Moving to Los Angeles? Be Sure to Explore Your Prospective Neighborhood
If you are planning a move to Los Angeles make sure you spend some time checking out different neighborhoods. Be sure the one you choose fits your needs. Before you move your family of four into that neighborhood of predominately childless families, stop and take a look around you. Where are the children’s parks and playgrounds, hands on children’s museums and indoor play areas? How close is the nearest daycare? If you have young children you will find that neighborhoods with families that have kids tend to cater to them. If you do some searching you should be able to find a house that is within walking distance to a children’s park or playground. Speak to the people who will be your neighbors. You’ll find they are full of information on the latest free fun places to take your kids to after school and on the weekends.
Probably the biggest consideration for families with kids is choosing the right school. When you buy a house in a particular district you are usually required to send your kids to the schools within that district. Sometimes school districts will allow you to send your kids to an out of district school, but it usually comes with a high price tag for the privilege.
If you’re not happy with the schools that are available in your district you might consider sending your kids to a private school. That will give you the flexibility to choose the best house for your family without being restricted by the local public schools. Private schools allow you more flexibility when it comes to choosing the right school for your kids but sometimes that flexibility comes at a very high price. Many private schools can run you upwards of two thousand dollars a month per child. You may find that in the end the price of a private education is too restrictive when it comes to choosing the right house. Sometimes you can find a school affiliated with a church and those can be a lot less expensive. Contrary to popular belief, not all church schools have a religious agenda.
When you are checking out a particular neighborhood you need to explore it during different times and on different days. What seems like an idyllic place to live during the day can sometimes turn into a nightmare when the sun goes down. There may be a convenient store on the corner but would you dare walk there by yourself? Are there any other kids in your prospective neighborhood? If there are kids but you never see them out of doors or at the local park you may want to reconsider. Residents may not feel safe going out of doors with their kids come nightfall.
How easy is it to get around in your prospective neighborhood? Is everything you need within walking distance or do you have to get into your car? How is the drive to work going to be? Can you get to your job using public transportation or do you have to sit in rush hour traffic every day? You might want to take a test drive. Find out if you will be driving to work with the commute. Is it going to be a three hour marathon or will you be going opposite direction?
If you’re a person that likes to be able to walk everywhere, you might look at the 2.7 square miles that is Westlake. It ranks 9 on a walkability scale for all of Los Angeles. Wherever you live in this predominately Latino neighborhood you can reach most amenities on foot. If you work downtown LA Westlake, sometimes called MacAurthor Park, is a fairly easy commute.
Before you make your move take advantage of the internet. With websites like you can find detailed information on any neighborhood in Los Angeles. You can find information on a neighborhood’s general overview, crime index, schools, appreciation rates and much more. There is a lot of information you can get for free, or for a small yearly fee you can get a lot of detailed information about every aspect of your prospective neighborhood.
Good luck and happy house hunting.