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Old 02-26-2015, 02:03 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,616 times
Reputation: 15

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Hi all -

I'm currently living in San Diego, CA finishing my last semester of grad school. I got an offer 1 year out to work at an accounting firm in downtown LA. I've only been to LA a couple of times, so I don't really know the area too well. Before San Diego, I lived in Atlanta, Georgia all of my life, so the cost of living in California is still something I'm getting used to.

I'm really scared about being stuck in traffic all the time commuting to work. I was thinking of living in a studio or 1 bedroom in downtown LA possibly to avoid traffic and parking costs.

Do you guys have any suggestions on where to live? How to avoid crime-ridden areas? Where to hang out? I welcome all tips and suggestions.

More background on me:
- 26 year old single female
- Base Salary $75k + $5k bonus the first year
- I prefer living in an apartment community with a pool, amenities, etc.
- likes being active, the beach, etc
- Ideally, I'd pay up to $1700/month for an apartment. Anything more than that seems excessive for rent in my opinion. Plus I have a lot of students loans I'd like to pay off asap.

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,561,310 times
Reputation: 3941
Here is an alternative to living downtown, though there is nothing wrong with living in DTLA at all: My wife works Downtown (Wilshire / Figueroa) and we live in downtown Pasadena. While she drives to work the vast majority of the time (more due to the nature of her employment than for convenience) it takes about 45 minutes each way. But if you live near Old Town Pasadena or any of the other Gold Line stops in downtown Pasadena (Fillmore, Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake) you can get to Union Station in about 20-25 minutes and the center of DTLA (7th Street / Metro Center) in about 30-35 minutes. Pasadena is one of the most pedestrian-friendly areas of Los Angeles (though a separate municipality) - there are tons of walkable areas of LA but this is one area that seems to actually prioritize pedestrians, at least a little bit.

You do mention liking the beach (Pasadena is a world away from the ocean), so maybe if you want to be closer to the ocean you could try somewhere like Culver City, which is about as far from DTLA as Pasadena, but in the opposite direction. It is a bit longer on the Expo Line from Culver City to DTLA, perhaps more like 45 minutes (I'm not totally sure but I know it slows down a ton in South Park). Right now Culver City is as far as the Expo Line goes - in a few years it will go all the way to Santa Monica.

Of course, the best bet for you to avoid traffic is living in DTLA. If you are going to live downtown you just need to keep in mind it is still a transitioning neighborhood and has some rough spots. That being said it is the most exciting neighborhood (well, set of neighborhoods) in Los Angeles right now, as well as the most urban and walkable.
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:21 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,414,084 times
Reputation: 3323
you don't have to live downtown unless you'd prefer to walk to work. there are a number of transit lines that can get you downtown quite easily, which is an advantage as many downtown firms don't include the cost of parking in their compensation packages. with that said, you should probably be able to do better than $75k with a grad degree.
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:11 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,616 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRinSM View Post
you don't have to live downtown unless you'd prefer to walk to work. there are a number of transit lines that can get you downtown quite easily, which is an advantage as many downtown firms don't include the cost of parking in their compensation packages. with that said, you should probably be able to do better than $75k with a grad degree.
The first year, I should be bringing in $80k with bonuses, if that makes it better? Haha. Yeah, it's not a great salary compared to other people who live in LA, but the job market is really rough for people in my field right now, plus it was something I wanted to do. The firm I'll be working for is one of the best, so that's why I immediately accepted the offer. Also, my salary should progress nicely as I put in more years at the firm. Also, accounting firms are known for not offering much for entry-level positions. It's more about exit options or going for the partnership track, I guess. : )
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:29 PM
 
Location: West Hollywood, CA
1,238 posts, read 1,328,768 times
Reputation: 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkCarnations View Post
The first year, I should be bringing in $80k with bonuses, if that makes it better? Haha. Yeah, it's not a great salary compared to other people who live in LA, but the job market is really rough for people in my field right now, plus it was something I wanted to do. The firm I'll be working for is one of the best, so that's why I immediately accepted the offer. Also, my salary should progress nicely as I put in more years at the firm. Also, accounting firms are known for not offering much for entry-level positions. It's more about exit options or going for the partnership track, I guess. : )
Your salary is fine, don't worry.
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:31 PM
 
170 posts, read 167,888 times
Reputation: 129
That's plenty of income. But for the housing budget, you might need to get closer to 1800 with the amenities you listed.

My wife and I are/were looking into downtown and our budget for a studio/one bedroom was around 1800-2000 and the majority of the lofts I was coming across were closer to 2k....
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:36 PM
 
539 posts, read 377,282 times
Reputation: 630
There are a lot of big newer apartment buildings geared towards people in their 20s in Hollywood and Koreatown that have these types of amenities for around this price (especially if your whiling to get a 2 br w/ a roomate) and great access to metro to dtla. That is if your interested in living around all of the energy that comes with living in those areas.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:39 PM
 
539 posts, read 377,282 times
Reputation: 630
For example the Vermont in Koreatown has 2 br 2 bath listed between 2,800-4,500 and that places looks amazing and the reviews are great
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:49 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 1,079,663 times
Reputation: 1022
Please reconsider. LA doesn't need more gentrifiers.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:53 PM
 
539 posts, read 377,282 times
Reputation: 630
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruhms View Post
Please reconsider. LA doesn't need more gentrifiers.
UR an idiot
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