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Local Love! Los Angeles Edition

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Considering a move to Los Angeles? See what locals have to say about what makes their city great.

Los Angeles, CA, the sprawling city of cool vibes and year-round sunshine, is a vast cultural hotbed with dynamic style and personality. Although many consider its size a disadvantage, LA neighborhoods use this breadth to their advantage.

Even though many of the city’s attractions are easily reached by car, it requires some time, patience — or even moving to Los Angeles, CA — to see everything this vibrant city has to offer. From the 75 miles of sunny coastline to the beautiful valleys, each neighborhood has its own rewarding quirks for those who seek them out.

From a real estate perspective, Los Angeles homeowners have seen an 11.1% year-over-year growth in their investment over the last five years. While this might scare off prospective buyers today, there hasn’t been a better time to buy a home since 2012. Despite a median sales price of $700,000, the healthy average national mortgage rate of 3.7% makes buying in Los Angeles an affordable decision.

With so much to see and do, the best way to learn more about this one-of-a-kind city is to hear from the locals themselves!

1. What is your city’s source of pride?

“Los Angeles is known for its cultural diversity and creative spirits. Us Angelenos live outside the box, and we’re proud of that.” — Glenn Shelhamer of Silver Lake Blog

“Our diversity. Los Angeles is a city of national and global immigrants who have migrated here because they feel it is the best place to fulfill their dreams.” — Caroline Gelabert-Noh of Eat Drink LA

“Diversity is my city’s source of pride. Los Angeles is a beautiful mix of cultures and lifestyles, offering a place of acceptance for all. I’m proud to belong to a city with such fantastic authentic food, entertainment on small and large stages, artistic creativity, and abundant outdoor space.” — Courtney Poulos of ACME Real Estate

2. What makes you a true Los Angeleno?

“I love everything Los Angeles has to offer, but what I love most is our climate. Every weekend, there are a variety of interesting things to do, from outdoor street festivals to street closures for cyclists. Los Angeles boasts world-class theater, arts, and dining.” — Phyllis Harb of Harb and Co

“Love of the beach, fish tacos, and an active lifestyle. There are many beautiful beaches easily accessible, including Big Corona, Newport Beach Peninsula, and the Crystal Cove State Park, as well as facilities such as the Newport Aquatic Center.” — Camille Krahe of Boutique Real Estate Group

“I have lived in the city for 20 years. I feel like I was raised here, or at least got mature here! This city is so transformative. I moved to LA to pursue acting, which turned into singing, which turned into public relations, working for nonprofits, hotels, customer service, waitressing … you name it. I’ve seen the city from the inside out. I’ve also lived in all of the areas I sell: West LA, West Hollywood, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Laurel Canyon, Koreatown, Beverlywood, Miracle Mile. Every neighborhood has its own unique attributes, and newcomers don’t always see behind the veil; you have to live in a neighborhood to know its secret and sometimes hidden hot spots!” — Courtney Poulos of ACME Real Estate

3. What is Los Angeles’ best-kept secret?

“Well, if I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret! Honestly, I love the little speakeasy at 1642 Temple Street in Echo Park. While you wouldn’t know it from its inconspicuous exterior, inside you’ll find a cozy, well-lit, and handsome bar, a perfect spot to relax and converse. Has the feel of the 1920s, charming and warm. I also love the steampunk ambiance at Highland Park Bowl on Figueroa … and their pizza is amazing.” — Courtney Poulos of ACME Real Estate

“Dogs are welcome most anywhere as long as you act like they belong. That advice can extend to people too, so don’t be afraid to walk that red carpet!” — Caroline Gelabert-Noh of Eat Drink LA

“Exploring neighborhoods on foot. LA is such a car-centric city, I think many people often forget to walk around their own neighborhoods.” — Eileen Lee of LA Lovetta

4. What advice would you give to those moving to LA?

“It can be hard to meet people, but there are so many volunteering opportunities where you can easily make new friends. Westside German Shepherd Rescue is a great place to meet dog lovers.” — Phyllis Harb of Harb and Co

“Replace Apple Maps with Waze, get some books on tape, and enjoy the ride. :)” — Caroline Gelabert-Noh of Eat Drink LA

“Be open to new experiences and adventure. There’s lots to discover in and around Los Angeles!” — Eileen Lee of LA Lovetta

5. What, in your opinion, is the most up-and-coming neighborhood in LA?

“I think Glendale’s Adams Hill is undervalued. The eclectic ambiance is very similar to the Los Feliz Hills, but the homes sell for 30% less. Glendale boasts superior schools with language-immersion programs to enable elementary students to learn a foreign language. The police response time in Glendale is much quicker than in Los Angeles.” — Phyllis Harb of Harb and Co

“The most up-and-coming neighborhood in LA is — not to sound cliché — Highland Park! Highland Park is still affordable for young entrepreneurs who want to build a business, and that energy has given life to both the York and Figueroa corridors. From design studios to custom-made doughnuts, from secret event spaces to retro bowling alleys, there is a thrilling vibe, full of possibility there. There is also a blending of longtime residents and new residents, particularly on display during the Second Saturday Gallery Night (where galleries and shops stay open late for art lovers and residents to peruse). Food trucks line the streets, and sometimes music even plays on the streets. It feels alive. The Highland Park HPOZ keeps historical homes in check, while there is plenty of affordable rental and resale housing. You can live, work, and play in and around NELA!” — Courtney Poulos of ACME Real Estate

“Frogtown, the Elysian Valley neighborhood along the LA River.” — Caroline Gelabert-Noh of Eat Drink LA

6. What is the best quintessential Los Angeles cuisine and where can you find it?

“The best quintessential Los Angeles cuisine is, for sure, Guisado’s in Echo Park at 1261 West Sunset. While understated, this spot has the best mole sauce in all of Los Angeles. So many tacos to choose from, but tinga de pollo is my personal favorite. Plus a slurry of vegetarian taco options too! This is authentic, fresh Mexican food at a very affordable price. Yum!” — Courtney Poulos of ACME Real Estate

“Cheap-eats fusion food! Just another chapter in our immigrant story, the best food is a blending of two cultures, all under $10. Head to DTLA or Instagram to find the best spots.” — Caroline Gelabert-Noh of Eat Drink LA

“Tacos! There’s so many places to have amazing tacos, but my favorite is the tacos from Tocaya Organica in Venice, which just opened up recently.” — Eileen Lee of LA Lovetta

7. What’s your favorite weekend activity in or around LA?

“It varies. When my daughters were young, I loved Disneyland because it’s so clean. The pony rides, train, and merry-go-round at Griffith Park are more affordable options for young families. As my daughters got older, we would enjoy tea at the Downtown Biltmore and hang out in Chinatown. They also loved going to the Toluca Lake Bob’s Big Boy and dining in the car. Now that they are grown, I love to visit my local farmers market on Saturday, and when not showing property, I like to hike La Cañada’s Cherry Canyon, go to the movies, or meet a girlfriend for lunch at the Glendale Americana at Brand or, depending on the location of the friend, at Chi Dynasty in Los Feliz.” — Phyllis Harb of Harb and Co

“Every weekend in LA can feel like a day trip, if you plan it right. I live in Glendale, so my favorite thing is to start the day on the Westside and work my way back home. Pastries from Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica while enjoying a park bench and the Pacific Ocean; a trip to the Getty Museum; lunch in Koreatown at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong; weekend happy hour at Hyperion Public in Silver Lake; and finally finishing the day by picking up some In-N-Out Burger in Glendale. I have a 15-month-old, otherwise the day would never end.” — Caroline Gelabert-Noh of Eat Drink LA

“The Witte Lecture Series in Newport Beach starts up again in the spring. The Witte Lectures bring renowned speakers to the library, providing the public a forum for ideas and conversation about the environment, geopolitics, science, technology, economy, the arts and humanities, and other relevant issues of our times. After walking or enjoying the beach at Crystal Cove State Park, enjoy a bite to eat at either the Beachcomber Café or Ruby’s Shake Shack or stop by for a drink at the Bootlegger Bar. Corona del Mar has a weekly farmers market on Saturday mornings beginning at 9. Also, if you want to catch a movie, the Port Theater in Corona del Mar has comfortable reclining chairs and couches. The full menu and bar offer the opportunity for the perfect dinner-and-a-movie combination.” — Camille Krahe of Boutique Real Estate Group

Feeling drawn to sunny LA? Share your thoughts on your favorite aspects of Los Angeles in the comments below!