Los Angeles – the city of dreams, baby! If you have wondered if moving to Los Angeles is for you, you are not alone. Common questions to often pop up are- is the cost of living in Los Angeles something I can truly afford? Is LA a good place to live, especially if you’ve never been to California? Most importantly, is living in LA worth it for YOU?
One thing you should know before anything else, is that LA is huge! As you walk yourself through this guide, remember the long distances.(that you can cruise through endless sunsets in)
There’s a place for everyone in LA, and the city is fueled by more than just overpriced gas.
Los Angeles County is made up of 88 cities. Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica comprise what we colloquially refer to as LA.
Another thing to remember is that Los Angeles is filled with extremes. You can find snowcapped mountains reaching 10,000 feet in the sky as well as the infamous 100-degree heat of the Valley, glaring views of the mansions as well as the tents, the sunshine, and the floods. This should also contextualize why it’s so easy to misunderstand LA.
Before moving to Los Angeles, the best way to get to know the city is by spending some time here. However, there are some must-knows while you do your research! Let’s take a ride through the questions that will help you figure out if living in LA is worth it!
Is moving to Los Angeles for you? If you’re eclectic, then yes!
Moving to Los Angeles comes with a wonderful set of surprises. You will find hundreds of neighborhoods here. Sometimes, these neighborhoods have boundaries that are often disputed, and walking just a few blocks may lead you to discover two completely different communities.
So what makes the overall character of the city so alive? Well, it gets its ‘La La Land’ nickname for its laidback attitude, so when in LA do as the Angelenos do. There are tightly knit communities like Leimert Park that are well contrasted by the contemporary of South Park in Downtown LA. North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley is a little calmer and slower in pace in comparison to the rest of LA. San Pedro’s small-town vibe will remind you of the Midwest, and remains the “last affordable beach town”.
So we reiterate: there’s something for everyone here.
Is LA a good place to live? Make sure you find a neighborhood you like
If you’re convinced you’re moving to Los Angeles, we recommend crashing at a friend’s house for a few weeks before you book a couple of trucks, sign a lease, or buy a house and start moving in. Give yourself the time to learn about the many types of neighborhoods in LA.
Here’s where you want to be on top of things like your desired neighborhood’s price in relation to your budget, and the walkability score of the place you choose to move to.
You might just be fine without a car
Yes, at first glance it can feel like the city is built for cars. You will also see many single-family homes, lots of garages, and unnecessarily huge parking spaces. But, to the traffic hater’s joy, the city boasts to have the U.S.’s largest public transport system. But that’s not all. The city of Los Angeles is also planning on making its infrastructure more biker friendly, as well as walker-friendly.
But, here’s the catch…
So is LA a good place to live for everyone? There are a few caveats to consider. This is the city of opportunity. And a city like that comes with major job prospects.
Unlike most industry-driven cities in the world, LA does not have a single specific business district. Instead, LA has several nuclei that are scattered around the city. It becomes one of the biggest reasons behind LA’s traffic problem.
The sheer distance you might have to cover to get from work to home and back might just become a huge stress-factor. Therefore, if you choose to come here, think of the cost of living in Los Angeles and if you can afford all that driving around.
So you need to ask yourself if you’re ready to take on the train or bus commute day-in, day-out.
The weather is everything
It’s always sunny in Los Angeles. Well, almost always. On average, there are 284 sunny days per year here. Just to add, the clear-as-day skies are what made the movie industry grow to what we see today.
According to the National Weather Service, daytime temperatures have averaged a perfect 75 degrees for the past 30 years. No need to wonder is LA a good place to live when the sun is by your side 24/7.
You’ll experience the best highs and the worst lows
There will be days when you begrudgingly cover 5 miles in 45 minutes but end up catching a pink & gold sunset over Santa Monica Bay. You might also see a saddening amount of homeless encampments on your way to work, spend $7 on a coffee (another part of the high cost of living in Los Angeles!). Maybe even wake up amid a 110-degree day in October.
However, the next day you will wake up to clear skies, a soothing breeze, and birds chirping outside your window. Imagine driving home during the golden hour and through a colonnade of palm trees.
Be prepared to fall in and out of love with LA on the same day. (and living in LA is worth it, despite it all)
Your daily expenditures may increase, (not like NYC or SF though!)
This one fully depends on where you’re moving to Los Angeles from. The cost of housing, gas, groceries, and going out may shock you, as they’re fairly expensive compared to the rest of the U.S. In this survey conducted in 2017, the income and individual needs to live comfortably in Urban L.A. are $76,047 – this survey also factors in things like discretionary expenses and savings. However, most people can certainly get by just fine with less. The median household income in L.A. is $68,004. So is living in LA worth it for you? Let us know in the comments below!
D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping you figure out if moving to Los Angeles is for you? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!