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Los Angeles - Accommodation & Property
Living on the west side of the city, where many of the expats congregate in Los Angeles, can be a pricey option. You can easily spend $1,200 per month or more on a one bedroom apartment, and the rental price usually does not include utilities, such as electricity, gas, water, and waste removal.
In general, Fairfax avenue is the dividing line between the "good" and "bad" neighborhoods of Los Angeles and West Hollywood. There are some exceptions to this general rule – for example, the eastern areas north of Beverly Blvd. are typically much nicer than neighborhoods in the rest of the eastern part of the city. Also, in Hollywood itself, the divisions between "good" and "bad" neighborhoods are less clear.
Expats in Los Angeles tend to gather in several particular neighborhoods and areas:
Brentwood is one of the more expensive areas of the city, but is considered a safe, clean neighborhood with lots of shops and restaurants. Santa Monica is another neighborhood popular with expats, partially because of its easy access to the city’s beaches; however, the area is also a favorite spot for tourists, so plan on heavy traffic and a grater chance of being pickpocketed if you choose to live here.
The various neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley are attractive for new Los Angeles residents, partly because of the relatively safe nature of the area, and partly because it is filled with restaurants, cafes, bars, and other places to take in the local culture. Rent tends to be cheaper here as compared to other desirable neighborhoods in Los Angeles, so this is a good choice if you want to minimize your housing expenses without living in a dangerous area. The San Fernando Valley includes the neighborhoods of Burbank, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Reseda, Van Nuys, Granada Hills, Tarzana, Northridge, and Woodland Hills.
Hiring a real estate broker to help you locate an apartment in Los Angeles is not mandatory, but it can same you quite a bit of time and trouble. A broker will help you review listings, make appointments, and negotiate rental agreements with landlords. You will pay a broker about one half of one’s month’s rent as a finder’s fee, but the time and hassle saved can be well worth the expense.
Another popular option for expats is to share an apartment. This helps reduce your expenses, and your roommate can help you learn your way around the city as well. Some of the more popular apartment sharing agencies can be found at www.roommateclick.com and www.easyroommate.com. You can browse listings posted by Los Angeles residents who want to share their apartments, or post your own ad, letting people know that you are looking for an apartment to share in Los Angeles.
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