4 Surprisingly Cheap Neighborhoods in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of America's most expensive cities to live in. With 3.97 million people inhabiting 503 square miles, LA is also one of the most sprawling cities in the world. Though rent is getting more and more expensive, there are still some affordable gems hidden in the sprawl, if you know where to look.

If you are apartment hunting on a budget, expand your idea of LA beyond Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Aim your search east, south and north towards Pasadena, Long Beach and the Valley in order to score a great deal on an apartment. Read on for four cheap LA neighborhoods flying under the radar.

LA neighborhoods cheap affordable

South Pasadena

This undiscovered neighborhood is in the heart of the east side. Spitting distance from Pasadena, South Pas gets all of the great dining and shopping options of Old Town Pasadena, without the hefty rent. Right off the 110, South Pasadena is an easy, 15 minute commute to downtown, and is conveniently located next door to hipster approved neighborhoods Highland Park and Eagle Rock.

The housing market in South Pasadena is primarily made up of apartments. While not great for families looking to purchase, it is a perfect neighborhood for renters hoping for a bargain. A two bedroom in South Pasadena averages around $2400 per month.

If you are on a budget, you'll love the cheap entertainment options in South Pasadena. Locals love going to The Academy, a nearby second run movie theater where tickets are only $3.50. On Wednesday nights, The Academy hosts Date Night, which gets you two adult movie tickets, two popcorns, and two fountain drinks, all for ten dollars.

North Hills

If you are looking for a true bargain, take a look at the North Hills. Deep in the Central Valley, rent in the North Hills is almost unbelievably cheap for Los Angeles. One bedrooms can be found for between $700 and $1500 per month, and a two bedroom can go for between $1400 and $1800, a complete steal for LA.

Rent is cheap for a reason however. The North Hills is quite far from the center of LA. It is 40 minutes from downtown without traffic, and 17 miles away from Santa Monica. If you are working in the Valley however, the North Hills might be an affordable, convenient option.

Another thing to contend with: the heat. The Valley is generally 10 to 15 degrees hotter than the rest of LA during the balmy summer months. Temperatures in the North Hills routinely break 100 during Los Angeles's frequent heat waves. But hey, with all the money you are saving on rent, you can afford to crank the AC up a little bit.

San Pedro

If you want to live near the ocean, without the hefty price tag, give San Pedro a shot. Though technically a neighborhood within Los Angeles, San Pedro feels like a stand alone town within a bigger city. Further south, sandwiched between the upscale Palos Verdes, and the chilled out, surfer friendly Long Beach, San Pedro is a small dock neighborhood right on the water.

As of publication we found rent for a one bedroom in San Pedro to range somewhere in between $1200 to $1500 per month, and two bedrooms going for around $1700 per month.

San Pedro is a working class neighborhood primarily composed of immigrants and old fishing families that have been working the seas for generations. Locals take a great deal of pride in their neighborhood, and for good reason: the ethnic food is off the hook and the views along Paseo Del Mar are breathtaking.


If you are looking for a central location with a lower price point, check out Palms, just off of the 10 freeway. LA Weekly recently dubbed Palms "the poor man's Culver City". It is an apt description; this little discussed neighborhood gives you all of the convenience of Culver City without the exorbitant price tag.

There isn't too much happening in Palms itself, but the many high rise apartment buildings that make up the neighborhood keep housing supply high, and costs relatively low. You can score a one bedroom apartment for $1700 per month, and two bedrooms generally go for between $2500 and $3000.

Though not cheap, Palms is a bargain in comparison to the sky high rents of Culver City, right next door. A studio in Culver City can cost upwards of $2000 per month.

If you work in entertainment, Palms puts you a stone's throw from the Sony back lot and all of the amazing dining and shopping options of Culver.

Despite the reputation, it is possible to live in the City of Angels on a shoestring budget. Check out these neighborhoods to find the apartment of your dreams, at a price point you can afford.

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