In part one of our earlier blog, STALKING THE PERFECT L.A. ‘HOOD, we schooled on the best (legal) ways to stalk your perfect LA neighborhood. Here’s 5 more tantalizing tips for you:
Let the guides be your guide
The popular apartment-sharing website Airbnb has a handy neighborhood guide with numerous photos from the area, proximity to major attractions and hash tags residents often use to describe it. TimeOut L.A. is setting up a guide that you can access here and the website Immovingtola.com has one here! Two other websites working from more of a city guide perspective are Map Hawk and Not for Tourists. You can view highlights of different L.A. neighborhoods there and curated choices for where to eat, drink, and play. Neighborhood guides like these are a wonderful way to get a slice-of-life look at your potential new neighborhood.
It’s all gone to the blogs
Local blogs are another great way to get an insider’s scoop on your prospective neighborhoods. Some popular ones that deal with L.A. generally include Curbed LA, a real estate and neighborhood blog, and Eater LA, their sister blog, about local food/restaurants. Patch allows you to search by neighborhood and find each neighborhood’s page, complete with local news, message boards and blogs.
Crime doesn’t stay
Yes, it’s true that crime has no address but that sucker sure does visit some places more than others. Check out the crime map for the area using this tried and true resource from the LAPD. This map allows you to search by address, and you can look back at particular months or as far back as 5-6 months from the current date. A special note for out-of-towners: You may be surprised by the number of crimes you see in most L.A. neighborhoods but keep the types of crime in mind. Areas considered “safe” by many may still have a high number of car break-ins and grand theft auto. More established neighborhoods with expensive homes may have burglaries. Also do some research to find the response times for first responders in the zip codes you’re considering.
Walk it out:
Check out WalkScore to find out how walkable a neighborhood is. The site gives a walk score, a transit score and a bike score based on ease of getting around by each method. The higher the score, the more friendly it is to car-less folks. It’s best if you enter a specific address and the site will list the closest restaurants, coffee, etc., as well as display them as icons on a map for you. WalkScore also has Neighborhood Guides who can answer questions about different neighborhoods for you. This can also be a good indication of the level of safety in an area: the more people are out walking about, the safer it usually is for them to do so.
Listen to your heart, go with your gut and pay attention to any other messages you might be getting from your various internal organs. If it’s possible to visit each potential neighborhood prior to moving, just go and take a stroll to see how you feel there. Sometimes someplace that looks like it might be the perfect pairing on paper just doesn’t feel right when you’re there in person. (Can we get an “Amen!” from all you online daters out there?) Wherever you decide to move, we hope you find place that you can truly call home. After all, it’s where that awful sweater from Aunt Libby is.