Sunday, November 16, 2008

Do You Feel My Stress?

Forbes does.

They’ve ranked LA as the fourth most stressful city in the US, based on criteria like affordability, population density, unemployment, gas prices, air quality and a few other things. (Rounding out the top five are: 1) Chicago, 2) New York, 3) San Francisco and 5) Detroit. In other words, a short list of where I won’t be moving.)

Here’s the description of LA’s “stressors”:

Individuals living in the City of Angels deal with a 7.5% unemployment rate, the second least affordable homes relative to income in the country and the worst air quality in the country. Angelenos also have to fret about health concerns and often need to stay indoors when the smog gets really bad. Throw in expensive gas and this car-dependent city has a lot to stress about.

Now, I knew LA was going to be high on Forbes’ list, which also includes some surprises like Salt Lake City and Providence, once I saw that affordability was one of the factors. I mean, we’re the worst value for real estate in the country, and we are just behind New York and San Francisco in exorbitant rental rates. More than gas prices (because I don’t commute), unemployment (because I am self-employed) or smog (because, I swear, it has never affected my health or activities), this is what causes me stress in LA.

When I look at renting a larger place here (at least $25/square foot in my neighborhood nowadays), or buying something the same size or bigger (still at least $400/square foot in my neighborhood), I simply can’t justify giving up my rent-stabilized apartment of seven years. The jump in price per square foot is just, well, stupid.

Which means, if I really want things like a spare bedroom and a better home office (which I crave the way reality stars crave fame), I can’t afford a long-term relationship with LA. Because if you can’t upgrade during a severe housing recession, when can you?

Try nev-er. Ooof.


AVM said...

I realize there’s some irony in trying to defend the ability to breathe in LA today of all days. As you’ve probably heard, there are major wildfires all around the city, and even though I’m 30 miles from the closest one, the smoke has now reached us. You smell it, and you see it. My car is covered in soot, and I went outside earlier (see, people do such a thing!) only to return with a big black piece of ash on my nose. That got me thinking - now there’s perhaps a legitimate second stress for me. Natural disasters. We’ve got quite a few to worry about here in California, including earthquakes, and the longer I stay, the longer my chances of being here during the big one!

Luca e Chiara said...

HI, we are Luca and Chiara, two italian teenagers.

We are writing to you, beacause we are opened a new about trips, excursions, holidays, and travells, would you like to help us?

If you want come to our blog, this is the link:
and leave a comment and and to the sondage!

Thank a lot

Chiara and Luca