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Old 12-29-2019, 12:49 PM
 
5 posts, read 2,156 times
Reputation: 10

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My wife and I respectively work in Century City and DTLA and we're trying to find a place with the following criteria:

1) Bearable commute (1 hour or less) for DTLA and Century City - willing to leave for work at 6:00-6:30 AM to beat most of traffic
2) Good elementary school. Ideally, we would like good middle and high schools, too, but I feel it's asking too much in the current market.
3) Safe - would like to walk around the neighborhood, we run a lot
4) Our home budget is topping out at $850k... maybe $900k but the payments get uncomfortable.

Currently, we rent in Koreatown and the commute is fine for us (obviously good for DTLA).

We've been home shopping for 6 months and have started to get a good idea of our options and understanding the traffic, but want to reach out here to seek other insights.

One thing we're struggling with is that if we buy a place in Torrance or La Crescenta, we don't even have a kid yet and we'll be doing a longer commute than we "need" until elementary school is an immediate need.

Here are our areas of interest, in order of my perceived feasibility:

1. Mount Washington
- Commute to DTLA seems good, Century City would be bad and have to leave for work early
- Good elementary school, but the middle and high schools are not
- Surrounding areas are sketchy
- Housing prices are really high. With our price range, we would get a small home or fixer.
- Reaching out for conveniences is a bit inconvenient

2. La Crescenta
- Commute to DTLA is OK, Century City is bad and probably would have to leave by 6 AM
- Don't know much about the town, but driving through it a couple times, it seems very quiet and a bit plain compared to what I'm used to (I grew up in SGV and KTown)
- Great schools
- Price range is well within our budget

3. Torrance
- Commute is similar to La Crescenta from the opposite direction (South instead of North)
- Great Schools
- Not familiar with Torrance, but the 2 times we visited the area, we liked the vibe of the city, accessibility to conveniences, shopping centers, and diverse restaurants - more so than La Crescenta which looked boring (sorry didn't mean to offend anyone)
- Price range is well within our budget

4. Eagle Rock
- Similar commute to Mount Washington
- Homes are expensive. The ones we can afford are next to the freeway and we want to avoid that due to asthmatic issues
- Schools seem OK - not highly rated but coworkers/friends have had good experiences

5. South Pasadena
- Commute is good for DTLA. Bad for Century City - the worst out of all listed cities here.
- Schools are excellent
- We really love the town (I rented nearby many years ago)
- Price is well out of range, condos seem like an option but really want to avoid them right now

Other areas we're looking at: Alhambra/MPK, Burbank, and Glendale

Looking towards West LA is really out of the question based on our research. Everything is just too expensive.

Any suggestions or insights? Would be interested in hearing if others have had similar experiences trying to figure this out. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-29-2019, 04:21 PM
 
Location: So Ca
19,370 posts, read 17,511,473 times
Reputation: 16941
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdazer View Post
South Pasadena
I'd eliminate this city. The commute to Century City would be a deal breaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdazer View Post
Other areas we're looking at: Alhambra/MPK, Burbank, and Glendale
For the same reason, avoid Alhambra. Is MPK Monterey Park? Neither of you want to commute from there, either.

I don't know the South Bay well, but La Crescenta, Glendale and Eagle Rock are all great cities with pretty decent public schools.
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Old 12-29-2019, 04:59 PM
 
4,364 posts, read 9,231,407 times
Reputation: 3495
I don’t think you have any choice other than Torrance and MAYBE El Segundo or Wiseburn

You have two real huge problems. #1 the home prices in any nice area between DTLA and Century City are insanely high. #2. Those areas have mostly garbage schools and that’s not likely to change.

FWIW, if you are ok with North Torrance, homes will be less expensive and the commute will be a bit shorter for both of you. Maybe the area between the 405 and Artesia, from Crenshaw to Western. The schools aren’t quite as good as the rest of Torrance and the neighborhood lacks character, but the schools are leaps and bounds better than LAUSD, and it’s very safe. To DTLA and Century City leaving at 6am you might have roughly a 40-50 min commute from that area.

If you find El Segundo or Wiseburn to be within your budget, that will certainly cut down the commute to Century City. I am not sure about the commute to downtown.

One further benefit of any of these locations will be the weather. It rarely gets much above 90 or so in the summer. And you’re close to some great beaches.

Last edited by JohnG72; 12-29-2019 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:37 PM
 
5 posts, read 2,156 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by CA4Now View Post
I'd eliminate this city. The commute to Century City would be a deal breaker.



For the same reason, avoid Alhambra. Is MPK Monterey Park? Neither of you want to commute from there, either.

I don't know the South Bay well, but La Crescenta, Glendale and Eagle Rock are all great cities with pretty decent public schools.
Yeah Monterey Park (friends and I always reference it as MPK for some reason). Yeah I don't want to see my wife slowly have the life sucked out of her due to the traffic...
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Old 12-29-2019, 05:57 PM
 
5 posts, read 2,156 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG72 View Post
I don’t think you have any choice other than Torrance and MAYBE El Segundo or Wiseburn

You have two real huge problems. #1 the home prices in any nice area between DTLA and Century City are insanely high. #2. Those areas have mostly garbage schools and that’s not likely to change.

FWIW, if you are ok with North Torrance, homes will be less expensive and the commute will be a bit shorter for both of you. Maybe the area between the 405 and Artesia, from Crenshaw to Western. The schools aren’t quite as good as the rest of Torrance and the neighborhood lacks character, but the schools are leaps and bounds better than LAUSD, and it’s very safe. To DTLA and Century City leaving at 6am you might have roughly a 40-50 min commute from that area.

If you find El Segundo or Wiseburn to be within your budget, that will certainly cut down the commute to Century City. I am not sure about the commute to downtown.

One further benefit of any of these locations will be the weather. It rarely gets much above 90 or so in the summer. And you’re close to some great beaches.
I have never heard of Wiseburn and it seems intriguing, but a cursory look does seem like the housing prices are on the high side. I'll do a little more research.

North Torrance is definitely in the running and we did like the feel of the city for the brief moment we visited.
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Old 12-29-2019, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
3,976 posts, read 2,161,952 times
Reputation: 4782
Maybe consider:

1. Culver City - Home prices might be too high (not sure);
2. Baldwin Hills - Don't know about schools but home price and commute to work is feasible;
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Old 12-29-2019, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Southern California
4,453 posts, read 5,750,957 times
Reputation: 2220
What time will the both of you leave work?
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,177 posts, read 89,938,546 times
Reputation: 48077
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdazer View Post
My wife and I respectively work in Century City and DTLA and we're trying to find a place with the following criteria:

1) Bearable commute (1 hour or less) for DTLA and Century City - willing to leave for work at 6:00-6:30 AM to beat most of traffic
2) Good elementary school. Ideally, we would like good middle and high schools, too, but I feel it's asking too much in the current market.
3) Safe - would like to walk around the neighborhood, we run a lot
4) Our home budget is topping out at $850k... maybe $900k but the payments get uncomfortable.

Currently, we rent in Koreatown and the commute is fine for us (obviously good for DTLA).

We've been home shopping for 6 months and have started to get a good idea of our options and understanding the traffic, but want to reach out here to seek other insights.

One thing we're struggling with is that if we buy a place in Torrance or La Crescenta, we don't even have a kid yet and we'll be doing a longer commute than we "need" until elementary school is an immediate need.

Here are our areas of interest, in order of my perceived feasibility:

1. Mount Washington
- Commute to DTLA seems good, Century City would be bad and have to leave for work early
- Good elementary school, but the middle and high schools are not
- Surrounding areas are sketchy
- Housing prices are really high. With our price range, we would get a small home or fixer.
- Reaching out for conveniences is a bit inconvenient

2. La Crescenta
- Commute to DTLA is OK, Century City is bad and probably would have to leave by 6 AM
- Don't know much about the town, but driving through it a couple times, it seems very quiet and a bit plain compared to what I'm used to (I grew up in SGV and KTown)
- Great schools
- Price range is well within our budget

3. Torrance
- Commute is similar to La Crescenta from the opposite direction (South instead of North)
- Great Schools
- Not familiar with Torrance, but the 2 times we visited the area, we liked the vibe of the city, accessibility to conveniences, shopping centers, and diverse restaurants - more so than La Crescenta which looked boring (sorry didn't mean to offend anyone)
- Price range is well within our budget

4. Eagle Rock
- Similar commute to Mount Washington
- Homes are expensive. The ones we can afford are next to the freeway and we want to avoid that due to asthmatic issues
- Schools seem OK - not highly rated but coworkers/friends have had good experiences

5. South Pasadena
- Commute is good for DTLA. Bad for Century City - the worst out of all listed cities here.
- Schools are excellent
- We really love the town (I rented nearby many years ago)
- Price is well out of range, condos seem like an option but really want to avoid them right now

Other areas we're looking at: Alhambra/MPK, Burbank, and Glendale

Looking towards West LA is really out of the question based on our research. Everything is just too expensive.

Any suggestions or insights? Would be interested in hearing if others have had similar experiences trying to figure this out. Thanks in advance!
In all fairness we have not lived there in many years but I grew up in L.A. In fact I went all the way through school in Eagle Rock. The one thing that I think still holds true is: school wise, regardless of ratings Eagle Rock schools are still very good. I would add, if it were me and I could find something in my price range I could handle I would choose La Cresenta. Most of the others have drawbacks that might out weight the positives; price, of course being number 1. We love So. Pasadena but as you are fining out it is very expensive. I went to church there for many years and we were married at St James Episcopal church. Good luck.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:41 AM
 
345 posts, read 235,984 times
Reputation: 722
You need to up your budget to satisfy your criteria. By about 50% minimum.
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Old 12-30-2019, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,177 posts, read 89,938,546 times
Reputation: 48077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commonproject View Post
You need to up your budget to satisfy your criteria. By about 50% minimum.
Totally agree.
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