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Old 12-27-2011, 01:14 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,100 times
Reputation: 10

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hello!

I have searched through older posts, and while my reading has definitely given me some color for the area, I was hoping for some more specific help for my upcoming move to LA.

First our details:

My wife and I are in our mid-30's, with three kids -- all younger than 5. We are moving from Chicago to LA, having grown up in the Chicago area. Though we grew up in the suburbs, we live in the city itself now (Lincoln Park). It is a dense, sort of yuppy-ish area of young families, but with lots of area restaurants, good schools, and is on the upscale side.

The PRIMARY concern as we move is the schools. Ideally, our kids would attend amazing public schools, though I know that limits the areas we might want to live. Though we love the 'urban' feel, we know it's not the same there, and are ok being a little more suburban if necessary. Still, a 'lively' area is preferred, and should be at least accessible to more restaurants/nightlife/culture, etc...

We are moving there for my job, and I will be working out of two locations, the first in Tarzana (south Valley), and the other sort of mid-Wilshire (near Koreatown).

We are Indian (though born here) if there are any ethnic factors we need to consider....

a reasonable commute would be great, though I don't expect 10 or 15 minutes.

We plan to rent before buying, and our rental budget is in the neighborhood of 5k/month, and when we buy, it would probably be in the 1.5M range... We would rather live in a nice space than a huge space...

So, based on what I've read, I was thinking something of areas like South Pasadena, Calabasas/Woodland Hills, or possibly something on the westside like Brentwood -- if we can afford it!

I was really hoping you guys could give me your thoughts on this, and any other suggestions would be MOST welcome. Thanks so much in advance!!
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Earth
17,444 posts, read 24,692,054 times
Reputation: 7317
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdaddy View Post
hello!

I have searched through older posts, and while my reading has definitely given me some color for the area, I was hoping for some more specific help for my upcoming move to LA.

First our details:

My wife and I are in our mid-30's, with three kids -- all younger than 5. We are moving from Chicago to LA, having grown up in the Chicago area. Though we grew up in the suburbs, we live in the city itself now (Lincoln Park). It is a dense, sort of yuppy-ish area of young families, but with lots of area restaurants, good schools, and is on the upscale side.

The PRIMARY concern as we move is the schools. Ideally, our kids would attend amazing public schools, though I know that limits the areas we might want to live. Though we love the 'urban' feel, we know it's not the same there, and are ok being a little more suburban if necessary. Still, a 'lively' area is preferred, and should be at least accessible to more restaurants/nightlife/culture, etc...

We are moving there for my job, and I will be working out of two locations, the first in Tarzana (south Valley), and the other sort of mid-Wilshire (near Koreatown).

We are Indian (though born here) if there are any ethnic factors we need to consider....

a reasonable commute would be great, though I don't expect 10 or 15 minutes.

We plan to rent before buying, and our rental budget is in the neighborhood of 5k/month, and when we buy, it would probably be in the 1.5M range... We would rather live in a nice space than a huge space...

So, based on what I've read, I was thinking something of areas like South Pasadena, Calabasas/Woodland Hills, or possibly something on the westside like Brentwood -- if we can afford it!

I was really hoping you guys could give me your thoughts on this, and any other suggestions would be MOST welcome. Thanks so much in advance!!
Woodland Hills and Brentwood can be ruled out because of the schools (Brentwood even more than Woodland Hills). LAUSD schools have more in common with each other than the neighborhoods they are in. They are generally lousy.

If you want to be on the westside, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica both have great schools but are expensive. Culver City's public schools are just ok/decent but better than LAUSD, and you'd be right next to a large Indian and Pakistani community in Palms next door. If you wind up in Tarzana you should pretty much rule out the westside. If you're in Koreatown, then the westside east of the 405 is OK.

Thought about Burbank? Excellent schools there. Glendale has decent schools and would be within reasonable proximity to Koreatown, but would be somewhat far from Tarzana
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:20 PM
 
62 posts, read 126,488 times
Reputation: 56
Hey,
As a mid-30s guy that just moved his family from Chicago to LA, I might be able to help. We were in Chicago (condos in Lincoln Park and Lakeview) for 12 years and moved out here a year ago. First off, we absolutely love it. There are things about Chicago you'll miss (namely mass transit, less traffic and better food), but overall, we couldn't be happier we made the move and wish we had done it sooner.

For areas in LA to live, I'd strongly recommend Studio City to you. It's a 20-30 minute drive to Tarzana and 20-60 minutes to Koreatown, depending on traffic. It has two of the best public elementary schools in LAUSD (Carpenter and Colfax) and an above average middle school with a good magnet program (Walter Reed). It feels a bit like Lincoln Park and has lots of great dining and shops, with a slightly neighborhood'y walkable feel, especially if you live close to Ventura Blvd (which you'll be able to afford to). There are a lot of young families and it's pretty diverse ethnically (certainly more so than anywhere in Chicago I lived). The area feels relatively hip and urban and, outside of rush hour, is only a 20 minute drive on the canyon roads through the hills into West Hollywood or Beverly Hills for even better dining and nightlife.

As for real estate pricing, $5K a month will get you a phenomenal rental home and $1.5M will buy you a very nice home in the area. We rented a home for a year in order to confirm we would like it. We did, and bought a home a year later. Renting first and getting a feel for exactly where you want to buy is the way to go.

Another option would be Sherman Oaks just to the west. There are good elementary schools (Dixie Canyon and Riverside), but they’re not quite as good as the two Studio City schools above. Since it’s to the west, it’ll save you 5-10 minutes on the Tarzana commute, but, with Studio City being equidistant between your commutes, it’ll add 5-10 minutes to your Koreatown commute. It’s not nearly as hip of an area as Studio City, but is still fairly nice. Real estate is about 10-20% cheaper.


I personally wouldn’t want to live in Woodland Hills or Calabasas at this age. They’re far too suburban/strip mall feeling for me, at this point in my life. Being from Chicago, think Schaumburg. Calabassas supposedly has great schools though, so it’s the type of place I’d consider in a decade when my kids are in high school. Pasadena has a similarly suburban feel, although it’s a bit more urban. The real problem is that it’s far from the city. Both of your commutes would be a pain in the as5 and heading into the parts of the city you'll want to go to for a date night becomes a chore. Plus, the drive to the beach would be a complete hassle. You’re simply not living in LA when you’re out there, for better or worse.


Feel free to direct message me with any specific questions or ask in here. It was a major move for our family but we wish we would have done it 5 years earlier! I think Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world, but LA has it beat for our tastes/needs.

Last edited by RalphWiggum; 12-27-2011 at 10:28 PM..
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: South Bay
7,141 posts, read 19,527,516 times
Reputation: 3402
Please remember that Majoun's comments about LAUSD are generalizations. While much of LAUSD is absolutely terrible, there are plenty of good/great schools in the nicer neighborhoods. My wife and i recently bought a home in the Valley and even though we don't currently have kids, locals schools were of concern to us. pretty much any school south of the 101 in the valley is going to be a highly rated school. if you don't believe me, go ahead and check greatschools.net. every school i saw south of the 101 in the valley was at least an 8 out of 10. there are even good schools north of the 101, but once you get north of say victory blvd or so, the ratings drop quickly. that won't matter to you though since your budget will allow to live in the nicer areas.

as for where to live, that's a tough one. i would certainly live in the middle between koreatown and tarzana. studio city was a good recommendation, as was sherman oaks. however, these locations would make it difficult to get to koreatown. the drive on the 101 is absolutely terrible. there is a subway from studio city to koreatown, but i'm not sure if your office will be near a station. if you're considering living 'over the hill' in the city, hancock park has some excellent schools according to the website i mentioned earlier, as do beverly hills and parts of west hollywood. if you choose to live on that side of the hill, you'll notice that your money won't get you nearly as much house.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:24 PM
 
62 posts, read 126,488 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRinSM View Post
the drive on the 101 is absolutely terrible.
I think it depends on the time of day a bit. 8AM or earlier and it's not terrible. The afternoons are admittedly a bit worse. That being said, Laurel Canyon and driving through the city is an option for the days that the 101 is a parking lot. Heck, if it's real bad, you can even take the 5 to the 2 and go around it.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:05 AM
 
1,182 posts, read 1,011,299 times
Reputation: 439
If you want good public schools, move to Orange County. The schools in L.A. suck. I would not send a dog to a school in L.A. proper. They are worse probably than the schools in Chicago are. Also your kids cannot wear red or blue in L.A. That will get them killed.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:26 PM
 
Location: The Valley
14 posts, read 19,232 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruin Rick View Post
Also your kids cannot wear red or blue in L.A. That will get them killed.
Wow, that is a pretty ignorant statement.

Moving on...

As for schooling, enroll your children in a private school.
The teachers in LA are the worst of the worst, the laziest of the laziest.
Just imagine if your job was not based on performance. It doesn't matter how ****ty the teachers are in LA, they still get raises, more benefits, more pension all the while our kids are getting more incoherent and more socially inept.

As for the area to live. All the areas that you mentioned are phenomenal. (i've personally lived in woodland hills and calabasas ) However, if you are going to be frequenting downtown LA, then you HAVE to consider that you will be driving on the WORST part of the 101 freeway. "Valley Circle (Woodland Hills) thru Studio City"

I seriously got fed up with the traffic I moved to Toluca Lake. It's a smaller neighborhood surrounded by Studio City/Burbank/Gendale/North Hollywood. However I find it comparable or even nicer than woodland hills.

There are good private school in the area and while you'll be still in some traffic traveling to downtown, you get to bypass the 101/134 interchange and the 405/101 interchange. THANK THE LORD!
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:22 PM
 
Location: L.A./O.C.
574 posts, read 1,208,252 times
Reputation: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruin Rick View Post
If you want good public schools, move to Orange County. The schools in L.A. suck. I would not send a dog to a school in L.A. proper. They are worse probably than the schools in Chicago are. Also your kids cannot wear red or blue in L.A. That will get them killed.
Moderator cut: rude, where in the world would you come up with that
i see plenty of people wearing blue or red in LA and they dont get killed

Moderator cut: profane

Last edited by Count David; 01-01-2012 at 08:41 AM.. Reason: see notes in post
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Earth
17,444 posts, read 24,692,054 times
Reputation: 7317
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRinSM View Post
Please remember that Majoun's comments about LAUSD are generalizations.
Do you or your wife work for LAUSD?
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:01 AM
 
1,182 posts, read 1,011,299 times
Reputation: 439
When I went to school, the schools in L.A. were among the BEST anywhere in the United States. They were well funded, hired the best teachers and administrators and they actually enforced discipline on us. Overly disruptive students were removed. They were not places you would be scared to send your children every morning. Every teacher I had was good except the 5th grade teacher. But one out of many is not bad. They kept on me and my siblings, they demanded the best from us and they actually had a relationship with our parents. What a difference now. The schools are falling apart from budget cuts, the teachers are mere baby sitters for the most part and the students don't give a damn about anything except what their "set" (gang) is going to do that night. Really, if you have kids, move to Orange County. It is worth avoiding the schools in L.A.
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