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Old 01-13-2010, 01:03 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,575 times
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My fiance, I and our 5 year old are moving from New England to LA. My fiance will be working as a District Manager covering LA county and we are trying to figure out where we will live. He will be driving to various areas in LA county on any given day. We are open to renting or buying depending on what meets our requirements. We are what you would consider middle class. Here is "The List":

Great public school system (my son is in a terrific private school now, but for budgetary reasons we will probably not be able to pay for private school when we move to LA).

Prevent as much delay from traffic as possible (I know, this is a tough one!!)

Safe neighborhood

Family Friendly neighborhood
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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What's your budget for housing?
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:36 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,034,108 times
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Hard to say what is central because the county is huge and traffic sucks pretty much all around. I'd probably say the South Pasadena area. Good schools and neighborhood, and would put you close to both Metrolink rail and LA Metro rail for avoiding some of the traffic

That said, you can use California School Performance Maps to look at school ratings geographically. The general rule is the better the family neighborhood, the better the schools, so you can pick a community to check out based on the school ratings and feel pretty safe about it
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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Renting...2b $2000

Buying... 2-3b $350k
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:34 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,034,108 times
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Know that your purchase budget doesn't fit the areas you're looking for in most of LA or Orange Counties. Might work in Santa Clarita, Ventura, or the Inland Empire cities, but those aren't the best places for someone working all around LAC.. The traffic is just killer.

Your rental budget should work though, but not in a house unless you get lucky. Think condo/townhouse or maybe a luxury apt.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:57 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,757,144 times
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You can rent a 2BR in South Pasadena (or many other recommended places) for $2,000, but not buy. We rented a small 2 BR house in South Pas for just under that. Several of our neighbors had previously owned homes in adjacent cities but had decided to rent in South Pasadena because of the schools; generally speaking, you can get FAR more for that money if you rent than if you buy. Like bhcompy noted, you might be able to get what you're looking for at the purchase price if you went far out, but that would be rough with the commute. You might also get it if you went for a more transitional neighborhood in a district with a more troubled school system. If you want it all, though, I think you should just expect to rent, at least for now.

And admittedly I'm a big South Pasadena booster, but I think it does sound like a good fit. Very family friendly, rentals in your budget, great schools, safe, and somewhat central if his work will bring him all over the county. There are a fair number of smaller 2BR homes for rent, although I think demand is high for the affordable (as in around $2,000) houses, so be ready to put in an application quickly if you see one you like. There are some large apartments, too, that are within your budget; some of them are right by or facing Garfield Park, which would be an ideal location for a family. (although anywhere in South Pas would be fine). The apartment buildings in South Pasadena are a mix of historic and newer. I like the old ones better myself, but some of the newer ones are more likely come with pools (which might be an added plus if you have a 5 year old).
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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The Western SGV makes sense, assuming the selling is to industrial firms.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:55 AM
 
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You could consider El Segundo. $2K will get you a decent apartment and the school system is well-regarded. While it's not "central," there is quick, easy access to the 105 Fwy that runs east-west. So there's relatively easy access to the north-south freeways 405, 110, 710 and 605.

However, if a good deal of time is spent in the Valley, this would not be a good option.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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$350,000 should be okay for you to buy a condo or townhouse with a small backyard.
If you need more information: you can email me @ kellydeng1209@gmail.com
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