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Old 11-05-2012, 03:07 AM
 
64 posts, read 85,986 times
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We currently live in Mission Viejo and my girlfriend has been approached about an opportunity with a company based in the Hawthorne area. It's potentially a dream job for her, although we don’t yet know whether the terms and conditions would make sense.

The only thing we know for sure is that we would have to move to LA County unless she’s able to get a 6am to 3pm schedule and we can move to Irvine or Costa Mesa near the 405. Even then, the commute might be too long to be tolerable.

My girlfriend likes to drive, she loves cars, and she enjoys listening to music along the way. In the past, she commuted 45 minutes each way for a number of years in the Midwest. And she's currently commuting for about 35 to 40 minutes for her current job.

She's okay with a similar length of commute or maybe up to an hour each way. But the LA traffic is vastly more brutal than her current or past driving, and I really don’t want her to go through the inevitable stress of a longer commute. We've driven through enough LA traffic on occasion to know that it's beyond compare to anywhere else in the U.S.

Personally, I don’t want to move and I dread the idea of living anywhere in or around LA. This is because of the traffic, air pollution, and population density. The proximity to crime and bad smells doesn't help either. My girlfriend would rather stay where we are too, but she is very unhappy with her current job and is excited about this new possibility.

The only desirable, nearby place where we can afford to rent a single family home with at least 3 bedrooms and 1,500 square feet is in Palos Verdes. Our budget is up to $3,500 per month and we don’t want to rent an apartment or condo. That eliminates the Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica, which were the only other areas of West LA or the South Bay that we gave serious consideration. Other places are similarly too expensive or undesirable for various reasons.

In addition to Palos Verdes, we really like Calabasas and Agoura Hills. These communities remind us of our current home, so it would be an easy transition. But they’re much hotter in the summer and the commute would be awful unless my girlfriend can work 6am to 3pm. Even in that circumstance, she’d be looking at a commute of an hour each way and maybe a bit longer in the afternoon. The same goes for Sherman Oaks or Encino. But we haven't even looked at those places yet.

We have done extensive research, and we visited PV, Calabasas, and Agoura Hills this weekend. We also did some trial runs of the commutes, although we know that weekday traffic would be much worse. We were very discouraged by our driving experiences.

Combined with traffic data and a lot of reading that we’ve done on the forum, it looks like a commute from PV to Hawthorne would be 45 minutes on most days, regardless of the route. If she gets an alternative schedule, then it might be up to 10 minutes faster, but that’s probably optimistic.

And we all know that any commute that involves taking the 405 from the valley is going to be a nightmare at virtually any time of the day or night.

So does anyone have any thoughts, insights, or clarification on the places we’re considering? Is anyone familiar with the PV to Hawthorne commute? We've looked at three different routes, all of which will probably take 45 minutes, but maybe we're missing some shortcuts that others might know. How about the commute from Calabasas to Hawthorne?

And if anyone is familiar with an Irvine to Hawthorne commute at the hours of 6am and 3pm, what would be the typical length of time involved? We can make it from home to LAX in one hour with minimal traffic, but that has typically been at odd times of the day. We know that Irvine to Hawthorne would be impossible at rush hour.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
12,686 posts, read 22,592,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNA27 View Post
We have done extensive research, and we visited PV, Calabasas, and Agoura Hills this weekend. We also did some trial runs of the commutes, although we know that weekday traffic would be much worse. We were very discouraged by our driving experiences.
Yeah, I'd probably consider doing that a quarter after never.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 79,549,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNA27 View Post
We currently live in Mission Viejo and my girlfriend has been approached about an opportunity with a company based in the Hawthorne area. It's potentially a dream job for her, although we don’t yet know whether the terms and conditions would make sense.

The only thing we know for sure is that we would have to move to LA County unless she’s able to get a 6am to 3pm schedule and we can move to Irvine or Costa Mesa near the 405. Even then, the commute might be too long to be tolerable.

My girlfriend likes to drive, she loves cars, and she enjoys listening to music along the way. In the past, she commuted 45 minutes each way for a number of years in the Midwest. And she's currently commuting for about 35 to 40 minutes for her current job.

She's okay with a similar length of commute or maybe up to an hour each way. But the LA traffic is vastly more brutal than her current or past driving, and I really don’t want her to go through the inevitable stress of a longer commute. We've driven through enough LA traffic on occasion to know that it's beyond compare to anywhere else in the U.S.

Personally, I don’t want to move and I dread the idea of living anywhere in or around LA. This is because of the traffic, air pollution, and population density. The proximity to crime and bad smells doesn't help either. My girlfriend would rather stay where we are too, but she is very unhappy with her current job and is excited about this new possibility.

The only desirable, nearby place where we can afford to rent a single family home with at least 3 bedrooms and 1,500 square feet is in Palos Verdes. Our budget is up to $3,500 per month and we don’t want to rent an apartment or condo. That eliminates the Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica, which were the only other areas of West LA or the South Bay that we gave serious consideration. Other places are similarly too expensive or undesirable for various reasons.

In addition to Palos Verdes, we really like Calabasas and Agoura Hills. These communities remind us of our current home, so it would be an easy transition. But they’re much hotter in the summer and the commute would be awful unless my girlfriend can work 6am to 3pm. Even in that circumstance, she’d be looking at a commute of an hour each way and maybe a bit longer in the afternoon. The same goes for Sherman Oaks or Encino. But we haven't even looked at those places yet.

We have done extensive research, and we visited PV, Calabasas, and Agoura Hills this weekend. We also did some trial runs of the commutes, although we know that weekday traffic would be much worse. We were very discouraged by our driving experiences.


Combined with traffic data and a lot of reading that we’ve done on the forum, it looks like a commute from PV to Hawthorne would be 45 minutes on most days, regardless of the route. If she gets an alternative schedule, then it might be up to 10 minutes faster, but that’s probably optimistic.

And we all know that any commute that involves taking the 405 from the valley is going to be a nightmare at virtually any time of the day or night.

So does anyone have any thoughts, insights, or clarification on the places we’re considering? Is anyone familiar with the PV to Hawthorne commute? We've looked at three different routes, all of which will probably take 45 minutes, but maybe we're missing some shortcuts that others might know. How about the commute from Calabasas to Hawthorne?

And if anyone is familiar with an Irvine to Hawthorne commute at the hours of 6am and 3pm, what would be the typical length of time involved? We can make it from home to LAX in one hour with minimal traffic, but that has typically been at odd times of the day. We know that Irvine to Hawthorne would be impossible at rush hour.
I worked in El Segundo for two years and I live in Las Flores (Oso and Antonio). For about six months prior to Las Flores, I lived in Agoura Hills and commuted to El Segundo too.

Both drives are beyond horrible even with flexed schedule. I ended up taking a vanpool from Laguna Hills Mall to El Segundo. There are dozens of vans from MV and Irvine to ES but I don't think too many to Hawthorne (Space X by any chance?). Even on the van I had to get up at 4 or 430 to catch a 5AM van, at work at 6, leave work at 330 home around 5. That's a long day. (There are lots of other vans that leave later but the traffic is even worse.) It isn't stressful, most people sleep, I went online with my 3G mobile broadband laptop but still, it is long and there's always traffic through Long Beach and Carson and Seal Beach on the way home. (No traffic in the morning heading north though 5AM.)

So to answer your question, leave Irvine 515 get to work at 6. Leave Hawthorne at 3 get to Irvine at 4 on Mondays, 4:05 on Tuesdays, 4:10 on Wednesdays 4:15 on Thursdays and Fridays. That's a guess...traffic in the PM is a little better earlier in the week.

PV to Hawthorne would suck because there isn't much of a freeway route. There are a lot of surface streets and associated traffic lights to deal with just to get to the 405.

I finally found a job in Irvine and it is so nice having a 20 minute drive.

Other places to consider: El Segundo, Torrance, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Cerritos, Cypress, Fullerton

If you take the Green Line, it is about 25 minutes from the Norwalk station to Hawthorne. You could drive to the Norwalk station from Fullerton or somewhere - maybe that would be OK.

If she commutes from OC to Hawthorne every day, This is what you can expect every evening

Last edited by Charles; 11-05-2012 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:38 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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Had a colleague that commuted from Agoura Hills to El Segundo, in the late '90's (I think traffic was lighter back then). Easily 60 minutes plus every day, and usually 80-90 minutes one way. The commute made him old quickly and he found another job in Woodland Hills after two years.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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Are you sure you aren't selling yourself short by failing to consider Torrance, El Segundo, or Redondo Beach?

Or if schools aren't a factor, parts of Westchester, Mar Vista, or Culver City?

Either way, based on your restrictions, you can't realistically live any further away than Seal Beach/Long Beach area. And really you should just pick a place in the South Bay.

Your estimations on drive from Palos Verdes are probably a bit on the pesemistic side, of course depending on where you live in Palos Verdes. There aren't really any short cuts, but you have the option of several north south streets and some run better than others. Aviation to MBB to Prairie wouldn't be the worst drive. Again depending on where in RPV you are.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
115 posts, read 174,850 times
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I agree you should really give more parts of the South Bay a reconsider. There are many really nice areas outside of PV, especially South Redondo Beach/Hollywood Riviera and South Torrance. El Segundo is also nice. Sure you might have a bit more density in these areas (but based on my experience far less than in many parts of LA), but the positives far outweigh the negatives. They are clean, safe, beautiful areas, mostly near the beach (and the beaches near South Redondo are some of my favorite in all of Southern California since really only locals know about them and they are rarely crowded even at the height of summer, plus there are some nice views to PV and up the coast). Try and spend some time in the area and I'm sure you'll come to appreciate it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:25 AM
 
64 posts, read 85,986 times
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Originally Posted by SLA74 View Post
I agree you should really give more parts of the South Bay a reconsider. There are many really nice areas outside of PV, especially South Redondo Beach/Hollywood Riviera and South Torrance. El Segundo is also nice. Sure you might have a bit more density in these areas (but based on my experience far less than in many parts of LA), but the positives far outweigh the negatives.
I've seen a lot of recommendations of those areas, but even if we set aside the population density, affordability becomes an issue. It appears that the rental homes in Torrance that are the right size and price are east of the 405, which many forum posts recommend avoiding. Or they're attached condos, which are a gamble based on neighbors.

Based on rental listings we've reviewed, the beach communities you mentioned are generally beyond our budget. Even the condos are too expensive. But we'll keep these places in mind. We'll make a visit and monitor the listings. But it's a longshot to find what we want at an affordable price.

We really liked Palos Verdes Estates near the ocean. If a rush hour commute to Hawthorne could be within 40 minutes from that area, then I think my girlfriend would be sold and I could eventually cope with being around LA

Most importantly, I want to keep her commute to a minimum for her well-being, so I'm strongly advising that we don't consider a place like Calabasas unless she could get a permanent 6:00am to 2:30pm schedule. She is determined that she can handle a fairly long commute as long as the job circumstances are right, but I'm thinking ahead to the long-term toll of an LA commute, particularly through the Sepulveda Pass.

Thankfully I work from home, so I can stay safely off the roads in my home office, but if we move to LA, it definitely means that I'm locked into that life indefinitely. I don't believe any job or any amount of pay is worth 60 or 90 minutes of hell in each direction. So commuting anywhere would not be tolerable for me unless we lived in Palos Verdes and I got adventurous and wanted to take a job in Torrance

Thanks to everyone who has commented thus far. Any further insight is appreciated.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:54 AM
 
3,985 posts, read 8,099,358 times
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East if the 405 isn't Torrance I don't believe.

Anyway, a 3/2 1500 SFR in Torrance or Redondo rent out in the $3000-3500 range.

Maybe speak with a local realtor or fork over for westside rentals.

Regardless, RPV is one of the most beautiful areas in So Cal and other than commute, you really can't go wrong there. For a long time there was an entrenched snobbishness in the culture, but I think there's no longer such an issue.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:00 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,077 posts, read 18,091,997 times
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don't live in calabasas or OC unless she can get the hours you mentioned, you'll never see her. i just did a search on hotpads and found a handful of homes between PV and manhattan beach that may work for you (HotPads - Real Estate, Apartments, Homes for Sale and for Rent, Rental Houses, Sublets, Roommates). good luck!
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:28 PM
 
64 posts, read 85,986 times
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Originally Posted by JohnG72 View Post
Regardless, RPV is one of the most beautiful areas in So Cal and other than commute, you really can't go wrong there. For a long time there was an entrenched snobbishness in the culture, but I think there's no longer such an issue.
Yes, the views from there are pretty amazing, and the neighborhoods look beautiful. It's too bad there isn't more beach access there, but I know we can pretty quickly get to the beach in the South Bay. It looks like shopping and restaurant options are limited, but I'm willing to sacrifice those for the sake of living in a great place. We've gotten very spoiled by living within three miles of several newer plazas filled with stores and restaurants.

We're not bothered by entrenched snobbishness because we don't interact much with people in our community. We're naturally pretty shy, so we're not looking to make friends with neighbors or be part of a social scene. Hopefully that isn't interpreted as entrenched snobbishness on our part

But it doesn't hurt to be in a friendly place, so hopefully you're correct.
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