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Old 01-15-2011, 05:37 PM
 
40 posts, read 42,996 times
Reputation: 13

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Hey everyone,

I have posted on City Data a few years back and received some helpful info for another city. I am now moving to Los Angeles in the spring.

I will be working in the San Fernando Valley, right smack in the middle near the gov't complex. I am coming from Chicago so I am not adverse to traffic and I was able to tolerate LA style traffic when I visited recently. I can spend up to $1200 for a one bedroom per month. I am looking in Sherman Oaks and Studio City along Ventura Blvd. I have acquantainces in that area (most are married though and have been in LA for some time) and just over the hill in West LA so it'll be convenient.

A few questions in order of importance:

1. Is there any negotiating rents with apartment landlords? If I could pay 3 months up front when I sign the lease, could I ask them to lower the amount of the rent or ask for one month free? (This has been going on in Chicago for a few years due to the significant oversupply of apts).

2. I know Valley nightlife isn't great, but I can always move after a year once I get situated. What are the good places to go for a single guy in his late 20s in Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Woodland Hills, and North Hollywood? FYI, I am more into bars, not really clubs, but also do stuff like go to the gym, museums, etc.

3. I will need to change my Driver's License. CA DMV info online is very confusing. Do I need to take a driving test or just the written test? I am licensed in another state so I am hoping that I do not have to take the driving test?

4. For extra cash, I noticed there are tons of jobs posted on craigslist for sales positions. These positions I assume are 100% commission based, which I would think are easier to secure because people might want more steady incomes. I am ok with these positions as a side job. How difficult are those positions to secure?

5. Kind of trivial: Also, if I live in Sherman Oaks or Studio City, do I use those names in place of the city (i.e. Sherman Oaks, CA), or do I put Los Angeles, CA on my driver's license?
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:40 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,444,477 times
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if you live in the SFV you will use the neighborhood you live in on your driver's license (ie studio city, reseda, northridge, etc...). on the other side of the hills, LA will be on your driver's license except for a few exceptions (playa del rey, venice, san pedro, etc.). i'm not sure why this is though.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:55 PM
 
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula
13,684 posts, read 14,103,112 times
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Most of the time you will be interfacing with managers, not the owners themselves. I've never heard about negotiating rent although anything is possible. My method was to just keep looking until I found acceptable rent. (I haven't rented in decades.) I'm sure you'll find nice apartments in Sherman Oaks and Studio City, don't know about the price. Encino and Tarzana might be nice too. Get your feet on the ground and you'll be able to tell the nicer neighborhoods from the not so nice. If you don't like SFV nightlife you can drive over the hill to Hollywood and Westwood. Dunno about DMV, what difference does it make? Study the guide just before you take the written test (right in the DMV office, this isn't rocket science!). If you gotta drive then you already know how, right? Bring a car. Only people downtown show Los Angeles as their address, usually 900xx zip codes. You will be showing Studio City, Sherman Oaks etc. These aren't cities, just postal areas. LA is so big nobody would know where anybody lives without the postal names. You're a salesman? Yech, stay home! Just kidding! You're welcome to move here. We'll spit you out if we don't like you! Just kidding again!
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:10 PM
 
5,922 posts, read 6,364,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soon2bela View Post
1. Is there any negotiating rents with apartment landlords? If I could pay 3 months up front when I sign the lease, could I ask them to lower the amount of the rent or ask for one month free? (This has been going on in Chicago for a few years due to the significant oversupply of apts).
Sure.... I got them to knock off 50 a month on my lease. If you have good credit and just tell them you plan on lomg term, they just might work with you on the rent, especially if they have a surplus of units.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:12 PM
 
5,922 posts, read 6,364,651 times
Reputation: 5466
Quote:
Originally Posted by soon2bela View Post
5. Kind of trivial: Also, if I live in Sherman Oaks or Studio City, do I use those names in place of the city (i.e. Sherman Oaks, CA), or do I put Los Angeles, CA on my driver's license?
Sherman Oaks, CA or Studio City, CA is the correct address for city, state.
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:20 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
425 posts, read 1,679,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
Dunno about DMV, what difference does it make? Study the guide just before you take the written test (right in the DMV office, this isn't rocket science!). If you gotta drive then you already know how, right?
He was asking if he just had to take the written test or if he had to take the entire driving exam again.

OP-
You will have to take the written test, but you won't have to take the actual driving test, since you are licensed to drive in another state. They have sample tests on the DMV website. Also, I believe as a newcomer, you can get up to four or five answers wrong.

ETA: Also, you will not receive your actual license at the DMV. You will get a piece of paper that will serve as your temporary license (mine did not have a photo on it - I carried my passport with me along with the temporary license until my actual license came in the mail) and your actual license will be mailed to you. May I also recommend making an appointment with the DMV, it will save you time.

Quote:
Only people downtown show Los Angeles as their address, usually 900xx zip codes.
Not true. I do not live in downtown Los Angeles and my address states "Los Angeles" on it.
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:38 AM
 
40 posts, read 42,996 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for all the responses!

The reason I asked about the driving test is because while I am a good driver, what I and others term a good driver is far different from what the DMV says is a good driver on the road test. Some states like New Jersey can make you take the road test in addition to the written when you move there.

I heard about the actual license being mailed. Luckily I have other forms of picture ID.

I was also curious about the neighborhood designations because I saw the postal addresses as Sherman Oaks, Studio City, North Hollywood, etc.

My plan is to offer 3 months rent up front if they give me two or three months free on 15 month lease. I'll see what they say. Can't hurt to ask.

Thanks again for all the responses!
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
749 posts, read 1,547,009 times
Reputation: 421
As you well know, nightlife options are much more plentiful on the other side of the hill (Hollywood, West Hollywood, West LA, Santa Monica, etc.).

Some nightlife options in Studio City and No. Hollywood include:

1. Firefly (Studio City, Ventura Blvd)
Firefly - Studio City - Studio City, CA

2. Lauren Tavern (Studio City, Ventura Blvd)
Home

3. Fox and Hounds (Studio City, Ventura Blvd)
The Fox And Hounds - Studio City, CA

4. Clear Lounge (Studio City, Ventura Blvd)
Clear Lounge. Located at 11916 Ventura Blvd. Studio City. Phone 818-980-4811

5. Skinny's Lounge (No. Hollywood, Lankershim Blvd)
SkinnysLounge.com - Home

Most of these options are spread out and not walkable from one to another (the only exception would be a few in Studio City like Laurel Tavern & Clear, etc).

If you live in Studio City, Sherman Oaks or No.Ho., you could consider driving to Old Town Pasadena for nightlife. In Pasadena, you can park in one place and walk to many different bars, restaurants, and clubs. Same thing goes for Hollywood (Hollywood & Vine & Cauguenga corridor). And both Hollywood and Pasadena are very close to where you are planning to live.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:35 AM
 
40 posts, read 42,996 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for the helpful info. I am not a huge partier, but it is nice to have somewhere to go once a week or so.

Are there more nightlife options in the West LA neighborhood? I know Santa Monica has a ton, but it is a bit out of my price range at the moment. West LA has places that are within my budget. I may look there too, though the traffic will obviously be much worse to get up to the Valley in the morning and back down the hill at night.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:05 PM
 
4,035 posts, read 8,315,443 times
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You won't really have trouble driving to the Westside or Santa Monica for nightlife after say 8pm. Theres still traffic, but its not death.

You'll also be able to drive to the bars downtown LA in about 20-30 minutes at that time as well. Oh, and if you like baseball, Dodger Stadium is close by too.

Seriously everything is driveable. BTW, you do not HAVE to be in Sherman Oaks. There are nearby apartment buildings off of Van Nuys Bl and Woodman Bl south of say Oxnard that are in ok neighborhoods and still leave you within ten minutes of work and ten minutes of Ventura Bl. And its likely these will be less expensive.
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