By Patrick Galvan, Storage.com
Finding your place in this world can be pretty difficult, not to mention how hard it can be to move there. Storage.com is here to help with the moving process, either by providing storage or helping you find the ideal place to call home.
Young parents have a lot on their mind, one of which is finding a neighborhood suitable for raising their family. The ideal family-oriented community has friendly neighbors, minimal crime, nearby employment opportunities, and good education systems in the vicinity. Not every neighborhood is equal, so it’s important for parents to be selective. This is especially true for families in Los Angeles.
Raising a family in L.A. does present some challenges. Odds are you aren’t earning enough income to afford a spacious mansion, so Beverly Hills or Bel Air is out the question when you are first starting out. However, Los Angeles does feature a wide variety of smaller, more affordable neighborhoods that offer a unique living experience. Here’s Storage.com’s picks for the 8 Best Los Angeles Neighborhoods for Young Families.
1. BOYLE HEIGHTS
- Population: 92,785
- Average Cost of Living: $38,000
- Average Rent: $709
- Average Home Price: $675,000
With plentiful education opportunities and an overall population of less than 100,000, Boyle Heights is a popular neighborhood for young working class families. Boyle Heights has a fine mixture of public, private, and charter schools scattered throughout its district, so L.A. families can be a little more selective about which school they want their children to attend.
The historical architecture and multicultural populace provides families with a unique living experience. What makes this city attractive, however, are the lower-than-average prices! This is an extremely affordable neighborhood for families. The cost of living here is 61% lower than the state average, and it’s possible to find a one-bedroom apartment with 500 sq. feet for under $1,000 a month. Remember, this means you will have to save space and maybe convert your living room or kitchen into a nursery, but in those early years of living in Los Angeles, this is a great way of saving money. If your income matches or exceeds $75,000, you can make it in Boyle Heights.
2. MIRACLE MILE
- Population: 5,528
- Average Cost of Living: $73,000
- Average Rent: $5,587
- Average Home Price: $1,250,000
Located to the west of downtown, Miracle Mile is a great residential neighborhood in Los Angeles for families who want to save on living expenses while still remaining close to the action. Living close to downtown means you’ll have less of a distance to commute each day. This is a great convenience to have in those unexpected events when you need to head back home or pick someone up from school. Miracle Mile’s “Museum Row” offers great educational entertainment. Featured institutes include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Craft and Folk Art Museum, and the George C. Page Museum, which is located next to the La Brea Tar Pits. The George C. Page Museum will be of special interest to children due to its fantastic display of fossils and life-sized statues of prehistoric animals.
Compared to other residential neighborhoods in Los Angeles, it’s easy to find smaller space for less money in Miracle Mile. For instance, if you are willing to sacrifice some space and use your living room as a nursery, you can easily get a one-bedroom apartment for under $3,500. Miracle Mile also features a high concentration of duplexes, which not only saves rent, but also provides children a nice yard to play in. This area is a small, kid-friendly Los Angeles neighborhood, and things quiet down at night so the whole family can get some well-earned rest.
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3. SHERMAN OAKS
- Population: 61,166
- Average Cost of Living: $97,000
- Average Rent: $7,429
- Average Home Price: $907,500
Sherman Oaks is located close to Bel Air, but it’s nowhere near as expensive! The average rent in Sherman Oaks is significantly less than the average rent in Bel Air. Most of this community’s populace is made up of college graduates and recently wed couples who are ready to start their lives together. While the average rent may seem a little high, it’s easy to find smaller space for less. For young families in Sherman Oaks, a two-bedroom apartment can run as low as $2,590 per month. Even the restaurants in the area are accommodated for families; you’ll have no trouble finding a diner with plenty of high chairs!
Of course, safety is a major priority for young families. Sherman Oaks has very little crime, and the number of violent crimes committed here are absolutely minimal. North Hollywood is a short driving distance away, so finding activities for the whole family is no trouble. Drive the kids up for some magic shows at Boney Island or visit Universal Studios Hollywood. With Jurassic World breaking box office records, why not take them to experience Jurassic Park The Ride?
4. MAR VISTA
- Population: 37,447
- Average Cost of Living: $72,000
- Average Rent: $3,533
- Average Home Price: $1,092,000
The Mar Vista neighborhood takes education seriously. 42.3% of Mar Vista’s residents 25 and older obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher, and the numerous employment options in sales, education, and business make this an ideal neighborhood for young, responsible adults. Since the entire district is less than three square miles in size, parents can rest assured that their children are within a short driving distance of all local employers. So you don’t have to go too far out of your way if you receive a phone call that someone is being sent home sick or forgot their lunch money.
Another comforting thought is the community’s appealingly low crime rate. Crime in general here is scarce and violence is almost non-existent. Young L.A. families will also be pleased with the Mar Vista Recreation Center, complete with an auditorium, basketball courts, hockey rink, gymnasium, tennis, soccer, and children’s play area. This is a great venue for adults and children alike to enjoy themselves and mingle with their neighbors!
- Population: 12,422
- Average Cost of Living: $58,000
- Average Rent: $2,866
- Average Home Price: $675,000
Of course, raising a family and launching a successful career can be a bit of a challenge, especially in a city like Los Angeles where costs tend to run high. However, Winnetka offers relief on both counts! In regards to expenses, the costs of living in this community is 6.3% lower than the state average. The average apartment features three bedrooms for a monthly rent under $3,000, as opposed to the city average of $6,891. With these prices, it is much easier for one parent to stay at home or work part-time. In Winnetka, many parents take advantage of the city-funded Winnetka Child Care Center, which supervises children ages 2-13. Two parks and an outdoor playground at the Winnetka Recreation Center make this a very kid-friendly Los Angeles neighborhood.
- Population: 42,545
- Average Cost of Living: $52,000
- Average Rent: $1,481
- Average Home Price: $47,450
Once a major agricultural center, the community of Palms has since evolved into a diverse residential area rich with apartments, duplexes, triplexes, and single-family homes. Unlike some famous residential Los Angeles suburbs, such as Bel Air and Beverly Hills, living in Palms isn’t particularly expensive, at least by L.A. standards. The average cost of living here is 19.4% lower than the state average, and it’s not unheard of to find an apartment for under $1,500. Not to mention the average price of a single-family home in this community is less than $50,000, which is far less than the city average of $675,000.
Want your children to grow up in a multicultural environment? The community features a healthy mix of Asian, African American, and Latino families. Crime is minimal, and 45.9% of residents 25 and over has obtained a college education. Palms Park and Palms Recreation Center and Woodbine Park provide versatile family entertainment.
7. PLAYA DEL RAY
- Population: 12,129
- Average Cost of Living: $86,000
- Average Rent: $2,521
- Average Home Price: $1,040,000
With a median salary of $67,647 and a strong concentration of educated adults, approximately 49.3% of adults 25 and over with a college education, and the grand vista of the mighty Pacific Ocean providing spectacular views, Playa Del Rey is a wonderful community for families. Even better, the rent and mortgage in this neighborhood is fairly low, with the average three-bedroom apartment costing around $2,500. This is primarily a residential area, so parents will likely need to drive or commute into another district for work. Even if a babysitter is needed, parents can rest assured that their kids will feel at home in this kid-friendly L.A. neighborhood with very little crime. Playa Del Rey’s convenient coastal location means finding beachside entertainment is a cinch. Hey, isn’t that part of the reason everyone comes to California?
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- Population: 35,502
- Average Cost of Living: $96,000
- Average Rent: $7,029
- Average Home Price: $850,000
Can you imagine your kids’ reaction when they learn their hometown is named after a popular character once featured in a Disney movie? That’s right! Tarzana draws its name from the beloved character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs that was adapted into an animated film in 1999. What really makes Tarzana a swell neighborhood for young Los Angeles families is its strong economy, educated populace, and low crime rate.
Are any of your children interested in film school? Interested yourself? In Tarzana, there’s Columbia College Hollywood, which teaches a variety of subjects related to film and television, including screenwriting, cinematography, directing, producing, editing, and special effects. Are your kids animal lovers? Tarzana’s Red Barn Feed & Saddlery features all the tools you’ll need for raising your pets, and Red Barn even features some animal adoptions.
Do you live in one of these Los Angeles neighborhoods? If so, let us know what you love the most about the area in the comment section!
If you’re moving to Los Angeles and need storage space to help with the transition, view Storage.com’s directory for self storage in Los Angeles.
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