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Looking to move to L.A. area

Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 04:55 PM
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Looking to move to L.A. area

My friend and I are looking to move in a yr. & 1/2 (once we've both graduated w/ our BA) to the L.A. area. We are from Louisiana (hr. north of New Orleans) and have never traveled to the west coast so we know we need some help planning. We realize that it won't be cheap. We were thinking that we might live in Long Beach!?! I will have a degree to teach Spanish and she will be a photographer. Will there be any work for us in the L.A. area? We really love the beach and want to be close to it as possible. I'm also an AVP fan and would love to see games as much as possible.

Los Angeles is our first choice but we're willing to consider other areas such as San Diego. The one thing that we really want is to be close to the beach... We're planning to fly to L.A. next fall and check out some places before making our final decision. Any advice about housing,living expenses, transportation, work opportunities, ect. would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 05:46 PM
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brooklyn - I see that you are new here and just wanted to give you a bit of a heads up. You posted the same thread/question 3 times. I am guessing it is because after you hit "post my reply" it didn't show up right away in the left frame.

It sometimes takes a few minutes to show up, sometimes longer.

If you are trying to find a thread that you either started or replyed to, simply click on your name in the top of the page and it will show you all the threads your screen name has connected to it. That way, you can always find what you've written and what others have replies. No need to keep writing the same post.

At some point, the search box will be updated and you will also be able to simply type in your name and it should bring up your posts in that particular forum [where clicking on your name bring up all your posts in ALL forums]. Unfortunately, the web people here are a bit behind in getting the search and posts connected.

Welcome and good luck in your search.
Debi
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 07:53 PM
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Save up some cash and take a trip out to the area this year, you really need a feel for the different areas before deciding.
After you've got an idea of where you want to live, focus on your job search. First of all, with the rental market as tight as it is, nobody will rent to anyone who doesn't have a full-time job, and you also need good credit (which I realize that students don't always have).
Finally, choose the beach area that's closest to your work, because the commute is getting crazy and two years down the road when you're living there...it's gonna be ten times crazier. Seems every teenager out there has their own SUV and has to drive themselves to and from school, to and from lunch, to and from team practice, and to-and-from Starbucks 3 times a day.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 08:51 PM
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Please do not live in Long Beach. There is nothing nice about it and it's about 45 mins away, with no traffic, from major party of LA (West Hollywood/Hollywood). It is not a good place to be for someone new looking to experience LA for a while.

What is your budget for an apt per month? I'm assuming you're around 22 years old since you're just graduating. If you want to be by the beach and be in a someone happening and safe area, you should try to look around Hermosa and Manhattan beach (still far away, but a much nicer area and beach with many people your age and active nightlife; though not cheap). If you want to be close to actual LA, Venice and Santa Monica area are good bets, but they're not cheap. That's why your budget is important. The cheap alternative in between is El Segundo. Anything affordable is going to be driving distance to the beach. How close to the beach do you want to be and how much are you willing to pay for that luxury? Are you looking for a 1 or 2 bedroom apt? 1-bedrooms in nice areas close to the beach go for $1600-1700 at the very least, and $1900+ for 2 bedrooms.

San Diego would be more affordable for some areas like Pacific Beach where many from nearby universities there live.

You do need a car in both LA and SD. There is no good transportation.

One of my good friends moved here from your area last year when she graduated (from Gonzales; she went to LSU). I can put you in touch with her if you want to discuss some logistics.

Teachers are always in demand around here, especially for Spanish, so that shouldn't be an issue. Photography may be more of a challenge for steady work as there is a lot of competition
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Old Sep 22nd, 2007, 08:54 PM
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oh, and I completely agree with above. You need to visit here first and check out the city before you decide where to live. It's not like other cities. Things are very spread out and some areas are not safe. It's also a good idea not to get into a long-term contract before you find a job as commuting to work can be a nightmare.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 08:25 AM
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Long Beach is not Los Angeles, by any stretch of the imagination!

If you are able to apply for work before you come out that would be a huge benefit. Especially as a teacher, looking into the application process would be the very first thing I'd do. Once you have employment, then I'd live near where I worked. You can always go to a beach on the weekend from anywhere in southern California. But you don't want to set yourself up for a horrible 5-day a week commute by renting an apartment, then finding a job that is no where near it (if you can avoid it).

In most general terms, I believe finding a teaching job will be MUCH easier than a photographer finding work in LA.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 09:20 AM
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you simply cannot sign a lease for an apartment w/o first getting a job. Commutes can be VERY long if you choose wrong.

Do you have any friends/relatives in Southern California where you might be able to bunk for a few weeks? Of course, if you are lucky enough to land jobs before moving to CA, that wouldn't be necessary.

"We realize that it won't be cheap. You got that one right
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 09:45 AM
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Hopefully at least one of you can land a job before moving to California. Two brand new college graduates, with no place to live, and no jobs, is going to be a bit of a tough start in Los Angeles. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea, and I love LA (I was born there), but it is HUGE and spread out and expensive anywhere near the beaches.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Once again smartcookie has it wrong.

Long Beach has many lovely neighborhoods, (ever been to Naples, or Belmont Shore, smartie?). Also, you will not run into the phoney baloney westside attitudes (just a hint of which is evident in smartie's posting). It has RELATIVELY affordable housing for a beach commuity. Also because there is a large student population (California State University Long Beach) landlords may be more foregiving about "job first", than locations where housing is tight...like Santa Monica or Venice. They will most likely run a credit check, however. The local newpaper, the Press Telegram, runs real estate ads, as does the Grunion Gazette, or you can walk around the streets in Belmont Shore which has a lot of rentals.

I think the teacher will have no trouble getting a job, especially if you are bilingual. Can't say what the opportunities are for a photographer. Long Beach is served by the Metro rail system directly to downtown LA with connections to Hollywood, and has its own bus system. So it has a better public transportation system than some of the suburban areas.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 11:40 AM
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I enjoy visiting Long Beach. Plenty of great restaurants, lots of nice people, some nice neighborhoods (some crappy neighborhoods too).

Also, a fantastic airport. Maybe this is an excellent place for newbees starting out on the west coast.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 12:05 PM
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I second mlgb's comments, and had the same "Huh? Wha??" reaction to smartcookie's post. Long Beach is a great city. So are most of the other beach towns south of there. My favorites are Dana Point, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and Hermosa Beach. Young crowds, rowdy in spots but a *lot* of fun.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 12:28 PM
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My DD (24) and her boyfriend (25) just moved to Long Beach and they like it. They both had been living in Orange County but wanted to get a little closer to their work (boyfriend works in Carson). They were interested in the South Bay (Redondo, Hermosa, etc) but apartment costs were more reasonable in Long Beach. They live 2 blocks from the ocean in Belmont Heights bordering on Belmont Shores. They have a great one bedroom apartment. Huge living and dining room, big kitchen, hardwood floors, high ceilings, crown molding, etc for around $1400 a month. (mlgb-They found their apartment through the Grunion Gazette). So Long Beach is not bad if you get the right neighborhood and there are a lot of young people as mlgb says.

However, it is a drive into LA if that's where you want to be. My DD goes into LA at least a couple of times a week for auditons etc and usually makes good time but that's because she isn't driving during rush hour. Driving from Hermosa or Redondo Beach isn't much better because you are still dealing with the 405 Freeway.

What you really need to do is find out where you will be teaching and then look in that area. The LA school district badly needs teachers but you need to be sure you are willing to teach in inner city schools. Long Beach schools aren't much better except for some neighborhoods. One of my friend's daughters teaches elementary school in Long Beach and has been there for 5-6 years. In the beginning she was at a tough school but it was OK. Now she is at a school in Belmont Shores which is very nice. She had the opportunity to go to other school districts but has stuck with Long Beach. As far as work as a photographer, right in LA might be better but I would imagine you could live just about anywhere.

Another good point is about having a job first. Another Long Beach story. My best friend's son just graduated from Univ of San Diego with an engineering degree and got his first job also in Carson. He had to move very quickly and luckily my DD had just gone through the apartment hunting process. He also decided on Long Beach because of cost of apartment vs. Redondo or Hermosa. He found a great one bedroom apartment right down the street from my daughter. Newer building with parking (which is unheard of in Long Beach!) for around $1000 a month. He had not started work yet but had a letter from his new employer. He was worried he might not get the apartment but they took the letter and ran his credit. Luckily for him, he has a high credit score and that combined with the letter helped him get the apartment. I am sure he wouldn't have gotten the apart if he didn't already have a job as competition for the nicer buildings is stiff. They do run your credit with any application you put in. So if you don't have much credit now, maybe you can start building it up within the next 1 1/2 years.

Hope this helps. Come out and do some visits, look at the different neighborhoods and of course apply for a job once you graduate from college. Good luck.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 12:33 PM
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p.s. Since I travel around So. Calif for my work, I am pretty familiar with most areas but hadn't spent much time in Long Beach except for calling on doctors offices right off the 405. I am enjoying getting to know Long Beach since my DD moved there. It's a very different feel than Orange County-more diverse-which I like very much. My younger DD lives in Redondo and I really love that area but it's expensive.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Can't give you specifics on where to live - but I think you really need to account for the following:

Louisiana is one of the least expensive parts of the country to live in and California coast is one of the most expensive - housing will be probably be 4 times what you're used to

No one will rent you anyplace until you have jobs - so you need to start working on that part far in advance

Have you looked into what it takes to obtain teaching credentials in various parts of Cal? The minimum standards differ tremendously by state - and what it takes to be actually hired - esp in a decent district - can be much more than the minimum

You really should do the following:

Save up as much as you can in advance (work 2 jobs if necessary - you will probably have to do so once you get there anyway)

Take at least one trip to check out several areas - including looking at real estate prices (esp sublets, since that's probably where you'll have to start) and job opportunities/salaries

Photography is a profession that is very widely known for paying practically nothing the first couple of years. (Gofers for commercial photographers often earn the same as kids at the McD's counter - so does your friend have any other more marketable skills for a second job? If not - I would suggest s/he develop one,)
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 06:15 PM
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Nytraveler is right about doing your homework before moving. And of course visiting for several weeks to see the area would be ideal.

As far as teaching, California will give you a preliminary credential if you are certified in another state. You also have to take the CBEST which tests basic knowledge. /www.ctc.ca.gov/faq/mainfaq.html

Everyone has to take the CBEST even if you are just going to substitute teach. Also you can go to www.edjoin.org to look at postings for open positions. Right now most slots have been filled because it's the beginning of the school year.

Another idea is to substitute teach. Long Beach pays $140 a day, Los Angeles pays $175 a day and up to $225 a day for extended periods. However the LA schools would most likely be high schools in inner city areas. Other better school districts pay less-around $110 to $125 a day. When my DD did substituting in Santa Ana, she worked almost every day and several times they wanted her to take a class for an extended period (and she doesn't even have a credential, just a BA and took the CBEST). So as a teacher you could find some type of work right away.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 11:33 PM
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mlgb, as usual, you answer with your personal biases and not the OP's best interests in mind. it is starting to look sad that you try to boost your self-esteem through anonymous internet forums. consider getting a social life outside of the internet. but i digress....

the post is obviously from someone who has no idea what LA is or what Long Beach is and what it means to live in Long Beach when you have never been to LA and probably think that everything in LA, including Long Beach, looks like it does on the Hills.

Unlike mlgb, I know several dozen LA transplants and I have yet to meet someone who wanted to move to LA to live in Long Beach, at least when they first moved here. After they have seen the "main" LA that they hear about, they can probably look into other neighborhoods, especially with respect to where they will get jobs.

By the way, most young people I know are able to rent just fine without jobs lined up when they move. As long as you have a cosigner (a parent usually), it rarely matters.
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Old Sep 24th, 2007, 01:30 AM
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smartcookie, mlgb was simply trying to correct your terrible advice. First you claimed, "Please do not live in Long Beach. There is nothing nice about it", which is absolute nonsense, then you turn around and suggest Manhattan Beach and Venice(?!) as better alternatives??? Come on.
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Old Sep 24th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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What's happened to brooklyn0185? Hopefully they will check back to read the answers above.
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Old Sep 24th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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it's not "terrible advice". you are both not assessing the post properly with your recommendations. 22 yr olds do not move from Louisiana to LA (having never been here) to live in Long Beach unless they have no idea where Long Beach is and how far it is from actual LA that they have heard about (and the reason why they want to move). Judging by their post, they believe they will be in LA and will be experiencing LA by living in Long Beach (they probably looked on craigslist and saw how much cheaper rent was there, and figured it was good since it's a "beach"). All, I'm trying to do is explain that if they choose to live in Long Beach, they will not be seeing a lot of LA or experiencing what they have seen on "The Hills". If you live in Long Beach, Hermosa, Manhattan etc, you will be experiencing THOSE areas, which is fine, but it's not what they seem to be moving here for. People who live in those areas do not make the one hour commute to go out in actual LA very often. Driving for an hour to go out to eat or to a bar is not anyone's idea of fun. So, if they want to move here to experience LA, Long Beach is not a convenient place to live. Are you disputing that? After they have been in LA for a while, they can make the decision to move somewhere farther from LA if that suits their needs. But without having been here before, they need to realize what living in Long Beach would mean.

Btw, there is a reason why Long Beach is so much cheaper. Obviously, it's not because there are so many great neighborhoods there. Yes, I have been there plenty of times and there are several ok areas, but there are also many more dumps that in other areas and plenty of gang-related activity. If they want cheaper and don't mind a slightly crappy neighborhood as long as it's close to the beach, they can also consider El Segundo and parts of West LA.
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Old Sep 24th, 2007, 09:54 AM
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Oh please, smartie, you're showing your true colors again.

As someone who HAS known many young people who came to LA to start their careers, I'm not as uniformed as you would like to think. You seem to think that LA exists only in the Santa Monica zip code. Try to get out a little.
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