Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Cheap In Los Angeles

December 3, 2012

Joseph asks…

Cheap apartments in LA?

I’m a high school graduate who would like to move to Los Angeles area to attend a recording arts school. I plan to work full time. Also, the school does not have on-campus housing. So, what I need to know is: how hard is it for a high school graduate to get a job in the Los Angeles area? And, where would I find the cheapest apartments (short of living in a slum)?

Administrator answers:

You would be lucky to find an entry level job paying $10 an hour (In N Out, $10 an hour is above minimum wage), there are just no jobs out here now. That would net you about $1500 a month, *if* you could get full time hours. Often for entry level jobs you can’t get full-time, they’ll cap you just below 40 hours so certain job benefits don’t kick in. Very educated over-qualified applicants are taking entry level jobs, that’s how bad it is. You can expect it to take about 4 months to find a job, or maybe much longer. So have enough saved up to pay for your expenses for at least 4 months. One used to be able to work as a waiter to earn more (tips), or sales like Circuit City (commission), but restaurants are doing horribly so many waiters have been laid off or fired, and many of the sales jobs have disappeared, like Circuit City did.

A single in an OK area starts at about $900, a one bedroom at about $1200. A 2 bedroom might start at $1500+, but roommates are trouble. Any cheaper than that and it may mean big problems. You need to check out the neighborhood and other tenants very carefully. Be careful of scams, anything that seems too good, likely is.

LA is very large, so it depends on where you are going to school as to where you might look for an apartment. If the school is in Hollywood, you may want to live in Glendale, relatively nearby and safe, and you might be able to find an apartment a bit less than Hollywood, even though Hollywood is mostly scuzzy. (I love Hollywood, grew up there, but honestly, even the upscale hills area has more crime than it should.) If you don’t have a car, then you want to live as close as possible to your work and school, or right on a bus line. Our public transportation is not so good. It takes long enough to drive where you need to, buses tend to be ridiculous. If you have a car, remember to add insurance into your budget as it is mandatory.

Are there no recording arts programs where you live? Did you check community colleges? Some of our community colleges have programs, it’s likely they’re all over the country. (Non-residents for tuition purposes pay about $5000 more a year at community colleges, $23,000 more a year at the UCs.) Be careful of tech schools that charge a lot and are of the type that advertise on TV. You may have a very hard time finding a job if the school is not well respected in the industry, and you may have a very hard time paying back your loans.

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Good luck!

William asks…

How does subsidized housing in Los Angeles work (not section 8)?

There are loads of apartments buildings that are owned by private people and they rent these apartments out cheap, so they get credits by the government. You need to have children to live there, but the apartments are very nice actually (3 bedroom, pool and only cost like $700 a month; 2 parking spots included). Most people who live there are Hispanics (many illegal) who get hooked up by the Hispanic managers there. The joke is that they don’t even earn that little (you should see the cars they have).

I know other people who got pay the same for a room and have some old used car and barley get by. How does that system in L.A. work?

Administrator answers:

I heard about it also before. It’s not section 8 though. It’s apartment buildings for people with kids and they don’t check your documents I assume. So many illegals get to live there and help each other out. They are very nice and cheap. I do not know how it works though or how the owner makes a profit.

Sandy asks…

Which is cheaper to live in for a college student wanting to go to nursing school in LA an apartment or hotel?

When i get out of high school (2012) i want to go to Los Angeles, California. but i dont know which will be cheaper for a college student wanting to go to a nursing school. which is cheaper an apartment or hotel? and where in california, ex: pasedena, hollywood..etc….
maybe when i get settled down ill go get auditions for movies, but for right now i want to do nursing.

Administrator answers:

Hotels can quickly become expensive. For a long term home, an apartment is almost always a better investment.

Thomas asks…

Free apartment search website?

The price of living in Los Angeles is hella high. So I’ve been searching for the cheapest apartments I can find online. But it seems every time I find a site that lists affordable apartments in decent neighborhoods, the site requires that you pay a fee to view the leasers contact information. It’ll be hard enough to pay rent for the apartment I find; I don’t want to pay to search for it too.

So my question is: are there any websites that allow you to search for (cheap) apartments and view the leasing info for free?

Administrator answers:

Sharon asks…

Where is the cheapest area CLOSET to Santa Monica, CA. to rent an apartment ?

I was offered a job in Santa Monica. Around $16 per hour. Full time. So, I guess thats about 32k a year. What area of Los angeles is a stress-free driving distance from there? Where I can find an apartment for cheap? By cheap I mean $800 a month. lol. Any ideas?
3 seconds ago – 4 days left to answer.

Administrator answers:

Start looking in Palms and Mar Vista. Maybe Culver City. But I doubt you are going to find anything for less than $1000 in that area.

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