1. There are dozens of different apartment combinations in Downtown LA. You have apartments with interior brick and apartments with no interior brick. You have environmentally-friendly buildings. You have pet-friendly and anti-animal. Historical and modern. Polished and industrial. Live only and live/work. Bachelors, studios, lofts and multiple-bedrooms. Ground floors and penthouses. For sale and for rent.
Figure out what you want or need in an apartment and write it down. Write two lists, one for “needs” and the other for “wants.” Only write qualities on the “needs” list that you absolutely could not live without. Do you need an apartment that is pet-friendly and inexpensive? What about an apartment that is zoned for live/work? On your “wants” list, write qualities that you’d like to have. Perhaps a brick interior, entertainment within walking distance, or a big kitchen would be a plus for you.
2. Try window-shopping on Craigslist. Downtown properties are constantly being listed and relisted on Craigslist. Window-shopping on Craigslist will help familiarize you with the different buildings and neighborhoods and what they offer.
3. Make sure you visit several neighborhoods in Downtown LA before you make your final decision. There are 13 different neighborhoods, and they’re all relatively different and have their pros and cons. South Park is where most of the action is, with LA Live, STAPLES
Center, Nokia Theater
, and trendy apartments, whereas the Historic District is where you will find apartment buildings with rich architecture.
4. Depending on how long you plan on living Downtown, you may want to look into current and future construction plans. There are apartments that have amazing views now, but Downtown is in the process of being revamped, and once that new high rise is complete, you may have a view of the neighboring building instead of the Hollywood sign.
5. Look into temporarily renting an apartment. Sometimes the owner of an apartment will rent out their place for a month or two while they’re out of town. If you want to test the waters, rent an apartment Downtown for a couple months to see if it’s the right area for you.
6. If you’re afraid of going at it alone, there are realtors, like the folks at LoftLivingLA, who are familiar with the Downtown LA area and know every building inside and out. Some of these realtors will help you with the initial scouting process for free, so take advantage of them! Good luck and happy hunting!