Los Angeles downtown skyline
December 12, 2019 Posted in City Guides
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Moving to Los Angeles – A Complete Guide

Have you been thinking about moving to Los Angeles? The City of Angels is known worldwide as an entertainment hub and a global stage for show-biz. Still, South California’s commercial and cultural center also offers a chance to live any kind of lifestyle you want.

Downtown Los Angeles Skyline Relocating to LA will be an adventure to remember

Even if you’re cross-country moving to Los Angeles alone, you will surely never feel lonely here, adjusting to the new state will be smooth and the advantages of long-distance moving alone here are numerous.

In fact, it is known as one of the best places to live in California for young adults, as it offers vast entertainment opportunities, paired with lots of possibilities for career improvement, clearly, no room for relocation depression.

Even if you’re long-distance moving with kids or you are planning on starting a family, you can still rest assured that this is the right place to do it. Without further ado, let us delve deeper into our guide about everything there is to know about living in the City of Angels.

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How to Move to LA, an International Melting Pot

You’re probably already aware that the most populous city of California is a melting pot of cultures, home to people from more than 140 countries who speak around 220 different languages. People from all over the world flock here looking for a better life, job opportunities, or a fresh start. Pair this with millions of tourists who visit the area every year, and you’ve got yourself a truly international metropolis.

LA Should I move to LA? This is a city bustling with tourists all the time

Should I Move to LA? Consider Renting Costs and Utilities

If you were planning on living in LA and saving a few dollars, we have some not-so-great news. Even if you choose some of the most affordable places to live in Los Angeles, you will still likely be spending more than you did before the relocation.

For reference, renting a one-bedroom apartment downtown will cost you more than $2,000. So, make sure to check out some packing tips and tricks or long-distance moving tips on how to reduce costs when moving cross country and avoid common moving mistakes.

However, rent isn’t the only big expense you’ll have to count on. On average, utilities for a 900-square-foot apartment will cost you around $100, and you would have to pay $100 for your monthly bus pass. Overall, the cost of living in LA is about a third higher than the national average.

calculator with cost written on it Relocating to Los Angeles isn't exactly cheap, but you could make it work

Finding a Job When Moving to LA

Now that you know approximately how much you’ll be spending here, it is time to figure out how you’ll make that money first. If you work in entertainment, IT, bioscience, fashion, tourism, trade, or marketing, you’re in luck! These are the industries that thrive here and you will surely have no trouble finding a job before moving to another state.

However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start looking on time. Knowing how to get a job before you move is crucial for making sure you don’t run out of funds even before you settle down in your new home. We suggest you begin searching for work on websites such as Indeed.com at least a few months before you relocate.

If, on the other hand, you have a position waiting for you in LA, make sure you put together a list of important relocation questions to ask your employer and avoid misunderstandings along the way. Also, consider relocating close to your office, even if it means moving into a smaller home because commuting can be a nightmare.

man working on laptop Should I Move to Los Angeles? Try to find a job before you move

Choose the Right Neighborhood Before Moving to Los Angeles

Los Angeles is huge, not just in population terms, but in its area as well. This means that house-hunting and choosing the right neighborhood within the city isn’t going to be easy, so don’t let that cause you anxiety about moving out.

There is a long list of options that you have to measure against your own needs and preferences, including the safety of your future neighborhood. To help you make the decision, we’ve put together a list of our top picks on where to live in LA:

  • Atwater Village. This community truly offers the best of both worlds: it has easy access to all the important locations in the area but is still removed from all the hustle and bustle of the downtown. Plus, unlike most neighborhoods here, it is not as uniform and dull – houses have their distinct styles and colors, giving the streets a hipsterish look. The population is generally older, but ethnically very diverse. Those that are moving in together with their partners and thinking about starting a family might love Atwater Village’s peaceful vibe.
  • Beverly Grove. If you have the budget for it, it is a good option. This community lies in between West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, which speaks volumes about the cost of rent and utilities. The area is packed with shopping and dining options, so if you are moving for a relationship you’ll always have plenty of options for a fun date.
  • Rolling Hills. The suburbs of Los Angeles are truly a gem to be discovered. Rolling Hills offers a rural feel with all the amenities and accessibility of a metropolis. Although the rent is pretty steep, if you’re looking for a safe neighborhood in Los Angeles, this is the place to be. Moving to the suburbs has never seemed so attractive.
  • Silver Lake. If you’ve been looking for the best places to live in Los Angeles for singles, you’ve surely stumbled upon Silver Lake before. With rent that is significantly lower than the LA average, living alone here is actually feasible. As a bonus, with its hipster vibe, high walkability, and low crime rate, the area attracts all kinds of fun individuals. If you choose to move here, you’ll surely have no trouble making friends in the new state.
Getting ready for cross country moving to Hollywood There is a wide variety of neighborhoods to experience in LA

Should I Move to Los Angeles For the Weather? Absolutely!

Let’s face it, one of the reasons why you should move here is the amazing weather. The climate here is definitely hard not to love. With mild to high temperatures all year long, and only a little bit of rain during the winter months, this is truly a heaven on earth for all outdoor enthusiasts. So the best time of the year to move here is anytime. Does visiting the beach in the middle of November sound crazy? It doesn’t to Californians!

The daily mean temperature during the winter months revolves around 58°, while the summer sees the average daily temperature of around 74°. In other words, unless you’re moving during winter months, be ready for some heat.

LA LA is known for the beautiful weather almost all year round

Things to Do on a Day Off – Moving to Los Angeles Guide

With all that nice weather, it would be a shame to spend all your free time at home when you are done unpacking after the move. So what is there to do in LA?

Popular Attractions to Learn When Relocating to Los Angeles

Once you settle down, and especially if you’ve never been here before, you will likely want to visit all the most popular attractions that make LA so fun for tourists. Go stand under the Hollywood sign or take a tour of Universal Studios Hollywood. Of course, Disneyland is a must, even if you don’t have kids.

Walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame and visit the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. And then, after a long day of shopping at the Grove, sit down for dinner at one of the most iconic LA restaurants, such as Cole’s, Philippe the Original, or Tam O’Shanter. You might even want to get a tour guide to show you around.

Live Like a Local When You Move to Los Angeles

Once you’re done exploring all the top tourist attractions around the city, you should learn how to explore like a local – because that’s what you’ll be. The truth is, most locals shun these popular places, as they are constantly overcrowded and loud. This is why you should put in some effort to find the not-so-popular gems in your vicinity. Here are some tips on how to behave like a true Angeleno:

  • Visit the Larchmont District. Despite its central location, this little area is yet relatively unknown to tourists, and it is where all the locals go for a quick snack or some good, authentic gelato.
  • Zuma Beach. No one likes spending half an hour at the beach trying to find a place to put their towel. So instead of elbowing your way through the crowd on Santa Monica Beach, head to Zuma and enjoy the sunshine in peace.
  • Runyon Canyon. Do you enjoy hiking? Then instead of following the crowd to the Hollywood sign, head to Runyon Canyon. As a bonus, you’re more than likely to run into a few celebrities here.
  • The Farmer’s Market. There is nothing that screams ‘local’ more than shopping at the farmer’s market. Grab your bags and head to Fairfax District, where you’ll get to enjoy fresh produce.
  • Nina’s Mexican Food. Does burrito for breakfast sound like a good idea? Then Nina’s is the place to go. Enjoying good food for an affordable price without having to wait in infinite lines – it doesn’t get better than that.
hollywood sign If you move to LA, you get a chance to stand under the Hollywood Sign

Other Things to Know and Tips for Moving to LA

The city’s popular and not-so-popular attractions are only some of the things to know. In fact, you can easily discover all these gems and locations on your own. But what else is there that you should be aware of before you start preparing packing materials for moving?

Moving to Los Angeles Advice – How to Drive in the City of Angels

Sure, secluded dining spots and cool hiking trails are great, but there’s nothing that will make you feel like an Angeleno more than sitting in traffic. Although the public transportation system is gradually getting better every year, it still can’t keep up with the influx of new residents and tourists. Traffic jams are an everyday reality you’ll simply have to deal with.

However, there are certain rules that may differ from your hometown that you’ll want to get used to if you plan on understanding how car shipping works and getting auto transport services. For example, if you transport your car across the country, know that carpool lanes are a thing, and this rule is strictly enforced.

If you’re caught driving alone in a carpool lane, you’re looking at a pretty steep fine. If you have an electronic toll collection system such as Fastrak, you likely won’t have to worry about the lane you’re in.

Does driving here sound like something you’d rather avoid? Then you can rely on public transport or, depending on the location you choose, you can walk or cycle. Although LA is not exactly known for its walkability, it actually takes 13th place on the list of most walkable cities in the US.

metro station Public transportation isn’t ideal, so getting auto transport services will mean a lot

How to Move to Los Angeles And Make Friends

Being an international melting pot, this big city is home to folk from all over the world, with different backgrounds, cultures, traditions, stories, and personalities. Be open-minded – although cultural differences may seem insurmountable at first, if you put in a little effort, you could end up with a new friend for life.

We’ve already mentioned that over 200 languages are spoken here. Of course, English and Spanish are the most dominant ones, but other languages, such as Russian, French, Portuguese, Italian, Mandarin, and Japanese are quite prevalent.

Just like with languages, religion in the Entertainment Capital of the World is quite diverse. While more than half the population are Christians of various denominations, many belong to Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, and so on. It is not uncommon to meet atheists or agnostics either.

The Pollution is Breath-Taking (Literally)

As with any metropolis, air pollution is a big issue. On some days, the smog can get pretty bad due to heavy traffic and industrial areas in the vicinity. Luckily, weekend trips to the surrounding nature are a great way to clear up your lungs (and your mind).

The good news is there are many environmental organizations fighting not only to make the air better but also to preserve the nature of the area. For example, the members of the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust work to preserve the ecosystem of the Ballona Wetlands, while Breath California conducts research and educates the nation on the importance of clean air.

Why Move to Los Angeles? Being Healthy is in Style There

No matter if you move during the holidays or in summer, the nice weather will allow you to spend a lot of time outdoors. It seems as if everyone enjoys some sort of physical activity, be it surfing, jogging, sky-diving, or simply taking a stroll in the evenings.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a health freak, don’t be surprised if you become one. There is something fun for everybody in the world of wellness and fitness, and it is just a matter of time before you find yourself laying down on a yoga mat at the beach to say hello to the morning sun.

a person doing yoga Find an activity you enjoy that will also improve your health and well-being

Your Neighborhood is More than a Location

Where you live in LA can tell a lot about you. Your choice of location, in their opinion, speaks volumes about your lifestyle, marriage status, career, and, of course, finances.

This doesn’t necessarily mean everyone will judge you on your choice of address – it simply may influence the kind of crowd you associate with. Don’t be surprised if you realize you have much more in common with your neighbors than with someone living a few miles away.

This is mostly due to the fact that each little area of LA has its own character and vibe, which, of course, attracts a certain kind of people. The metropolis is one of the best cities to raise a family in the US, but still, parents with kids are more likely to stay in quiet suburban areas, while young singles usually flock to the middle of the hustle and bustle.

People who prefer peace and quiet (and can afford it) will likely live closer to Beverly Hills, while students are attracted to livelier locations.

Positivity All-Around

One of the best things about LA, however, is the fact that everyone seems to have a positive outlook on life. People complain less here, take life day by day, and do their best to enjoy every moment. It is a contagious attitude that will surely rub off on you in no time. It’s not too surprising, of course, with all the sandy beaches, palm trees, and sunshine.

friends laughing You will see that many people here are happy and smiling often

So, How Do I Move to LA?

If we have convinced you that LA is the place to be, it’s time to start planning a moving budget and all the ways you can reduce relocation expenses as well as moving stress. If you think that you can’t pull it off on your own, begin by creating a household inventory list and finding highly recommended and reliable Los Angeles cross-country movers and requesting their moving services and potentially storage service.

Going through long-distance moving alone is a huge and painstaking effort, which usually isn’t worth the money saved, but if you want, you can consider getting the cheapest way to move out of state or to relocate during the cheapest time of the year. You can also just contact us, Cross Country Moving Company, and let us do the hard work while you worry about other priorities.

We can also secure some nice moving insurance for you and your cross-country moving experience. It’s best to simply hire professionals to provide packing services for your furniture, clothes, and other valuables, while you donate unwanted items and take your time to tell your friends you’re leaving and prepare for a fresh start in California.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving to Los Angeles

What Is the Cost of Living in Los Angeles?

According to Numbeo, a website that aggregates user-submitted data, the cost of living index in LA is 77.06, which is higher than the national average of 73.15.

The largest expense for most people is housing. According to Zillow, the median home value in Los Angeles is $810,700 as of January 2023. Renting is also expensive, with the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment at $2,290 per month, according to RentCafe.

Other expenses, such as food, transportation, and healthcare, are also higher in Los Angeles than in many other cities. For example, according to Numbeo, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Los Angeles costs around $20, and a monthly pass for public transportation is $100.

Overall, the cost of living in LA is high, and residents should expect to pay more for most goods and services compared to other cities.

What Are the Most Popular Neighborhoods to Live in Los Angeles?

The most popular neighborhoods to live in LA include Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice, and Silver Lake.

What Is the Public Transportation System Like in Los Angeles?

The public transportation system in Los Angeles consists of buses, trains, and light rail, but it is not as extensive or convenient as in some other major cities.

It’s a sprawling city, meaning it can take a long time to get from one place to another, especially if you have to transfer between different modes of transportation. While the transport system does cover many parts of the city, there are also areas that aren’t well-served by public transit, especially in the suburbs and outlying areas.

LA is also known for traffic congestion, which can make it difficult for buses and trains to run on time and can also make it unpleasant for passengers to ride. Finally, it’s known for its car culture, and many people prefer to drive rather than take public transportation, which means that the demand for public transit is not as high as in some other cities.

How Is the Job Market in Los Angeles?

The job market in Los Angeles is diverse, with opportunities in many industries, including entertainment, technology, healthcare, and hospitality. However, competition for jobs can be intense.

What Are the Best Schools in Los Angeles?

Some of the best schools in town include the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, the Marlborough School, the Harvard-Westlake School, the Brentwood School, and the Loyola High School. However, this can depend on individual needs and preferences.

What Are Some of the Best Things to Do in Los Angeles?

Some of the best things to do include visiting popular attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Griffith Observatory, and the Getty Center, enjoying the beaches in Santa Monica and Venice, exploring museums like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum, and going shopping and dining in areas like Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.

What Is the Weather Like in Los Angeles?

The weather in Los Angeles is generally warm and sunny, with mild winters and hot summers. The average temperature in the summer is around 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius), while in the winter, it is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).

Is Los Angeles a Safe Place to Live?

While there are some areas of LA with higher crime rates, overall, the city is considered relatively safe; the crime rate has been decreasing in recent years. However, like any major city, it is important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially at night or in unfamiliar areas.

How Diverse Is the Population of Los Angeles?

LA’s population is very diverse, with people from many different ethnic and racial backgrounds. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2020, the population of Los Angeles is approximately 41% Hispanic or Latino, 29% non-Hispanic white, 9% Asian, and 8% Black or African American, with many other ethnic groups represented as well.

How Do I Find Housing in Los Angeles?

To find housing in Los Angeles, you can start by searching online through websites such as Zillow, Apartments.com, and Craigslist, or you can work with a real estate agent or property management company to help you find a place.

It’s important to be prepared to pay high prices for housing and to act quickly, as good properties tend to rent or sell quickly in the competitive Los Angeles market.

What Are the Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles?

Some of the best places to eat in LA include restaurants like Providence, Spago, Rosaline, Republique, and Howlin’ Ray’s. However, the best places to eat can depend on personal taste and preference, as Los Angeles has a diverse and vibrant food scene with many excellent restaurants to choose from.

What Are the Best Ways to Get Around in Los Angeles?

The best ways to get around in Los Angeles include driving, taking public transportation, biking, and walking, depending on where you are going and how far it is. While driving is the most common mode of transportation in LA, public transportation can be a good option for avoiding traffic and saving money, especially in more urban areas.

What Is the Nightlife Like in Los Angeles?

The nightlife in Los Angeles is diverse and vibrant, with many options for entertainment, including bars, nightclubs, theaters, and music venues. Some popular areas for nightlife include Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown LA, and Santa Monica.

What Is the Entertainment Industry Like in Los Angeles?

The entertainment industry in LA is one of the largest and most influential in the world, with many major film and television studios, record labels, and talent agencies based in the city.

The industry is highly competitive, and opportunities for work can be scarce, but it also offers many exciting and rewarding careers for those who are passionate and dedicated.

How Do I Find a Job in Los Angeles?

To find a job in Los Angeles, you can start by searching online through job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn, networking with people in your desired industry, and attending job fairs or industry events.

You can also work with a recruiter or temp agency to help you find work. It’s important to have a strong resume and cover letter, as well as relevant skills and experience, as competition for jobs in Los Angeles can be fierce.

What Are the Best Museums to Visit in Los Angeles?

Some of the best museums to visit in Los Angeles include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Center, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Petersen Automotive Museum.

What Is the Sports Scene Like in Los Angeles?

The sports scene is diverse and vibrant, with many professional sports teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers (NBA basketball), Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels (MLB baseball), Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers (NFL football), and Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club (MLS soccer), among others. The city also hosts many major sporting events, such as the Rose Bowl and the Los Angeles Marathon.

How Do I Make Friends in Los Angeles?

To make friends in LA, try joining local clubs or organizations that align with your interests, attending community events, taking classes or workshops, volunteering for local causes, or even using social media or dating apps to connect with people.

It can take time and effort to build meaningful friendships in a new city, but by putting yourself out there and being open to new experiences, you can create a social network that feels like home.

What Are the Best Parks and Outdoor Spaces in Los Angeles?

Some of the best parks and outdoor spaces in Los Angeles include Griffith Park, Runyon Canyon Park, Echo Park Lake, the Santa Monica Pier, and the Venice Beach Boardwalk. There are many other beautiful and unique parks and outdoor spaces to explore, each with its own character and charm.

How Do I Get Involved in the Local Community in Los Angeles?

To get involved in the local community, try volunteering for local causes or organizations, attending community events, joining a local club or group that aligns with your interests, or simply exploring your neighborhood and getting to know your neighbors.

By being an active and engaged member of the community, you can make new connections, learn about the local culture and issues, and feel a greater sense of belonging and purpose in your new city.


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