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,
Prudential California Realty
DRE Lic #00884017
3130 Wilshire Blvd, suite 100
Santa Monica, CA 90403
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...
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?
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, QSCÂ®
Certified Distressed Property Expert â€“ CDPEÂ®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource â€“ SFRÂ®
Certified HAFA Specialist â€“ CHSÂ®
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty