What to Know About Moving to Los Angeles
Los Angeles is one of the world's most alluring cities. You might want to move there to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, technology, or just because it's always been a dream of yours.
While Los Angeles is beautiful, with idyllic weather and an exciting reputation, it's also a very big city, and there are some downsides to living there like the high cost of living.
The following are a few of the general things to know if you're contemplating a move to L.A.
Do You Need a Car?
First, in some big cities like New York, you don't need a car, and it's actually preferable not to have one. You can use public transportation like taking the bus or train and get everywhere you need to go. In Los Angeles, that's not necessarily as easy.
You can find neighborhoods that are walkable in Los Angeles, but these can come at a premium in terms of rent prices. L.A. is a city characterized by quite a bit of urban sprawl. If you move there and get a job in another part of the city, it would be very challenging to rely only on public transportation.
There are bus routes, but you have to factor in the extra time that taking a bus is going to add to your commute. Taking the bus can also be risky in terms of accidents and sometimes other passengers.
These are all things to think about.
If you do have a car, most residents of the city will tell you traffic is one of the worst parts of living there.
The lifestyle is one of the things that draws so many people to Los Angeles. It's often viewed as a relaxed place where people are always happy. Not necessarily true, but that is the image.
You will see people in the middle of the day out and about, just hanging around. It can look like hardly anyone works, and the reality is many people might not work a traditional 9 to 5 job.
Many of the people who live in L.A. are in tech, entertainment, production, and similar careers, so they might work unusual hours.
A lot of people also work from their computers, so you may see them doing that in cafes and restaurants during the day.
It's an extremely expensive city, however, so while it can seem like no one is working, most are.
Along with the entertainment and tech industry, other industries with a big presence in Los Angeles include fashion, bioscience, hospitality, and marketing and design.
The lifestyle is one that centers around being healthy.
You might find yourself wrapped up in the newest health and wellness trend every month. Be careful, because as with everything else in L.A., trying to keep up with these trends can leave you with an empty bank account.
Finding an Affordable Place to Live
Affordability is a relative term, but prepare that you're going to pay a premium to live in L.A.
It's very possible you will need at least one roommate in L.A. You can save money not just on the rent, but other costs of living such as your Internet and electricity. It can also be safer than living alone in a new, unfamiliar city.
The average rent in Los Angeles for a one-bedroom is around $2500 a month. If you want to live somewhere near the beach or another desirable area, it will be well over that. The more inland you go, the cheaper in most cases.
South Central and Northeast L.A. tend to have some of the lowest rent prices.
As you're searching for a place to live, you're going to have to narrow down your priorities and really focus on your must-haves.
Peruse neighborhood guides to give you a feel for what to expect.
You will have to create a shortlist of potential places and make sure you can visit them in person.
You also have rights as a renter in L.A. so familiarize yourself with those. For example, you may be entitled to interest on the deposit you pay. In some parts of the city, such as West Hollywood or Santa Monica, there may be rent stabilization. Rent stabilization is meant to protect tenants from rent spikes, but not every home is covered.
Los Angeles is an exciting city, but one that comes with challenges as a resident. It's important to be prepared for these before making such a big move.