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Moving to the Westside: 4 Tips on Relocating to Santa Monica

Posted by admin on January 29, 2011
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Whether it’s work that brought you out to Southern California or just the nice weather, living by the beach in Santa Monica is a great place to call home.

One industry I’ve seen grow in Santa Monica recently is the tech community. Over the past year and a half I’ve helped several people relocate from Silicon Valley to Santa Monica as it is fast becoming the center-of-gravity for technology in Southern California.

Since relocating can be a little overwhelming, I’ve put together a few tips to help make the process as easy as possible.

  1. Rent or Buy?
    If you are not at all familiar with the area then initially renting is probably your best option as it gives you time to explore the different neighborhoods and figure out which area is best for you. Most owners prefer to rent for at least a year but many would be open to rent for a six-month option. However, if you have spent some time in LA and have a general idea of what you want, then now is a great time to buy as interest rates are low and it is currently a buyer’s market. Of course, your price range will also help narrow down your location search as the different areas vary in price.

  2. If Renting:
    If you are saving up to buy a place and want to find a rental that is not too pricey, then Westside Rentals will be your best resource. Craigslist will have a few options, but it’s worth the member fee of $60 for Westside Rentals as you’ll find the most options there. If you want to live it up a little and splurge on a higher-end pad, then working with a real estate agent is the best way to go. Agents will have access to the most properties through our MLS database and, with no fee to you, will take care of all the work including house hunting, setting up showings, negotiating and of course, all the paperwork. Also, if your credit score has a few dings, then it would be a good idea to clean it up as credit is an important consideration for landlords when choosing the right tenant.

  3. If Buying:
    The first and most important step is finding a real estate agent that you both like and trust. Buying a house can be overwhelming, especially if you are a first time buyer, and a good real estate agent should be able to give you peace of mind and keep the stress level at a minimal. It is also important to find an agent who is very familiar with the areas that most interest you. When moving to a new neighborhood it helps to have all the latest information and your agent should be able to advise you on everything from the best housing deals to where to get the best burger

  4. Get to know the different neighborhoods in Santa Monica:

Depending on what kind of neighborhood you are looking for, Santa Monica has something for everyone. Are you looking for a great family area with a good school district, a penthouse with an ocean view, or perhaps an area with a cool vibe, walking distance to shops and restaurants? There are many great locations to choose from when selecting the neighborhood that is just right for you. Check out the areas below:

North of Montana
South of Montana
Santa Monica Canyon

If Santa Monica ends up being a bit out of your price range, then there are some great neighborhoods close by such as Brentwood, West Los Angeles, Venice, Westwood and Palisades that may work better for you. Once you found a place to call home, it’s time to kick back and start enjoying the beach lifestyle.

What challenges have you had when trying to relocate?  What advice has been helpful to you? Please leave your comments below and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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