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News / City Life

4 cheaper places to look for apartments instead of popular L.A. neighborhoods

Montecito Heights
Photograph: Courtesy Montecito Heights Improvement Association

Renting in Los Angeles flat-out sucks. After visiting dozens of apartments, finding one that doesn't have disgusting carpeting and fighting off the competition, you finally land the perfect apartment. And then... your rent goes up. A few annual increases later, your monthly payments on that Silver Lake one bedroom start to feel like a Beverly Hills estate. No matter where you look, you can't completely avoid the surging rental prices, but we dug into the numbers on real estate sites like Zumper and Trulia to find some slightly cheaper, still perfectly pleasant alternatives to popular L.A. neighborhoods.

Near Downtown

So you want a Downtown loft, where you can eat Eggslut for breakfast every morning and dinner at Bottega Louie every night, but you don't want to pay upwards of $2,500 a month for a one bedroom. Ditch the Arts District or the Historic Core, as packed with activity as they are, and look toward Bunker Hill. Rents in the high-rises between the 110 and the 101 average $1,000 less than elsewhere in Downtown. You may sacrifice some of that historic charm, but you'll have extra cash to spend on all of the Downtown restaurants and bars still within walking distance.

Near Northeast L.A.

Who doesn't want an adorable Craftsman home in Highland Park? Lots of people do, which has driven up the price of houses in the Northeast L.A. neighborhood. That's extended to rental units as well; you'd be hard pressed to find a one bedroom under $1,500. But neighboring Montecito Heights has managed to retain that rustic, tree-lined street charm without nearly as much of a surge in prices (though you'll be a couple of minutes farther from the burgeoning bar scene in Highland Park).

Near the Valley

Everybody wants to be closer to the hill, whether for a slightly less painful commute or to be closer to the restaurants along Ventura Boulevard. Though the $1,500 rents in Studio City and Toluca Lake are still relatively reasonable compared to properties over the hill, you can shave a few dollars off of your rent if you head deeper into the Valley; parts of North Hollywood and Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank still have pedestrian charm and retail activity without the ridiculous rents.

Near the beach

Those ever lucrative beach-adjacent properties have climbed above $3,000, on average, in Santa Monica and Venice. If you want to live by the beach, you're going to have to pay a premium pretty much anywhere. But Zumper actually observed a slight dip in rental prices in neighboring Marina Del Rey.

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