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Old 15 January 2018, 08:03 PM
Esprise Me's Avatar
Esprise Me Esprise Me is offline
Join Date: 02 October 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,946

We've looked at a few other buildings, none of which had everything we wanted in terms of being in a walkable neighborhood with easy subway access and parking for both of us--we could never get more than two out of three. Taking public transit to work isn't feasible for me, but is pretty much mandatory for him, except for the half a dozen times a year he needs to drive to Bakersfield or wherever for an early court appearance, which is why we need two cars. One of the buildings we looked at came with one parking space and had a Zipcar in the garage, which might have allowed us to get rid of his car, but there was still the issue of there not being much of a walkable neighborhood--no grocery stores for miles, very few restaurants, only one bar and one coffee shop within walking distance, and just not enough foot traffic to feel safe at night. A lot of the buildings we didn't bother checking out in person had tons of negative reviews for things like lack of maintenance, fire alarms going off at all hours, people not cleaning up after their dogs, etc. One older building seems to be undergoing renovations to put washer/dryers and recessed lighting in all the units, which sounds nice, but the residents report that this has meant years of water and electrical shutoffs with no warning.

I feel like it wasn't this hard to find a nice place when I lived in Boston and San Diego. But downtown and surrounding urban areas of LA seem to have been affected more by the white flight to the suburbs than at least those two cities. It’s only within the last decade or so that people who could afford to choose have been coming back to the city; the number of people living downtown has more than tripled in the last 20 years, with the most dramatic increase within the last 5-10 years. There's been an explosion of new development, but it's just barely keeping up. Growth has been somewhat limited by the need for cars; the subway system (yes, there is one!) covers only a small part of the city, though they're currently expanding it. Meanwhile, lots of up-and-coming neighborhoods still don't have a lot of the things you'd expect to have within walking distance in the heart of a major city. That place I mentioned without a grocery store apparently used to have a Wal-Mart up the street, but it closed years ago and nothing has taken its place. This new building we're considering will have a Target on the ground floor. It's also, like our current place, in Koreatown, which has been dense for decades and so has a lot of businesses and foot traffic, though parking is a challenge.

ETA: it also seems like at least a few of the other buildings in the area follow the same playbook where any one-bedroom that faces out or is high enough to get sunlight will be under a certain size, and the ground floor/interior units make up for it with more space.

Last edited by Esprise Me; 15 January 2018 at 08:19 PM.
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