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Old 07-13-2012, 05:39 PM
 
17 posts, read 15,056 times
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Hello! I'm going to relocate from NYC (Chelsea) to Los Angeles with my writer husband, kindergartner and third-grader. We're looking for a home in a neighborhood with excellent public schools, a high walkability score, proximity to parks and playgrounds, grocery stores and Starbucks, etc. within walking distance and an easy, outdoorsy lifestyle. I'd like to find a pretty house/apartment/duplex in a neighborhood with sidewalks and some semblance of a lawn. My husband may work at a TV studio or film studio (still TBD) so ideally we'd be in a spot that's centrally located so he wouldn't be in a car all the time. Where would you recommend? A family friend recommends Beverly Hills for the schools and central location, another recommends Santa Monica because of the more laid-back life.. and I just have no idea. Where would you recommend? Thanks very much for your help!
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:31 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 18,470,969 times
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Hard to find that anywhere close to the heart of LA, imho, because the schools are so awful. Belmont Shore or Naples in Long Beach on the other hand, is a pretty darn good fit.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Norteh Bajo Americano
1,507 posts, read 1,907,108 times
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I like the areas in Santa Monica around Douglas Park and along Main street south of the 10 fwy near the Venice border. I think there are several good elementary schools within LAUSD and some charters within LA city in areas like Cheviot Hills, Westwood, Larchmont, Los Feliz, Studio City, Silverlake. All these areas are pretty upscale.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:15 PM
 
17 posts, read 15,056 times
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Thank you both!
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1 posts, read 1,778 times
Reputation: 10
It depends where the film studio is located. Downtown LA, Hollywood or in the Valley..
There are beautiful areas with excellent schools around Beverly Hills, Beverlywood, Westwood etc. But also Toluca Lake, Studio City, Encino..

Maybe you contact a local real estate agent, they know about schools and family friendly areas.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica
27 posts, read 43,782 times
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I just came to move in Santa Monica and it's very walkable. Everything (well almost) is right about your door. Plenty of cafés, restaurants shops (the promenade). I also personnally really like Ocean Ave and the fact that the beach (where you have full of space to play with your kids) is right down the street. Gorgeous sunset guaranteed!

If you have the budget, you can buy a house in North of Montana where you can have a Single Family home with a back yard but still having all the amenities you need to walking distance. I really like the place.

Dont know about the schools, I don't have kids yet... I heard that LAUSD Schools were crap but is SM in the district?

If you need anything more info about Santa Monica, you're free to ask me. It'll be my pleasure!
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Earth
17,443 posts, read 26,104,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quebec_surgeon View Post
I just came to move in Santa Monica and it's very walkable. Everything (well almost) is right about your door. Plenty of cafés, restaurants shops (the promenade). I also personnally really like Ocean Ave and the fact that the beach (where you have full of space to play with your kids) is right down the street. Gorgeous sunset guaranteed!

If you have the budget, you can buy a house in North of Montana where you can have a Single Family home with a back yard but still having all the amenities you need to walking distance. I really like the place.

Dont know about the schools, I don't have kids yet... I heard that LAUSD Schools were crap but is SM in the district?

If you need anything more info about Santa Monica, you're free to ask me. It'll be my pleasure!
LAUSD schools are worse than you can imagine.

However, Santa Monica is not in LAUSD. Neither is Beverly Hills. Both have their own districts.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:47 AM
 
724 posts, read 803,999 times
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Your husband could end up working in SM, W/Hollywood or the Valley, and the commute he has will make a huge difference to everyone's happiness, so you'll be in a better position once you have some certainty as to where he'll be. Will he be commuting each day, does he have flexibility in terms of time, can he work from home, all those things will make a difference in your location decision.

Prices are high in both Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, either to rent or buy, but coming from New York, there may not be too much difference.

In terms of schools, we have two kids in elementary school in Santa Monica and the school system is pretty good. We feel quite happy about them continuing on through public middle and high school here. I don't know much about the Beverly Hills district, but it seems to get fairly universal approval.

There are a lot of problems with LAUSD and yes there are some awful schools in the system, but I don't think it is quite as dire as many people portray, at least at the elementary level. There are some excellent elementary schools within LAUSD, but you have to do your research first and figure out which ones they are, eg Wonderland Avenue Elementary School in Laurel Canyon, which is also a gifted magnet school (and that area would place you quite well for access to both W Hollywood and the Valley); Clover Avenue in West LA and Overland Avenue Elementary Schools in Cheviot Hills. There are a number of others. Good middle and particularly high schools are harder to come by, but they are there if you look. Use the Great Schools website as well as Ask A Magnet Yenta to piece together a suitable track for your kids. As always, a crucial factor is how involved the community of parents is with the school.

I haven't lived anywhere else in LA with children, but our experience has been that Santa Monica is a great place to live as a family. Very well-served by parks, pools, playgrounds, and can't beat the proximity to the beach. We use our bikes a lot with our 6 and 10 year old sons, and walk to school, parks, cafes, etc. Very safe generally, with the exception of a few pockets, and even those areas aren't that bad.

It's also a great place to live as an adult. Very strong creative community - music, art, writing, performance, film, television. The community generally is strong and tolerant, with a good diverse mix of people who have come from every corner of the globe, and people who grew up in the area and whose kids are going to the same school they went to as a child.

My perception is that kids and families have more of a presence in Santa Monica (at least in Sunset Park) than in Beverly Hills. Just seem to see more of them around, in the parks, on the street, etc. Your children would probably be happy here - space, a moderate climate, more relaxed, less intense, but still close to everything on offer in an urban environment.

But there are lots of other places you could look at too, all with good schools and reasonable environments, such as Burbank, Glendale, Topanga, Culver City. It will eventually come back to employment location and commuting.

Good luck!
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:12 PM
 
8 posts, read 22,779 times
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Yes, North of Montana Ave sounds like a fit. No idea about the public elementary school, but it's not too far away.
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