Neighborhoods and Communities
Los Angeles is the largest city in California and the second largest metropolitan area in the United States. Population estimates put the Los Angeles metro population at approximately 18.1 million people. While the recent recession forced some to move away from the downtown area, the Los Angeles housing and job markets indicate that the city’s economy is on the rise and more people are moving back into downtown areas.

Los Angeles offers a vast selection of both multifamily and single-family residential homes. As of January, the average rent in the Los Angeles metro was $1,552 with a one-bedroom unit renting at an average of $1,346 per month and a two-bedroom unit averaging at $1,808. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), homebuyers paid a median price of as much as $2.7 million in neighborhoods like Bel Air and as little as $172,415 in areas like Watts.

COMMUNITY COMPOSITION
The average household size in Los Angeles is 2.82 people. The percentage of family households is 61 percent while married-couple families occupy only 38.9 percent of these households. The median age is 33.9 for the Los Angeles metro area. The Los Angeles metro population is fairly educated, with 30.5 percent of residents holding a bachelors degree or higher.

As of last year, the Los Angeles metro comprised 49.8 percent whites. African Americans comprised 9.6 percent. American Indians comprised 0.7 percent. Asian Americans comprised 11.3 percent. Pacific Islander Americans comprised 0.1 percent of the city’s population while individuals from two or more races comprised 4.6 percent. Hispanic and Latino residents made up 48.5 percent of the population.

HOME-FINDING RESOURCES
Once you have decided to purchase a home or rent a property in Los Angeles, there are many resources available to assist in the process. The California Association of REALTORS® (CAR) (www.car.org) supports 117 local member associations and more than 155,000 REALTORS®. The REALTOR® organization is the pre-eminent source of essential business services and the association of choice for real estate professionals committed to excellence.

If you are in the market for a new home, a good resource is the Southern California Builders Association (SCBA) (www.socalbuilders.org). SCBA is a trade association representing more than 20,000 members involved in homebuilding, remodeling, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other segments of residential construction. Of particular interest is the SCBA’s Member Directory. The Member Directory allows homeowners and potential homebuilders to look for qualified candidates and contact them.

Picking the right community to live in is important. It can affect your commute, your child’s education and even your taxes. Following is a guide to some of the best neighborhoods and communities Los Angelesand the surrounding metro area has to offer.

LOS ANGELES
While the majority of the Los Angeles metro population doesn’t live in the actual city of Los Angeles, the county has countless neighborhoods that are broken down into 10 major districts. Expect to live in a condominium or apartment the closer you live to Downtown Los Angeles, though many renovated lofts and historic homes are also available.

Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles marks the geographic, government and historic center of Los Angeles. Although it is the smallest region of Los Angeles by area, it includes a great variety of diverse neighborhoods, ranging from several modern skyscrapers of the Financial District to the historic structures of the Historic Core to the ethnic enclaves of Chinatown and Little Tokyo. It also contains many cultural attractions and entertainment venues. Downtown is also a center for local and regional transportation, with several freeways passing through and Union Station connecting regional trains to local buses and the Metro Line. In this area, 51.4 percent were single-family homes with the next biggest category being condos at 28.4 percent. Home prices in Downtown LA are at a median of $430,800, up 18.8 percent from the previous year.

East and Northeast Los Angeles
To the east and northeast of Downtown Los Angeles and the Los Angeles River lies East Los Angeles. The region sometimes includes adjacent areas outside of the city boundaries of Los Angeles, such as Montebello. Many of the neighborhoods of Eastern Los Angeles house large Latino populations, although several neighborhoods, especially in northeast LA, have more mixed populations. Many of the neighborhoods house very diverse residents. Eagle Rock also houses significant Latino, White and Filipino populations and is one of the most diverse neighborhoods the county. The population ranges from working class to affluent. The predominantly residential neighborhoods of the region contain many hills, especially in northern regions. The median sale price for a house was at a median of $241,500 as of December.

Northwest Los Angeles Heights
Immediately west of Downtown Los Angeles lie some of the city’s earliest suburbs. Angelino Heights and Echo Park were the locations of some of the first film studios west of the Mississippi River. Now mostly populated by Latino immigrants, a great amount of distinctive architecture has been preserved from the early 20th century, including the restored Victorian homes in Angelino Heights. This region is one of the most densely populated areas in Los Angeles and serves as the former site of Chavez Ravine, which was historically a Latino neighborhood until it was demolished in the 1950s to construct Dodger Stadium. The median listing price for homes in this area is around $362,484.

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