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Old 08-04-2008, 03:22 AM
 
409 posts, read 1,049,279 times
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We have narrowed down our job search area to Northern Los Angeles county, and that only eliminated two opportunities. After looking at Los Feliz and Hollywood Hills more, I feel that it might not be a great family neighborhood and a little too hectic. We both would probably be commuting to West Hills. I have looked at some houses in Encino (we are looking for rehabs) and in Sherman Oaks. I found some very nice homes with great potential all south of Ventura Boulevard. My concerns about both Encino and Sherman Oaks are congestion, air quality, amenities, shopping, and private schools. Basically I am trying to find out what these areas as well as some other North Los Angeles communities offer. Do there happen to be any communities that offer top-notch public schools within 45 minutes of West Hills (would be commuting between 6-8 AM and 5-6 PM)? What we want in a neighborhood is older and newer homes mixed together, nice views, tree lined streets with dense tree canopies, nice town centers or shopping districts, access to a main roads and expressways, and nice family activities. Our recruiter, who is from the Los Angeles area, recommended lower Bel-Air and Holmby Hills, but we cannot find any fixer uppers in lower Bel-Air. There seem to be a lot in upper Bel-Air which it appears doesn't have any trees and the houses are really close to the street.
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:32 PM
 
409 posts, read 1,049,279 times
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Does anyone know anything about The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks or Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica?
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:07 PM
hsw
 
2,066 posts, read 4,333,355 times
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Very few live in SFV by choice....unhealthy smog; desert-like heat; difficult drive to BevHills area, which is the de facto work/play downtown of upscale LA....

Brentwood/Palisades are no-brainer choices for education-oriented, affluent families....and many upscale rental houses available (esp in today's economy, many new, unsold, spec houses are avail for rent), allowing one further optionality....
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:36 PM
hsw
 
2,066 posts, read 4,333,355 times
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Other considerations for housing in CA...

Many homes in CA are sited on quake-unstable pieces of land (CA's rather high land costs often lead to many "cheap" solutions that may yield negative outcomes in a major quake)...

Most older homes are far less quake-resistant than a new, well-engineered/built, latest-tech home on a well-considered parcel of land.....need to carefully diligence any land/house w/competent consultants/engineers to assess costs/risks of any solutions....

These quake-related issues/risks exist at every price point in CA....
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Old 08-04-2008, 05:40 PM
 
Location: LA
6,216 posts, read 11,837,948 times
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The best public schools (high schools anyways) in LA are in the western San Fernando Valley in the Woodland Hills area (which happens to border West Hills). You may also consider Calabasas and the Thousand Oaks area, although they are much more suburban/bedroom type communities, especially Thousand Oaks. Both are certainly within a 45 minute drive to West Hills and are much more family friendly than anywhere in LA proper.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:07 PM
 
409 posts, read 1,049,279 times
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I thought that the San Fernando Valley was supposed to have cleaner air than the Los Angeles basin. I don't like extreme heat I like the temperature to stay in the mid 70's to mid 80's. I have looked at Calabasas and it seems to be a very nice area. Where is the shopping in Encino, Sherman Oaks, and Calabasas?

I have also been recommended Toluca Lake. Is Toluca Lake separate from Los Angeles or is it still a city neighborhood with poor school quality? I found some nice homes around that area and from what I have read it seems to be rather upscale.

What is the difference between Beverly Hills Post Office and Beverly Hills? I noticed that you get more for your money in Beverly Hills Post Office, and that would be more what we want.

My husband likes the Pacific Palisades because of the location near the Pacific Ocean. He thinks we should look into Santa Monica, but doesn't Santa Monica have serious traffic and crime issues?

Do people raise children in Los Feliz or Hollywood Hills? I am asking because we were told that it was not family friendly but in Chicago many families raise kids in the city, but of course we have good urban schools, unlike Los Angeles.

What is the difference between La Canada Flintridge and La Crescenta? How far is San Marino from West Hills?
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:53 PM
 
2,106 posts, read 5,514,686 times
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apart from the schools issue, hillside hollywood isn't a bad place to raise kids; it's just a very inconvenient one. kids who grow up there have no opportunity to develop any age-appropriate independence until they are old enough to drive because they can't walk or take public transportation anywhere. whereas a fifteen-year-old in chicago or manhattan can hop a train to meet friends at the movies or the mall, that same kid living in the hollywood hills would have to driven everywhere by mom or dad, including to/from school every day. also, because there are relatively few families with children, opportunities for kids to make friends in their neighborhood are limited, and often those friends will attend different schools. that means that parents have to coordinate their kids' social lives in order to facilitate relationships with school friends who might live on the other end of town. you can imagine how burdensome this can become for a family with a couple young teens and a working mother.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:17 AM
 
409 posts, read 1,049,279 times
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It is funny you say that about Chicago, because most wouldn't let their kids take the train or walk unless they live in like the Gold Coast or Lincoln Park.

Is there a way I can get someone to answer my questions from the posts above?
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
5,145 posts, read 10,168,837 times
Reputation: 5801
I can't address all of your questions, but I'll do what I can.

There is shopping in the Valley at various malls (Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks, The Northridge Mall in Northridge, The Topanga Mall in Woodland Hills, etc.), and also along Ventura Blvd. here and there.

Unfortunately, the air quality is bad throughout the entire L.A. basin, which includes the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. The air quality gets particularly bad the further east you go, with San Bernardino and Riverside Counties experiencing the worst air.

Toluca Lake is a neighborhood within the City of Los Angeles, so yes, the school system is still LAUSD.

Pacific Palisades is nice, but it's incredibly expensive. Very elite.

People raise children all over L.A., but L.A. schools are not the best. You should look into private school as a possibility; I would have done the same for my kids if I could have afforded it.

La Crescenta and La Canada are right next to each other. I grew up in the "slums" of La Canada, in fact. I went to La Crescenta schools, because they were closer; that's part of the Glendale Unified School District. La Canada has its own, completely separate school district because it's an incorporated city. Because these cities are between two mountain ranges, they haven't grown much, so they still retain a small town feel while being only minutes from The Valley or downtown L.A.

It's about 37 miles from San Marino to West Hills, which would be a brutal commute no matter what.

Hope I've answered some of your questions. Best of luck to you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nysee53 View Post
I thought that the San Fernando Valley was supposed to have cleaner air than the Los Angeles basin. I don't like extreme heat I like the temperature to stay in the mid 70's to mid 80's. I have looked at Calabasas and it seems to be a very nice area. Where is the shopping in Encino, Sherman Oaks, and Calabasas?

I have also been recommended Toluca Lake. Is Toluca Lake separate from Los Angeles or is it still a city neighborhood with poor school quality? I found some nice homes around that area and from what I have read it seems to be rather upscale.

What is the difference between Beverly Hills Post Office and Beverly Hills? I noticed that you get more for your money in Beverly Hills Post Office, and that would be more what we want.

My husband likes the Pacific Palisades because of the location near the Pacific Ocean. He thinks we should look into Santa Monica, but doesn't Santa Monica have serious traffic and crime issues?

Do people raise children in Los Feliz or Hollywood Hills? I am asking because we were told that it was not family friendly but in Chicago many families raise kids in the city, but of course we have good urban schools, unlike Los Angeles.

What is the difference between La Canada Flintridge and La Crescenta? How far is San Marino from West Hills?
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:42 AM
 
409 posts, read 1,049,279 times
Reputation: 45
THANK YOU SO MUCH SANDYCO!!!!!! You are sooooooo helpful.
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