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Old 04-11-2016, 02:04 PM
 
6 posts, read 3,117 times
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moved this post over here at the suggestion of another since we want to focus on southern california for our new residence.

We're a young(ish) couple (26/31yo), both ICU RNs from CT who are moving to CA within 6-8 months. In 2 weeks we're coming out to visit for 10 days to get a feel for some of the areas (we're interested in exploring San Jose down to San Diego). We plan on using a travel nursing company for the initial move (just to get us a job & place to live while we figure out where exactly we want to work/live). My question is what should we absolutely see/do while visiting? This trip is definitely to do a little research into potential destinations when we move, but also to have fun & enjoy our time. What are the major cities you think would ultimately be somewhere we could live, and what are the must see/things to do while here for this short time? Definitely don't want to fall into any tourist traps.

a little more about us:

-live in CT, have lived in Boston for 4 years. We enjoy going into Boston/NYC but ultimately don't want to live in an area as congested (but nearby is a must). Something like Cambridge, MA would be ideal

-commute to a local hospital (community or large teaching hospital ok) must be under an hour

-Will rent initially, would like to buy in 1-3 yrs. For a sense of our budget, we make a combined $150k/yr with rent $1250/month currently for a 2 BR condo in CT. From research, I believe we'd earn around $180k/yr in CA. I'm thinking $2000/month for rent. Looking for a safe, 'middle class' type apt/condo/house to rent in an area that isn't massively congested & ideally would have a small yard or balcony or porch & a garage, but not a must. When we do purchase a house, a garage and some sort of yard will be a must have.

-We are really into trying new restaurants, coffee shops, cocktail bars/breweries. Enjoy the arts, museums, live music, comedy shows etc. having these types of things walkable from our home would be a plus

- weather & something less 'boring' than CT are the main reasons for moving. right now, most restaurants worth going to are 20+ minutes away. I'd like options that are within a couple miles of our house.

- location an hour or less to the beach would be nice

- we don't want kids, so schools aren't a worry. safety still is
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Old 04-11-2016, 02:17 PM
 
4,506 posts, read 2,776,254 times
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Sounds like valley is your best bet. Studio City, Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood. Rent is going up so fast that I don't even know if you can get a 2 bedroom in your budget but 1 bedroom should be no problem for $1600-2000/mo.

I moved from Boston 10 years ago btw. I don't know how much you have researched real estate around LA but it might be a reality check. I am in process of buying a nice 2 bed condo in suburb of LA for $350k. Houses that are ready to move in and in decent areas start around $600k unless you want to drive 2 hours to get to LA. I looked a a few houses in the $400-450k range that were in decent areas and they were small and probably needed about $30k worth of work immediately.

San Jose/Bay Area is much more expensive. If you have the freedom to live anywhere with your work I suggest San Diego or even Orange County

Also in LA, expect to drive 20 minutes to a good restaurant even if it's 5 miles away
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Old 04-12-2016, 03:19 PM
 
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I grew up in Boston and LA was my home from 2001-2013....it's everything "anti-New England" and it's some of the best years of my life. Realistically, you are going to drive any place you want to go. For example if you rented in West Hollywood yah there are plenty of restaurants and happenings within walking distance but you'll get bored of that and want to hop in a car and explore.

The big thing about moving to LA is getting that true "LA" experience and to me that means living near or at the beach. Personally, I would choose Westside (Santa Monica, West LA, Brentwood, Westwood) or Southbay (Manhattan, Hermosa)....but the #1 problem with LA is the traffic. You can pick a town and then end up with a job that requires a 2 hour commute each way. You have to be strategic about the job location and where you live so even if you are RN's you still need to take location into consideration.
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:22 PM
 
808 posts, read 660,574 times
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If you guys will be earning mid-to-high $100k combined, I'd think you can spend at least $3k/month on rent unless you're just trying to save faster to buy a home. Given that you don't plan to have kids, that definitely opens up a lot of options.

Obviously, a lot of where you live depends on where you find a job. LA is massive and while having a job that's 15 miles away from where you live may not seem far, depending on where you are, that can mean a 3 hour round trip commute.

If you don't want to be in a congested area, I'd avoid central and west LA. Areas like Sherman Oaks and Studio City in the Valley are good as they are less busy but still close to restaurants/shops and are in close proximity to other happening parts of LA.

If you want to be by the ocean, I'd consider South Bay beach cities (Manhattan/Hermosa/Redondo). If you don't mind being inland, I'd look into Pasadena/Glendale/Burbank as those are suburbs which border LA city proper. Huntington Hospital in Pasadena is a top notch hospital and there are other good hospitals around there in terms of trying to find work. Other highly ranked hospitals in the LA area include Cedars-Sinai, UCLA Medical Center, St. John's in Santa Monica, Kaiser Permanente in Hollywood and Kaiser Permanente in Woodland Hills,

I'd also take a look at OC and possibly even San Diego to see if you like those areas. I'd say LA has the most to do in terms of overall entertainment/culture/culinary options and just bit more action overall. That being said, if you find that you gravitate more toward beach activities and coastal living, I'd check out areas like Newport Beach in OC as well as beach cities in North County San Diego.
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:47 PM
 
Location: somewhere
198 posts, read 138,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hken View Post
I grew up in Boston and LA was my home from 2001-2013....it's everything "anti-New England" and it's some of the best years of my life. Realistically, you are going to drive any place you want to go. For example if you rented in West Hollywood yah there are plenty of restaurants and happenings within walking distance but you'll get bored of that and want to hop in a car and explore.

The big thing about moving to LA is getting that true "LA" experience and to me that means living near or at the beach. Personally, I would choose Westside (Santa Monica, West LA, Brentwood, Westwood) or Southbay (Manhattan, Hermosa)....but the #1 problem with LA is the traffic. You can pick a town and then end up with a job that requires a 2 hour commute each way. You have to be strategic about the job location and where you live so even if you are RN's you still need to take location into consideration.

Its everything anti-New England...that is an understatement.....former Bostonian here....and going back , at least to MA.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:56 PM
 
4,506 posts, read 2,776,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristinePlovesME View Post
Its everything anti-New England...that is an understatement.....former Bostonian here....and going back , at least to MA.
Spent first 28 years of my life in Boston area and after ten years here I could never go back. Not necessarily interested in staying in LA forever but if I leave it won't be for Boston. Still loyal to all my Boston teams but nothing else for me back there. But I will agree its nothing like Boston here and probably took 2 years to get over culture shock even though I had traveled all over the United States and abroad before I moved here. It's not like anyplace else.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:06 PM
 
Location: somewhere
198 posts, read 138,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanms3030 View Post
Spent first 28 years of my life in Boston area and after ten years here I could never go back. Not necessarily interested in staying in LA forever but if I leave it won't be for Boston. Still loyal to all my Boston teams but nothing else for me back there. But I will agree its nothing like Boston here and probably took 2 years to get over culture shock even though I had traveled all over the United States and abroad before I moved here. It's not like anyplace else.

Well.....that is kinda funny as most from Boston are so proud etc......but Boston has changed also and I dont think for the better.....it is a culture shock here, I never got over it......and everyone has to find the best place for themselves.....
I heading back to probably Southern Maine or more rural part of MA......as I am the odd ball....I love the crazy weather back there....love the people.
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:34 AM
 
326 posts, read 426,279 times
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On average, I find more New Englanders "love it" vs "hating it" after getting out there. However, it all comes down situation....I was very lucky in how I made it my home for many years but I met many people who came to LA and felt lonely b/c they had no connections, had to do miserable commutes and on top of that didn't make enough $$$ to compensate for the unhappy stuff.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:45 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,279 posts, read 10,537,570 times
Reputation: 11888
The price of living in SoCal is needing to drive. You won't drive in cold, snow, or sleet, but you will have to drive. The only truly walkable areas in the LA Metro are Santa Monica, Venice, Pasadena, parts of Burbank, and your budget of $2k will not suffice in those areas. Go for the San Fernando Valley.

Studio City was mentioned, the most urban part of the Valley, partially walkable. If you want a bit more SoCal experience, look around Woodland Hills and up north to Chatsworth, in the west SFV.
You can drive over Topanga Canyon to Malibu beach, and WH is positioned on the edge of the LA/Ventura Counties line, so since you're willing to commute less than an hour, you would not only be in range of the hospitals in the Valley, but a few in Ventura County (Simi Valley, Los Robles in Thousand Oaks). Most social outlets and all shopping available in the Valley. You may even want to live in Agoura Hills, or Calabasas, as they are super safe and peaceful.

This apartment group has 1-bedrooms in your range and has all amenities like pool, gym, laundry, security, parking, etc. which are good for newcomers. They also will do short-term leases. Just plug in the city you're interested in: https://www.avaloncommunities.com/se...A/cityarea/513
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Studio City, CA 91604
2,091 posts, read 2,531,976 times
Reputation: 3475
You said you were looking anywhere from San Jose on down to San Diego, so...

Here's a suggestion: Stick with Southern California!

You'll get more bang for your buck here! Plus, IMHO, there's lots more to do and you'll gut the sunnier weather you're looking for. Northern California gets gloomy and, to me, is overpriced for what you pay for.

With that in mind, look into Yorba Linda, Irvine, Corona, Anaheim Hills, Orange, Costa Mesa. There are some really great hospitals in Orange County and, you could look at getting in at U.C. Irvine's medical center.
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