U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > Los Angeles
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
View Poll Results: Do you make enough to qualify for a home loan in L.A.?
Do you personally earn over $110,000.00 per annum- YES 86 29.35%
Do you personally earn over $110,000.00 per annum- NO 207 70.65%
Voters: 293. You may not vote on this poll

Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-12-2006, 04:27 PM
 
1,735 posts, read 4,460,947 times
Reputation: 1444

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms.Phitt
It's very telling that people like GregJ and Ralph, who insist that people like FastFilm and EnlightenMe and myself are misrepresenting L.A., feel the need to get increasingly shrill and finally resort to personal attacks. Why does it need to get personal? We have provided research from newspapers and other sources, photographs of our neighborhoods, and personal accounts of crimes and other despicable acts perpetrated upon us by our neighbors. Like it or not, these are facts, and no amount of nasty insults on your part are going to change that. If you are like RedNC and your experience is different here, say so and present your evidence to the contrary.

So far, however, it seems to me that my original assessment is correct. We have 3 types of people here:
  1. those who make over $100,000 a year, or already have a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank
  2. those who bought their houses here 10+ years ago before prices skyrocketed, thus making L.A. housing costs within their reach
  3. everybody else

I think what people like us are trying to get across, is that people looking for information in this forum:
  1. are not going to be from group 1 because those folks can pretty much afford to live wherever they want
  2. are not going to be from group 2 because those folks already live in this area and don't need an online forum to tell them what L.A. is like
  3. are therefore going to be people with average incomes who do not live near L.A., and want to know what it would be like if they tried to buy a house out here today -- at today's prices -- and what the neighborhoods, schools, air quality, traffic, crime rates, and quality of life would be like if they bought a house in an area they could afford.

Targeting any group of readers other than the people who would actually be using this forum to get information about Los Angeles, however unintentional it may be, is misleading and doing them a terrible disservice. I say, give them the whole truth not just the feel-good stuff... otherwise CityData might as well be just another useless tourist guide website.
I thought I gave some good examples, but I’ll give it another try.

This forum doesn’t really serve the So. CA area well as it is currently setup. It leaves out Orange County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County.
Most people from Orange County wouldn’t think of going to an LA forum for information, much less go into one to see what people are talking about. If there were other forums then the people looking to relocate could ask the same question in all forums and I guarantee the results would be night and day as to the replies.

Several of the respondents were relocating from states in the northeast. These people most likely have equity in their current house so they will be able to apply that to their new house. The difference in price isn’t that much and can most like be made up in a lower property tax, since most of these states have very high property tax. And yes they are higher than CA.
Also since these people are being transferred by their companies the company should (I know my company does) allow for the higher cost of living if there is any.

There has never been a time that I can remember where houses were affordable. When I bought my first condo I put enough down to get in the door and lived frugally until my salary caught up. My second house I used the equity from the condo to purchase and again lived frugally until my salary caught up. It wasn’t easy back then and it isn’t easy now, but it can be done. If you can’t find an affordable house close to work then move further out, that’s what has built, Riverside, Corona, Temecula, and South Orange County.

You can either find a way to get into the game with a condo, town home, or fixer upper, or you can sit on the sidelines waiting for the “real estate bubble” to burst. If you are waiting for the bubble to burst as it did in the early 90’s and has been predicted for the last 5 years then have at it. Just remember if you had waited 5 years ago to buy in LA you would have lost out on a 150.2% increase in today’s value. Is this likely to happen in the next 5 years, I doubt it, but is it going to go down by that much, not a chance.

The worst decline period for LA was 90 to 96 and it was 28.9%. During that time the interest rates were over 8% and the economy had gone down quite a bit, with mass aerospace layoffs and was finally beginning to recover by 96. That was about the time when most of us that bought between 88 and 92 started to see a light at the end of the equity tunnel. It was about 98 when most people that bought at that time actually had equity, before that they were upside down from what the house was worth and what they owed.

I hope this helps, I can provide more evidence if you need it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-12-2006, 04:48 PM
 
34 posts, read 143,227 times
Reputation: 117
Well said!!! First, applause to you Ms. Phitt (quote) and then to you RedNC (response). I think it must be clearly understood that when people inquire about Los Angeles, they are talking about "Los Angeles". Not Chino, not Fontana, not Ontario, not Coto de Caza, not Moreno Valley. But specifically Los Angeles and perhaps the cities inclusive of Los Angeles County. I will add my 2 cents in repeating that if one's income is not in the six figures (at least $125K), you would probably fare better seeking housing in the suburban areas or changing employment location, if possible. The only drawback is that hundreds of people live in suburburia (even though our income exceeds $125K) and make that 3-5 hour commute to Los Angeles, Long Beach, etc. each day to work, thus the traffic problem. It's a trade off, I suppose. Maybe the transit system will improve.

Last edited by TriciaK57; 06-12-2006 at 04:55 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2006, 05:04 PM
 
34 posts, read 143,227 times
Reputation: 117
Fastfilm ~ Where are you planning to retire when the time comes? I am wishing for you the most serene and peaceful place you can find. You deserve it!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-12-2006, 05:13 PM
 
1,398 posts, read 6,344,769 times
Reputation: 1832
That's awfully nice of you to think of me in the heat of this discussion, TriciaK, thank you.

Yeah, I'm pretty tired of being an expert on violent urban living, Neighborhood Watch meetings at the police station, etc. My husband and I disagree on favorite locations, so our compromise will be to scout out western (only. No hurricanes or blizzards, thank you) North Carolina. We'll do that once the personal disasters subside a little (dog needs 3K operation, tree fell on my car out of nowhere, tax audit!)

Red NC, I'm only adding to your wisdom by reiterating that "normal" working people, like my former neighbor the elderly postal carrier, could once afford little houses in non-slum areas with reasonable ease. In L.A. Today, I don't any amount of scrimping would do the trick for someone with a modest income.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2006, 06:02 AM
 
48 posts, read 251,295 times
Reputation: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriciaK57
Well said!!! First, applause to you Ms. Phitt (quote) and then to you RedNC (response). I think it must be clearly understood that when people inquire about Los Angeles, they are talking about "Los Angeles". Not Chino, not Fontana, not Ontario, not Coto de Caza, not Moreno Valley. But specifically Los Angeles and perhaps the cities inclusive of Los Angeles County. I will add my 2 cents in repeating that if one's income is not in the six figures (at least $125K), you would probably fare better seeking housing in the suburban areas or changing employment location, if possible.
Thanks Tricia!

Exactly! Since I saw other threads on Orange County, Van Nuys, etc., I made the basic assumption that if someone was inquiring into one of those areas they'd have started a separate thread on it. I was speaking of Los Angeles specifically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedNC
Several of the respondents were relocating from states in the northeast. These people most likely have equity in their current house so they will be able to apply that to their new house.
That's good and I see what you're getting at, but that situation may warrant different advice than one would give to people who don't have several hundred thousand in savings or equity laying around and who don't make $100k+ a year. If you look at U.S. statistics (or even the results of this thread's poll, for that matter), it's easy to see that most people don't fall into the group you're talking to... in which case it's probably a good idea to mention that so everybody else consulting the thread doesn't think you're talking to them.

Nevertheless, if you think about it, we're all really saying roughly the same thing but in different ways:
Unless you have a big chunk of money/equity or a high income, you're not going to be able to afford anything in a decent area within the city of L.A. So if you are middle class like most people but do not want to live in nasty gangland territory, your best option is to find an area in the suburbs that you consider livable and then try to get attached housing or a fixer-upper there... which will still be very difficult to afford, but at least it's safer than the same-priced neighborhoods in L.A. city limits. The average person can buy less here than ever before, and that doesn't show any signs of letting up.
Yeah I wish you well FastFilm. As you can see I'm in the same boat as you in many ways so I feel your pain. Here's hoping you find a place you will both enjoy, and that your remaining time here passes quickly.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2006, 01:30 PM
 
1,398 posts, read 6,344,769 times
Reputation: 1832
Thank you, Ms. Phitt. I believe the source of the problem of the "disconnect" between what folks think of L.A. and what the realities are traces to its continual portrayal in films and tv. Since we're still the major locus for production, there is so much visual info out there for the rest of the world to see, and, similar to actors' complaints that fans think they know them personally because the actors are, after all, seen on the tv in the fans' bedrooms every night, people at large think they know, or at least have a better than average glimmer of L.A. through that false familiarity.

This is an unpleasant place, with nice weather, for everyone who's not already successful. I don't consider a middle class existence in the middle of violent gangs to be a desirable enough draw for anyone who wants to move here without a really high-paying job already in the can. This is not the L.A. of forty or fifty years ago, it's closer to "Blade Runner" than we'd like to admit! And this is a forum to dispense information and opinions. Usually, when you find they coincide, you can glean that as true.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2006, 05:30 PM
 
436 posts, read 593,852 times
Reputation: 243
Default LA, oh yes, LA

Thanks for enduring my little soapbox spiel that follows. I am a native of Cali if that means much, was there in the early 1960's and went on to live in VA, TX, NY State/NYC, GA, AZ, KS, PA, FL, Netherlands, Spain, Germany - a crazy gypsy-esque lifestyle that was cast growing up in a military family, and being military myself for a spell. My late beloved wife passed after a horrible cancer that found us spinning about between Mass Gen and Sloan Kettering (ever try living in a shoebox size walkup with car alarms and ambulances sounding off all night, while the most important person in your life is having seizures on top of all else?). As they say, "If it doesn't kill you.." - well that's BS, let me just say! Sorry..I'm rambling, back to CA. El and I lived in Los Feliz prior to that whole Swingers attitude that was winding through LA. Yeah, we passed by Fred 62, saw the tattoo & body art '68 Dodge Dart driving hipsters until the cows come home, I worked the LA/SD catering circuit which was a great primer for mingling with the types of folks you experience day to day in la la land. Yes, I've been in the homes of stars, eavesdropped on some bizarre conversations all over the SOCAL area, been filmed in a couple TV commercials, done the "focus group for money thing, but at some point you come to realize that LA seems really a place best suited to the young and adventurist, the playful affluent, and the entertainment people (who have plenty of real estate elsewhere to escape the mind-numbing lifestyle there). El had got so tired of the shallowness, the glare, the concrete, the traffic, and the air quality..I too began to pine for the intellectual stimulation, the "realness" of people elsewhere. Ask me, would I rather be staring at another composed entree on a plate at another silly "insider du jour" foodie place with friends in LA, or in (as an example) Lennox, MA at Tanglewood on the Green with a picnic basket and a bottle of wine to hear classical music with real people? Please, no more 40-something catering waitstaff talking about their next audition please! No more Malibu parties overhearing guests discussing channeling and ear waxing please! No more sitting on the 405 by the Sepulveda pass at 10 pm in heavy traffic looking at the red brake lights and listening to SIG alert info on the radio. No more Thomas Guide and surface street explorations to shave 5-10 minutes off a horrific commute. No more. No more!
I still have family in the Hollywood Hills, Arroyo Grande and (the one couple who did well) San Fran - I can visit if I can afford to take the time off, but as much (thank goodness) natural coastal beauty that remains in CA, I'm not making it a priority. No, there's many other places to visit/explore in this world. Yeah, I miss the good old days in LA, I miss the sound of the merry-go-round while riding my bicycle in Griffith Park, I miss a cool, starry night at the Greek Theatre or Hollywood Bowl, the little theatre productions, the Groundling and Comedy Store venues..but, for the most part - I'm over it, which is more than I can say for the aging minions still living a (self made) dream out there.

Last edited by brian_2; 06-13-2006 at 06:25 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2006, 07:34 PM
 
1,398 posts, read 6,344,769 times
Reputation: 1832
Wow! First off, how sorry I was to read of your wife's sad demise: this must have been so very, very painful for the both of you. You nevertheless have such a great attititude, with your energetic prose that I'll add, regarding adversity- they say adversity builds character. F#@k no! Stop, enough with the adversity, I have way too much character at this point!

You really make a great point to others here about the rich in L.A. They all have their escapes elsewhere, unlike the rest of us poor schlubs cleaning the graffiti off our walls. Same as most rich Manhattanites make a beeline for their country homes ASAP.

P.S. many military brats were in the music business (because living out of suitcase seems normal to them,) were you? Lastly, they're tearing down the Troubabour music club soon. Nothing lasts forever.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-14-2006, 07:26 PM
 
13 posts, read 107,829 times
Reputation: 33
Reading the posts above, I'd like to comment as one of the "target audience". To wit: I find this board to be one of the most useful resources I've found so far on the realities of moving to LA. My wife and I are a fair ways along toward moving, and I wish we'd seen something like this 2 years ago (fortunately, our plans aren't really impacted by what I've read here, since we're still planning to move to Lake Arrowhead and rent, possibly Ojai if we feel strongly enough about it after visiting in July). But all these posts have most certainly disabused me of any rosy spectacles I may have had for anywhere in LA proper. Some posters, like FastFilm, seem really bitter, but reading through her posts, I have to say I'd feel the same way if all that had happened to me, and the bitterness is an instructive thing unto itself. RedNC, I have a question for you, if you really think Northeast real estate is priced similarly to CA real estate. I'm going to try to insert an image of a house that's in a really great suburb of NY, 25 miles out of Manhattan (33 minutes to midtown off-peak), right on the river, in a very artsy little community. 2500 square feet, 4 floors, Victorian built in 1858, on .2 acres, 5 beds, 2 baths, soundproof studio in the basement. How much do you imagine it sells for?:

http://www.gwhitty.com/addtracks/House5-02bSmall.JPG (broken link)

Brian 2, your post really got to me; I've sat with my bottle of wine at Tanglewood, so to speak, and hadn't really considered what a bummer it might be to lose the culture that supports that kind of thing. On the other hand, as my wife says, you can only do that for a couple months a year in the Northeast...

Last edited by Marka; 06-15-2006 at 12:02 AM.. Reason: merged
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-14-2006, 09:29 PM
 
48 posts, read 251,295 times
Reputation: 391
Brian, I'm so sorry for your loss and harrowing experience. I can't imagine how traumatic it must have been for you both. I agree with you and FastFilm that there comes a point when you know you've gotta have more than enough character by now! Here's wishing you peace and joy.

Thank you for your honest comments. I had forgotten to mention it but it's true that there is plenty of escapism amongst those well-off enough to do so. I personally know of 2 people who work in L.A. and have L.A. housing for during the week... then they escape to Lancaster and Fontana, respectively, to live out their weekends and holidays in a more peaceful environment. How in the world they can ever afford this, and how this works for them, I'll never know. I can agree with them in one thing... L.A. is just too frenzied and crazy to live in. And after years of observation, I've come to think that many of the people who are happy to live here are living frenzied crazy lives already themselves, which is why they don't really notice the frenzied craziness all around them.

The same pretention you describe still remains in certain circles, although the voices of the elite are being drowned out by those of the illiterates and the illegals. (A little has changed; instead of channeling and ear-waxing it's Pilates and high colonics. ) Your description of the traffic is spot-on. If anything, it's no doubt worse than when you were here.

My heart aches for the day when, like you, I can say NO MORE! As soon as we save up a little more money and finish getting our affairs in order, we're outta here.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > Los Angeles

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:57 AM.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top