Best Neighborhood Bets for Your Dollar

Apartment hunting with Moses Kagan

l.a. real estate guide!

Broker/developer/Kagansblog-ger Moses Kagan is making waves in the L.A. real estate world with his eye-opening rent surveys (the median monthly cost for a one bedroom in Venice is $2,575? Sheesh).

An expert on East Side properties, he breaks down four on-the-road-to-gentrification neighborhoods that all budget-conscious apartment seekers need to know about.

Average Price Range for a One Bedroom:
Geography: Northeast of Downtown, the leafy neighborhood sits directly between South Pasadena, Eagle Rock, and Mt. Washington and has everything from large apartment buildings to quaint craftsman houses.
The Deal: Flippers have been buying foreclosed homes, sprucing them up, and selling them for reasonable prices. Restaurateurs and indie boutique owners have followed suit, turning main thoroughfare York Boulevard into that rare L.A. entity — a walkable street.
Meet the Neighbors: New eateries pop up regularly but the The Hermosillo and The York remain at the top of the list.

Frogtown (a.k.a. Elysian Valley)
Average Price Range for a One Bedroom: $1,100-$1,300
Geography: Separated from Echo Park by the 5 Freeway, Frogtown encompasses the two humps sticking out from the west bank of the L.A. River. Housing is a mixture of single-family homes, small apartment buildings, and river-adjacent industrial buildings that have been converted into live/work lofts.
The Deal: So close to Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Atwater Village yet so much cheaper. Note the low crime rate and easy access to the L.A. River bike path.
Meet the Neighbors: Creative types check out the Frogtown Artwalk. Foodies flock to dinner pop-up Night In at Elysian.

Average Price Range for a One Bedroom: $800-$1,000
Geography: Directly east of the Downtown Arts District is a diverse neighborhood known for its ethnic eateries and cheap rents.
The Deal: Two Gold Line stops make the commute into Downtown easy. Opt for a big unit in one of the older, smaller buildings. Kagan just sold a property with four huge (1,100 square feet) two-bedroom apartments whose monthly rent (with parking) is a mere $1,200. Compare that to your average $1,900, 450-square-foot studio Downtown.
Meet the Neighbors: The tacos at Guisados are legendary. And you’re just a bread roll’s throw away from Arts District favorites like Wurstküche and Urth Caffe.

Average Price Range for a One Bedroom:
Geography: Consider this realtor speak for the part of East Hollywood that bumps up against Silver Lake’s western border. Aim for a bungalow complex with parking — you can’t beat your own little house for $1,200/month.
The Deal: It’s just minutes away from Sunset Junction, the epicenter of East Side cool. And because it’s west of Hoover (and thus technically East Hollywood), you can still find landlords who haven’t gotten the memo regarding Silver Lake rents.
Meet the Neighbors: Grab java at Cafecito Orgánico and artisanal jam at Sqirl. Given the neighborhood’s cheap commercial rents, Kagan foresees a proliferation of indie storefronts.

Get a move on.

For more information on Moses Kagan, go to kagansblog.com.

Photo: Waltar / Flickr

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