The best neighbourhoods to buy property in Los Angeles

The City of Angels

Buying real estate in Los Angeles, or in California in general, is very different than buying property anywhere else in the United States. The property markets are really deverse, and the country is big enough. Even L.A. county is huge, it consists of 88 separate cities and has a total population of more than 14 million people. So buying property in Los Angeles is not a simple task and requires a lot of homework, e.g. selecting the right city, checking the infrastructure like schools, hospitals, traffic and much more.

Finding a neighborhood to live in that suits your needs and lifestyle, can be also a daunting task. With the near perfect weather, numerous beach options, hundreds of international restaurants, endless entertainment options, and cultural diversity, who wouldn’t want to live in Los Angeles!

So here is a neighborhood profile based on some of the most desirable and well known neighborhoods in L.A. (of course, neighbourhoods selections differ, we just want you to get another overview and check if they're what you're looking for).

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Los Feliz

The neighborhood of Los Feliz is near Griffith Park, which offers amazing hiking trails, many picnic areas and three public golf courses. Los Feliz is a walkable neighborhood and due to the flat terrain it’s also a great place to get around by bicycle. There are many grocery and specialty stores, along with two retail areas giving residents plenty of restaurant choices and other conveniences. There are many public bus stops and getting to the major Metro subway station is not a problem, making a trip to another part of the city a breeze.

Silver Lake

This is an area in the city known as a hipster mecca with a numerous selection of specialty shops, restaurants and great coffee shops. Much of this neighborhood can be explored on foot, including the 2.5-mile path that encircles the nearby reservoir. Homes are located in the hills, and many have a view of the reservoir.

West Hollywood (aka WeHo)

West Hollywood has been greatly responsible for the rise in pop culture over the last several decades. So it’s no surprise that WeHo is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly neighborhoods in America. It has been hosting the L.A. Pride Parade and Festival every year since 1970. In this neighborhood, you can find many casual bars and hang out spots, including several comedy clubs. If you want a more fancy setting, you can find that here too at places such as Skybar and Saint Felix.

As this area is very desirable, homes here are priced well above the average home in L.A. county, but not as pricey as what you’ll find in the nearby Hollywood Hills.

Buy home in the most famous neighbourhoods of Los Angeles

Greater Wilshire

This part of Los Angeles is located in the middle of the city, also referred to as Mid-City. It’s an older neighborhood with a lot of charm and has some of the most sought after family homes. Within the greater Wilshire area, you will discover two of the most popular neighborhoods; Hancock Park and Larchmont.

Hancock Park homes are more expensive than those in Larchmont, however they are both still priced higher than the national average. Many homes here are historical, have large front yards that are nicely manicured, and streets that are lined with trees. Neighborhoods like this are very uncommon in L.A.

The homes in Larchmont are in close proximity to the nearby Larchmont Village which is a cute, charming, and pedestrian-friendly retail area. Here you can find almost everything you need; including restaurants, coffee shops, yoga studios, banks, grocery stores, including the infamous Trader Joe’s, and boutique retail stores.

Sherman Oaks

Sherman Oaks is a great neighbourhood for families, located next to Studio City. It's surrounded by parks and includes a part of Santa Monica Mountains, so you'll enjoy the nature and family weekends outside. Sherman Oaks has numerous schools, so you'll surely have a choice when thinking about education for your children. Another good thing is that Santa Monica and Venice beach are just 15 miles away, so you can have adventurous holidays and weekends exploring the coast. However check how long it might take you to commute to your office - e.g. Downtown LA is 23 miles away, so you'll spend some time for daily commute.

Find your place in the best family suburbs of Los Angeles

Studio City

Studio City is a great neighborhood to reside if you work in the entertainment industry. Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, and Universal Studios are all nearby. The landscape in this area of Los Angeles is partially hillside and partially flat. Due to the location, the weather here tends to be hotter and drier than other neighborhoods in L.A. Views here are known to be spectacular and the large number of trees give this area a lovely feel. There are several parks where you can enjoy an easy hike or take your dog for a walk. They are Fryman, Coldwater and Franklin Canyon Parks.

Venice

Venice Beach is one of the most well-known tourist spots in Los Angeles. People from all over the world come to enjoy a stroll or bike ride on the boardwalk, which runs parallel to the ocean and has a wonderful breeze. Also, there are many activities taking place that draw people’s attention. Weightlifters can be spotted nearby at the public outdoor workout area, basketball tournaments and other events frequently take place, and the skateboard park draws people over to watch amazing and fear defying tricks performed by various skaters. At sunset, it’s common to see locals bring out their instruments to host a drum circle on the beach. There is always something exciting to see and do in Venice.

As of late, Venice has become a neighborhood with some of the most expensive real estate in L.A., on a per square foot basis. And the beachfront properties that line up right by the boardwalk, sell for millions of dollars.

Downtown L.A. (DTLA)

This is the area of Los Angeles where you’ll find many skyscraper offices because it’s known as the business district and financial center of Los Angeles. It’s also a fashion quarter among other things. Some world-class venues such as the Disney Concert Hall, and L.A. Philharmonic can be found here.

More than 90% of the residents in Downtown are renters. However, this statistic is quickly changing. There has been continuous, non-stop construction taking place recently, with a focus on luxury condos. Rehabilitation efforts to restore and remodel condominiums has been happening as well.

Downtown L.A. is full of professionals during the day, but turns into a hip, and urban neighborhood at night. And some of the best restaurants and lounges in Los Angeles can be found in Downtown.

Fortunately, this is one of the better areas to be if you need or want access to public transportation. You can hop on the subway, bus or train when arriving and leaving from Downtown. If you need to get somewhere a bit faster, services such as Uber or Zipcar are always close by. One other cool fact about Downtown is the rating it received as the most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Hollywood

This is one of the most notorious cities in all of America. Hollywood has undergone much change recently. There have been several retail stores being designed and opened, bars are popping up everywhere, and there are restaurants galore. Hollywood is considered to be the third most walkable neighborhood in L.A. and there are two subway stops nearby to take you around the city.

Construction has also taken place as evidenced by the new office and condo buildings. Developers are trying to keep up with the demand because the number of people vying for real estate in Hollywood currently exceeds the supply of available condos and lofts.

Cultural Diversity

Los Angeles is widely known for its cultural diversity. As a whole, the residents of Los Angeles represent more than 140 different countries, and speak over 224 different languages. By nationality, these are the percentages of people who call Los Angeles their home.

• 48.6% Hispanic or Latino • 28.5% White, non-Hispanic • 11.6% Asian • 8.9 Black or African American • 0.7% American Indian and Alaska Native

Source: U.S. Census Bureau – 2019 American Community Survey

Food and Restaurants

Los Angeles is a foodie’s paradise. No matter what cuisine you love, or food craving you have, there is a restaurant for you in L.A.! You can have food from almost any country in the world without having to leave the city. Here is a list of neighborhoods serving up international dishes of several varieties.

• Thai Town – Thai food • Koreatown – Korean food • Boyle Heights – Hispanic food • Little Ethiopia – Ethiopian food • Tehrangeles – Persian food (Tehran + Los Angeles = Tehrangeles) • Little Armenia (in Glendale) – Armenian food • Little Tokyo (in Gardena) – Japanese food • Chinatown (in Monterey Park) – Chinese food

Weather in L.A.

The ever popular song entitled “It Never Rains in Southern California,” implies the lack of rain and endless sunny days in L.A. To be exact, Los Angeles only averages 15 inches (381 mm) of rain each year and yields about 292 days of sun each year. The average high temperature is 74° F (23° C) and the average low temperature is 56° F (13° C). Some even say L.A. has the best weather in the entire country.

Source: National Weather Service Forecast Office at noaa.gov

Best Beaches

When someone thinks of Los Angeles, their immediate thoughts are typically; beaches, sun and fun! Many people move to L.A. for these reasons. There are 75-miles of coastline which is home to some of the country’s best beaches. From north to south, they stretch from Malibu to Long Beach.

Some of the nicest and most beautiful beaches reside in Malibu, including; Leo Carrillo State Park, El Matador and Surfrider Beach. Leo Carillo beach stretches for more than a mile, and has many sea caves and tidepools. You can also find picnic areas, campsites and RV facilities inside the park. El Matador is known as a romantic and secluded beach that has rocky shores, powerful waves and some of the clearest water of any beach in L.A. Surfrider Beach is the place to go if you want to surf some waves or sit around and observe the surfers.

Moving down south from Malibu you will find the historic Santa Monica Pier, which is extremely popular and always crowded. Santa Monica Beach extends over 2 miles and offers plenty of space to walk along the shore, play a game of volleyball, or lay down a beach towel or blanket and work on your suntan.

Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach are located a few miles south of Santa Monica, where you’ll find a plethora of volleyball courts. Some people come to these beaches to bodysurf, build sandcastles, surf, swim or take a walk on the paved walkway.

A popular beach for families and tourists alike is Cabrillo Beach, which nears the town of Long Beach. This beach has a relaxed vibe and has all the necessary facilities to have a long outing. The beach has two sides; one is located outside the breakwater and is open for surfing, and the other side is open to the harbor. No matter what beach you decide to visit, you can be sure about one thing. The sun will be shining and the waves will be crashing.

When it comes to buying property in LA

High Prices Are Getting Even Higher

Many of the cities in Los Angeles have this one thing in common, the housing prices are high. While the median price of a home in the U.S. is around $250,000, the median price in L.A. is $570,000 according to Corelogic. Prices have increased almost 9% vs. the same period a year ago. Only 25% of L.A.’s population can actually afford to buy a home there.

While homes in L.A. are expensive, they haven’t reached the level of prices that neighboring San Francisco has reached. The median home price in San Francisco is almost $1.3 million. Prices in L.A. go from the multi-millions in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Malibu, to the low hundreds of thousands of dollars in towns like Compton and East L.A.

Find A Good “Local” Real Estate Agent

Because of its size and diversity, a home buyer should pick an agent who is knowledgeable about a specific area. It’s not likely that an agent will be familiar with every neighborhood in L.A., because it’s just not possible. A good local agent will know their specific area of L.A. and can help a buyer navigate the often confusing home buying process. Please ask specific questions when contacting an agent through the property listing to see if the the agent knows the neighborhood well.

A Few Unique Things About Buying A Home In L.A.

Commissions. In the U.S., commissions average around 5.5% to 6% because the listing agent and the agent representing the buyer get a commission. While this commission is paid by the home seller, the commission amount is typically baked into the asking price.

L.A.-centric. One of the main reasons you want a knowledgeable local agent on your side is for the secrets and tips they can share that sellers usually don’t mention. For example, if you are viewing a home on the coast and it’s a bright and sunny day, you need to ask how often the area is covered in fog. Many coastal towns live under a blanket of fog for days on end, although you won’t know it because sellers like to show their homes only on sunny days. Only a local agent would know this.

Also, L.A.’s is known for their legendary traffic jams. You’ll want to know how long, not how far, your commute to work will be during rush hour. Otherwise, you’ll spend a big chunk of your life behind the wheel of your car.

Buying a home in L.A. does present its challenges, but it’s well worth the effort. Once you’re settled in, the city is a fascinating and exciting place to be. There is always some fun event to attend, a part of the city to be explored, a fabulous new restaurant to try and a beach to relax at. Living in L.A. has more perks than nearly any other city in the U.S. Living here will create many beautiful new memories for you and your family.