Home Buying in Santa Monica>Question Details

Danielle, Renter in Santa Monica, CA

Rent vs. Buying in Santa Monica

Asked by Danielle, Santa Monica, CA Sat May 14, 2011

I am relocating to Santa Monica from Newport Beach in July for my job. I have two kids that attend an amazing school in Newport Beach, however I want to find just as good as a school for them to attend in the Santa Monica area. I cant seem to find any places under $2500 with only 900 sq ft. I need more space but cant really afford much more than $2500-2800 per month. My credit score is close to 700, I make about $60k and my bf makes close to $40K, and we would be a first time home buyer. The only problem is we don't have any down payment to buy right now. Can anyone suggest a rental in SM with more than 1300 sq ft in my price range or any other options for my scenario? Any help is greatly appreciated. Other areas i am considering due to good schools are Manhattan Beach, Redondo and El Segundo, buy preferably SM. Thanks!

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Dear Danielle,

Thank you for sharing your concerns and reaching out to us.

There is much more than a simple answer to your questions. As with tax planning, cosmetic surgery and career I would consult an expert in person.

I suggest you sit down with an experienced agent that can help you sort out the location/prices/schools/desirability of each location so you chose a property, ownership and location that will be the perfect context for your life for the next 10 years. Any real estate professional with the chops you need will sit down with you and help you look at all the options.

Best to you and your boyfriend,

George Salazar
Prudential California Realty
DRE Lic #00884017
3130 Wilshire Blvd, suite 100
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(323) 710-1770
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 15, 2011
I would recommend you consider Culver City or Marvista neighborhood, also Venice... Marina Del Rey and Playa del Rey... also Westchester (90045 zip) These are all neighboring cities with good schools and districts...

If you work in Santa Monica, you are able to use an intra-district permit to have your kids go to a Santa Monica school, but is getting tougher and tougher with LAUSD and other cities having budget crisis. So if Santa Monica schools are a MUST, I would recommend Santa Monica... but like I wrote (neighborhoods above) have comparable school districts.

The commute from Redondo Beach, Torrance, etc to Santa Monica (at working hours) is at least 1 1/2 hours due to gridlock on the 405 freeway... I would not recommend it. to anyone...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 15, 2011
+1 to Torrance/Redondo. However coming from NB I can see the allure of SM, I love it up there. In particular I'd look at the south side of PCH in Torrance, good neighborhood.

Even if you don't want to put any money down, if you don't already, I still recommend you save up a good amount of reserves as homeownership has expenses beyond just the mortgage payment. Have you attended any first time homebuyer classes? If not, seek out one that has a budgeting module as that'll be a great initial step on your way to being a responsible homeowner.

How permanent of a move is Santa Monica?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 14, 2011

There are a few apartments, condos and townhomes in Santa Monica that are 1200+ square feet and in your price range. Most of them are only 2 bedroom, although there are a couple of 3 bedroom units.

If you are willing to come further down the coast, then you might want to add the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Torrance into your mix. When looking for good schools, these communities come out on the top of LA County cities with excellent schools. If you would like more help in finding a great rental in the South Bay and Beach Cities, I would be pleased to point you to some great locations. There are even some homes in these cities that are in your price range.

And finally, if you are looking to buy, there is a California program that requires only 1% down. I can point you to a lender who can give you more information and see if you qualify. With interest rates low and home prices low, wouldn't it be great to own? Let me know if I can offer you any guidance in this area.

Good luck. Hope you find what you are looking for. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, QSC®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource – SFR®
Certified HAFA Specialist – CHS®
SSG Pro®
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
424-2HELP12 (424-243-5712)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 14, 2011
Santa Monica is as expensive as Newport Beach. You can do a quick drive by on Sunday open houses and verify for yourself how expensive it is. Your rental numbers seem realistic

David Cooper
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 14, 2011
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