By Jennifer Riner of Zillow
From celebrity sightings to basking on beaches in November, Los Angeles living provides year-round outdoor fun. However, Los Angeles residents enjoy more than just warm weather – their city is home to some of the most upscale neighborhoods in the country.
While it may sound like a great idea, moving to LA can be an intimidating, expensive transition for non-natives. The LA metro area encompasses multiple districts, each with individual benefits and drawbacks. Interested in becoming a SoCal transplant? Consider these five top neighborhoods.
It’s no surprise Beverly Hills real estate is consistently among the best in the United States. The median home value is a steep $2.58 million, which stretches far beyond most house hunters’ budgets. Correspondingly, the median household income is $70,945, which is a far cry from the $44,512 national median. Aside from the rich and famous, most residents here fall into one of three categories: urban dwellers from foreign countries, educated professionals with high incomes and college graduates with high expenses. The cost of living in Beverly Hills is extremely high, making it an impractical choice for many – except those who are heir to a corporate fortune or relatives of entertainment industry royalty.
Often referred to as the West coast’s Brooklyn, Highland Park is home to a diverse mix of urban families and wealthy singles. Highland Park dwellers make about $34,791 per year. Highland Park homes have consistent increasing values, rendering it a smart neighborhood for home purchases. The median home value in Highland Park is $518,900, which is a 19.2 percent increase from 2013. Highland Park features upscale shopping and dining, as well as access to the Gold Line for a no-hassle commute to downtown.
Zillow’s Home Value Index for Los Angeles
A bit more on the expensive side than some other LA districts, Los Feliz’s median home value is $1.09 million. Los Feliz home values have increased 8.8 percent over the last year, and Zillow projects a 4.1 percent increase by March of 2015. Compared to Los Angeles homes for sale, which have a median list price of $540,000, Los Feliz homes for sale are listed for about $1.33 million. The majority of residents are in their 30s without children. In fact, 82.9 percent of the homeowners in the region do not have children, so consider other neighborhoods when searching for family-oriented atmospheres. The median household income in Los Feliz surpasses the national median at $46,113. Most residents here enjoy post-graduate educations, mid-management professions and higher incomes.
Silver Lake is most well-known for its eclectic culture and unique residents, thanks to Forbes’ “Best Hipster Neighborhood” designation two years ago. In addition to an abundance of coffee shops and artsy occupations, Silver Lake has some of the best food carts and locally-owned bars in the city. Silver Lake’s median home value is $800,600. The 15 percent increase in home values since last year indicates a strong, ascending housing market and great investing opportunities. The typical income in Silver Lake falls around $44,949, which is slightly higher than the national median. Most residents here are urban, young professional singles with mid-range incomes. Silver Lake’s living expenses are less than other areas, yet the neighborhood is still considered upscale.
Also known as WeHo, this neighborhood is Beverly Hills’ more frugal and trendy younger sister. West Hollywood real estate features a median home value of $640,700, which is an 18.3 percent increase year-over-year. Most WeHo residents are big-spending young professionals and urban singles with a median income of $38,914. The majority (52.9 percent) of residents here are not married, so families might consider more kid-friendly locales. Like all city neighborhoods, there are good and bad areas, so make sure to research specific apartment buildings and sub-neighborhoods before blindly relocating.
Although these neighborhoods differ in their economic makeup, they are all fantastic options for future LA residents. The most important aspect of searching for homes in any city is ensuring that surrounding areas fit individual needs. Investigate parks, schools, nightlife and commute times to determine the best neighborhoods.