Possibly moving to Ontario, California
January 3, 2007 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Posted previously asking about a move to Los Angeles area, more specifically Ontario, California (40 miles NE of LA) I have questions regarding the area, cost of living, nice neighborhoods etc.

I posted a month ago asking about big-time moves, and a week ago asking advice on moving to Los Angeles from New Jersey. I have since had my interview with the hiring manager and gotten more details.

Here are the old posts for reference and some background.



Updated Info:

-Location: Ontario, in Orange County. (NE of LA)


-Salary: Still negotiating salary, but it's range would be 70-85k to start with yearly raises from 5-8%.

What areas in Ontario are nice to live in? For my salary range would a nice studio apartment be affordable? I know that Ontario is about 40 miles outside of LA, how long is that time-wise, traffic considered, if I wanted to go into LA for a night etc. Is there anything to do in Ontario, what is it like, suburbs?

I'm really looking for something bigger than a 1-bedroom apartment or studio. I wouldn't mind renting a bi-level townhouse perhaps. My budget would be up to 2k a month. Ideally I'd love a spacious open-air kind of place, even if it was converted from something like a warehouse. Is this what a studio apartment is? Where are some good places to look for these listings?

Would it be worth living on the outskirts of LA, (would I still hit ridiculous traffic even if I wasn't downtown?)

Thanks for all your help in advance :)
posted by PetiePal to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I lived in Claremont, CA for 4 years in college, which is about 15 minutes from the Ontario airport. Traffic isn't really all that bad in the area, although it gets a little sticky in the 15->10 and 15->210 interchanges. Getting to LA is a very straight shot on I-10, and it never took me longer than an hour to get downtown for shows and stuff, although I always left a lot of time and arrived unfashionably early. Use Sigalert whenever you plan on going anywhere out of the foothills.

There's a lot of new suburban development in Rancho Cucamonga, although I don't really know how the rental situation is.
posted by muddgirl at 9:00 AM on January 3, 2007

A studio apartment is basically a one-room living space. The bathroom and closets and kitchen tend to be apart, but the living and sleeping areas are one room.

I think what you're thinking of is a loft. There are some lofts in Downtown and I know some people who live in lofts in Santa Monica. I have no idea what the loft situation is in Ontario.

I'm not sure how to give housing tips for Ontario, but in LA, most people find their apartments:

*On Craigslist (or the OC CL, in your case, I guess?)
*On Westside Rentals
*by driving around

For 2k, you should certainly be able to find a nice one or two-bedroom apartment.

I've never been to Ontario, but it looks pretty far away. The people I know who live farthest out live in Whittier and La Puente, and it seems to take them about an hour to get to Hollywood or Beverly Hills (and not at peak rush hour.)

Traffic is always bad in Los Angeles. Forty miles in LA is not like forty miles elsewhere.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:06 AM on January 3, 2007

First off, Ontario is in San Bernardino county, not Orange. So make sure you're consulting the right section of Craig's List. The closest seems to be the San Gabriel Valley.
posted by jvilter at 10:20 AM on January 3, 2007

The nice thing about the Inland Empire is that housing costs are significantly lower than LA or Orange County (of course, compared to much of the rest of the country it's still completely outrageous). If your salary is 75-80K I would not limit yourself to a studio or even a one bedroom as a 2K a month budget for housing expenses can get you a lot more. I would even consider a condo as you could probably even stay within your housing budget and get the benefits of ownership.

As far as where to live, in my experience neighboring cities like Rancho Cucamonga and Upland are far nicer than Ontario proper (which very well may have some nice parts, but has a lot of not so nice areas as well).

I wouldn't look to LA as your primary social outlet. Southern CA traffic being what it is, the 40 miles between Ontario and LA can take up to several hours to negotiate depending on the time of day, etc. When I first moved out of Orange County and moved to the IE, I would occasionally attempt to go visit old friends in Orange County on Friday or Saturday nights (a commute actually far less than 40 mi) and eventually gave up because the traffic was so insane. Unfortunately, the IE, being primarily a suburban area, doesn't have the most exciting social outlets in the world, so on weekends it is going to be you and thousands of other people trying to get out of the area into the more exciting LA and OC areas as well).

Living on the outskirts of LA isn't the worst idea in the world to the degree that you would be doing a reverse commute so traffic wouldn't be as bad, however, keep in mind housing costs increase dramatically once you enter an LA or OC zip code.
posted by The Gooch at 10:33 AM on January 3, 2007

On the plus side, you'll be close to the mountains for winter and summer sports. You'll be an hour, more or less to the ocean. An hour or so to down town LA.
My husband teaches a once a week class at a local community college in theate appreciation, which is a nice, low cost way to be introduced to lots of different venues - they always go to something at the Music Center (the Ahmanson and/or the Mark Taper) and then tons of smaller, 99 seat houses. There is bus transportation provided from the school too. Take the class once and you'll have really gotten your bearings in town. My email is in my profile etc etc.
More about rentals - Ontario is very suburban. Lots of new and shiney construction. I would think that for around $2000.00 you could find something pretty nice. Okay, I just did a quick look on the Craig's List link I sent you and there's nothing out that far east. A key phrase to look for is Inland Empire. Here is a link to one of the more local newspapers., which I think you will find useful.
posted by jvilter at 10:33 AM on January 3, 2007

Here is a link to apartment rentals in the area from the Press-Enterprise, the local paper for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties:

Inland Empire Apartments
posted by The Gooch at 11:59 AM on January 3, 2007

Inland Empire Craigslist

Ontario itself tends to be more industrial, although there are some nice parts. You're probably best off looking in areas north of the 10 freeway-- things get better (and more expensive) as you get closer to the foothills. Try Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, or Alta Loma.

I lived in Upland up until a year ago, and I paid about $900/month for a 1 bedroom apartment. On your budget you should be able to find something very nice. If you're going to stay for a while it might be a good place to settle-- take a drive up Euclid Ave, there are some beautiful old houses there. In fact, you can keep going up Euclid to Mt. Baldy in about 20 minutes for some local hiking/skiing.

I wouldn't want to head to Downtown/Hollywood every weekend, but the drive really isn't that bad. 30-45 minutes during non-commute times is a good estimate unless there is a wreck on your route, and even on a Friday night the traffic mostly clears heading west by around 6:30 or 7.

Don't live close to downtown to avoid weekend traffic! You will pay dearly on your commute to work-- at least double the time, if not triple, every single morning and evening. Unlike some other cities, it's not the traffic downtown that is the real problem, but the traffic on the 60 and 10 freeways going into/out of downtown.

Feel free to email me if you have any other questions-- there's an address in my profile.
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:17 PM on January 3, 2007

I grew up in Montclair which is next to Ontario and I second a lot of what InfidelZombie says. Look to north Ontario around Euclid for lovely old homes. Also check out Upland and I personally love Claremont. There's a very wonderful downtown area, and it's home to several colleges so it's got that vibe. If you like "new" areas, then I'd go for Rancho Cucamonga.

The entire area is very suburban but there are a few concert venues (Glass House in Pomona, primarily). There's a big mall in Ontario that I think has a Dave and Buster's, moves, etc.

But we would drive up to LA every weekend and it's really not that bad. You can also reach Orange County or Pasadena in the same amount of time. Both Brea and Fullerton have nice downtown areas (Fullerton is more hip bars/coffeehouses/clubs, while Brea has the Improv and restaurants), and those are about 20-25 minutes south. Palm Springs is a bit over an hour to the east. I believe there's also a Metrolink train that goes from Montclair to LA.

Also, the main newspaper is really the Daily Bulletin, not the Press Enterprise. That's more eastern Inland Empire. I would also check the Penny Saver for rental listings. You should be able to get something very nice in that area for $2K.
posted by faunafrailty at 1:54 PM on January 3, 2007

One of my clients owns a nice 16-unit apartment building on Grove Ave., close to the airport, and right now he has a vacancy - beautiful, fully renovated 3 bedroom apartment, like brand new. I saw it last week and took some photos. I think he rents it for $1300 or $1400 or at least around that price. If interested, email me for more info.
posted by growabrain at 10:30 PM on January 3, 2007

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