To change to a different city, choose one from the Select city list.

Each city contains a series of questions. Click on the plus icon to expand one. You view comments from other members, and add answers or reply to comments.

If you would like to suggest a question, please send it to travel@visualeffectssociety.com and indicate the city and forum.

Select city:

Environment

If someone is moving to your area, are there any unusual weather conditions that they should prepare for? Does there tend to be a lot of snow, rain, are there hurricanes, etc?
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • no; weather's good all year
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:47am
  • Lots of beautiful sun! It gets very hot in Woodland Hills in the summer. 117 degrees Fahrenheit last year.
    — David Johnson on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:04am
  • It can be hot in the Summer, Santa Ana winds are bad for allergies and sinus conditions and then we do have the occasional earthquake
    — Gene Rizzardi on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:37am
Please describe the environment of your area.
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • I get crime reports from neighborhood watch, and there is some in the area (there is some in any area), but I don't feel threatened or in danger. I feel safe. My neighbor's house was broken into.
    — David Johnson on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:03am
Please share any additional tips or experiences you'd like to share regarding the environment of your area.
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • In Canyon Country: Nice family environment, safe, low crime and out of Los Angeles
    — Gene Rizzardi on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:38am

Health Care

Do you have any further advice regarding health care, or any personal stories regarding your health care experiences that you'd like to share? If so, please type it here:
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • You can choose a PPO or HMO with most companies insurance plans (those that are full time staff positions). I prefer PPO. It costs a bit more, but gives you the flexibility to see any doctor you want without approval.
    — David Johnson on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:14am

Housing

Are there any hidden fees a renter is responsible for? These could be city fees, taxes, etc.
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • Utilities, garbage, internet, gardener
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:41am
Please finish the following sentence: "I think the best place for housing in my area is..."
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • Culver City
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:40am
  • Woodland Hills
    — David Johnson on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:00am
Please finish the following sentence: "When I'm looking for an apartment to rent, or real estate to purchase, I find the following resources or weblinks to be the most helpful:"
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • craigslist los angeles
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:43am
  • Redfin, West Side Rentals
    — David Johnson on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:00am
Please share any tips, recommendations or experiences you'd like to share regarding housing in your area.
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • be sure to factor in parking. some areas are very hard to park in.
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:43am
  • Market was very low in 2011, it's on the upswing now.
    — David Johnson on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:01am

Open forum

Discussion
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • There are many different international communities in LA. So if you relocate to LA chances are you can find people and products from your home country. LA is an awesome place to live and work. It is welcoming to everyone and local people will help you find your way.
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:52am
I have a question
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • knock, knock.
    — Andres Martinez on Friday, July 3 2015 at 02:10pm

Taxes

Are there local accounting services you could recommend to a foreign working needing tax preparation assistance? If yes, please type their contact information or weblinks here:
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
Are there local accounting services you could recommend to a foreign working needing tax preparation assistance? If yes, please type their contact information or weblinks here:
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • Carl Hebeler, CPA http://www.cbhcpa.com/ He is good at filling out taxes for independent contractors
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:51am
  • Kash Chandani and Co. irs4less.com
    — Gene Rizzardi on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:40am
Are you being paid as an independent contractor or will you have taxes withheld?
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
Do you have any advice or personal stories you'd like to share regarding taxes or finance? If so, please type it here:
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
Please finish the following sentence: "As a visual effects professional, I've found it's valuable to know the following regarding taxes in my area:"
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • if you are freelance the employer may not take out taxes and you will have to save a percentage of your income.
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:48am
Please finish the following sentence: "Besides income tax, the various types of taxes that affect my income are:"
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • cost of child care cost of car insurance cost of food cost of medical insurance
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:48am
  • property tax, state tax, sales tax
    — David Johnson on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:13am
  • Taxes for the ACA and Property Taxes
    — Gene Rizzardi on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:38am
Please finish the following sentence: "The resources I find most helpful for preparing my taxes are..."
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • a tax preparer
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:49am
  • A tax preparer
    — David Johnson on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:13am
  • My accountant
    — Gene Rizzardi on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:39am
What can you write off?
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
When do you have to file income taxes in your area?
view commentshide commentsadd an answer

Transportation

Is traffic a major factor in your commute? If yes, when are the best times to commute?
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • after 10am after 8PM
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:45am
  • Traffic can always be a problem, I commute at 6AM but other commute at 9AM
    — Gene Rizzardi on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:33am
  • Depending where you would like to live, and where you must work is a long answer, as typically freeways are not the best/fastest routes for a commute. And besides finding the best times, WAZE.app can help even the most natives, find the best routes while on the car.
    — Andres Martinez on Friday, July 3 2015 at 01:57pm
Please finish the following sentence: "Popular modes of transportation my co-workers use are:" (In your response you may include contrasting costs, efficiency of these different types of transportation, etc).
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • car, bike
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:44am
  • Car, Walk, Bike.
    — David Johnson on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:02am
  • not that common, but makes lot of sense if there is a long commute, to use carpool and take advantage of the new lanes for that purpose. minimum two people unlike other places where minimum is three.
    — Andres Martinez on Friday, July 3 2015 at 02:06pm
Please finish the following sentence: "The method of transportation I prefer to use in my area is..."
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • Automobile, Train, Bus, Walk
    — Gene Rizzardi on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:32am
Please share any tips or experiences you'd like to share regarding transportation in your area.
view commentshide commentsadd an answer
  • the metro train system is good. See if it connects your work with an area you want to live in.
    — Sandra Aguilar on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 10:46am
  • Live close to work and travel / Uber / Cab for nightlife. Some people prefer to live on the west side. (Santa Monica area)
    — David Johnson on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:02am
  • A vehicle with good gas mileage is helpful, carpool if possible, and arrive early for work.
    — Gene Rizzardi on Thursday, June 25 2015 at 11:37am
  • An electric car is pricey but it can help in fuel saving AND what I would imagine too is facility to park in many places where easy access to handicap and electric vehicles have preference.
    — Andres Martinez on Friday, July 3 2015 at 02:05pm
  • Be aware of the price difference from gas stations all over the city and know which grocery stores grant you points for gas savings - Pavillions and Chevron. Ralphs and Shell.
    — Andres Martinez on Friday, July 3 2015 at 02:08pm