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Old 07-24-2009, 12:48 PM
49 posts, read 200,919 times
Reputation: 24


Specifically, I was hoping to hear from people who have lived in both areas or who are familiar enough with both to provide their pro's and con's.

More specifically, I am looking to compare Woodland Hills, Encino, Sherman Oaks, and Studio City, south of Ventura for a SFR.

From a housing cost perspective, it seems that moving west to east, it gets pricier. I have lived in Sherman Oaks once before (rented home down in the hills, a few blocks north of Mulholland) I really liked the area because it could have easily been the Hollywood Hills, same layout, peaceful, away from the traffic of Ventura, etc. That being said, while living there with my wife, we often found ourselves driving to Studio City or back over the hill to the westside if we wanted a night out, dinners, etc. We were not big fans of the Sherman Oaks Galleria, it seemed that the demographic there was more teenage skater kids than anything else.

I like Studio City for the fact that the strip of Ventura from Coldwater down to Vineland definitely has more "hip" places to shop and eat, you have your requisite Urban Outfitters, they just opened The Counter burger joint, they seem to attract more of the types of restaurants/shops that you would find on the westside or Beverly Hills. I have found Studio City is the closest thing in the Valley to the westside, in that regard. In addition, you are a 15 min drive over Laurel Cyn/Coldwater/Bev Glen to get down to the basin.

Encino seems more of a "grownup" version of Studio City. From the time I moved to LA 10 years ago, when I barely knew any of the neighborhoods, I was told by longtime locals that Encino was where the lawyers/doctors/CEOs/movie bigwigs lived when they wanted to be just far enough away from the basin, but close enough for work. It seems to have that upper class demographic, especially in the areas south of the blvd (down Hayvenhurst, etc). Since I lived in Sherman Oaks previously, I drove through Encino a ton, I love the houses south of Ventura, seems to be a very family friendly area, Lanai Road Elementary seems to be a top notch public school, so that is an attraction as well.

Woodland Hills I know the least about. I have only really been there a few times when I have gone to the big malls on Topanga. But it seems the area has every convenience that others areas of the Valley have, plus it seems, based on my research, that you can get more bang for the buck on a home there as well. The drawbacks, as I see them, are longer commute time to Century City (vs. Encino/Sherman Oaks/Studio City) and that Woodland Hills turns into a freaking oven in the summers with the highest temps in all of LA. But then again, if I can buy a house south of Ventura (near WH Country Club) for 75% of what a similar house would cost me in Studio City, maybe it's worth looking into??

One issue that my wife and I are weighing in terms of where we ultimately purchase a home is the demographic of the neighborhood, not necessarily the cultural/racial make-up, but the quality of what our neighbors might be. I don't mean to sound snobbish or offensive, but we are both professionals, graduate degrees, etc and would prefer to be amidst other professionals, intellectuals, business people, etc. People who care about maintaining there homes, who are active in their kids activities, that sort of thing.

Thanks for all feedback.
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:00 PM
Location: South Bay
7,226 posts, read 22,205,374 times
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in my experiences, the further west you go, the more suburban the neighborhoods start to feel and the hotter it gets. if you didn't know any better, you could confuse ventura blvd with 3rd st or beverly blvd on the other side of the hill as long as you are east of the 405. as you get further west, ventura blvd changes quite a bit, with more parking lots and mini malls.
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:01 PM
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,329 posts, read 93,793,178 times
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Originally Posted by egold70 View Post

From a housing cost perspective, it seems that moving west to east, it gets pricier.
You probably already know this but the bigger gradient is from the center of the valley to the edges.

Woodland Hills is much more expensive $/sqft than Reseda, Van Nuys, and maybe even most of Burbank even though WH is so far west.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:33 PM
Location: NoHo (North Hollywood)
448 posts, read 1,606,808 times
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Having lived on both sides of the Valley, I would say the personalities are definitely quite different.

Woodland Hills tends to have the older and more suburban-like demographic whereas Studio City and Sherman Oaks tend to have the younger and more urban-like demographic.

Woodland Hills is murder in the Summer; sometimes as much as 15 degrees hotter than Studio City. Don't get me wrong though, Studio City can have days very similar to Woodland Hills in the summer and since it's in the Valley, it is still aching hot.

Both locales tend to have residents that care about their property values and care about their lawns/homes, etc. I would say with the West side of the Valley being more suburban, you may have more of that community involvement than you might see in the East side Valley. As a matter of fact, Woodland Hills neighborhood council just threw a nice park party with live bands and food two weeks ago. While the East Valley has some get togethers, they are not as frequest as the Woodland Hills side (which is what I'm more familiar with when it comes to West side.)

Having lived in Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, Toluca Lake and Studio City most of my life, the East Valley would be more appropriate based on your requirements for city living and weather coolness; however, when it comes to family/child/next door neighbor involvement, you will see more of that in the West Valley (far West).
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