Moving To Los Angeles 101
Are you thinking about moving to Los Angeles, California, but aren’t sure if it’s the right city for you? While it’s no secret that Los Angeles is expensive, there’s a reason nearly 4 million people choose to call the City of Angels their home.
While moving to any large city can be a huge endeavor, moving to Los Angeles is a particularly big task, mainly due to the cost of living and hectic city life. Before you back up your bags, there are some things you need to know about moving to La La Land.
Read our Los Angeles 101 guide for everything you need to know.
How much should I save before moving to LA?
Los Angeles is the 16th most expensive in the US and the 59th most expensive city in the world, so you’re going to need to save up some money before moving here. However, while it is expensive, salaries tend to reflect the high cost of living, so it is possible to live here comfortably with a middle-income job.
Saving for Rent
The average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles is $2,661 for a 789 sq. foot apartment. Of course, you can get a better deal if you live with roommates, as 2-bedrooms generally range from $2,000 to $4,000.
Also, the neighborhood you live in will have a huge impact on your rental costs. The most affordable neighborhoods in Los Angeles are Montecito Heights, Van Nuys, San Pedro, Tarzana, Lake Balboa, Atwater Village, and Koreatown. Other affordable areas include Crenshaw Heights, Greater Valley Glen, Chinatown, and Vermont Knolls.
Some of the most expensive neighborhoods include Paradise Cove Bluffs, Beverly Park, Bel Air Estates, and Brentwood Park.
Keep in mind that when saving for rent, you’ll need to save for a security deposit plus renter application fees. You’ll probably want to apply for a few apartments, as the rental market can be competitive, so we recommend saving about $200 for this.
Security deposits are usually equal to one month’s rent, but some landlords charge a flat fee. To be safe, we recommend having a little more than two months’ rent saved before your move.
Saving to Purchase
The median selling price for a home in Los Angeles is $1 million, and the average listing price is $998,000. You’ll want to save 15 to 20 percent for your down payment, so if we’re going by median sale price, this means saving between $150K to $200K for the down payment alone.
However, don’t let those million-dollar prices scare you, as there are plenty of homes available in the city below this price. Some affordable, safe neighborhoods for buying a home in Los Angeles include Lakeview Terrace, Mission Hills, Crenshaw, Sunland, Encino, and Playa Vista.
There are also some great suburbs to consider, including Paramount, Lancaster, La Puente, Cudahy, and Carson.
Of course, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of hiring movers and buying furniture. If you don’t have a job yet lined up, you’ll also want some extra money in the bank to get you through your job search.
If you need help with home financing, check out Colibri Home Financing!
Is moving to Los Angeles hard?
While moving to Los Angeles isn’t easy, thousands of people do it every year. The toughest hurdle with moving to Los Angeles is the expense, but if you have a good job lined up, your situation will be a lot easier.
Here are some things that make moving to Los Angeles easy:
The city is massive, so finding a place to live shouldn’t be a problem, as there is accommodation for every budget.
Making friends is easy, as many people living here aren’t locals and are in the same boat as you.
The city offers great nightlife and plenty of cultural activities, making it easy to socialize.
The weather is warm and sunny year-round, so you can ditch some of your winter clothes.
Los Angeles offers plenty of greenery and outdoor fun for an urban city. Griffith Park, Runyon Canyon, and Eaton Canyon are great hiking destinations. And of course, there are plenty of excellent spots for swimming, surfing, running, and more.
The city has a thriving museum and art scene and dedicated professional sports fans.
The city is eclectic, so you’ll have no problem finding your “people.”
And here are some things that can make moving to Los Angeles tough:
Commuting by bus can be difficult, so you’ll definitely want a car.
Traffic is as bad as they say it is, with rush hour stretching from 7 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm. Try to land an apartment as close to your job as possible if you need to commute.
The city does have high crime and poverty rates, and it’s sadly very normal to walk by a homeless encampment on your way to work.
Prepare for the smog, as it’s a rising issue in the city.
Related: Where to Find the Best Wings in LA
What is a good salary in Los Angeles?
While money does not buy happiness, your experience living in Los Angeles will be highly dependent on your take-home pay. The median household income in Los Angeles is a little above $67K.
However, to live comfortably, you’re likely going to need more than that. To live comfortably, you’ll need to make at least $136,000 if you’re renting and at least $150,000 if you own a home.
If earning six figures doesn’t seem feasible for your job industry, don’t get discouraged, as there are plenty of ways to make Los Angeles work on a budget. As mentioned earlier, you could get roommates or find a place in the suburbs to cut down on the cost of living.
Is it worth moving to Los Angeles?
If you’ve been California dreamin’ for a while, it’s definitely worth moving to Los Angeles, as there’s no other city like it in the world. If the high cost of living intimidates you, you could always try the city out for a couple of years, then relocate to the suburbs when you’re looking for a more comfortable lifestyle.
What is great about living in LA?
Many people find living in LA worth it because of the weather alone. As we mentioned, LA is also home to hundreds of museums, cultural activities, outdoor destinations, and sporting events, so you’ll never be bored while living here!
The city truly has something for everyone, so you should have no problem finding a spot to fit in.
While moving to Los Angeles isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s an experience unlike any other. If you save some money up and get a good job lined up before you move, your moving experience will be significantly less stressful.
Of course, moving to the suburbs or a nearby city is also a great option for those looking to enjoy LA without all of the stress.
Contact Colibri Paramount today to learn about our homes outside of Los Angeles!