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Thread summary:

Moving to Los Angeles: traffic, find a job, downtown, rent an apt, College.

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Old 01-29-2008, 10:52 PM
Location: Redondo Beach, California
71 posts, read 342,710 times
Reputation: 42


You can get a single or one bedroom in some areas that are not terrible for your price range and there are jobs out there. One of the great things about LA is that it has so many different kinds of industry and retail to choose from.

I agree - check craigs list for rentals and roommates if you think you want to do the roommate thing. It's completely doable.

As far as beach and snowboarding, hell yeah! It's about two hours from the beach to the mountain ski areas and you would be living at some point in between the two/ There's also the desert to think about too in terms of recreational activities, there's hiking, camping, etc. That is one of LA's big draws, that there is so much to do in the general area and they are all no more than day trips.

I'd check out Long Beach for rentals in the South Bay. Otherwise I'd go to the San Fernando Valley area.

You might want to check out some temporary housing on craigs list for coming here and then take a look around yourself for something more permanent. It's hard to make decisions about where to live until you've actually seen it for yourself. Expect to make a deposit equal to the monthly rent for most places in LA, though. I've noticed that goes down quite a bit outside LA but here in LA landlords tend to want the full month's rent.

Also, in the South Bay studios and even one bedrooms tend to come with stove and refrigerator included, and sometimes even utilities included. From my friend the landlord in the San Fernando Valley they aren't usually included up there. Just something to pay attention to when considering the rental price.

If you live and work on one of the rail or bus lines then you don't have to have a car but it's still hard to get around in general. People I know who use the rail like it but again it really limits where you live and where you work in terms of accessability. And it's not uncommon for public transportation to take forever due to lack of enough bus lines and enough rail lines. The MTA seems to be run by people who have never needed to take a bus in their lives and just don't have any concept of it. They are totall focused on the 'subway' light rail system that doesn't really service most of LA and will shut down bus lines to pay for it if they have to. I mean, look at the Green line: It's final destination was a small waterpark in Redondo Beach. The hell? It didn't even get to the airport or to the major industrial areas just south of LAX, it just stops in this weird place. It runs east-west from the South LA corridor through Watts and Willowbrook and ends up at a now defunct waterpark. The mind boggles at the poor planning and waste involved.

The line (is it red or blue?) that runs through Long Beach and goes north is much better set up to get you places you actually need to go.

Good luck with your search and don't be discouraged.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:01 AM
267 posts, read 798,111 times
Reputation: 146
I'm 24 and have been living in L.A. my entire life.

1.) Ideally I want to find an area where I can find a 1 - 2 bedroom for about $1000 a month or maybe a studio for around $800 or less. Where are some good and reasonably safe areas with those type of apartment prices?

You will probably want to look in the valley. Check out Studio City, Burbank, Valley Village, and Sherman Oaks. I had a 2 bedroom for $1200 right on the boarder of Studio City and North Hollywood about 2 years ago. I saw quite a few 1 bedrooms for under $1000 in those areas recently when I was looking at rents again and I saw tons of studios for your pricerange. Don't go too far North in the valley as those are the less desirable areas. Check out craigslist often, and put in specific areas in the search box. I suggested those areas because they are cheaper than the Westside of L.A. yet very close to Hollywood, downtown, etc. There are definitely deals in L.A. if you look hard enough and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

2.) I have heard horror stories about the public transit, is it really that bad? What types are there and are there many people who commute in the LA area? I basically was wondering if it was 100% required to have a car at all times.

I would definitely suggest a car. I don't know anyone here who doesn't have one except the lower income who really have no other choice. The subway is limited to where it goes, and doesn't go anywhere near the ocean. The only way to get all over are buses, and those are not fun to ride. L.A. is REALLY spread out, so yes I would suggest 100% to try to have a car here.

3.) Are jobs generally hard to come by? I'm talking general jobs like retail and etc?

Jobs are plentiful here. If you meet the right people and know where to look, you can make as much or more than anyone with a college degree. If you're just looking for retail or a job like that, you will have NO problem finding a job. If you're aiming for something a little better, it's def. possible. My friend had a job when she was 20 years old making $17 an hour answering phones at a dating company.

4.) Now for the fun questions. About how far would I have to travel to get to a good beach where I could surf and how far would I have to travel to find a mountain where I could snowboard?

Ok, here's the deal. If you're living in the valley, you will be a little further from the beach than the Westside but, it's still not far. It's a 15 minute drive without traffic. If you have a car you'll quickly learn the times of day that is (usually from about 10am to 2pm except Fridays). Mountain High is the closest mountain for snowboarding and has some great runs, but it gets crowded there. It's about an hour drive to get there. Bear Mountain and Snow Summit is a little further (about an hour and a half to two hours) but it's a little less crowded and is a little better. Overall, it's great to be able to go to the beach and the mountain in the same day!

Don't get discouraged about all the negative comments. L.A. is an amazing city, especially when you're young. I'm going on 25 and leaving because I'm married now and we want to own a home. I wouldn't trade the years I lived here for the world though. It's so much fun and you will never run out of things to do. I still find new places to go all the time and I've lived here my entire life. My husband is originally from Georgia and after living here never wants to go back to his small southern town again. I highly suggest L.A., you'll love it!
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