Even though Westwood has plenty to keep you busy—like performances at the Geffen Playhouse or happy hour on the patio at Napa Valley Grille—the neighborhood maintains its calm vibe by having pretty strict ordinances against letting people party until dawn. Crime is also uncommon enough here that one crime that happened 30 years ago was a pretty big deal. If you feel like jogging along the tree-lined streets, you definitely won’t be the only one.
After a long day of classes, most students head to local hot spots like O’Hara’s (pro tip: everyone still calls it Maloney’s, its name before 2008), where cheap drinks abound and you can play beer pong if you get there early enough to grab a table. The Palomino Restaurant and Bar is a classier scene that appeals to Westwood socialites and UCLA students alike.
The Westwood Business Improvement District protects the historic Westwood Village commercial area, making sure that the streets stay clean and continue to attract the kind of upscale businesses that renters here want, such as Whole Foods and boutiques like Kinsley. Westwood is clean, and even older buildings are generally well-maintained.
Renting an apartment in Westwood can be competitive, but you can use schedules to your advantage. Because many students who can afford to live here choose to do so, your best bet for finding an apartment would be in early summer, just after the school year ends. As with any other apartments, you should have an income at least 3 times the rent and be able to show some pretty stable references.
Transportation in Westwood can seem pretty dicey at times because traffic is very heavy. Between the large number of corporations in this neighborhood and students at UCLA, there are many people in and out of the area all day, especially because of the neighborhood’s easy access to the 405. Parking can be challenging to find as well. Many people choose to park in a lot on the UCLA campus for greater success in finding an available space, though a lot on Broxton Avenue is great for short shopping trips. Many students and other Westwood renters choose to get by on bike just because it’s easier than fighting traffic.
You’ll find a wide variety of housing for rent in Westwood, from apartments geared primarily to students to luxury condos. Along Wilshire Boulevard, you’ll even see homes for sale that cost several million dollars. Some loft-style apartments are well away from the area for UCLA undergrads.
Los Angeles is a city full of renters and residents who make fitness a major part of their lifestyles. Although most apartments for rent also have fitness facilities onsite, many also choose to take classes at places such as YogaWorks Westwood or to exercise outdoors at the Westwood Recreation Center. Holmby Park is a clean, peaceful spot for a walk, right next to the Playboy Mansion. Holmby Park is also a friendly place, perfect for taking kids or pets.
Because apartments for rent in Westwood are so varied, it’s important to have a well-defined list of criteria—as well as a good sense of your budget. Depending on where your apartment is located and if you choose a top floor, you could even be lucky enough to have ocean views. Some apartments include utilities, while others do not, so it’s important to ask for these details before you sign a lease. Most apartments will require a deposit in addition to first month’s rent upon move-in. It’s not easy to find discounts or move-in specials, but you may have better luck finding them depending on when you look.
Westwood is a safe, upscale place with easy freeway access. For a peaceful place to call home, give Westwood a try!