move to LA - are we nuts?

Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 07:05 AM
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move to LA - are we nuts?

My husband and I are considering moving to LA. We want to live near ocean/mts. and LA seems to have the best job prospects for us.

We live in Atlanta right now, and figure if we're going to deal with smog and traffic, why not live near the beach? We've also considered Seattle, Portland, etc. but I don't think I can handle the chilly, rainy winters.

All you los angeles lovers and haters out there, please tell me what you think.

Thanks for your help!
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 07:09 AM
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Moving to L.A. is fine. You're nuts to live in Atlanta!
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 08:05 AM
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I love LA, I lived there about 15 years and still miss it. If you can afford the housing to live in an area you want, that's the big thing, although everything else is pretty reasonable. I lived near the beach most of the time and that really is the best thing for several reasons, not just because you like the beach -- it makes the weather about 10 degrees cooler in the summer (I did not even have AC in Santa Monica and no one I knew did) and makes for much less smog. In fact, the smog never bothered me as I lived and worked in Santa Monica most of the time; I did dislike looking at it hanging on the horizon, unfortunately, and if you live or work elsewhere, it's a problem. Traffic is bad but, frankly, it wasn't as bad as where I live now (Wash DC), and traffic is getting to be bad in any big city in US, that's true -- one advantage to bad traffic in LA is that since the weather is so much better, it's not as dangerous driving and you don't get traffic problems from that (like you do here, geez, two drops of rain and traffic screeches to a halt); also, Los Angelenos are generally better and more polite drivers than here. LA is a great location for the ocean/mts as you said, if you've got good job prospects, I'd move there instead of Seattle. Also, LA has a wide diversity of people (race, occupation, incomes, you name it) in comparison to many other cities, that's what I like a lot about it.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 08:26 AM
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Well I am pretty biased because we own a home in Hollywood and absolutely LOVE it!! Been in So. Cal for 32 years and don't want to live any where else.

Despite the crazy economy LA is in the midst of a houseing shortage, so cheap rents in desireable areas are not easy to come by. Check out for some idea of whats out there. (You can do a free search without joining and paying a fee)
Frankly L.A is sooo spread out that your best bet is to buy a Thomas Street Guide, and start cruising neighborhoods until you find one you like. Generally the further west the more expensive.
Also, it would be worth your time to ask if the place you move into is DWP or Edison power... it can make a substantial difference in your power bill. DWP.. as we are in Hollywood owns their power plants..didn't deregulate and is quite reasonable.
Los Angeles is a terrific, diverse city. The weather is great, there are times in the year when you can lay out on a sunny beach in the morning then drive to Big Bear lake at night and go snow skiing.
Welcome to LA.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 09:08 AM
not politically correct
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Can I be honest here? LA and southern Ca use to be great, I really enjoyed the diversity of the city but recently it has become to hispanic. Stop- keep reading, I am not a racist, I like hispanic people, but as a white man I feel like I am a visitor to another country in LA. Now in most areas of the city, english is a second language.

It is tough being an ethic minority. I know what hispanics felt like 20 years ago in LA, now we (whites) are the minority in southern CA.

There has been a significant white flight out of southern CA.

If in doubt, look at the 2000 census.

Please no racist redneck flames.

I would alo miss the low cost of living and all the trees in Atlanta. It is a beautiful area!
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 09:14 AM
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Dear not politically correct... read your own census... diversity is coming to your town USA. All ethnicities are moving everywhere... so if you are trying to find "white only" land... good luck.
Actually Los Angeles is so spread out and each neighborhood has a very distinctive character. Where we live in the base of the Hollywood Hills on the border of West Hollywood, live primarily artists, actors, musicians and a huge amount of Eastern European immigrants. In my building we have Russians, Hungarians, French, Canadians, Germans, Armenians, mostly and like 3 Spanish families. Of course if you travel to East LA you will find wonderful communities of Latinos.. Koreans, Thai Town and China Town. Gardena has a lot of Asian people. Really I can't understand the above, and I don't mean to flame you.. but whew! Unless you are Native American, we are all in the same boat IMHO.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 09:16 AM
LA hater
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Southern CA use to be nice but now it is nothing but a endless line of strip shopping centers. Sure there are nice areas but it will cost you. Beverly Hills, beautiful, Santa Barbara, beautiful, but $$$.

The typical person who lives in LA must commute for miles and miles on incredibly busy roads past brown hills and dusty scrubby trees, if you want to live in an afforbable home.

If you want to live near the beach it will cost you, even in a small 1930s home of 1200 square feet. Maybe 4 times what a similar house will cost in Atlanta.

Thumbs down on LA unless you are rich.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 09:44 AM
russ i
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Both the advocates and detractors make valid points. As an LA native, I would book a trip here, and go around with a real estate agent to see what you can afford. You might find that a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica costs the same as a 3 bedroom house in the San Fernando valley. Then you have to decide if you can make the sacrifice of space vs. commute. Also, keep in mind that the beach areas can be quite foggy most of the year. For this reason I prefer to live a bit inland. Good luck.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 10:00 AM
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LA was paradise in the 1940's and 1950's. Not anymore.
Smog, commutes, cost, genericization, "me-first" attitude, eroding tax base...well, I won't continue. That's just my vote.
Atlanta certainly has its downsides as well.
Then again, so does everyplace.

When you find the perfect place to live, cg, let me know OK? I want to move there too.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 10:48 AM
Bill I
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I love to visit the LA area. So much to do & see, & for the ocean (although I like to go to the east coast for the ocean also), & to visit relatives. & there are a number of things that are different, than here in the midwest, to whet my appetite. But that is all I would like it for, just to visit. I honestly believe that I could not live there, my opinion for me. Smog & traffic aside, I don't think I could get used to the atitudes, culture, & to what I perceive as a somewhat fakey & glittery characterization. I quess I am somewhat sceptical, & this can happen anywhere, but 1 minute somebody out there can be hugging you & 1 hour later have a lawsuit against you.
But since there are millions living there, the area must have many good qualities also.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for your replies, everyone!

Christina & Thyra, you've confirmed my idea that LA might be a great place to live. And to all the detractors - you've confirmed my decision that we're not going to buy a house right away! We're DINKs (so far) and so less space/more money is not so much of a problem. Plus it makes it easier to ditch out if we can't stand it (since LA seems to be a love/hate kind of place).

Beach in the morning and skiing in the afternoon? I can live with that...
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 12:13 PM
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Born and raised in LA, but lived in SF and NY for various periods of time. As long as I live in a big city, I will stay in LA. It has the big city problems, but it has the big city advantages.

But, unlike SF or NY, life is better here. You can have a house for a reasonable amount. There are hundreds are areas outside of BEverly Hills or similar areas, with moderate (true by big city prices) houses, condos, or apartments. For the price of a railroad flat in NY or SF, you can have 3 times the space in a place much nicer than a walk-up flat.

The weather is moderate. Four mild seasons, that you may not notice at first, but will come to appreciate if you can handle subtle changes.

Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 12:28 PM
Formerly DINKS
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I can certainly understand that, as DINKS, you might want to have a good time in LA. I surely had a good time in SF before my husband and I started a family, and I don't regret it at all.

But once you decide to start a family, living in a place like LA or SF is a horror. Public schools are dreadful, so you have to budget a bunch of after-tax money for good private schools, and sweat the competition to get in. This can easily be $12,000 annually per child (plus summer camp). It is like putting a $1,000 check into their lunchbox each month multiplied by the number of kids you have. You have to pony up this money in pre-school to reserve your slot in kindergarten. Your day care is hideously expensive, your commute is long (so you can wake up with the kids or put them to bed, but not both), your taxes are high, your mortgage is high, you are supposed to save for college . . . .

Get the picture? For us, staying in SF was just not worth it. Yes, move to LA if you like, but structure your lives so that you can pack up and move when and if the stork comes.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 12:29 PM
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We lived in Pasadena for 6 years before moving to the Bay area. Came originally from Chicago lakefront suburb. My favorite place so far was Pasadena. It's a fairly large, diverse city within easy drive of the beach and mountains. Yes, it's smoggier, but the smog never bothered us. It's warmer in the summer, but I've always lived with A/C. I loved it and even think of possibly retiring down there---at least somewhere in southern California. Don't buy immediately, you can rent in various areas and get to know the whole LA basin. I don't think you'll have too great "sticker shock" coming from Atlanta. Good luck.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 03:34 PM
la native
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I too am an LA native living in Washington DC. Traffic in LA is an exaggerated urban legend. It took me 10-15 minutes to get to downtown LA. The trick is to get a Thomas guide and study, study study - that way you'll know how to get from A to B without the freeway in case there is an accident or other problem. Before I moved here, I paid $400 for a studio apt. in a middle class, safe neighborhood with a good school system and responsive police department (independant city out of the City of LA). if you decide to have kids, LA isn't a bad place at all. I'm surely better for it.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 03:49 PM
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I was born in San Fran but then moved to San Diego County. Relocated to Riverside county southeast of LA a few years ago. I don't even consider LA or San Diego big cities. Just a bunch of sky scapers and a traffic jam. If hubby could get a job with the security he has here not to mention similar pay I would be out of this state in a New York Minute. Happily, with the money we would save just in taxes and so called bonds and melo roos we could afford to come back and visit often. The quailty of life just isn't what it used to be in this state. I have lived here my whole life and feel like I am held hostage.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 03:56 PM
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Melanie, Where in the world is life the same or better than it was 10 years ago? I wish you godspeed if you think you'll be better in New York than you are in California!
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 05:52 PM
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Gosh, Seamus, I can think of lots of places I've visited which I think are better now than 10 years ago. Most of them are smaller cities, though, not over 1 million.
If your point is that most large cities are sacrificing quality due to traffic, smog, cost, crime and declining schools, I think I'd agree in general.
But many cities smaller than this are shining brighter each year. A trade off, to be sure.
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 10:42 PM
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Kindly define "DINK." Thanks!
Old Oct 3rd, 2001, 11:18 PM
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Double Income No Kids

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