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Old 12-26-2009, 08:22 AM
 
3 posts, read 4,981 times
Reputation: 10

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i am planning to move from florida to LA, calif. in the next few months. want to try getting voice-over work and develop screenplays. am retired, 63 years old and have fixed income. i have been to the LA area a number of times and love it. i am a 'minimalist' and don't need much to be happy.

i'm looking to rent a decent furnished apartment or studio under $800/mo. don't laugh! is that possible? i don't know the greater LA area specifically, but an area/town where i can feel comfortable and be safe, where quiet is a virtue and be left alone to write.

essential for me to know are the basic monthly fixed costs of living in the LA area; approximate electric, water, garbage, basic cable TV, high-speed internet service costs per month. oh...and the taxes! you are 8.25% state and with local, up to 10.75%, correct? is there tax on 'basic food items'? have i forgotten anything?

what should i be aware of when renting? i hear stories about rental agents and deposits not being returned for the slightest infraction, i don't know that in florida.

here is my situation in madeira beach, FL; 560 sf apartment, it is enough for me, my books & imagination, overlooking the gulf, no noisy or nosey neighbors. rent is $600/mo., including basic cable, water, garbage. i pay for electric, apx. monthly ave., $70.00, high-speed internet $20/mo, and my gym $32.00/mo. my fixed costs here are approximately $1,300 > $1,400/mo. can that be done...and where? food in florida is NOT taxed and state tax is 7%.

my car is a '97 honda, my florida plates are good until 2011. i can probably slide by on those for awhile, as i understand the license & registration ordeal in calif. is outrageous & onerous.

to all sincere people who wish to help someone with a last grasp at that brass ring, please let me know. thank you, kurt
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:37 AM
 
274 posts, read 728,434 times
Reputation: 187
Studio under $800? I think you had better plan on renting a room in someone's home and having use of the house. or maybe a senior citizen bldg. and lastly move about 40-60 miles outside of LA.
The car registration process is not that bad and you wont pay that much since you drive a '97.

As far as the food tax I honestly dont remember but food does cost more there. Remember, just like FL you pay for the warm year round weather. Oh, traffic is god awful there on the freeways. Try to take public transit when possible.

I dont want to discourage you at all but have a job lined up BEFORE you uproot so you sont have to spend all of your monthly income.

I would also suggest that you go to the Califonia thread and get advice for those locals. Also go the the Los Angeles Times Newpaper website and look at jobs and rentals. Yes, taxes are higher in LA County and somewhat lower in the outer counties. Do your home work.
I lived in Riverside county about 50 miles east of LA and taxes were 7.25% 3 years ago.

Good luck and much success to you in your new dream.
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:44 PM
 
3,627 posts, read 6,862,998 times
Reputation: 3843
We left California for NC three years ago. I know the sales tax has gone up since then, but there is no sales tax on food.

A lot of food items in CA are less expensive than in NC - mostly produce. I can't compare them to Florida, though.

I agree with the previous poster that you will not be able to find an apartment for $800 - certainly not in a safe area. A room in a house might work, or you might want to rethink the whole thing.

Can you develop screenplays from where you are? Is it possible to get the voice-over work from where you are, then come if it looks promising?
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,115 posts, read 6,771,908 times
Reputation: 3655
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksplitt View Post
i'm looking to rent a decent furnished apartment or studio under $800/mo. don't laugh! is that possible? i don't know the greater LA area specifically, but an area/town where i can feel comfortable and be safe, where quiet is a virtue and be left alone to write.
There are neighborhoods like you describe - quiet and safe - in every city in LA county, and generally it gets less expensive as you head East - so you might want to look further out, if keeping under $800 is important. Look on Craigslist, and you'll get a pretty good idea of what's available. You may have to adjust your idea of what is "decent" but if you really want to be here, you'll find a way to make it work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksplitt View Post
is there tax on 'basic food items'?
No tax on food!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksplitt View Post
my car is a '97 honda, my florida plates are good until 2011. i can probably slide by on those for awhile, as i understand the license & registration ordeal in calif. is outrageous & onerous.
If you get pulled over for any reason, it's a bigger fine if you are driving with an out-of-state license and on out-of-state plates, if you live here. You have 20 days to register your car, once you move here. California DMV HTVR9 - How To Register A Out-of-State Vehicle (Nonresident Vehicle)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksplitt View Post
to all sincere people who wish to help someone with a last grasp at that brass ring, please let me know. thank you, kurt
Good luck ksplitt! I say grab it!
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:31 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
1,288 posts, read 4,515,957 times
Reputation: 660
You don't have to move to LA for voiceover work. All you need to do is invest in a good mic, speakers, computer, and recording software/inferface and you can submit yourself for auditions from your home. Are you familiar with sites like voices.com and voice123.com for getting voiceover work?

Of course, for most of the really big and lucrative commerical and network vo jobs, the talent comes from LA or NY and they have agents. But you can still get an agent and book decent work from Florida if you have your own in home studio, which might be the more practical option for you versus spending your savings to uproot and move to LA.
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