Darin’s new job is located in Sherman Oaks, CA (91423 ). Since we know where he’ll be working, we’ve been taking time to research where we should be living. Ideally we would live right in Sherman Oaks, because the commute would be short. But what are our options? What about price? Crime?
Naturally, the second I found out where the office was, my marketing senses started tingling and I went searching for demographics on the area. Data is the best way to calm a queasy stomach.
I started with the Prism Cluster demographic info at Nielson. I’ve used this many times for work, and figured it would be a good place to start.
Nielsen’s lifestyle segmentation systems define every household in the U.S. by distinct lifestyle types, called “segments”, to provide you with a comprehensive picture of who lives where and what they are like.
I found the charts and segment groups helpful. It helped me with things like average age, ethnicity, income and household members. It also goes into depth in the segment groups with activites and such for each group. It’s a good place to start. (Nielson Zip Code Look-Up)
The next place I swung by was a Reddit FAQ that had some information for people transplanted to LA. One of them was a neighborhood mapper put together by the LA Times. It shows the boundaries for each neighborhood (something I was seriously fuzzy on). Once you choose the neighborhood you’re interested in, prepare to be educated. Crime, schools, income, housing – you name it. The vitals are all there. I was pretty happy to have a resource like this, and I’d recommend it to anyone moving to LA. I wish more metro areas had things like this available. (LA Times Neighborhood Mapper)
Lastly, Reddit was a great place to hear individual’s advice – as usual. Don’t estimate a local’s valuable point-of-view. One kind soul informed me that “for anything reasonably priced, you’ll need to move very quickly (like same day) to be able to get an apartment.” I was pretty freaked out by that, but hey – it’s better to be prepared, right?
We’re still going to try to live in Sherman Oaks, but at least we’ve got more data to back up that decision. We’ve also got data on nearby neighborhoods, in case we can’t find a place we like. I wonder where we’ll end up!