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Los Angeles- Some Q's

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru June 2002 » Archive Thru May 2002 » Los Angeles- Some Q's « Previous Next »

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Angryp
Posted on Monday, May 6, 2002 - 2:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

There are definitely some plusses to living in Manhattan. Bragging rights and convenience tops among them. Living in Jersey City, I have it easier than most commuters. Even with Manhattan a short PATH ride away, I find I have to plan ahead when I want to go out to eat, see movies, or make trips to museums. When I lived in Manhattan, I could be a lot more spontaneous.

Still, if I had to do it over, I would probably skip the Manhattan experience. It's just *so* expensive to live there, relative to most anywhere else in the country. IMHO, you get so little back for the huge amount you have to spend to live there, it just isn't worth it (at least for me).

I'd love to move to either of the Villages or the upper west. But I think I'll be looking at houses north of the City by the time I'm making enough money to consider moving back.
_Blackjack
Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2002 - 3:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The one advantage of living in Manhattan (as opposed to other burroughs) is that, whatever happens, you can pretty much walk home from anywhere on the island. Of course, when I lived there, I had the advantage of a mother who got subsidized faculty housing from NYU. That walk wouldn't have seemed nearly so convenient if I'd been paying my own rent.

Sigh. I do miss it, but much of my lifestyle (like car ownership) is no longer compatible with Manhattan. Heck, even the closer-in spots across the way, like Williamsburg and Greenpoint have become prohibative. I wonder what rents are like in the "stench of death" zone downtown. (I'd feel bad about thinking that if I didn't know half the city was wondering the same thing by October...)

Around here, an awful lot of people are moving to West Virginia, since the commute is only about an extra 45-minutes (since it already takes an hour to get ANYWHERE around here at rush-hour) and you can get a whole house for what you'd put into a down-payment closer in.

Sigh. I never thought I'd get old enough to care abut real-estate prices. Wasn't there supposed to be a nuclear war?
Admin
Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2002 - 10:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

heh, I forgive you!

I had the *feeling* anyhow ...
Marccampbell
Posted on Sunday, May 5, 2002 - 9:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just sold my 700 sq. ft. apartment in New York City's Greenwich Village for $365,000. Thats right, $365,000. With part of that money I bought a house in Taos, New Mexico. My house in Taos is an 1800 sq. ft. adobe, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, hot tub, 2 kiva fireplaces,roof terrace, big front and back yards, mortgage: $600 a month.

kallisti,
I decided against moving to San Francisco. As much as I love the bay Area, its just too expensive.
Texsinthe
Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2002 - 4:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Angryp--At least you had the experience of living in Manhatton full-time. I went to school @HB studio in the eighties, and I NEVER DID even find a place in Manhatton. I lived in Elizabeth, NJ the whole time, and rode the bus or train in.
That was bad if I had to do a couple things in one day with an hour or two in between. Manhattan was the worst town to have to kill time in. There's no place to sit without spending money, and the city won't let you alone.
Texsinthe
Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2002 - 4:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I lived in Eagle Rock for about 5 years, and was pleasantly surprised at the good rent prices. It's a quirky neighborhood with a wide range of socio-econo strata.I prefer it to silverlake or echo park.
Alot of where you live in L.A. depends on what you want to do there, your income, your tolerance for traffic, and how tough you are.Many of people who move there try Hollywood first!
Angryp
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 11:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I came to my senses and moved out of Manhattan about five years ago. Was paying $1,200 for a 350 ft^2 studio in Grammercy. After the lease was up, the management company raised the rent to $1,500 and wanted another month's deposit (for a grand total of *five* months of rent on deposit). A 25% raise in rent after only two years was too much and I fled to Jersey City.

My neighborhood is a little dicey, but I have a 2 BR 1,000 ft^2 apartment w/oak floors, huge eat in kitchen, back yard, washer/dryer I don't have to pay for ($3/load in my last place) and cool landlords for $1,000/month.

I don't think I'll ever move back to Manhattan. Way too expensive. Way too little return on the money.
Raschied
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 10:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Come live in Sunny Sacramento: Decent neighborhood by the river, 1800 Sq foot house with 3 bedrooms. Monthly mortgage around $1100. Great train service to SF - I worked in Emeryville for over a year, which is just outside of Oakland.
Chevalier
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 7:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Pasadena and the higher altitudes of Altadena are magnificent. The commute from there to downtown L.A. is about 45 minutes, which is nothing by L.A. standards. Until recently, a friend of mine rented a 1920s, 2-bedroom Arts & Crafts-style court bungalow with a front yard for $550. On California St., just south of Lake Ave. in "old town" Pasadena.

Altadena is in the northern foothills overlooking Pasadena: it's rustic and dotted with 1900s woodframe houses and bungalows made for vacationing east coasters. Rent is increasing, but certain court bungalows can still be had for less than $650.

Note: Buying a house in Pasadena is very expensive, and in most cases the rents are pricey too. You have to really LOOK for something cheap. (Surprisingly, some of the coolest apartments are among the most reasonable; they are invariably older, from the 1930s and before.) And one part of Altadena, the west side, is dangerous; find housing away from it.
Nascentvirion
Posted on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 6:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I live right out side of Pittsburgh. Which is a nice city as long as you dont trend in the slummer parts of the North Side. Even Oakland can be a little rough sometimes but thats mostly college kids. So anyway, everytime I turn around there is a new little community of "insta mansions" popping up. These houses look really nice but they are also built really bad. We just had severe weather around here and several insta mansions were ruined, mainly because the roof was badly attached and couldnt stand up to 60 mph winds. Sure thats breezy but compared to older homes on the coast thats really nothing.
Destiny
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 5:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Moving to L.A." is way too general - the L.A. area is really big. I've lived in West Hollywood, Hollywood, the Valley and the suburbs. To get the same as what you have now, in a reasonable neighborhood, I'd plan on adding at least 50% to your current rent. The Valley isn't bad, no worse than the "West Side". If you like porno, go to the valley - porno capital of the world! But even "the valley" is a big area; some parts are nice and expensive and others are gang infested. Tolerance of traffic may also be something to consider. If you want a nice city that's 30 minutes from most anywhere, I'd suggest Pasadena.
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 5:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh, I know how bad San Fransisco is. The median in Arlington is still only about half that. It just bugs me that Arlington seems determined to folow SF's lead. I had really been considering buying a house and staying in Arlington, but if I'm going to have to pay that kind of money, I'd rather live somewhere more interesting.
Admin
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 5:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

median 1 bdrm rental in San Francisco has dropped to a 4 year low of $1700. one could barely afford that on $60,000.

chants: i'm thankful for my ugly bungalow. i'm thankful for my ugly bungalow. i'm thankful for my ugly bungalow...
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 3:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My neighborhood, in Arlington, VA, just outside of DC, used to be a nice family slum. It was mostly working-class Central-American and Southeat-Asian immigrants, but it was fairly safe and the rents were cheap. In the six years I've lived there, rents in the area have doubled or more, they have started tearing down pre-war bungalows and 1950's pre-fab Sears houses (not to mention a bunch of old trees) to put up mini-mansions and "Garage Townhomes from the Low $500k's". Dozens of local businesses have been wiped out for strip malls and luxury apartments. If I had not, by a stroke of luck, ended up being grandfathered in when my building was turned into subsidized middle-income housing*, I would not be able to afford to live where I am now living. You read that right. "Middle income". A single person making $30,000 can't aford to rent an apartment in my area now without assistance.

I dare not give up the apartment, because if I did, I would either have to move into the FAR suburbs, or into DC. I've thought about buying, but even the tiny 2 bedroom bungalows are going for $275k now...

DC's not so bad, but I'm willing to give up representation in congress OR my guns, not both.
Aroquentin
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 11:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

LA ain't so bad, lots of areas to look for something cheap. The valley isn't so horrible as people say, look for a nice part. Valley rents were DIRT cheap last time I checked. I mean they are begging you to take it, first and last month free, etc. Or on the westside there is West LA or Culver City that isn't bad. Two bedrooms are costly in "good areas" I would look for a 1-bedroom or smth similiar.
Wolfgang
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 11:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

And my fellow Canadian should add that we'r still paying huge taxes even if the government is cutting social programs everywhere.

Did I say we'r paying huge taxes ? Yes, but I'll say it again and again like a broken record. Huge taxes.
Brett
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 11:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

As much as I love my Vancouver, I'm having trouble recommending that anyone move to it. Our current government has done too much at once to "rescue" this province so for the next few years, we're completely TAFU. Housing costs are expected to go up: two room apartments at a low are $800/month, average I believe is around $1200. Which is good for Americans, but where are you going to work? The dotcoms and all the IT stuff is moving out; sure we have nurse shortage, but who'd want to do that anyway? Hospitals and schools are closing, welfare is bare minimum (I doubt anyone could survive properly on it), disability pension is virutally non-existant, and university tution has skyrocketed between 30% and 321% (no joke) depending on your program.

There's a reason that those who can afford to leave are.
Etienne
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 6:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Buying an 1100sq. ft. two storey house, with a fine view of the length of beautiful Kalamazoo Avenue, (that means Bell's Brewrey), 370.00 a month.

Of course, there's no plaster on any of the walls downstairs right now.... ;-)
Wolfgang
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 6:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Torty : Ok ok , with my 6 operas/year season, including some classic like Rigoletto playing again and again once every 3 years or so, I'll stop gloating...

Let me know next time they plan to play the Ring in NY, that will probably be my second trip to NewYork. I just hope I won't be broke like last time. They almost never play Wagner in Montreal.
Crowlyman
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 12:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here in Corn Country (that's Indiana to you illiterates) I just bought a 3 bedroom house, with a full basement. It has a hot tub(which is not running presently), a decent lawn, trees, and a roof.
The entire basement is just 2 rooms: One big ass room in which there will be a bar in the near future, and a utility room. I don't know the sq. footage though.
After taxes and whatnot, my mortgate(sp?) comes to less than $850 Corn dollars.(Those are American dollars)

Fuck the city.
Blue
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 12:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Speaking to you from the heart of West Hollywood --

A) Don't know shite about sq. footage, but I've got a rent-controlled one bedroom that is a teeny little dollhouse; sweet but rustic. (Separate hot and cold taps for the bathroom sink.) Tiny yard, ten foot square, maybe. Got here two years ago; paying $720. Identical cottage across the way, vacant for $950.

B) Please don't, don't, don't go to the Valley if you value your soul. I tend to be skeptical of negative generalizations of entire areas, so I tried living there on and off for three years and there is not A redeeming factor about it.

C) One of the keys to living here happily is picking your city within the city. If you want a little funky, pseudo-urban quality (Disney version of SF) go Silverlake/Los Feliz. If you want to not get in your car on the weekends and be surrounded by Russian emigres, Gay Pride, and slashers (actor/model/writer/waiter/whatever) go WeHo. You want yuppies, Barnes and Noble, absolute safety and fresh clean air, go Santa Monica. You want granola, meat is murder, skateboards, tattoos and rollerblades, go Venice.

D) This is a word of mouth city. People will hire you for a job sight unseen on recommendation alone. This is also the best way to find a place to live. I think that most landlords here don't even advertise at all. Tell everyone you know here what you'll be looking for.
Rimbaud
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 12:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

This is true. NYC has everything, anytime you want it, but you certainly pay for it when the rent is due. Still, I wouldn't live anywhere else...
Tortainglese
Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 11:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I do not want to live anyplace where housing is cheap and plentifull. The more they screw you on the rent, the better your chance is of finding every weird thing you can think of 24/7 right on the corner, plus a 38 week opera season.
Admin
Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 10:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My friend just got an apartment in Silverlake in LA. 2 bdrm ultra modern for $1250

Me, I'm living in SF suburb (near Berkeley), in a 1 bdrm war widow bungalow from the 40's and paying $750, and that is considered the super bargain. Ugh.

LA is expensive compared to what your used to, but still not as bad as SF
Giovannigray
Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 10:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I haven't lived near the Moonman for over 25 years now, but, sounds like LaSalle, Lachine or Verdun to me..close??
Amnesiac
Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 10:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Can't blame you for gloating. That IS a pretty sweet deal.

Now if only I were Canadian. I HAD given some thought to moving to Vancouver, BC. Hmmm...?

Anyways, Wolfgang- props go out to you on such a sweet deal.
Wolfgang
Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 10:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Haha, me..


2 bedrooms (one for me and my girlfriend and another one for Computer), kitchen and living room, private entry, private garage, washer/dryer outlet. Only 2 floors and I'm on the second floor. Windows: Est, South, West. Only one neighbor on the North side and he's a nice guy. Only drawback, crying baby downstairs and boring neighborhood. On the Montreal island, 20min in car from downtown, 5 min on foot from water side : 555$ can$ (355us$) !!! Hahaha.

I've searched hard for this one but that's a hell of a bargain, even for the Montreal area. All the money I save goes to the Hausgemachte budget.


...sorry, I'm drunk and euphoric and needed to gloat ;-)
Amnesiac
Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 9:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey, everyone. You're all pretty smart here, and I value your advice. That's why I'm putting this question to you.

I'm moving out to L.A. in about a year or two, and I'm trying to get a rough estimate of what a decent rent payment might run me.

Here in Michigan, I have a 900 sq. ft. apartment- 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, private entrance, and washer/dryer in unit. I pay $725.00 a month. It's also in a very nice area. I know I lucked out on this, so I know it's not typical. But what can I expect to pay out in L.A. for a similar set up. In a roughly decent neighborhood. Maybe the Valley area. And maybe only 1 bedroom 1 bath.

I've already done the usual rent searches and the like, but I'd like to hear what some of you older, wiser cats have experienced. I know some of you are from California and even around L.A., so that's why I ask.

If you wouldn't mind shedding some light, I'd appreciate hearing some of your recommendations also for neighborhoods to be looking into.

Thanks for the info, if anyone has any.

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