Los Angeles Babies

Possibly relocating to SoCal - please help!

Hi Ladies! I used these boards when I planned my wedding, and while I was pregnant with my daughter, so I thought it would be a great place to turn for some info.

We are currently located in Greensboro, NC. The company my husband works for has plans to expand to Cali, and wants us to move so he can run the Real Estate function. There would be some flexibility in where we could live, at least initally, but it would have to be southern Cali. He would like to be within reasonable distance to the airport, because he does travel some.

Here are my concerns:

1. Where to live? I have family in Orange Co who love it, but it seems far from LAX. What are the best family areas? Are there any public schools that are decent?

2. Would you move? I've been in NC for 20 years, but am open to a move. I just hear so many negative (and positive) things about CA. I've only visited a handful of times, and only ever for vacations (so I've never gotten a good idea of what it would be like to live there.) I'm excited about the weather and produce...not so much the traffic and housing costs.

3. We just bought a gorgeous house in a fabulous neighborhood. It's 3100 sq ft, 4 bed/2.5 bath. Great school district. We paid around $400k. We're trying to tell his company that a comparable house will cost us at least $1mil. Is that reasonable? I don't think his company has fully realized how much more expensive it is. I want at least a family-friendly, safe neighborhood.

4. What are your favorite things about living in there? What are your favorite things to do?

 You have no idea how much I appreciate ANY info/advice you can give. This is such a stressful decision for us to try to make. We have a 21m old daughter, and are hoping to try again for #2, so I'd like to get this decision behind us! We don't necessarily WANT to move, but it would be AWESOME for his career, and we are at least open to the idea.

Thank you!

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Re: Possibly relocating to SoCal - please help!

  • My favorite neighborhood near LAX is Manhattan Beach, though it's quite pricey.

    Torrance is far more reasonable, but not nearly as nice.

    My favorite things about living here:

    The weather.

    The weather.

    The weather.

    Living in the city gives you almost immediate access to the beach and local mountains for skiing.

    Yes, the cost of living is high, but if you enjoy the outdoors it's nice to go outside in the afternoon and not sweat your asss off.

    Not so favorite:


    Plan your day to navigate around it if you can. Also, try to live somewhere where you can walk to the grocery, library, etc.

    Good luck in whatever it is you decide!

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  • Two cities with get schools are San Marino and South Pasadena. They are right next to each other. They are not too far from downtown and about 45 minutes to a hour from LAX. Good Luck!

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  • I really like San Marino and South Pasadena and Pasadena.  Parking would be much easier in these neighborhoods than Manhattan Beach.  Plus you wouldn't have to deal with the beach parking/crowds.  Houses in South Pas would cost less than  San Marino.  Regardless you won't find a 3100 sq ft, 4 bed/2.5 bath for anywhere close to $400K in these neighborhoods or any other neighborhoods unless the neighborhood isn't that great or it's a total fixer upper. 

    Agreed, love the weather here, but hate the traffic.  I avoid the freeway whenever possible and take surface streets everywhere if I can.  Depending where your husband flies, these three areas are not too far from Burbank Airport both distance, traffic, and time wise.

    As for things to do, I'm sure that So Cal has got to be one of the nation's top vacation spots.  There are so many amusement parks, tourist attractions, the beach, the mountains (about an hour or two away depending where you live), parks, shopping, etc, etc.

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  • sjpsjp member

    Agreed the schools in south pas and san marino are great--however, for the size of house you want--1 mill would be on the lower end for south pas but not enough for san marino--

    santa monic is nice too --and not too far from the airport,--i think there are parts with good schools . .

     traffic will be bad wherever you are in so. cal

    good luck!

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  • Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Mar Vista, Culver City, and Playa Vista are all wonderful areas to live in as well and not too far from the LAX airport. Good schools in the areas as well.

    Good luck

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  • Culver City! near LAX and good school system, and the Moms Club is fantastic. 
  • We love El Segundo. It's right next to LAX for out of town guests and the school district is NOT LAUSD, a huge plus. My son spent 6th grade in an LAUSD school barely getting by and when we relocated he's been on the honor roll every semester.

    It's a tight knit community with lots of parks within walking distance. We are really happy we moved here.

  • EL SEGUNDO!!! You will LOVE It.  Also the Del Aire neighborhood in Hawthorne is affordable and has good schools etc.  I live in Manhattan Beach but we rent, as buying a house here is over a million bucks :(.  Still, we LOVE it.  East Manhattan Beach has plenty of parking, it is the more suburban part.  GL to you!
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