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A Renters Guide to Transit-Friendly North Hollywood

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All Renters Week long we'll be looking at some of the most happening rental neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Yesterday it was Highland Park; today: North Hollywood.

For those looking to live in the Valley, North Hollywood's got something for most budgets--luxury new builds, ranch houses with big yards, cheap units in fading buildings. While it's well connected to some of the better parts of the Metro system (the Red and Orange lines), the area also has no-sidewalk residential streets straight out of the '50s suburban dream. North Hollywood: where the Valley's past and future collide.

Who lives there: North Hollywood, with one of the highest rates of foreign-born residents in the city, attracts LA newbies of all kinds. It's anyone's guess whether they've come for the gentrification, the low rents, or were just misled by the name.

The neighborhood: New bars and restaurants are opening at a steady clip near around the NoHo Arts District, which is the gentrifier's ground zero. The further north you head, the more rundown things get. Good small markets abound, as do pot shops. And if you don't like staying near home, there are plenty of ways to get away--North Hollywood is well-served by public transportation and freeways, plus the Burbank airport is just over the border.

Highlights: Moby's Coffee and Tea, Bow & Truss for Arts District dinner and drinks, Iliad Bookshop, Skaf's Grill for Lebanese, used furniture store MidcentruryLA, all the theaters and galleries around the NoHo Arts District that people keep going on about.

Rental stock: People don't rent in North Hollywood for the architecture. Apartment complexes running the gamut of generic styles of the past 50 years, some in good shape and some not so much, line the larger streets, and single-story houses from the Valley's suburban heyday are a dime a dozen. Pools aren't uncommon, especially in the larger complexes.

Rent range: $750 for a bachelor to $4,200 for a large two-story house with four bedrooms.

Try it if: You're looking for a fairly walkable, transit-friendly neighborhood but can't afford prices south of the Hills; your apartment complex dreams feature a pool; you want square footage bang for your buck.

Can spend a little more? Try: Studio City or Burbank

Want to spend a little less? Try: Van Nuys

Sample listings
-- Tiny bachelor studio with no kitchen, but with a pool for $750
-- Perfectly adequate and decently sized one bedroom, also with a pool, for $895
-- One-bedroom apartment in an updated Arts District building with a gym and Jacuzzi for $1,400
-- Snazzy two-bedroom apartment in a new building in the Arts District for $2,370
-- Large family house with three bedrooms and a finished garage currently used as a recording studio for $2,550
· Renters Week 2012 [Curbed LA]