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Old 11-23-2015, 05:36 PM
 
903 posts, read 980,500 times
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It all depends on where your job is. I'd first try to find the best job you can and then search for a place to live within reasonable distance. You'll quickly realize that areas that would seem to a reasonable commute distance are in fact far away by LA traffic standards.

Affordable is also a pretty relative term so it all depends on what you make and your expected non-housing costs. It seems your discretionary expenses will be pretty low so you should be in a better position to spend more on nicer housing.

As a rough benchmark, if you want to live in a decently safe area in an apartment of average quality, expect to at least pay $1,500/month for a one bedroom (assuming no roommates). If you want to live in a very nice area such as on the west side in a newer apartment building, I would suggest getting a roommate unless you can shell out over $2,000/month. That figure will be higher unless a ramshackle studio suits your needs. It all depends on what you're going for.

If you want to be in a more suburban area, you can find good places in areas such as Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, or parts of the San Fernando Valley (e.g. Sherman Oaks, Studio City) as well as South Bay communities such as Hermosa Beach or Redondo Beach. If you'd prefer to be near a thriving nightlife and restaurant scene where everything is within walking distance, then I'd consider parts of central LA like West Hollywood or areas on the west side such as Santa Monica.

As a general primer, areas to generally avoid are the parts of LA bounded by the 405, 710, 5, and 5 freeways (essentially South LA plus Compton, Inglewood, etc.), East Los Angeles, and the northeast San Fernando Valley (Panorama City, Pacoima, Sun Valley, etc.).
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:15 PM
 
4,796 posts, read 3,771,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Well, why don't you list the city that "the firm" is in, that would help.
This ^

I would largely base where you live in LA on where you work. Living as close as possible to your job will make your quality of life 1,000,000% better. I live in Glendale because my apartment is 3 miles from my job. But unless you work in Glendale or you are Armenian, there is no reason to live in Glendale.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:11 PM
 
36 posts, read 43,361 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanms3030 View Post
This ^

I would largely base where you live in LA on where you work. Living as close as possible to your job will make your quality of life 1,000,000% better. I live in Glendale because my apartment is 3 miles from my job. But unless you work in Glendale or you are Armenian, there is no reason to live in Glendale.
Ah, I said L.A., but I guess that does cover a really big area. This particular firm is about twelve miles west of downtown, near Santa Monica. However, I'm just assuming a lot of the PR firms might be in the actual downtown area.

For perspective, I drive 21 miles each way to work here every day, but there is hardly any traffic as we only have about two million people in our metro area.

How long does it take to go 10 miles or so? I know that depends on highway and whatnot, but, generally is it just traffic jams? The one time I drove in L.A. it was easy. I came in on the 101 and took that to West Hollywood during rush hour and it wasn't *that* bad. I know that's north, too, and maybe I just caught a good day.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Unhappy Valley, Oregon
1,082 posts, read 673,271 times
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I absolutely stand by my recommendations. I know they aren't popular, but that is OK. I will outline why I believe my recommendations are reasonable.

Case 1: Income = $90,000 / yr gross
After-tax income (assuming single, no dependents) = $5152 / month

Assuming you will rent in a nicer apartment in a nicer area, you are looking at $2000 / month. Some may say this is high, I disagree. I think in today's market, that is the going price and will likely keep increasing. This means the person will be spending 38% of his/her income a month. Most financial advisors suggest staying under 30% so that there is remaining income for retirement, emergency funds, debts, etc. This person will be getting by assuming they are responsibly putting away for retirement and saving. I think this person in particular will do very well on $90,000 given his frugal-ness, but I think for most normal people, $90,000 is getting by in a nice area of LA.

Case 2: Income = $120,000 / yr gross
After-tax income (assuming single, no dependents) = $6564 / month

In this case, the person meets the 30% threshold for rent and has plenty of money to save and put away. This is a hard income level to meet for most people, but if you can meet this, you are looking at an excellent life in LA.

I am assuming the person is looking for a nice area and a nice place. Perhaps that isn't a priority. I aired on the side of quality.

I hope this clears the confusion of my salary recommendations.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:25 PM
 
4,796 posts, read 3,771,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petsounds View Post
Ah, I said L.A., but I guess that does cover a really big area. This particular firm is about twelve miles west of downtown, near Santa Monica. However, I'm just assuming a lot of the PR firms might be in the actual downtown area.

For perspective, I drive 21 miles each way to work here every day, but there is hardly any traffic as we only have about two million people in our metro area.

How long does it take to go 10 miles or so? I know that depends on highway and whatnot, but, generally is it just traffic jams? The one time I drove in L.A. it was easy. I came in on the 101 and took that to West Hollywood during rush hour and it wasn't *that* bad. I know that's north, too, and maybe I just caught a good day.

It used to take me 45 minutes to commute 2 miles on surface roads in Hollywood when I lived there. 10 miles could be 30 minutes or 90 minutes. Like you said it really does depend on the commute. 101 and 405 are the worst traffic on earth and avoiding those at all cost will help. I wouldn't assume PR firms will be downtown especially if they are music or entertainment related since those industries are generally on the West Side (Santa Monica), Hollywood, Burbank or Studio City. If you take the job you are considering, look at living in Culver City.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:29 PM
 
4,796 posts, read 3,771,389 times
Reputation: 7327
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsnicker3 View Post
I absolutely stand by my recommendations. I know they aren't popular, but that is OK. I will outline why I believe my recommendations are reasonable.

Case 1: Income = $90,000 / yr gross
After-tax income (assuming single, no dependents) = $5152 / month

Assuming you will rent in a nicer apartment in a nicer area, you are looking at $2000 / month. Some may say this is high, I disagree. I think in today's market, that is the going price and will likely keep increasing. This means the person will be spending 38% of his/her income a month. Most financial advisors suggest staying under 30% so that there is remaining income for retirement, emergency funds, debts, etc. This person will be getting by assuming they are responsibly putting away for retirement and saving. I think this person in particular will do very well on $90,000 given his frugal-ness, but I think for most normal people, $90,000 is getting by in a nice area of LA.

Case 2: Income = $120,000 / yr gross
After-tax income (assuming single, no dependents) = $6564 / month

In this case, the person meets the 30% threshold for rent and has plenty of money to save and put away. This is a hard income level to meet for most people, but if you can meet this, you are looking at an excellent life in LA.

I am assuming the person is looking for a nice area and a nice place. Perhaps that isn't a priority. I aired on the side of quality.

I hope this clears the confusion of my salary recommendations.
Yes more money is always better. And the average person in LA is paying 49% of their income toward rent now so the more you make the closer you will be to paying 38%. And once you accept a job, you probably aren't getting more than 3% annual raise unless you get a promotion or a better job at a different company and rent will keep going up an most places have no rent control and can raise your rent as much as they want after your lease is up.

My honest recommendation to everyone considering moving to LA is DON'T...but that's also not a popular opinion here
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:32 PM
 
17,802 posts, read 22,454,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsnicker3 View Post
The answer to this question can be summed up with this:

1. Affordability
2. Good Area
3. Good Commute

Pick two and the one left out is what you abandon. That is LA in a nutshell. Yes, it applies everywhere, but you really feel the pain of the omitted item more here. The Midwest has the advantage of being very affordable without really sacrificing the area or commute too much. Even in my home state of Colorado that is true. Make sure deep down that you are really sure you want to move here. Weather doesn't feed your family unless you're a farmer

I would suggest $90K+/yr just to get by. If you want to live your life and not feel helpless, aim for $120k+/yr. If you make less than $90k, you will be giving up A HUGE portion of your income to live here. My wife and I make $90k, and we aren't contributing to retirement, have two roommates, and are making very little progress in life.




So not true. A single person doesn't need anything close to $90K to live comfortably in LA.


You and your wife must have credit card debt, students loans, expensive car notes, or other "issues" and that is where your money is going.


Another scenario where someone due to bad planning, can't control spending habits, etc. blames it all on LA.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Unhappy Valley, Oregon
1,082 posts, read 673,271 times
Reputation: 1839
Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
[/b]



So not true. A single person doesn't need anything close to $90K to live comfortably in LA.


You and your wife must have credit card debt, students loans, expensive car notes, or other "issues" and that is where your money is going.


Another scenario where someone due to bad planning, can't control spending habits, etc. blames it all on LA.
I never disclosed any of my financial "issues" so don't assume. None of the above are the case for us except for student loans (that have yet to be realized yet so no payments are even being made until after she graduates). It may also be that I pay a lot of money towards rent that isn't allowing my wife and I to make great progress. I had a wedding to pay for (no help from family) and now saving to move. I live 10 minutes from work. My wife can take the train to school, and she is 5 minute walking distance to her internship. It is a high price to pay for the convenience. I don't blame LA. It is what it is for the time being.

A single person who wants to live in a nice place in a nice area with money to spare (getting by, not killing it) will do best with $90k.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:43 PM
 
17,802 posts, read 22,454,067 times
Reputation: 36140
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanms3030 View Post
I also make less than $90k/year and support my wife and one kid and pay $1800/mo for an apartment in Glendale and we also do just fine. I am always curious why everyone else seems to need so much money to live in LA? Coke habit? Hookers? $1000 bar tab on Saturday night? Bentley parked outside on the street of the apartment you are renting with no garage in Santa Monica?

Funny....LOL, and true.


You see this time and time again people who say this the more they post you find they have crushing debt. They leave that info off in the beginning, because it's easier to blame how expensive LA instead of staying they put themselves in a bad financial position. Had to have that car that costs $700 a month.


One poster couldn't make it on $60K a year as single person, than the truth came out, divorced, child support, kid needs braces that wasn't covered, car note.....well you add all that in and yes it would be tough.


But if you make $60K a year and are single(really single as in no kids and no ex-spouses) you can live quite comfortably in LA.


On 90K a year you can live well and also put a decent chunk of change into savings/investments.



OP, as Ryan said Culver City would be a good choice if you're working in Santa Monica.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:50 PM
 
4,796 posts, read 3,771,389 times
Reputation: 7327
Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
Funny....LOL, and true.


You see this time and time again people who say this the more they post you find they have crushing debt. They leave that info off in the beginning, because it's easier to blame how expensive LA instead of staying they put themselves in a bad financial position. Had to have that car that costs $700 a month.


One poster couldn't make it on $60K a year as single person, than the truth came out, divorced, child support, kid needs braces that wasn't covered, car note.....well you add all that in and yes it would be tough.


But if you make $60K a year and are single(really single as in no kids and no ex-spouses) you can live quite comfortably in LA.


On 90K a year you can live well and also put a decent chunk of change into savings/investments.



OP, as Ryan said Culver City would be a good choice if you're working in Santa Monica.
Exponentially rising housing costs are eventually going to push us out of LA unless I can get a 20-30% raise. I'll probably have to hop jobs to make that happen but it is possible. But for now we are doing fine but neither one of us has any debt whatsoever other than one car payment of $250/mo
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