City of Night, City of Night, City of Night, woo, c’mon
I see your hair is burnin’
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar
Drivin’ down your freeways
Midnight alleys roam
Cops in cars, the topless bars
– excerpt from “LA Woman” by The Doors
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US, after New York, and a solid plan is a must have. The City of Angels is a major center of the American entertainment industry, a cultural mecca, and an international trade and business hub. In 2015, the population of the City of Los Angeles was almost 4 million, according to the United States Census Bureau. And Los Angeles County was the first in the nation to reach 10 million residents. Now, in 2023 the population of Los Angeles metro area is 18 million people! These numbers may give you goose bumps, but L.A. is the type of place one can easily call home. So, don’t be scared – be prepared!
Moving to Los Angeles Guide
In this guide, you will find information about things you need to know before moving to L.A., its neighborhoods, housing, job market, transportation, and what to do in Los Angeles. Keep on reading and get this exciting journey started!
We want to begin with by telling you this – set your priorities. Sit and think about why you are moving there and what it is that you are looking for. What’s your reason for moving to Los Angeles?
Is it for a career change? Have you found a bigger home and better quality of life across the state lines?
Are you moving to be closer to family and friends? Or, on the contrary, you want to meet new people and expand your horizons?
Is the main reason the perfect climate? With its endless beaches and palms trees lined streets, the movie like settings is real there.
Try and define your priorities to make it easier what you are looking for and set the right expectations.
Spend some time on Google Maps
Nothing is more beneficial than actually knowing where you’re going. That is why you need to spend time on Google Maps before you get to L.A. Take a street view tour of the neighborhoods, look around. Try to understand the layout of the city, learn major neighborhoods and streets. It will give you a sense of location and make you feel more confident once you arrive there.
Budget your move
Budgeting is always an important aspect of any endeavor. It is an important part of your moving and settling period, so don’t overlook it. Depending on your financial allocation and goals, you can easily sit down and put a few numbers together. California is not exactly the cheapest place in the US, and Los Angeles itself is not an exception. You can use the PayScale cost of living calculator to find out Los Angeles average cost of living.
Check the neighborhoods
Just like Chicago, New York, or San Francisco, a big city such as Los Angeles is split into distinctive neighborhoods. And the the neighborhood defines you and your routine. L.A. has 16 regions and 114 neighborhoods – all of them diverse each on its own way. But not all of them will be a great fit for you and your lifestyle, that’s why you have to choose carefully.
Check out the interactive map of L.A. for tons of helpful details about demographics, schools, parks, income and social life. The map was created by people who live and work in L.A. so it will be an essential tool when you start researching. You can also use StreetAdvisor, a site dedicated to neighborhood reviews and information.
It is certain that there is a hefty price tag coming with moving to Los Angeles. The benefits though are many, so if you have decided to change your life don’t give up. Finding an apartment or a house could prove a bit difficult, especially if you have specific preferences about the neighborhood and the type of housing.
Apartment’s rent has been rising in L.A. county in the past few years. Five of the toughest rental markets and most desirable locations are Brentwood, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, South Los Angeles, and the South Bay. The vacancy rate is less than 3% compared to 5% and 7% in Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley.
Homeownership costs are just as high. According to zillow.com, the median home value in Los Angeles is $603,900. “Los Angeles home values have gone up 8.4% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 3.0% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Los Angeles is $451, which is higher than the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim Metro average of $390. The median price of homes currently listed in Los Angeles is $709,000.”
Research your desired areas and collect as much information as possible. You can start with crime rates, average rent prices by region and schools rankings. A couple of good places to give you a head start are padmapper.com and rentometer.com. If there is something in the neighborhood that doesn’t look or feel right, well, may be there is a reason for that and you should go check it out first.
If you are one of those lucky people that come to L.A. with a full-time job contract and benefits, then you can skip to the next part. If you don’t, you should start looking for a job even before you move there. But before you do, just know that Los Angeles’ job market is not one of the best in the country. The unemployment rate is 11% and the cost of living is about 18% above the national average.
We all know that Los Angeles is the Mecca of the movie industry and bursts with art and culture. For all those with the creative spark, this is the place to be. Whether you want to be an actor, a director, a screen writer, a video editor, a musician or video game developer, L.A. is the place to be. This is where you will find people with similar interests and certainly fierce competition.
It sounds a bit dreadful, but don’t despair. The average household income is slightly above $50,000 and there are still plenty of job vacancies. Here are two great sites where you can look for jobs: LA city website and surely Craigslist L.A.
If you have a car don’t forget these three words – pay to park – everywhere you go. It will be no surprise if after some time you will reconsider keeping your car. Having a car is a great advantage, but the thought of paying for gas and parking pretty much all the time and getting stuck in traffic jams is nerve wrecking.
The good news is, you can always use L.A. public transport. Biking is also a good option if you like living on the edge and Uber or Lyft are right at your fingertips whenever you need them.
What to do in L.A.?
The City of Angels pulsates with creative enthusiasm day and night. If you haven’t realized it yet, there are endless things to do and see in L.A. You can quench your thirst for culture and art by visiting: the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Getty Center, or any of the other over 840 museums. You can also quench your thirst for outdoors. Whether you want to go to the beach or go hiking, there is something for every preference.
Nearby L.A. you will find plenty of outdoor activities to fill your free time. Nice weather conditions (300+ sunny days a year) allow you to exercise any time you want and you can do it virtually anywhere. One good outdoor place is Runyon Canyon. If you are lucky, you might even run into a celebrity or two. Furthermore, you can sign up at 24hr Fitness, YMCA or LA Fitness if you are a GYMaholic, or simply run at the beach every day!
Never jump to conclusions
Go explore, live and breathe L.A. for a couple of weeks and then decide. The weather is one of the biggest factors for many people. Yet this is not all when it comes to moving to L.A. The job and housing market play a big role when making the final decision. Los Angeles is tough when it comes to that, yet it is not impossible. You will have to spend some time searching for the best spot for you, and the job that satisfies your criteria.
Start creating your circle of friends
Nothing makes you feel more welcomed than having friends where you live. A good way to do that is to get together with other people with similar interests. Try and go to MeetUps Los Angeles, for instance. They have something for everyone, and at least you will know that whoever you meet is there for the same reasons as you are.
Adapt to Angelenos’ social etiquette
As with any new place, there is a new social etiquette that you need to adapt to. L.A. is not an exception. I am sure you’ve heard the saying that Angelenos tend to be a little flaky. Well… it depends on how you take it. You can easily have someone call you 10 min before an arranged “date” to cancel or reschedule. Don’t take it personally, though, it’s perfectly normal. With time, you’ll get used to it.
Be bold and make changes
One thing is for sure, moving to a new place takes courage and a great deal of planning. But whatever the outcome, there is one thing you need to remember – everything will be alright! Will it be a bumpy ride – possible, will it be easy – heck no! Yet, if you have decided that the place where you are at the moment is not right for you, then you can be sure that moving will be worth it.
If you also need to ship your car you can give us a call or get a quote online. Corsia Logistics is a California car shipping company based in L.A. and we offer auto transport to and from Los Angeles daily. What are you waiting for? Start packing!