Playa Vista is one of the more famous Los Angeles suburbs. The area is considered attractive due to its proximity to LA and major employers like The Honest Company, Thrive Market and Core Digital media. The demand for housing led to large mixed-use projects starting around 2000. But what should you look for when you’re shopping for Playa Vista new homes? Here are 5 things to explore in Playa Vista before buying property.
Verify actual commute time to and from a property before you make an offer. You don’t want to buy a home expecting to reduce the commute if it actually takes longer to get from point A to point B. Of course, this isn’t much of an issue if you’re going to be working in the Google offices in the former Spruce Goose Hangar. That’s one reason why they call this area Silicon Beach.
If you’re going to buy a house to be close to work, make sure your employment there is stable. There’s no point buying a Playa Vista home if your job moves to another suburb. This is also a good time to get your finances in order. Don’t change jobs or start a new company if you’re planning on buying a new home. Lenders want to see two years of steady employment before they’ll extend a loan.
Local Market Prices
The average home in Los Angeles costs more than 800K. The average home in Playa Vista costs more like 1.4 million dollars. The area includes a mix of affordable and luxury units, but the median home price is still around a million dollars. Know what the going rate for a neighborhood and floorplan would be, so that you don’t over-pay. Learn what a reasonable price per square foot would be, so that you don’t balk at a good price on a four- or five-bedroom townhome.
Playa Vista is built in a former salt marsh, though many people forget this. Instead, they only think about how close they are to Marina Del Rey or the beach. However, around 20% of properties in LA are at risk of flooding and this risk is greater for properties near Ballona Creek. You need to find out the flood factor for each property, unless you’re looking at a second floor or higher condo. Small floods are more common than large floods. But you want to know if there is a chance your home is high enough not to end up with six inches of water in the living room if there is a heavy rain.
Quality of Life
Playa Vista is safer than most of LA. It has higher property crime rates than the national average, but it is hands down better than Los Angeles. Check local crime maps so you don’t choose an address right next to an intersection where drugs, theft and other crimes occur more often than average. This tends to be near major intersections. On the flipside, apartments and condos in these areas enjoy better than average walkability and public transit access. You might need to make tradeoffs. Visit the area on evenings and weekends to get a feel for what it would be like to live there.
Playa Vista has much better schools than average. However, not all schools are the same, and you can’t assume your kids will be sent to the STEM-focused Playa Vista Elementary School though it is in view of your new home. Find out what schools a given property is zoned for. This will determine where your kids are sent. If you don’t have children, it will still affect the property’s value.