I often get contacted by anxious parents whose child is moving to Los Angeles, either for school or work. You are worried about where they are going to live and want to make sure that they are safe and secure, especially New Yorkers who are used to buildings with doormen.
Los Angeles can be an intimidating prospect for you, and unless you are prepared to pay a high premium for a full-service building with valet and concierge such as the Wilshire Corridor then they will be living like many of us in a condo or apartment building with secure parking and entry.
If you are trying to find a rental long distance that can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know the neighborhoods and, unfortunately, for anything under around $3,000 per month, using an agent will not provide you with a good choice, since most of those owners will list the properties themselves. Sites such as Westside Rentals and Craigslist will have the largest selection.
So how do you narrow down a place where you feel comfortable your child is secure? As I mentioned, if your budget is over $3,000 per month then an agent will be able to help, but if it is less then what should you look for?
- Neighborhoods: Depending on where your child will be working or going to school staying as close to that location will avoid long commutes. If they are going to UCLA or Santa Monica College, for instance then Westwood/West L.A., Brentwood, Santa Monica, and Palms would be good choices.
- Type of Building: Nothing is one hundred percent secure, but look for buildings with secure parking and entry, and avoid the first floor. A larger well-managed apartment building is going to be preferable and even better is a condo where a homeowners association is involved.
- Walkability: Los Angeles is not the most walkable city so if that is important then the City of West Hollywood is perfect. Los Angeles is a city of neighborhoods, each with its unique traits. Check out the Walk Score of your area of interest.
- To Buy or Rent?: With the price and competitiveness of rents right now it could make sense to buy depending on how long your child intends to stay in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is not the Wild West: Make a list of what is important to your child and then pick a neighborhood. The rest will fall into place. Los Angeles is a great city to live in.
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