Heck yeah, your cost of living is high in LA. Look on century21 website and see what kind of house you can get for $500,000 here in michigan. That dang near celeb status. Couple hundred thousand more and your neighbor here in michigan could be Kid Rock or Emeniem.
And as far as the taxes goes, here in michigan when a house is sold/purchased the taxes are re-assessed and increase dramatically. That's why when you are buying, make sure your paying attention to the previous owners taxes, as well as looking up the taxes of the other residents (and how long they have resided there) and use that as a basis. Its tricky, but being within your means is important anywhere. With good credit and about 20% down (avoiding PMI insurance), you can live in a beautiful modern suburban home for about $1,650 a month
MY house is a 3 room cape cod, original hardwood floors and trim, finished basement, only have 1 1/2 baths though, huge living room, formal dining room, large kitchen, large garage w/workshop (detached) and a great yard- (Aint gonna lie,in the hood- but a really nice clean area- one block from an suburb). It was a foreclosure, under $100,000.
Not my final resting spot, but it'll due now till I finish my education.
Better come east