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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Los Angeles

Moving to Los Angeles? The City of Angels is home to Hollywood stars, world-class dining and shopping, and plenty of fun things to do for any lifestyle. While the overall cost of living in Los Angeles is steep, consider settling down in one of these five safe, affordable neighborhoods in Los Angeles!


Encino

Single-Family Home in Encino, Los Angeles. Photo by Instagram user @grigor_alek.

Photo via @grigor_alek

  • Home Price: $753,844 median purchase price; $1,475 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Los Angeles neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley is Encino, one of the best places to rent a home in Los Angeles thanks to its safety and affordability! This LA neighborhood provides a suburban feel, with a local Sunday farmers market, green spaces like Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park and Lake Balboa—in addition to nearby schools like Encino Charter Elementary School, Emelita Elementary School, and Crespi Carmelite High School. While this is a major attraction for families and retirees alike, it’s the Encino Commons that really brings people to this neighborhood. As the neighborhood’s downtown district, Encino Commons offers nightlife, shopping, and trendy restaurants to draw in younger residents. And with Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in the neighborhood, job opportunities and healthcare are nearby.

Things to Do in Encino

Stroll through The Japanese Garden to see beautiful waterfalls, hand-carved stone lanterns, and Japanese-style gardens. Get active and play golf, basketball, tennis, or soccer at one of the many courts at Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area. Hit the batting cages, play arcade games, and go mini-golfing at Sherman Oaks Castle Park. Head to Laemmle Town Center 5 to catch indie films and cult classics on the big screen. Try Belgian waffle flavors like Pumpkin Spice, Baconutella, or Lemon Lover at More Than Waffles. Order a bottle of wine with the Slow-Roasted Prime Rib at upscale Davenport’s Restaurant. Dig into Cuban cuisine like the Versailles Famous Garlic Chicken, Media Noche, and Fried Yucca at Versailles Restaurant. Or visit and sip rare craft beers, cocktails, and an extensive whiskey collection at Surly Goat Encino.

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Los Feliz

  • Home Price: $740,684 median purchase price; $1,407 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 63% of Los Angeles neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

One of the best safe neighborhoods in LA is Los Feliz. This area of the city offers an urban-suburban vibe, just east of Hollywood, and one of the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles for young professionals. Los Feliz is filled with quaint Bungalows and Spanish-style homes on tree-lined streets, cool shops and cafes, tons of hiking trails in nearby Griffith Park, and some of the best restaurants and nightlife in Los Angeles. This makes Los Feliz an excellent place to live for anyone who wants the Hollywood lifestyle without the Beverly Hills prices. Los Feliz is a great neighborhood for older adults and retirees looking to live a more active lifestyle—dance classes, a hiking club, and other programs are offered at the Griffith Park Adult Community Center. Families with children will appreciate schools in the neighborhood like Los Feliz Elementary, International School of Los Angeles, and John Marshall High School, as well as the proximity of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. And all Los Feliz residents can enjoy gourmet food trucks, fantastic live music, and tons of family fun at the Los Feliz Flea.

Things to Do in Los Feliz

Head to Griffith Park to take your picture under the famous Hollywood Sign! Venture through space in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium and visit exhibits like Cosmic Connection and Edge of Space at Griffith Observatory. Stroll through the animal exhibits, like Elephants of Asia and Rainforest of the Americas, at the LA Zoo. Catch a concert from artists like Lewis Capaldi, Hippo Campus, and Seal at the Greek Theatre. Visit vintage movie hangouts like the Vista Theatre and Los Feliz Theatre to see the latest blockbuster films. Enjoy Margherita Pizza, a Fried Oyster Sandwich, or the Chicken Parmesan at old-school Italian restaurant Little Dom’s. Try Brazilian Cuisine such as the Pão De Queijo, Crispy Chicken Thigh XIXO, or the Prawn Moqueca Baiana at Nossa Caipirinha Bar. Order the Tuna Rillettes, Steak Frites, or the Not A “Mac&Cheese” Pasta at Loupiotte Kitchen. Or try the Puka Punch, Cobra’s Fang, or Uga Booga cocktails at tiki-themed bar Tiki-Ti.

Mar Vista

A mediterranean style home in Mar Vista, Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Instagram user @lauriewoolner.

Photo via @lauriewoolner

  • Home Price: $797,290 median purchase price; $1,576 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 89% of Los Angeles neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

One of the most popular places to live in Los Angeles is Mar Vista. Located just minutes from the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach, this safe LA neighborhood offers plenty of things to do. Full of Spanish-style single-family homes and charming bungalows, Mar Vista is one of the best places to buy a home in Los Angeles. With a good mix of urban amenities, plenty of local parks for outdoor activities, and close proximity to the western coastline, you won’t find a better combination of safety and amenities in the Los Angeles metro. Plus, finding a great school for your child shouldn’t be hard with institutes like Windward School and Citizens of the World Charter School nearby. And college students will love living in Mar Vista due to its close proximity and quick commute to nearby Santa Monica College.

Things to Do in Mar Vista

Get active with roller hockey, tennis, baseball, or take a dip in the pool at Mar Vista Recreation Center. Practice your golf skills on the nine holes at Penmar Golf Course. Soak in some sun or go surfboarding at Venice Beach. Spend a day at the Santa Monica Pier playing carnival games or classic arcade games at Playland Arcade, riding the Ferris wheel, and taking pictures on the iconic Santa Monica Pier sign. Start your day with organic micro-batch coffee, espresso, and fresh pastries at Alana’s Coffee Roasters. Head to Rutt’s Hawaiian Cafe for their Char Sui Fried Saimin, Kalua Pork Royale, and Spam Loco Moco. Try some traditional Oaxacan food like the Molotes, Empanada de Amarillo con Pollo, and Mole Verde at Quiadaiyn. Or enjoy appetizers and cocktails at The Cloverfield, where you can try the Wild Shrimp Ceviche while sipping a Gin Goddess.

Playa Vista

  • Home Price: $655,300 median purchase price; $1,535 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 80% of Los Angeles neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families

Want to live close to the beach in Los Angeles but don’t want to pay a fortune? Look no further than Playa Vista! This LA neighborhood is considered one of the best neighborhoods for families—and not just because parents can send their kids to quality private schools like Westside Neighborhood School and Argo Navis Elementary School. This Westside area is also the most affordable neighborhood in Los Angeles on our list to buy a house, with a wide range of lifestyles. And because it’s within minutes of the beach, outdoor fun is only a quick trip away! Residents can support local and shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at the Playa Vista Farmer’s Market. Plus, Playa Vista’s close proximity to Loyola Marymount University also makes it an ideal LA neighborhood for college students and university staff. Even more convenient is its access to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)!

Things to Do in Playa Vista

Spend the day watching street performers, shopping, or dining along the boardwalk at Venice Beach. Enjoy 7,000+ square feet of indoor rock climbing at Sender One Climbing. Take your dog for a walk, play with your little ones on the playground, or enjoy a picnic at one of Playa Vista’s 29 local parks. Get in some retail therapy, catch a movie, or check out upscale restaurants at nearby open-air shopping center HHLA. Pick up some Breakfast Tacos and Buñuelos at Homestate. Order everything from Moroccan Chicken Braise to hand-tossed salads at made-from-scratch restaurant Urban Plates. Visit Ritrovo for Italian eats like Pollo Parmigiana, Gnocchi Pesto, and Lasagna Bolognese. Or relax and take advantage of specials like E.G Vodka Mondays, Thirsty Thursdays, and TGI Fridays during the Let Loose Hour at brewpub Gulp.

Porter Ranch

  • Home Price: $681,550 median purchase price; $2,763 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 95% of Los Angeles neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

One of the best places to raise a family in Los Angeles, safe Porter Ranch is the place for you! Tucked away on the northwest side of the San Fernando Valley and about an hour away from Downtown LA, Porter Ranch is surrounded by state parks and green spaces, so it’s an excellent place to live for outdoor recreation. Plus, with it being so removed from the hustle-and-bustle of downtown, Porter Ranch is an affordable neighborhood in Los Angeles—with spacious single-family homes with large yards clustering around fantastic local schools like Castlebay Lane Charter Elementary School and Porter Ranch Community School.

Things to Do in Porter Ranch

Hitch up your boat and head north for boating, water skiing, BMX tracks, and more at Castaic Lake State Recreation Area. Shop at stores like Steve Madden, Banana Republic, and Macy’s at Northridge Fashion Center. Take the kids to interactive indoor playground My Lil’ Town. Play 18 holes, go swimming, hit the gym, or stay for dinner in The Orchard at Porter Valley Country Club. Savor fresh and locally-sourced seafood like Tropical Mango Ceviche, Lobster Ravioli, and Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna at Lure Fish House. Try the Memphis Baby Back Ribs, BBQ Brick Chicken, and the Baked Beans at Gus’s BBQ. Make a reservation at Mediterranean Bistro for Lamb Chops, Shish Kebab, and Falafel. Or enjoy appetizers and craft beer like the Chicken & Waffle Bites with a pint of Finney’s Blood Orange Hef at Finney’s Crafthouse.

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes