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Old 09-14-2007, 09:20 PM
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 78,912,632 times
Reputation: 17319


Originally Posted by erinnelizabeth View Post
Beautiful town, uncluttered, peaceful, etc. with sunshine, that's inspiring for an artist, but within a couple of hours or less of places with concerts, nightlife, dancing, major airport, etc. anybody with personal experience?
Did you also want beautiful inexpensive homes, near the beach, with good schools, plenty of extracurricular employment opportunities, and no traffic? Lots of single, handsome, and wealthy men too?

What's your housing price range or monthly rent budget?
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Old 09-14-2007, 09:54 PM
168 posts, read 542,682 times
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Westlake Village...nice and quiet, picturesque, no skyscrapers, very uncluttered, sunny, walkable. Nice lake. Pretty hills going in and out of LA. Nice drive to the beach also. Very expensive.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:48 PM
9,706 posts, read 12,585,115 times
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Burbank, Glendale and Montrose also have their own Main Streets and their own "small town feel" -- but they are basically "in town."

I happen to love Glendale. Despite having a several high modern office towers, Brand Blvd. has remained incredibly walkable, even late at night. It also has that old style diagonal parking, plus, the hills are beautiful at night when you can look at all the twinkly lights on the homes. There is also a section of town that is loaded with what I like to call "storybook cottages." They are smaller homes built in the 1920s and '30s, each very individual in design and very cute (and also, very expensive).

Burbank has an area near the Media City Mall that is very walkable and has a semi-small town feel. (The Mall, City Hall, the Police Station, loads of restaurants and movie theaters are all within a several block area.) If you plan to rent, there are a lot of condos and apartments up on the hills just above the Media City Mall area that are nice. The homes up on the hills are very nice too -- but quite expensive.

Montrose has Honolulu Blvd. which is full of tiny shops and that kind of thing.

Pasadena has Old Town which is another very walkable area, but it's quite a bit larger than Glendale, Burbank and Montrose's downtowns.

San Dimas is quite cute -- another tiny downtown but it has a lot of the older craftsmen homes. And the town with Myrtle Street (I think it is the City of Orange or Sierra Madre?) is another redeveloped "old town" area.

Los Angeles really is a collection of little towns all in search of a city.
All of these areas are older so they have some quirky housing, big old trees -- oh! And no gated communities. Most of the housing stock was built before gated communities became popular. You need to go to the newer cities to find those.

All of LA is very crowded. Due to earthquakes, highrises are not that popular. Most buildings are two stories or less and they can be quite close together though they may have nice front and back yards.
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:07 AM
Location: California
7 posts, read 81,854 times
Reputation: 12
There's no concern for good schools, expenses or budgets, living right near the beach, etc. but exactly what was said, perfect little towns with barely any downside and relative access to the city. That pretty much describes most of my previous homes in the last decade.

I'm continuing my research and would love to hear more..
Thank you for the suggestions, definitely appreciated!

Last edited by erinnelizabeth; 09-15-2007 at 12:22 AM..
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:07 PM
Location: S. California
258 posts, read 707,718 times
Reputation: 135
Originally Posted by erinnelizabeth View Post
Palm Springs is gorgeous and the desert is beautiful, but that maybe further out than I'm looking, unless there's another major city with nightlife and music within less than two hours that I'm overlooking?

What about Cabazon, Upland, Hemet, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore, Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Murrieta, etc. could any of those be compared to there? Thank you for your advice, it's an amazing help!
I've lived in Upland, Lake Elsinore & near Murrieta. Upland has big trees and nice older neighborhoods but it's very crowded now, that whole area is crammed with people. When I lived there there were many open fields and quiet places but now (my sis still lives there) it's different.

Lake Elsinore was nice when I lived there, except for the yearly fish-stink, which I believe they got under control. I thought it aws the prettiest place I'd lived in. But after the LA riots a bad element moved in from LA and the elementary schools had drive by shooting drills because the mexicans were warring with the newly arrived blacks. I haven't been back since then, I hope it has cooled off because it was such a quiet nice place at one time.

I moved from there to Hemet, which was quieter and less crowded than it is now. The fields and farms that dotted the area are dissappearing at an alarming rate replaced by strip malls and super Walmarts and overpriced tract housing. It's rents have become too much for po' folks like us to take anymore. We live in a two bedroom apartment and it goes for $1000 a month. Top that with high utility bills, food and household supplies and it's just not giving back what we put in. This same apt usedto rent for $450 a month when we moved here in the mid 90s. East Hemet has some nicer quieter areas still but again, it's getting expencive.

Hope that helped somewhat.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:18 PM
Location: California
7 posts, read 81,854 times
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I'm excited everytime I hear others' personal experiences.
That absolutely helps with my research, thank you very much!
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:38 AM
Location: Cincinnati
1,749 posts, read 7,429,560 times
Reputation: 747
Santa Barbara/Montecito/Carpenteria. You're still 2 hrs from L.A. and all it holds.

Laguna Beach would be a stunning place to live if you can afford it. It hits every one of your requirements.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:01 PM
Location: California
7 posts, read 81,854 times
Reputation: 12
Sounds great thank you, definitely will look into those more.
Hope everyone else is finding answers to what they're looking for!
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:41 PM
110 posts, read 665,500 times
Reputation: 49
NYC & the towns upstate is a very unique situation. I've been there a lot.

You can't really replicate that situation here in CA for several reasons. One, the train system from NYC to outlying areas is awesome. Here in SoCal everyone drives & the conjestion is sometimes unbearable.

Two, there is a lot more individual & rural charm to the towns outside of NYC than there is here, at least outside of LA where many of the neighborhoods are anywhere USA & not all that rural or charming.

I love NYC & I love SF. So if it were me, I'd look outside of SF for a town. Not so familiar with details of the towns these days but I remember it being a pretty easy freeway commute from just a bit south of SF (I was in Hillsborough) or check out the area north of SF in Marin. Lots of beautiful areas there if money is no object.
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:49 PM
110 posts, read 665,500 times
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In SoCal, I'd agree with those who suggested Pasadena, Ojai, Carpinteria- also try Summerland, Montecito. I'd stay away from SB if you want to head south often. The traffic going south from there can be a headache. Also Ojai can at times get cutoff from civilization due to whether extrmes like rain or fire.
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