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Old 06-24-2012, 11:53 AM
 
13 posts, read 8,299 times
Reputation: 11
Default Relocating to LA for new job in Downtown?

There is a huge life decision for me to make coming up. I will have the choice of where to work - Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Los Angeles, or Downtown San Francisco. For LA...

Here are some of the things I've already determined:
∙ My work address would be on Wilshire Blvd between S Flower St and S Grand Ave.
∙ My salary would be $60,000.
∙ I'd need a studio/1BR apartment without any roommates.
∙ I'd need a safe neighborhood where a single white male in their mid-20s is not in the overwhelming minority.
∙ I'd prefer a commute - via car and/or subway combined with walking - of 30 minutes or less.
∙ I'd prefer to keep the rent under at or under $1000.
∙ I'd prefer to also have a 30-60 minute drive to the beach.

After looking at Craigslist listings, it seemed like it was cutting it close for my rental budget but West Hollywood and Culver City might be options. Is this right? I'm not looking for luxury apartments here but something better than a hole in the wall. Doesn't have to be big but it must have a kitchen and a private bathroom. What are some other neighborhoods where I would be able to find what I am looking for?

Also, would the subway be an option for commuting to work? I hear horror stories of LA traffic.

I'm from the east coast so I don't know the LA area very well outside of studying Google Maps and researching corresponding demographics. Thank you so much for your help.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:57 PM
 
3,112 posts, read 4,335,077 times
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I think your budget with your requirements is a bit unrealistic. There are places that are around $950-1000, but most of those are NOT near public transportation and would require a 45min morning commute. Around $1100 is more realistic and would work for Culver City studio/one bedroom. It would also work for a smaller older apartment in Los Feliz, near the Vermont/Sunset station....figure a 10 minute walk to the station and 20 minute red line(subway) commute.

IMO, expand your budget, live downtown, walk 5-10 minutes to work(if that).

Your savings will be gas/commute costs/parking costs.

Something like this might work:

Stunning Loft!!

Keep in mind that you'll probably need to pay for parking in a nearby lot...probably $80-120/mo for monthly keypass. So you are looking at $1350/mo for that particular unit. Also be warned that there are many negative reviews about the SB properties. I don't see the issue, but apparently some people have issues and I didn't think its fair to recommend a location without letting you know about problems. There are reviews of all the SB properties(which most of the buildings on Spring St are) on Yelp.

Spring St is a bit gritty for some people....but frankly I think its fantastic. I think you'd be making a large mistake not to at least take a look. Its like MAYBE a 10-15 minute walk to work, theres bars and restaurants all over the place, and its just generally a much easier life than the standard commuter life.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:04 PM
 
13 posts, read 8,299 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG72 View Post
I think your budget with your requirements is a bit unrealistic. There are places that are around $950-1000, but most of those are NOT near public transportation and would require a 45min morning commute. Around $1100 is more realistic and would work for Culver City studio/one bedroom. It would also work for a smaller older apartment in Los Feliz, near the Vermont/Sunset station....figure a 10 minute walk to the station and 20 minute red line(subway) commute.

IMO, expand your budget, live downtown, walk 5-10 minutes to work(if that).

Your savings will be gas/commute costs/parking costs.

Something like this might work:

Stunning Loft!!

Keep in mind that you'll probably need to pay for parking in a nearby lot...probably $80-120/mo for monthly keypass. So you are looking at $1350/mo for that particular unit. Also be warned that there are many negative reviews about the SB properties. I don't see the issue, but apparently some people have issues and I didn't think its fair to recommend a location without letting you know about problems. There are reviews of all the SB properties(which most of the buildings on Spring St are) on Yelp.

Spring St is a bit gritty for some people....but frankly I think its fantastic. I think you'd be making a large mistake not to at least take a look. Its like MAYBE a 10-15 minute walk to work, theres bars and restaurants all over the place, and its just generally a much easier life than the standard commuter life.
Wow. Thanks. Very helpful response, and I'd sign up for that place right now!

I want to save at least $500 a month so maybe I can cut back somewhere else in my budget to make a higher rent amount work.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:11 PM
 
3,112 posts, read 4,335,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kswag934 View Post
Wow. Thanks. Very helpful response, and I'd sign up for that place right now!

I want to save at least $500 a month so maybe I can cut back somewhere else in my budget to make a higher rent amount work.
Well like I said, you'd already be saving on gas+parking or on public transport costs. So thats probably $100-200/mo right there.

One other FYI, you can actually go into google street view and take a look at the walking route you'd take to work...head west on 6th, south on Grand, west on Wilshire.

Also, that work location is SUPER convinient to the Red Line. The Red Line station exits out to Hope/7th, which is one very short block to Wilshire between Flower and Grand.

Los Feliz is your best bet for commute/price via the Red Line. But you may find the few hundred in saving is not worth it to have to walk to the red line, wait, and take the train ride.

One other factor that just can't be beat(IMO) is that many of the bars and restaurants on or near where you work have AMAZING happy hour special. For instance Mas Malo on 7th street has $3 beers and $5 specialty cocktails along with $2 tacos and a great $2.50 fish ceviche from 4-7 weekdays:

Más Malo*|*Mexican Tequila and Cuisine

The Falls is a bit pricey, even at happy hour, but the drinks are very good:

The Falls Lounge

Spring Street Bar is an oustanding atmosphere and fantastic if you like beer:

Spring St. Bar

I forgot what the happy hour is, but the Library Bar is also great:

{Home} - The Library Bar, Downtown Los Angeles

And I love Caseys(its insane on St Patricks day):

Casey’s Irish Pub – Live Music, Televised Sports, Whiskey, Beer & Cocktails in the Heart of Downtown Los Angeles – Home — 213 Nightlife


And seriously, that is all just the tip of the iceberg. Theres at least 100 or more restaurants, bars, and nightspots in the Downtown LA area, all within walking distance, or a short ride on the red line.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:18 PM
 
13 posts, read 8,299 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks again John! I repped you, and I sincerely appreciate the help. You have definitely got me excited about LA.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:52 PM
 
13 posts, read 8,299 times
Reputation: 11
The Red Line stuff was especially helpful. I have an entirely new option now. Although, your walking to work idea does seem like a winner.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:31 PM
 
93 posts, read 131,009 times
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I second the suggestion that you live downtown. It's a great neighborhood, especially for someone in their 20's. There are tons of things to do--bars, restaurants, art galleries, shops, museums, music venues, movies, theaters, comedy shows. And everything you need for day-to-day life is within walking distance.

You probably won't find a place to live for $1000, but for $1200 you could find a great studio. And you may even realize that you don't need a car at all. My husband and I live downtown without one, and we LOVE that. If you live and work downtown, and satisfy most of your basic needs here, you may find that you really only use a car now and then. Metro will get you to lots of places (e.g. Hollywood or Pasadena) faster and easier than driving. And there's a car-share (LAXCarshare) with a bunch of cars in the neighborhood, so you can have access to a car whenever you need it. We've found that since we only occasionally need to use a car, the car-share is waaaay cheaper than owning (and parking) our own car. So, that might be a way to up your budget for rent, and still meet your savings goal.

Someone already mentioned the SB buildings (there are around 6 of them). The management doesn't have a great reputation, and the residents to be younger. So, it depends on the kind of vibe you're after. You're more likely to have an aspiring DJ next door in an SB building But, they have some good amenities (pool).

There's another cluster of buildings around 4th & Main--the Old Bank lofts. Those are nice, the residents are more mixed--some 20's, but also some 30-40's. The buildings are quieter, and I think the management has a better reputation. But, they don't have rooftop amenities.

There's another cluster of buildings at 7th and Los Angeles--the Santee Lofts. And then, there are various buildings here and there--the Jeffries, the Metropolitain and the Arcade are all newly renovated and probably pretty nice. The Santa Fe and the PE Lofts are at 6th & Main. And they've just opened the Brockman (7th and. . . Hope?), which would literally be a 2 min walk to work. (Although, that may be a little too close!)

So, that's a place to start anyway. Good luck with your move!
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:53 PM
 
13 posts, read 8,299 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcgill View Post
I second the suggestion that you live downtown. It's a great neighborhood, especially for someone in their 20's. There are tons of things to do--bars, restaurants, art galleries, shops, museums, music venues, movies, theaters, comedy shows. And everything you need for day-to-day life is within walking distance.

You probably won't find a place to live for $1000, but for $1200 you could find a great studio. And you may even realize that you don't need a car at all. My husband and I live downtown without one, and we LOVE that. If you live and work downtown, and satisfy most of your basic needs here, you may find that you really only use a car now and then. Metro will get you to lots of places (e.g. Hollywood or Pasadena) faster and easier than driving. And there's a car-share (LAXCarshare) with a bunch of cars in the neighborhood, so you can have access to a car whenever you need it. We've found that since we only occasionally need to use a car, the car-share is waaaay cheaper than owning (and parking) our own car. So, that might be a way to up your budget for rent, and still meet your savings goal.

Someone already mentioned the SB buildings (there are around 6 of them). The management doesn't have a great reputation, and the residents to be younger. So, it depends on the kind of vibe you're after. You're more likely to have an aspiring DJ next door in an SB building But, they have some good amenities (pool).

There's another cluster of buildings around 4th & Main--the Old Bank lofts. Those are nice, the residents are more mixed--some 20's, but also some 30-40's. The buildings are quieter, and I think the management has a better reputation. But, they don't have rooftop amenities.

There's another cluster of buildings at 7th and Los Angeles--the Santee Lofts. And then, there are various buildings here and there--the Jeffries, the Metropolitain and the Arcade are all newly renovated and probably pretty nice. The Santa Fe and the PE Lofts are at 6th & Main. And they've just opened the Brockman (7th and. . . Hope?), which would literally be a 2 min walk to work. (Although, that may be a little too close!)

So, that's a place to start anyway. Good luck with your move!
I appreciate the detailed information! It is great to hear I can't get a decent studio for $1200. That would cost at least $2000 in Manhattan, which I can't afford. I'm very familiar with NYC but I am extremely intrigued by LA. The vibe I'm looking for is what you probably expect of a mid 20s guy - I want to see some attractive women. More importantly, I want to advance my career in business/finance (NYC probably better) and have a great quality of life (LA probably better). I'm torn!
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:08 PM
 
93 posts, read 131,009 times
Reputation: 100
It's a tough choice. But really--having to choose between the two best cities in the US. . . life could be worse!

I'm an East Coaster, and my heart is in Manhattan. But, we couldn't afford nearly the same quality of life there as we enjoy here. We'd be living in Bushwick. (Not that that's a terrible place. But, you see what I'm saying.)

LA is more affordable. It's also more laid back. And the weather. . . don't underestimate what year-round gorgeous weather can do for your mood. There are lots of beautiful women. . . and they're wearing mini-skirts and tank-tops instead of snow boots and parkas. Probably not a bad thing, from your perspective.

At any rate, you can't really go wrong with this decision. Both are incredible cities where you'll have the chance for a great life.

Good luck!
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Mt Washington: NELA
1,156 posts, read 1,906,896 times
Reputation: 610
A friend just moved alittle south of Vermont and Los Feliz (he works near 7th/Fig). The rent is approx. $1200 and he loves the location/convenience. Plus that stretch of Vermont (Los Feliz district) is alive with restaurants, really good bookstore (Skylight), and the Metro a few blocks away.
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