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Old 01-19-2010, 01:21 PM
20 posts, read 66,283 times
Reputation: 12


Hi all,
I am pretty sure this is a tired topic, but I need some assistance here. I recently graduated from an MBA program in the Miami, FL area. I have accepted a position in Burbank, and I need to know some information.

Has anyone on this forum ever lived in South Florida-specifically Miami or Fort Lauderdale-and moved to LA? I am a little nervous about the change; I feel like it will be dramatic. I have been to LA many times in the past, so I know from a tourist's perspective what to expect from the city. Though coming from a place many people move to, I know perception is 9 times out of 10 wrong when it comes to living somewhere. That said, here are my questions:

1. In my new position, my pay is over $100,000-not much though. Are there areas in which people rent that can accommodate this income level? I've heard horror stories about rent and neighborhoods in LA done entirely online. Miami is surprisingly inexpensive (in certain areas) to rent. I have a couple friends in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, so this area is attractive to us.

2. How is the commute into Burbank from say, the south shore area?

3. Is crime really an issue, or is it blown way out of proportion in the media? Maybe limited to select parts of the metro area?

So anyway, I know many of you may have answered these questions 100 times, but my wife is really apprehensive about moving to LA-she's a New York girl. The job is an excellent opportunity, so we're going to move. I want to make sure we make informed decisions rather than rely on information gathered from Google or Wikipedia. We are making another trip out soon to look for apartments, etc. A starting point is mostly what I am looking for here.

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:34 PM
10,630 posts, read 23,936,811 times
Reputation: 6716
I'll leave the FL comparisons to others, but here's a couple of comments to get you started.

Assuming you don't have huge amounts of debt and don't expect to live in the lap of luxury, $100k will allow you to live a comfortable lifestyle.

Crime is bad in some areas, not so bad in other areas. I think it has been blown out of proportion in the national media. With your salary you won't have to live in a rough neighborhood, so odds are that you won't have to worry about crime any more than in any other city.

For your wife: what are her concerns in particular? For what it's worth, we moved to LA from DC (originally from the Midwest); I thought I'd HATE LA. I don't drive, love NYC, consider myself a "city" person, the whole deal... turned out I absolutely loved LA. It depends on where you live, though. There's such a range of neighborhoods, so picking the right one will make all the difference.

I don't know what the commute is like from Hermosa/Manhattan Beach to Burbank, but assume it will be brutal. I'm sure people do it, though. Just be prepared to spend a lot of time in the car.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:42 PM
Location: South Bay
7,141 posts, read 19,527,516 times
Reputation: 3402
you'd be looking at an hour and a half commute from the south bay (not south shore) to burbank each way, possibly longer. i would highly recommend living much closer to burbank. burbank itself is nice, but if you want to be closer to the action check out studio city, los feliz, silverlake, or even hollywood. there are also quiter, more suburban neighborhoods nearby as well.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:28 PM
Location: Los Angeles......So. Calif. an Island on the Land
736 posts, read 2,047,698 times
Reputation: 473
I am an LA native but have lived on the east coast before. I also have a cousin that has lived in Flordia for nearly 20 years. I have spent considerable time in Miami/So. Fla.

First of all, congrats on securing a job from far away in an area where unemployment is above 12%. Agree with Uptown Urbanist, you will have no problem renting and living in a comfortable, secure area. Now the hard part, where to live without a killer commute. THIS IS A KEY to having a GOOD QUALITY of LIFE HERE, in my opinion.

Crime is at 40 year LOWS here in LA City and County. Nothing like it was 20 years ago when gang warfare and the crack epidemic were at their peak. Much safer now. Don't get me wrong, it's a big city and if you lived in a sketchy area it would be different. But on your salary that will NOT be a concern.

Yes, the South Bay to Burbank is a tough commute. That said, people do it. I have a co-worker whose brother-in-law commutes from Redondo Beach to Burbank. He makes a good chunk of change in the entertainment field so obvisouly he thinks its worth it. Granted if you are looking the MOST laid back beach lifestyle the SO. BAY cities are the BEST LA COUNTY has to offer (Hermosa, Redondo, Manhattan).

That said, I think SANTA MONICA would make your commute much more reasonable and you'd still have a beach town environment with many urban amenities to boot. As a New Yorker, your wife MIGHT enjoy Santa Monica more than the very laid back South Bay. More things to do and closer to close-in urban areas like Hollywood or Downtown LA (yes, we have a downtown and it's actually a very intersting place making great strides toward revitalization).

If I was working in Burbank, I would ALSO consider living in PASADENA. Perhaps its too far inland for your tastes, but it is a charming city with great architecture, housing, a walkable downtown, a great mountain backdrop, and very close to BURBANK. Granted the downside is the SMOG is worse in Pasadena than the beach communities. But remember the FOG is worse in the Beach communities than it is inland.

I think this is a key point for someone going from So.Fla to LA and considering living at the beach here. This is a Mediterranean climate and the Labrador current from Alaska pushes cold water down the Pacific Coast. This equates to some VERY MILD days...including the summer when you'll be thrilled to see the high not go above 75 degrees on many days.

That said, you'll find the water to be frigid most of the year and even in summer the nights can get somewhat cool at the beach where you'll want to wear a light sweatshirt at night and even at sunset some evenings (in the summer). Granted after a 90 degree 90% humidity day in Miami, the So.Calif. summers will be a DELIGHT in many ways. But just be prepared for the relative "coolness" of the coast as compared to the more inland locations in So.Calif. We do get JUNE GLOOM (esp. on the coast) where many foggy days will blanket the coast and you might be thinking why am I paying so much to live by the beach when it's sunny a few miles inland!

Last but not least: MIAMI's winters are perfect for my tastes.....but I'll take the LA/So.Calif. summers over Miami by a LONG SHOT. Even in the so called "hot" inland portions of SoCalif. like Burbank or Pasadena, in my opinion, the SUMMER is FAR MORE TOLERABLE than Miami. Yes, we have a dry heat which means at night the temps drop considerably. So a stroll on a summer evening in Old Town Pasadena is usually VERY PLEASANT even on hot days. I'll never forget a comment I heard from a guy I met from SoFla. who moved to So.Calif., "I've never worn my clothes so well as I have here in Los Angeles." Meaning, the lack of humidity = not sweating all the time and needing a shower every ten minutes!

Just remember to put a wet suit on before you jump in the Pacific!

Last edited by Island_OnThe_Land; 01-19-2010 at 02:38 PM..
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:01 PM
Location: Los Angeles......So. Calif. an Island on the Land
736 posts, read 2,047,698 times
Reputation: 473
One Last Bit of Info on Your Crime Question. Yes, you should feel very safe. Don't have the stats but pretty sure LA is now MUCH SAFER than Miami.

A recent piece in the LA Times (12/09) reported that “Homicides” have declined to levels not seen since the 1960s. And crime in Los Angeles County dropped again in 2009 despite rising unemployment and the bad economy, continuing a slide that has pushed homicides to levels not seen since the 1960s.

In LA County there were about 500 killings in all of 2009, a sharp drop in bloodshed compared with the more than 1,500 in 1992, the year of the Los Angeles riots.

The current totals are part of a long-term trend over 15 years and are a fraction of the killings that occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the county had roughly a million fewer residents, but its urban core was in the grip of a crack cocaine epidemic and gang violence.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:46 PM
Location: Windermere, FL
269 posts, read 817,795 times
Reputation: 172
I'd recommend Pasadena to live. The commute is awesome to Burbank, I work for Disney so I can certainly testify to that. The weather overall is better in California but I too prefer the winter months of Florida to the much cooler weather here. Having said that...it's certainly not DC weather!

The difference comes down to cost of living for me. It's not even in the same universe as Florida. You can buy a nice condo in Miami with ocean views for what $300k? That would be the required down payment here for a simlar condo close the beach. 100k for two people gives you an okay lifestyle, nothing great but not a bad starting point either.
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:00 PM
12 posts, read 39,129 times
Reputation: 18
Just to add a few more thoughts here as I'm also exploring moving to the South Bay while working in the Burbank area.

I happen to grew up in South Florida (13+ years) in W. Broward Country so more subburby then the metro areas of downtown Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. So for me it was more like moving from a planned community (think Coral Springs, Parkland) subburb into a heavily congested city where you drive everywhere and an hour is the normal driving time.

Within LA there are no subburbs like that, those exist south in OC (Irvine). But if you're use to the metro life of Miami, I actually felt that WestSide (Santa Monica) is similar to Miami South Beach area although Santa Monica is way more touristy (it has a roller coaster and ferris wheel) and South Beach is more trendy with clubs that you would find more in the Sunset strip.

One thing, the waters is FL are much much warmer, but I actually hated the humidity in FL growing up and haven't experienced that much here but you do get the smog which can be gross. But in general prefer the weather here than in FL.

Currently living in the San Gabriel Valley area (just south of Pasadena, which does get HOT) and have friends on the West Side so will commute out there a lot. Lots of co-workers live in the Pasadena area which can be fun, the commute is about 45 minute (leaving at 9am) and similar in the evenings (no traffic you can get there in 20 minutes flat). Friday evenings are the worse and have spent 1.5 to 2 hrs sitting in traffic trying to get home. At which point I'd rather just stay till 7pm, but who wants to stay that late on a Friday?

Alternatively, Santa Monica area is not too bad cause it's reverse commute on the 405 and it's a much more predicatable 45 minutes each way including on Fridays.

Looking at South Bay, I have co-workers who live in N Redondo, and Hermosa, and their commute is an hour (but again on Friday evenings it's terrible everywhere). Apparently if you leave at 6am, you can get to Burbank in 45m from Hermosa. South Redondo is nice and the beaches are more secluded but the commute to the highway is terrible (you could easily add another 20-30 minutes to your commute if you live in S Redondo vs N Redondo).

For NYC lifestyle you'd be looking to LA downtown which they are revitalizing the area but that's if you really want the cosmo feel.

The traffic does suck here but it is manageable, I went from a 15 minute commute (my old job) to now a 45m to an hour. First week I hated my drive, but like with anything you just get "use to it" and got an ipod to listen to music in the traffic.

Where you live will largely depend on where you fall on the "live to work" vs "work to live" equation.

If you're thinking non-beaches than why not also look at Burbank? Burbank downtown is under going a revamp with new entertainment complex and condos, plus safe and good school districts. There's a couple large apt complexes that are being built in Burbank too (on Empire) that maybe worth checking out.

Best of luck and congrats!
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:31 PM
6,556 posts, read 10,299,114 times
Reputation: 8329
Well my family moved from California to Florida but in my opinion, it was a big fat mistake. Just consider yourself lucky cause your getting an upgrade moving to California. The culture in S. Florida is getting continually out of control with ghetto teens taking over. It doesn't matter where you move to in California, I'm sure it's more progressive than there!
Good luck!

My suggestions to you (be close to your job or friends):
Hermosa Beach
Manhattan Beach
Redondo Beach

There are currently DOZENS of young 20-somethings renting their house on Craigslist with friends or people of similar age. It's a good deal too. You pay 1/4 or 1/3 of the rent of the house which is usually $400-700 at the most. You get your own room and bed, electricity is low, internet/tv (included majority of x), and a big house with a kitchen, living room, etc. The only thing is you just share it with several people but at least your in LA with a decent pad and proximity to restaurants, stores, or different cities in LA.

Craigslist - West/Southbay Shared Rooms
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