Moving to LA

Accepted a new role in LA, and figuring out where to live, but have been reading some reviews of buildings and seems like a lot of 1 star reviews in the "luxury" buildings I am finding (and 5 stars I now assume are planted). The office is in Sawtelle/Century City area. I don't want a crazy commute but I will likely be in the office before morning rush hour and leaving before it gets really bad in the afternoons, so would like less than 30 minute commute at worse. For context, Mid-20s white male, like doing pretty typical stuff. 

Any area's/buildings I should look into?

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Comments (33)

Oct 22, 2021 - 1:32am
Pizzaman Sachs, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My LA experiences are limited to visiting a few times, but Santa Monica is very nice and so is Venice if you like hippie vibes and don't mind the grunginess of the area. Both within (I think) reasonable distance to the area you are describing. Westwood is also supposed to be very nice and would be even closer, if you don't mind being further from the beach + lots of college peeps around you.

Oct 22, 2021 - 2:37am
vibecheckCRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Santa Monica. Recommend calling someone local - check out Give the Westside agent a ring.

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Oct 22, 2021 - 9:50am
randomguy97, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just come to peace with the traffic now, you'll save yourself anger.  Santa monica used to be great, but has been overrun by homeless as well as vennice.  The best bang for your buck IMO is one of either Manhattan, Redondo, or Hermosa (personal fave) beaches.  You could check out torrence, but it's a bit worse than those 3.  DTLA sucks, just don't even.  Obviously there are super nice areas, but unless you're a millionaire, it won't work.  Have fun, LA is awesome, and once they clean up the homeless problem, it will be my favorite city!

Oct 24, 2021 - 10:02pm
vanative, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Live in West Hollywood or West LA. Santa Monica is literally the Times Square of LA. Bunch of Midwestern transplants. Weho would be fun but the drive could suck if you're doing banking hours

"The future will be better tomorrow" -Dan Quayle

Oct 24, 2021 - 10:50pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't know a whole lot about the area as I lived south of LA for a year, but generally would prefer Venice Beach or Manhattan Beach. I'm super grunge though and appreciate that stoner vibe.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Oct 24, 2021 - 11:02pm

I just did the move to LA from NYC so I will share some thoughts.

  • If you like the outdoors, live in Santa Monica. Being able to jog to the beach, go for a bike ride, hop on pacific coast highway and go for a hike, etc. are all huge in my opinion. The weather is great here so be in a place where you can actually take advantage of that. If you care more about luxury finishes than walkability or distance to the ocean, West hollywood / Beverly Hills / Westwood may be better for you. Don't be allured by the fancy apartments downtown - they are cheap for a reason
  • People are right about the homelessness in Santa Monica, BUT living North of Wilshire Blvd generally means less homeless / nicer homes / better neighborhood overall. Wilshire Montana / North of Montana are really nice areas. If you don't believe me, keep an eye on / zillow. Any decent apartment with reserved parking in these areas is on the market for 1-2 days max before they get taken down - people will just sign a lease without touring.
  • Unless you're coming from NYC / SF, the apartments are going to be shittier than what you're used to
  • The short term rental situation here is not good. You will basically be paying $130 / night minimum even for the worst Airbnb. I recommend flying out for a weekend to tour apartments / get a feel for what neighborhood you'd like to live in and then sign something for a move-in 2-3 weeks from that date.
  • Not every apartment will offer parking - so be sure to double check that you have reserved parking
  • Don't be weirded out by an apartment not having AC. If you're close to the beach, this is common. You may have to buy a portable AC unit for $300-$500 during the summer months
  • If you want reserved parking, luxury finishes, a desirable location and an in-unit washer and dryer, you either need to have have a couple of roommates or pay $3800 / month for a 1BR. So be prepared to choose which of these you want. I went with gated under-ground parking and good location (Close to the beach, Santa Monica, north of Wilshire blvd) but don't have the other things. And my place is still $2700 per month for a 1BR.

Let me know if you have any other questions or wanna grab a drink sometime - it can be tough to meet people here

    Oct 26, 2021 - 12:54pm
    Synergy_or_Syzygy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

    Marina / Playa Vista / Culver City are all nice places to live with much less commute. You don't have to be walking distance to the beach when working in finance with a daily commute. Just be close enough for it to be a <10 min drive.

    Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
    • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
    Oct 26, 2021 - 10:24am

    In my opinion, if you're moving here and don't already have an embedded social network, and you're in your 20s, don't start out in MDR or PDR 

    It's hard for me to describe, but I've been here for 6 years, living in West LA, South Bay and Santa Monica, and those areas are a sort of no mans land between South Bay and West LA for someone entirely new to the area. Yes there are places you can go in those areas, but proximity does not award any real benefit in that person's case.

    Santa Monica (closer to downtown SM) is by far the favorite place I've lived. Now, it isn't the urban star (which is more likely the east side) but you have your choice of a solid hike in 30 minutes if you leave appropriately, beach in a 10 minute walk, solid restaurants, solid bars (again beat out by east side breadth and depth but there are plenty of fun spots, both nicer and also more laid back), and yes homeless (which will be everywhere in LA except for areas you cannot afford) but really just avoid the north side of the promenade after dark bc it got wrecked by covid and there's no life there. If you moved from NYC it shouldn't really phase you though. 

    Brentwood is a good area with young professionals to look into. I'd check out Craigslist and Hotpads which regularly list 1brs part of a roommate situation.  You can probably find shorter terms stays that way at a reasonable price as you get your feet under you. Won't be a social crutch either, lots of roommate situations here.  Also I avoid towers in LA.  Best setup is a townhouse if you can find it 

    Nov 29, 2021 - 10:47pm
    JSmithRE2010, what's your opinion? Comment below:

    Just ask questions here - it's more helpful for people reading this in the future 


    • 1
    • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
    Oct 26, 2021 - 4:43pm

    Don't know it well enough.  Personally, I'd rather live slightly east, north in Westwood, west in West LA or Brentwood, or south in Culver City. 

    Century City itself is small and nearly a third of is a combination of mall, office or studio space, hopefully someone else more knowledgeable about the stock can comment.  There are immediately adjacent areas that are fine if you're really wanting to be in or near Century City for whatever reason.  

    • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
    Oct 27, 2021 - 3:43pm

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    Oct 27, 2021 - 10:33pm

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