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Old 09-22-2008, 02:48 PM
27 posts, read 111,974 times
Reputation: 18


I am planning to move to Southern California when I finish law school and with the housing market so depressed I was thinking I might try to find a house. Looking at listings I am curious which areas of the city I am least likely to have my house or car broken into or be caught in some type of gang shoot out.

(obviously my conception of LA comes from Movies and documentaries) but which neighborhoods are safe, and which should I avoid?
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:24 PM
11,151 posts, read 15,829,054 times
Reputation: 18844
I'm too new in town to be able to tell you about the specific neighborhoods, but when I was apartment hunting, I found the LAPD's Crime Map site to be very useful. Simply type in an address, and you can see all reported crimes for the past week.
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:12 PM
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 19,757,166 times
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where will you be attending school. that will help narrow it down. the la basin is enormous
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:33 PM
Location: Los Angeles, CA
419 posts, read 1,449,458 times
Reputation: 181
Congrats on finishing law school!

Having moved around quite a bit in So Cal (4 counties, 3 owned homes, 8 addresses over 7 years), here's some free advice you can take or leave:

1) Figure out what's important to you. What's next after safety? In other words, is commute time a factor? Affordability? Walkability? Accessibility to night life? Future job prospects? Demographics? Rank your criteria because there are always trade-offs.

2) Rent. We made the mistake (obviously) of pulling the trigger on purchasing before truly vetting the area. We discovered nuances about the area that were just not possible to discern without living there at least a few months. Bonus: renting is still much cheaper than buying. That's how you can tell this is bubble pricing - even with the recent downturn. Here's the NY Times reference rent vs. buy calculator.

3) To answer your specific question, check LA Life - it's a good starting point that has costs (expressed in cost / foot for a purchase), safety (expressed on a scale according to crime stats by reporting station), and school info (which you're presumably less concerned about).

This is a good tool to narrow things down.

4) RE: proximity to jobs -- I'm a fan of using job search engines to find "hot spots" for employment -- simplyhired.com and indeed.com aggregate job posts from nearly every job board, so you can get a sense of how outlying a given town is to job density (not perfect, but a decent guage).

5) RE: Safety and statistics... for what its worth, I lived in an expensive part of Irvine (an orange county city that is considered one of the safest in the US) and had my car broken into in January of this year. It happens EVERYWHERE. We are in the LA city of Burbank now and feel the safest, even though the stats may not prove out - the primary difference is we have neighbors that look out for one another and an active, visible police department. There is noise in the numbers due to the stark neighborhood diversity, even within the same city, as parts of Burbank border not-so-nice neighborhoods and there's a substantial airport on the other end of town.

Point is, there are always exceptions, but the websites I shared should be a good starting point to narrow down a list of a few cities.

Best wishes with your search and your future, wherever they lead you.
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:09 PM
1,714 posts, read 6,052,894 times
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^^GREAT post, ConsideringLA. ^^
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:16 PM
Location: los angeles
5,032 posts, read 12,606,184 times
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Basically it is easier to point out the higher crime areas than the rest of the city. Anywhere in South LA or parts of East LA. In the San Fernando valley, areas north of Burbank [Arleta\ Pacoima\ Panorama City\ parts of Van Nuys\ Sepulveda] have gangs & crime. Parts of the San Gabriel valley around El Monte\ Pico Rivera are also gang-ridden.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:07 PM
5,408 posts, read 12,661,015 times
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how close to LA(central core/downtown) do you want to be?
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