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Old 01-13-2010, 12:28 AM
Location: Lexington, MA
29 posts, read 91,891 times
Reputation: 23


Hello, I am a Boston native planning a move to LA. My husband has been offered an excellent job opportunity there in California.We are a young family, I am 25, he is 28 and we have a 1yr old son. My husband's office will be located in Chatsworth and we'd like to live somewhere between there and LA. (I think, unless anyone has a better suggestion??) . We have lived on the east coast all our lives and really dont know much about LA. I did hear the economy was horrible there, like many places, but we didnt see such a drastic change in Boston... has it gotten any better there?.

Anyhow, we are looking for a nice, family/kid-friendly area with a good school system. We'd like somewhere that is hip, with a nice downtown area and some shops. Just not too incrediby suburban that we'd have to drive too far to go somewhere... I've heard some good things about Woodland Hills and Sherman Oaks. Are these good areas? I have checked out a few places on Craigslist to get a feel for the price range and found some significantly cheaper than the rent we pay here in Boston. But what is the average price for a modern 2bed/2ba apt. in these areas or others you may suggest? We'd like to begin by not going above $2000 a month our first year. Also, i'd really like a place that has some cultural diversity. As in, not 95% caucasian.

Another thing... we will be going there basically just having eachother. We'll know a few people but I am concerned for my son. I know he is very young, but we have a great network here with alot of children that he socializes with. I am wondering if there are any mothers that can tell me if there are playgroups and options to connect with other mothers my age with young children? baby gyms?? i guess a kid-friendl area is my main concern..

If anyone could give me a little advice or has any input.. or can suggest anywhere else I should check out I'd really appreciate it. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and thanks in advance for your advice!
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:38 AM
Location: L.A./Pismo Beach
330 posts, read 616,868 times
Reputation: 549
One thing you can be assurred of, Red Sox Nation is alive and well in L.A.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:03 AM
Location: Lexington, MA
29 posts, read 91,891 times
Reputation: 23
That is certaintly great news!... we will also be bringing our love for the Pats and Celtics
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:04 AM
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,751,010 times
Reputation: 17410
Originally Posted by Jstine103 View Post
That is certaintly great news!... we will also be bringing our love for the Pats and Celtics
Please leave your celtics, red sox, patriots, and bruins hats and shirts in the garbage can at the California border. They are banned items in California.

"Here's a ground ball to Buckner... This could do it folks...OH, It gets by Buckner....."

Patriots Blow Perfect Season in Superbowl Loss

What you are looking for in a community may be a bit challenging. On the one hand, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Calabasas, West Hills, and the northern fringes of the San Fernando Valley are safe, clean, family communities. The closest semi-"fun" locations to Chatsworth "might" be along Ventura Boulevard from Calabasas east to Studio City.

If I were you (and I sort of am), I'd be looking for communities that benefit your child: other young families, amenities geared for small kids, good preschools, story times, playgrounds, school districts. With that, I'd stick to Simi, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village. Those places aren't 95% white but they're probably 70% to 90% white. Other non-white folks would be Hispanics, Middle Easterns, and Asians - not too many Blacks. The schools in these communities are for the most part good or very good.

The San Fernando Valley will be more diverse - more Hispanics for the most parts but also more of everything else and less white. However, a lot of the communities in the central SFV will have lower performing schools and a less appealing look (older and run down, dense, crowded, traffic, power lines, billboards, etc.)

A lot of people would love to work in Chatsworth simply because it isn't far from nice family semi affordable, communities, like described above.

One other place that might be more fun (but still very white) is Ventura. It would be a long commute so you could visit there on weekends. You could also visit west LA, Hollywood, and the beach communities for fun things to do too. Like I wrote, it is probably better to live in a place for your kid and travel to places (on weekends) for you.

This will help you get a feel for where higher performing schools are - that tells a lot about a community


These will help you find places to live


Last edited by Charles; 01-13-2010 at 05:13 AM..
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:17 AM
1,465 posts, read 4,412,965 times
Reputation: 849
I am with Charles on this. I am a big supporter of public education, unfortunately the LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School System) is going through some very serious problems right now dealing with finance, unions, power struggles, etc. and the ones that are suffering are the students. They have a very low graduation rate. LAUSD includes all of the San Fernando Valley. But the surrounding areas Charles listed are an easy commute to Chatsworth, have good school systems, and are safe.

The surrounding areas meet your $2000/month and kid friendly requirements easily but may fall short of your cultural diversity criteria.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:55 PM
Location: L.A./Pismo Beach
330 posts, read 616,868 times
Reputation: 549
When was the last time a Los Angeles NFL team blew a perfect season in the Super Bowl? Oh, that's right, we don't have an NFL franchise in L.A.

Since 2002, how many World Series Championships have the Angels/Dodgers won? Oh, that's right, they haven't won any. (Hint: Boston's won two.)

The only garbage Boston has delivered to L.A. is Manny.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:15 PM
Location: Lexington, MA
29 posts, read 91,891 times
Reputation: 23
thank you for defending our teams Caphawk! ...although i hope this wont turn into a sports debate

Thanks to you all for the advice. It definately is most important we find a good location for our son. We will be sure to look into the places you've suggested.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:39 PM
Location: City of Angels
1,288 posts, read 4,578,748 times
Reputation: 661
In keeping with your desire to be in a somewhat more urban and culturally diverse atmosphere, I would suggest that you look for that in San Fernando Vallley for now. I believe you will find what you are looking for there plus your husband won't have to worry about a long commute. Also, since you only have a one year old, you really don't need to worry about poor quality schools in LAUSD until your kid reaches middle school and that's at least 7-8 years away. By then, you will have had plenty of time to assess your child's education needs and likely will make a move to buy a house somewhere that has better middle and high school options.

I suggest that you consider rentals in Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Studio City and Toluca Lake. These are all neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley that are within the city of Los Angeles. You might also consider Burbank which is a bit farther east, but is a separate city altogether with its own school district. You should be able to find some nice rental options within your budget in all of these areas.

All of these areas also have excellent elementary schools for you to choose from. Just go to the Great Schools web site (GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community) and do a search for public elementary schools in each of these places and you will see a number of schools with a rating of 8 or higher on a scale of 1-10. For example, there are four public elementary schools in Encino and you will see that each is rated 8, 9, 9, and 10 respectively. So your kid will be fine.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:34 PM
Location: Lexington, MA
29 posts, read 91,891 times
Reputation: 23
Thank you T.R.A. I agree, the school system is not the most important thing for us yet.. our son is still young, we definately have time, and we are only renting. I just want to make sure we'll be in a safe, kid-friendly area with other young families. I would love a community with parks and libraries, playgroups and singalongs, quiet but not dead.. with a maybe 20min ride to a more urban downtown area at least.
I will look into those area you've suggested as well
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:43 PM
Location: SoCal
2,262 posts, read 6,270,142 times
Reputation: 952
If you want urban & culturally diverse... I recommend against Ventura. As I mentioned in another thread, it's not so great for younger people. I would (and have) definitely recommend my mom moving there, though.

As for LAUSD being in control of all of the valley, I was given to understand that both Burbank & Glendale have their own school districts, and that they were pretty good.

I'm from Boston, myself. I moved to LA from Boston. Then to Ventura. Then to Austin. Then back to Boston (where I am now). And I'm moving back to SoCal (hopefully to Burbank or Glendale or possibly S. Pasadena) this fall.

I really enjoyed living in LA. Not so much any of the other places.
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