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Old 07-02-2011, 08:32 PM
 
15 posts, read 39,565 times
Reputation: 13

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Hey! First post here

I am planning to move to LA with the family (small kids included), and looking for a neighborhood that meets the following criteria:

-Very safe area
-Great school system
-Relatively good temperature (not over 100 in the summer, or below 40 in the winter, for example)
-Reasonably low local traffic
-Relatively good bang for the buck in square footage for the house
-Relatively good diversity
-Small town feel (not urban)

My friend from LA sent me this list of neighborhoods that she thought may fulfill some of the above criteria, do you all know if any of these should be taken off my list to investigate because they do NOT fulfill one of the criteria listed above?

Also, very important to us: an area that has a good sense of community - and not snobbish? We would like to move somewhere where people are friendly with one another, and down to earth. Are there any on this list that definitely do or do not fulfill that criteria?

Thanks in advance for the help!


El Segundo
Redondo Beach
Rancho Palos Verdes
Rolling Hills Estates
La Canada
San Marino
South Pasadena
La Crecenta
Montrose
La Hambra
Alhambra
Arcadia
Triunfo Hills
Temple City
Cerritos
Charter Oak
Glendora
Rowland Heights
San Jose Hills
West Covina
West Chatsworth
Manhattan Beach
Diamond Bar
San Dimas
Walnut
Torrance
Agora Hills
Calabasas
Wetlake Village
Hermosa Beach
Glendale
Burbank
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:45 PM
 
1,800 posts, read 3,465,529 times
Reputation: 876
That entire criteria will be difficult, if not impossible to find unless you have an astronomical budget.

Just a few comments before I dive into the major areas. Most of LA County is urban. Many of the suburbs even have population densities above 7,500 a square mile, which is really massive for suburbs compared to many East Coast and Midwest suburbs of major cities (North Jersey excluded).

The parts located in the city of LA that are affordable have usually terrible schools because they are LAUSD (city of LA run). Elementary and middle schools might be alright, but the one area that has decent high schools in the city of LA are the West Valley (Woodland Hills, West Hills, Tarzana).

I have really yet to find a place with little local traffic. Most of the main non freeway roads are still jammed during rush hour and busy compared to other cities on off peak hours.

Homes tend to be smaller here than in other cities because of land cost. The areas with large homes are either far out of LA proper or even LA County or in excess of several million dollars.

I would off the bat avoid Temple City, West Covina, and Diamond Bar. They are not known as safe.

The beach communities (Hermosa, Manhattan, Redondo) are very very expensive because they are so close to the beach although they tend to have better schools.

Burbank is a great choice depending on your commute. The city is clean, friendly, and diverse (white, Hispanic, Asian). The schools are not part of LAUSD so they are better. Same with Glendale, although it is a bit lower income. Burbank and Glendale are scorching in the summer. Today it was 103 in Burbank.

Taking you up to Los Angeles side of the San Fernando Valley (west of Burbank): You have Chatsworth on the list. It is part of the city of LA. It is actually fairly quiet because it is so far away from the rest of the city. The homes tend to be a bit larger than other parts of the city for similar value. Schools are LAUSD, though they might be ok. FYI: Temps reach close to 110 some days. Commute can be atrocious depending where you work.

Agoura Hills and Westlake Village are very nice. They have their own schools and are pretty highly regarded. It costs to live there though and it is west of the Valley so again if you are commuting to the Westside or Downtown LA, might be a problem.

Other: South Pasadena has good schools, but costs a fortune. Torrance is hit or miss.

I would ask you; what is your budget and where are you working (as it is very easy to have a 2 hour + commute even if you live only 25 miles away)?
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:08 PM
 
15 posts, read 39,565 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks so much for the reply. We are flexible as to where we move, because we will be working from home, for the vast majority of the time. We are hoping to spend around 1 million, and possibly up to 1.5 mil if we wait a little longer before buying. However, if we were to spend that type of money we are hoping to have a biggish plot of land, with 4-5 bedrooms. We are hoping to get the greatest bang for the buck. Thanks again, all thoughts/ideas are appreciated!

PS - we are moving to LA to be close-ish to family.

Also, if anyone would be able to copy and paste the list and add comments (pros/cons) after any of the neighborhoods they know about, it would be really helpful
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:17 PM
 
1,800 posts, read 3,465,529 times
Reputation: 876
Oh then you should be good to go. I would say Agoura Hills. It has a more rural/suburban feel than most of LA. Calabasas as well but your money will go farther in Agoura. But, the temps can get into the hundreds.

Any of the other areas are much more urban/suburban and houses closer together, etc.
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:18 PM
LDH
 
168 posts, read 532,842 times
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Out of the places you listed I would go for Westlake Village or Calabassas.
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:09 PM
 
15 posts, read 39,565 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks to both of you! Of these places I mentioned which most fits the criteria while still not getting into the 100s (temperature)?
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:12 PM
 
1,800 posts, read 3,465,529 times
Reputation: 876
If temps are a concern, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, and Westlake will not be good choices. All are in the Conejo Valley, which comprises an area that sees the highest temps in the region.

The most temperate places in LA County are close to the beach.

Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches. Santa Monica. Malibu. Basically anything along the coast. Price range wise you should be able to get something good in Hermosa or Manhattan Beach. Don't know about schools though.
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,345 posts, read 84,709,484 times
Reputation: 17581
Quote:
Originally Posted by UCLAOcean View Post
Hey! First post here

I am planning to move to LA with the family (small kids included), and looking for a neighborhood that meets the following criteria:

-Very safe area
-Great school system
-Relatively good temperature (not over 100 in the summer, or below 40 in the winter, for example)
-Reasonably low local traffic
-Relatively good bang for the buck in square footage for the house
-Relatively good diversity
-Small town feel (not urban)

My friend from LA sent me this list of neighborhoods that she thought may fulfill some of the above criteria, do you all know if any of these should be taken off my list to investigate because they do NOT fulfill one of the criteria listed above?

Also, very important to us: an area that has a good sense of community - and not snobbish? We would like to move somewhere where people are friendly with one another, and down to earth. Are there any on this list that definitely do or do not fulfill that criteria?

Thanks in advance for the help!


El Segundo High $/sqft
Redondo Beach High $/sqft, Traffic
Rancho Palos Verdes High $/sqft
Rolling Hills Estates High $/sqft
La Canada ???
San Marino High $/sqft
South Pasadena ???
La Crecenta ???
Montrose???
La Hambra ???
Alhambra ???
Arcadia
Triunfo Hills
Temple City
Cerritos
Charter Oak (never heard of it)
Glendora ???
Rowland Heights ???
San Jose Hills (never heard of it)
West Covina ???
West Chatsworth Hot in summer, mostly good but not all good schools.
Manhattan Beach High $/sqft, Crowded, dense, traffic
Diamond Bar ???
San Dimas ???
Walnut ???
Torrance Traffic
Agoura Hills Very nice
Calabasas Very nice, over 100 some days in summer
Wetlake Village Very nice
Hermosa Beach High $/sqft, high density, crowded, traffic
Glendale
Burbank
It's Agoura Hills

Other places I do know about that meet most or all of your requirements:
Camarillo
Ventura
Mission Viejo
Laguna Niguel
San Clemente
Oak Park
Moorpark
Somis
Coto de Caza
Lake Sherwood
North Ranch (Thousand Oaks)
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:14 PM
 
3,413 posts, read 6,558,543 times
Reputation: 1430
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowincal11 View Post
If temps are a concern, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, and Westlake will not be good choices. All are in the Conejo Valley, which comprises an area that sees the highest temps in the region.

The most temperate places in LA County are close to the beach.

Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches. Santa Monica. Malibu. Basically anything along the coast. Price range wise you should be able to get something good in Hermosa or Manhattan Beach. Don't know about schools though.
That's wrong about the Conejo Valley. It does not see the highest temps in the region. It is one of the most temperate climates in the Los Angeles area. The climate and the schools are the two of the main reasons people live here and the reason it's not cheap. Westlake Village, Oak Park, Agoura Hills, North Ranch, Lake Sherwood and Thousand Oaks has everything the OP is looking for. It's a little slice of heaven out here with 3 or 4 lakes in the area, mature trees everywhere, lovely ocean breezes, lots of wide open spaces and parks and lovely, kind and civilized people. Great place to be a child.

Last edited by laysayfair; 07-02-2011 at 11:23 PM.. Reason: sp
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:32 PM
 
15 posts, read 39,565 times
Reputation: 13
Great responses! Is anywhere in Conejo Valley green, or is the area pretty dry in terms of nature? I love the lakes.

Is Conejo Valley particularly fire prone?

Besides the higher cost, is there anything else not fitting the criteria in respect to Palos Verdes or San Marino. I was told they have the small town feel.

Any possibly negatives to the Conejo Valley I make be overlooking?

Thanks again, really appreciate all this great input.
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