What constantly makes my jaw drop, is seeing how far money goes in other parts of the country, compared to the high cost of living here in Los Angeles. If I was still living in Detroit, I could literally almost pay cash for a small house in certain suburbs.
At this point in time, I have little to no hope of ever owning anything if I stay living here, which is a depressing thought until…
…I step outside on a GORGEOUS 70+ degree Sunday afternoon, and moments later I’m running on a beautiful beach next to the blue Pacific Ocean. It’s a trade-off.
The other day I was having a drink with a friend, and I told her that with me not playing beach volleyball right now, it made me consider what the future may hold and if hiring movers and moving could, or would be something I’d be willing to do to make my cost of living easier.
I mean right now I’m still so attached to the idea of beach livin’, and the freelance work I’m getting is still based out of LA (although I mainly work from hard drives, so it’s not totally out of the question), so I don’t have any plans just yet…but I wonder how long the cost of living will be a huge drag, and don’t even get me started on dating. I think every guy my age around here wants to date 20-something bikini models.
It got me thinking about the good and bad parts of where I’m living. And just because LA is so huge and has its micro-communities, I’ll just give you my perspective about where I live in Los Angeles: the South Bay:
The weather. Hands down the best part, especially the area I live because it rarely gets too hot or too cold (if you remember our “cold snap” in January was only 45-50 degrees). Brrrrr! It’s sunny most of the year (except May & June when we get fog), and because of that I don’t need air conditioning, saving me a TON of money. We also don’t suffer from humidity, which makes the evenings very pleasant. And no mosquitoes!
The Beach. It’s half a mile from my house, and gets you to a bike path that runs all the way to the end of Santa Monica to the north, and Redondo Beach to the south. Of course there are endless healthy activities you can do at the beach.
Low utilities. Now this could be different depending on where you live around here, but for me the only utilities I pay for is electric, which runs about $22/month. My gas, and everything else is paid for by my landlord. Because I live in an apartment, if anything breaks I don’t have to pay for it, nor do I have to worry about lawn care or landscaping.
Good health. People are very health conscious here. Maybe it’s because the weather is nice and we wear less clothes, but people “work on themselves.” You are the company you keep, and all of my friends are also very active and health conscious.
My neighborhood. The part of the South Bay I live in is know as the “Mayberry” of LA It’s got a very small town feel and a main street with shops and restaurants, all within one or two blocks from my house. This is by far one of the friendliest places I’ve ever lived, and I know a lot of my neighbors. They have great community amenities, and a farmers’ market every Thursday (again one block from my house). My walk score is 95.
Work. Like I said, my industry is here, so it would, or could be harder to find work in my field in other cities (although I have worked in my industry in two other states before).
Friends. I have a very good network of good friends where I live.
You never get bored in California. There are just so many things to do here. So many types of geography and weather. You always heard you can snowboard and surf on the same day? It’s true. I’ve done it.
The cost. My rent for my tiny, no frills one-bedroom apartment is $1,400 (I rent my garage so at least it’s down to $1,250). I have no dishwasher, and I have to go to the laundromat, which I hate. The average medium home price where I live is something like $850,000. And believe me when I say it’s nothing fancy.
The traffic. Thankfully I work from home, so I avoid most of the nightmare that is LA traffic, but it really keeps me in the “bubble” of where I live. Nobody likes getting on the 405…nobody.
It can be shallow. When I went to NYC last April, what really stood out to me is how “real” everyone looked. In LA, it definitely has a bit of that fakeness going on. And like I said dating has been really hard here. No one can seem to put a finger on why exactly, but it seems to be universally difficult around in L.A.
So there you have it. Obviously cost is the biggest con for living here, but you can see there are so many things I love as well. But who knows you might convince me to move…so tell me what is the best and worst part about where you live?