The pros and cons of living downtown

Owning a home often means moving out of the suburbs. And while the suburbs have their appeal, a quiet lifestyle isn't for everyone. If you're looking to live in the center of the action - and you don't want to deal with a long commute - then purchasing real estate in Los Angeles' vibrant downtown area could be the right decision for you.

Thanks to a number of new developments, Los Angeles' downtown area has recently experienced a renaissance. Downtown isn't just for professionals anymore - it's full of swanky dining and shopping, amazing entertainment and gorgeous living.

To decide if moving to the city center is right for you, consider the pros and cons of living right in the middle of downtown.

Nearby shopping and dining
When you live downtown, it's never a long walk to all the best shopping, dining and entertainment. One of downtown Los Angeles' biggest draws is L.A. Live, a new development of shops and restaurants around the massive Los Angeles Convention Center. L.A. Live hosts everything from concerts to conferences to celebrity appearances.

The Staples Center, just a hop, skip and jump away from the Convention Center, is home to L.A.'s legendary sports teams like the Lakers, the Clippers and the Kings. Catch a game, or visit the Staples Center on a non-game day to catch some live music or a unique performance.

Condo and townhouse living
In downtown Los Angeles, space is a at a premium - which means many homeowners who choose to live in the city center opt for a townhouse or a condo instead of a detached single-family home. The good news, however, is that smaller living spaces cost less - and offer more when it comes to things to do beyond the home.

The median sales price of downtown Los Angeles real estate is around $395,000, according to a local real estate agency, making this area affordable for young couples looking for a vibrant lifestyle.

Ease of commute
Due to its massive urban sprawl, Los Angeles is infamous for long commutes. Living in the suburbs can mean an hour or longer in your car each day on the way to and from the office. However, choosing to live downtown means a quick jaunt is all it takes to get to work - and with public transit options available, you may not even have to drive.

The Los Angeles Metro runs throughout the city, with light rails, undergrounds and busses to get you anywhere you need to go for far less than the price of gas.