Hawthorne has come a long way from the 80-acre, one-horse town established by investors attracted by the narrow-gauge railway in 1887. The Hawthorne Land Company positioned the town as a good settlement between the city of Los Angeles and the sea, especially for people who wanted to raise poultry and grow veggies. The attraction still holds, fueled mainly by the year-round Mediterranean climate of the Los Angeles basin and the fact that it is just 5 miles or 10 minutes to Los Angeles International Airport, 20 minutes to downtown LA, and only 10 minutes to the beaches. Add all that to the good mix of businesses, industries, schools, retail complexes and more that this area offers, and it's no wonder 89,000 people chose to settle in the 6.1 square miles of the city of Hawthorne. Most veggie and poultry growers are out by now, though.
You might have guessed it by now. The ease of finding an apartment runs inversely proportional to the charm and allure of the city. Hawthorne is no different. The supply is rather limited, and take a deep breath before you look at vacancy rates. They hover around 5 to 6 percent overall, but you'll also see as little as 1 to 2 percent, depending on the neighborhood that catches your fancy.
If you want to enjoy the strategic benefits of Hawthorne, be ready to pay for it. Average rents run higher than those for the rest of California.
Wear your professional hat when you're hunting for an apartment. The task is as daunting and serious as a job hunt. Start early. Decide what you want, adopt a systematic approach, persevere and seize the moment when it eventually comes. Then? Thank your lucky stars.
S La Cienega Boulevard - W 120th Street: This area is slightly up market, with plenty of students around. Get a head start if you plan to move in during the pre-semester rush when students go house hunting. $$
Inglewood Avenue - W 120th Street: This is a neighborhood with a lot of character, lots of small-to-medium apartments, and fairly high vacancy rates to boot. Get in while you can! $$
Hawthorne Boulevard - W 120th Street: Here you have a densely populated neighborhood with plenty of apartments of all types and sizes. The average rental rate here is relatively low, but this translates into very low vacancy rates. To secure an apartment here, you will probably have to expand your rat-race skills in house hunting. $
Prairie Avenue - W 120th Street: This diverse neighborhood has a lot of character and amazing Cajun and Falafel foods. The stock is rather flexible, ranging from studios to large apartments and single-family homes.$$
Inglewood Avenue – Broadway: Most apartments here are small, either studio or one to two bedrooms, and the best part is that most of them are renter-occupied.$$
West of Downtown: The Prairie Avenue - Broadway - W El Segundo Boulevard - Washington Avenue - Jefferson Avenue – Doty Avenue – W 139 Street stretch is a dense urban neighborhood with a mix of small to medium-sized apartments and single-family homes. Most of the stock is on rent, and vacancy rates are fairly decent--above 7 percent.$$
Doty Avenue - Bodger Avenue: Most new developments take place here, and the vacancy rate of just 0.6 percent reflects the demand.$$$
Delta: You will probably have to pay a premium here, thanks to the high quality of the houses. But don’t think twice if an apartment here attracts you. This is a vibrant neighborhood with good vacancy rates.$$$
East of Downtown: The neighborhoods of Yukon Avenue - W Rosecrans Avenue- Chadron Avenue is another dense urban stretch with plenty of small-to-medium apartments. Most of the apartments here are renter occupied, and the stretch has relatively higher vacancy rates.$$
City Center: The city center has lots of small to medium-sized apartments for the taking.$$$
Del Aire: College students have a special liking for this neighborhood. If you happen to land here in the peak summer months, you'll have the opportunity to mix it up with the young adults.$$
Isis Avenue - W Rosecrans Avenue: Looking for an oasis of fine urban living. Here it is, complete with arts, theater, boutique shopping and more. The stock is mostly medium to large apartments and houses, and they're the most expensive in Hawthorne. Most of them are occupied by the owners. $$$$$
Hawthorne is a young city, with the median age of residents at just 31.5 years. It's 45.6 in California overall.
The city has bus lines and is connected to the MTA Light Rail, but most people simply prefer the two freeways. About 80 percent of the population commute in their own gas guzzlers.
Eleven elementary schools, four middle schools, and eight high schools have the younger set covered.