I lived in Redondo as a junior, about ten miles from the track. (The old Olympic track, torn down to make way for Roger's ego... er, the ADT track. Haha.) Nice place to live, but expensive.
Later, I lived in Long Beach, which is closer to the track (my place was maybe 2 miles away) and can be much more affordable. The trouble with LB is that you can be in a very nice area and then you cross the street and you're afraid for your life. Or wallet, at least. I've never seen a town where the bad parts are so close to the good parts. It pays to spend some time driving around, preferably with a knowlegable local, to learn the ins and outs of the place before deciding to buy.
Carson? No thanks. I've spent a bunch of post-race evenings in the town, and can honestly say that I never felt in imminent danger, but... No, it isn't Compton, but it can be a pretty good imitation.