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Old 05-04-2020, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
389 posts, read 711,767 times
Reputation: 203

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Hello! In late March, I was laid off from a job I loved at a tech firm in Seattle due to the COVID-19 crisis. I have lived here for 5.5 years and love the city, the natural scenery, and the temperate climate. As much as I love Seattle, however, it has its drawbacks. My love life has been abysmal (I'm gay), people aren't always the friendliest, and the winters can be very dark. It is my home, but many times I've considered moving to California. Trips to LA have always been lovely and there would be endless new opportunities, people (men), and sunshine.

Upon losing my job, I began applying for new ones up and down the west coast. Fortunately, the first company to interview me has offered me a job. They are a very small tech startup (~50 people) in LA (Playa Vista neighborhood). They've offered me $75k, plus a small sum for relocation, and a benefits package that's not as good as I'm used to, but isn't bad either. Ultimately, it seems like I could learn a lot from the team I'd be on, but I can't seem to find any enthusiasm whatsoever for the company's product. I know passion in the workplace is a luxury, but I was very passionate at my last job and hate to let that go.

The prospect of the move is, for me, the most exciting part of the job offer, but I want to make sure I'm able to maintain some semblance of the standard of living I've built for myself in Seattle. I'm currently negotiating the salary and time to move (given the state of the world), but have yet to hear back, so until then, I've got $75k to work with.

In Seattle, I have a studio apartment on Capitol Hill. For those unfamiliar, Capitol Hill abuts downtown, is the heart of the Seattle nightlife scene, is a gay neighborhood, and features unparalleled walkability. For these reasons, I rarely need to travel outside a 2-mi radius. I have a car for when I do need to. I recognize that the scale of LA won't allow for reproducing that same compact convenience. At the same time, I live in a world class neighborhood full of gay men and don't want to make huge compromises there (i.e. I don't really want to live in a middle-of-nowhere, residential area).

Recurring financial obligations include continued retirement savings (6% at my last job), about $1000 towards student loans per month (I know..), a gym membership, and a haircut. With the addition of a state income tax (we don't have one in WA), it seems like there are very few housing options that would: a) allow me to continue living alone, b) put me in an exciting, walkable neighborhood near other young gay men, c) allow for a reasonable commute to Playa Vista, d) have a full kitchen (what's with this??), e) have parking, and f) leave me with much left over for discretionary spending.

Am I missing something here or is maintaining my Seattle standard of living too much to ask? Are there areas I may not be considering that sound like a good fit? Any advice from locals or folks that are also familiar with Seattle would be so greatly appreciated. I expect I'll need to make the decision of whether or not to accept the position by Wednesday at the very latest. Thanks so much to everyone who responds!

Last edited by drs72; 05-04-2020 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:24 PM
 
17 posts, read 9,412 times
Reputation: 115
At 75K with your current 401k investments, you'll probably be taking home 4K / month after taxes. You'll quickly realize how much WA's no-state income tax benefits you.

Rents in any of the desirable areas (similar to Capital Hill) are expensive. You could probably find a dumpy studio for $1,800 - $2,000 in Hollywood / West Hollywood, but figure 2700+ for a studio in any kind of newer building like you'd find downtown Seattle.

WeHo to Playa Vista is a 45 minute commute each way and gas and other expenses are significantly higher here. Your best bet would be to find a roommate and acknowledge you'll be in an older building. You can always find cheaper housing, but you're not going to be in a trendy area nor near any of the lifestyle amenities that Capital Hill offers. That lifestyle exists in Hollywood, West Hollywood, Culver City, Silverlake, Los Feliz, DTLA, Santa Monica, etc. and all of these areas are pricey.

With a 1K student loan payment, gym, haircut, food, mobile, utility bill, and gas, you're most likely going to be living paycheck to paycheck here. It would be difficult to save, enjoy restaurants/bars, or travel.

Last edited by stub303; 05-04-2020 at 09:33 PM..
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:38 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
5,595 posts, read 13,541,815 times
Reputation: 5937
I also lived on Capitol Hill at Belmont and Republican and now live in LA. I'm so glad I made the move. I loved Seattle and the close in neighborhood. This is my 2 cents. Playa Vista is where a lot of tech companies are but imho I find it far from things. You will definitely have to drive everywhere. No subway or lightrail and very little bus service. It's nothing like Capitol Hill. You are close to the ocean though. I would live somewhere close by because traffic is a mess and driving to Playa Vista is ugly. If you were to move somewhere in that vicinity, socializing and nightlife options like Hollywood, West Hollywood, the Sunset strip even DTLA would be an ordeal to get to.
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Corona del Mar & Coronado, CA
2,368 posts, read 1,507,378 times
Reputation: 3170
I think the job opportunity alone is worth the move. The weather improvement is a bonus. Walkability is a function of where you live. You won't find a lot of Capitol Hill type neighborhoods in LA, but they exist. I'd still take the job.
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:01 AM
 
Location: West Hollywood
56 posts, read 51,204 times
Reputation: 45
I say take the job. I moved to LA three-ish years ago from Seattle, also lived on the Hill now living in West Hollywood. Finding an exact replacement for Capitol Hill in LA will prove to be rather difficult but there are so many great neighborhoods here that give you similar amenities just in an LA kind of way.....plus the weather is better, you have beaches, and there is so much more to do here than Seattle. Like someone said the commute from Weho to Playa Vista is pretty brutal but it is doable if say you work from home mostly and only need to go into the office on occasion, or if you can stagger your hours to avoid rush hour. Culver City could be a good middle ground between work and making it out to West Hollywood on the weekends; it has it's walkable parts, lots of restaurants, bars, young professional crowd, etc. As far as pricing any "walkable" and trendy neighborhood is going to be expensive (both Weho and Culver City) so a roommate will be likely. There is such a variety of housing stock here that I'm sure with some diligent research you can find something that fits your financial situation and meets *most of your needs. It is a risk but one I think worth taking. Take the job.
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Old 05-06-2020, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Midwesterner living in California (previously East Coast)
263 posts, read 293,484 times
Reputation: 459
Sorry about getting laid off. That is unfortunate.

Based on your original post, you will not be able to have all of your wish list items AND be able to maintain the same standard of living in LA that you had in Seattle. This is because you will now have to pay California state income tax and also have higher housing costs. Something will have to give. Either sacrifice the size of your discretionary spending/savings or be prepared to have a roommate.

If you were willing to live in a “boring/uncool” area further removed from cool walkable neighborhoods, you would be able to pull it off in a studio/1bd by yourself. I’m talking about Inglewood, Baldwin Hills, Palms, Del Rey (not Playa Del Rey, just Del Rey). Palms is the best of those options I just listed off, though some parts of Palms are a little rough around the edges. Similar challenge for Del Rey, but it is super close to Playa Vista. With all of that being said, I doubt that’s a sacrifice you’re willing to make, as you’ve prioritized lifestyle over convenience.

Find a roommate willing to live in Venice, Marina Del Rey, or Santa Monica (only the parts that are south-east of Pico Blvd). Culver City is nice, but I’m having a hard time picturing you there based on your original post. I don’t think you would want to live in Playa Vista. It’s pricey and is better suited for young families people with suburban sensibilities.

West Hollywood is legendary for it’s LGBTQ-focused amenities and community. It's also a good urban environment. Unfortunately, that commute to Playa Vista would not be advisable for a newbie to LA.
Trust me. I always advise newbies (the ones who have to commute 4 to 5 days a week), to live 20 minutes or less from their work in the first year of being in LA. Anything greater than that will put you on the wrong foot with this city.

I definitely think you can create a good life for yourself here in LA.
However, there is one thing that I'm stuck on. Based on the details you shared about the job, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk good fit. If being passionate about the work is key, why not wait and find that alignment in a different company?
It could be LA, or SF, or SD, or Seattle.

Good luck to you!
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Seattle,WA
1,912 posts, read 2,275,616 times
Reputation: 665
Five years ago I moved from Encino,California to northagte Seattle and don't regret the move. In LA I had hardly any friends and no girlfriend. In seattle I now have more caring friends than I have ever had in my life. My seattle girlfriend loves me very much.

Not to be negative but moving from Seattle to LA would be a big mistake for several reasons. The people in LA are stand offish and superficial. In LA its impossible to make friends.

The air in seattle is clean and crystal clear. In LA the air is snoggy and dirty.

My parents still live in Encino,California and for many years I have been trying to convince them to move to Seattle or Bellevue because I personally think Seattle is a better place to live than LA.

A friend of mine who lives in Bellevue really really badly wants to move to LA or somewhere else in Southern California because of the sunny weather.

With the California state income tax and unfriendly people you will probably miss Seattle so much that you want to move back to Seattle.
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Seattle,WA
1,912 posts, read 2,275,616 times
Reputation: 665
Feel free to private message me if you have any questions about LA??
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Old 05-06-2020, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Corona del Mar & Coronado, CA
2,368 posts, read 1,507,378 times
Reputation: 3170
Quote:
Originally Posted by annonymous0381 View Post
Five years ago I moved from Encino,California to northagte Seattle and don't regret the move. In LA I had hardly any friends and no girlfriend. In seattle I now have more caring friends than I have ever had in my life. My seattle girlfriend loves me very much. Not to be negative but moving from Seattle to LA would be a big mistake for several reasons. The people in LA are stand offish and superficial. In LA its impossible to make friends.
I have lots of friends. At the times I lived in LA County (vs OC, SD, Santa Barbara and SF) I never had a hard time making friends. I think it would have been easy to find a girlfriend, but then I would have had to endure my wife's carping about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annonymous0381 View Post
The air in seattle is clean and crystal clear. In LA the air is snoggy and dirty.
In the American Lung Association 2019 LA still did have the dirtiest air, but a lot of that was attributable to the 2019 wild fires. Seattle was#14 on the survey. The only reason Seattle wasn't higher is the constant rain keeps it down.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:37 PM
Status: "By Thy return, sweet hour of prayer." (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: California
1,400 posts, read 892,468 times
Reputation: 2962
There aren't a lot of non-Hispanic white men, gay or straight, in Los Angeles, so I hope you're open to the idea of dating mostly non-white men from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. If you're not open to that idea, then stay in Seattle.
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