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Old 01-19-2010, 01:29 AM
 
7 posts, read 12,740 times
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Hi all,

I'll be moving to LA in March as i've just had a job which is based in Santa Monica. I've done a fair amount of research, but as i'm currently overseas, its sometimes easier to get the answers direct as companies always try to sell me things.

As my work is in Santa Monica, i'd prefer to live relatively close. Where in Santa Monica is a good place to live do you reckon? I can aford up to $2000 a month on rent.

I've heard that Pacific Palisades is supposed to be quite a nice place to live. What do you think? Along this, what are Century City and Westwood like to live?

I know this is a tough one but how much, on average are bills such as electricity, gas and, I know this is even tougher, food?

I've been looking at a number of estate agents and some of them want payment (around $60 for 30 days) to sign up and view the accommodation and also to find me a good place. Are these companies to be trusted?

Finally, and this could be the toughest question of them all I suppose, what's L.A and specifically, Santa Monica, like to live? Obviously from being overseas we hear all sorts about the safety etc, but there are bad places everywhere and is it just the same there?

Many thanks in advance for any assistance you guys can give me!

Last edited by Barnacle123; 01-19-2010 at 01:41 AM..
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:51 AM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,417,215 times
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the areas you mentioned are among the nicest to live in the area. of course LA is a major city, so safety can be an issue anywhere you go, but just be smart and you should be fine. as for where to live specifically, LA is rather expensive, what is your budget and what type of housing are you looking for?
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:36 AM
 
7 posts, read 12,740 times
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Thanks for the reply.

I've actually been pretty lucky and landed a job worth just over $100,000.

As for housing, I'm pretty flexible and would consider an apartment, house etc.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:01 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,417,215 times
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$100,000 is a good income, but unless you need a lot of space, i would recommend renting a 1br apartment near the coast. this way your commute time will be relatively short and you'll have the advantage of easy coastal access and the best weather in LA. My wife and I rent in marina del rey and we both work in santa monica. MDR costs about the same as santa monica for 1 bedroom apartments, but units in MDR tend to be newer, nicer, and have more ammenities. we both commute about 10-15 minutes (3-4 miles) to work. plan on paying between $1500 and $2000 for a 1 bedroom apartment.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:09 PM
 
7 posts, read 12,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRinSM View Post
$100,000 is a good income, but unless you need a lot of space, i would recommend renting a 1br apartment near the coast. this way your commute time will be relatively short and you'll have the advantage of easy coastal access and the best weather in LA. My wife and I rent in marina del rey and we both work in santa monica. MDR costs about the same as santa monica for 1 bedroom apartments, but units in MDR tend to be newer, nicer, and have more ammenities. we both commute about 10-15 minutes (3-4 miles) to work. plan on paying between $1500 and $2000 for a 1 bedroom apartment.

Hi,

Thanks for the reply. I've actually looked at Marina Del Ray and some of the apartments around there (online of course). Mariner's village is down there, right? I've read some funny reviews about the place though; a bit dirty, thin walls etc. However, what others are there around that area?

Thanks again!
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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Does anyone know anything about those estate agents who want payment to look at their listings? Are they legit?
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:12 AM
 
1,465 posts, read 4,412,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnacle123 View Post
Does anyone know anything about those estate agents who want payment to look at their listings? Are they legit?
I am not familiar with your target area specifically but I would think any place that charges you to look at listings is not legitimate.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:38 AM
 
1,016 posts, read 1,424,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnacle123 View Post
Does anyone know anything about those estate agents who want payment to look at their listings? Are they legit?

no reason for you to get involved with them they are in some respects fraud...none of the apts are aval once you pay...

bets go to apartments.com forrent.com and apartmentguide.com its free and you will deal with the management directly with no middle man.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:54 AM
 
Location: City of Angels
1,288 posts, read 4,578,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnacle123 View Post
Does anyone know anything about those estate agents who want payment to look at their listings? Are they legit?
No, you should not pay a real estate agent for listings. However, there is one company, Westside Rentals, that does charge a fee to see their full listing details and they are a legitimate and respected firm. They are actually based in Santa Monica. Landlords often prefer to post their listings with them because they presume they will get a better quality tenant among those willing to pay for listings. However, that being said, I have found that landlords will hedge their bets and still post the same listing on Craigslist, which can be viewed for free.

Since you will be working in Santa Monica, I suggest that you look for apartments in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Marina Del Rey, and Playa Vista.

Just do a search on Craigslist for each of these areas and you will get a good idea of what's on the market in your price range.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:44 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,748,468 times
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I, too, found the same listings on both CL and Westside. Westside is legitimate, and does have some listings that others don't have. you'll have to confirm this, but I also believe that if you rent through them the credit card report fee is included in your membership fee (which does make the membership fee look more reasonable). We were members for our last LA apartment search, but ultimately ended up finding our place elsewhere. It was a nice resource, though, and is probably worth joining for rentals on that part of town.
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