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Old 04-04-2009, 09:01 AM
 
18 posts, read 44,550 times
Reputation: 14

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Went from Minneapolis (home town) to Oklahoma City now to LA. I will be working in west LA for a government job and would like to find a nice suburb to live in. I wouldn't mind a 30-50 min commute...especially if on public transport where I could read or whatever on the way home. What are some good suburbs that are within range of west LA. Is somewhere like pasadena or long beach too far? These are just two areas that I spit out...there seems to be a ton of different areas to consider. Its actually overwhelming how many little suburbs are listed on the map.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,197,591 times
Reputation: 16367
Need more info:

Rent or buy?
Budget or price range?
Married? Spouse's work location?
Kids? Ages?
Expected work hours?

Pasadena and Long Beach are way too far away.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 7,529,171 times
Reputation: 1527
Long Beach and Pasadena aren't really going to have cookie cutter houses and aren't your typical suburbs (and Long Beach isn't a suburb, it is a city within the metro area). Both cities have nice downtown areas and are pretty urban for Southern California standards. Areas of West Los Angeles might even be more suburban in character than many neighborhoods of Long Beach or Pasadena. Both are good areas to live (a little far from West L.A. though), but don't be expecting cookie cutter sprawl land USA in those two cities.

Is there are reason you don't want to live in West L.A.??
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:02 AM
 
18 posts, read 44,550 times
Reputation: 14
serious girlfriend (works in HR and will find a job close hopefully)
no kids
looking to rent 1200-1400 1 bedroom.
work hours would be 8-4:30 but again if 45 min commute thats ok...i commute 30 right now and no problem.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:08 AM
 
10,081 posts, read 14,679,711 times
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Pasadena is a great city, but I think you'll be better off finding something closer to your work. That would be a long commute. I'm originally from Minneapolis, too, and I can tell you that traffic in LA is FAR worse than it is there. I'm not as familiar with the areas within easy commuting distance of West LA and will leave that to others, but you should also forget about the difference between "suburb" and "city" (unless you're looking specifically for school district or something) - LA is a very different kind of city, and some areas technically inside city limits are more traditionally suburban, while some "suburbs" are more city-like.

In addition to Charles' excellent questions above it would also be helpful if you could spell out a little more about what kind of neighborhood you're looking for (is access to decent public transportation a must, or just a perk, do you want house or an apartment and do you have strong opinions on what kind, do you want to be able to walk to stuff, are you looking for quiet or busy, etc.)
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,465 posts, read 14,247,907 times
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It's pretty clear you have never been to LA before. As the other posters have said, toss your conventional notions of "cities" and "suburbs" out the window, since that framework doesn't apply in LA. Let's put it this way-- compared to where you're coming from, pretty much all of Los Angeles county will look pretty urban. The only people who think LA looks like a suburban city are New Yorkers or people from other countries. Simple litmus test when you know you're in a true suburban area-- when you get to the point where oversized parking lots are abundant everywhere, parking on the side of a major street isn't allowed and parking meters are nonexistent. You'll have to drive quite a long ways out of west LA before you get that.

Why would you sign up for a job in LA, one of the biggest, most congested, stressful cities in the US, and not even know what you're getting into? LA is not like Minneapolis, or Oklahoma City, or dozens of other mid-large sized metro areas like that.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,197,591 times
Reputation: 16367
Here is a great tool:

HousingMaps

and sometimes a person can make assumptions on the neighborhood if they look at school data. So integrate the housing map data above what you find with the data on this map:

School Performance Maps
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:36 AM
 
18 posts, read 44,550 times
Reputation: 14
OK OK I see your points...First off I have not been to LA since childhood. I have been to many very large cities and fell in love with them (ie. Chicago). I hope LA will be the next. LA may not have the suburb type I am used too. But that being said, what do you recommend as a "nice" area to live in near west LA. What I mean by nice might be defined by the following info:

Job in west LA

Single but with girlfriend whom works in HR

Open minded and like that LA is as well

We both like to be able to get our groceries/things nearby on the weekends. For example a short drive (under 20 min) to a target/walmart.

Also would like an apartment 1200-1400 with a pool and safe community.

We both would like to be within a short drive of the ocean. (15-45min being short)

I realize this is a huge change from Minneapolis...but my career is taking off and my girlfriend and I are ready to take whatever challanges/adventures it takes to make it. Thanks for any advice!
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:30 PM
 
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I would say culver city all the way. The rent may go over a bit, but for 1200-1400 you can't get much in LA.
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:37 PM
 
830 posts, read 1,834,996 times
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To keep it within 30-45 minutes, you'll need to live well west of downtown LA. Since you'll be working normal hours, and you'll likely be taking all surface streets to work, you'll need to figure an average speed of 10-15 miles per hour. Sometimes it will be faster, sometimes slow, but I've found that to be a good rule of thumb. Realistically you'll need to live within 5 to 8 miles of work. Use that as a starting point for location.

As far as finding a one-bedroom for $1,200-$1,400 with a pool, good luck. Apartments in LA are mostly older, smaller buildings, that don't have things like pools or laundry rooms and things most people consider to be standard. You can find places like that, but they are typically going to cost a lot more, or you're going to get a much smaller place.
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