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Old 06-13-2011, 10:36 AM
 
33 posts, read 98,579 times
Reputation: 25

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My husband has an interview at UCLA. I was going to tag along with on his trip so I could check out places we could potentially live if we were to go there.

If we moved to LA, I would likely be working at a small liberal arts college. Pepperdine is west of UCLA, and then everything else seems to be east of LA, requiring a (hellish?) commute from where my husband would work (UCLA).

I'm thinking we should just look at housing areas to the west of UCLA near Santa Monica and then if I ended up getting a job on the east side I would just have to commute. Is that a terrible commute? Are there other suburbs/cities I should look at that would be in between all possible locations - pepperdine, UCLA, and all the small liberal arts on the east side like Harvey Mudd and Occidental? We'd like a safe place to live, and I know LA isn't very walkable, but if there are any communities that are good for walking or biking please let me know.

I'd like to find some potential apartment complexes that aren't terribly expensive (maybe $1200 month for preferably 2 bedrooms). I'd like to live in a newer modern complex, but maybe that is too much to ask for for that budget. We have two cats too, so I know that will likely limit our housing options.

Anyone have any advice? I plan on just renting a car when I'm there and driving around to check out the area. I've never been to LA before so I think it is important for me to see it before we decide to move halfway across the country.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:17 AM
 
Location: South Bay
7,141 posts, read 19,545,010 times
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$1200/month will only get you a 2br apartment FAR from UCLA or in an undesirable part of town. you'll either need to consider 1br apartments or increase your budget to $1500+ (which still is low for a 2br).

as far as work for you, you may also consider LMU. BTW, Harvey Mudd is one of the claremont colleges and is FAR from UCLA, probably close to 60 miles. however, there are a lot of state schools and community colleges in the LA area if you would consider going that route.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:39 AM
 
33 posts, read 98,579 times
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so would it not be possible to live in between UCLA and Harvey Mudd and both my husband and i commute? Google maps says they are 42 miles apart. If we each had a 21 mile commute would that be terrible for LA?
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:41 AM
 
Location: South Bay
7,141 posts, read 19,545,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpetticoat View Post
If we each had a 21 mile commute would that be terrible for LA?
YES, especially to UCLA. and where did you get 42 miles between the two schools? i just checked and it's over 50.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:12 PM
 
Location: L.A., CA
90 posts, read 193,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpetticoat View Post
so would it not be possible to live in between UCLA and Harvey Mudd and both my husband and i commute? Google maps says they are 42 miles apart. If we each had a 21 mile commute would that be terrible for LA?
It would be terrible for at least one of you - possibly both, depending on the route, time of day and direction.

People in LA tend to think of distance in terms of the time a trip takes, rather than the physical mileage.

When you look up a distance on Google maps, take a look at the directions. They'll list two time estimates - one for ideal conditions, and one in traffic. I find that they're pretty accurate.

From where I live in West LA, a mid-morning 30-minute drive could take me 20-odd miles north, five to six miles east, or 10-15 miles south. (Can't tell you how many conversations I've had with out-of-area recruiters who can't understand why I don't want to hear more about a gig that's "only 19 miles away." Er, because that "only 19 miles" would work out to two hours heading east on the 10, 60 and 605.)

The good news is that not all commutes are awful. I had a contract in Pasadena - not too far from Occidental - and other than the 6 miles I had to be on the 101 between the 405 and 134, it was almost always clear sailing.

In other, shorter words: It depends.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:55 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,956,282 times
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There are MANY areas of LA that are very walkable. That said, don't worry about location until you get a job; why are you so sure you'll be able to find one at a college? Or do you already have leads at those specific schools? Maybe I'm just disillusioned because I know how tough it is in the academic job market, but you may find it worthwhile to either live somewhere near UCLA with a short-term lease and then figure you can move, if necessary, once you know where you'll be working. That said, an option would also be to go with something like Hollywood or Los Feliz, which are still relatively convenient to UCLA and would also put you in a more central location. Parts of those areas are way out of your budget, but there may be some options in some of the more sketchy (although very walkable) areas or adjacent, especially if you can drop down a bedroom. Or maybe consider somewhere like North Hollywood, Burbank, etc., and then move if necessary once you know where you'll both be working.
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