THE ULTIMATE GUIDE: MOVING TO LOS ANGELES
- All about Los Angeles
- Moving to Los Angeles
- The Los Angeles lifestyle
So you’re thinking about moving to Los Angeles – one of the best cities in the world. LA is known for a lot of things: its impeccable year-round sunny weather, diverse culture, world-class attractions and destinations, unmatched culinary offerings – the list goes on and on. Without a doubt, living in the City of Angels puts you right in the middle of it all. It’s a city unlike any other, where every day is extraordinary.
But first, you’ll have to take that first step.
In this section, we’ll cover everything you need to know about moving to LA. We’ll give you an insider’s scoop on important details like cost of living, average home prices, how to get around, which destinations are worth checking out, and more. In addition, we’ll offer a few helpful tips on how to make your move as seamless as possible.
So let’s get to it. Your new life in LA starts here.
All about Los Angeles
Encompassing more than 470 square miles, Los Angeles sits on a highly diverse geographic area bounded by the San Gabriel Mountain range to the east and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north. The city is nestled on a hilly coastal plain adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, with altitudes ranging from as low as nine feet below sea level in some areas to as high as over 10,000 feet above sea level on Mt. San Antonio.
LA’s region is characterized by numerous valleys and canyons, resulting in varied climate conditions. In general, the city’s weather is significantly influenced by the balmy breeze created by the moist Pacific Ocean air, which helps keep temperatures pleasantly mild throughout most of the year.
LA experiences an annual average precipitation of 17 inches, which mostly occurs during the winter months.
LA is the largest city in California, and is home to approximately 4 million residents, with an estimated 12.5 million residents within the entire LA metro area. Greater Los Angeles, which consists of five counties in Southern California, has a population of 18.7 million, making it the second-largest city in the US.
LA’s dynamic economy is fueled by a world-class creative industry, a fast-growing tech industry, and cutting-edge developments in transportation and aerospace, among several others.
The LA region is famous for being the nation’s creative capital. Here, innovation constantly combines with other industries, often resulting in entirely new business concepts and even new sectors. The success of LA’s economy stems from its diverse and skilled workforce led by trailblazers and visionaries keen on coming up with fresh ideas, reinventing everything from transit to technology, and beyond.
Some of the main industries driving LA’s economy are international trade, multimedia entertainment, technology, fashion, aerospace, finance, telecommunications, and tourism.
Moving to Los Angeles
What to expect when moving to Los Angeles
One of the things about LA that can take newcomers by surprise at times is the city’s sheer size – LA is, hands down, simply a massive metropolis. Los Angeles County consists of 88 cities and around 140 unincorporated areas, all of which are part of LA.
In case you’re used to living in a smaller city, relocating to a sprawling metropolis like LA can feel a little intimidating, but it can be exciting as well. With a county encompassing 4,751 square miles, there will be times when the idea of getting from one part of the city to another can feel somewhat daunting. LA’s vast size on the other hand, means there’s so much to explore and discover.
There are hundreds of eclectic neighborhoods to choose from in LA, so looking for the right neighborhood that accommodates your type of lifestyle will be crucial. LA is divided into ten vibrant regions, each featuring its own unique attractions and experiences, along with a multitude of smaller communities and neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hancock Park, and Santa Monica, just to name a few.
Having a wide range of choices means you can customize and zero-in on exactly the type of environment you want to live in, whether it’s a family-friendly suburb, a laid back beach town, somewhere minutes away from work, and virtually any type of location that can suit your unique preferences.
The amazing weather
While some cities in the US experience the four distinct seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall, those living in LA can pretty much expect terrific sunny weather year-round.
Because of its prime location nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the San Gabriel Mountains, LA offers a pleasant Mediterranean climate throughout the year. LA locals can look forward to scenic hikes, trips to the beach, relaxing at the park, and other recreational activities, as the city gets an average of 292 days of sunshine every year.
LA’s prime location
With so many activities to enjoy and places to visit, there’s never a dull moment when you’re living in LA. If you time it right during the winter for instance, you’ll be able to enjoy a morning jog at the beach, drive up the mountains to go skiing in the afternoon, and make it back for dinner, right before enjoying a show at one of Downtown LA’s live entertainment venues.
No matter what type of activities you’re into, a near-endless variety of activities and destinations are all within reach when you’re living in LA.
Cost of living and average salary
All of the perks and benefits you can enjoy when living in LA do come at a relatively steeper price tag compared to most other cities. According to Salary.com, the cost of living in LA is 41.1% higher than the national average.
Depending on the type of lifestyle you envision and your desire for living in an area with amazing year-round weather, however, the financial trade-offs will definitely be worth it. Of course, you’ll need an adequate salary to allow you to enjoy living life to its fullest in LA, especially if you’re into the culture and nightlife scene. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the median family income for Los Angeles County is currently $73,300.
The average purchase price of homes in LA is often driven higher by sales of multi-million dollar mansions previously owned by celebrities, executives, and other high-net-worth individuals. To get a better view of LA’s real estate market, it helps to look at the median sale price of the type of property in the area you’re planning to relocate to.
Because of LA’s size, home prices vary depending on location. In the Mid-City neighborhood for example, the median price of typical homes is around $800,000, while single-family homes in more affluent communities such as Venice have a median price of up to $1.7 million.
Cost of utilities
Living in LA will allow you to save more money on heating and cooling expenses compared to other cities throughout the US. Many homes along LA’s western boundaries don’t even require air conditioning, as they can rely on the refreshing ocean breeze to keep them cool.
Residents of LA can expect to pay around $30 less than the national average when it comes to monthly utilities. The average cost of utilities in LA is $130 per month, which includes electricity, water, gas, and garbage disposal services.
With the city’s sunny climate, homeowners also have an opportunity to take advantage of solar panels to cut their costs down further, in addition to earning incentives for helping generate additional power.
While most of those living in LA get around primarily by car, the city also features one of the most extensive and widely used transit systems in the country.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) runs a sprawling rail network and a massive fleet of buses covering the entire metro area, connecting with other local transit systems like DASH and Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus.
There’s a reason why LA is a car-centric city, however. Relying on the city’s public transportation options as a primary means of getting around can be challenging, as bus line schedules are erratic, and most parts of LA aren’t exactly conducive to standing on the sidewalk to wait for a bus or a taxi.
Although Southern California is served by the Metrolink commuter rail service, it isn’t as complex as other rail systems in cities like San Francisco or New York, not to mention quite expensive at more than $20 for a single trip.
The Los Angeles lifestyle
There’s always something to look forward to when you’re living in LA, which is perhaps the best thing about the LA lifestyle.
Owning a home in the City of Angels gives you easy access to an extensive range of destinations, including the hottest fine dining restaurants, world-class entertainment, breathtaking beaches, sizzling nightlife venues, luxurious shopping centers, and so much more.
In this section, we’ll give you a little taste of what you’ll be able to enjoy when you’re living in LA.
There are no two ways about it: LA’s culinary scene is the stuff of legend. The city is a famed melting pot of cultures, resulting in a dining scene that’s as diverse as the people who live here.
When it comes to fine dining, LA’s upscale restaurants can more than just hold their own against the top fine dining restaurants in the world. The city’s food scene however, isn’t defined by its high-end restaurants – it’s the everyday eateries and mom ‘n pop restaurants that have made LA such a unique culinary destination.
Here’s a list of some exceptional LA restaurants you should definitely check out:
- Republique – 624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, 90036
- Orsa & Winston – 122 W 4th St, Los Angeles, 90013
- Sonoratown – 208 E 8th St, Los Angeles 90014
- Spago of Beverly Hills – 176 N Canon Dr, Los Angeles 90210
- Badmaash – 108 West 2nd Street #104, Los Angeles 90012
LA’s exceptional art scene
LA is also famous for its vibrant arts scene. In addition to a wide assortment of art galleries and museums located throughout Hollywood and Downtown LA, art is everywhere in the city, from massive murals adorning the sides of buildings to installations scattered across its many parks.
In recent years, several major milestones have put LA on the global stage. Mega-collectors have opened venues to showcase their collections, and a number of major international and national galleries now have outposts throughout the city.
Here are some of the top arts and culture venues to visit in LA:
Picturesque outdoor destinations
LA’s exceptional weather makes it the perfect playground for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. From its picture-perfect coastlines, scenic trails meandering through ravines and canyons, to the enchanting mountain ranges soaring high above Downtown LA’s tallest skyscrapers, the sheer variety of outdoor destinations throughout LA is unmatched.
With its convenient location close to the Santa Monica Mountains to the north and the San Gabriel Mountains to the east, LA’s landscape offers limitless opportunities for hikers, bikers, and adventurers to break away from city living and soak in the wonders of nature.
For ocean lovers, LA’s beach towns offer a relaxing seaside lifestyle, where days can be spent navigating through a network of pathways and boardwalks on the edge of the Pacific. The city’s fantastic weather and year-round access to the ocean are precisely why it’s such an enticing place to live for swimmers, surfers, boaters, and anyone who loves water activities.
Helpful tips to keep in mind when relocating to Los Angeles
It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of activity whenever you’re moving from one city to another. Creating a strategy and preparing for any unexpected problems that might come your way will help make your relocation seamless and stress-free.
Here are a few tips to help make your move as seamless and stress-free as possible:
Create a moving folder
Compile new addresses, purchase or rental papers, contracts, receipts, and other important paperwork into one folder. Take a photo of documents with your smartphone and upload them to the cloud, but be sure to have a hard copy with you at all times in case your phone’s battery runs out during the move.
In case any unexpected problems occur while you’re still planning or already in the middle of moving, you’ll have a record of payments, agreements, contracts, and more on hand.
Prepare a budget
The costs of moving will add up. The last thing you want to happen is to end up with major sticker shock as you’re making your way through the process of moving.
Try to keep track of all of the costs involved by using an online moving cost calculator like this one.
Making it up as you go along isn’t the best strategy when you’re moving to a big city like LA. The key is to stay organized. Create a list of specific time-sensitive goals, and write down all of the steps required to accomplish these goals.
While it might seem like such a simple idea, just the act of writing down your goals will make them more tangible. All that’s left is to stick to the plan and take things step by step, and you’ll be surprised at how efficiently you’ll be able to accomplish every goal you’ve set during your relocation.
Schedule utilities for your new home
Once you’ve finalized all dates, get in touch with your utility providers to discuss schedules and request service for your new place. The last thing you want to happen is to get there exhausted from your journey, only to discover you have no electricity or water yet.
Make sure to do this ahead of time, and keep all request records in your moving folder. Remember to also request service cancellations for your current residence during your move-out date.
Last-minute packing tips
Having plenty of time to prepare for your move is great, but things just don’t work out sometimes. In case you’re pressed for time, here are some tips:
- Sort out logistics first – Before doing anything else, it’s important to know exactly how you’ll be able to get from point A to point B. When you’re moving, you’ll have some leeway to deviate from other parts of the plan, but not this one.
- Leave the sorting for later – When you’re in a hurry, just pack everything up, but remember to wrap all breakables, valuables, and any sharp objects properly. Your goal is to make sure everything’s ready to go. You can sort everything out once you have more time.
- Rely on the movers – If you hired a moving company, you’ll be able to delegate some tasks to the team, such as safely moving large pieces of furniture and securing any last-minute items you may have missed. Just keep in mind that this will add more time to the process, and possibly even a few additional fees in some situations.
Work with an experienced and trusted Realtor
Working with an experienced Los Angeles Realtor like Ben Kruger will ensure a smooth, efficient, and hassle-free relocation. Ben’s in-depth and detailed knowledge of the LA communities he serves ensures new residents will have everything they need to know. He’ll also provide clients with effective strategies designed to reduce the relocation’s impact.
Ready to start moving to LA? If you’re searching for the finest homes in the upscale Los Angeles market, there’s no better Realtor to work with than Ben Kruger. With his years of experience, unmatched network of resources, and partnership with the prestigious Hilton & Hyland luxury real estate firm, clients are guaranteed to achieve their real estate goals in LA’s most desirable communities, including Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hancock Park, Santa Monica, and other exclusive neighborhoods.
Get in touch with Ben Kruger today at 310.600.4500, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org