Everything You Need to Know About Living in Los Angeles

Hollywood, celebrities, sandy beaches, and sky-high prices are usually the things that cross people’s minds when talking about LA. We’re here to tell you that there’s more to living in Los Angeles, California than just that. From great population diversity to delicious food and a prosperous economy, there are quite a few other things you’ll enjoy here – and some that will inevitably get on your nerves.

What is living in LA like?

Living in Los Angeles Pros and Cons

Just like with any other city, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to being here. Of course, it all boils down to your personal preferences and attitude, but there still seems to be some stuff everyone agrees on. Let’s take a closer look.

The Good Sides of Living in LA

There are very few places in the world as diverse as LA is. People from all over the globe come here in search of a better life and more opportunities. As a result, the population of the City of Angels has around 40% of foreign-born citizens in 2020. Such diversity means that you’ll be surrounded by different cultures and languages, learn new things every day, and get to taste a new kind of food whenever you want to.

You already know that the weather in LA is fantastic. What makes it even better is the fact that there are so many outdoor activities you can enjoy. From water sports and beach activities to mountain biking, hiking, and jogging, there is a little bit for everyone. Whenever you need a quick break from the city, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Even if you’re not a fan of outdoor activities, there are still lots of options for you to spend your leisure time. From basking in the sun at a sandy beach or watching sports at LA Memorial Coliseum or the Dodgers Stadium to bar hopping or touring the museums, the list is endless.

Salaries in LA are quite high compared to most other places in the US. According to SalaryExplorer, the average yearly income exceeds $100,000. Of course, this depends on your line of work, but even the generally underpaid jobs, such as grocery store clerks, make north of $35,000.

The Not-So-Good Sides of Making a Home in LA

With so many people moving to Los Angeles on a regular basis, the city can get quite crowded. Especially if you’re moving from a small town, this can be quite a shock. Constantly having to elbow your way through crowds and bumping into other people is something you’ll simply have to get used to. On the other hand, if you’re moving from New York, for example, LA sidewalks will be child’s play for you.

Yes, outdoor activities in the sun are great. But here’s the reality: people are everywhere. As one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, LA doesn’t really have a long list of hidden spots to enjoy. Wherever you go, there will likely be hordes of tourists there. While this is not bad for the city’s economy, it will certainly not be great for your Saturday afternoon.

Of course, everyone wants to have a six-digit income. This means that the job market in LA is hugely competitive. If you’re going to get a job before you move, be prepared for a lengthy process. As someone once said: good jobs come to those who wait. And start searching early. And send out lots of resumes. And attend countless interviews. Don’t lose hope.

Is It Expensive to Live in Los Angeles, California

Whether the cost of living in Los Angeles is high really depends on your definition of expensive. It is estimated that an average family with two kids spends around $3,600 on a monthly basis, plus rent.

A four-bedroom apartment will, on average, cost you just under $3,000 a month. Of course, this highly varies depending on the exact place in the city you choose. The best places to live in Los Angeles are usually the most expensive ones, too. This is especially true for the suburbs of Los Angeles. Needless to say, if you’re moving to Los Angeles alone, your expenses will be lower, but so will your household income.

What Salary Do You Need to Live in Los Angeles Comfortably?

Now that you know how much you can expect to spend, let’s determine how much money you’ll need to make. Once you find an apartment you like, multiply the rent by three. The number you get is the lowest salary you’ll need to live comfortably and have enough to spend on food, utilities, healthcare, leisure, and other expenses.

The expenses in LA are not for everyone's pocket

Is It Safe to Live in Los Angeles

Much like the cost of living, the safety highly depends on the neighborhood you choose. As a whole, LA has crime statistics quite common for a place of that size – about 25% higher than the national average, with property crimes being three to four times more common than violent crimes. However, some neighborhoods, such as Miracle Mile or Beverly Hills, are considered very safe. On the other hand, areas such as Liement Park and West Adams probably shouldn’t be on the top of your list.

Crimes per 100k peopleLos AngelesCaliforniaUSA
Murder6.44.45.0
Robbery256.3137.386.2
Assault422.2266.5246.8
Burglary396.8416.2376.0
Theft1686.51571.81594.6
Vehicle Theft429.7392.4228.9

Moving Around Los Angeles

LA is huge. To travel around more efficiently, we highly suggest shipping your car here. While public transportation is an option, it is far from being the most convenient way of commuting. That being said, prepare for traffic jams as you’ve never seen them before. The morning rush hour is usually between 7 and 10 AM, while the evening one is between 4 and 7 PM. Even outside these hours, however, traffic can be bad. This goes for both driving and parking.

If you’re not a driver – or if you would like to avoid spending hours behind the wheel – there are other options. Of course, there’s public transit – LACMTA, including buses, metros, and trains. However, more and more people are opting for a cheaper, healthier, and more fun alternative – cycling. In fact, even LACMTA introduced a bike-sharing program for all locals called Metro Bike Share.

Driving in LA can really be a challenge

Things to Do in Your Free Time

Let’s face it: no one moves to LA for its costs or traffic – they move for all the great things to do and the weather that allows you to do them year-round. As we have already mentioned, whatever it is that you enjoy, LA has got you covered.

Great Things to Do in LA

No, not that Venice. The neighborhood of Venice got its name after the Italian city thanks to its network of small canals. This is the locals’ favorite spot for a scenic afternoon walk with loved ones.

This hillside park located in Pacific Palisades has a handful of spots with breathtaking views of the ocean and the city. For those of you who enjoy hiking and being active, this is the place to visit.

This is more than just your regular library. It also includes an art gallery and botanical garden where you can sit down for a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the nature.

This contemporary art museum collects art pieces from the 1950s on and presents it to visitors from all over the world. From the architecture of the building to its exhibitions, tours, and events, every corner of this museum is a piece of art.

It should come as no surprise that there are numerous bus and on-foot tours here that show you all the hot spots celebrities frequent, and even some of their lavish Hollywood homes. From the outside, of course.

Any movie buff’s dream is to visit Universal Studios and take a tour through their facilities. Aside from learning about the movie-making process, you can also enjoy theme park rides and watch various exciting shows.

It would be a shame to live so close to the ocean and not know how to surf, right? Luckily, you can take classes for as little as $25. You’ll be a pro in no time!

What Is It Like Living in Los Angeles

Being an LA local is what you make of it. With so much variety in neighborhoods, population, activities, and lifestyles, you can truly create the life that you want here. One thing is for sure – living in Los Angeles will never be boring. So stop wasting your time, find reliable Los Angeles movers to provide you with top-notch moving services, and begin a new chapter of your life in 2020.

Written By: Tara Gregory