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Old 04-08-2016, 03:10 PM
 
22 posts, read 15,535 times
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Hello, my husband and I have been thinking about moving somewhere warmer and prettier for a while now. Both of us have high stress jobs and while we both enjoy what we do, we would truly benefit from moving somewhere more sunny and stress free. We are both at the point in our lives where we no longer have to worry much about settling down or finishing grad school. We don't have kids either, so moving will be a piece of cake.

We haven't applied for jobs in California yet, nor do we have licenses to practice in California, so actually moving there won't happen for a few months.

We currently rent in Paramus, NJ. I would best describe it as a densely populated suburb. Although I'm used to it by now, driving here is pretty stressful. Driving here during rush hour is basically 75 mph, bumper to bumper traffic followed by everyone slamming on their brakes and slowing down to 10 mph within a few seconds.

Let's also not forget the fact that it's not unheard of to get into little verbal arguments with strangers at the grocery store here...

Although I'm sure LA is quite expensive, the cost of living here in this dreary suburb in New Jersey is actually one of the most expensive places in the country
If you don't get the struggle, just check this out:

http://www.nj.com/inside-jersey/inde...why_we_go.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...ates/15455129/

Frankly, we are both tired of paying Los Angeles-like money to live in such an ugly, boring place while getting a sub-Los Angeles salary. We thought about moving to NYC, but moving there won't give us good weather and a stress free lifestyle. Plus, we feel like we would not truly enjoy buying a place in NYC unless we made $350k + annually.


So, how will our lives be better or worse if we move to LA? WHen I talk about LA, I mean anywhere in LA as long as it's not east of Monterey Park and not south of Inglewood or north of Van NUys.

House hunting in LA is a completely different topic in general.. For now, I'm just worried about moving there in the first place.

Last edited by newjerseycouple; 04-08-2016 at 03:44 PM..
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:17 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,279 posts, read 10,560,877 times
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Yeah, do it. Your reasoning is sound. You will have the advantage of living in a world-class city but still be able to go hiking and see nature all around you. By NJ/NY standards, it feels more spacious and slower-paced.
As long as you can adjust to a car-centric environment, and forbid yourselves from getting stressed by traffic, it's worth it.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:26 PM
 
22 posts, read 15,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Yeah, do it. Your reasoning is sound. You will have the advantage of living in a world-class city but still be able to go hiking and see nature all around you. By NJ/NY standards, it feels more spacious and slower-paced.
As long as you can adjust to a car-centric environment, and forbid yourselves from getting stressed by traffic, it's worth it.
I have absolutely no problem with traffic at all! I'm used to it. If LA really is slower paced, I sure will appreciate the LACK of tailgaters, aggressive lane changeres, and messed up roads.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:48 PM
 
22 posts, read 15,535 times
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and here is what daily life in my neighborhood is like- stupid, unorganized and dangerous highways with no room to kick back, relax, and enjoy some music while driving! Driving here is kind of like a game to see how fast you can go and how many cars you can cut off. It's starting to get ridiculous.

If you take a look at those pics, there is a Hyundai dealer and a McDonald's that connect directly to a 8 lane, 70 mph highway... and a residential street that goes directly onto the highway with no room to merge onto unless you have a fast sports car. Also, note the potholes on the road. I would consider that a typical road that's in pretty good shape, which is pretty sad!

I would do anything to just listen to some good music while sitting in LA traffic. Sounds like a dream compared to here!
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Pros and Cons of moving to LA (from the east)?-p.png   Pros and Cons of moving to LA (from the east)?-p2.png  

Last edited by newjerseycouple; 04-08-2016 at 04:00 PM..
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:56 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,279 posts, read 10,560,877 times
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At least the views from the freeways here can sometimes be awesome. CalTrans actually landscapes some areas nicely. And your car won't rust out.
You have scoped out your preferred area of the LA Metro, but even within that area, there is a big variation in neighborhood vibe. You will have a lot of choices. Some areas more laid-back than others. Most will advise getting a place near your work if possible.
If you do decide ultimately to buy a house, at least you don't have to have the fear of spiraling property taxes (Prop 13). Also, better food choices, fresher and less expensive. You will be surprised how much time you will enjoy spending outdoors. Oh, no mosquitoes. Being from the second-flattest US state, I endlessly appreciate seeing the California mountains and hills, canyons and valleys.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:59 PM
 
808 posts, read 663,347 times
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While I can't say that living in Los Angeles will necessarily be more stress free, it will definitely be more enjoyable from a weather perspective, especially if you like doing outdoor activities.

Unless you have a lot of savings, I would not recommend moving to LA unless you've got a job lined.

LA has its fair share of tailgaters, aggressive lane changers, and messed up roads, but that's not something that should dissuade you.

Figure out what your upper limit for rent/mortgage payment and then you can start pinpointing neighborhoods to live in. Generally speaking, the west side is the most expensive part of the city. If you aren't going to be at a certain income level to afford to live in a decent neighborhood in something better than a small, old shack, then it won't be worth coming out.
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:08 PM
 
22 posts, read 15,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socal88 View Post
While I can't say that living in Los Angeles will necessarily be more stress free, it will definitely be more enjoyable from a weather perspective, especially if you like doing outdoor activities.

Unless you have a lot of savings, I would not recommend moving to LA unless you've got a job lined.

LA has its fair share of tailgaters, aggressive lane changers, and messed up roads, but that's not something that should dissuade you.

Figure out what your upper limit for rent/mortgage payment and then you can start pinpointing neighborhoods to live in. Generally speaking, the west side is the most expensive part of the city. If you aren't going to be at a certain income level to afford to live in a decent neighborhood in something better than a small, old shack, then it won't be worth coming out.
In terms of housing costs, LA and Northern NJ seem very similar. If we move there, we would ideally like rent to be around $1,200. We have been renting affordable studio apartments for a while now and penny pinching in other areas in order to save up for a downpayment on a house. Our goal is a house below $700k with the downpayment we have saved up.

Will our budget for rent and our budget for a house payment be enough for a nice house? Judging by what I see online, apartments in the $1,200 range look great and houses in the $700k range are pretty nice too. But I have never been to LA so there might be a "catch" involved like an unsafe neighborhood or a crappy school public school.

I'm also hoping that finding a job won't be too much of a hassle, but we will both need to apply for licenses to practice in California, which may take some time. However, I'm sure that the average salaries in LA are higher than here in NJ. Or at least I hope!
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:38 PM
 
234 posts, read 135,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newjerseycouple View Post
In terms of housing costs, LA and Northern NJ seem very similar. If we move there, we would ideally like rent to be around $1,200. We have been renting affordable studio apartments for a while now and penny pinching in other areas in order to save up for a downpayment on a house. Our goal is a house below $700k with the downpayment we have saved up.

Will our budget for rent and our budget for a house payment be enough for a nice house? Judging by what I see online, apartments in the $1,200 range look great and houses in the $700k range are pretty nice too. But I have never been to LA so there might be a "catch" involved like an unsafe neighborhood or a crappy school public school.

I'm also hoping that finding a job won't be too much of a hassle, but we will both need to apply for licenses to practice in California, which may take some time. However, I'm sure that the average salaries in LA are higher than here in NJ. Or at least I hope!
Rent must be so bad in NJ if the ones here in the $1,200 range look "great"

At those prices and the boundaries you defined you're definitely going to be looking at lower middle class or lower areas. It definitely is possible though. I would probably start by looking in the Valleys (SGV or SFV).
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:45 PM
 
22 posts, read 15,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOIGUY View Post
Rent must be so bad in NJ if the ones here in the $1,200 range look "great"

At those prices and the boundaries you defined you're definitely going to be looking at lower middle class or lower areas. It definitely is possible though. I would probably start by looking in the Valleys (SGV or SFV).
From what I'm seeing online, the apartments below $1,200 near Van Nuys & Hollywood are much more posh and spacious compared to the ones here! It's pretty promising.

Would a $700k house really be lower middle class in the areas I defined? I thought it would be a solid middle to upper middle class type of neighborhood.

Also, how is the San Fernando Valley in terms of diversity, entertainment, etc? Does it compare to more vibrant places like West Hollywood? Sorry for the stupid questions. I've never been to LA myself. I only know what I heard from friends that have visited there before.

Last edited by newjerseycouple; 04-08-2016 at 04:53 PM..
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Old 04-08-2016, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
317 posts, read 293,943 times
Reputation: 355
Hey! I recently moved here 2 months ago and I am from Fair Lawn! I know exactly where you are coming from. Those pictures you posted I know. The first is by millers ale house. (How Paramus allowed a gigantic BAR to be built off a main highway is beyond me)

Your comment about driving in NJ is true, but the traffic here is MUCH worse in terms of just how much there is. But I have found it to be alot less stressful here, even though there is more. The drivers are alot calmer here. There is a habit here of driving under the speed limit even when traffic clears up. It sounds bad but you get used to it. Just be prepared to drive slowly most of the time. The weather, and scenery make up for it. The plus side of LA traffic in LA is that here is plenty of time to just kick back and relax in your car listening to music. Your car is your second home in LA.

OP is also right about apartments here. there are apartments in rougher LA neighborhoods that look ALOT nicer than rough apartments in NJ. Here are apartments in a lower class nieghborhood nearby Paramus:

Elmwood Village - Elmwood Park Apartments | Trulia

Those prices are god awful if you knew the area. Who would want to pay those prices only to live in those disgusting ugly brick shoe boxes? Even the homes in Compton, inglewood and Crenshaw are nicer than that crap, and I've driven around those areas just out of curiosity.

Move out here. You'll love it. Granted I am a single 27 yr old enjoying a more "youthful" LA experience out here. For only a little more You will be living with great weather, around beautiful beaches, surrounded by enormous mountains, gorgeous coast lines, twisty winding canyon roads, views nearly everywhere, bars, concert venues, restaurants everywhere, many different cultural neighborhoods, homes that arent boring cape cods, but unique spanish styled homes, sometimes on hills (silverlake, echo park being more "affordable"), an expanding dowtown scene, and even the Valley if you dont want to live in LA proper. It amazes me how NJ has the balls to make living that expensive for how ****ty it is, it should be a crime.

About your above comment: Van Nuys is very nice the further south closer to lets say Victory blvd blvd west of the 405, other than that its OK. But it apparently has more crime than most areas in the valley. I live in North Hollywood and havent seen any crime anywhere in the valley so far though.

Last edited by John_marts; 04-08-2016 at 05:20 PM..
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