What it’s really like moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles


  • 56cfd 920x920 What its really like moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles

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Alissa Nelson

Age: 36

Profession: Healthcare consultant

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2016

Monthly rent: $1,900 for a house in Torrance; splits rent with her live-in partner

Why she moved: “It was a combination of [my partner] and most of my family living down here.”

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Alissa Nelson

Age: 36

Profession: Healthcare consultant

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2016

Monthly rent: $1,900 for a house in Torrance; splits rent with her live-in partner

Why she moved: “It was a

… more
Photo: Courtesy: Alissa Nelson


Gerry Vazquez

Age: 23

Profession: Post-production sound editor and re-recording mixer

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2016

Monthly rent: $700 for a two-bedroom apartment in Burbank, with roommates

Why he moved: “Los Angeles was always this promising dream for me. You see it all the time in movies, read about it in books, and hear the songs countless people have written about it … I liked the way that people dressed, I liked the diversity of cultures and people, and I liked how much the city had to offer in the sense that you could find a niche for just about anything. So it was that excitement coupled with my career decision to work in the film industry that ultimately made me move.”

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Gerry Vazquez

Age: 23

Profession: Post-production sound editor and re-recording mixer

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2016

Monthly rent: $700 for a two-bedroom apartment in Burbank, with roommates

Why he moved:

… more
Photo: Courtesy: Gerry Vazquez


Caileen Kehayas

Age: 32

Profession: Content marketing manager

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2016

Monthly rent: $2,000 for a one-bedroom in Atwater Village, splits rent with her live-in partner

Why she moved: “I had a lot of friends in Los Angeles and I wanted a clean slate, so it was an obvious move.”

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Caileen Kehayas

Age: 32

Profession: Content marketing manager

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2016

Monthly rent: $2,000 for a one-bedroom in Atwater Village, splits rent with her live-in partner

Why she

… more
Photo: Courtesy: Caileen Kehayas


Alexandria Wald

Age: 25

Profession: Social media marketing

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2014

Monthly rent: $850, 4-bedroom house in Hawthorne with roommates

Why she moved: “The weather in the Bay honestly got to me and was depressing. I’m from Arizona so I’m not good with cold and gloom. I was really excited about living in a sunny, warm city by the beach. Plus, there is something about L.A. that feels creative and vibrant and exciting — I wanted to be a part of that.”

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Alexandria Wald

Age: 25

Profession: Social media marketing

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2014

Monthly rent: $850, 4-bedroom house in Hawthorne with roommates

Why she moved: “The weather in the Bay honestly

… more
Photo: Courtesy: Alexandria Wald



Austan Stein

Age: 29

Profession: Musician

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2018

Monthly rent: Still looking for permanent residence; currently staying with friends in Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles

Why he moved: Stein moved for his career. He hopes to build his network and work with studios to sell his music.

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Austan Stein

Age: 29

Profession: Musician

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2018

Monthly rent: Still looking for permanent residence; currently staying with friends in Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles

Why

… more
Photo: Courtesy: Austan Stein


Chloe Taylor

Age: 26

Profession: Advertising sales

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2015

Monthly rent: $1,300 for a 3-bedroom apartment in West Los Angeles with roommates

Why she moved: Taylor wanted to escape the San Francisco “bubble” for Los Angeles’ nicer weather and the ease with which one can travel around the city, plus its proximity to “cool places” in Southern California.

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Chloe Taylor

Age: 26

Profession: Advertising sales

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2015

Monthly rent: $1,300 for a 3-bedroom apartment in West Los Angeles with roommates

Why she moved: Taylor wanted to

… more
Photo: Courtesy: Chloe Taylor


Jennifer Kosta

Age: 31

Profession: Acting

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2012

Monthly rent: $1,150 for a 2-bedroom apartment with a roommate

Why she moved: “I was at lunch with my mom, we were having sushi next to the Rheem Theater in Moraga, and I had just come back from a national tour. I said, I’m happy I did this, I love the Bay Area, but I need to go somewhere where I can do bigger things. I had done the biggest thing I could do here.”

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Jennifer Kosta

Age: 31

Profession: Acting

Year moved to Los Angeles: 2012

Monthly rent: $1,150 for a 2-bedroom apartment with a roommate

Why she moved: “I was at lunch with my mom, we were having sushi

… more
Photo: Courtesy: Jennifer Kosta




A recent LinkedIn study looked at data on where people move when they leave San Francisco and the Bay Area. Click through to see the most common spots for Bay Area folks to land.

A recent LinkedIn study looked at data on where people move when they leave San Francisco and the Bay Area. Click through to see the most common spots for Bay Area folks to land.

















Caileen Kehayas found herself newly single, freed to work remotely and in need of an apartment.

Finding an affordable apartment in the Bay Area proved “near impossible.” And having recently hit age 30, Kehayas was unwilling to spend $2,000 on a dingy room in a house of strangers. So she turned her sights southward, from the foggy city to the smoggy city.

Faced with the daunting task of wading into the “roommate wanted” section of Craigslist, some longtime San Franciscans are doing the unthinkable: admitting they love Los Angeles. SFGATE spoke with Bay Area residents who made the move to find out what it’s really like living in the City of Angels.

Kehayas now finds herself in a swanky one-bedroom apartment in Atwater Village, Los Angeles. The gated building has a gym, a heated swimming pool, parking and free coffee.

“This is, by far, the nicest place I have ever lived,” she said. Rent is $2,000 a month, which she splits with her partner.

Los Angeles is expensive, but it’s still cheaper than San Francisco. Close to 4 million people live in the city, compared to San Francisco’s 864,000 or so residents. But unlike the 7-by-7 peninsula up north, Angelenos can spread out over 502.7 square miles of urban and suburban land.

Urban sprawl comes with its costs; one need only look to the roads and smog-choked sky to see the effects of car culture. But all that land, and all the housing that’s crept onto it, means you can live in a crowded place like Los Angeles — with all its beaches and culture and restaurants — and pay, on average, $2,220 for a one-bedroom apartment. In San Francisco, the same 800 square feet will cost you $3,426.

The numbers diverge even more in the real estate market. The median home price in Los Angeles is $674,140, according to real estate site Zillow. In San Francisco, it’s $1,341,791. The median in the greater Bay Area hit $820,000 in March of 2018 — a new record for the region. 

Los Angeles is a natural destination for Bay Area folks looking to leave behind the high cost of Northern California life for a region not dissimilar to their own. A 2017 LinkedIn report found San Francisco has the most gross migration with Los Angeles of any other region. For every 10,000 LinkedIn users, 66.6 moved between San Francisco and Los Angeles last year.

Los Angeles County is politically similar, brimming with restaurants and cultural activities, and there are job opportunities in a multitude of industries. Plus, there’s the weather — the sun typically shines 280-plus days.

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Alissa Nelson, 36, moved to Southern California after four years in San Francisco for a job and to be closer to her partner. The first few months in her two-bedroom house in Torrance, on the southwestern tip of Los Angeles County, were lonely.

“I got depressed. Really, really depressed,” she said.

Nelson didn’t own a car in the Bay Area. She got around by bus, bike or foot.

“I never lived particularly close to work so I got a ton of exercise in my day without much effort,” she said. When she moved to suburban Torrance, the prevalence of driving took its toll.

“Suddenly, I wasn’t getting that amount of physical activity, and it hit me really hard.”

Unlike San Francisco, where one can traverse the city by public transit in an hour or so, to live in Los Angeles, one must set aside ample time to cruise its packed roadways.

“It’s socially isolating to live anywhere new,” Nelson said. “To live somewhere new where it’s so spread out makes it difficult to get together even with the friends you already have.”

Bay Area residents are leaving for these US cities.


Media: Ted Andersen, SFGATE, Getty








Joan Didion once described her time in Los Angeles traffic as possessing a “seductive unconnectedness.” That’s romanticizing things, according to 24-year-old Bay Area native Gerry Vazquez. He moved to Southern California to study film and stayed after graduating with a degree in sound design.

“People joke about it all the time, but the thought of how much of my life I have wasted sitting in a gridlock on the 405, the 101, or the 10 honestly keeps me up at night,” he said.

Getting anywhere takes effort, and when you’re commuting a couple hours each day, “it becomes difficult to justify extra outings unless it’s planned well in advance,” he said.

One must carefully consider which part of Los Angeles they move to. Like San Francisco, each Los Angeles neighborhood has its own flavor. “Ours just take longer to get to,” said 26-year-old Alexandria Wald, who moved from Berkeley to Los Angeles four years ago.

For nightlife and cheap rent, try Mid City or Koreatown. More parking and privacy can be found in the San Fernando Valley or Glendale, but you’ll pay for the extra space in commute time. Or there’s the Westside, which offers easy beach access conducive to before-work surfing sessions (but for a price).

Living in a neighborhood suited to your needs means you can skirt the omnipresent Los Angeles traffic — at least on the weekends.

“My neighborhood allows me to live in my own mini-universe and walk almost any place I would need to go,” said Kehayas.

Neighborhood “bubbles” make the massive city digestible. And in a place as diverse as Los Angeles, if there’s something you’re looking for, you shan’t have trouble finding it.

Vazquez recalled a single day in 2017 when, spurred by a friend’s visit, he went hiking in the mountains, explored a downtown food market, visited a music festival on the Santa Monica pier, caught an improv show in Hollywood, and ended the night dancing at a club in Silver Lake.

“And that’s barely even scratching the surface of what you can do,” he said.

The diversity extends to its residents. A city with many people means many different types of people.

“You hear a lot about cold, unfriendly people in Los Angeles, and that just hasn’t been my experience at all,” said Wald. “I’ve met some of the most big-hearted, fun-loving, open-minded and caring people I’ve ever known.”

You may be thinking of leaving the Bay Area in search of a more affordable to live… but think of all the things you’ll miss!


Media: San Francisco Chronicle



Angelenos have their oddities, of course, especially when compared to the laid-back mentality of Northern Californians.

“Everyone” in Los Angeles is “hyper-aware of the clothes they wear and the cars they drive,” said Chloe Taylor.  The 26-year-old moved from San Francisco to West Los Angeles in 2015.

“The superficial things seem to make up their identity.”

It’s worse in the film and entertainment business, otherwise known as “the industry,” which generated $47 billion for the Los Angeles County economy in 2011 — 8.4 percent of the county’s total economic output.

According to Jennifer Kosta, a 31-year-old actress and comedian from Moraga, some “people are so good at being fake, you don’t even realize it.”

When you’re in the industry, “you must be aware that most people who moved here did so for their career, not to help you with yours,” she said. Kosta moved from Moraga to Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue an acting career.

“It can be very lonely, and you don’t realize it until you’re like, OMG, all these people I’m with are doing their own stuff, and I need someone to run lines with,” she said.

But being surrounded by so many aspiring actors, musicians, screenwriters, is inspiring, addictive even.

Kosta says performing in the Bay Area “is a beautiful addition to your life; it’s the icing on the cake.”

In Los Angeles, performing “is the whole f—ing cake.”

The stories we’ve heard about the city down south are true, Kosta said, because she’s witnessed the magic firsthand. She remembers when members of the acapella group Pentatonix would crash on her couch. Now, they’ve won a Grammy and tour internationally.

The siren song of Los Angeles long called to Vazquez when he lived in the Bay Area.

“Los Angeles was always this promising dream for me,” he said. He describes the city as a “mecca of artistic freedom and creativity,” or at least an attempt at being such a place.

Kosta remembers when the notion of Hollywood, whether real or facade, first called to her, too. She was in junior high and bigger than most of the girls in her class. Then Ryan Murphy’s “Popular,” starring actress Sara Rue, aired on cable.

“Seeing a big girl on TV changed my life,” Kosta said. “I realized I could actually do this thing.”

Two weeks ago, Kosta bumped into Rue at a Trader Joe’s in Hollywood.

“That,” she said, “is only going to happen in Los Angeles.”

Michelle Robertson is an SFGATE staff writer. Email her at mrobertson@sfchronicle.com or find her on Twitter at @mrobertsonsf.

Article source: https://www.sfgate.com/expensive-san-francisco/article/Grass-is-greener-Los-Angeles-12865042.php

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