Are you planning on moving to Los Angeles, but have a limited budget? The truth is, the overall cost of living here is so high that even the most affordable places to live in Los Angeles are still costlier than most other locations. Still, once you settle down and find a stable, well-paid job, we’re sure you’ll be able to easily cover all the expenses.
LA is one of the most expensive cities in the country, but for a good reason
You have your reasons to move, but before you start looking for jobs, it’s time to decide where to live in LA after moving to this big city. Whether you’re relocating to Los Angeles alone or with your family, with a limited budget, your house-hunting options will be quite limited, too. To help you choose a place that fits all your needs, without necessarily moving into a smaller home, we’ve decided to put together this list of the ten cheapest areas in the City of Angels.
Crenshaw – One of the Most Affordable Los Angeles Neighborhoods
When you were figuring out where to move, have you had in mind a good location with easy access to all the necessary amenities? Crenshaw offers you just that, plus it has the cost of living lower than the LA average. This used to be one of the largest Japanese communities in the country. And even though the population has significantly diversified since then, there is still a considerable Asian population here. If you’re moving with kids, you will be interested to know that there are several schools in the area, including Crenshaw High School, Celerity Nascent Charter School, and View Park Preparatory.
Questions and Concerns Related to Safety
One of the most significant issues regarding Crenshaw is safety. The overall crime rate here is estimated to be higher than the LA average and almost double the national average. If one of your main criteria for choosing where to live is the general safety of the neighborhood, you might want to avoid this community. But if your dream home happens to be in this area, don’t worry, there’s no need for anxiety about moving. As long as you take general precautionary measures, such as not walking alone at night and locking the door of your car when driving, you shouldn’t have much to worry about.
Crenshaw is a family-friendly community
Rancho Santa Margarita – One of the Cheapest Suburbs
Who says suburbs of Los Angeles are only for the elite? Some suburban areas have relatively cheap homes, ideal for those relocating to the suburbs on a budget, and Rancho Santa Margarita is one of them. This is one of the youngest cities in the county, as well as one of the most educated communities in the state of California. This, along with crime rates that are much lower than the national average, makes it one of the best places to raise a family in California. Rancho Santa Margarita is considered a highly safe neighborhood in Los Angeles terms.
Average homes in the area sell for a little over $600,000. In contrast, the average rent is pretty high – over $1,800. It comes as no surprise, then, that most people here own their homes. The average household makes over $100,000.
Rancho Santa Margarita is another family-friendly area with low crime rates
San Clemente – the Best of the Beach-Front Neighborhoods
Just south of LA proper lies San Clemente, another suburb on our list. Admittedly, this one is a little more expensive – the average home here sells for almost $900,000. However, we’d say that the vicinity of several sandy beaches makes up for the extra expense. What’s more, the median rent here is lower than in Rancho Santa Margarita. If you enjoy outdoor activities and don’t mind a somewhat longer commute time, San Clemente is the place for you. If you opt for this area, you can enjoy sandy beaches as soon as you unpack.
Fun Stuff to Do in the Area
Officially, San Clemente belongs to the greater LA area. But truth be told, it is pretty much a city of its own. There is always something to do and the advantages of moving alone here are numerous. The San Clemente Pier is one of the most visited landmarks, with its scenic views, sounds of the ocean, great restaurants along the way, there’s no room for relocation depression around here. There is also a Surfing Heritage and Culture Center, tailored to all those who enjoy water sports. The area is also a famous destination for shopping trips, with an outlet mall located right in the center of it, meaning no matter if you move during the holidays or any other time of the year there will be plenty of activities you can enjoy.
Walking down the San Clemente Pier is the locals' favorite pastime activity
Wilmington – The Most Budget-Friendly Option
If we had to name a single cheapest area in LA, without considering anything else, we would probably pick Wilmington. The current median home value is under $350,000, while the average monthly rent barely exceeds $1,000. The community is predominantly made up of immigrants. The economy is primarily based on the fact that the third-largest oil field in the country is located here.
About a dozen schools are serving Wilmington, including Phineas Banning Senior High School, Fries Avenue Elementary School, and Harry Bridges Span School. Los Angeles Harbor College is also located here. There is a Wilmington branch of LA Public Library, as well. If you and your loved one are moving in together and planning to start a family, Wilmington might be a good place to put down some roots.
Wilmington is as cheap as it gets when it comes to living in LA
Lake View Terrace – A Safe Haven for Nature Lovers
Lake View Terrace is surrounded by canyons, dams, forests, and mountains. With a population of around 20,000 residents, the community is quite mixed. People here enjoy outdoor activities, as the location provides them with easy access to hiking and walking trails, biking, and jogging routes. However, we’d dare say that this isn’t one of the best places to live in California for young adults. Most residents here prefer a slow, quiet pace of life, and there aren’t that many options for social outings.
How Much Do Apartments and Houses Here Sell For
Are you planning to buy a home in Lake View Terrace? Then you’ll be happy to learn that real estate prices here aren’t that steep. For example, you can easily find a two-bedroom home for under $400,000. If you would rent instead, at least in the first period, be prepared to set aside around $1,400 a month.
Lake View Terrace is a great option for outdoor enthusiasts
Mission Hills – A Community on the Rise
If you ask locals, they’ll tell you that Mission Hills keeps getting better every day. A lot of money is being invested in the area, businesses keep opening up, and new jobs are being created so feel free to try to find a job before moving to another state. The current situation is good, but it is bound to get even better. However, this probably means that the real estate value in the area will rise. If you want to move to Mission Hills, you should act fast. Right now, on average, homes here cost around $370,000, while monthly rent revolves around $1,400.
Are you planning to live and work in Mission Hills? The per capita annual income in the area is $38,000, which is higher than the California average. The unemployment rate, however, is still pretty high at 7%, but that is bound to change in the coming years. Most people work in the manufacturing sector, followed by education, healthcare, and social services.
New job openings are being created in Mission Hills as we speak.
Little Armenia – Living in East Hollywood
Little Armenia is located on the eastern border of West Hollywood. With such a location, it provides easy access to all the amenities you can think of. Despite its reputation, this is quite a safe neighborhood. It is well connected to other parts of the city via public transport. The area is also highly walkable if you prefer commuting on foot. The community mostly consists of an Armenian-American population, which first settled here in the early 20th century.
The Best Dining Options
If there is anything Armenians are known for, it’s their exquisite cuisine. It should come as no surprise, then, that some of the best dining options are located precisely here. We highly recommend visiting Carousel, located along the northern border of the area. If you prefer Asian food, you’ll be happy to hear that Thai Town is right next door.
The dining options in Little Armenia are plentiful
Sunland – A Part of the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood
Although Sunland and Tujunga are now officially one community, people still tend to see them as separate. The population of Sunland is a little above 20,000, and the average household makes around $67,000. The median home value in Sunland slightly exceeds $480,000, while the median monthly rent is $1,400. There are several excellent public schools in the vicinity, such as Larchmont Charter, KIPP, and King/Drew Medical Magnet High School.
This is a very active community with lots of activities to offer to residents. It has a reputation of having fresh air and being the perfect location for a healthy lifestyle. As a resident here, you’ll have easy access to Sunland Park, which has playgrounds, a baseball field, a skate park, tennis courts, a picnic area, and lots of other amenities.
Sunland Park is a great location to spend your weekend afternoons
Compton – A Central Location
Compton has a geographically central location in LA County, which means that its residents have quick access to most other parts of the city. It is mostly a working-class community, and the population is quite young. The average age in Compton is around 28. The median home value barely exceeds $260,000, and the average monthly rent is $1,100.
You probably already know that Compton has a reputation for its high crime rate. Although this might be true, it is bound to change in the upcoming years. First of all, the number of per capita crimes has been declining steadily. Even more importantly, Compton was recently named an “Entrepreneurial Hotspot,” meaning that it is one of the best places in the state to start and grow a business. This means that new jobs are bound to begin opening soon, and the unemployment and poverty rates will surely go down. Give it a few years, and Compton will quickly become one of the best places to live in Los Angeles for singles.
Compton carries the title of an entrepreneurial hotspot
Granada Hills – The Most Bang for the Buck
Okay, Granada Hills might not be as cheap as most other locations on our list. However, if we take into account all the benefits that come with living here, your dollar will stretch further here. Homes in this dense suburban neighborhood cost, on average, around $515,000, while the median monthly rent is $1,800. A typical household in the area makes around $90,000, and about a third of the community are families with kids.
All the Amenities in One Place
One of the best things about Granada Hills is that everything you need will be right at your doorstep. There are convenience stores around every corner, the second-largest park in LA is here, making the area ideal for those moving with dogs. Locals have access to the Granada Hills branch of the LA Public Library, as well as to a number of good private and public schools.
Relocating to LA
Have you found your future neighborhood on our list? We’re sure that, among all these communities, there is one that fits your needs, as well as your moving budget. If so, it’s time to forget about moving stress and think about finding highly recommended and reliable LA movers with professional moving services and packing tips and tricks up their sleeve. However, we suggest making a photo inventory for moving insurance after you donate unwanted items, which will lead to reducing your relocation expenses. Movers will pack your clothes, box up the furniture and protect breakable items, while you are relaxing and not thinking about common moving mistakes to avoid.
However, remember that moving prices vary from season to season, so make sure that you know what is the cheapest time of the year to relocate if you wish to save some money on your moving day. Another option would be to figure your own cheapest way to move out of state to reduce the costs of moving even more. Thinking about transporting your car across the country? If you wish to purchase auto transport services, be sure to know how car shipping works, and start preparing for your relocation. The City of Angels is waiting for you, the best time of the year to move here is now.