If you like the LA city traffic and hustle and bustle, go to Sherman Oaks. If you like a more laid back, open, family friendly environment, go to Santa Clarita. In my opinion, Santa Clarita does have a lot to offer, including culture.
The traffic on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks is terrible. Trips 2 block away just to the grocery store would easily take me 30 mins. If you have children, consider that the public schools in the San Fernando Valley are terrible.
For me, it was fine when I was young and working in LA proper, but now that I've married and had children... there is no question that Valencia is the place to be. When I first moved here, I was struck by how friendly everyone was... I was jaded by living in the SF Valley for too long. Most people that live in Santa Clarita commute into the city because they want a better quality of life. The commute is a drag, but it's all up to individual choice.
Check out the crime in Sherman Oaks vs. Valenica. That might tell you a lot.
Should you need further assistance, please call me at (661) 255-3335.
Cheryl Garner, Mortgage Expert
Fairview Mortgage Capital, Inc.
So many factors need to be taken in in order to answer this question adequately. First of all Santa Clarita is very established. We have very healthy employment, great schools, and lots of things to see and do. With that being said our town is geared towards families. If you are a single guy Santa Clarita might not be for you. Location is something always to consider when buying property especially if you are buying it to live in and not an investment. You should take into consideration if the location is right for your life style.
It's not that Sherman Oaks is more expensive because is more established but because of it's proximity to Los Angeles and the Ocean. Santa Clarita is further inland so that is why you can get more for your money.
But this is only when it comes to financial values. There are many other factors when choosing a location. I like what Tony wrote because a community is made out of people and if people like where they live they will be motivated to make it even better. This is a factor that surpasses all economical factors. It really has to do with the quality of life in that area, which very often does not equal with the financial benefits of a specific neighborhood. and then again, it is good to ask around for advice but ultimately, you are the one to decide ... unless your partner does...
Muriel Levin, realtor
Agent Immobilier a Los Angeles, Californie
Achat, vente, location
I like your question and most of the answers. You are asking the right way, now just take it to the next step.
I recommend that you interview a couple of Realtors, one in each area, and analyze your situation. Personally I use a buyer questionaire that really helps me and my buyers focus on their priorities. I had one client thank me for providing it. He said he never realized that his wife was really in charge!
So if you need assistance or a referral (I do not work the areas you mention, although I have opinions!) I'd be happy to refer you to a top agent in those areas.
Do you allow heavy traffic to ruin your day or do you see it as an opportunity for you to listen to your favorite CD or talk show? Do you mind getting up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual just to avoid the morning rush? I've read what someone said about the situation of I-5 and CA-14, but I don't think the 101 and 405 is any better.
Is your priority your family? Do you have children or planning on having some?
These are just some of the questions my wife and I thought of and answered when we moved to Santa Clarita from Tarzana and for years we commuted from Valencia to Woodland Hills (then we moved to Canyon Country and were still commuting to Woodland Hills). We did not mind the commute at all - a small price to pay (if you can call it that) for the caliber of education our kids are getting, not to mention safety.
Read my answer on another question that has to do with Santa Clarita here:
Next the commuter traffic is awful and there are thousands of new homes to be built out past Magic Mountain in the future. The highway system simply cannot handle the development planned for that area.
Next the 14 carries all the traffic from the high desert and jams that traffic stream into the Santa Clarita Traffic entering Los Angeles. All of this will get worse as time goes on. Unless Santa Clarita has a proximity to your job that makes sense, the positives of the community get killed by the transporttion issues that plague that area.
Simi Valley for example is very similar in comunity to Santa Clarita. Law enforcement, fire fighters etc. all make Simi Valley a place for their families too. Simi is off the 118 which is not a major transportation artery for the state or area. Ventura county has growth control measures and is anti urban sprawl orientated, so future development will impact traffic and transportation a fraction of what Santa Clarita will see.
Depending on where you work both communities might just be the same driving distance to your work.
Keller Williams Realty
Santa Clarita is definitely more family-oriented than Sherman Oaks, with more parks and open space, walking trails, and better schools as well as a safer environment overall. There's a reason why law enforcement officers live in Santa Clarita - they want to be sure that their families are safe and happy while they're at work.
We're finding that many buyers are moving to the Santa Clarita area because they are tired of the rat-race, higher crime levels, lower quality schools and gridlock in the San Fernando Valley. The commute is definitely a factor for many of these buyers, but they have determined that they'd rather come home to a safer, cleaner neighborhood rather than having a shorter drive to work.
If you're looking for more info on the Santa Clarita area, as well as home searches by neighborhood, visit my blog at http://SantaClaritaRealEstateBlog.com.
Sherman Oaks is a great city no doubt and it's definitely accessible to major freeways but more than likely you're not going to get as much square footage. If you're looking for custom built homes they do have an area in Valencia known as Westridge where people have purchased a piece of land and have custom built their homes.
Definitely consider your commute to work, especially with gas prices so high these days.
I was actually in the same vote and ended up in Valencia. But of course I'm newly married and I'm looking for a family oriented community.
Best of luck - I hope this helps.