- Los Angeles is the US’s second-largest city, and its sprawling neighbourhoods have something for everyone.
- These are the best neighbourhoods to live in in LA, according to someone who lived there for 12 years.
- Manhattan Beach, Glendale, Downtown LA, Silver Lake, and Monrovia top the list for different reasons.
Two things are always certain when it comes to living in Los Angeles, California: the cost of living is exceptionally high and if you wait long enough, you can always count on a neighbourhood to spike in popularity.
A dozen years back, Santa Monica was the toast of the town, with families and singletons alike flocking to the storied seaside city. Not long before that, West Hollywood was the freshest spot in the county. Back in the middle of the 20th Century, Hollywood was the place to be.
When I moved into Glendale back in 2005, it was like pulling teeth to get friends to come visit. Now it’s one of the best destinations in Southern CA for diningand shopping and is the third most populous city in LA County, according to recentcensus estimates.
Sure, things might change in the next few years (in fact, they will), but these are five of the best neighbourhood in Los Angeles right now, according to someone who lived there for 12 years:
Glendale is the best neighbourhood in LA for raising a family
Yes, I’m a bit biased here. I lived in Glendale for 12 years and loved every day of it, especially those days on which friends who lived in Santa Monica or WeHo or Downtown also admitted it’s a pretty cool neighbourhood.
Even better, Glendale is not only one of the safest areas of LA, but has been recognised by the FBI as one of the 10 safest cities in America. That might not make it cool, but if you’re looking for a place where you know you can raise the kids without worry, safety is more important than anything else. And speaking of the kids, within a few miles of downtown Glendale you’ll find the LA Zoo, the Norton Simon Museum, Travel Town, hiking trails in the San Gabriel Mountains, and plenty more opportunities for recreation.
The only real drawback to Glendale? It ain’t cheap, not anymore. The current median home price is $US809,000, and Zillow rates the Glendale housing market as “Very Hot.” Median apartment rental rates are at $US2,750. At least the recent construction of hundreds of apartment units means housing is available.
Silver Lake is the place to be if you like having stuff to do
If your idea of a good time involves lots of coffee, cocktails, and one-off dining locations and doesn’t involve quiet, restful nights at home, then Silver Lake is for you.
It doesn’t get much more East Side than Silver Lake, arguably the hippest of the hipster spots anywhere in Greater LA right now. The place is packed with great bars, hot restaurants, wine shops, an art gallery or three, and it’s teeming with young people, both professionals and artsy-types alike.
A jog or stroll around the actual Silver Lake reservoir itself is always nice, and the region is home to many quaint and classic little homes, but really you move to Silver Lake because you want lots of stuff to do a short walk away. Parking can be tough, but everything is right down the block anyway, so don’t sweat it. Do, perhaps, sweat the current median home sale price of $US1,144,000 and the apartment rates often north of $US3,000 per month.
The best place to buy some property is Monrovia
Home prices in Monrovia, CA are still within the spectrum of reason. Right now, the median listing price in Los Angeles is near $US750,000. But the median price of single-family homes for sale in Monrovia is currently closer to $US650,000.
So if you like the idea of spending a year or two less of your income on a home, Monrovia is a good place to buy. For now.
In 2016, the LA MTA (now better known just as Metro) opened up a station connecting Monrovia to the rest of Los Angeles via the Gold Line. The new ease of access is surely going to drive home prices higher, especially as before the rail line opened, access to the city essentially required use of the often-standstill 210 and 605 freeways.
If you want to live in a ‘real’ city, then Downtown LA it is
Around the recent turn of the century, things started to take a turn for the better in Downtown Los Angeles. Though the city center of the sprawling City of LA is still home to many homeless people and while many blocks see a disproportionate amount of crime, drug issues, and blight, much of DTLA is actually pretty nice during the daytime.
There’s lots to eat, great museums, a brewery or two, and a great art scene. Also, if you like the opera, the orchestra, or other such refinements of the arts, this is the place to be.
About 90% of Downtown residents rent, not own, according toCurbed Los Angeles, with a one-bedroom apartment going for about$US2,500 per month. But if you also happen to work there, the convenience might just compensate for the prices.
Manhattan Beach: Money required, but well spent
Manhattan Beach is not cheap. Renting a modest apartment will cost more than $US2,000 a month, and getting a great home will pushes right into the seven-figure range. But if you can afford the rates, this beach town is a gem. It’s safe, it has good public schools, and it has world-class volleyball tournaments, in case that’s your thing.
In recent years, Manhattan Beach has also seen a great influx of upscale bars and restaurants. Like the home prices, dining costs are also pretty high here, but you’ll find plenty of great cocktails and entrees available. Also, it’s super close to LAX, which is convenient for the businessperson or the family of world travellers. Oh and don’t forget about the fact that there’s a beach and a Pacific Ocean right there for your enjoyment, too.
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