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Old 07-11-2011, 09:48 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,377 times
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Hello!

I will be graduating in December currently living in Philadelphia and will start working in February in Pasadena.

I will be moving with my boyfriend and with another couple. Our plan is to get a 2 bedroom apartment and split the rent among ourselves to save money.

I was considering South Pasadena as I have read great things about it! Our budget for the 2 bedroom runs around 1500-2000 (rent only). I wanted to hear insight from people living in Pasadena about how much do you think other expenses will run, (utilities, food, transportation, etc).

Also, my salary will start out around 50,000-55,000. Will this be enough to live comfortably? I have heard that California is crazy expensive.

Thank you in advance for all of the insight! I'm open to any suggestions: Other parts of Pasadena to live, experiences living there, etc.
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:22 PM
 
4,111 posts, read 7,830,377 times
Reputation: 4819
Pasadena and South Pasadena are different cities. South Pasadena is more of a family area where the schools have a great reputation and housing prices reflect it.

I lived in California until 2007 and never made as much as $45,000, so to me your salary sounds quite sufficient - especially since you will be sharing expenses with three other adults. California is not crazy expensive. It does have high taxes, and the housing is expensive, but nothing else is particularly expensive.

Utilities will depend on usage, of course, and that can vary greatly. If you and your roommates agree on things, you can keep the bills low. Around 2003-2004 my electric bill (3 bedroom townhouse, 1550 sq ft) was about $12-13/month. My dad's bill (4 br house, maybe 1200 sq ft) was a couple hundred.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Fort Myers, FL
165 posts, read 263,027 times
Reputation: 192
Housing, Taxes and Water (no water in LA they get it all from Owens Valley in No. Cal and the Colorado River) are higher. That's about it. Although Desalination plants are started to pop up in LA and San Diego which is a very good sign for this arid places. To save $ use your windows more instead of the AC. Especially if you're in a safe neighborhood. Honestly you should be golden with that salary and 3 other roommates. I miss Cali. enjoy. Be sure to keep your bottles and cans in garbage cans and bring them to the recycle areas to get your money back from the CRV tax. Also if times get tough do like we did and buy most of your houseware and toiletries etc. from 99 cent stores. Saves way more than you can imagine. Just learn from others around you, and enjoy the vibe which is 10x less stressful than a city like Philly and the entire East Coast period.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:43 AM
 
4,270 posts, read 9,029,048 times
Reputation: 3267
Quote:
Originally Posted by alela1 View Post
Hello!

I will be graduating in December currently living in Philadelphia and will start working in February in Pasadena.

I will be moving with my boyfriend and with another couple. Our plan is to get a 2 bedroom apartment and split the rent among ourselves to save money.

I was considering South Pasadena as I have read great things about it! Our budget for the 2 bedroom runs around 1500-2000 (rent only). I wanted to hear insight from people living in Pasadena about how much do you think other expenses will run, (utilities, food, transportation, etc).

Also, my salary will start out around 50,000-55,000. Will this be enough to live comfortably? I have heard that California is crazy expensive.

Thank you in advance for all of the insight! I'm open to any suggestions: Other parts of Pasadena to live, experiences living there, etc.
Pasadena is plenty fine and likely to be a bit cheaper than South Pasadena. Its a big city, just avoid north of the 210 and east of around Sierra Madre and you will be fine.

Your salary is fine. The biggest expense by far will be for housing and it looks like you have figured out how to deal with that.

Put it this way....I made what you will be making in 2003. I shared a 3 bedroom house with 2 other roommates. I was able to afford to buy a $35,000 car with no issues at all.

People tend to have trouble with the Los Angeles area when they want to move here on a minimum wage income OR if they absolutely insist on purchasing a home. But for average income people or better who do not have children and will be renting, Los Angeles area is not at all the struggle its made out to be.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
401 posts, read 656,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG72 View Post
Pasadena is ... a big city, just avoid north of the 210 and east of around Sierra Madre and you will be fine.
Did you mean to tell her to avoid NW Pasadena?
If so, that's loosely defined as north of the 210, West of Lake, East of the Rose Bowl...

For the OP: depending on where in Pasadena you are going to work, it might be nice to live near that job or near the Gold Line light rail.

Also, being young, I'd live near Old Town where the action is.. many other parts of Pasadena are more residential and a little older.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:08 PM
 
4,270 posts, read 9,029,048 times
Reputation: 3267
Quote:
Originally Posted by True Freedom View Post
Did you mean to tell her to avoid NW Pasadena?
If so, that's loosely defined as north of the 210, West of Lake, East of the Rose Bowl...

For the OP: depending on where in Pasadena you are going to work, it might be nice to live near that job or near the Gold Line light rail.

Also, being young, I'd live near Old Town where the action is.. many other parts of Pasadena are more residential and a little older.
Yeah....I should have said avoid the NW area. My mistake.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Glendale, CA
1,299 posts, read 2,185,392 times
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There are a lot of great apartments in the Old Town Pasadena area. I'd highly recommend you look in that area, as there is nightlife, access to the Gold Line, and it is safe (stay south of the 210 like others have said).

Have you had a chance to visit, or are you going to move sight-unseen? I'd recommend a weekend visit if you can swing it to get a feel for the place. I love Pasadena, it's a great city.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:48 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,764 times
Reputation: 10
A lot of replies have said to "avoid north of the 210", why is that? Also, what lake does Pasadena have- the sunset reservoir?
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:59 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,764 times
Reputation: 10
Hello SoCal! I hope you don't mind me piggy-backing on someone else's thread...

I'm moving from Chicago- in general, the utilities we were responsible for there included: heat, electric, gas. What are the utilities we are responsible for here?
I've noticed some differences (trash, water), but I want to make sure that I'm not being tricked into thinking its actually a benefit when something is included (like when Chicago agencies used to say water was included...)

I've also noticed that some appliances are not included in apartments (refrigerators, stoves, microwaves)...is that typical? If so, there ought to be a place to find really cheap appliances since there are probably a lot floating around...where are they hiding?

What kind of parking stipulations are there? In Chicago we had to pay for a city sticker which included a zone. Is there zoning here in Pasadena? Do most apartments include a parking space?

Thanks for all of your help!! Love this place.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
401 posts, read 656,226 times
Reputation: 397
@sarahstella: "Lake" refers to Lake Avenue.. a major north/south route through the city.

Most people will advise you avoid living in NW Pasadena, which is loosely defined as North of the 210 and WEST of Lake Avenue and EAST of the Rose Bowl.

The east end of the city is very safe, not sketchy, and more residential.
The far west part of the city (west of rose bowl, arroyo areas) are very pricey and residential.
The entire southern part of the city (basically south of Del Mar Blvd) is quite nice, and residential.
The closer you are to the 210, the worse it is in almost all parts of the city.

For a young, single person, I'd live in Old Town Pasadena in a condo... this area is along Colorado Blvd on the West end of the city... or in the South Lake Ave/ Caltech area.

For a good overview of crime in different areas, check out: http://www.crimemapping.com/map.aspx?loc=91107

As far as parking, there is no overnight parking on the streets. So cars must be garaged or driveway'd. There may be some special parking districts where you can get an overnight permit.. not sure about this, though. Because of the parking rules, all apartments and condos are required to have a minimum number of parking spots for residents.

Last edited by True Freedom; 10-19-2011 at 11:43 AM..
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