I know how expensive it is to live in Los Angeles, I’m looking to spend about 900-1200 a month, does anyone know of any affordable areas close to santa monica in my price range that are safe? Someone recommended Culver City, how safe is that area?
Santa Monica is one of the most desirable areas of LA, and that’s reflected in the higher rent. You might be able to find a smaller studio or a shared living situation in the outer perimeter of the city, like off Pico closer to Santa Monica College, or on the smaller residential streets near the Yahoo headquarters around Cloverfield. The farther away from the beach and the Third Street Promenade you go, the more affordable the rent typically becomes. West LA is still extremely expensive, but it’s more affordable than Santa Monica. There’s a skate park on Stoner and Nebraska that I go to during the summers, and around it are some older apartment complexes that seem to frequently have signs in front of them advertising vacancies. You’d still likely be paying around $1300 for a very small one bedroom. The West LA police station is right up the street, and the area is well patrolled because of the number of kids there at park. It’s a pretty safe area. Continuing east, there’s the Sawtelle region that’s very popular for UCLA grad students because of its proximity to the campus (not by walking, but by bus / car) and hipster cafes and boutiques. You might find something more reasonable there.
Culver City used to be a more middle-class area, but it’s really been renovated in the past decade and has become far more appealing to young professionals who can afford higher prices. You’re not going to find great deals near Main Street, but a bit farther out, like closer to the 405 entrance or down near Target you might. Mar Vista and Palms don’t have the best reputation, but I think they’re reasonably safe, and they’re definitely less pricey than their neighboring areas. You’d still be relatively central there.
Really, your best bet is to visit the area at several different times of day to get a feel for the vibe. It’s going to be virtually impossible to find a private one bedroom within a 10 mile radius of Santa Monica, but you might be able to find a nice room in a shared living situation, a studio, or a little guest house.
~ skylark : )