Studio City is one of the priciest areas in California with housing costs that extend way beyond the reach of the budget of the average worker. After all, Studio City is the home of celebrities: Miley Cyrus lives here, the Brady Bunch called this their home and Michael Jackson lived close by. Several casting agents and modelling studios are also located here – CBS Studios amongst them! Couldn’t get much better.
The housing price reflects. Properties peak as high as $2 million in the southern portion of the community. Housing costs are slightly lower in others.
Few residents have that money, so most rent. But rents are expensive. Recently, Studio City has come up with another solution: Co-living.
Studio City, located just north of The Hollywood Hills and the Canyon, is a larger than average neighborhood in Los Angeles with a population of 32,020. Wikipedia calls it LA’s fastest growing population, at a 10-year growth rate of 8.3%.
Studio City is also expensive.
AreaVibes.com says that the cost of living in Studio City is 28% greater than the Los Angeles average and 82.1% greater than the national average.
Almost half of the residents are credentialled. Mapping LA shows that 49.4% of residents 25 and older have a four-year degree, which is high for the city of Los Angeles and high for the county. We are talking about a highly educated population.
Malls and restaurants add to the allure. Think of Jerry’s Famous Deli, reputed Mezzo Mondo, and world-famous Vegan Plate. Pricey boutiques range from the Turquoise Boutique where you can find ‘cheap’ $500.00 suits to the slightly more reasonable Maxine Boutique.
Apparently, the average resident here can afford its higher lifestyle. Mapping LA reports that as of last year the median median household income of a Studio City family is $75,657, high for the city of Los Angeles but about average for the county. Mapping LA also says that the percentages of households that earn $40,000 to $60,000 and$125,000 and up are high for the county.
Also too the average resident has few family obligations: Studio City has an average household size of 1.9people.
Nonetheless, if you want to set up tent here, you need to have the money to afford it.
Consider the following:
A 4 bedroom 3500+ square foot home hovers around 2 million dollars. One- and two-bedroom condos range from $1,500 to $3,000. Towards the end of 2015, Studio City hit such high prices that the market pulled back with a 3.8% sales drop and sold only 51 homes. In contrast, its sister neighborhood, Encino sold 67 houses in the same time. Its medium going price for an average house was $972,500.
So home prices are high and skimpily accessible – which leads to only 45% owning whilst the majority (49.1%) rent. Most find that owning a home is beyond their wildest dreams. Many find rental costs challenging.
An innovative solution: Co-living
The greatest attraction of Co-living is that it offers cheaper rent.
What is Co-living? A few years ago, Common CEO and founder Brad Hargreaves came up with a solution for providing housing in Studio City. He came up with the “shared living” idea. People want homes in Studio City; most find them exorbitant. Rents are unaffordable, too. What to do? Common, followed by similar companies, opened up co-living spaces where the managers interview people looking for housing and match them together.
Think of Craigslist Housing. You’re always going to find adverts from people in Studio City looking for individuals who want to share their rent. The thing is that few want to share with a stranger. Fewer of these situations work out well.
Innovators like Hargreaves restructured the roommate situation and made it more secure by vetting the process. Co-living operators interview prospective members and run criminal background checks.
Co-living also comes with a 21st-century twist. It bridges shared and private space with activities aimed at creating a deeper sense of community than you’d find in an anonymous high-rise apartment. Events include bowling, book-clubs and potluck dinners. At the same time, Co-living also provides each resident with his, or her, personal space. Activities are voluntary.
The units are constructed in such a way that the first floor of the Common Space building houses the co-working space; the upper floors offer space for co-living. Each unit has a resident community manager or social engineer living on the premises.
Best of all and reason for its existence, Co-living is priced comparably to other rental apartments in the city. In some areas, Common Space actually costs less than a studio option.
Some Co-living facilities also provide kitchen and bathroom supplies which pares the price still further. Finally, the units are fully furnished.
Hargreaves advertises Co-living as a non-revolutionary concept that’s managed with a 21st-century twist. He thinks it perfect for the busy type of millennial who tends to gravitate to Studio City and who is looking for short-term housing whilst working in the city. Different lifestyles and interests sometimes spark conflicts, but Co-living has solved housing problems of a certain population of Studio City and is spreading to other areas too.
Co-living and hard money loans
Most people who ‘Co-live’ have low credit that disables them for buying the kind of home that they would like. Many use Co-living as a short-gap. They may win a loan from a private money funder – who focuses on the value of collateral rather than credit – and entrench themselves in a Co-living unit as means to repaying their hard money loan. The hard money loan enables them to buy a home or invest in real estate. In this situation, Co-living is possibly the cheapest type of housing that they could find that would help them cut down their interim budget.
For people who live in Studio City, it may be the best option.