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Two Midwest Transplants Get a ‘Value Surprise’ in Southern California. Which House Would You Make a choice?


When Merrill and Zak Leedom lived in Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Leedom idea their one-bedroom rental, at $2,100 a month, was once so dear it was once “absurd,” even though it got here with a rooftop pool, a fitness center and a canine park. However that was once earlier than the couple moved to Los Angeles ultimate yr and began searching for a spot to hire there.

Mr. Leedom, 28, were flying backward and forward from Columbus after the wealth-management company he works for was once obtained by means of an organization primarily based in Southern California. Ms. Leedom’s activity as a communications strategist, basically for well being care firms, was once hybrid, so she was once in a position to shift to faraway paintings.

“I like the solar and being out within the recent air,” mentioned Ms. Leedom, 27. “It’s truly exhausting to try this for plenty of months of the yr within the Midwest, particularly all over Covid, when issues weren’t open and it was once grey and chilly and snowy.”

The couple, who met as undergraduates at West Virginia College (he was once at the football crew, she was once a cheerleader), have been married in 2019. Remaining September, after heading to Los Angeles, they spent 3 months in temporary Airbnb leases in quite a lot of Westside neighborhoods to get a really feel for the place they sought after to be. Mr. Leedom’s workplace is in Thousand Oaks, in Ventura County, however he incessantly drives to fulfill with shoppers as some distance south as Orange County.

[Did you recently buy or rent a home in California? We want to hear from you. Email: thehuntca@nytimes.com.]

They began their hunt within the San Fernando Valley, which might have made for a brief trip. However they determined that dwelling close to the sea was once the easiest way to benefit from the Southern California way of life. They settled on Santa Monica, Venice and Marina del Rey, beach-y spaces between Mr. Leedom’s workplace to the north and widespread consumer conferences in Orange County.

Within the absence of native pals or a condominium agent to assist, Ms. Leedom scoured the web for brand spanking new listings. The couple, who’ve a canine named Reese, beloved the facilities of their Ohio complicated and was hoping to search out equivalent ones in Los Angeles. But it surely didn’t take lengthy to understand that their price range of $3,000 a month wouldn’t be sufficient for a two-bedroom with fashionable home equipment and updates, in order that they expanded the price range and thought to be some one-bedrooms.

The spaces they searched have been a few of the priciest within the area: The typical per 30 days hire for a one-bedroom is $5,046 in Santa Monica and $4,530 in Marina del Rey, consistent with ApartmentList.com. “It was once slightly of a worth surprise,” Mr. Leedom mentioned.

A concern for Ms. Leedom was once discovering a spot that was once walkable, for the reason that couple percentage one automotive, which her husband makes use of to trip to paintings maximum days. “I don’t wish to really feel like I’m remoted,” she mentioned. “And L.A. could be very a lot a using town.”

Amongst their choices:

In finding out what came about subsequent by means of answering those two questions:

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