Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

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Anonymous User
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Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:25 pm

Will be starting in a big law firm in Downtown. Looking at buying a house/condo/apartment...

Where do most jr. associates that work in DT live? I will be graduating with no debt and a great credit score. What price range can I realistically afford with a 180k income + SO's income of around 50-70k?

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

Postby SmokeytheBear » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Will be starting in a big law firm in Downtown. Looking at buying a house/condo/apartment...

Where do most jr. associates that work in DT live? I will be graduating with no debt and a great credit score. What price range can I realistically afford with a 180k income + SO's income of around 50-70k?


Lots more people have been living downtown (DTLA). South Park has tons of units going up, and there are great spots in the Arts District and around the historic core.

Otherwise people live everywhere--Los Feliz, Echo Park, Silver Lake, K-Town, WeHo, Mid City, Culver City, and the West Side. Rarely do people live in the South Bay.

Commutes from Venice/Santa Monica are about 45 minutes.

If you live in Culver City you can take the Expo Line.

The housing market in LA has received national attention due to how expensive it is. You're going to need to build up some cash before you can even think about buying. But look to at least $800k for a condo on the west side (though hyper competitive and many are cash only), same for a house on the east side. Deals can be had for houses in West Adams and Leimert Park.

favabeansoup
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Re: Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

Postby favabeansoup » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:39 pm

I would be slightly cautious about diving into buy a house on your biglaw income.

You may not be in the same financial place 4-5 years down the road if you find you need to leave biglaw (for personal reasons or being pushed out).

Wait a year or two to settle in and see how likely you are to last.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

Postby SmokeytheBear » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:41 pm

favabeansoup wrote:I would be slightly cautious about diving into buy a house on your biglaw income.

You may not be in the same financial place 4-5 years down the road if you find you need to leave biglaw (for personal reasons or being pushed out).

Wait a year or two to settle in and see how likely you are to last.


correct

clerk1251
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Re: Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

Postby clerk1251 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:45 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Will be starting in a big law firm in Downtown. Looking at buying a house/condo/apartment...

Where do most jr. associates that work in DT live? I will be graduating with no debt and a great credit score. What price range can I realistically afford with a 180k income + SO's income of around 50-70k?


Lots more people have been living downtown (DTLA). South Park has tons of units going up, and there are great spots in the Arts District and around the historic core.

Otherwise people live everywhere--Los Feliz, Echo Park, Silver Lake, K-Town, WeHo, Mid City, Culver City, and the West Side. Rarely do people live in the South Bay.

Commutes from Venice/Santa Monica are about 45 minutes.

If you live in Culver City you can take the Expo Line.

The housing market in LA has received national attention due to how expensive it is. You're going to need to build up some cash before you can even think about buying. But look to at least $800k for a condo on the west side (though hyper competitive and many are cash only), same for a house on the east side. Deals can be had for houses in West Adams and Leimert Park.


I'd agree with most of this.

I worked downtown and lived in both Santa Monica and West LA. I loved it and the commute was about 45 minutes with traffic, 20 minutes without traffic (very rare haha).

I'd disagree with the fact that you'd be spending at least $800k for a condo on the west side though. After a brief scan of zillow, I found a number of nice looking condos or apartments for sale closer to $550k-$600k, but I'd say that you should expect to pay at least $600k. Depending on your personal life situation (spouse/kids) and the type of surroundings you are looking for (nightlife/shops/restaurants), you might also consider living north of LA. Pasadena or Glendale are nice places that aren't as expensive to live and probably have an equal or shorter commute to DTLA than the west side.

I have a friend that is a realtor in LA (former attorney, actually), who I can connect you with if you'd like. She might be able to provide you with some more focused answers. Send me a PM if you are interested.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

Postby SmokeytheBear » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:47 pm

clerk1251 wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Will be starting in a big law firm in Downtown. Looking at buying a house/condo/apartment...

Where do most jr. associates that work in DT live? I will be graduating with no debt and a great credit score. What price range can I realistically afford with a 180k income + SO's income of around 50-70k?


Lots more people have been living downtown (DTLA). South Park has tons of units going up, and there are great spots in the Arts District and around the historic core.

Otherwise people live everywhere--Los Feliz, Echo Park, Silver Lake, K-Town, WeHo, Mid City, Culver City, and the West Side. Rarely do people live in the South Bay.

Commutes from Venice/Santa Monica are about 45 minutes.

If you live in Culver City you can take the Expo Line.

The housing market in LA has received national attention due to how expensive it is. You're going to need to build up some cash before you can even think about buying. But look to at least $800k for a condo on the west side (though hyper competitive and many are cash only), same for a house on the east side. Deals can be had for houses in West Adams and Leimert Park.


I'd agree with most of this.

I worked downtown and lived in both Santa Monica and West LA. I loved it and the commute was about 45 minutes with traffic, 20 minutes without traffic (very rare haha).

I'd disagree with the fact that you'd be spending at least $800k for a condo on the west side though. After a brief scan of zillow, I found a number of nice looking condos or apartments for sale closer to $550k-$600k, but I'd say that you should expect to pay at least $600k. Depending on your personal life situation (spouse/kids) and the type of surroundings you are looking for (nightlife/shops/restaurants), you might also consider living north of LA. Pasadena or Glendale are nice places that aren't as expensive to live and probably have an equal or shorter commute to DTLA than the west side.

I have a friend that is a realtor in LA (former attorney, actually), who I can connect you with if you'd like. She might be able to provide you with some more focused answers. Send me a PM if you are interested.


Very little on the west side is going for asking. In my experience everything west of the 405 is going for 10-20% over asking. You can't wholly trust Zillow.

RaceJudicata
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Re: Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

Postby RaceJudicata » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:00 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
clerk1251 wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Will be starting in a big law firm in Downtown. Looking at buying a house/condo/apartment...

Where do most jr. associates that work in DT live? I will be graduating with no debt and a great credit score. What price range can I realistically afford with a 180k income + SO's income of around 50-70k?


Lots more people have been living downtown (DTLA). South Park has tons of units going up, and there are great spots in the Arts District and around the historic core.

Otherwise people live everywhere--Los Feliz, Echo Park, Silver Lake, K-Town, WeHo, Mid City, Culver City, and the West Side. Rarely do people live in the South Bay.

Commutes from Venice/Santa Monica are about 45 minutes.

If you live in Culver City you can take the Expo Line.

The housing market in LA has received national attention due to how expensive it is. You're going to need to build up some cash before you can even think about buying. But look to at least $800k for a condo on the west side (though hyper competitive and many are cash only), same for a house on the east side. Deals can be had for houses in West Adams and Leimert Park.


I'd agree with most of this.

I worked downtown and lived in both Santa Monica and West LA. I loved it and the commute was about 45 minutes with traffic, 20 minutes without traffic (very rare haha).

I'd disagree with the fact that you'd be spending at least $800k for a condo on the west side though. After a brief scan of zillow, I found a number of nice looking condos or apartments for sale closer to $550k-$600k, but I'd say that you should expect to pay at least $600k. Depending on your personal life situation (spouse/kids) and the type of surroundings you are looking for (nightlife/shops/restaurants), you might also consider living north of LA. Pasadena or Glendale are nice places that aren't as expensive to live and probably have an equal or shorter commute to DTLA than the west side.

I have a friend that is a realtor in LA (former attorney, actually), who I can connect you with if you'd like. She might be able to provide you with some more focused answers. Send me a PM if you are interested.


Very little on the west side is going for asking. In my experience everything west of the 405 is going for 10-20% over asking. You can't wholly trust Zillow.


And price is only one factor. In competitive housing markets, you often need all cash/high percentage cash. Typical down payment isn't going to cut it a lot of the time.

LazyLASA
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Re: Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

Postby LazyLASA » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:56 pm

The truth about LA is that different types of people want to live different places. Some people love the East Side, some people love the West Side. Some people want to live in the middle of it all in downtown, some people want to find a quieter neighborhood and a house with a yard. Different neighborhoods here really do have different feels, so unless you know LA well enough to know where you want to live, you might want to rent for a year to figure it out.

https://www.dlxco.com/ is a good place to start looking if you want a condo downtown.

Some people live downtown and love it (it's a fun place to be now). Some people prefer Echo Park, Silverlake, Los Feliz, Culver City/Palms, Santa Monica or even La Canada (if you have kids).

dtlaatty
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Re: Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

Postby dtlaatty » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:Will be starting in a big law firm in Downtown. Looking at buying a house/condo/apartment...

Where do most jr. associates that work in DT live? I will be graduating with no debt and a great credit score. What price range can I realistically afford with a 180k income + SO's income of around 50-70k?


There's really no typical place DT associates live. We don't have too many associates living on the westside at my firm (though there are some), but there is a pretty even distribution of folks in: Larchmont, mid-City, Weho, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Pasadena/South Pas., Highland Park and DTLA. A couple folks commute from farther out but they are the exception and tend to move closer within a year or two.

Re: affordability, the best source is a calculator like Zillow's - https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-calcula ... rdability/ - that will tell you how much house you can afford given your down payment, interest rate, etc. If looking downtown (or at condos generally) be sure to include that building's HOAs because they can be a lot. My last place downtown they were $1/sq. ft. Same with property taxes which are 1.25% in city of LA - so $9300/year on a $750k place.

If you're not very familiar with downtown, I would recommend leasing for a year to make sure you like it. Lots of younger associates at my firm (myself included) lived in downtown at one time or another and the convenience of walking to work is great but living/working downtown can also get a little claustrophobic. Most of us moved on after a couple years. The area is also getting a little hairy after Prop 47. Others have bought/stayed long term and still love it but you might try it for yourself before making the long-term commitment.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: Jr. Associate housing in Los Angeles

Postby beepboopbeep » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:13 am

dtlaatty wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Will be starting in a big law firm in Downtown. Looking at buying a house/condo/apartment...

Where do most jr. associates that work in DT live? I will be graduating with no debt and a great credit score. What price range can I realistically afford with a 180k income + SO's income of around 50-70k?


There's really no typical place DT associates live. We don't have too many associates living on the westside at my firm (though there are some), but there is a pretty even distribution of folks in: Larchmont, mid-City, Weho, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Pasadena/South Pas., Highland Park and DTLA. A couple folks commute from farther out but they are the exception and tend to move closer within a year or two.


To add datapoints: almost all the younger associates at my firm are in either DTLA, silverlake / echo park, or koreatown / midcity, and then some who go northeast in the eagle rock / glendale / pasadena direction. The younger partners who are more in homebuying territory seem to be mostly clustered in Santa Monica / Venice / Westwood / etc, or Pasadena / Glendale / Los Feliz.

If you are not familiar enough with the city to sort of know these places, I would definitely not recommend buying at first--I thought I was a silverlake kind of guy based on what I experienced in other cities, and then discovered I wasn't and am planning to move near koreatown or mid-wilshere at the end of my lease in a few months. It just ended up that most of the non-office places I go to are in that area and I enjoy spending time there more than my current digs. It's not a neighborhood I would've picked out just based on description or airbnb-ing or whatever.




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