What You Should Know Before Moving to Los Angeles Alone

Are you dreaming of moving to Los Angeles alone to build a brand new life in one of the most amazing places in the world? Are you looking for an active life, plenty of entertainment options, and new job opportunities? Whether you’re a young professional or someone who needs a fresh environment to start from scratch, know that LA is appealing to single millennials from all over the US and the world. With its pleasant climate, countless attractions, and consistent economic growth, the City of Angels has always been a mecca for young people. Here’s everything you need to know about it if you’re going there all by yourself.

Dubbed the City of Angels, La-La Land, or only LA, this famous metropolis was founded in 1781 by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. LA became part of the US in 1848, at the end of the Mexican-American War. Today, it’s a culturally diverse urban area, with a growing dining scene, outstanding museums, incredible shopping options, known for being the creative core of America.

Moving to LA is a dream of many, but as in most bigger cities, it’s good to be familiar with all the advantages and drawbacks of relocating there as a young, single individual. Although it’s hard to say what the real disadvantages of living in the perpetually sunny City of Angels are, one thing is sure – this is an expensive place to reside in, especially alone. In other words, you need to make a solid financial foundation to stay here for good or resort to some money-saving tips such as finding a roommate.

But, being a part of a famous big city means having plenty of opportunities, including various job options, diverse housing solutions for everyone’s pocket, social activities, and entertainment. So, before planning your final relocation date, do some research about LA and find out all the necessary information about your new home.

We’ve put together some interesting facts that can help you learn more about La-La Land if you’re planning on living there all by yourself. We’ll go through LA’s living costs, neighborhoods suitable for singles, outdoor and cultural activities, and job options, in case you’re looking for one.

Things to Know If You’re Moving to Los Angeles Alone

If you’re relocating to LA soon, one can only assume that you’re excited. And who can blame you – the City of Angels boasts many amenities and attractions that will leave you speechless. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most widely known things about LA:

  • Hollywood attractions (Hollywood Sign, Walk of Fame, Hollywood Museum, movie stars’ homes)
  • Some of the best beaches not only in LA but the entire US (Santa Monica, Malibu, Venice Beach, Long Beach)
  • Theme Parks (Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland California)
  • TV, Movie, and Music Industry
  • Pop culture
  • 106 colleges within 50 miles of LA

Besides various benefits that such a long-distance relocation can bring you, keep in mind that LA is a place packed with different kinds of activities, opportunities, and possibilities, and experiencing them requires immersing yourself in the city’s lifestyle. And to do that right, you should have enough savings to endure the high cost of living in Los Angeles and afford a decent life for yourself.

How Much Money Do You Need to Live in LA

LA boasts one of the world’s most dynamic economies – a fast-growing high-tech industry, robust aerospace sector, and a world-leading creative marketplace. Living in LA can provide the ideal climate for your business to thrive or offer you some of the best employment options where you can achieve full professional growth. But, if you choose it as your final destination, you should know that everything here, including food, gas, rent, and utilities, is probably more expensive than what you are used to. However, LA is a large, sprawling area, and prices vary depending on your chosen location and the preferred lifestyle. Let’s start with the housing expenses.

According to Numbeo, the average costs of renting an apartment per month are the following:

  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in the Center: $2,250
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center: $1,800
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the Center: $4,200
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Center: $3,000

If your plans are geared towards buying real estate, you should know that competition is stiff, and prices are high. That being said, the price per square foot in the downtown is about $800, while you should put aside approximately $500for an apartment outside of the center.

When it comes to utilities, your monthly costs will be about $200, and food costs are significantly more expensive than the national average. Simply put, even a frugal consumer should designate about $500 in the monthly budget for decent meals.

If you’re moving from a small town, you can find more about these data and even compare the cost of living in your place with that in LA by visiting Numbeo’s cost of living calculator.

Choose a Place to Stay – the One You Like or the Most Convenient One?

Finding the perfect district is a delicate job, especially in LA. And even if you have the means to afford to live wherever you want, every area has its advantages and drawbacks. Needless to say, apartments near the beach are the most wanted but priciest. Here are some of the crucial things to consider before putting down roots here:

  • LA consists of many regions, and each of them contains a lot of smaller neighborhoods and cities. These have their own culture, terrain, and even weather – Central LA, the Westside, Northeast LA, San Fernando Valley, South LA, the San Gabriel Valley, the South Bay, the Verdugos, and the Eastside.
  • Pick a neighborhood that is close to your work or your main hobbies to minimize the time spent in traffic (which, by the way, can get pretty bad). If you work in Downtown LA and live, for example, in the suburbs of San Fernando Valley, your commuting time will be 90-minute each way.
  • If you want to be near public transit, choose Culver City, Santa Monica, or North Hollywood – they are the best suburbs of Los Angeles when it comes to metro access.
  • For those who prefer tall buildings, bustling sidewalks, and active nightlife, the excellent solutions are Downtown, Koreatown, Holywood, the Financial District, and Historic Core. They are also transit-friendly and the most walkable parts of LA.
  • If you’re looking for a slower pace and a place where parking space is more plentiful, consider San Pedro, Long Beach, much of the Valley or some of the suburbs of Los Angeles.
  • Only some areas in LA have rent control. That being said, if you’re in search of a place where the LA authorities limit annual rent increases, choose Culver City, Inglewood, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, or Beverly Hills.
  • There are places with “hip and young culture,” crammed with art, galleries, craft beer, high-end boutiques, coffee shops – Highland Park, Abbot Kinney, and Koreatown.

 

Which Los Angeles Neighborhoods to Pick for Living

LA is so vast and diverse that it has neighborhoods that can cater to pretty much everyone’s needs. But, if you’re young, ambitious, and need a vibrant place with plenty to offer, you should consider some of these:

  • Silver Lake – one of the best places to live in LA for singles, and all those who like lots of coffee, cocktails, and excellent dining locations.
  • Monrovia – a top spot to buy an affordable property
  • Downtown – the embodiment of the hustle and bustle of the metropolis
  • Manhattan Beach – somewhat expensive but has good public schools, excellent restaurants, and it’s close to LAX (LA International Airport), which is convenient for business people, world travelers, young professionals, etc.
  • MacArthur Park or Fairfax – known as one of the most walkable areas

Finding an Apartment Can Be Challenging

The LA metro area has the fourth-highest share of renters in the US. With the high costs and a growing number of locals, it can sometimes be tricky to find the apartment that suits you. With little effort and preliminary steps, it’s possible. And here’s how:

  • Set a budget
  • Pick a neighborhood close to your work
  • Search for apartments online (Apartment List, Apartments.com, HotPads, Rent.com, Trulia, Westside Rentals, Zillow, Zumper)
  • When you find a place you like, see it in person
  • If you have a pet, that might be a disadvantage, and you can expect to be asked to put down a pet deposit
  • You should apply as soon as you find the place you like
More than half of Angelenos rent their homes.

Living With or Without a Car

LA has very long blocks, so walking from one bus stop to another might become a mini-hike, and you will soon realize that driving is a must here. But, this place has a public transit system, both bus and metro options. They are easy to use and reliable if you have a plan on how and when to use them.  And if you choose express buses, which actually do exist, they are also part of the same traffic you’re stuck in.

Sometimes, however, the metro or bus just doesn’t show up according to the scheduled time. Those situations are excellent reminders that LA is a car area, especially when it comes to long distances. If you need to go to LAX or the Westside, it’s quite undoable without your own vehicle.

Public Transportation and Bicycles Are Sometimes  a Good Choice

Believe it or not, you can enjoy a lot of LA amenities without a car. Although the place doesn’t have a subway system to rival NYC, the metro is known as convenient for sightseers. You can visit plenty of cultural institutions (Walt Disney Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center, The Broad, GRAMMY Museum, the Staples Center, Wells Fargo History Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, the LA Central Library, Grand Central Market) by using Red and Purple Metro rail lines. Some of the most walkable and well-connected sections of the urban area to take into consideration are:

  • Hollywood
  • Downtown
  • Union Station
  • Chinatown
  • The Miracle Mile in the Mid-Wilshire District
  • Santa Monica

If you happen to be a bicycle aficionado, you should know that LA and the bicycle have a love/hate relationship. With beautiful weather and plenty of space, La-La Land is a mecca for bike riders. On the other hand, using your two-wheeler means taking part in some wild traffic and facing aggressive drivers. Luckily, LA has several car-free rides or those with light traffic, such as:

  • Cogswell Dam
  • Ballona Creek Bike Path
  • Marvin Braude/Pacific Coast Bike Path
  • The Rose Bowl
  • Various River Path
  • Griffith Park
  • Elysian Park
  • Mount Wilson
The car is a must here

You’ll Find Plenty of Job Opportunities

LA is often dubbed the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” but it has much more to offer in terms of employment, including positions in tourism, technology, and aerospace.

Tips for Finding a Job in LA

If you decided to start from scratch in the renowned City of Angels, you should know that finding a job that pays well might be harder than you imagine. This, however, shouldn’t be your stumbling block, because the metropolis such as LA means the possibility for advancement and personal growth.

If you’re wondering how to get a new work position before you move, here are some handy tips and resources:

  • Look to your network
  • Consider temp agencies and staffing companies
  • Online options are always welcome
  • Newspaper ads
  • Craigslist
Your first employment can quickly turn into your dream job with a salary that will bring you the life you've always wanted

Things You Can Enjoy for Free

If your relocation means you’ll be on a tight budget in the first month or so, you shouldn’t panic. There are plenty of things to do in LA for free. And most of them can bring you a lot of joy and pleasant moments. Here are our suggestions:

  • Attend a TV taping
  • Visit a Museum (California Science Center or Getty Villa)
  • Go to a summer concert
  • Explore Downtown LA

LA Offers a Lot of Sports and Outdoor Activities

Sports fans will be thrilled to know that LA has professional and amateur baseball, football, soccer, and hockey teams. So, you can enjoy many games all year round or join a sports club to blow off some steam.

If you’re addicted to nature and the great outdoors, there are thousands of hiking trails in the Angeles National Forest, San Bernardino Mountains, and San Gabriel Mountains. LA also boasts weekend getaways within a 4-6 hours drive:

  • Joshua Tree
  • Yosemite
  • Sequoia
  • Big Sur
  • The Sierras
  • The Grand Canyon
Anyone can find their piece of heaven here.

Additional Things to Be Familiar With Before Moving to LA

If you’re moving to LA alone and have already chosen your professional long-distance movers and their packing services to relocate your household belongings, you should know that this exciting metropolis has so much more in store for you than we managed to mention here. You just need to feel LA and its unique vibes, meet the people and become a proud Los Angelenos instead of a newcomer.

Perhaps You’ll Need Two Jobs to Make Ends Meet in the Beginning

Since LA is a pricey place and requires a stable monthly income, don’t be surprised if the salary from one job is just not enough to pay for bills and groceries. That’s why it might be difficult at first, but keep in mind that this is just a temporary solution until something better occurs or until you get promoted. In LA, everything’s possible.

Moving With a Dog Is a Good Choice

When moving to a metropolis alone, bringing your pet with you might be a good option. Relocating with pets can mitigate your adjustment process and help you overcome post-relocation depression. However, keep in mind that looking for an apartment with a pet could be challenging, but it’s achievable.

LA is actually a very dog-friendly place. Besides restaurants and outdoor patios, you and your pooch can enjoy walking through shopping centers, dog parks, and even hotels. Some beaches also allow dogs, such as Rosie’s Dog Beach, Huntington Beach, or Leo Carrillo State Beach.

Is Moving to Los Angeles a Good Idea?

Moving to a city alone is probably one of the toughest decisions in every young person’s life. But, you shouldn’t hesitate about relocating to LA, since it’s a place that will welcome you by providing you one of the best experiences you’ve ever had.

Written By: Mila Tacon