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Old 05-16-2011, 02:57 PM
 
15 posts, read 25,466 times
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After three and a half years in GA I have accepted a position that will require relocation to California. Specifically, Westlake Village, CA.

I have had the opportunity to visit Westlake Village and while it is a very beautiful area its a little too suburbia for me. I am trying to avoid making the same mistake I did when I moved from CT to GA. My wife and I fell in love with a house in the suburbs and while we still love the house we are bored out of our minds.

We have no children and just can't relate to most of our neighbors with 2.5 kids. We are in our early thirties but just not ready for kids, etc.

Woodland Hills was recommended as a area that has some liveliness but no overly hectic. We would love an area that is culturally diverse, walkable, with a good amount of things to do beyond dining out (i.e. parks, festivals). I also want to avoid a two hour commute to work.

We are looking to rent a reasonable apartment around $2K (ideally less), parking would be great.

Can anyone recommend an area beside Woodland Hills that would meet my criteria and still have a reasonable commute to Westlake Village?
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:58 PM
 
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Hi there...saw your post...Do you mind me asking what line of work you are in.....?
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:13 PM
 
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Woodland Hills is not as suburban as Westlake Village. It is still suburban compared to many parts of LA, but is dense because of the size of the apartment complexes. I don't live in Woodland Hills, but I do go a lot. There are 2 major shopping malls there with a ton of upscale chain restaurants (think PF Changs, Flemings, etc.). The apartments are reasonably priced and mostly new, which means better amenities. You can find a 2 bedroom for about $1600 at a fairly new complex. If you live along Ventura Blvd., things are walkable, but I hear you that if you want really really walkable, look into Encino, Sherman Oaks, and Studio City.

I live in Sherman Oaks, it's about a 30-40 minute commute to Westlake Village in traffic. You can avoid the 101 by taking local roads most of the way. Without traffic, 20 minutes. Sherman Oaks is really walkable, especially if you live in between Ventura and the 101.

Studio City is wealthy, apartments are higher priced, but is a bit less walkable than Sherman Oaks. There is lots of stuff to do in the Valley. You can go hiking in the Hills, see theatre, comedy clubs. Sherman Oaks and Studio City are close to Hollywood and Downtown as well.

Woodland Hills is a bit closer to nature though. All the neighborhoods mentioned above are very diverse. Predominantly Jewish and Persian with a lot of Asian and Hispanic.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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Great post! Woodland Hills is still in the running I just wanted to expand my search. I appreciate the suggestions.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
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You and your wife would love Santa Monica, you can afford it too. The commute could be hairy though.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:22 PM
 
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If you can, drive the neighborhoods. If not, use google street view. It gives a pretty accurate indication. I should add that the apartment complexes in Woodland Hills tend to be resort style versus Sherman Oaks and Studio City which are more urban.

In other words, the WH complexes are sprawling, gated, garden style, centered around a pool, tennis court, clubhouse, fitness facility, etc. It's more of what you would expect to see in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Charlotte, Dallas, etc. The other parts of the Valley along Ventura Blvd (Encino, SHerman Oaks, Studio City) are more urban style meaning built right up to the street like you see in NYC, Chicago, etc.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:34 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,092 posts, read 18,475,080 times
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you should find what you are looking for west of the 405. going further east will only make your commute more difficult. keep in mind that the west valley gets HOT in the summer, think 100+ often. the beach is a relatively short drive though through topanga canyon or las virgenes.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:38 PM
 
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Welcome to LA.

Get Your Walk Score - A Walkability Score For Any Address can give to an idea of how walkable an area is

If you want a beach area with some action, Santa Monica is great, Malibu is great, and the area between Port Hueneme and downtown Ventura is great.

The commute from Santa Monica isn't the best but it isn't horrible either. You would just take one of the canyon roads over. The commute from Malibu would be better but can be more expensive.

If you don't care for the beach, I think between Sherman Oaks and Woodland Hills would work

If you like outdoor activities, I would tilt toward Ventura County (west of Westlake Village). If you want museums, airports, pro ball games, I would lean toward the Sherman Oaks-Woodland Hills corridor.

Your apartment budget seems inline with nice units.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:00 PM
 
15 posts, read 25,466 times
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Love the site! Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:33 PM
 
15 posts, read 25,466 times
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I spent several days in each of the cities that were most frequently recommended (Woodland Hills, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, and Santa Monica).

Woodland Hills, while close to the highways, doesn't appear to offer exactly what we are looking for. Sherman Oaks, Studio City, and Encino are a little closer but Santa Monica is it. Santa Monica seems to offer the city feel we are looking for with the added bonus of a beach and an ocean within walking distance.

My concern is the commute to Westlake Village. I estimate the ride to Westlake at about 45 minutes without traffic. Realistically, what kind of commute would I be in for should we decide on Santa Monica has the place for us? An hour? An hour and a half or more?

Also, does anyone know if a section of PHC is scheduled to be closed for construction in the near future?
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