Your tax is 1.25% of your purchase price, and your insurance is .33% of purchase price.
Happy house hunting!
There are some great answers here. You should look in all the areas and even time the drive when you have a chance to do so. Why not begin your search in Century City? We have a friend who lives in a condo in Century City and absolutely loves it!
Warm wishes for your great adventure!
If you'd rather be in a condo than a house, the top choices for an under 20-minute commute during rush hour would be, Century City, Westwood, West LA, Beverlywood and Beverly Hills. You'd be safe with these, but if you're willing to be a bit farther (can make it under 20 minutes, but possibly not at 4:30 on a Friday), your choices will be a bit broader.
Homeowner's dues can vary quite a bit depending on the building (ie the dues on the Wilshire Corridor tend to be higher than surrounding areas). Insurance costs for the building are also generally included in the dues, but they don't cover personal property, so you will want to take out a condo policy for that reason, which is generally low cost.
Figure property taxes at approximately 1.25% of the purchase price price per year.
Does that help?
Ask yourself how you want to live as empty nesters - do you want to walk to restaurants, do you want privacy. What can you change now that you don't have to consider children.