Two Midwest Transplants Get a ‘Price Shock’ in Southern California. Which Home Would You Choose?

When Merrill and Zak Leedom lived in Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Leedom assumed their one particular-bed room condominium, at $2,100 a thirty day period, was so costly it was “absurd,” even if it came with a rooftop pool, a fitness center and a dog park. But that was ahead of the couple moved to Los Angeles last calendar year and commenced searching for a position to hire there.

Mr. Leedom, 28, experienced been traveling again and forth from Columbus following the prosperity-administration organization he will work for was acquired by a corporation based mostly in Southern California. Ms. Leedom’s job as a communications strategist, mainly for well being treatment companies, was hybrid, so she was able to change to distant work.

“I appreciate the sun and getting out in the contemporary air,” reported Ms. Leedom, 27. “It’s genuinely tricky to do that for a lot of months of the calendar year in the Midwest, especially all through Covid, when issues weren’t open and it was grey and cold and snowy.”

The pair, who achieved as undergraduates at West Virginia University (he was on the soccer group, she was a cheerleader), were married in 2019. Very last September, following heading to Los Angeles, they invested three months in quick-term Airbnb rentals in numerous Westside neighborhoods to get a really feel for where they wished to be. Mr. Leedom’s office environment is in Thousand Oaks, in Ventura County, but he normally drives to meet up with with shoppers as much south as Orange County.

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They began their hunt in the San Fernando Valley, which would have made for a brief commute. But they made the decision that dwelling in close proximity to the ocean was the very best way to appreciate the Southern California life-style. They settled on Santa Monica, Venice and Marina del Rey, seashore-y areas in between Mr. Leedom’s business to the north and repeated customer meetings in Orange County.

In the absence of local pals or a rental agent to aid, Ms. Leedom scoured the internet for new listings. The pair, who have a pet named Reese, beloved the features in their Ohio sophisticated and hoped to find very similar kinds in Los Angeles. But it did not acquire prolonged to notice that their funds of $3,000 a month would not be adequate for a two-bed room with modern day appliances and updates, so they expanded the budget and regarded some just one-bedrooms.

The regions they searched had been among the priciest in the region: The ordinary month-to-month lease for a 1-bedroom is $5,046 in Santa Monica and $4,530 in Marina del Rey, according to “It was a bit of a selling price shock,” Mr. Leedom mentioned.

A priority for Ms. Leedom was finding a location that was walkable, since the pair share just one car, which her spouse works by using to commute to get the job done most days. “I don’t want to come to feel like I’m isolated,” she explained. “And L.A. is incredibly a great deal a driving city.”

Amid their options:

Discover out what happened following by answering these two concerns:

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