Best First Time Home Buyer Areas in Los Angeles

Top Los Angeles Neighborhoods for First Time Home Buyers

For this article I assumed the search criteria for a first-time home buyer is:

  • $700,000 – $1,000,000 Purchase Price (Entry level for Los Angeles)
  • 2-3 Bedrooms
  • 800 – 1,600 Square Feet
  • Single Family Home
  • Strong Elementary School District

For first time home buyers on the Westside, I say that you have to go North, East, or South (traveling West towards the ocean you get priced out too quickly), and that expect to drive 30 minutes to work. If you are willing to switch to Condos, then that will unlock a lot  Westside neighborhoods with 5 to 10 minute commutes.

The Top 3 First time Home Buyer Areas are:

  1. The Valley
  2. Northeast Los Angeles
  3. South of the 10. 

The Valley

The San Fernando Valley, or simply “The Valley”, is known for its great restaurants, movie studios, hiking trails and more. Unfortunately, it’s also known for its high home costs. But don’t fret, there are some areas of the Valley that are great for first time home buyers. These areas are:

  • Burbank
  • North Hollywood
  • Valley Glen
  • Valley Village


First on the list of best first time home buyer areas in Los Angeles is Burbank. Burbank is home to California’s biggest movie studios including Warner Brothers and Walt Disney making it a very cool place to live. Hungry? There is a plethora of award-winning restaurants and cafes.

Because of its popularity, the median home price in Burbank has been going up, but the average price per home in Burbank still falls into our first time home buyer range at $789,000.

North Hollywood

Next up on my list for first time home buyers is North Hollywood. With the median home value coming in at $649,000, North Hollywood is one of the more affordable areas of the Valley.

Not only affordable, North Hollywood is also one of the more eclectic areas of Los Angeles housing the famous NoHo Arts District. With dozens of theatres, art galleries, cafes and shops, there is always something to do in the North Hollywood area.

Before moving on, if Burbank or North Hollywood are of interest to you, please click here and I will be in touch shortly.

Valley Village

North of Studio City, and West of North Hollywood, lies Valley Village. Nestled between the eclectic NoHo and the famous restaurants of Studio City, Valley Village is a great place for first time home buyers in Los Angeles.

The median home price is a little higher at $914,000 but being surrounded by so much to do, this is the perfect area for the more “social” first time home buyer.

Valley Glen

Valley Glen is one of the more diverse areas of San Fernando Valley, with roughly half of its residents being born outside of the US. Valley Glen is home to the Great Wall of Los Angeles which is a half-mile long mural which tells the history of California through the eyes of its minority residents. With a median listing price of $684,900, Valley Glen is slightly more affordable then Valley Village.

That brings our areas in this section to a close. If you are interested in the Valley please click the button below and I will put together a list of available homes that meet your needs! The next areas on the list of best first time home buyer areas in Los Angeles is NELA, or Northeast Los Angeles.

Northeast Los Angeles

The second area on our list of best first time home buyer areas in Los Angeles is North of Chinatown and West of San Marino; the neighborhood cluster known as Northeast LA or NELA.

Not only is Northeast Los Angeles riddled with hidden gems (, but 5 of the 7 neighborhoods that make up NELA fall right into our criterion for first time home buyers. The 5 neighborhoods are:

  • Highland Park
  • Montecito Heights
  • Atwater Village
  • Mount Washington

Highland Park

Highland Park is one of the oldest settled areas in Los Angeles. While it has been through some transformations, today Highland Park is home to a large creative community. Whether it the beautifully crafted homes, the artsy shops, restaurants, or bars, Highland Park has become a very hot neighborhood for creatives and first time home buyers. Take a stroll down to Figueroa Street on a weekend and you will experience beautiful architecture, excellent coffee shops, and so much more. Definitely worth the look!

Besides the great community, the median listing price is $699,000 so it falls right into our first time home buyer price range! Come check out the area! Contact me here and we can go look at the NELA neighborhood and listings!

Montecito Heights

The cheapest place to live on our Northeast Los Angeles list, is Montecito Heights. The median listing price for homes in this neighborhood is $597,300. What’s nice about Montecito Heights is the fact it’s almost detached from the city life. The neighborhood is extremely green and trendy.

Like baseball? Montecito Heights is extremely close to the World Series Champion Dodgers. The Heights are also home to the Audubon Center. 

Atwater Village

Atwater Village is one of the more vibrant area of NELA, making it a great choice for our list! Atwater Village has a more expensive median home price; coming in at $789,200.

Not only is Atwater Village a vibrant place to live, but it is also a great neighborhood overall. Some of LA’s best restaurants and bars are right in walking distance from Atwater Village. Like the outdoors? Atwater Village is adjacent to Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory!

Known for the friendliness of its residents, Atwater Village is ready to welcome more first time home buyers into their neighborhood. So, while the home price is a little higher than the rest, for what is has to offer, Atwater Village is a top choice when it comes to areas for first time home buyers in LA.

Mount Washington

The neighborhood of Mount Washington is a peaceful neighborhood with incredible views. With just the hills separating downtown Los Angeles and this quiet residential community, Mount Washington offers a quaint, suburb experience while have all downtown has to offer just a few minutes away.

Similar to Atwater Village, the average listing price for a home in Mount Washington is $789,000. If you’re looking to start a family this could be a good area to look. Besides the windy roads and beautiful views, Mount Washington is home to one of the best elementary schools in all of Los Angeles.

This brings NELA to a close. I encourage you to finish the list to see what’s best, but if you have an area you would like further in to, please click the button below and I will be in touch soon.

Up next is our third and final area, the neighborhood “South of the 10”.

South of the 10

Below the 10, or South LA, is another neighborhood that is great for first time home buyers in Los Angeles.  Home to USC and former host of the Summer Olympics, South LA is a diverse and exciting neighborhood to buy your first home.

The 3 areas that are best for first time home buyers are:

  • Leimert Park
  • Crenshaw Manor
  • View Park – Windsor Hills
  • Mid Wilshire

Crenshaw Manor

The Crenshaw district has been a very hot area for first time home buyers as of late. According to Zillow, home prices in this area have gone up 18.7% over the last year.

Crenshaw Manor is a small neighborhood bordering Baldwin Hills. With the new, 2 billion dollar LAX / Crenshaw line now open, the community can expect to see new businesses and residential developments. The new project is certainly related to the spike in home prices, but the median listing price still falls in our range at $737,600.

Leimert Park

Another beneficiary of the LAX / Crenshaw Line, we have the historic Leimert Park. Staying in this price range the average listing price in Leimert Park comes in at $741,400. This area is an extremely family oriented neighborhood with a very strong sense of community. Leimert Park was Curbed’s Neighborhood of the Year in 2016 (, so it is safe to say it has a lot to offer. If you take a moment to see what residents are saying in this interview, you will definitely want to take a look for yourself.

View Park – Windsor Hills

View Park – Windsor Hills has a deep-rooted sense of culture and community; View Park – Windsor Hills is also known as one of the wealthiest, primarily African American communities. The median listing price in View Park Windsor Hill is slightly higher than the other 2 beneficiaries of the LAX / Crenshaw Line, with a median price of $829,000.

All 3 areas of South LA on this list are going to see an uptick in development and home price due to the new metro line previously mentioned. With all 3 neighborhoods being close to one another, it will be easy to show you all listings that meet your needs!

That brings out list to an end. I hope this was a good introduction to all my favorite areas for first time home buyers. If you have any questions or would like to explore any neighborhoods, please call (310) 388-7332 or click the button below. I look forward to speaking with you!

Mid Wilshire

Midwilshire isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. There are a lot of apartment buildings once you go south of Pico, and Washington blvd has industrial. If you have been paying any attention to Miracle Mile the past 10 years you know that the direction of growth is pushing south. Mid City is prime to blow up the next upswing in the real estate cycle. For residents willing to tough it out for 5-10 years they will be handsomly rewarded.


Speak to James

Are you interested in the Angelino Heights area? Let’s chat today, click the button below!