Moving to Los Angeles? 10 Things to Know [Updated]

Moving to Los Angeles

Moving to Los Angeles? 10 Things to Know [Updated]

Deciding whether or not to move to a new city is a big decision. We’ll be focusing on 10 of the most important factors when considering moving to Los Angeles, California including:

  • Transportation
  • Best LA beaches
  • Learning to love the city

Here are 10 things to consider before moving.

Los Angeles neighborhood map

1) Neighborhood Matters

Like most big cities, every part of town has its own flavor and style. This is particularly true for Los Angeles, where the personality of a neighborhood can shift just by crossing a street. When thinking about moving to Los Angeles, it’s important to research the neighborhood you’re considering to make sure it fits your preferences.

Chances are you can find a place that fits your tastes like a glove. On the other hand, the number of choices can be overwhelming. Here’s one attempt at mapping 470+ neighborhoods in LA (this may be more beneficial once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential neighborhoods to move to).

BONUS TIP: Obviously, housing in Los Angeles is expensive, especially if you want your own place. Living with roommates will cut costs. Another helpful tip is to move in the wintertime. Prices of Los Angeles rentals actually decrease during this office season and can save you money long run.

2) Traffic is a Monster

This should come as no surprise. LA traffic is notoriously busy and slow, pretty much at all times of the day. INRIX, the creator of the global traffic index, says that LA has the fifth worst traffic in the United States, and drivers spend an average of 128 hours a year in traffic. For comparison, the top four were Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, and New York City.

Understandably, then, traffic should play a role in where you chose to live. Prices may be higher next to the beach, downtown, and in the northern hills. If you chose an hour commute, you may want to die after a few months. Moving to Los Angeles goes better when you find a place close to your work so you can spend more time enjoying the city instead of the road.

Los Angeles street

3) You Don’t Need a Car

If you do get lucky and live close to work, you may be able to get around without a car. Public transit works well and any people ride electric scooters or take a Lyft or Uber to get around. If you’re single, chances are a roommate has a car. That will be enough to get you to the beach or grocery store when needed.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles isn’t the most bikeable city, nor is walking a great substitute for a reliable car. However, this too will depend on your neighborhood. If you live and work downtown, everything is very walkable and bikeable. Walk Score can help you judge a neighborhood before you arrive.

If you have a car and are moving to Los Angeles, plan to bring it. Otherwise, wait until you arrive to judge its necessity.

4) Food, even Healthy Food, Abounds

If an active lifestyle is important to you, you’ll find a lot of company here. Niche ranked nine Los Angeles suburbs and surrounding areas in their top 25 healthiest cities including Torrence, Burbank, Pasadena, and Orange.

One downside to healthy living in LA, is that a lot of the health-related aspects to LA stem from the vanity of Hollywood. Los Angeles is one of the cities with the most plastic surgeons per person. There are also stories of weird and wacky health phases and cult-like followings that came out of LA. Buyer beware!

5) Learning to Love LA Takes Time

You’ll find a common piece of advice for new LA residents on Reddit and other forums: coming to appreciate Los Angeles takes time. As a tourist, it’s easy to love the art, culture, beaches, and laid back vibe. While those things won’t go away, they may become less exciting over time.

Luckily, with time you’ll find other reasons to love Los Angeles. The size of the city can be overwhelming, and because of that, it might take a while to find friends you like, restaurants that make you feel at home, and a routine that works for you. Especially if you move from a small town or even the East Coast, LA will feel like a different world.

BONUS TIP: Moving to LA alone? This can definitely be intimidating at first. It’s a massive city with plenty of hustle and bustle. Find opportunities in your new neighborhood to socialize with others. Gyms, community centers, libraries, and social media networks like Facebook and Nextdoor can provide social circles for you to join and create new relationships.

View from Hollywood Los Angeles

6) Hollywood Entertainment

Sure, Hollywood is a little vain… but it’s a ton of fun. You never know when you might see a star at a coffee shop or at an event. If you’re really star struck, you can check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame or even just drive around the neighborhoods of Beverly Hills. There is no shortage of touristy Hollywood activities.

Entertainment in Los Angeles spans beyond the film industry, however. LA is home to great comedy clubs, interesting theatres, and is a must stop location for music tours. You’ll always have access to the best in entertainment.

7) There’s Plenty of Professional Sports

Bleacher Report ranked Los Angeles as the second best sports city in the United States, coming behind only Boston (but who likes the Patriots anyway?). Just in terms of teams, LA has two baseball teams, the Angels and the Dodgers, two basketball teams, the Lakers and Clippers, two football teams, the Rams and the Chargers, two hockey teams, the Ducks and the Kings, and two soccer teams, the Galaxy and Los Angeles FC. Add all the college teams and semi-pro leagues, and your sports heaven just got better. In short, you’ll never run out of games to attend.

8) Plenty of Art

For those with a more refined palate, moving to Los Angeles means access to some of the best art museums on the West Coast. Atop the list is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Getty Center, a sprawling hilltop garden and architecturally impressive designed edifice containing a large collection of Ancient Greek and Roman architecture.

If modern art fits your fancy more than the ancient art, you’ll find plenty of contemporary galleries and museums. Here’s a list of some of the up and coming galleries in Los Angeles, CA to check out on a spare evening after you settle in.

Beaches in Los Angeles

9) Best Beaches in Los Angeles

The beaches in Los Angeles are kind of like the neighborhoods – each one is different and has something unique to offer.

Want to people watch or play some basketball and volleyball? Head to Venice Beach. In the mood for surfing? Try Malibu Surfrider Beach. Need a romantic, rugged beach to walk on at sunset? Look no further than El Matador Beach. Of course, there are a dozen beaches in between and hundreds more up and down the coast.

10) Inland Activities

While the beaches are the main natural attraction in Los Angeles, if you’re moving there, also expect to get in on some awesome nature inland from the coast.

One of the most well known is Griffith Park just north of downtown and in between Glendale and West Hollywood. Enjoy trails, an observatory, theatre, and dozens of other attractions in this 4,000+ acre green space. Further outside the city is the Angeles Forest which features waterfalls and hikes around the hills.

BONUS: Storage Units in Los Angeles

When relocating to a new city, many movers end up renting a storage unit. This is especially true if you’re planning to use short-term living arrangements before finding your dream home.

Due to the rental high prices, you’ll want to find a cheap, safe and nearby self storage unit in Los Angeles that can protect your belongings. Neighbor’s got you covered!

Rent Out Your
Unused Space

Make $50-$500 each month renting your garage, driveway, shed or other storage space

List Your Space
Save 50%
on Storage

Find storage in your own neighborhood at half the cost of a self storage unit

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