Moving to Los Angeles – Everything You Need to Know

Globally famed as the Entertainment Capital of the World, LA is a city where thousands come each year in pursuit of their dreams. Indeed, moving to Los Angeles promises glamour and numerous opportunities. It seems that one only needs to know where to look for them.

LA has it all, so come and become an Angeleno

And that’s just where this guide kicks in. Whether you’re moving from a small town to a big city, from coast to coast, or simply from somewhere else in California, be prepared to enter a real melting pot of cultures. More than four million people live in LA proper, and they speak more than 200 languages.

Getting to LA, Cost of Living in Los Angeles, and Companies Where You Can Earn Enough

Once you arrive in the City of Angels, you will immediately be faced with seemingly exorbitant costs. And we have to get that particular elephant out of the way at the beginning – the cost of living in Los Angeles is steep. The good thing is that what you get for your money is well worth it. And you can earn quite a bit here.

But first the costs, or the housing expenses to be more precise. According to data gathered by the specialized website numbeo.com, the average price of a square foot in downtown LA comes at around $745 and $475 in the outskirts. If you don’t have enough saved up to purchase property, no problem. There are plenty of homes to rent – and large ones, too. Small apartments in the city center go for around $2,230 a month, while outside of it, the rent for a similar flat would be about 1,720 dollars.

When it comes to the things you need for your first apartment, among others, of course, you can get a flat-screen TV for around $300, and a regular microwave for $130 (data provided by expatistan.com).

How Much Money Would It Take to Move to California

Coming and staying in LA, seeing the Hollywood Sign every other day, and going to the beach after work takes some cash. Those costs may vary depending on the moving services you hire and the time of the relocation. In that regard, moving in the summer is not recommended.

Still, it can’t hurt to know how to save on moving costs. Before the relocation, our advice is to estimate the value of your household goods. The next step would be to donate unwanted items and sell what can be sold in a garage sale or on the internet. That is a great chance to improve your budget and lower the shipping costs. To get some actual numbers, we suggest requesting a quote from a reliable long-distance moving company.

How Much Should I Save Before Moving to LA

When moving to a new home, especially one as hip as LA, you must be wondering how much money you should save to start with. Well, if you have a job waiting for you, maybe savings won’t play that big of a role. In general, it is recommended to have that issue settled, and there are numerous tips on how to get a job before you move.

If that is not the case, and you’re going on a hunch to make your own luck, then have a few grand ready for the rainy days. Some three to five thousand dollars is the bare minimum to have for a few months, with rare or no frivolous spending. If you can save more, then great. The more the merrier, especially if you might be without a job for a longer period.

What Salary Do You Need to Live in Los Angeles and Cover All the Costs

As we said, life in LA is expensive. Luckily, salaries keep up the pace. According to numbeo.com, the average net wage is more than 4,400 USD per month. Of course, different sorts of managers, IT professionals, and alike earn much more than that. Actors and actresses, as well as professional athletes and other showpeople, even more.

Still, the average salary can be enough for a normal life, especially if you find some way to cut the expenses. For example, sharing the rent. Whether you do it by finding a roommate or moving in with your significant other, the result is the same. The largest monthly expense is halved.

The biggest employers are, unsurprisingly, film studios, but also hospitals, universities, and retailers. If you’re not the person for one steady job, you might be glad to know that the gig economy is active and strong in the town.

To make a new home and living in LA, you'll need a well-paid job.

Best Places to Live in Los Angeles for Singles and Accommodation Costs

Whether you move to LA as a college graduate, established young professional, or a future Hollywood or music star, the city will have a niche for you. Did we mention it is welcoming to all newcomers? Sure we did. But, whatever your career choices and hopes are, you’ll need a roof over your head while achieving life goals. As not all neighborhoods are the same, we put up a list of the best places to live in Los Angeles for singles:

  • Hancock Park – Once an oil field, Hancock Park grew into one of the hippest parts of town. Its location next to downtown provides vicinity to all the action, but also makes it susceptible to infamous LA traffic (more on it soon). Overall, this is a high-end and inclusive neighborhood.
  • Los Feliz – Diverse and vibrant, Los Feliz is the location of some of the most iconic events in US history, for good or ill. Some of the Manson murders happened there, but it is also where the first Mickey Mouse was drawn. Los Feliz was one of the favorite drinking spots of Charles Bukowski, too. Still, all the history and vibrancy come at quite high real estate costs.
  • Beverly Grove – Another high-end part of LA, but in a way perfect for single young professionals. Beverly Grove has the highest rate of unmarried residents in the country.
  • Santa Monica – Probably the first image that comes to mind when one thinks about LA. An ideal spot for folks who want to live on or near beautiful beaches. Yes, Baywatch was mostly filmed here.
  • Silver Lake – A nice mix of downtown vibrancy and suburban feel, Silver Lake is affordable by the city’s standards. It is a paradise for lovers of a good bite and is also very pet-friendly. And safe.
NeighborhoodAverage Real Estate PriceAverage sq ft PriceAverage Rent
Hancock Park$1.33M$654$2,520
Beverly Grove$2.16M$911$3,800
Los Feliz$1.3M$727$2,060
Mar Vista$1.56M$931$2,810
Santa Monica$1.81M$994$4,285

Of course, not all newcomers seek the thrills and excitement of nightlife. Those who are moving across the country for love can make their nest in many of the LA suburbs. After all, there are nearly ninety cities and towns in LA County.

People flock to LA from all over the world, and one day soon it could be you.

Suburbs of Los Angeles Are Great Places for Families

If there’s anything that symbolizes the American Dream, moving to the suburbs is undoubtedly gunning for the top spot. A lovely green lawn, spacious garage, and moving from an apartment to a house in a way, mark the transition from a wild youth to a more mature person. LA provides all that for folks moving for a relationship. In fact, some of the most renowned sites, such as Santa Monica, Hollywood, Glendale, or the cities of San Fernando Valley, are the suburbs of Los Angeles.

What you get there is much more than a chance to meet new neighbors and get to know them well or the opportunity to raise a family in some of the safest neighborhoods in California. It’s all about housing.

We said before that real estate is expensive. But, for that money, you’ll get much more space than in any other place, with garages for houses and large balconies in apartment buildings.

Another perk of the suburbs is their pet-friendliness. If you are moving with pets to the downtown, you can expect numerous limitations set by landlords – even eviction. In the suburbs, such problems mostly don’t exist.

Hollywood is one of the suburbs where you can establish a home if you want to reside and work in LA.

The Perks of Moving to Los Angeles Alone

In case you are moving to Los Angeles alone, you will undoubtedly have many benefits of such a situation. As ever when moving to a city alone, you’ll be able to set out the terms of living in Los Angeles all by yourself. You can freely choose the neighborhood that suits you, both by closeness to your work and amenities that it offers. Also, if you opt for sending your car to a new home using an auto transport service, you can explore the city, metro area, and its surroundings at your own pace.

However, being alone also means that all expenses fall on you. With current levels of rents, unless you find a roommate quickly, you may be forced to take two jobs just to make ends meet in the first months.

In the melting pot of people and cultures, relocating alone can be difficult but it's doable if you really want it.

The Ups and Downs of Living in Los Angeles

Like any other metropolis, LA has its good and bad sides. One clear example of the downside is how prone to earthquakes the place is. There are hundreds of tremors each year, though most of them aren’t felt on the surface. Yet, the big one is coming, and it is only a matter of time. Then there are the prices and terrible traffic.

Many people will also cite safety as an issue, but it varies significantly from one neighborhood to another. No metropolis is spared of crime, and LA is no exception. Still, for those who can cope with the sheer size of it, LA will indeed be a dream come true. Now, let’s take a look at some of the biggest pros and cons of being an Angeleno.

It’s a Great Place to Connect With Other Cultures

If you want to establish a home in a diverse and liberal place, then LA is just the right spot for you. You’ll be able to meet with and learn about other cultures by talking to folks coming from different parts of the world, attending their festivals, eating their food in many ethnic restaurants, and more.

Living Near Celebrities

Who can you expect to meet in the Entertainment Capital of the World if not celebrities of all sorts? Actors and actresses are a common sight (if you can recognize them in disguise, of course), as are many musicians. If you wish to see where they live, some of the best bets are Beverly Hills, Malibu, Santa Monica, Bel Air, Pasadena, and others.

You’ve Never Seen Traffic Like This Before, And Probably Never Will Again

At long last, we get to the subject of traffic in LA. You’ve probably heard the horror stories about it, and, sadly, they’re mostly true. Public transportation is notoriously not good. Subway exists, but it doesn’t cover many parts of the town. And buses can get stuck in a traffic jam any time of day.

Therefore, probably the best option is shipping a car cross country. You will probably need a vehicle to commute to work as much as for exploring the natural and artificial wonders of the LA metro area. Even so, be ready for long drives, especially during the rush hour.

Is Moving to Los Angeles a Good Idea

The answer to that is simple – yes. If you have any doubts about whether to start packing, you can lay them aside. LA may be expensive and vast (so walking is advisable only on short distances), but it is also a lovely place to be in. The weather is mild and sunny, amenities and things to do are plenty, and you can have a great career. Consequently, you can have a great life. If you are not afraid of earthquakes, of course.

We're sure you're gonna like life in LA; it's a rollercoaster from day one.

Things to Do After Relocating, Free and Not

Once you settle in LA, you will definitely like the fun and beautiful things to do and see. You can take a walk, romantic or not, along the Venice Canals, visit Huntington Library with its botanical garden and art gallery, or take an unforgettable photo from the Temescal Gateway Park during the biking or hiking breaks. You can also take a tour around filming studios.

Beaches Are a Great Pastime

Contrary to the popular opinion, you can’t get to the beach in five minutes from any place in LA. Still, the seaside is one of the most cited reasons to move there. And there’s no doubt that the beaches of Malibu and Santa Monica are legendary. You can swim or get a tan for free, but you can also surf.

Useful tip: you can take surfing lessons on Venice Beach for a reasonable price of 25 bucks.

Leisure in LA: From Museums to Sports

Finally, we get to the culture and sport in LA. On the cultural side of things, we’ll only say that there are more than 800 museums in La-La-Land, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Getty Center being some of them. Aptly named Gallery Row hosts numerous art galleries.

In sports, LA is the only place besides New York that has two teams in all four major leagues. Lakers and Clippers play basketball, while Dodgers and Angels compete in MLB. After twenty years without an NFL franchise, LA now has Rams and Chargers (sorry San Diego). In NHL play LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks, who unfortunately lost the “Mighty” part when Disney sold the franchise in 2006. All in all, lots of fun is guaranteed.

Living in LA can mean the best time of your life, on the beach, football stadium, or basketball arena.

A True International Experience is Waiting For You

Whether you are moving out for the first time or are experienced in relocations, you can’t miss the mark with LA, a diverse melting pot of cultures where new experiences and stories wait around every corner. So don’t hesitate to contact LA long-distance movers near you. They will make sure you have a stress-free moving experience and allow you to focus on more important matters, like saying goodbye to family and friends.

Written By: Steven Rogers