Living in Van Nuys, Los Angeles: Where You can Enjoy the Glitzy LA Life on a Budget

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Want to experience the sunny LA life without the hefty price tags that go with renting in Los Angeles? Van Nuys will give you that and more with its large variety of housing options, diverse dining, shopping venues and vibrant outdoors.

Where is Van Nuys?

Van Nuys is bordered by North Hills, Panorama City, Valley Glen, Sherman Oaks, Lake Balboa, Northridge and the Sepulveda Basin. It’s also home to Van Nuys Airport and is known as the most populous neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley.


Van Nuys was founded in 1911 and was named after one of the developers who conceived the project. In 1915, it became part of Los Angeles. Notable landmarks include the Art-Deco style Valley Municipal Building (Van Nuys City Hall), the Van Nuys Branch Library and the Van Nuys Woman’s Club.


What to Do

Sky Zone Trampoline Park offers an active, fun time for kids of all ages – including the young at heart. For those seeking a calmer activity, the Japanese Garden provides a serene and tranquil space to relax.

Lake Balboa Park offers waterside relaxation, a range of water sport activities and jogging and cycle tracks for those who enjoy outdoor fitness activities. And for those in search of fresh farm produce, farmers’ markets are a regular fixture in the area.

Where to Eat and Drink

There are restaurants in Van Nuys catering to a variety of tastes. Check out the Chilean food served at El Parron and the good Cuban cuisine at El Criollo. For something different, or a touch of nostalgia for expats from South Africa, the Springbok Bar & Grill makes an interesting selection of curries, and if BBQ is what your taste buds crave then pop into Dr Hogly Wogly’s.


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From British pubs to Lebanese food, you won’t run out of options. Van Nuys boasts everything from malls to thrift shops, and Van Nuys Boulevard is recognized as a great shopping street.

Moving to Van Nuys

Real Estate Snapshot

Despite having its fair share of shops and businesses, Van Nuys is primarily a residential area. New developments in the mid-priced bracket are rare, with most development focusing on high-end homes. However, main roads and building facades are being renovated in a bid to freshen up Van Nuys.

Most properties to let in Van Nuys are 1-3 bedroom apartments, but the full range of property types including houses and townhouses is available. Despite there being some really attractive housing and apartment options (often with access to a pool), RentCafe calculates the average rent for Van Nuys apartments as being around $1,734, placing it below the average rental price of  $2,375 asked in the greater LA area.

On the whole, locals feel that they live in a friendly area, but they agree that certain parts of Van Nuys are better maintained than others. If you are planning to rent in Van Nuys, it would be important to explore what the specific street or area you are considering is like in this regard.

The cost of living in Van Nuys is below the average cost of living in greater Los Angeles but somewhat higher than the national average. If you’re moving to LA, Van Nuys is a great area to start out, as you’ll save on rentals while still getting great accommodation.


The area is centrally located within the San Fernando Valley, and the average commute time for residents to Downtown LA is 30 minutes. Van Nuys is located on the LA Metro Orange Line, giving easy access to rail transportation, and all stations are linked to LA Metro bus lines, making for easy commuting around LA. The Van Nuys Airport can be reached using shuttle services or LAX buses.

Schools & Employment

There’s a wide selection of schools to choose from, so finding the right school for your kids conveniently near home shouldn’t be hard to do. Some of the public schools available in the area are the Kittridge Street Elementary School, Robert Fulton College Preparatory School, as well as a few private options like The Crawford Academy or Crossroads School.

As a popular commercial district, employment in Van Nuys can be found in retail or the food industry. However, more options are available in the nearby neighborhoods and commuting is chosen by many locals.

For a diverse, high density area, you can still get some really stylish housing and at a lower than the average cost for LA. Find all the latest Van Nuys rentals and browse apartments for rent in Van Nuys with RentCafe.

Check out more Los Angeles neighborhood guides:

Wilshire – Montana, Santa Monica: Beach Living with a Touch of Class
Westlake, Los Angeles: A Low Cost Alternative to Downtown Living
Living in Palms, Los Angeles: A Historic Neighborhood, Populated by Millennials
Hollywood – a Vibrant LA Neighborhood with Celebrity Status
Koreatown – The Little City That Never Sleeps
Westwood – Live Large in the Center of It All
Sherman Oaks – Timeless Elegance in the Heart of the Valley
Sawtelle – A Walkable, Culture-Filled Enclave Bustling with L.A. Charm

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Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 9-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email.

Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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