U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > Los Angeles
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-24-2011, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Torrance, CA
95 posts, read 194,895 times
Reputation: 49

Advertisements

Hi folks,

seems like our visas are in the making and we're about to hit South Bay during the next couple months. We'll work in Carson, for the same Canadian company we've been working for the last seven years. My wife and I are about to make $90k together plus bonuses which I don't know how much they'll eventually add up to. But due to the school district for our then 7yo daughter, we're planning to rent in Eastern Torrance (probably somewhere in the 90501 area, but definitely West of Western Ave. because of the TUSD border). We really can't see her going to a LAUSD school...

The median household income in Torrance is about $75k so I guess we should be able to make out quite well, even considering the required $1,000/m for long-term commitments in Germany.

Considering two cars with no insurance background/history (no fancy new cars, just something to get from A to B for a year or two, one of them a station wagon wouldn't be bad), how would I be able to determine a threshold for the rent? How much will be left of monthly $5,400 and $2,100 salary checks? $400 of my check are a "car allowance", this can be taken for whatever I wish, right?

Thanks for any input
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-24-2011, 09:47 AM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,414,084 times
Reputation: 3323
it seems that you are forgetting taxes. you'll need to reduce your gross pay by about 25% for federal and state taxes plus any health insurance premiums you might be responsible for in addition to any retirement contributions you might make. your take home will probably be closer to $60k per year when factoring all of this in.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-24-2011, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,127 posts, read 11,725,675 times
Reputation: 5324
This really depends more on your budget and expenses than anything. For example you mention that you have $1000/mo commitment in Germany. So you start with your net after taxes as BRinSM mentioned and go from there.

Basically the greatest cost will be housing. So finding a reasonable place to rent/lease will be important. What size place do you hope to rent?

Then auto expenses can be high depending on what type of vehicle(s) you will own, make payments on and maintain. Will you have money to purchase them outright or will you get loans? I would focus on getting something reliable like an older honda, toyota, nissan without too many miles (for their age). Auto insurance is mandatory. So you must pay for that as well. You can get quotes probably online depending on the type of vehicles.

What about childcare/after school care if you both are working? That can add up if needed.

I would start with what you currently are spending on things like food, gas, utilities, vacations, childcare, etc... and work from that even if not a 1 to 1 with California. It will at least give you a general idea of your spending habits. Every family is different.

Generaly speaking (without knowing your spending habits) I think it will be tight but doable if you can live frugally and find the right deals on things (autos, rent, etc...). But I would recommend trying to do a more itemized budget based on your real world expenses and spending. Check craigslist for rentals to see current prices.

Derek
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2011, 01:22 AM
 
Location: Torrance, CA
95 posts, read 194,895 times
Reputation: 49
Thanks so far. Of course I know that I have to pay taxes and health care etc. That's why I asked what is likely to be left of the checks mentioned. Here in Germany the employer deducts about 30-35% of the gross salary for that kind of stuff. Well, we're currently paying less due to some tax reduction investment.

I'm just wondering how the household with an average income of $75k does it in the South Bay. The overall American average is $50k. How does that work? We're expecting something almost double of that and are told here that it's gonna be tight, let alone the comittments in Germany we're facing, which could be reduced once we decide to stay in the U.S. for a longer period of time, i.e. apply for a GC later on.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2011, 01:38 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
1,472 posts, read 2,904,184 times
Reputation: 1562
I think what they're saying is that average for the U.S. and the LA metropolitan area are two different things, plus as you seem to have an idea of, children complicate the matter. Living in an area like Southern California with kids necessitates choosing carefully. If you want a safe, enjoyable area with a good public school district in that part of California $100,000 is tight.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2011, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,127 posts, read 11,725,675 times
Reputation: 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffredo View Post
I think what they're saying is that average for the U.S. and the LA metropolitan area are two different things, plus as you seem to have an idea of, children complicate the matter. Living in an area like Southern California with kids necessitates choosing carefully. If you want a safe, enjoyable area with a good public school district in that part of California $100,000 is tight.
Yes, exactly. Not every household in Torrance is a family with young children. So that average isn't really an apples to apples comparison. I would say that a lot of the residents are singles, retirees, etc... Some of which can live in a 1 BR apartment or have owned a home for generations and its paid off.

We lived in Torrance ~ 6 years ago on an slightly above the average income with two children and it was tight. And we had a great deal on a 2 BR apartment which was too small for our quickly growing family. So I'm speaking from experience. It was the high cost of living in this part of SoCal that drove us eventually to move to Colorado where we were able to buy a larger home while living on that same income. After time our income increased and we were able to move back to coastal Cal.

The bottom line is the 75K average income is low for a family of 3+ when considering all the expenses one pays. How much more than this average one needs depends on their own expenses/debts/obligations/spending habits, etc... and how small of a place they can live in.

Derek
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2011, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Torrance, CA
95 posts, read 194,895 times
Reputation: 49
Thx Derek. I think you told me in a different thread last month that thinking about living in a LAUSD neighborhood like Carson isn't really an option. How true is that or as reversed question is living in Carson supposed to be so much cheaper that it'll make up for the (suspected) lower quality of life? We're very basic people with non-expensive hobbies etc. We don't need a palace to live in or fancy cars. It just should be a little better than a shed and a 1980 Volkswagen. And some friendly neighbors how could take our dog every now and then wouldn't be bad :-)

Sorry for asking all those silly questions, but it's hard to reverse any decisions of this magnitude without learning it the hard way. I guess once we're settled we'll get the idea of what life is like in the South Bay. It's not the kind area we picked voluntarily to move to so we have no idea how the real life is there. Browsing through sites doesn't really answer anything beyond the obvious. Thanks for all the help we can get upfront.

Udo
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2011, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,127 posts, read 11,725,675 times
Reputation: 5324
Udo,

I think you'll ge much happier in Torrance especially in being new to the area. Once you move to the South Bay you can get a better lay of the land. But generally speaking LAUSD is really bad in these parts. And in those neighborhoods it's not just the bad schools you have to deal with but the increased gang element, crime, and questionable safety for your family to go out and walk around, etc... It's always better to error on the side of caution when new to any area, especially in LA County. You've heard the term wrong side of the tracks before right? Well we have streets which divide good and bad sides as as Western Ave.

To save a little money there are a few other preferred parts close by which some locals look to. There is an area known as Del Aire which is in western Hawthorne. Juan Cabrillo Elementary
is within this district for example. It is just west of the 405 FWY. The schools aren't rated as high as Torrrance but they are not LAUSD either.

Another spot is western Lomita. Lomita Math/Science/Technology Magnet school is pretty good for LAUSD.

Take a look at the map - California School Performance Maps

Overall I think you will be much happier in a smaller place in a nicer area. If you are willing to live simply as you mentioned then the Torrance area can work well for you IMO. Maybe stay under $1800/mo:
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sea...800&bedrooms=2

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sea...800&bedrooms=3

Here is an exceptional deal and the kind to look for: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/apa/2179548248.html (broken link)

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 01-26-2011 at 08:48 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2011, 09:23 PM
 
55 posts, read 194,461 times
Reputation: 19
Default Mtn Surfer....

What do you think about El Segundo for the OP? (And for me as well)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2011, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,127 posts, read 11,725,675 times
Reputation: 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iakovos Bond View Post
What do you think about El Segundo for the OP? (And for me as well)
Excellent location, It's small town living inside LA. Schools are good as are the neighborhoods. It's a bit pricey. But if you can find a decent place at a reasonable price I would definately check it out. The one part to watch out for al the apartments right next to LAX. We had friends with a condo there and the noise from the planes was a bit annoying. But once you moved back a number of blocks north from LAX the noise isn't bad at all.

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 01-26-2011 at 11:25 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > Los Angeles
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top