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Old 07-25-2019, 10:39 PM
 
13 posts, read 19,948 times
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I’ve lived in West LA (Santa Monica, Culver City) for 15 years and it’s now time to buy a house. While my wife and I love the area and proximity to the beach, $1.3m doesn’t go far anymore. Plus many of our favorite areas have become unwalkable due to the homeless crisis.

We’re pretty committed to Calabasas / Woodland Hills. We’ve been going up to that area every weekend to look at houses, we’re pre-approved and ready to buy, so things are moving quickly. We are mid 30s, active, no kids but that’s next. Ideally we’d like to be south of the 101 but looking north and south. For our budget we can get a newer 4bd 4bath house, 2500-3000sqft with a pool and backyard in a clean and safe neighborhood. Something similar in Culver would be $2.5m, so it’s very appealing.

There haven’t been discussions here on C-D about the area lately, so I wanted to hear insights from those who live nearby. What’s life like? What do you like, what do you not like? How’s your kindergarten and elementary school? Most of them are highly ranked but curious to hear specific experiences.

If anyone made a similar West LA -> Calabasas move, what do you miss? Are you happy with where you live? Anything unexpected? Anything we should watch out for? Areas to avoid?

Also curious to hear some ballpark numbers for landscaping, pool maintenance, and power/water costs.

Look forward to hearing some local insights! Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2019, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
4,592 posts, read 2,999,229 times
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Calabasas/Woodland Hills (C./W.H.) vs. West LA:

-C./W.H. are warmer in the summer months, a bit colder in the winter evenings/mornings
-Overall, more sunshine in C/WH over West LA (less June gloom)
-Fewer cultural/entertainment options in C/WH than in West LA
-C/WH do have great access to great hiking trails in Malibu State Park and Topanga Canyon

Calabasas is in the Las Virgenes School District which is better than LAUSD but the public schools in W.H. are still pretty decent.

Calabasas is an incorporated City while W.H. is a neighborhood within the City of LA.

Your general rule of staying south of the 101 to purchase your home is good as these are the most desirable/pleasant areas. That said, there isn't a "bad area" in Calabasas or W.H.

If you work in West LA your biggest adjustment will be the traffic/commute, next will be adjusting to the relative quietness of the West Valley and the warmer summers.

Last edited by Astral_Weeks; 07-25-2019 at 11:36 PM..
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Old 07-26-2019, 04:33 AM
 
Location: SoCal
4,169 posts, read 1,785,043 times
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If you are going to look at Woodland Hills might as well look at Agoura Hills and maybe even TO. There is almost never traffic between TO an Woodland Hills. As was mentioned, Valley is much hotter, more west of WH you go, more it drops down.
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:09 AM
 
1,211 posts, read 743,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSoCalDream View Post
We’re pretty committed to Calabasas / Woodland Hills.
Those places aren't very diverse though.
Bigger question, where is your job?
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:51 AM
 
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I lived in Westlake Village, just west of Agoura Hills, ~15minute drive from Calabasas when no traffic. It's a very safe neighborhood. The reason being the Ventura county sheriff's enforce speed limit laws on the 101. Survey shows when you do that, criminals tend to avoid the area or get off exits to do crimes.

This valley (Canejo) is a great area for a family with high quality shops and great school district. Just about the only downside is if you need to commute into W LA for work.

There are a couple canyon roads to get to PCH in Malibu, Kanan road and Las Virgenes, that's an easy drive. If you're adventurous, the Decker canyon makes a scenic and exciting drive. Start with daytime first, it's kinda dangerous driving that road at night.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:58 AM
 
8,743 posts, read 11,897,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Native View Post
Those places aren't very diverse though.
Bigger question, where is your job?
It depends on your definition of diversity.

You want diversity? Just drive down to Canoga Park a few miles away, you'll get a plenty of "diversity" there.

To the OP, I find Woodland Hills has plenty of diversity. The Topanga Mall is plenty diverse and a great number of restaurants, including the ethnic variety, to satisfy my Shopping and eating needs.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:19 AM
 
13 posts, read 19,948 times
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Originally Posted by looker009 View Post
If you are going to look at Woodland Hills might as well look at Agoura Hills and maybe even TO. There is almost never traffic between TO an Woodland Hills. As was mentioned, Valley is much hotter, more west of WH you go, more it drops down.
My wife works in Glendale, so we didn't want to go past Calabasas for commute reasons. I have noticed when looking at traffic patterns that it wasn't a lot different continuing to Agoura Hills, so that must be why. But still, I think Calabasas is at the upper bound of what we'd want her commute to be. Even adding 15 (easy) minutes stretches it. But I'm open to thoughts and suggestions as we did like Agoura Hills, and Westlake looks nice too!
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:21 AM
 
13 posts, read 19,948 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looker009 View Post
If you are going to look at Woodland Hills might as well look at Agoura Hills and maybe even TO. There is almost never traffic between TO an Woodland Hills. As was mentioned, Valley is much hotter, more west of WH you go, more it drops down.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Native View Post
Those places aren't very diverse though.
Bigger question, where is your job?
Diversity isn't a huge requirement (and it's a very fuzzy term imo). We get around the city/state/country/world very frequently, so if our house is in a bit of a bubble I don't mind, provided the schools expose kids to the right things.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:23 AM
 
13 posts, read 19,948 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HB2HSV View Post
I lived in Westlake Village, just west of Agoura Hills, ~15minute drive from Calabasas when no traffic. It's a very safe neighborhood. The reason being the Ventura county sheriff's enforce speed limit laws on the 101. Survey shows when you do that, criminals tend to avoid the area or get off exits to do crimes.

This valley (Canejo) is a great area for a family with high quality shops and great school district. Just about the only downside is if you need to commute into W LA for work.

There are a couple canyon roads to get to PCH in Malibu, Kanan road and Las Virgenes, that's an easy drive. If you're adventurous, the Decker canyon makes a scenic and exciting drive. Start with daytime first, it's kinda dangerous driving that road at night.
Love those canyon drives!

I'd love to be able to bike over the canyon but riding those roads terrifies me. Any idea if there's either a lesser used road (fire road perhaps) or path that can get you to the beach without being inches from inattentive drivers?
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:45 AM
 
Location: South Bay
7,220 posts, read 21,220,343 times
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You've probably already looked into this, but a Calabasas to Glendale commute is likely going to be about an hour each way. I used to commute from Encino to Burbank and the drive was ~45 minutes.

Regarding the canyon roads, they are fantastic for cycling, even the higher traffic roads. The shoulders are generally pretty wide and you'll see plenty of cyclists on all the roads any given weekend morning. Some of the less trafficked roads are Old Topanga, Stunt Rd, Piuma, and Latigo Canyon. While more crowded, I would still consider the main Topanga road and Mulholland very rideable as well.
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