Home Buying in Los Angeles>Question Details

David H, Home Buyer in New York, NY

Expecting to buy in 6 to 12 months, please recommend neighborhood. Thx!

Asked by David H, New York, NY Wed Jul 18, 2012

Hi all,

I'm an attorney in NYC and likely will move to LA within a year. Tired of renting, I'm planning buying a home in LA. As strange as it sounds, I've never been to LA (the move is more career and family driven), so not familiar with the city at all and would appreciate any recommendations on choosing neighborhood and home buying in general.

I have a budget of $300k and will likely work in downtown. Here is what I'm looking for:
1. Neighborhood: This is the most important thing for me. I would like to live in a nice, quiet and safe neighborhood. It doesn't have to be very close to downtown. Ideally, I can get to work via public transportation within 40 minutes.
2. Property: A single-family home would be ideal, but a unit in townhouse or complex is also accetable. Looking for 2 br 2 bath, and it doesn't have to be big. Willing to sacrifice a bit on size for neighborhood.
Thanks in advance!

Help the community by answering this question:


Good luck on your upcoming move. Do you have a job lined up? I would recommend narrowing down your job search prior to purchasing a home. The commute can be a nightmare and public transportation is not at the same level as it is in NY.
There are quite a few law firms downtown but there are also many in Orange County. If possible, you should visit and look around for areas that you like. There are many things to take in to consideration when making such a big move.
My ex, also an attorney, made the move from CT to CA. He was surprised at the distance that he had to commute. You can easily get from CT to NYC without a big problem but the same distance here would be very difficult. Again, good luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
I agree that staying close to the Goldline is a great idea. Another option would be to actually live in Downtown LA. There are sections of Downtown that might suit your needs. I have found properties for seniors as well as a young couple with small children to Gen X. You also have the option of finding a condo near Studio City, close to Universal City (near Universal Studios) subway station. Surprising
L.A. can finally offer some options for commuting by public transportation. We look forward to your arrival!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
congrats on your new job and move to California. Los Angeles has so much to offer but is also very large in comparison to NY and the public transportation in comparison will be disappointing. With your budget in mind try searching for Town homes in the north end of Highland Park, Glassel Park, Gaviota,Eagle Rock and Pasadena. I would suggest to stay north of Downtown LA only because you can take the Gold line from any of these locations right into Grand Central in Downtown.
Good luck and happy house hunting!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
Hi David,
My name is Gabino Barrera and I’m a mortgage banker in Los Angeles. Before you plan on moving to Los Angeles you might want to find out if you are eligible to qualify for a home loan or the amount you wish in California. I could help you with this situation by looking at your documents and your credit report. If you are not eligible for whatever reason I could give you advice on what to do get qualified. Most people think because they have a lot of cash in their bank account and have good income coming in is enough, that false. I’m not trying to scare you only trying to get you 100% prepare. Once I have you approve for the home loan you will be able to shop for a home. I could help you get a realtor if you don’t have one.

Gabino Barrera Jr.
Mortgage Professional

SWBC Mortgage
23705 Crenshaw BLVD. Suit 101
Torrance, CA 90505

License by the State of California Department of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Act
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 19, 2012
Hi David,

If you want to live on the Westside I would suggest looking in Culver City which is home to Sony Studio's amongst others. The Metro Light Rail line just opened within the last two months that would take you downtown. Considering your budget you might just find a condo that will suit your needs.

My office is very centrally located, only minutes away from Culver City, Century City, Beverly Hills etc. When you plan to visit Los Angeles, send me an email and I can show you the Westside.

Best wishes,

Bill Hooper
RE/MAX Westside Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 19, 2012
Dear David,

Los Angeles does not have the public transportation system that New York has(yet). We are hoping that eventually we will. As for the present, you will need a car for reliable transport in Los Angeles.

As far as great neighborhoods are concerned, in your price range you will be looking at a commute, which is why others have suggested the Valley and even further North.
I would very strongly recommend a visit to Los Angeles. Rent a car at the airport and take a drive Downtown...then drive to the Valley(or even Santa Clarita) from there so that you can see for yourself..what these suggestions entail.
IMO your best bet would be to rent for the time being in Mid Wishire or West. toward Westwood area. We have many lovely Westside Neighborhoods and once you have rented for a while, you will know what direction to take.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 19, 2012
Hello David,

What a great question. If you want no work and are ok with a townhouse your best bet is somewhere along or close to the Metrolink.I recommend the San Fernando Valley. 2 bed/2bath your best option might be further out in Santa Clarita or Valencia for a small house. Northridge is also a good location at this price point. If you can swing a condo Sherman Oaks, Glendale, Pasadena are also great options.


Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
Thanks so much to each of you! Your answers are very helpful. Honestly LA is just too big and offers so many options. It's gonna take me sometime to figure things out. I'll definitely visit the neighborhoods before I make a decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 18, 2012
that's smart to do so. also check out Yelp.com to see what each of these neighborhoods offer in ways of dining and entertainment.
Flag Wed Jul 18, 2012
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