Wondering where to live in LA is much like choosing on which Disneyland ride you want to go first. You just can’t decide so easily. There are too many tempting choices, flashing lights, expensive thrills, and cute surroundings for newcomers. Luckily, we have done all the research for you. So if you are moving to Los Angeles, we have all the details about the best neighborhoods in one of the most famous cities in the entire US.
Whether you are looking for the best places in Los Angeles for singles or you are moving with children, LA is a city that has just the right neighborhood for everyone. There are more than 400 hundred official and unofficial small communities for you to choose from, which is not a surprise considering that LA has around 4 million residents, and more than 13 million in its metropolitan area. That makes it the second-largest city in the US. So keep that in mind if you are relocating from a small town to an urban metropolis like LA.
Before you jump into exploring LA neighborhoods, you should know that this metropolis is divided into several regions that further subdivided into smaller communities. The most popular ones that make up the core of LA include:
Each of these regions has its own culture, vibe, and even weather, but keep in mind that there are no clear boundaries between some of them.
The cost of living in Los Angeles is undoubtedly among the highest in the country, and the biggest problem are high rents. According to Numbeo, a website that compares costs in various categories, average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $2,250. In contrast, the price for a three-bedroom apartment goes above $4,000. The further you go from the center and closer to the suburbs of Los Angeles, the prices are more affordable, up to $1,000. We recommend that you get familiar with the rent control law and your rights in LA.
LA is a place full of opportunities, and many are relocating here for work. Still, there are some questions you should ask yourself before moving for a job. LA is notoriously known for its insane traffic jams, which will certainly increase your commute time if you’re not living close to your work. Although in some cities, finding a home far from your job is not a problem, in LA, it will inevitably be. So one of the relocation questions to ask your employer should be to ask for help with finding a home close to your office.
Although many tend to criticize LA’s public transportation system, it is actually pretty good. LA is a large city, so it can’t be ideal. Some suburbs are not well connected, but overall, you can rely on the subway to go to work. Buses tend to get stuck in traffic, so keep that in mind. Prices are reasonable, a single ride is $1.75, a daily pass is $7, and a monthly pass is $100, which is not so expensive, so you can choose your future home somewhere on the metro line and commute to work.
If you’re scouting some of the most affordable places to live in Los Angeles, you have to act quickly. Apartments here go very quickly, and there is not much time to think or hesitate because someone else will take that perfect apartment right in front of you. Make sure you have rented storage in case that happens, and you’re already in the process of moving. Once you find a fitting community, take a look at what do you need to rent an apartment in that area and jump right into it if you want to become a resident.
Although many think that LA is just Hollywood and that everyone here works in the entertainment industry, that is not so true. Hollywood is just the most iconic and recognizable thing about LA. This metropolis is home to a lot of people who run their own creative businesses or are a part of the growing tech startup community.
Santa Monica is a small town with almost 100,000 residents. It is a very urban place, touristy, with a lot of cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops. The majority of residents are renting their homes, and the median monthly rent goes around $1,700. You won’t find as many families with young children as in some other communities, but overall, Santa Monica has excellent schools, and the best part is that it is on the beach.
It is a very walkable area with plenty of options for outdoor activities and sports, beautiful weather year-round, and eco-friendly public transportation that works like a clock. The majority of residents are younger adults in their thirties who prefer an active lifestyle.
If you are not moving to Los Angeles alone, but with a family, Glendale merits a high spot on your list. With around 200,000 residents, Glendale offers a suburban living and slow-paced lifestyle. It is also quite popular among seniors. Great parks and places for outdoor activities such as biking or hiking are just some of the perks of this area. The LA Zoo is close to downtown, Travel Town, San Gabriel Mountains, several shopping malls, etc. Glendale is not as expensive as Santa Monica, but it is still on the pricier side, especially when it comes to housing.
Although it is notorious for its huge number of homeless people on the streets, DTLA is still quite a popular place to be. This is an area where a stunning 90% of people are renting their homes, and rents are rather high. Here you can find everything you need within walking distance, and there’s a lot of fun things to do. It is not the most family-friendly area, though. It is more suitable for entrepreneurs and young adults who work nearby. You will be surprised by the number of gyms in this neighborhood, so it will perhaps inspire you to introduce some new habits.
If you want to live close to the beaches, mountains, downtown LA, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, and you have money to spend, Beverly Hills is the right community for you. With a median rent of around $2,100, it is more expensive than Santa Monica, but the majority of residents are still renters around here. The population is diverse, from families with children to seniors. Traffic jams are a regular thing here, and you never know how long your commute will be. Also, get used to helicopters buzzing above your head all the time because here, they are another popular means of transportation. Beverly Hills is very clean and neat but also very lavish and prosperous, and it offers a unique lifestyle to those who can afford it.
Since it borders downtown, Silver Lake, and Chinatown, Echo park could easily be one of the best locations to settle down. The history of the Echo Park neighborhood dates back to the 19th century, which makes it one of the oldest neighborhoods in LA. Echo Park grew around an artificial lake which used to serve as a reservoir for supplying the town with water, but now is the main spot for outdoor activities. The majority of people are renting, and there are a lot of young couples and families raising their children here. It is an excellent location if you’re moving with your pets, as well.
If you are looking for smaller communities and a safe neighborhood in Los Angeles, Elysian Valley is a great family-friendly place. Almost half of the residents here are homeowners, the river is close, there are loads of coffee shops and restaurants, as well as leisure activities. With less than 7,000 residents, this tight community is suitable for families and seniors who prefer to stay away from the crowds, in the suburbs. This community got its nickname Frogtown after an event that occurred somewhere between the 30s and 60s of the last century, in which numerous frogs invaded the streets of this Central LA district.
Irvine is known as one of the safest, cleanest, and greenest communities in LA. Many would say that life in Irvine is quite dull, and that might be true if you are in your twenties, and you want to go clubbing every night. Irvine is a community with lots of families where people go to work, jog around the streets, take their children to playgrounds, and take care of their beautiful homes. During the weekend, people go hiking or to the beach, and enjoy their routine. Half of the residents are homeowners, and rents are high, but investing in a property here might pay off in the long run.
If Living in California doesn’t make sense to you if you’re not on the beach, then why not choose the prettiest one? Life in Hermosa Beach is just like you see it on Facebook pictures of those who go there for vacation or a weekend getaway. Beautiful. But who actually lives there?
Having a fear of moving is rare for those that have the privilege of making Hermosa Beach their new home. This place does not turn into a ghost town once the vacay season is over. Nearly half of the people here are homeowners, it has excellent nightlife, so it attracts a lot of younger adults. But it is also great for families since it has good schools and plenty of outdoor activities.
Another favorite among young professionals and families is South Pasadena, a place with a great dog and skate parks, golf courses, playgrounds, restaurants, antique shops, and thrift stores. There’s a weekly farmers market for everyone who prefers getting fresh and local products, as well as the annual 4th of July Parade. South Pasadena’s nickname is the City of Trees, but besides a lot of greenery, it is also very clean and neat. People here know each other, and there are a lot of families with kids. In the center, there is a metro station, so you will be able to reach other parts of LA easily.
In the entire state of California (or maybe in the whole world), there’s hardly a neighborhood as popular as Hollywood. It is all over the internet, and it is a place to be among Millenials, who make up the majority in this area. According to the available data, more than 90% of residents are renters. It is the heart of the entertainment industry and therefore attracts young people who strive to become successful. Here you will find some of the most celebrated restaurants, bars, and, of course, clubs.
We hope we helped you find a place that suits your needs and preferences, as well as your budget. Do not trust everything you read online on Facebook. Life in LA has its drawbacks, just like in any other metropolis, but it comes with many more advantages and benefits.
If you’d like to call yourself a true Angeleno as soon as possible, it’s crucial that you find reliable Los Angeles movers whose professional moving services will relocate your home in a safe and timely manner.