From the most expensive coastal areas to affordable student housing, Los Angeles offers a wide variety of housing options to suit every budget and lifestyle.
Many UCLA anesthesiology residents choose to live close to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in the communities of Westwood, west Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Culver City. Some who don't mind a longer commute may decide to live "over the hill" in the San Fernando Valley, or as far away as Long Beach.
t’s easy to see the appeal of SoCal’s pricey neighborhoods if you’ve ever binge-watched Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing. Apartment-hunting in the same locales on a resident’s salary...maybe not so much fun. Don’t despair. Thanks to Mar Vista and Sawtelle, two low-profile, high-charm neighborhoods within 15 minutes of UCLA, you can enjoy the best of LA without having to sacrifice your whole paycheck.
Mar Vista boasts a large concentration of residents ages 19 to 34 with advanced degrees. The diverse, family-friendly area was known as “The Lima Bean Belt of the Nation” in the 1920s. Farmlands eventually gave way to family-owned coffee shops and thrift stores, many of which remain today.
Mar Vista borders Venice on the west and Culver City on the south, two of the city’s most bustling night-life destinations. Mar Vista, on the other hand, beckons residents outdoors. The Mar Vista Recreation Center features soccer fields, a swimming pool, and a hockey rink. Dog owners enjoy nearby Airport Park, which has two dog runs for larger and smaller breeds to play off-leash.
After picking up your weekly supply of avocadoes and fresh flowers at the Sunday Farmer’s Market, you can enjoy a leisurely brunch at Rustic Kitchen, a family-owned spot on Centinela Avenue, or indulge in gourmet scoops at Small Batch Ice Cream, owned by Top Chef’s Brooke Williams.
As Tami Pardee of Halton Pardee Properties told the LA Times, Mar Vista “is a beautiful little place…there are all these little gems in the neighborhood, like the Farmer's Market and the Oasis Healing Center.” Rents for studios and one-bedroom apartments start at $1,500. Families can also take advantage of the area’s strong school system.
Sawtelle, just west of the 405 freeway, was settled in the late 1890s to provide housing for workers and visitors to the nearby National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (now the VA Hospital). The enclave welcomed Japanese immigrants shut out of nearby Bel-Air and Beverly Hills, and became known as Little Osaka.
In the 2000s, Sawtelle Boulevard’s original nurseries and family markets transformed into what Eater LA calls a “…bustling dining hub rife with noodle shops, boba milk tea, desserts, and karaoke lounges.” UCLA favorites include Hide for affordable sushi and Tsujita for ramen that the LA Weekly calls “a revelation.”
The area has quieter destinations, as well. It is home to the West Angeles Buddhist Temple, known for its Japanese Garden. Enjoy a Saturday afternoon at Rockreation, a community-oriented climbing gym, or the Landmark Theatres, one of LA’s most comfortable art movie houses.
Studios and one-bedrooms also start at $1,500. Venture a bit west of Sawtelle Boulevard and you’ll find some of the most affordable single-family homes on the west side.
To learn more about affordable housing options in Los Angeles, visit UCLA’s Housing Resources.