Best Things To Know Before Moving to Los Angeles

The City of Angels never sleeps, and there is always something to do. See what awaits you in L.A. as you prepare for your big move to the city.
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Best Things To Know Before Moving to Los Angeles
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Are you considering Los Angeles as your new home? There are many things you must know before embarking on a move to LA.

Moving to Los Angeles can present both excitement and intimidation, but immediately you know what to prepare for, it simplifies the entire process.

Los Angeles is known as the world’s capital for entertainment, a city that has turned into a haven for those looking to be famous in Hollywood.

Aside from being the second-largest city in the country, and popularly recognized for its movie industry, Los Angeles is located on one of the most attractive stretches of coastline in the universe, supported by mountains, forests, and wetlands.

Moving to the details, what are the things you must know and the things you need to make the move a success?

Below is a quick helpful list of 10 necessary things to know before you move to Los Angeles.

Select the Perfect Neighborhood

Los Angeles covers more than 450,000 square miles from one end to another. It is not squeezed like other cities, but it contains a wide number of different neighborhoods that will meet different people’s needs.

There are, even, over 80 neighborhoods to select from. Los Angeles has a lot of neighborhoods, but each with its individual cultural identity.

According to Randy Newman, some of Los Angeles’ highly popular areas from the South Bay down to the Valley and the Westside to the Eastside are:


  • Downtown Los Angeles (known as DTLA)
  • Hollywood
  • Silver Lake
  • Echo Park
  • Highland Park


  • Venice
  • Santa Monica
  • Brentwood
  • Culver City
  • Marina del Rey

San Fernando Valley (or, popularly known as “The Valley”):

  • Northridge 
  • Van Nuys
  • Studio City
  • Toluca Lake
  • Encino

South Bay:

  • San Pedro (where you will find Port of Los Angeles, ranked as first container port since 2000)
  • Palos Verdes
  • Redondo Beach
  • Hermosa Beach
  • Long Beach

Understand the Living Costs

A lot of people tend to choose a rental over purchasing because they are just unable to afford to buy. Housing prices here are 157% above the national average and the total cost of living is 50% higher than the national average.

Average rent in Los Angeles:

According to the numbers pulled from, the average cost for a 1-bedroom apartment as of Sept. 2020 in the city center is $2,230 monthly.

If you plan to get roommates, a 3-bedroom apartment on average is more than $4,200. There are many rentals in Los Angeles that fall below $1,800 monthly if you escape the city center, although it is advisable to investigate the place and the apartment where you are offered a cheaper price to make sure it is right for you.

The average cost of a home in Los Angeles:

If you have enough money to buy in Los Angeles, get yourself ready for huge competition and high prices. Zillow, a real estate website, reported that a home in Los Angeles on average is around $764,528.

If you are looking into buying in the Los Angeles area, it is important to be pre-approved for a mortgage as this will be greatly helpful when finalizing a deal with the seller. You can make use of a mortgage calculator to find out current mortgages available for a Los Angeles home.   

Los Angeles average utilities:

Your utility in Los Angeles can vary based on your neighborhood climate. Citywide, the average cost of utility is around $200 each month for a 915 square foot home. This figure changes all through the year and will vary based on the size of your home, but you can consider it as a base rate.

The Average cost of transportation in LA:

Los Angeles is basically a driving state. Driving is a necessity here. Even though Metrolink offers rail service to commuters in Southern California, it is however limited and unsophisticated like public rail transportation in US cities like San Francisco and New York.

The service is also costly; a local round-trip is usually expensive than $20 for a 1-way trip. The city area costs $1,184 annually on average for just liability and $85 per month and $541 annually for extensive and collision. Male drivers, especially young ones could experience higher rates.

Average costs of food in Los Angeles:

This is highly expensive in Los Angeles than the national average. A gallon of milk is sold for $3.80, and a loaf of bread is priced at $3.34. Prepare $3.45 for a dozen of large eggs and $5.77 for 16 oz. of cheese.

The cost of a pound of chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) is $5.42. If you are a frugal consumer, factor at least $500 into your monthly budget for food costs when living in Los Angeles.

Find Out About Taxes in Los Angeles

Some of the highest taxes in the United States are seen in California, and regardless of where you reside in the state, you will pay both state and federal taxes.

To find out more about each tax in the Country, visit Immihelp, California Franchise tax board, and USA taxes.

Sales Tax is 9% in Los Angeles and is included in the cost of most goods and services. In general, the price given on an item excludes sales tax.

If you are a homeowner, you will have to pay property tax based on your location and the size of your property.

Lastly, if you plan to buy a house or an apartment in Los Angeles, expect to pay real estate transfer tax. 

Getting around Los Angeles

Going around Los Angeles’ large landscape can be one of the toughest difficulties of moving to the city. There are varieties of options for navigating the city. However, most residents choose to drive their personal cars.

Public transportation:

Many see Los Angeles’ public transportation as a challenge. This is beginning to change because the Los Angeles Metro System continues to develop and expand its service areas all through the southland.

Also, there are city buses, mini shuttles that service certain business districts as discussed above, the comprehensive light rail system that spreads across the city and into nearby counties. 


There are numerous ride-sharing options like Lyft and Uber, regardless of where you are heading to or coming from. Yet, with all the number of hours spent while in traffic, moving across town, or traveling miles on the freeway, residents of Los Angeles are still obsessed with their cars; though they have a good reason.

Although there have been a lot of campaigns in a bid to encourage ride-sharing among Los Angeles residents and colleagues, driving is still chosen over ride-sharing among residents.

Ride a Bike or Scooter:

Los Angeles City’s bike-sharing system provides bikes at hubs and dockless all across the city. You can get a Metro Bike rental at just $2 for 30 minutes, which will be enough for you to run an urgent errand without the need to book an Uber or drive yourself.

If you need it for a longer time, go for the day pass, it costs $5 for 24-hour unrestricted rides below 30 minutes each.

In Los Angeles, bird scooters are also common and can be found at almost every corner of Los Angeles. However, be safe; put on a helmet and avoid riding on the sidewalks.

Drive your personal car:

For new residents, the freeway system in Los Angeles can be challenging. It is a close puzzle of roadways stopped with heavy traffic and pavement that can be found on 5 lanes (10, if you add the two directions).

Los Angeles freeway drivers should prepare for speed limits of about 65miles per hour; combining lanes and going through complex on and off-ramps. Challenges can also arise when learning the freeway system.

You will possibly come across erratic drivers who drive recklessly in and out of traffic thinking they can somehow get to the finish before the rest of us. Or, you can face distracted drivers who are caught while texting.

Things To Do In Los Angeles

Living in Los Angeles can definitely be expensive. However, the best things in life are sometimes free or near it. If you plan to move to Los Angeles without money, don’t be afraid.

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy in Los Angeles, and below is the proof:

Go people-watching:

Visit the boardwalk located at Venice Beach to see bodybuilders lifting iron or a vast amount of street performers displaying their talents.

You can also check the Grove and Los Angeles’ internationally recognized Original Farmers Markets that can be found in Mid-City, both are great spot to see celebrities.

Go to a TV taping:

Make yourself available as a studio audience or get a spot on a game show, such as Wheel of Fortune. They offer free tickets, but require advance reservation.

Meet a celebrity:

Familiarize with some of the most famous celebrities in Hollywood at the Hollywood Forever cemetery. This is the spot where rich, popular and infamous are laid to rest, and reading the headstones is absolutely free.

Head to an art museum:

Endeavor to check the Broad, Getty Villa, Museum of Contemporary Art, or Getty Center where they offer free admission.

You can also access a lot of free cultural events all through the year in Barnsdall Art Park located in East Hollywood, including amazing pictures of the Hollywood sign and the popularly known Hollyhock House that was made by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Enjoy a summer concert:

Check Santa Monica Pier each Thursday night starting from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm June to August for free live music.

Go for a hike:

You can hike moderately in places like the Will Rogers State part or Runyon Canyon if you so much desire to have some fresh air.

Explore Downtown Los Angeles:

This is where some of the popular architectural treasures in the city are located, such as the Bradbury Building (the backdrop for many films like Blade Runner), Grand Central Market, Union Station, City Hall, and so on.

After strolling through Grand Central Market, make sure you visit Angels Flight Railway, which is the shortest railway in the works, and Los Angeles Landmark since 1901. You can also enjoy a guided tour of Downtown Los Angeles with the city’s conservancy for just $15.   

Tips for Moving to Los Angeles

When leaving one city to another city, there are some things better to get ready for in advance. To relocate to Los Angeles, it is highly important to consider the moving uncertainties because the cost linked with moving here is so expensive. Remember some of these tips as you get ready:

  • Consider the amount of savings you will need before starting the trip: This amount of money will be different based on your unique moving need. If you are moving to Los Angeles unemployed, consider necessary living expenses for a minimum of three months and make sure you have that and basic moving costs with you to further help you

Read how much does it cost to move cross country?

  • Look into how to move your car there: In Los Angeles, you will need a car unless you live and work in or close to Downtown LA, Culver City, or Hollywood. In some cases, it is sensible to ship your current car or haul it across the country. In other cases, it would be more sensible to sell your existing vehicle and buy or lease a new one in Los Angeles.

Read how much does out of state car shipping cost?

  • Choose your neighborhood: Before you arrive in the city. Screening your choices before you pack and move implies that you will have a clear sense of your actual cost of living. This doesn’t mean you will sign a lease before you enter the city. It implies you should begin to hunt for an apartment or house now.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you are to work two jobs to live comfortably in the future: There will be a lot of successful people in Los Angeles that could make you feel like a failure. For each successful person you meet, there are many of them working different jobs to make a living.
  • Do you require storage space for your items while you get settled? We are here to help. Storage unit companies offer more than 10 self-storage centers in Los Angeles, so you will definitely find a nearby facility to your new home.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Los Angeles

There are lots of ups and downs to moving to Los Angeles. Whether you are in search for a calm lifestyle or continuous chaos, the city has something for just everyone.

The Pros

  • There is no Dull Moment: Similar to any city, there is always a thing to do in Los Angeles. However, California City is unique because of its variety of activities to meet everyone’s needs. Whether you like to party into the night, go round museums and art galleries, or hang out on a calm woodland hike, there is always something to satisfy each taste and lifestyle in Los Angeles.
  • Really a melting point: Because of its active seaport as well as some international airport, Los Angeles attracts a lot of immigrants from all walks of life. This diversity brings about different cuisines, architecture, as well as neighborhood makeup you will see all across the city area.

If you are relocating from a country where English is not the official language, don’t fear. In Los Angeles, you may possibly have a neighbor from a part of the world as you are now neighbors in the United States.

  • Welcome to the Mediterranean: Los Angeles has been widely known for its sunny, clear days that are cooled off. Thanks to the ocean breeze dispersed from the pacific. According to Kelly Norton’s study, Los Angeles is the third pleasant city in the United States in terms of weather. Pleasant in the study is termed as an average temperature ranging from 550F (130C) to 750F (240C). Los Angeles on average receives:
    • 292 days of sunshine in a year
    • 35 days of rain in a year
    • 72 ° F (22 °C) average temperature per day

The Cons

  • It is expensive: This has been said over and over. Whether automobile rental and gas costs or daily expenses, it is almost impossible to live in Los Angeles without spending several thousand each month.
  • You will often be in your car: Even though not a car producer, Los Angeles is referred to as the Car Capital of the World sometimes because a lot of cars are on the road. The traffic jams experienced daily are popular and residents spend much part of their day just trying to get around the city.
  • It is widely spread out: The whole county of Los Angeles covers around 4,083 miles (10,570 sq-km). Unlike other cities in the United States, such as New York and Chicago, you usually need to travel across Los Angeles to restaurants, bars, or other social attractions. Due to this, the city can feel too large and many residents only remain inside their region of LA.
  • Earthquakes: Los Angeles is located on many fault lines, such as cracks in the earth where there is a push between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. There is an estimation that some 10,000 earthquakes happen in Los Angeles each year, even though they are not felt on the surface.

Relocating to Los Angeles can be daunting, but it is actually worth the effort immediately you are settled in the city. If there are no friends in the area to help you, with Moving APT, you can get the help of Los Angeles movers and Best long distance movers, and make a comparison of guaranteed moving prices.


What is the salary amount I need to live in Los Angeles?

You will need to earn a huge six-figure income to live in Los Angeles comfortably (consider at least $136,207) if you are renting or $150,391 if you are an owner. The required salary for comfortable living in Los Angeles has increased by over $25,000 in the recent year, because of the increased yearly costs of transportation as well as utilities.

Why do many people move to Los Angeles?

One of the major reasons why so many people relocate to Los Angeles is the weather. It has a better temperature between winter and summer. Another reason is the attraction of the Hollywood Entertainment Industry which draws many to Los Angeles. Employment opportunity is one other reason that people have moved to Los Angeles. 

How easy is a move to Los Angeles?

If you are looking into a way to move to Los Angeles, you will be glad to find out that it is so much easy. Housing choices are much, activities are many, and it can be super-easy to get a job. Being the 10th most expensive city in the entire universe, Los Angeles residents spend more than 50% of their monthly salary on only rent.

Why is the population in Los Angeles too much?

Families and individuals are forced into the overpopulated real state due to the inappropriate supply of housing. Constructions are scattered, high-unit housing in high-privileged neighborhoods would be helpful for lower-income earners to leave these crowded situations and breathe freshly.

Is living in Los Angeles a good thing?

It can be found between the coast and mountains which help produce the ideal climate. If you hate extremes, Los Angeles is a perfect fit for you as the median high temperature is 750 and the sun is seen around 300 days a year. Living in L.A. will make sure you often find a great reason to go outdoors and enjoy the sunshine.

Can one live in Los Angeles without a car?

Yes, it is possible to live in Los Angeles without a car. Metro has in the past year increased public buses and trains to service outlying areas, such as Arcadia and Long Beach, and by similar time like this next year, you will be commuting in a train right from downtown Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Pier (a bus is already available to transport you to Malibu).

Is Downtown Los Angeles dangerous?

Downtown LA is the cultural and commercial center of the city with a population of 12,199. Based on the statistics of LAPD, every year, the crime rate reduces mildly. Violent crimes reported in 2016 in Central Division were 1702, reduced from 1,780 experienced in 2015. The number of homicides had reduced significantly from 490, ten years ago, to 13 in 2018.


If you are convinced that Los Angeles is the next home for you, you can begin to prepare a moving budget and all the means you can reduce the moving expenses and stress. If you think this out of state move is something you can do on your own, start by making a household inventory of your goods or getting trustworthy and reputable Los Angeles long-distance movers to help you with move.

Trying to pull off a cross-country move alone is a big and painstaking endeavor, which often isn’t worth the savings from it, but if you like, you can look into the cheapest ways to move cross country or moving during the less expensive time of the year.

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