How To Pick a Neighborhood in Los Angeles

All neighborhoods aren’t created equal. Finding the locale that fits you best can seem like a daunting task. Once you take an inventory of what you really want in your next home, however, the process becomes infinitely more manageable. As you start your search for “condos for sale Los Angeles,” consider these five questions.

  1. How big is your budget?

This is likely your No. 1 concern when it comes to choosing your next home, and for good reason. Buy a home with a massive mortgage, and you may have to kiss your social life goodbye while you save cash to make your monthly payment. While L.A. remains one of the most expensive places to live in the United States, there are deals to be found if you do the research.

  1. Do you have a car?

If pop culture is to be believed, literally everyone in Los Angeles owns a motor vehicle. While it’s true that L.A. is laid out for cars, walkable neighborhoods do exist, such as Long Beach, Fairfax, and MacArthur Park. The city also boasts the country’s third largest public transportation system and a roster of scooter and bike-share systems.

  1. Do you want to live close to nature?

If communing with Mother Nature is your jam, then you’ll want to choose a neighborhood close to the incredible canyons, mountains, parks, and beaches that Los Angeles offers. Echo Park, Culver City, and Los Feliz, for example, all offer easy access to beautiful parks. A home in Atwater Village plants you near the L.A. River. For the best of both worlds, search for Santa Monica condos for sale. There, you’ll be nestled between the ocean and the Santa Monica mountains.

  1. Does hipness matter?

If that question alone makes your skin crawl, then no, it probably doesn’t. If your ears perk up when you hear phrases like “craft beer” and “multibrand boutique,” however, then you should profile potential neighborhoods’ options when it comes to the bars, restaurants, shops, and other attractions where you want to spend your down time — and your money.

  1. Where are you working?

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Traffic in L.A. can be intense. That means picking a neighborhood close to where you work is paramount, unless you quietly long for more time to listen to podcasts in your car.

How close is “close?” As a general rule, try to stick to neighborhoods within five miles of your workplace to keep your daily commute under half-an-hour. While Los Angles has plenty of bus routes, they’re not the most reliable way to get work, especially if you have a boss who values people showing up on time. Living near the city’s rail lines is another option, but don’t expect the plethora of stations you’ll find in other large cities such as New York and Chicago.

These are just five of the many factors you should consider as you plan your L.A. move. Whether you’re looking for an eclectic condo in the Valley or have your heart set on a slice of Venice Beach real estate, the main thing to remember is to do your homework. Be realistic about your wants, needs, and budget, and get ready to find your perfect home.

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