Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the U.S., with nearly 3.8 million residents. The large number of people looking for homes might be why the median salary required to buy a house in the LA market is more than $98,000 — the third highest in the nation, beat out only by San Diego and San Francisco, according to a report by HSH. Living here doesn’t come cheap, but there are still deals to be had in portions of the metro area. Start with one of these five locales to find the perfect spot for you.
- Average Sales Price: $1,143,560
- Average Difference (Sale Price to List Price): -$47,430
- Price Per Square Foot: $562
This LA suburb is best known for its family-friendly atmosphere. Arcadia’s school system is top-notch, with a GreatSchools score of 10 out of 10 thanks to the students’ outstanding test results. It’s also home to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, which on weekends is often full of families enjoying the scenery. Despite its smaller-city feel, Arcadia is only a half-hour away from downtown LA by light rail, the urban rail system serving LA County, and often even less for drivers, depending on traffic. And there are flashes of city life closer to home too as Arcadia is home to Santa Anita Park, one of the Southland’s go-to spots for horse racing.
- Average Sales Price: $644,785
- Average Difference (Sale Price to List Price): -$10,986
- Price Per Square Foot: $373
Thanks to the Cerritos Auto Square, which claims to be the world’s largest auto mall, Southland comes with plenty of cars. And the vehicles are put to good use driving the three major freeways that are accessible from Cerritos. While LA traffic is tricky everywhere, these options provide residents multiple routes to work. Plus, the city is situated between LA and Anaheim, making it a convenient choice for many commuters.
Like Arcadia, Cerritos also gets high marks from GreatSchools, scoring an excellent 9 out of 10 for its school system. With just over 50,000 residents, Cerritos brings a small-city feel to the bustling LA area while maintaining the area’s diverse character, and has been recognized for achieving diversity in both ethnicity and economics. And with a current average discount of nearly $11,000 from listed house prices, this small city could yield a big bargain for the smart homebuyer.
3. Leimert Park
- Average Sales Price: $602,483
- Average Difference (Sale Price to List Price): $8,597
- Price per Square Foot: $374
Curbed LA named this locale its 2016 Neighborhood of the Year, and it’s easy to see why. The neighborhood’s close proximity to the subway makes it highly desirable in this area, and Leimert Park has two lines running through it. Running east to west is the Expo Line and north-to-south is the Crenshaw/LAX line, which will finally connect the city’s airport to its public transit system when it opens in 2019. Crenshaw Boulevard is also in line to get a makeover via the city’s Great Streets initiatives. Accordingly, buyers are motivated: houses here are selling for an average of more than $8,500 over their listing price. It should also come as no surprise that when The Los Angeles Times looked for an example of the city’s competitive real estate market last spring, the paper found its way to Leimert Park.
4. Playa Vista
- Average Sales Price: $1,025,278
- Average Difference (Sale Price to List Price): $6,145
- Price per Square Foot: $670
Playa Vista was scarcely a blip on Angelinos’ radar 20 years ago; in 2000, there were just over 2,400 residents, according to The LA Times. Fifteen years later, the U.S. Census estimate for the neighborhood showed substantial growth with population at nearly 8,000. Playa Vista has become one of the hottest spots in the country for tech firms — especially those involved in content creation. YouTube has a studio space here, and Yahoo also has offices. These companies are part of what is known as Silicon Beach, and the money that’s coming in from these tech giants may be what’s helped push the average sales price for a home in Playa Vista over $1 million and why sales prices rose above list prices by an average of more than $6,000.
5. South Park
- Average Sales Price: $743,449
- Average Difference (Sale Price to List Price): -$44,905
- Price Per Square Foot: $537
South Park was one of the first neighborhoods to see gains from the downtown renaissance. One key event that marked the beginning of the boom was when the Staples Center was added to the landscape, and dozens of restaurants and entertainment venues followed. But as the redevelopment bug spread throughout the area, the neighborhood’s new housing market struggled to keep pace. Now, more than a decade later, the condominium rush is on, with towers going up on all sides. New housing stock and the early success of the Expo subway line, which runs from downtown all the way to the beach in Santa Monica, have made South Park a hot district of downtown. This rush of units may be why South Park is currently such a buyers’ market. Homes are selling for almost $45,000 less than original list prices, despite condo sales in the downtown area where South Park is located, rising by 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Elliman Report.
Whether you’re searching for new home as a young professional, a family or a retiree looking to settle down in the sun, there are neighborhoods in Los Angeles that can be both a great fit and a good deal. To see what’s available in these five locales or the rest of the metro area, check out the current listings on Owners.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.
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