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Old 06-16-2011, 06:36 PM
10 posts, read 8,776 times
Reputation: 10


Hello Friends,
I am in Charlotte,NC and I got a job offer from Santa Monica, CA. I am getting total hike of $25k/annum. I don't want to commute more than 20 min each way and I was wondering as to what areas should I consider living. I would want a 1 bedroom apartment in decent area. What is the rent I should be looking at? I think if I pay $1000 more in rent than in Charlotte $1700 that would eat up $12K and extra expenditure of around $8k would mean I would only be getting a hike $5k to move cross country. Should I accept the job offer?
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:02 PM
1,800 posts, read 3,471,254 times
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$1700 will get you a pretty nice place in Santa Monica, although probably a few blocks off the beach. Santa Monica apartments may or may not include parking, which is normally the case in most of greater LA. Slightly cheaper is Brentwood which is pretty close to Santa Monica and west of the 405 Freeway, which helps traffic wise. Even cheaper than that is West LA (the neighborhood). A good one bedroom there should run you around $1250-$1350. It is also west of the 405 freeway, but has slightly less things to do.

As for moving, no one can really answer that but you. LA is the 2nd largest city in the US. It pretty much blows most other places out of the water as far as diversity in neighborhoods, in housing, in demographics (various ethnic/religious), and activities including nightlife.

But if you don't like hustle and bustle, people constantly trying to network, and lots of traffic LA probably isn't for you.

I mean the traffic is bad, but if you are going to live close to work it's ok. Plus, for me, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

I think you need to ask yourself how tied you are to Charlotte, your goals in LA, and would you feel comfortable in LA?
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:13 PM
Location: South Bay
7,142 posts, read 19,560,019 times
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not that it will save you a ton of money in the scheme of things, but you should be able to find a decent place in/near SM for under $1500 assuming you don't require living within walking distance of the beach.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:31 PM
Location: Florida
7,215 posts, read 12,992,505 times
Reputation: 9260
If its something you really want to do I would seriously consider the move, but really go over the decision several times. Look over what your life is now in Charlotte and where its going there. Is this move to Santa Monica really enough of a career and salary boost to make it worthwhile? Enough so to upset your life and move clear across the country. Most definitely you will notice a sharp increase in COL from Charlotte. There is no way around the COL especially in a place like Santa Monica. Your added salary boost will definitely be needed, and you really won't make out much in added income maybe some but not much. Also the culture, peoples and traffic will be something you are definitely not use to. Although in some ways Id rather drive in LA than Atlanta and Charlotte is starting to catch up to Atlanta. Still Santa Monica could be alot of fun and maybe a great decision.

So really go over the pro's and cons of this move and where it will take you in your career and personal life.

Best of Luck Im sure you will do what is right for you.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:27 AM
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Can anyone suggest a moving service that would move from Charlotte to Santa Monica? I know transporting my car would cost $1000. I have a fully furnished 1 bed room apartment also that I need to transport.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:42 AM
Location: South Bay
7,142 posts, read 19,560,019 times
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i used a company for a cross country move called ABF where you pay for shared space in a large container. I believe you pay by the yard in the container. You pack yourself into the trailer at the local truck yard then they train the container across the country and you pick up your stuff from another truck yard in the LA area. it takes about a week for the container to get across the country. if you don't mind packing/unpacking yourself then this is probably the most cost efficient way to move.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:31 PM
Location: Santa Monica, CA
1,626 posts, read 3,398,799 times
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The $25k hike doesn't tell us much without knowing how much you make in Charlotte. Paying $1500-1700 in rent I'd want to be grossing $75k or more to live comfortably. Also, you have to pay taxes on the extra $25k, as high as 9.3% CA state income tax on top of federal. If possible, try to negotiate some sort of relocation fee to help with moving expenses so you don't have to pay taxes on that money.

I'd suggest browsing westsiderentals.com to see what a decent place goes for in Santa Monica. It's free to browse but you have to pay to get the listing agent's info. Craigslist is another place to look but you have to wade through a lot of crap to find decent ads for Santa Monica.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:02 PM
332 posts, read 1,333,953 times
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Re: moving options

I'm moving from NC to CA too and am still debating my move options.

Is your new company willing to pay for relocation? Are you super tied to your belongings in Charlotte? Are they worth as much as it will cost to move them toward the West?

I think, and this is only a thought, that I'm going to go with UPack relocubes. The issue is the convenience of having my own cubes and I can pack sort of dorm-room style. Fabrics in garbage bags, mattress in only its allergy cover, etc and not worry about any judgment from others on the shared space trailer.

My original thought was to have a cross country adventure drive. Seeing the sunrise over the Atlantic and set over the Pacific and everything in between in the same week. Now, given the complicating factors of weather issues, fire issues, the fact I've never driven a truck... Well, that seems like a dream for another day.

I don't know if that helps, or not, but if you'd like more specific information, I'll be glad to forward you my super dorky spreadsheets that I've made for the occasion.

Good luck to you in your move! Also, I can relate to the debate about salary difference vs cost of living difference. Unfortunately, my field pays about the same in CA as it does here in NC. So, no boost from the move.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:41 AM
Location: LA mid-Wilshire
15 posts, read 39,454 times
Reputation: 18
A couple more financial factors in the equation: If you're not far along in your career, think about the future earnings potential with both jobs. Does one put you on a path for bigger salary increases? This can be hard to assess, but can be more important than just the current salary. Also, remember that you save a bit on utilities living near the ocean in CA. Very little $$ goes to heating or cooling here, compared to NC.
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