Relocating to Long Beach, I think...

Old Feb 26th, 2006, 08:06 PM
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Relocating to Long Beach, I think...

Relocating from Michigan to Long Beach, I believe. I will be working in Norwalk, husband will hopefully be working at Coca-Cola plant in Downey. Moving mid-April. Neither of us has ever been to Long Beach...I've never been to LA. I've seen a few posts regarding Long Beach (safe/unsafe areas) and some are now dated.

Looking for suggestions as to what areas would be good for us.....looking for rent less than $2000, we have two big dogs (golden retrievers) who are used to a large, 2 acre yard in the country, safe neighborhood, with parking (garage preferred). Any suggestions?

Would be interested in a loft rental as well...

Also, what kind of commute times are we looking at from LB to Norwalk and LB to Downey?

Thank you!!
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 08:08 PM
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Also, we have no kids, looking to live there for 1-2 years, and move somewhere that housing is more affordable!!!!!
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 08:10 PM
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Sorry, one more thing...not interested in high rises...prefer house w/yard or loft....any advice on which areas to look?
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 08:14 PM
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i would recommend housing close to belmont shore. the east side of long beach is generally better. or you may also want to look into signal hill, which is a community that is entirely within Long Beach.Seal Beach is nearby, and is a great community, Seal Beach is a little more laid back than Long Beach. Avoid North Long Beach, esp around Artesia and Paramount.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 09:24 PM
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The commute from Long Beach to both Norwalk or Downey should not be bad. Good luck on your move.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 12:08 AM
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Unfortunately the real estate ads tend to mislead a little bit around here when placing their for-rent listings. Belmont Heights, e.g., keeps growing.

The Los Altos neighborhood of Long Beach has smaller homes with large yards and is safe. Prices should be within your budget.

Belmont Shore tends to have very small lots (eg 35 feet by 70 feet) and a lot of transient foot traffic. Fun for twenty-somethings but I don't think your dogs will do well there.

Single-family homes come up for rent in other little-known but friendly neighbhorhoods, such as California Heights.

Your commute will be very good from Long Beach. Actually, there are some nice neighborhoods in Downey, also.
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 08:42 AM
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Not a lot to add. The others have given a good overview of the housing scene in Long Beach. I will add:

-- Housing costs are beginning to stabilize, but they're still quite high. Houses for rent are relatively rare, so finding a house with yard will be a bit tough.

-- Loft living is limited to downtown Long Beach. This formerly run-down area is now really going through a revitalization attempt, and I have friends living La Vida Lofta very happily. The most-developed parts of downtown are bustling with new eateries, coffeehouses, shops, etc. Still, there are parts of downtown I would avoid.

-- Belmont Heights is a very desirable neighborhood (I own a condo there), and occasionally you will see houses for rent. They tend to be small bungalows, but some have nice yards. I used to say that north of 7th Street was not the safest area, but that part of town is cleaning up quickly. Still, the best parts are south of 7th and east of Temple.

-- Belmont Shore is a hoot, especially if you don't need a yard. But your requirements might kick it out of the running. A house with a sizable yard in BS will cost at least $1,000,000.

-- Los Altos and the neighborhoods around Eldorado Park (East LB) have an abundance of nice little homes with origins from the original 1950 suburban development of East Long Beach and Lakewood. Not a lot of rentals, but you never know. The market has softened only a bit-- a 1,400 square-foot home will set you back, on average, a little over $600,000. Big yards, however. I actually live here (my condo is being prepped for sale).

-- California Heights flies under the radar for nice neighborhoods. It's really nice there. Worth a look.

-- North Long Beach is indeed a bit dicey, but there's one oasis up there called Bixby Knolls, adjacent to a gorgeous golf course. Many houses there are in the $1,000,000+ range.

-- Other communities to look at besides the aforementioned Seal Beach (and Downey-- parts are quite nice) include Los Alamitos and Cerritos. Bedroom communities, basically, but quite livable.

-- Long Beach is a pretty nice place to live in, overall. I've got great neighbors (we actually do block parties!), everyone interacts happily in our diverse neighborhood.

Best of luck in your relocation!
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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Thank you all so much for your suggestions! I've heard a lot of the same things from people about communities and it makes me feel a little better hearing them from people who sound even more familiar with these areas.

Couple more questions...with comments saying the commute from LB to Downey and Norwalk are doable...any estimate on the time...are we talking 20 minutes or 45 minutes? I don't mind a commute, but just curious.

Any particular areas in Downey to look at?

I have to be out there mid April to start my new job. We're planning to pack up and move (with the majority of our belongings to follow several days later by moving truck). We plan to be out there mid-April. I'm thinking we will just drive out there and crash at a hotel for a few days and hit the pavement looking at rentals. Should we contact a realtor to help in this process, or go about it on our own. Also, any suggestions on an extended stay place that will accept pets?

It's amazing the info you learn from total strangers, but I sincerely appreciate the advice. This move has not been easy for me....and we're not even there yet......it's tough just trying to wrap things up on this end (i.e., our house still isn't sold....).

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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it sounds like you are wanting to have everything convienently located close to you,.which is understandable, esp. in congested southern cali. here's the city of downey's offical website link that will also help you get familiarized with the area before you get there. http://www.downeyca.org/
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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It would be nice to have everything we need nearby, but I know it would be as smooth as I wish it could be...and I'm alright with that. It's just a big change and I'm still not convinced that uprooting all we know and all we are comfortable with is the right thing to do.

I've done a lot of research, but I think it's just a matter now, of just getting out there and doing the leg work. 'ppreciate your time and thoughts!
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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Generally, Downey north and east is the more expensive part of town. But it would be better to talk to a Downey "local."
You might want to check this link and PM the poster about neighbhorhoods.

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5737

Also here's an old LA Times Real estate section article (you might need to register to view it).

http://www.latimes.com/classified/re...,2227389.story

Good luck!
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Temporary lodging options in Long Beach

Residence Inn

Extended Stay America

You'll have to check on the pet policy specifics, though.

Ignore any comments in Trip Advisor about "tough neighborhoods." They're both fine.
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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From Long Beach, commute time to Norwalk is between 10-15 mins freeway, no traffic. 20-30 mins, taking the sidestreets, depending on road conditions. It's not a bad commute at all. I love living in this area of LA county!!!!
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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Emmynick,

Long Beach, Cerritos, Artesia, Norwalk, Bellflower, Lakewood, and Downey are not bad areas. In any city, you have the bad side and the good side of the neighborhood, but the cities I've mentioned are generally good areas. (I live in one of them). Some people call the area the Central location of L.A. /Orange Counties because driving from any of these cities to any other LA (example: Glendale) and Orange County (Irvine) cities is not bad or far at all. Decent travel times to O.C. beaches.
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 09:18 PM
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Any thoughts on Newport and Broadway area in Long Beach? Found a weekly rental there...
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 08:42 AM
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That's my old neighborhood-- literally three blocks from my condo. Safe, mixed residential/commercial. Superb restaurant at that very corner called Lasher's (new American, served in a restored Craftsman Bungalow). A few bars in the surrounding blocks, but nothing unsavory (as I said, Long Beach is a diverse community, decidedly middly-class and unpretentious). A few blocks from the bluffs overlooking the ocean. Not as glamorous as Beverly Hills, but a great neighborhood, extremely desirable vis-à-vis real estate.
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Nothing wrong with that neighborhood for a temporary rental, (although I like Cafe Piccolo a few blocks away better than Lasher's). There are several bars around the corner so not sure how quiet it would be long-term.
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 11:22 AM
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mlgb: No argument on Café Piccolo-- it's very good too. As long as we're naming great places on Broadway, Christy's is stellar (Northern Italian and superb) and only a couple of blocks east (Broadway between Miramar & Término).

Straddling the corner of Broadway and Redondo (one block west of Newport) are the Reno Room and Club Broadway (the latter a, er, Ladies' Club with tough clientèle and billiards), and just west of Newport is EJ Malloy's, a pub with food (I've heard their fish & chips are great). There's a coffeehouse called the Library across the street that gets a steady crowd into the evening (but they tend to be quite well-behaved).
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 12:00 PM
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I forgot to add-- I've certainly walked around the area a lot, and it's not particularly loud or boisterous. Once you're on the side streets, it's a calm residential neighborhood.
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 12:10 PM
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I used to live with my parents at the top of the hill in Signal Hill. We had wonderful neighbors, and a great view of the city. Its a great place to raise children!
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