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Old 02-06-2010, 06:59 PM
9 posts, read 24,062 times
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Hi. My husband and I are both in our early thirties, with a 3-year old and another on the way. We are moving because my husband's territory for work has changed. With that said, we can live anywhere in California. Most of his business will be in LA, and we've heard the commute from SD is crazy (SD was our first choice). We don't know much about the area, so please advise us. Please keep the following in mind:

We clearly want to rent since we are keeping the house we own in Phoenix. Rent Max = $4000. We want a house with at minimum 3 bedrooms (not an apartment), with at least a small yard...we're leaving our beautiful pool .

School districts are quite important, since we'd rather use the public school system over private.

We'd like to live in a community with other young families and lots of recreational activities for kids (sports, etc.).

I know crime is everywhere, but please point out some of the safer areas and possibly let me know places we should beware of.

We also need to be relatively close to LA proper...not too far inland.

Finally, please let me know if our budget for rent is unreasonable for what we are looking for.

Thanks for any and all advice!
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:04 PM
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,345 posts, read 84,701,631 times
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Budget sounds fine.
For neighborhoods with young kids, look for young neighborhoods.
Use School Performance Maps to find potentially good schools.

Where exactly will his office be?
What are realistic commute/territory patterns? Meaning, Thousand Oaks might be nice, Mission Viejo might be nice but they're on totally opposite sides of the greater LA area.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:15 PM
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My husband works in sales, and he does not have an office in town. So to answer your question, he will be traveling the entire area of LA...nothing is set in stone. His territory also includes other states, and all of CA so we do need to be in close range to the airport...30 mins to 1 hr.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:39 PM
10,630 posts, read 23,936,811 times
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You'll have a number of options with that budget, but my personal favorite is South Pasadena; very good schools, fairly central location, tons of kids, a strong sense of community, and kind of a small town feel. They have a fourth of July parade, a weekly farmers market, lots of activities for kids, a genuine route 66 soda fountain (popular with kids, and right next to a toy store!), and a lot of beautiful homes. We'd live there still if we hadn't had to transfer for my husband's job. You can search the forum for more details on South Pasadena, as it comes up a lot as a family-friendly option. It's also adjacent to Pasadena (which is also very nice, but isn't known for its public schools), so you'd have very easy access to all of the museums (including a children's museum) and other resources there. South Pasadena's Garfield Park is especially nice for young families, as there's a great playground there.

Do you have a preference as to type of neighborhood or architecture? You can afford to be somewhat picky with that budget. South Pasadena (and other surrounding areas with high-ranking public schools: San Marino, La Canada, Arcadia etc.) have mostly older homes (. Very, very nice and well-maintained older homes, along with some modern architecture, but if your preferences ran towards modern subdivisions with new construction, for example, you won't find it there.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:50 PM
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I would actually prefer a more modern home/new construction, but it seems hard to find in most of LA. Are you saying I probably won't find it in South Pasadena? If so, is there a secondary location that you would recommend? I will definitely search South Pasadena anyhow. Several people have told my husband a lot of the same things that you said. Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:47 PM
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There are some modern houses in South Pasadena; I suppose the more accurate thing to say is that the majority of homes are older, and you won't find modern subdivisions or vast tracts of modern homes. There are newer homes mixed in with the older, some designed to fit in with the many Craftsman style houses in the area, and some with more contemporary looks. There are also older homes that have been extensively expanded and updated (with expanded modernized kitchens, etc.) that in many ways they are essentially new construction. I know there are some modern townhomes in South Pasadena, too.

I'm not sure what areas have the greatest amount of new construction options that fit your requirements; you can find new options mixed in with the old, but for entire neighborhoods you start to get less centrally located. Someone mentioned Thousand Oaks; that's more of a modern upscale suburb with a lot of more modern options, but it's also (as mentioned) not in the middle of things. I'm not sure how long the commute from LAX would be; probably not pleasant. Burbank has an airport, too, which might be a closer drive from that direction.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:17 PM
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,782,649 times
Reputation: 1893
You'll find more modern construction in south Orange County and you'll be close to a large airport (John Wayne/SNA). LA County is pretty much built out and older. Look in to cities like Aliso Viejo that are definitive family communities, close to the 5/405, and thus close to the airport as well as have access to the two main arteries into anywhere in LA(5 and 405 freeways, as well as SD or northern CA). Many of the places in Aliso Viejo are under 15 years old, and neighboring communities in the Saddleback Valley are of similar age for the most part. Full of young families, very strong youth sports programs, outdoors things to do(trails, nice beach not too far[big downside of Pasadena], etc).

If you look for a little older housing, Cypress is near Long Beach Airport and 30 minutes from John Wayne while being a bit more central to LA(on the border of LA and Orange County and near to the 91 for access to the Inland Empire). Lots of 80s era housing and some early 90s(Sorrento development I believe) in Cypress and great schools(Oxford is one of the highest rated academic HS in the nation[top 5]) and sports programs as well as being 20min from the beach.

To the north of LA you'll find Santa Clarita should have a lot of newer construction with families as well, but you're a bit further from an airport, and Burbank(which I believe is the closest) is not as big an airport as John Wayne.
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