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Old 06-02-2010, 06:10 PM
6 posts, read 17,155 times
Reputation: 12


I'm currently looking for an apartment in the West LA/Santa Monica region, and would love to get some input on the matter. Here's a salvo of questions to open up the conversation, feel free to tackle as much or as little as you please

Given that my budget is in the neighborhood of 700-1000 individually, upwards to 1900 shared...

1. What is the current state of apartment hunting like? Any tips for a first time renter?

2. Out of Brentwood, Westwood, Mar Vista, Culver City, Santa Monica, and all adjacent communities, which currently has the best price:quality of living ratio? I don't have spectacular standards, but I would love a neighborhood with grassy sidewalks for my small dog.

3. Conversely, what are some areas to avoid?

4. How often can I expect landlords to try to renegotiate rent? How do I barter for the best price?

Thanks guys

Last edited by Greenlight711; 06-02-2010 at 06:30 PM..
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:49 PM
12 posts, read 37,298 times
Reputation: 18
I'll speak of westside since that's the area I know. From the looks there are for rent signs everywhere so think it's a very good market for first time renters.

I'm specifically talking about West LA, so areas south of Westwood Blvd and West of 405 all the way west to like Bundy. Just walk around there's places so many places at different price ranges.

My friend has lived there for 9 years, so they just had the standard yearly rent.

The best strategy to bargaining is doing your HW, get competitive offers (the other day say a place offering up to two months free) so just play the complexes against each other. If you get a killer rent price than try to lock it in for multi-years if you're staying that long.

In general the rental rate on west side has dropped cause there's so much inventory. To give you an idea in the course of 9 years living in that complex, it's only this year that my friend has ever saw the for rent sign had to go out and even that it was out there at least a couple of months.

The neighborhood is definitely not as nice as north of whilshire (which is brentwood), but there are some good deals to be found and also parking is much easier in that area since many places may not have their own parking.

My recommendation is to spend a weekend exploring the area and find where's all the for rent signs.

Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:57 AM
Location: California
29,597 posts, read 31,914,576 times
Reputation: 24735
My daughter and her bf just rented a place in that area and she also said there were "for rent" signs on just about every block. The trick is finding one that you feel comfortable with and has what you need, not just inside but outside as well (parking, laundry, pool, walkability, etc. whatever you want). They ended up sacraficing space and amenities for location and ease of rentability, since they don't have jobs yet. They will be scaling back big time since it's not much bigger than a studio and 2 people will be living there. And they won't be having any guest over...ever. LOL. They are giving themselves a year, the time on the lease, to make something happen and in 12 months they will make adjustments one way or another.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:28 AM
Location: Sawtelle District
122 posts, read 460,500 times
Reputation: 51
It really is a renter's market. I can personally speak of two friends who rent a two bedroom just south of Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA for a really good price. I know of houses in Culver City that have gone up for rent recently for good prices as well. Can't remember the exact figures, but the bargains are out there.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:39 AM
Location: West LA
2,318 posts, read 6,841,383 times
Reputation: 1090
Just know that you have significant power as a renter right now in negotiations, and can most likely get a place for less than asking price.
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