Cost of Living in Santa Monica and Salary expectations

MatriasMatrias Registered User regular
edited April 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a phone interview with an business based out in Santa Monica next week and need to do some home work for it. I'm seriously interested in the job, and they sound interested as well. I need to form some serious salary expectations, I'd like to at least live comfortably in Santa Monica without the use of a car.

The salary at my last job was famously uncompetitive for my position and was only tolerable because a) I loved working there b) enjoyed ridiculously cheap rent living in a duplex that my parents rented out. Without going into specifics, it was somewhere in the vicinity of 40 to 50 grands in Canada bucks. From what I've read I don't think this is going to cut it for Santa Monica

I hate talking about money but the prospect of relocation makes me really nervous and I need to solicit some advice, if only to confirm I'm on the right track.

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  • UrQuanLord88UrQuanLord88 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    As a starter, I found http://www.glassdoor.com/ to work well enough. Type in your (future) position, company and location and you should get an estimate of the average salary. The more important thing for jobs in the States, imo, are the benefits, i.e. paid vacations, insurance, 401k etc, that I'm sure someone more qualified can expand on.

    On a side note, I hope you have thought about what sort of immigration status you will have, assuming you are only Canadian and if you do get the offer. Immigration in the States is a bitch and I'd advise you to have a plan if you haven't got one.

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  • MatriasMatrias Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Oh wow, this site is rad.

    As for immigration, I'll worry about that later - right now I'm focused on the interview and getting my expectations prepared. Techy industry, plus I've been told my years of experience eases the possibility of getting a visa.

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  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    You can also try salary.com, but while I'm not sure how much more Santa Monica is than where you live in my experience salaries generally don't directly correlate to the cost of living in a place because most places with high costs of living are also more desirable to places to live. Also don't tell them your previous salary especially since you say it's on the low end all that will end up doing is getting you a lowball offer.

  • UrQuanLord88UrQuanLord88 Registered User regular
    There was a recent thread here in H/A about salary range.

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  • Mad JazzMad Jazz Registered User regular
    I can't help you as far as salary goes, but I can tell you that Santa Monica is freakin' expensive. Be prepared to pay at least 800-1000 a month for a place with a roommate, more if you want to live by yourself (you may get lucky and find a sweet deal, but when I was looking for places in the LA area last fall, stuff in SM was always really, really pricy).

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  • Actinguy1Actinguy1 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Go to google, and type "cost of living calculator." I'm using this right now while I move to DC, it's great.

    I used to live in Lompoc (about 2.5 hours north of Santa Monica). I paid 1000/month for a two-bedroom apartment. The apartment was okay...it even had marble countertops...but Lompoc was not a good town. There's a prison there and when the prisoners earn their release, they have nowhere to go, so they stay in the area. My apartment complex was gated, but I still had a bike stolen off of my porch during the daytime, while I was home.

    Of course, that's not Santa Monica. I would reason that Santa Monica is probably much more expensive, but check out the cost of living calculator.

    I would also recommend factoring in the price of a car, gas, and maintenance. I've only driven through Santa Monica, but in general, you need a car to go ANYWHERE in the Los Angeles area. NOTHING is within walking distance.

    Hope that helps!

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  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    While Santa Monica gets as close as you can get to 'Walking in LA,' you still pretty much need a car. The Big Blue Bus is wonderful, and depending on how close you get, you can walk to the beach, the promenade, hell, the Albertson's on Lincoln for groceries (or merhaps Trader Joe's!), but you are doing yourself an enormous disservice in terms of properly enjoying the area you live in.

    Just for a point of reference, it cost us 1450$ for a 2 bedroom apartment on Ocean Park and the teens five years ago. Rates and apartment types are all over the board there depending on how inland you want to go (or how far south), but expect expensive in general.

    Good luck! Santa Monica is as close as I'd ever want to get to living in LA again. It has its charms.

    Seriously, though, car.

  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    Well here's the skinny:

    If you find people to share an apartment with you can probably get as low as 700-800 a month in santa monica. If you want to live by yourself, as low as 1200 I'd say. Most of santa monica will cost quite a bit more than that, but that's about as low as you'll find.

    There's good news though! LA has a lot of other areas that are driving distance to santa monica where you can get cheaper spaces, but realistically I'd expect to spend the same, and just get a better spot.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    USD:CAD is almost 1-1 now. Living in samo on 40-50k is doable, but it'd be a lot easier at 50 than 40. Living in palms/culver city is a viable alternative, too, though i'd vastly prefer to stay west of the 405 for your own sanity.

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