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Possible move to L.A. - questions

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A move to the L.A. area may be an upcoming option, and I've read other posts on the topic of Southern CA. We know it's expensive, and we have a minimum salary requirement. Buying a house is NOT a must, we'd be willing to rent (up to $5k/mo)and we'd like to keep commute times to a minimum (job is in Culver City.)

Questions:

Is traffic ALWAYS bad or just at your typical commute times (e.g., 6-9am and 4-7pm?) If I want to run some errands during the day-say, 11:30am, is it going to be a pain?

Commute for the job would be during 'atypical' commute times (i.e., it's not a 9-5 job) but does that even matter?

And, as misguided as it may be, I have concerns about raising my daughter in L.A. Will we be the only ones without implants? ;)

We move around a lot and I'm usually quite adventurous, but L.A. scares me! Not in a 'the people are scary' kind of way, but re: quality of life, especially now that we have a child.

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