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Affordably LA: Budget Neighborhoods Amongst the Stars

Even if you don't have millions of dollars of disposable income to drop on a luxury mansion in the star-studded hills of Los Angeles, you can still find a comfortable, safe neighborhood in LA. If you make your home in one of these neighborhoods, you might even spot a celebrity or two while you walk your dog.

Canoga Park

According to Zillow, the average home price in Canoga Park is $478,300, which is higher than many middle-income families want to pay. However, rental prices average just $2,000, and you can find some small apartment units in the community for less than $900. With low crime rates and an ethnically diverse population, this neighborhood makes an excellent choice for young couples and families who want to put down roots. 

Harvard Heights 

If you're looking for a larger home at an affordable price, Harvard Heights delivers with historical homes and new construction alike. You can find four- and five-bedroom homes to rent for less than $4,000 per month. Grand Victorian and Craftsman homes (in various states of repair) line the quiet streets. The mixed-income population makes it a diverse place to settle down, and it was once the home of Ray Charles' studio.

Leimert Park 

A mix of housing styles (Mediterranean, Craftsman, Spanish bungalow, and mission, among others) and easy access to public transportation keeps the real estate market in Leimert Park healthier than some of the surrounding communities. Home prices are slightly high at an average of $546,100, but you can find gems in the rough that go for much less. Plus, rental prices are far lower than in nearby Culver City, but you can still visit the latter neighborhood for shopping and fine dining.

Playa del Rey

As one of the fastest-growing beachside communities in Los Angeles, Playa del Rey offers significant advantages for both homeowners and renters. Most of the neighborhood is residential, which means plenty of housing opportunities. The short walk to the beach combined with the healthy property values ($750,300 on average) help elevate Playa del Rey above neighboring areas. It's also ideal for singles, as the non-married population is higher than the rest of the city, according to the LA Times. 

Montecito Heights 

With an average property value of just under $430,000, Montecito Heights makes an affordable choice for home buyers. It's an ethnically diverse community and offers views of the beautiful Monterey Hills. If you feel like escaping the rat race into the wilderness for a few hours, you'll find plenty of hiking trails within a few minutes of the residential streets.  

El Segundo 

Renters in El Segundo pay an average of $2,650, and although home prices are high, you can find decent deals if you look for them. The healthy real estate market creates plenty of competition for the best houses, and values continue to increase, so you're likely to make a profit if you sell in a few years. You'll enjoy the close proximity to the beach and the excellent school district. Plus, you'll never lack for great restaurants in this neighborhood. 

Palms 

Since 92 percent of Palms residents are renters, you're sure to find an excellent deal on an apartment, townhouse, or multi-family house. Duplexes and triplexes abound in this westside neighborhood. If you love meeting new people, you'll enjoy the dense population and the pervasive sense of community.  

Elysian Valley 

Known affectionately as Frogtown, Elysian Valley attracts both renters and home buyers because of its excellent school district and high population of children. With average property values of $466,800, home buyers who want to invest in a long-term property can find an affordable home base here. 

Sawtelle 

Zillow reports a median home price of $466,800 in the westside neighborhood of Sawtelle, but single-family dwellings in the $300,000 range balance out more expensive abodes. It's a highly diverse and educated community with excellent public transportation and a variety of restaurants. 

Crenshaw 

Although Crenshaw consists primarily of residential neighborhoods, its bustling commercial district provides plenty of jobs for people who move into the area. Shop at the tri-level Walmart, grab your morning coffee at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, and enjoy easy access to Culver City, West Adams, and other favorite Los Angeles neighborhoods. 

Whether you're looking for an apartment to rent or a home to buy, you don't have to sacrifice if you want to live in LA. The abundance of trendy, safe neighborhoods without sky-high property helps new residents find their place in the City of Angels.


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