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Old 12-08-2011, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
15 posts, read 28,448 times
Reputation: 14

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Hallo!

So we're spankin' new to LA and my fella's new job is in Santa Monica. I've got about 2 1/2 weeks to find us an apartment, and I've narrowed our search to some promising looking complexes in Sherman Oaks.

I didn't bother searching for apartments in Santa Monica until yesterday, because I figured the idea of getting a place for less than $2000 was laughable. But as it turns out there are half a dozen or so options here for our price range ($1000-$1250, say) and it would be extremely excellent lifestyle-wise if we could walk most places (including work) instead of getting stuck on the I-10 and 405.

So I'm wanting to know, what's wrong with these places that are up for grabs, do you think? O_O They're mostly owned by individuals or are very small buildings, rather than big company-run complexes. They don't have all the amenities that a big complex has, but we don't care at all about swimming pools and gyms and all that. About half of them are studios, but not incredibly tiny it seems. They look good in the pictures, most offer 1-car parking and are tucked away off major roads, and seem professionally presented.

So...what am I missing? Nightmare stories about renting from not-huge companies? Serious security or legal concerns? Ridiculous utilities bills (though some still include water and gas and garden)? This is kind of baffling me.

Gonna go look at their streets/neighborhoods today. Have yet to look inside anywhere.
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:02 PM
 
Location: California
30,542 posts, read 33,353,977 times
Reputation: 26004
I know a few people renting studios in that price range and in that area. Some of it is what I call "student housing" and you will know what that means lifestyle wise if you live there. Some are just flat out small rooms, no kitchens even. Occasionally something is fine, but has limited appeal. You might be someone it appeals to. Everything is worth taking a look at!

You can also live pretty much anymore in SM for that price if you are open to a roommate situation.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
15 posts, read 28,448 times
Reputation: 14
They all have full kitchens with fridges and everything! Well, granted, one is a studio with a stove and fridge and dishwasher seemingly just built into the wall in a kind of hilarious looking way...but still.

Our lifestyle, I guess: we love walking and outdoors and are probably what people would consider pretty boring (we like little daily pleasures and aren't much for nightlife). We're coming from South Carolina, so it's funny to me if people say an area of LA is boring/doesn't have much to do because...yeah xD Just having sidewalk to walk on is a big improvement, for us, and we're definitely not used to these club amenities sort of complexes. The big thing is my husband's gotta work 50 hours a week as it is. If he can walk or bike home he'll get a bit of exercise and enjoy it more than the traffic going to Sherman Oaks. BUT he's working flexible hours, so hopefully his commute would side more toward 30 minutes than an hour.

As for me, I'll have to find work when things settle down a bit. I have an English degree and just got my master's for teaching high school, but that doesn't apply in California :\ I may still be qualified to teach at community colleges and such here (am in SC), but I'd actually rather love to break into a writing/editing/publishing sort of job. Or, if worse comes to worse, I've always wondered what it's like to be a waitress. So Santa Monica and commutable areas might not be awful for me here, either. Knock on wood.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:18 PM
 
Location: California
30,542 posts, read 33,353,977 times
Reputation: 26004
SM is really nice place. If your husbands job is there too it would be ideal! The usual rental advice applies..always see things in person, never send money to someone you haven't met, etc... But it sounds like you might find something that works for you! Enjoy!
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica, CA
1,626 posts, read 3,263,062 times
Reputation: 730
Definitely not too good to be true if it's a studio. Add about $200-300 to the studio rental price get a comparable 1BR rent in SM. I haven't ever seen an acceptable 1BR on Craigslist or West Side Rentals in SM for $1200.
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:40 PM
 
Location: SoCal, Idaho
3,162 posts, read 8,609,125 times
Reputation: 1636
You can find 1 bedrooms in SM for 1200 (probably not 1000). They will be smaller, less well maintained unites in "less" desirable areas (around SMC; south of pico/west of 20th, etc). More realistic is $1500 / month. Studios can be had for $1000-1200.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
15 posts, read 28,448 times
Reputation: 14
Walked down Pico Blvd and all of that area today and kind of went "okay lolz this is the 'bad' part of SM," meaning it doesn't seem bad at all. And just a few blocks away what do you come out to again? Santa Monica Blvd? Oh okay then

Our price range for apartment ups a bit if it's Santa Monica just because I figure we'll save $100-$150 a month on gas, for goodness sake. We have savings to splurge, just you know, austerity and whatnot, need to figure out how much the lifestyle is worth it :\

Having said that, just got back from Carmax with our new car. We had to get a new car when we moved because we were scared our '99 Corolla (which was beautiful and never had any problems at all ) wouldn't pass emissions, so we sold it. Now I'm seeing all the other junkers on the road and cursing myself. Perfect thing now would be to live in Santa Monica where we don't even NEED the car xD
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:13 AM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,302 posts, read 12,186,160 times
Reputation: 8048
I'm interested in this too, always automatically considered SM to be outside my price range. But make sure you read the fine print, lately places in some parts of California are advertising the first month's rent with only the fine print mentioning that it's an introductory offering for the first month, the following months are twice as high.
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:58 AM
 
Location: SoCal, Idaho
3,162 posts, read 8,609,125 times
Reputation: 1636
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowyKN View Post
Walked down Pico Blvd and all of that area today and kind of went "okay lolz this is the 'bad' part of SM," meaning it doesn't seem bad at all. And just a few blocks away what do you come out to again? Santa Monica Blvd? Oh okay then

Our price range for apartment ups a bit if it's Santa Monica just because I figure we'll save $100-$150 a month on gas, for goodness sake. We have savings to splurge, just you know, austerity and whatnot, need to figure out how much the lifestyle is worth it :\

Having said that, just got back from Carmax with our new car. We had to get a new car when we moved because we were scared our '99 Corolla (which was beautiful and never had any problems at all ) wouldn't pass emissions, so we sold it. Now I'm seeing all the other junkers on the road and cursing myself. Perfect thing now would be to live in Santa Monica where we don't even NEED the car xD
There have been fatal "gang" shootings in Virginia Ave Park (Pico and Cloverfield)... so there is certainly some iffy areas, but hardly bad. Unless you're up to no good, you can pretty much be safe anywhere in SM.
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