info and photos right off the website, and go check them out in person. You might find something good, but that aside, it's a quick/easy way to find out what the going rates/standards are without having to do backflips (or pay fees) to get the info.

-Matt
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA advice needed

one more note on Culver City - obviously, get down there and check it out - but the downtown Culver City area has changed dramatically over the last 10yrs. There's now a host of good restaurants, a good supermarket and a decent enough movie all close walkable between each other.

One thing you get use to in LA is having to drive everywhere - there are very few places where you can do a few things without having to drive. Santa Monica is another place, and is has a massive British population, but it's also very expensive and apparently I'm one of the few Brits out here not made of money, so I can't live there! Downtown Culver City might be the next best thing....

-Matt
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