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Old 08-24-2008, 10:54 PM
 
479 posts, read 674,314 times
Reputation: 432

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I'm planning to move to LA and will be renting temporarily, with the intention of buying in a year or two after the market stabilizes. I'm trying to decide on a neighborhood and would appreciate some input.

I don't have a job lined up yet, but have been talking to headhunters and the job market is great for my field (I'm a CPA). I'm confident I'll be able to find something close to wherever I end up living.

The two areas I like are Pasadena and the South Bay (Torrance, Redondo), mainly because I have friends in these areas. However, I'm wondering which of these areas would make the most sense, given my priorities (I know there will be compromises):

- Easy access to business districts with the best jobs
- Access to outdoor activities (cycling paths, hiking trails, etc.)
- Nice climate; not too hot
- A quiet, peaceful, neighborhood with a somewhat suburban feel
- Liberal and diverse
- Convenient to night spots
- Lots of attractive, single women around

Based on traffic patterns, the South Bay would limit me to working on the westside, downtown and Orange County, whereas Pasadena would be convenient to jobs in downtown, the San Gabriel Valley, or the SF Valley.

I'd like to rent a single family detached house (mainly because of my dog), however, I'd consider a pet friendly condo or apartment. My budget is $2,500 (for a house) or $1,600 (for a condo/apt).

I'd also like to hear opinions on which area (South Bay or SG Valley) has the best upside potential given a 10-15 year investment horizon.

Whaddayall think?
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:05 PM
 
Location: South Bay
208 posts, read 891,414 times
Reputation: 90
i would personally prefer the south bay (i live here, and run southbaychat.com)

the beach provides a cool breeze which usually means much better summer weather. there is tons of jobs in the area, and you can easily commute as far as santa monica, downtown LA, long beach, etc..

if you're single, there is plenty of places to go out in the beach areas...but you must be a type that likes a beach vibe. if you are more of an urban/hollywood type person south bay might not be for you.

if you want liberal/diverse, you might enjoy santa monica better.

cycling/hiking is great and all over the place. cycling is probably better than hiking but the paths are everywhere here.

thats my $0.02
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:26 PM
 
Location: los angeles
5,031 posts, read 11,056,046 times
Reputation: 1477
Tough question since both areas are quite nice. I used to work in the South Bay\Torrance & would bike the strand to Manhattan Beach. For women\surf culture\sports-minded\ comfortable weather, etc. the South Bay is probably the place to live. However, traffic problems in the South Bay must be considered w/ the 405\San Diego Frw usually a mess [esp up toward LAX\Santa Monica]. By the way, Santa Monica isn't in the South Bay but it is the best city on the bay IMO [except Malibu].

I live near Pasadena so I know the area well. Pasadena is also a "party city" with some clubs\nightlife\restaurants in Old Town. It is more "old money" & family-oriented than the beach cities but has 2 renown schools [Caltech & the School of Art Center College of Design]. It is quite a bit warmer in Pasadena [being that it is 20 miles inland] but cooler than the San Fernando Valley - mainly low 90's in summer\ near 70 in winter]. The Rose Bowl provides great college football with lots of sports bars in Pasadena [mainly USC fans The Foothill freeway is a mess but the Gold Line runs right thru Pasadena [about 7 stops] & goes into downtown LA [it's faster than the Pasadena\110 freeway during rush hour. If you are looking for socialist liberalism than Santa Monica\ West Hollywood would be the place to live but anywhere in greater LA is solidly Democrat\liberal.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:28 PM
 
Location: South Bay
208 posts, read 891,414 times
Reputation: 90
i totally agree Pasadena is a great and nice area. it's more just a matter of preference. probably the ideal thing would be to spend a little time hanging out in/around each place and see which is more "you"
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:32 AM
 
479 posts, read 674,314 times
Reputation: 432
Thanks for the replies.

I've spent some time in both places (mainly on weekends) and I definitely like the cooler weather and cleaner air in the So Bay, plus being able to bike on the strand and in the hills of PV. But I like hanging out in Old Town Pasadena a little more than the beach spots in Hermosa (seems like a big frat party . Are there any good cycling areas in Pasadena that aren't on busy roads?

I guess I should go down one day and see how bad traffic is in these areas during rush hour. My perception is that the 134/210/110 isn't quite as backed up as the 405. Would you agree? If I were to work in Santa Monica, would it save time to bypass the 405 and take PCH or some other street up from Torrance/Redondo?
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:37 AM
 
Location: South Bay
208 posts, read 891,414 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I've spent some time in both places (mainly on weekends) and I definitely like the cooler weather and cleaner air in the So Bay, plus being able to bike on the strand and in the hills of PV. But I like hanging out in Old Town Pasadena a little more than the beach spots in Hermosa (seems like a big frat party . Are there any good cycling areas in Pasadena that aren't on busy roads?

I guess I should go down one day and see how bad traffic is in these areas during rush hour. My perception is that the 134/210/110 isn't quite as backed up as the 405. Would you agree? If I were to work in Santa Monica, would it save time to bypass the 405 and take PCH or some other street up from Torrance/Redondo?
If you work in Santa Monica, you might take 405 if you live in Torrance, along the beach route is better if you live in Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo.
I commuted for 4 years from Hermosa to Santa Monica and my commute ranged from about 30 minutes on a really good day to well over an hour on a really bad day. Average was about 45 minutes.

You can still go out at night in Pasadena if you live in South Bay, if you don't mind a 45min-1hour drive. I do it once in a while.

Some Hermosa spots can be a little too "frat party" but there are plenty of spots that aren't especially in Manhattan
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:51 AM
 
Location: los angeles
5,031 posts, read 11,056,046 times
Reputation: 1477
People cycle around the Rose Bowl and down into the Arroyo Seco [also lots of mountain biking just outside Pasadena]. Pasadena is mainly flat so bike riding is good w/ bike lanes.

Getting back & forth between Hermosa\Redondo\Torrance & Santa Monica can be problematic if the 405 is backed-up [which it often is]. Take PCH or Sepulveda but still plenty of lights esp from Manhattan Beach south. Frankly I don't know of any fast routes along the bay [maybe SouthBayTodd can help].

All the freeways in LA are bad about 70% of the time The San Diego\405 is one of the worst because of the airport & all the traffic coming into LA from both Orange Co & the San Fernando Valley. Probably Interstate 5\ Golden State freeway is just as bad as the 405 & the 101 crosses over and eventually merges with the 405 once in south Orange county. These are the only north-south freeways in California & they happen to both come right thru Los Angeles
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
51 posts, read 266,315 times
Reputation: 33
The 405 is a nightmare. I grew up in Torrance and took classes at Santa Monica College, and it was terrible. I'm not sure if it was actually better, but I took the 405 to the 90 West, and continued on Lincoln/Sepulveda. It still took at least 45 minutes in the mornings, but even moving felt like progress instead of inching along on the 405.

Anyway, I prefer the South Bay, specifically the beach cities of Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo over Pasadena, if not for the fact that it's on the coast. Pasadena definitely has a very nice old town, but you're more centrally located in the South Bay with the West Side, Valley, and OC nearby.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
1,749 posts, read 7,546,058 times
Reputation: 758
I grew up in the South Bay. I love the beach but left because it's B O R I N G
and architecturally dead. I loved the bike path and the breeze but once I moved up to Pasadena, I didn't ever want to live anywhere else. I got hooked by the jaw-dropping architecture, culture, glorious sunny winters and honest hot summers. The beach is beautiful but the accompanying town is very "grey". I had a hard time with the winter gloom which can last through the end of June. Others aren't bothered at all by it.

Some people wouldn't live anywhere but the SB and I was one until I went to Pasadena and fell head over heels in love with it. My friends and family from the SB didn't understand, my family from South Pas did. I didn't miss having to drive a long way every time I wanted some culture. I also learned what a walkable urban village was and once I did, didn't want to live any other way. There were things available to me I never had.

I think you'll like the SB better. Pasadena has plenty of adjacent trails and places to bike but I think it will be too hot for you in the summer. Daily temps of 90 are about average, high 90's aren't often but not unusual. The beach has the bike path and of course...the beach. Over the years I found myself going there less and less and I go on the weekends sometimes but I do miss parking on the Esplanade and watching the sunset.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:08 PM
 
916 posts, read 3,186,802 times
Reputation: 307
I grew up in Palos Verdes and think both the areas you're thinking of are great. I also recommend you look at Belmont Shore, Naples, etc.
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