When you move somewhere one of the most important steps in the moving process is actually finding somewhere to live, but it’s not always the first thing that crosses your mind in the midst of the excitement. Los Angeles is a huge city, basically its like a lot of little cities in one giant city and finding the pocket of the city that suits your tastes and budget can prove to be a challenge.
In Los Angeles, much like most cities the area in which you live, can say a lot about you. There are so many areas with a specific type of resident and that come with a stereotype like “Oh she lives there, she must be ____” . For instance, the area we live in right now and its surrounding areas are seen as kind of snooty to outsiders (like us). It carries a very specific air about it, the people are all incredibly friendly but it can be really intimidating knowing that their shoes probably cost more than your car. Its best not to tell you exactly where we live but let’s call it… Snazzyville! On the other end of the spectrum if you decide to live somewhere like Venice Beach people automatically assume you’re either a ‘surfer’ or a ‘stoner’. We have both lived in Cities before and never have we experienced living somewhere with such distinct groups of people in city pockets.
Where we first lived when we moved to Los Angeles and where our adventure began was in an apartment in the area of Westwood which is essentially UCLA central! We were paying almost $1500 between us to share a bedroom in a two bedroom plus loft apartment with 3 other people. We like to think our moving to L.A. story is pretty typical, until we met our roommates. During our 8 months of living in the one apartment, we saw ten housemates come and go, not including ourselves. Most of them were pretty nice, kept to themselves type of people but some of them were OMG insane, like stab you in the middle of the night insane, we slept with our door locked! We loved our apartment so much, it was in the ideal location but the roommates were crazy and it was just draining our already dwindling bank accounts.
To put it simply, Los Angeles is expensive. The cost of living is so much higher here which I’m sure you have heard no matter where you’re from, but I don’t think you’ll truly understand how high it is until you actually live here. Lindsey, coming from South Carolina where everything is dirt cheap, had a huge shock just by signing a lease on an apartment. She paid $70 less to have a two bedroom apartment to herself in South Carolina and when she moved to Los Angeles, she was in an apartment with 4 other girls and sharing a bedroom with Shauna. It’s been a huge adjustment for both of us, but an adjustment we were both willing to make because we love it here.
Right now we have been blessed beyond our own imaginations and do not have to pay rent, but our Los Angeles apartment search has begun again as this chapter in our L.A. story is about to come to a close. We are trying to find a balance of ideal location (we love Westwood), cheap(we’re broke), normal roommates and livable as we search for a new place to live. Wish us luck!
About the Authors:
Shauna, originally from Ireland, and Lindsey, a South Carolina native, met September 2012 as newcomers to L.A. and became instant friends and roommates. Lindsey is working as an extra on a few high profile shows such as “Teen Wolf”, “Glee”, “2 Broke Girls”, “Shameless”, “Parks and Recreation”, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” as well as many pilots that will preview this Fall. Shauna is making her way into the PR side of the film/tv industry, learning the ins and outs of movie making. Join Shauna and Lindsey as they discover Hollywood in their biweekly column.