What To Know Before Moving to Los Angeles


Moving to any big city can be daunting, and Los Angeles isn’t just any city. We’re here to help you come up to speed before you relocate. Los Angeles is a wonderland of unique neighborhoods, celebrity sightings, world-class food, and glorious weather. You’ll probably end up in traffic, no matter what time it is, but we promise it’ll be worth it.

1. Los Angeles is a big city

Los Angeles has a population of nearly 4 million people, more than six and a half times the state of Montana. And that’s not even counting the surrounding areas that are technically their own city. Luckily, the city is sprawling, so you’ll rarely feel like it’s that dense (except on the freeway). The entire metropolitan area includes hot spots like Ventura County and Orange County, which are home to Laguna Beach and Anaheim.

2. It offers beach weather all year round

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Expect warm days and cool nights most of the year, with average highs in the 60s and 70s. Winter is still mild, with lows rarely dipping below 50 degrees. As you’ll find out, it doesn’t often rain in LA, but when it does it amplifies the traffic.

3. Everyone fits in here

Los Angeles is typically depicted as a city full of dreamers flocking to make it in Hollywood. While that’s a big part of the L.A. scene, the city’s diversity is also a large draw. Nearly half of the population is of Hispanic descent, but the city also boasts large Black, Asian, and European communities. It’s hard to define an Angeleno, and they like it that way.

4. Los Angeles traffic can be brutal

The worst part about living in Southern California is the traffic. LA has legendary traffic jams, so if you are lucky enough, plan your commute to avoid them. Metro offers buses, trains, and a subway. If they can’t get you where you want to go, the DASH buses probably will. Los Angeles is also very pedestrian friendly. Walking, cycling, and skateboarding can often help you reach your destination faster when traffic’s at a standstill.

5. The right neighborhood can cut your commute

Angelenos try to avoid their city’s traffic at all costs by choosing their neighborhoods carefully. Look for an apartment that’s close to your friends or work, or both if you’re lucky). Places like Koreatown and Echo Park are great for those with jobs in Downtown LA, while West Hollywood is better for those working in Hollywood.

6. The city is a sports fan’s dream


If you like watching sports, you can’t ask for much more than what LA offers. Almost all the major sports in the greater LA area come with not one, but two professional teams. Basketball fans get the Lakers and Clippers, football fans get the Rams and Chargers, and baseball fans get the Dodgers and the Angels. The atmosphere at home games is electric and something all residents should experience at least once.

7. Los Angeles is a delight for foodies


LA has one of the world’s top food scenes. There’s just no way you can prepare your body for the level of eating possible in the city. Whether you’re looking to try the city’s famous food trucks or eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant like Camphor or Kato, you can find it in Los Angeles. Don’t forget to grab post-dinner drinks and cap the night off with a handcrafted cocktail at a buzzy bar like the Roger Room or the Normandie Club.

8. There’s plenty to do outdoors

Consistently great weather means you’ll never want to be indoors. Enormous, beautiful parks, not to mention some incredible hikes, dot the entire Los Angeles metro area. Take a drive to Santa Monica pier and grab some fresh seafood straight from the fisherman. Head to Venice Beach and stroll the famous boardwalk. No matter where you go, you’re bound to find stunning scenery.

FAQ: Moving to Los Angeles

When is the best time to move to Los Angeles?

If you can move between September and December, you’ll probably get a better deal on your rent. On average, rents during this period are 4% less than during the peak season. The cooler fall or winter weather also makes moving heavy boxes more pleasant.

How much does rent cost in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles was the seventh most expensive city for renting in our most recent rental report, so prepare to pay a substantial amount for your apartment. The average one-bedroom apartment costs $2,430 a month. Upgrade to a two-bedroom place and you’ll spend around $3,300. Prices vary between different neighborhoods. Downtown Santa Monica and Culver City have some of the most expensive rents, while the residents of Vermont Knolls and Jefferson Park have some of the most affordable apartments.

Is Los Angeles dog-friendly?

Los Angeles is a really dog-friendly city that welcomes pooches in many parks, beaches, and restaurants with outdoor areas. You’ll need to keep your pup on a leash and get them licensed and neutered once they reach four months. Property managers can decide whether they want to allow dogs and other animals in their apartments. Some refuse all dogs while others restrict breeds and large dogs. Check lease agreements before signing to make sure you’ve found the right place for you and your pup.

How much should I save before moving to Los Angeles?

Experts suggest saving $20,000 before moving to Los Angeles. This amount should comfortably cover your relocation costs, your first month’s rent and security deposit, startup costs, and any emergencies. However, you can make the move on a lot less if you pick an affordable neighborhood, get family and friends to help you, and rent with a roommate.

Final thoughts

There’s a reason millions of people live in Los Angeles. Think you’re ready for the move? Find your next apartment on Zumper and get settled into your new city.

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