Any tips on finding cheap housing in Los Angeles?

  • Artdoorsman

    Posts: 31

    Apr 13, 2014 2:28 AM GMT
    Howdy all, I'm a rural north-easterner planning a move to the USC area of Los Angeles at the end of May. I've been using mostly Zillow and Craigslist to find housing, but haven't found anything great in my price range.
    I'm looking for a 2Br month-month lease for less than 1200 a month.... any ideas on how to find that?

    Thanks!

    -Kevin
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    Apr 13, 2014 2:45 AM GMT
    Lol 1,200?

    Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh USC area is supposed to be affordable because surrounding area is low income but, been years..

    Good luck

    Month - month to start?

    Maybe for a small town but, ehhh
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    Apr 13, 2014 3:16 AM GMT
    $1200 a month is doable near USC. But your neighbors will be crack dealers and gang bangers. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 13, 2014 3:19 AM GMT
    But on a serious note, I would recommend looking in Culver City. Plenty of affordable and safe housing. And relatively short commute to USC. Also, you can take the train instead of driving.

    yLXcLEV.jpg

    The area around USC is pretty rough. So if you're going to take the train, I'd suggest not taking night classes.

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    Apr 13, 2014 3:57 AM GMT
    Culver city is boring :O
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    Apr 13, 2014 6:27 AM GMT
    @xrichx, thanks for sharing the train route. I am not aware until then that there is train service now in L.A. Back when I worked in San Gabriel, I had to take the super slow Metro service and do major walking to my destinations.

    Wilshire Bld has some nice apartments where I had lived at, but I haven't heard that they will allow month-to-month rentals (if that's what you mean).

    Coming down from the Pacific Northwest, I was terrified of how "unsafe" L.A. was, and like xrichx said, be careful at night!
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    Apr 13, 2014 7:08 AM GMT
    LA is like any other city. It's mostly safe, but there are a few areas you want to avoid.

    And yeah, I agree Culver City is boring. But it's relatively central to all the major attractions in LA. Maybe after OP lives here for a while, he can branch out and decide if he wants to deal with the crazy traffic/commute.
  • Artdoorsman

    Posts: 31

    Apr 13, 2014 12:07 PM GMT
    Thanks guys, we wanted to live close to USC because my housemate is starting dental school and the first year is supposed to be hell, so he wants the smallest commute possible.
    Ideally we'd find a place to rent monthly because neither of us has lived in the west or in a city, so if we make a bad choice on housing all the way from NY, we don't want to be stuck with it for a year.
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    Apr 13, 2014 12:20 PM GMT
    I would open it up to more roommates. When I lived in Boston, at one point I had 3 other roommates, and paid only 400 a month to live in the heart of the city. I was younger and became good friends with my roomies, so it all worked out; but be prepared for trading off personal space.
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    Apr 13, 2014 3:39 PM GMT
    kadventure saidThanks guys, we wanted to live close to USC because my housemate is starting dental school and the first year is supposed to be hell, so he wants the smallest commute possible.
    Ideally we'd find a place to rent monthly because neither of us has lived in the west or in a city, so if we make a bad choice on housing all the way from NY, we don't want to be stuck with it for a year.

    You might take a look at Craigslist. Also, I strongly suggest seeing the neighborhood and place you'll rent and not make a commitment before you're here. Maybe you can come a couple of weeks early and stay in a motel while looking.
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    Apr 13, 2014 4:06 PM GMT
    Snaz saidCulver city is boring :O


    ANYWHERE is only as boring as one allows it to become. CC is fairly centrally located to the West Side and LA's western suburbs, which may pass for "exciting" for some, but it's a nice, fairly quiet place to LIVE, and from where you can explore all that LA has to offer elsewhere.

    As a former Angeleno, I second the recommendations of others to avoid living near USC. Downtown, maybe, but it's getting pretty pricey down there, and the air quality - always a concern in "the basin" - is not that good. CC has the advantage there, too. You might also try Fairfax Village, but the commute will be longer and more convoluted. Give CC a glance and I think you'll both be pleasantly surprised. Oh, and be careful when investigating Craig's List leads; a lot of weirdos hang out there, and occassionally dangerous ones!
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Apr 13, 2014 5:25 PM GMT
    you're making a move in 6 wks and you don't have a place to live yet? 2br, for less than $1200/each? or for BOTH? 2br @$2k/mo shouldn't be hard to find something nice. however a nice 2br @$1k/mo? call the pope cuz you found a miracle.

    you should have checked out campus housing options, would have given you a "safe" place to start and have time to look at diff neighbourhoods

    1) I wouldn't rent any place site unseen off the internet, even on the recommendation from somebody who had seen it. what I think is good doesn't mean anything to you, you might not feel safe in my neighbourhood, but I think it's got a great mix of everything.

    2) I was going to mock all the posters who warn u how scary and dangerous LA is, but it probably will be for you coming from rural NE, so go ahead and be terrified of LA, alot of us vampires walk around at night and do things, and drive like assholes during the day.

  • muscleONmuscl...

    Posts: 301

    Apr 13, 2014 5:43 PM GMT
    I'm not sure how long the commute is to USC but the best deals I've heard of friends finding that weren't next to crack houses were in Long Beach. Of course, you're breathing some pretty bad air thanks to the Port of LA.

    Basically, what you're asking for 2BRs under 1200 near LA and in a halfway decent neighborhood isn't doable. What made you think it was? Housing in LA is famously expensive--only San Francisco and New York are worse.
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    Apr 13, 2014 6:42 PM GMT
    MGINSD said
    Snaz saidCulver city is boring :O


    ANYWHERE is only as boring as one allows it to become. CC is fairly centrally located to the West Side and LA's western suburbs, which may pass for "exciting" for some, but it's a nice, fairly quiet place to LIVE, and from where you can explore all that LA has to offer elsewhere.

    As a former Angeleno, I second the recommendations of others to avoid living near USC. Downtown, maybe, but it's getting pretty pricey down there, and the air quality - always a concern in "the basin" - is not that good. CC has the advantage there, too. You might also try Fairfax Village, but the commute will be longer and more convoluted. Give CC a glance and I think you'll both be pleasantly surprised. Oh, and be careful when investigating Craig's List leads; a lot of weirdos hang out there, and occassionally dangerous ones!


    Anywhere and somewhere. Maybe if I wanted to raise kids in a track home I'd cheer "CC" prefer Santa Monica and Westwood :O
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    Apr 13, 2014 6:43 PM GMT
    muscleONmuscle1 saidI'm not sure how long the commute is to USC but the best deals I've heard of friends finding that weren't next to crack houses were in Long Beach. Of course, you're breathing some pretty bad air thanks to the Port of LA.

    Basically, what you're asking for 2BRs under 1200 near LA and in a halfway decent neighborhood isn't doable. What made you think it was? Housing in LA is famously expensive--only San Francisco and New York are worse.


    Long beach is bomb :-)
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    Apr 13, 2014 6:53 PM GMT
    Snaz said
    MGINSD said
    Snaz saidCulver city is boring :O


    ANYWHERE is only as boring as one allows it to become. CC is fairly centrally located to the West Side and LA's western suburbs, which may pass for "exciting" for some, but it's a nice, fairly quiet place to LIVE, and from where you can explore all that LA has to offer elsewhere.

    As a former Angeleno, I second the recommendations of others to avoid living near USC. Downtown, maybe, but it's getting pretty pricey down there, and the air quality - always a concern in "the basin" - is not that good. CC has the advantage there, too. You might also try Fairfax Village, but the commute will be longer and more convoluted. Give CC a glance and I think you'll both be pleasantly surprised. Oh, and be careful when investigating Craig's List leads; a lot of weirdos hang out there, and occassionally dangerous ones!


    Anywhere and somewhere. Maybe if I wanted to raise kids in a track home I'd cheer "CC" prefer Santa Monica and Westwood :O


    Just make sure that tract home is on the right side of the tracks. I lived in Westwood, worked in Brentwood, and used to cycle thru CC on my way to Palos Verdes every weekend, and liked what I saw along the way ... especially when it came to the volleyballers in Playa, Hermosa, Manhattan, and Redondo.
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    Apr 13, 2014 6:58 PM GMT
    Uhm ok? I n see Culver City was choice locale for you. I would very much like avoiding track / tract homes. Train track references as well.
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    Apr 13, 2014 9:21 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidWhat would need to be added to Culver City to make it not boring?

    I can't put my finger on it. It's just an odd place to me. It's just a mish mash of family suburban neighborhoods, intermingled with with production studios and other businesses. There are some cool bars and restaurants hidden here and there. But I never hear anyone say "Oh let's hang out in Culver City this weekend." icon_lol.gif

    But yeah, the only reason I recommended it for the OP is that it's affordable, pretty quiet for studying, short commute, and central to other popular cities.
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    Apr 13, 2014 9:32 PM GMT
    kadventure saidThanks guys, we wanted to live close to USC because my housemate is starting dental school and the first year is supposed to be hell, so he wants the smallest commute possible.
    Ideally we'd find a place to rent monthly because neither of us has lived in the west or in a city, so if we make a bad choice on housing all the way from NY, we don't want to be stuck with it for a year.

    It's pretty rare landlords to rent out a house for less than a year. I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask. But you should expect to pay a higher rent.

    Also, you can break the lease if you're not happy. If you're dealing with a mega property management company, you'll lose your deposit and go through a few headaches. But if you're renting directly from an owner, you can probably work something out. Usually if you can find replacement tenants and do all the footwork to place the ad, interview, etc, then it shouldn't be too bad.

    Alternatively, you can find someone that is already renting a house and is looking for new roommates. If after living there for a while, you don't like the area, you can move out.

    And just to let you know, the commute from Culver City to USC is about 10 - 15 minutes by train. I agree with someone else's suggestion for Long Beach. As long as you don't mind the commute.
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    Apr 13, 2014 9:40 PM GMT
    Hm, I think your best bet would be around USC, Koreatown, Mid Wilshire Area. USC is close to downtown, sort of a bad area. Most landlords/management company do a six-month or a year lease. I don't think you can go month to month unless you're willing to bunk with a roommate. Long beach is too far from USC. Culver City is a little boring, most entertainment yuppy peeps live here or professionals who work in Santa Monica. You might want to try and ask USC for help with the housing/transition process. I'm sure there are other people in the same situation.

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    Apr 14, 2014 5:44 AM GMT
    xrichx saidLA is like any other city. It's mostly safe, but there are a few areas you want to avoid.

    And yeah, I agree Culver City is boring. But it's relatively central to all the major attractions in LA. Maybe after OP lives here for a while, he can branch out and decide if he wants to deal with the crazy traffic/commute.


    But remember, no rent control in Culver City.
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    Apr 14, 2014 8:37 AM GMT
    Long beach is bomb :-)
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Apr 14, 2014 3:39 PM GMT
    socalx10 said Long beach is too far from USC.


    ^^Precisely^^ wtf are these people thinking?

    hell, if you don't mind the commute from Long Beach, Dana Point is really nice too, and super safe.
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    Apr 14, 2014 4:16 PM GMT
    westsiderentals.com is by far the best source for LA listings. It is a fee-based service but definitely worth it. Apartments are spoken for within minutes of them being posted on craigslist.

    Also, any 2 bedroom under $1200 in the SC area is not worth taking unless you have a penchant for living in the ghetto. Honestly, it's not safe there
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Apr 14, 2014 9:22 PM GMT
    Snaz saidLong beach is bomb :-)


    random factoid: they filmed most of donnie darko in long beach.

    classic movie if you haven't seen it.