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Old 04-15-2016, 11:24 AM
 
145 posts, read 326,553 times
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My wife and I may be relocating to the LA area from out of state and would really appreciate some help!

I telecommute for my employer. My wife may have a potential job offer in Hermosa Beach. Ironically, we had already planned a trip to LA next week and since planning that trip she has started talking with a prospective employer (phone interviews, etc.). They now want to meet with her while we’re in town next week.

I don’t want to get way ahead of ourselves, but if they make her a good offer, there’s a chance we may need to relocate to the LA area fairly quickly. Since we’re going to be in town, it makes sense to investigate potential neighborhoods to live with reasonable commutes to Hermosa Beach.

Our stats/preferences:

Early - Mid 30s
No kids
Rent budget ~$2500ish (give or take a little) for 1 bedroom (preferably something pretty nice)

Interests: Not really into nightlife aside from maybe grabbing dinner and the occasional drink at a chill spot. We like to go on walks in the evening when the weather is good (looking forward to having year-round good weather) with occasional light/easy hikes in scenic places on weekends. Aside from that, we just like to explore different areas (which is one of the reasons we really like LA - LOTS of areas to explore over time), grab food, hang out, etc. We’re not really big “beach” people per se and don’t want to be continually surrounded by a party scene with rowdy/drunk kids or anything, but living near the beach would be OK I suppose. Maybe not my first choice however (although we may end up really liking it - who knows!).




I’ve spent a lot of time investigating rush hour commutes to/from Hermosa Beach from various parts of LA. I used Google Maps and made sure to input the time of day my wife would be traveling and also the direction she’d be traveling (i.e. heading OUT of LA is a lot better than heading INTO LA in the morning). As a result, it looks like neighborhoods just South of the 10 would be a reasonable commute. Culver City/Palms seems to be an average of about 40 minutes (+/- 10 minutes) to Hermosa Beach during rush hour when going against traffic and Marina Del Rey/Playa Vista look to be an average of about 30 minutes at rush hour. 40-45 minutes is the max average commute my wife will be OK with. Of course, we could live in South Bay as well, but I’m not sure if we’ll like it as much (or we could love it - I just don’t know). If we’re down in South Bay, I have a feeling we won’t make the trek into very many parts of LA very often however (i.e. Griffith Park is roughly an hour from most of the South Bay even on a Sunday according to Google Maps). I unfortunately don’t know enough about the city to know where we’ll enjoy living the most or where we’ll be hanging out on weekends.

The thing I like about the idea of being further North (out of South Bay) is that we’re closer to the majority of LA and various areas we may wish to explore and hang out on weekends. Also, after spending some time looking at apartments.com, there appear to be a lot of newer, semi-luxury 1-bedroom apartments in Culver City/Palms, MDR & PV around our price range of $2500ish. Most of the stuff down in Redondo, Hermosa and Torrance looks a lot older by comparison. I’m not ruling the older properties out, but some of the properties in the cities further North look pretty nice in photos anyway - almost "resort-like".

We’d appreciate ANY advice/input that anyone cares to offer. Where would YOU live if you were in our shoes?

Here’s a little chart I put together based on AVERAGE Google Maps transit times to show both daily weekday work commute times to Hermosa from various neighborhoods as well as weekend commute times to various areas around LA. I don’t know if these are 100% accurate, but it’s about the best data I have as an outsider. Again, I don’t know where we’ll really want to hang out after the move, so I just picked some random parts of LA to get an idea of the commute on weekends (we’ll probably stay near our neighborhood on weeknights, so having some decent options near our home would be good).






We really appreciate any advice you may have. Thanks!

Last edited by jkozlow3; 04-15-2016 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:59 AM
 
808 posts, read 658,779 times
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If you are not a big beach person and don't want to be around a party type atmosphere, I'd definitely avoid Hermosa. Also, there is a general premium to live by the beach, so it's something you don't value as much, then it's not worth living there and it will be difficult to find nicer, newer places at your price point by the water.

If you are interested in visiting areas such as Santa Monica, west LA as well as heading over to areas such as downtown and Los Feliz on a frequent basis, then I'd probably avoid living in the South Bay unless you are a little further north in an area such as El Segundo.

If your wife ends up working in Hermosa, to get the best of both worlds in terms of a reasonable commute as well as living in relatively close proximity to other parts of LA, I'd recommend Culver City or perhaps Marina Del Rey.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica, CA
1,626 posts, read 3,118,547 times
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I would give the South Bay a shot. If you don't like it you can move in a year when your lease is up. El Segundo is nice and not quite as beach-centric as the South Bay. I wouldn't personally live any farther north than, say, Westchester or Playa Del Ray. That would be the limit of what I consider a reasonable commute. Culver City is not that great IMO and not worth the added time commuting. The problem of getting out of your neighborhood and exploring LA is going to exist no matter where you live. I live in Santa Monica and rarely venture to the east of the 405 due to traffic.
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:31 PM
 
145 posts, read 326,553 times
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Thanks for the opinions - keep them coming! I know this is like asking someone if they prefer chocolate or vanilla - there's not necessarily a right answer, but I'd like to hear more opinions from anyone that cares to weigh in.

Do you think the Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey and Playa Vista areas nice to live in? There are a ton of new luxury apartments in these areas - some with a separate den area from what I've seen on the floorplans. I work from home, so I'd need to set up a desk somewhere. This could be in the bedroom if large enough, but a separate den/office nook of some sort would be really nice and cheaper than going with a 2-bedroom (which will be out of our price range at most nicer apartment complexes).
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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I think $2500 will get you a nice ocean view apartment to work out of in South Redondo. Renting someone's condo can be comparable to a luxury apartment. There is a huge price premium to live north of the 105 freeway. In the South Bay beach areas, I think single family homes areas will have less partying than an apartment area. The small area local police don't have much to do compared to LA city.

What hours does your wife work? The traffic around Playa Vista can be stupid bad.

Last edited by thelopez2; 04-15-2016 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:57 PM
 
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There aren't a lot of apartment rentals in Playa Del Rey and the ones that there are are on boulevards so lots of traffic. Marina Del Rey is just odd for me. Beautiful area but not really known for anything at all except the marina. Playa Vista is very nice and pretty much new. It's becoming a number 1 choice from those working in "Silicon Beach." So it's growing. Again though, considerable traffic from Centinela/Jefferson and Lincoln blvds.

I think El Segundo might be a good fit based on your likes/dislikes from your first post. It's a beach city, but not a beach front city. Quiet town (Mayberry by the Sea) with some nice restaurants and bars, but nothing like the other beach cities. Very walkable and close enough to Hermosa, Manhattan, etc for those crazy nights out. Easy freeway access. And it's a reverse commute for your wife in the mornings.

Yeah, you'll hear some planes out of LAX, but that just becomes a little background noise after a little while. Look on the south side of town and you'll hardly notice it.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:04 PM
 
145 posts, read 326,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelopez2 View Post
I think $2500 will get you a nice ocean view apartment to work out of in South Redondo. Renting someone's condo can be comparable to a luxury apartment. There is a huge price premium to live north of the 105 freeway. In the South Bay beach areas, I think single family homes areas will have less partying than an apartment area. The small area local police don't have much to do compared to LA city.

What hours does your wife work? The traffic around Playa Vista can be stupid bad.

Thanks.

We'll definitely consider all of our options, and renting someone's condo could indeed work. There are several brand new luxury apartments in the PV, PDR, MDR area in the $2500ish range. I just don't know if these are considered nice areas or not.

My wife would work pretty normal office hours. Probably leave for work at 7:30am and head home around 5pm. According to Google Maps, the commute from PV to HB in the morning and HB to PV in the evening is only around 30 minutes on average. Is this not correct?
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Southern California
4,350 posts, read 4,935,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Thanks.

We'll definitely consider all of our options, and renting someone's condo could indeed work. There are several brand new luxury apartments in the PV, PDR, MDR area in the $2500ish range. I just don't know if these are considered nice areas or not.

My wife would work pretty normal office hours. Probably leave for work at 7:30am and head home around 5pm. According to Google Maps, the commute from PV to HB in the morning and HB to PV in the evening is only around 30 minutes on average. Is this not correct?
All those areas are nice enough and you are correct you won't want to travel outside your home bubble too often due to drive times. You'll just learn to enjoy whatever is local. Unless you go out to eat every night you'd be making her drive an extra 40 minutes a day to avoid an occasional 45 minute weekend drive. Let's say you live in the playa area and she gets home at 6:00 pm, to get about any where, you'll then be subjecting yourself to the rush hour commute. So you really won't get anywhere, except culver city, until at least 630. If you two were to leave from Hermosa Beach directly, you can get to about anywhere in LA by 6:30, but driving home afterwards is where you'll notice a difference. Driving home to the playa area will be 20 minutes verus the southbay 40 minutes.

From the daily time, gas, and car savings , you can hire an uber driver to take you around on the weekends. Living in then Playa area also gives more opportunity for her getting another job elsewhere if things don't work out in Hermosa.

Your perception of drunk kids at the beach is a little off. You will find a totally different scene from Santa Monica down to Torrance Beach each has its own personality. The riots you've heard about were actually Huntington Beach.

By the way PV is usually used for Palos Verdes, a very nice but hard to get to area in the South Bay.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Santa Monica, CA
1,626 posts, read 3,118,547 times
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The new condos in Playa Vista are nice but there's not much to do in that area outside of the Whole Foods and some of the newer restaurants. You're still a pretty good drive to Venice or Santa Monica in traffic. But you'll definitely be more centrally located if that's your priority. I personally think El Segundo is a better choice. Here's a video I saw on Youtube of that area in Playa Vista (newer condos on Jefferson.)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbWnTmBnWG4
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:35 PM
 
145 posts, read 326,553 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunbar42 View Post
The new condos in Playa Vista are nice but there's not much to do in that area outside of the Whole Foods and some of the newer restaurants. You're still a pretty good drive to Venice or Santa Monica in traffic. But you'll definitely be more centrally located if that's your priority. I personally think El Segundo is a better choice. Here's a video I saw on Youtube of that area in Playa Vista (newer condos on Jefferson.)

Wow, thanks for posting that! Seems like a very nice/new neighborhood.
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