Moving to L.A.

I recently left my FAANG job and will be moving to L.A. for a director role at a startup (don't want to get too specific). As I have never lived in L.A., I'm totally lost as to where I should live. The job will be in El Segundo, so it looks like I should target Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Culver City. I have ruled out Manhattan Beach because even though it's close, it feels a bit too suburban for my taste.

My criteria are as follows:

  1. Decent building with a gym and ideally, parking is included.
  2. Area with lot of restaurants, stores, more of an urban feel.
  3. Great area for single men.

Unfortunately, I will have to get a car, but because it is reverse traffic, it looks like my commute time won't be too bad. My apartment budget is around $3K/month but open to paying a bit more if it satisfies all of my criteria.

Advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Comments (37)

Funniest
Sep 12, 2018

I'm looking forward to you complaining about LA women being too stuck up and California being overrun with antifa liberals and wheatgrass smoothie sipping environmentalists. Congrats on the new job (seriously).

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Sep 12, 2018
BobTheBaker:

I'm looking forward to you whining about LA women being too stuck up and California being overrun with antifa liberals and wheatgrass smoothie sipping environmentalists. Congrats on the new job (seriously).

Thanks.

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Sep 12, 2018
BobTheBaker:

overrun with antifa liberals and wheatgrass smoothie sipping environmentalists.

Literally my classmates

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Sep 12, 2018

At first I thought you were like an actual tech guy on here. But then I noticed your user and realized you're just a regular ole WSO bro. So FAANG, huh?...

Sep 12, 2018

El Segundo financial area is great already. Closeby places in Redondo Beach or Palos Verdes is pretty chill, plenty of people. Torrance about 20 mins away and you would have a more city vibe. I do manage a bunch beachfront building with gyms, but El Segundo would be your best chance of satisfying all your criteria

Cash and cash equivalents: $138,311
Financial instruments and other inventory positions owned: $448,166

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Sep 12, 2018

You're going to want to be in either Santa Monica (my pick) or Venice (near Abbott Kinney or the beach). Culver City has good restaurants but not much in terms of nightlife. Marina del Rey has nice condos but not as fun as Venice or Santa Monica. Playa will feel somewhat suburban.

Hermosa Beach has good nightlife and feels somewhat urban near the pier, but it tends to be more "bro-y". Sounds like the vibe you're looking for is Santa Monica.

Sep 12, 2018

I've lived in LA now for 4 yrs. I live in the South Bay,

I can say for me, Santa Monica is okay and Venice sucks

Hermosa Beach and the south bay (Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo) are solid.

Why aren't you considering living in El Segundo? Great small city...

I love LA and socal BTW. from Boston....

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Sep 12, 2018

Why do you think Santa Monica is just ok? The consensus seems to be that it's the best place for single guys.

Sep 9, 2019

I am also from Boston and am currently in talks with an AM firm in LA so I am very curious about the LA metro area. What are your thoughts on the city as a whole? For example I refuse to move to NYC because I feel trapped there and don't really enjoy city life anymore.

I am curious which neighborhoods have houses (>1750sqft) for under 1.5m and within 1 hour to downtown. I also am willing to drive 1.5 hours if the property is private/has land/bigger house and or views. Don't care about night life, beach, schools, restaurants, things to do, walkable or any of that. Only concerns are housing prices, size, privacy and crime.

Internal recruiter recommended Pasadena, but I have never visited there. I know the inland areas get hot but it looks like a necessary evil given I would prefer to pay under 750 a sqft.

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Sep 9, 2019

If you are working downtown and don't care about the beach, I'd look into Studio City. The metro line can get you from Studio City to DTLA in 20 minutes and there is a parking lot at the Studio City stop so you can drive to the stop from your house. Could also live in Sherman Oaks and drive to the station which would probably be a 35-40 minute door to door commute. You should be able to get a nice house in either place for 1.5m

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Sep 13, 2019

You should look in to Palos Verdes - straight shot up the 110 + they have commuter buses. You can get a decent house with some land (for LA) in that price range. Pasadena / La Canada would be good bets too and a lot closer, good access to hiking but yes, hot, but more of a dry heat. The for a longer commute you can do the Valley, as said above, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Encino. For more bang for the buck, but a further drive, you can keep going north to Calabasas / Westlake, Agoura, Thousand Oaks - but that's a much further drive.

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Sep 13, 2019

Take my advice and don't buy until you have lived here for a little while. I moved to LA from far away and bought in Sherman Oaks to commute to Century City. You might think, that's only 5 miles away, how bad could that be? Very. A 5 mile drive can easily take an hour each way. You say you're ok with it, but wait until you forget something at home, you have to meet a date, or you are married/have kids and that's the difference between making it for dinner or not.

You have to be very careful with commute times. Pasadena is nice and the drive to downtown is IMO tolerable / toward the outer limits of tolerable... I wouldn't personally go further. To the west you can do something like Culver City but further west is very difficult. Studio City might be ok to downtown (I personally think going south on the 101 to downtown is my personal version of hell, but YMMV). Of course if you're in AM and you are starting work early e.g. 5-7 AM, and getting done earlier, you can mitigate some of this in normal cases.

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Sep 12, 2018

Huh, what happened to lateralling to IB? This is like going further away from it.

Nevertheless, good luck on the role! Hopefully it's something you're looking for and you enjoy it more than your prior job.

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Sep 13, 2018
kanon:

Huh, what happened to lateralling to IB? This is like going further away from it.

Nevertheless, good luck on the role! Hopefully it's something you're looking for and you enjoy it more than your prior job.

Timing is everything. Unfortunately, the IB train left the station. Not doing IB after MBA is the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life.

Thanks for the well wishes.

Sep 13, 2018

Never know where life takes you bro, this startup could blow up and you could become filthy rich and not doing IB after MBA could be the best thing to ever happen to you. Gotta stay positive.

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Sep 13, 2018
  • MDR and Culver are up and coming, probably what you're looking for.
  • South Redondo has the largest apartments and the Riviera might be urban enough for you. Bougie af though, feels like it's made for middle-aged stay at home moms whose kids are already in college
  • In general, don't go east of the 405 until you're north of the 10.
  • Santa Monica might be nice to hit for evenings or brunches, but you wouldn't want to live there unless you love tourists and homeless.
  • I've been hearing good things about Westchester lately, but I would avoid for awhile if I were you.
  • Hollywood is fun, but too far of a commute
  • You'll want to stick to slightly more suburb areas in the South Bay or you will go crazy with the flighty liberals in the hot nightlife areas. They also are hard to date/befriend since the creative types work weird hours and can't commit to vacay or even planned dinners usually.

Your job is in a cool area, to really get the South Bay/LA experience, join a meetup with beach volleyball and another for surfing. Beach Life takes a bit of adjustment but is my favorite lifestyle as long as you can keep the creative outlets going.

Go for a shorter lease, in LA you can move 20min away and have a completely different lifestyle, friend group, etc. If things aren't awesome after the first six months, just move. Don't think about it just do it.

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Sep 13, 2018

On list: Culver City
Off list: Manhattan Beach

Cultivating mass and wealth since '95

Sep 13, 2018

Strongly recommend Hermosa Beach. Good restaurants, decent bar scene, amazing beaches and rent isn't obscene. Venice is so overrated, IMO. Completely overrun with hipsters and is ground zero for the homeless problem and extremely expensive. Santa Monica is also a bit of a crowded mess and has gone downhill the last handful of years.

Most Helpful
Sep 14, 2018

I'd have to disagree with a lot of the recommendations. LA is so nuanced that making broad sweeping recommendations about areas is misguided. My recommendation would be to get granular into specific pockets of areas you're looking. Without a doubt SM and Venice are going to have more girls purely as a function of greater population density than South Bay, with Culver/Playa somewhere in between. That said its not like the other places are hurting for girls. Also, most buildings don't have gym in them. There are some new places like playa but I wouldn't recommend making that a must because its really gonna limit your search in terms of geography. Depending on your personal preferences in terms of more upscale, hipster, surfer, etc. and lifestyle - Westside if you care less about the beach and want more restaurants and higher density of young people. If you want to take up surfing, volleyball, hanging out/biking around the beach all weekend you should be in the South Bay. So from north to south here are some more specific overviews.

SM: I'd say anything north of Wilshire and west of 20th is a great area. If you're in that zone its super upscale and not touristy - basically intermixed apts with 3-5mm+ homes. Still super close to all the bars and extremely close to bungalow. Good access to the 10/405 for getting to gundo.

Brentwood: north of wilshire, east of bundy area. Cheaper and tons of young people. Typically more recent grad age. Good access to bars and west side in general and close to 405.

Venice: Rose west of Lincoln /Abbot Kinney area is where you want to be. Tons of good restaurants, bars and girls. Probably the worst in terms of getting to gundo.

Culver: east of 405 near down town is where you want to be but personally wouldn't recommend culver. Relative to the South Bay and Westside its typically more of an afterthought for young people. Not the best access to work but not horrible.

Marina Del Rey: wouldn't recommend, more older people. Don't know any young person that lived in Marina Del Rey - doesn't mean they don't. Mostly huge condo developments.

Playa: all the new complexes on Jefferson just east of Lincoln have all the amenities you area talking about. Lots of young people. I think its pretty cool, tons of various resort style massive units intermixed with bars and restaurants. Good location as its a bridge to westside and south bay. Just a bit sterile since its all master planned.

El Segundo: its cool and main street is getting some cool places. Definielty do not live there though. Wouldn't be good for a single guy.

MB: Live in El Porto - great access to west side, right on the beach, close to bars and restaurants. Its all apartments not houses. You'll be 1000 feet from the beach and the most consistent surf break in LA. 5 minute commute to work.

HB: anywhere west of PCH, ideally centrally located by the Pier Ave. Lots of young people bars and beach. 10 minute commute to work.

RB: south redondo is great but wouldn't recommend for someone new to LA. Even if you don't live on the west side you'll want good access.

Torrance/PV: the fact these were recommend is laughable. Both nice communities but certainly not for a new comer to LA.

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Sep 14, 2018

.

Sep 14, 2018

The culture is obviously different but it could be more than you expect

Sep 14, 2018
JawlessPiano:

The culture is obviously different but it could be more than you expect

I prefer NYC as well, but unless you're a finance baller, it doesn't make sense to live there. And as I said above, the NYC IB train left the station. Perhaps I can return in the future if an awesome opportunity were to present itself. NYC and Chicago are the 2 best cities in the country, without a doubt.

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Sep 14, 2018
Dances With Newfoundland:
JawlessPiano:

The culture is obviously different but it could be more than you expect

I prefer NYC as well, but unless you're a finance baller, it doesn't make sense to live there. And as I said above, the NYC IB train left the station. Perhaps I can return in the future if an awesome opportunity were to present itself. NYC and Chicago are the 2 best cities in the country, without a doubt.

I have seen more than a few people lateral to IBD associate roles after being employed in other positions after completion of top MBA and law programs. Either you have not looked into this avenue enough or your sentiment is clouded because you are not pursuing banking due to perceived limitations on your ability to secure employment in the field. A LinkedIn search will corrobate my statements.

Edit: Almost forgot to mention, relatively less prestige in likely middle market opportunities might be stopping you given how many top undergraduates and MBAs think. Not saying this is your thought processes but legitimate middle market banking is a great opportunity and you can probably lateral to larger platforms if you wish.

Sep 14, 2018
Dances With Newfoundland:

I recently left my FAANG job and will be moving to L.A. for a director role at a startup (don't want to get too specific). As I have never lived in L.A., I'm totally lost as to where I should live. The job will be in El Segundo, so it looks like I should target Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Culver City. I have ruled out Manhattan Beach because even though it's close, it feels a bit too suburban for my taste.

My criteria are as follows:

  1. Decent building with a gym and ideally, parking is included.
  2. Area with lot of restaurants, stores, more of an urban feel.
  3. Great area for single men.

Unfortunately, I will have to get a car, but because it is reverse traffic, it looks like my commute time won't be too bad. My apartment budget is around $3K/month but open to paying a bit more if it satisfies all of my criteria.

Advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I was in the exact same situation as you last year. Offer out of El Segundo. I was actually looking at places in Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, and also luxury apts around the 405/105 intersection. I don't remember what complexes I was looking at, but they overall seemed to look nice on the outside and a lot really sucked on the inside(pictures)/reviews, so read carefully and if the price is jacked up, its probably new with a W/D in the apartment (or with a view). I saw one place that was near an Equinox and an MMA gym (I need both - I am extremely high maintenance), and had a rooftop pool with a pretty young looking crowd from the photos.

I'm still looking at moving over to that area on different terms now when my timeline is right. Either there or back to Encinitas, CA. I just don't know if I can handle LA traffic, so was going to avoid it entirely and just camp out near the beach basically, (Manhattan/Venice). I've heard good things about both places for years, mainly Venice as there is a cult following with it. Its just kind of more my vibe. I was East Village NYC and am all about the hippie/grunge/rock/surfer/skater/snowboarder laid back chill vibe and those areas usually mesh with my style of living as well as the girls I choose to spend much of my time with.

"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

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Sep 14, 2018

made the move from NY to LA about a year ago (from banking to PE), live and work in santa monica, both on ocean avenue. ocean park is my favorite for santa monica, between the pier and wilshire its very touristy, north of wilshire kind of a suburb feel. but go too far south near venice, and its kind of a sh!thole. i was really set on a venice mailing address, but the homeless population is out of control (yes, even more so than NY), and the area is just kind of a sh!thole. not grungy / counterculture like LSE / EV in manhattan, just actually a sh!thole.

i'm not sure why you wouldn't live near the beach, if you wanted to be in a city, NYC will always win. take advantage of the unique accepts of LA / cali, which is the beach / outdoors (my opinion). however, west hollywood is kind of shiny if you like clubs etc. DM if you have more questions.

Sep 14, 2018

Playa is clean, virtually brand new, and very connected in terms of FAANG type jobs / networking available...just in case you need to recruit or things don't work out. Great access to the beach and 405 / 10 as well as easy trip to El Segundo. Still getting built out with nightlife, but worth it in my opinion for the extra benefits / amenities that are in the area (Gyms, whole foods, movie theater, outdoor sporting complex, etc). Also, very safe.

Array

Sep 14, 2018
Banker4444:

Playa is clean, virtually brand new, and very connected in terms of FAANG type jobs / networking available...just in case you need to recruit or things don't work out. Great access to the beach and 405 / 10 as well as easy trip to El Segundo. Still getting built out with nightlife, but worth it in my opinion for the extra benefits / amenities that are in the area (Gyms, whole foods, movie theater, outdoor sporting complex, etc). Also, very safe.

If I'm not mistaken, Microsoft, YouTube, PlayStation, Sony Pictures, have offices in that area.

Sep 8, 2019

I remember reading @Dances With Newfoundland posts a while back and they were hilarious. The dude absolutely hated Seattle and was going through a quarter/Mid-life crisis.

The fact that this is his last thread / last comment means he's probably loving life in LA. For some weird reason that makes me happy

Sep 9, 2019

no he just changed his name for the 10th time, its FCFE now I believe

Sep 9, 2019

Ah damn, apparently this guy is Brady4MVP too? I Should've kept my mouth shut. Now I'm back to feeling bad for him

Sep 9, 2019

random but - how's the asian population in LA? cute asian chicks?

Sep 10, 2019

You could live in Torrance and commute to El Segundo.

Stay strong!

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Sep 13, 2019
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Sep 13, 2019