How do people afford $2K or $3K a month rent in LA & OC? ?

I'm a single person with an IT job that pays $65K a year, which I thought was a decent wage years ago but one half my monthly income goes to pay $1,625 a month rent for a 480 sq ft apt. I use the other half of my wages to pay bills, dental expenses, car issues, food, etc. I see my friends and and coworkers buying houses, upgrading their vehicles, taking vacations and I can't afford any of that. I haven't taken a real vacation in about 10 years. I've been at my job a long time and I'm starting to wonder if my salary is no longer sufficient for LA & OC. Because I've worked at the same place so long, I have no idea what normal pay is in this area. Are other people making $80 or $90K or maybe taking on roommates? Should I start seeking employment elsewhere? Thanks in advance for your feedback!

13 Answers

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  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Best Answer

    Average rent 2500/month requires 7,500/month gross pay or $90K/year salary.

    Those that can't afford it move away, and to cheaper smaller apartments.

    I decided to move from North Carolina in 2009 and in considering all places, was down to renting an apartment in San Diego or buying a condo in Las Vegas. The country was in a recession and prices were way down. Beautiful luxury apartment in Gas Lamp Village at $1600 a month as 2 bedroom, 1000 sq ft. Condo North Strip guarded and gated community 960 sq ft $100,000 to buy and $400 a month water, sewer, trash, HOA, with 5 swimming pools and exercise and free laundermat. Renting I knew would go up each year and buying means I own the gain. Moved to Las Vegas. Same apartment in San Diego goes for over $3000 a month now.

    Now, you don't get $65K in your IT Job. You could get $40K to $50K.

    $725K 3 bd 2ba 1,723 sqft Van Nuys, CA 0.19 acres Year built: 1948 Annual tax amount: $8,044

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/17226-Lemay-St-...

    11 x annual gross

    vs

    $344,900 3 bd 2ba 1,842 sqft Las Vegas, better garage, Year built: 1993 Annual tax amount: $3000

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2121-Mission-Pe...

    7 to 8x annual gross

    People are moving from LA to other areas of the country.

    The median rent for a 2 bedroom in the Las Vegas valley is $1,160 as ab,out 950 sq ft.

    no income tax in nevada

  • 1 month ago

    This is a fantastic question.....

  • B
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    your salary level is way too low for IT 10 years experience. go ahead and hire a resume writer and get your resume updated and apply to jobs as soon as possible. my hunch is that you have tremendous skills (Javascript, C++, etc) but you have not articulated them in writing and felt out the job market. indeed.com has the postings, also dice.com. After 10 years, you probably should be in the range of earning $7K to $9K minimum, which is going to put you in the category to afford the $3K a month rent.

  • 1 month ago

    Obviously, they are earning significantly more than you are. $65k annually is not a whole lot.

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  • 1 month ago

    Move further away from work for cheaper housing. Many people take roommates and eventually, people shack up together, thus increasing the household income and making rent affordable.

    For 10 years working in IT....you are at the low end of the spectrum for salary.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    $1600.00 a month rent is cheap in LA or OC.

  • 1 month ago

    Well, it appears that a large part of the answer is that you chose to live in a really nice area and pay $1600ish rent to do it. If you are willing to commute from farther away you could buy a place for $1625 per month but instead you toss the money away each month and then wonder why other people are doing better than you financially. I'm not even saying you are making the wrong decision, renting for that much money, just understand the consequences of the decision.

  • 1 month ago

    They determine their economic value with their company by constantly looking for another job doing the same thing and leveraging the salaries offered to their present employer in order to get raises or cost of living increases. If their employer isn't willing, they move on to the next job. They also get married and exist on two incomes instead of one. They stop throwing away their money on rent. They use credit to afford more than they can pay in cash all at once. They look for various ways to reduce expenses. But I don't think I am telling you anything you don't already know.

  • 1 month ago

    Tublet- I do get the feeling that the new people are being hired with larger salaries. I may have made a mistake by staying here this long. Although I have enjoyed career longevity they give really poor raises or sometimes no raises, as my rent keeps going up $120 more a month.

    Bone Alone - My official job title is Operations Support Technician. It's really hard to describe it to people but I basically setup all the new AD and Exchange accounts for attorneys that join the firm, setup the remote access, manage all the e-mail lists, run tape backups for disaster recovery, monitor the network, manage the VMware, help the Engineering and Telcom depts, etc. It is considered higher level than local IT but lower level than Engineering. So mid level, I guess you'd say.

  • 1 month ago

    Are they married or have a significant other. That’s why they can afford a house.

    What type of IT job do you have. If you’re a programmer or coder then you’re underpaid. If you go around fixing people’s computers then you need to find a different job.

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