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where would you live in LA?

where would you live in LA?

Old Jan 30th 2012, 10:19 pm
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Default where would you live in LA?

Moving to LA in 3 weeks from London, UK. Husband working in Santa Monica (roughly Colarado&Cloverfield) so we're being put up in corporate apartments there til we find our own place. It's us and our two small children (3yrs and newborn).

Priorities:
Walkability - to restaurants, cafes, markets, play areas
Commutable to Santa Monica (pref by bike but under 30mins by car)
Commutable to the beach (under 20mins by car)
Community feel - mix of young families and artsy types (I'm a theatre director)
3-4 bedrooms pref in single house, max in a duplex but DEF with private outside space
And the clincher - under $3000/month

Doable or totally not?! Just want an idea of areas to look at when we arrive. Have found a small handful of homes that fit our criteria in Venice and Santa Monica but they're few and far between!
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

I was going to suggest Venice ...
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

Originally Posted by mymatemarmite View Post
Moving to LA in 3 weeks from London, UK. Husband working in Santa Monica (roughly Colarado&Cloverfield) so we're being put up in corporate apartments there til we find our own place. It's us and our two small children (3yrs and newborn).

Priorities:
Walkability - to restaurants, cafes, markets, play areas
Commutable to Santa Monica (pref by bike but under 30mins by car)
Commutable to the beach (under 20mins by car)
Community feel - mix of young families and artsy types (I'm a theatre director)
3-4 bedrooms pref in single house, max in a duplex but DEF with private outside space
And the clincher - under $3000/month

Doable or totally not?! Just want an idea of areas to look at when we arrive. Have found a small handful of homes that fit our criteria in Venice and Santa Monica but they're few and far between!
I'd personally try and get something in SM or Venice they are the main areas that fit the criteria you are looking for. You won't find many houses (if any that you actually like) for that kid of money though.

You could commute from Calabasas/Agoura Hills area, and drive over Topanga Canyon, but that does not fit your walkability requirement
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 7:37 am
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

will keep looking on craiglist then, very occasionally something comes up in our price range in SM or Venice
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
You could commute from Calabasas/Agoura Hills area, and drive over Topanga Canyon
A very nice part of LA.
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

I've lived in LA all my life other than my sojourn in the military and law school in San Francisco. I will not presume to tell you what is the best area to live in. That said, I will note the following:

1. Although Craigslist is wonderful, it is not the best way to find rental housing. I would recommend you sign up at www.westsiderentals.com. The landlords prefer referrals from Westside Rentals simply because the prospective tenants have forked over a few dollars. [BTW, it is not unknown for Craigslist to have listings for WR passwords for people who have unexpired use. I am not sure about the legality of that.]

2. Public transit is better than it used to be. It is not uncommon for people to arrange their housing around public transit options. Nonetheless, despite the improvements, the culture here is still one regarding cars.

3. Once hubby is installed in his job, he should network like crazy in the housing hunt. You'll be surprised what turns up.

Where people were mentioning Venice, one might want to keep looking somewhat south -- to Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. It should be noted that a little facility known as "LAX" is a tad noisy. However, the take-off pattern is generally over the Bay [I understand pilots kind of hate the takeoff rules in place for noise abatement].
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

I currently live in Woodland Hills/Calabasas. My experience is that it's slightly cheaper up here for rent than living in Santa Monica itself, while still having all of that stuff in range.

I wouldn't say we have a community feel - Calabasas is where all the well-to-do Hollywood types live and it's quite exclusive. I think Studio City or Sherman Oaks might deliver what you want in that sense. I imagine the Hollywood Hills might be a bit pricey.

For young artsy types, Silverlake is the current go-to however my perception is that this is a different scene to the movie industry. It's much more of a hipster scene.

I'm not sure that it's that easy to find a place that is simultaneously a family place and a young artsy place. The families I know all tend to migrate out to the burbs, where there is no soul but they can get a nice big house for a much lower price.
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

Also, I believe you are coming in on an H4 visa? That doesn't give you a whole lot of options for legally working in theatre (or anything else).
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

Thanks everyone, really useful replies. No, I don't intend to work on my H4 visa, just would love to be in or near to an area that housed like-minded people (though that's not top of the list of priorities)

Heard about westsiderentals and will def sign up with them as soon as we land - I've only really been browsing the freebie sites to see what's out there, but good tip, will add to the to do list!

Do you mean network at work about housing? Good point, hadn't thught about that - silly really as almost everyone I know in London finds somewhere to live via word of mouth and friends of friends.
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
1. Although Craigslist is wonderful, it is not the best way to find rental housing. I would recommend you sign up at www.westsiderentals.com. The landlords prefer referrals from Westside Rentals simply because the prospective tenants have forked over a few dollars. [BTW, it is not unknown for Craigslist to have listings for WR passwords for people who have unexpired use. I am not sure about the legality of that.]
I would disagree with this. I signed up to Westiside Rentals when we moved to Los Angeles and then again when we were looking for a new rental 3 years later.

They had very few houses on, mainly apartments that were in a huge complex owned or managed by the same company, the adverts were just a running standard as people moved in and out of the complex all the time.

The few houses that were on, usually didn't include any photos, and were duplicates of the houses that were posted on Craigslist and the photos were included on Craigslist.

I think maybe Westside is good if you are looking for an apartment, but not so much if you are looking for a house as these are usually owned by individuals not company run.

We found our first rental on Craigslist, however it was managed by these guys, we always dealt with the same guy and he was good. They have a lot more listings than when we moved 4 years ago, and prices seem cheaper, probably saying something for the economy

http://www.whitehouseproperties.com/...ting=listprice desc&view=0
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

Thanks for that feedback Nicky, sounds like you reckon westsiderentals isn't worth paying for? Will check our the link....
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

Originally Posted by mymatemarmite View Post
Heard about westsiderentals and will def sign up with them as soon as we land
Originally Posted by mymatemarmite View Post
... sounds like you reckon westsiderentals isn't worth paying for? Will check our the link....
Geez... you really blow hot and cold, don't you!

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Old Jan 31st 2012, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

Originally Posted by mymatemarmite View Post
Thanks for that feedback Nicky, sounds like you reckon westsiderentals isn't worth paying for? Will check our the link....
I'd say not, there are plenty of free ways to find a house.
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

Yeah, i was thinking about that. Personally, Craigslist has always served me extremely well over the years, although I tend to look for rooms in occupied houses rather than trying to rent a whole property for myself.

Having said that, either way you should treat all real estate agents in LA with scorn and skepticism because they are, to a man, complete bastards.
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Old Jan 31st 2012, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: where would you live in LA?

Originally Posted by caleyjag View Post

I wouldn't say we have a community feel - Calabasas is where all the well-to-do Hollywood types live and it's quite exclusive. I think Studio City or Sherman Oaks might deliver what you want in that sense. I imagine the Hollywood Hills might be a bit pricey.
Yes, Calabasas will not deliver the artsy feel they want.
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