Five of the Best Los Angeles Areas to Rent In That You Don’t Know About

Downtown Los Angeles As Seen From MacArthur ParkThe rental rates are on the rise in Los Angeles, but not everywhere. Regardless of how much you’re paying, you want an area that is great to live in — not just save you money. Los Angeles is vast and has plenty of neighborhoods to offer. But, it is all about finding those that have entertainment, accessibility and affordability.

North Hollywood

North Hollywood is part of the valley region of LA. While it doesn’t look like it has much to offer, it does have some affordable places to rent. In the NoHodistrict, you can rent next to the up and coming places of LA, including the art district, amazing theaters and some of the best galleries LA has to offer. And, you might be able to get a one bedroom, one bath unit for under $1,000.

Westlake

The name makes it sound really expensive, but you would be surprised at how affordable Westlake is. This area is cutting-edge and it is growing fast, so now is the time to lock in a good rate if you want to be here when it explodes. You’ll find some of the best cuisine in Korea Town and if you are a night owl, the nightlife in Westlake is some of the best in LA. You’ll find apartments and townhouse apartments that are affordable too — for under $1200.

St. Andrews Square

St. Andrews Square got a bad reputation a long time ago, but it is the place to be if you want affordable rent and something to do. West of Third Street you run into this small area of LA that is low crime (compared to most regions in the area) and borders some of the nicer regions of LA. Consider it a go-between. You have access to the best food, shopping and everything in between here, and the rent won’t kill your budget.

Wilshire Vista

This thriving community features old school apartments that have been renovated, taco stands and cafes that you won’t find anywhere else in the area. If you are a foodie, this is the place you want to relocate to. And, it isn’t a budget-breaker. You are likely to find a one-bedroom apartment at an affordable rate and three bedroom, two bath duplexes are just a little over $2,000 per month.

Del Rey

This area is LA’s best-kept secrets on the west side. Most people don’t realize everything Del Rey has to offer — until they move there. You’ll find affordable rent and you’re just a mile away from the beach — making it a prime location.

10
Apr 2014
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To Rent or Not to Rent? Pros and Cons of Renting Furniture

Side view of happy young couple placing sofa in living room of nIn Los Angeles, it’s not easy to move in and out of an apartment — especially older apartment buildings downtown. They’re notorious for narrow hallways and no elevators. And, if you’re the type to change apartments each year, you know how hard it can be to match your current furniture to the new space. That is why more renters in Los Angeles are opting to rent furniture too. But before you go out and sign a contract to furnish your new space, you’ll want to make sure it’s the right step for you.

Pro: Change Up Furniture Anytime

Rental furniture doesn’t have the same commitment as furniture you buy. When you buy something, you can’t just change out furniture every year — unless you want to pay for it. With rented furniture, you return the furniture at the end of your contract, pick up more, and you’re not out the cost of the item. This is especially helpful if you move frequently and need to change out your furniture to match your new space.

Pro: It’s Moved for You

You don’t have to move the furniture you rent. Instead, the company can relocate it for you. That means no more hassling with moving vans, no bribing friends and family to strain their backs relocating your items, etc. But, your furniture rental company might charge a fee to move mid-lease.

Con: It’s Expensive

When you compare the cost of renting furniture to the cost of buying, you’ll pay more over time for rental furniture — and you won’t own the furniture (unless you do a rent-to-own contract). Even when you compare the cost of interest and buying furniture on credit, you pay more to rent.

Con: You Could Get Locked Into a Contract

Most furniture rental agencies have contracts. These can be month-to-month, six month or yearlong lease periods. So, you are locked into that contract period until it ends. If you need to end early, you might be charged an early cancellation fee — or have to pay out the rest of the lease.

Is Renting Furniture Right for You?

If you tend to move a lot and you aren’t fixed in a single location, rental furniture could be your answer. It comes down to your budget as well — can you afford a rental payment and furniture lease payment every month? Also, if you are the type that changes your style frequently, you might find it more affordable to rent furniture than commit to a purchased piece.

09
Apr 2014
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Things to Consider Before Renting an Apartment in Los Angeles

modern apartmentYou’re ready to move to the big and bustling Los Angeles. The area itself puts you in direct contact with everything Southern California has to offer, but before you pick any location in Los Angeles, you might want to consider the facts. The rent can vary greatly from one end of L.A. to another and depending on the size of the apartment you’re looking to rent, you could pay considerably more looking just two blocks away.

The Average Rent in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, you can expect to pay:

  • $1550 for a studio
  • $2050 for a one-bedroom apartment
  • $2688 for a two-bedroom apartment
  • $3895 for a three-bedroom apartment 

But, this is in the downtown area. If you were to scoot over to Malibu, you would pay an average of $1825 for a one-bedroom apartment, while in Pasadena you could pay $1256 for the same size unit. If you moved to Crenshaw, you could get away with paying only $859 for a one bedroom.

As you can see, the area you choose greatly determines how much you pay in rent.

How to Find the Right Apartment For You

In Los Angeles, the best time to hunt for an apartment is on Thursday. Most people in LA are busy planning out their weekend adventures on Thursday – and the last thing they want is to look for an apartment. That means you’ll get more one-on-one time with the property and the management, so you can make sure it’s the right place for you.

A few other things to consider:

  1. Condition – There are a lot of older apartment buildings in LA. Prior to renting, inspect the unit and the outer areas of the building. Avoid units that have cracks in the walls or flooring, electrical wiring issues, leaks in the roof (which are evident by water stains on the ceiling or sides of the walls), and heating or cooling units that don’t work.
  2. Lease Type – In LA, you’ll find a variety of lease types to work with. You may have a defined lease term, such as six months or one year, or you could sign a month-to-month lease.
  3. Rent and Security Deposit – Always know how much you are paying each month for rent and what the terms are regarding your security deposit. In most cases, you get your security deposit back at the end of the lease term, but in some cases, there could be deductions for not cleaning the apartment or giving proper notice.
31
Mar 2014
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Tips for Grocery Shopping in Los Angeles Without a Car

298x232_GrocCart_08_07These days owning a car in Los Angeles can be expensive. You have to pay for parking, deal with the outrageous gas prices, and waste endless hours fighting the traffic. You would be surprised at how many LA residents don’t have vehicles. Without a car you don’t have to worry about the drive, payments, insurance or even the maintenance. But, no car means you need to be a little savvier about how you grocery shop – because there’s no trunk or convenience.

Plan Your Shopping Trip Carefully

Before you create a grocery list, think about the weight of the items you’re going to buy. You might have to split up your trip, such as buying the big thing of milk this trip and waiting on juice the next. Heavy bags are a lot heavier the longer you’re carrying them, so keep that in mind too. The more weight you can distribute evenly between trips, the easier your walk home will be.

Shop More Often

When you have a car, you can shop once or even once every other week. But, when you’re walking you might need to grocery shop a little more often. Try going once a week or multiple times per week so that you can get everything you need without making it difficult to get home.

Ask a Friend for a Lift or Share a Car

If you have a friend with a car, consider going grocery shopping together. Pay for gas or buy some of their groceries for compensation. This not only allows you to shop once and get as much as you need, but helps your friend save on gas too.

Pick Stores Near By

While there might be better prices at the store across town, it’s not going to do you much good if you have to walk there and back. Go for the grocery stores that are nearby and don’t worry so much about the prices. Because you’re walking, it’s unlikely you will splurge on expensive items you don’t need anyway.

Get Your Own Cart

You can eliminate the worry about how much you can carry entirely by buying your own wheeled cart. These are wire baskets on wheels that have handles. You can also find some that are water and rust resistant or enclosed ones to protect your groceries in the rain or snow. This allows you to take your food home easily with a cart and not carry everything.

Use Public Transportation to Get Home

A bus or train can help lighten the load. Take your items on board, sit down and relax as you get driven close to home.

You don’t need a car to grocery shop. You can still save money while living in Los Angeles, get the groceries you need, and avoid all of the hassle just by doing it right.

20
Mar 2014
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Top Los Angeles Beaches to Check Out

Top Los Angeles Beaches to Check Out

Malibu Beach, Los Angeles, CaliforniaThe beaches of Los Angeles are almost as famous as Hollywood and Disneyland. What a lot of visitors (and even residents) aren’t aware of is that Los Angeles is home to over a dozen different beach locations. But, there are some beaches that are more popular to the locals than others. So if you’re looking for a new beach to visit or you’re just new to Los Angeles living and need a guide to the best beaches, here are the top sands and surfs.

Leo Carrillo State Beach

Leo Carrillo is one of those beaches you won’t find overly crowded even in the middle of summer. It’s great for tide pooling, swimming and surfing. It is a lot further from Los Angeles than other beaches, but the drive is worth it if you want to escape the busy hustle of beaches closer to downtown. If you want to stay the night, bring the RV or tent and use the campgrounds located right across the street.

Will Rogers State Beach

Located on the stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, this long stretch of sand and surf is great for swimming. In fact, it looks like something out of a movie. With the lifeguard towers, spanning all throughout the beach you will feel safe swimming. It is closer to Malibu, but you won’t find it as crowded as other beaches, which makes it great if you want to get away with the kids and enjoy the sand — and not the people.

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach always has something going on. It’s a very lively, active beach and is one of the nicest beaches you’ll find along the coast. If you are looking for a place to play some beach volleyball, stroll or just do some people watching, Manhattan Beach is the place to be. Because it is anurban beach setting, you are going to find it crowded, especially on a summer weekend. The water quality varies year-round, but the Los Angeles state department posts the water quality online so that you can see if it is safe for swimming.

Zuma Beach

This is one of the more northern beaches in LA and is highly popular. The sand is like silk, the water smooth and calm and you feel as though you’re at a tropical paradise. It is perfect weather for swimming or surfing and the waves aren’t too aggressive in Zuma’s area. If you want to go whale watching in the winter, Zuma is also a good spot. On a busy day, however, Zuma is one of the more difficult beaches to get in and out of. During the summer, you’ll be charged to park in the parking lot and the street parking usually fills up first thing in the morning from the surfers and early beach-goers.

Paradise Cove

Paradise Cove is a hidden gem that even some locals don’t know about. You can only access the beach through a private owned parking lot. It is framed by breathtaking bluffs, sand and the water is perfect. You do have to pay to get into the parking lot and there is limited spaces, which makes this an exclusive beach.

14
Mar 2014
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