Moving to Los Angeles

Beautiful palm trees, stunning beaches, endless sunshine, and a vibrant city life - that's Los Angeles, California for you! But LA is not just about Hollywood and surfing, there's a lot more to this metropolis - diverse culture, booming tech industries, world-renowned academic institutions, to name a few. If you're contemplating a move to this dynamic city, our comprehensive guide will help you navigate through every aspect of relocating to LA. So, fasten your seat belts and get ready for an exciting journey into the heart of sunny California!

Moving to Los Angeles, CA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Los Angeles

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1. Say Hello to Sunny Days

The first thing you should know about moving to LA is that you're about to enter a mecca of sunny days and dreamy sunsets. The city enjoys over 300 days of sunshine per year, so it's time to pack away those winter coats and turtlenecks! This sunny disposition spreads to the locals too, so prepare for feel-good times and good vibes all around.

2. Foodie Heaven

In Los Angeles, mouth-watering cuisine is as abundant as sunshine. The food scene here is eclectic and diverse - from authentic Mexican taco trucks to upscale sushi places, this city has it all. Plus, LA's reputation for health consciousness means it's also a paradise for vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free foodies alike. Check out this guide to LA's best food spots.

3. A Not-So-Well-Known Language: LA Speak

The City Of Angels has its own language, and we aren't talking about Spanish, though that would come in handy too! LA speak refers to the colloquialisms that will make you sound like a true local. For example, 'the industry' usually refers to show business, 'the canyon' is a shortcut through the mountains, and freeways are always referenced with a 'the'; it's the 405, not 405. So, time to brush up on your LA lingo!

4. Paradox of Cars and Cardio

You're probably already acutely aware of LA's infamous traffic. However, did you also know that Angelenos love to walk, run, cycle, hike, and everything in between? Yes, despite the traffic snarls, LA is surprisingly pedestrian-friendly with scenic routes like the Santa Monica beach path or the Griffith Park trails. So, you might spend an hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic, only to run a 5k once you get home. Talk about balance!

5. LA's Deceivingly Large Size

Mentioned often but fully realized only once you're in it: Los Angeles is massive. Stretching over 500 square miles, this dynamic city is not as compact as New York or as easily navigable as San Francisco. What seems like a short 10-mile drive might take you an hour, or longer during peak traffic times. Google Maps will be your best friend.

6. The Secret Staircases

Lastly let's unravel a Cool little secret - LA's hidden staircases. Built in the 1920s as a transportation system for people to reach the then sprawling network of trolleys, these steps now serve as hidden gems for adventurous city dwellers and fitness enthusiasts. Exploring them is like stepping into a secret, whimsical world with a touch of LA history. Locals have their favorites, so don't shy away to ask for insider tips. Check out this guide to staircases in Los Angeles.

Moving to Los Angeles promises an exciting melange of sunny skies, luscious outdoors, mouth-watering food, mesmerizing coastlines, and an enchanting blend of cultures. As with any big city, it comes with its quirks and secret local knowledge. Appropriating these will take some time, but rest assured you're going to fall in love with LA's unique charm. So, buckle up for an exciting adventure!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Los Angeles

Pros of Living in Los Angeles

Beautiful Weather

The weather in Los Angeles is often described as perfect. With sunny skies and warm temperatures most of the year, you can enjoy outdoor activities and the beach throughout all four seasons. You'll hardly ever have to worry about snow or extremely cold temperatures interrupting your plans.

Rich Cultural Scene

Los Angeles is home to some of the best music, film, and art scenes in the world. With various cultural institutions like the Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Broad along with numerous music festivals and film premieres, you'll never run out of exciting things to do in LA.

Diverse Food Options

In Los Angeles, you can find food from almost every cuisine in the world. From food trucks to five-star restaurants, there are endless eating options. The city is especially known for its fresh and innovative food scene, with plenty of farm-to-table eateries and top-notch seafood places.

Thriving Job Market

Home to Hollywood, Silicon Beach, and major world companies, Los Angeles boasts a diverse economy with opportunities in entertainment, technology, fashion, tourism, and more. Whether you're a creative professional, tech wizard, or pursuing another line of work, you're likely to find numerous job options in LA.

Active Lifestyle and Outdoor Activities

With numerous beaches, hiking trails, outdoor workout areas, and parks, Los Angeles promotes an active and healthy lifestyle. Whether you prefer surfing in the Pacific Ocean, hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, or just enjoying a sunny day at a city park, you'll have plenty of options for staying active.

Cons of Living in Los Angeles

High Cost of Living

Los Angeles is known for its expensive cost of living, which includes high housing costs, pricey groceries, and above-average transportation costs. While salaries can sometimes reflect these higher costs, they don't always, making it tough for some residents to make ends meet.

Traffic and Commute Times

As one of the most populated cities in the United States, Los Angeles is notorious for its heavy traffic and long commute times. While there are public transportation options available, many residents rely on cars, often resulting in gridlocked roads especially during peak hours.

Air Quality and Pollution

Los Angeles struggles with air pollution due to its high population density and reliance on cars. This can sometimes lead to smoggy days, impacting visibility and potentially having health implications, especially for individuals with respiratory conditions.

Overcrowding

Because Los Angeles is a desirable place to live, work, and visit, it can often feel crowded. This is especially true in popular areas like Hollywood, Downtown LA, and at major attractions, which can lead to longer wait times and crowded public spaces.

Natural Disasters

While the weather in LA is generally agreeable, the city is prone to certain natural disasters including earthquakes, droughts, and wildfires. While great strides have been made in disaster preparedness and response, these occurrences are always a consideration when deciding to live in Los Angeles.

Modern day picture of Los Angeles, CA highlighting pros and cons of living in Los Angeles, CA

Is Los Angeles a Good Place to Live?

Los Angeles, CA is a great place to live because it offers a vibrant cultural scene, beautiful beaches, and a diverse foodie paradise. The city is also known for its spectacular weather, not to mention it's home to Disneyland and Hollywood - a dream for those with stars in their eyes. In Los Angeles, every day holds the potential for a new adventure!


What Is Los Angeles Famous For?

Hollywood

Los Angeles is synonymous with the glitz and glamour of the world's largest film industry - Hollywood. It's the birthplace of many Oscar-winning movies and world-renowned celebrities. From film studios, the iconic Hollywood sign, to the walk of fame, Hollywood's charm is a magnet for many.

Beautiful Beaches

The city boasts of breathtaking beaches, including Santa Monica and Venice Beach, offering a quintessential SoCal experience. The Pacific Ocean vista, palm-tree-lined walks, happening piers, and vibrant sunsets offer numerous ways to enjoy a delightfully sunny day out.

Thriving Culinary Scene

Los Angeles is a foodie's paradise with its experimental culinary scene and diverse food options. You can find everything from food trucks serving authentic street tacos to upscale dining experiences boasting the farm-to-table concept. It's an ideal place to tantalize your taste buds.

Famous Theme Parks

L.A is home to some of the world's best theme parks, such as Disneyland and Universal Studios. The heart-pumping rides, magical atmosphere, captivating shows, and fun-filled activities allow people of all ages to embrace their inner child. From meeting your favorite characters to exploring magical kingdoms, the fun never ends.

Capital building of Los Angeles, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

The average property tax rate in Los Angeles, CA, as of 2023, is approximately 0.742%. This rate is notably lower than the national average property tax rate of about 1.07%.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, the combined sales tax rate for Los Angeles, CA, stands at 9.50%. This is quite high compared to the average total sales tax rate across the US, which is near 7.12%.

Income Tax

California's state income tax rate ranges from 1% to 13.3% in 2023, with Los Angeles residents contributing to these rates based on their income level. This is one of the highest state tax rates in the nation, as the average state income tax rate across the US is approximately 4.6%.


Housing Market

The Los Angeles real estate market is distinguished by high prices, limited inventory, and strong competition compared to other parts of the US. As of 2021, the median home price is around $775K, considerably above the national median. LA's rental market is also tight, with median rent rates near $2,500 per month, starkly higher than the US median of approximately $1,100. Investing here requires significant capital, but rewards with robust long-term gains. Factors such as weather, employment opportunities, and amenities contribute to LA's hot market. Both buyers and renters must be prepared for higher costs of living and aggressive bidding scenarios.


Cost of Living

The cost of living in Los Angeles, CA remains high compared to other cities in the U.S. Ranked among the most expensive cities, housing costs tend to top the list of expenses. The median home price in LA is significantly above the national average. Despite these high living costs, LA's diverse culture, entertainment and job opportunities continue to attract many. However, these factors also contribute to the city's relatively high cost of living, creating a starker contrast compared to lower-cost cities within the country.


Weather & Natural Disasters

Los Angeles, CA boasts a Mediterranean climate characterized by warm winters and hot summers. Winters usually average around 59degF, while summer temperatures can reach up to 84degF. This city receives abundant sunshine, with approximately 292 sunny days per year, contributing to dry conditions. However, rain is typically noted from November to April. LA, though renowned for its favorable climate, is also prone to concerning natural disasters. The city sits atop several tectonic plates, making it highly susceptible to damaging earthquakes. It is also in a region that exposes it to annual wildfire risks, primarily driven by hot, dry Diablo and Santa Ana winds. Furthermore, coastal flooding, exacerbated by climate change, and occasional droughts are significant natural disasters impacting Los Angeles.

Typical weather in Los Angeles, CA

Economy & Job Market

Entertainment and Film Industry

International Trade

Technology and Information Services

Manufacturing

Tourism and Hospitality

When one thinks of Los Angeles, California, flashy film premieres and star-studded red carpets undoubtedly spring to mind. Basked in endless summer sunshine, the city serves as the birthplace and beating heart of the entertainment and film industry. Tinseltown, as it's often called, houses major studios like Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and 20th Century Fox. But LA's economy does not run on movies and TV alone. It's a bustling city of commerce, with international trade taking the silver medal. Home to one of the largest ports in the country, the Port of Los Angeles, it handled about $276 billion in cargo last year. A steady growth in the technology and information services industry has also seen LA earn its nickname 'Silicon Beach'. Add into the mix a strong base of manufacturing and a booming tourism and hospitality industry, the City of Angels provides a diverse and resilient economic environment.

For someone packing up their life and looking to make it big in La La Land, rest assured, it's not all about the glitz and glamour. The city's unemployment rate is hovering around 4.5%, lower than the national average. Whether you're an engineer, programmer, designer, or marketer, jobs in the technology sector are particularly on the rise. If technology doesn't float your boat, international trade offers numerous opportunities, from logistics to customs brokerage. One can also tap into the local manufacturing scene, the third largest in the country. For those with a knack for hospitality, there's an insatiable appetite for new food destinations, trendy hotels, and experiential travel services amongst LA's forward-thinking and adventurous populace. So, pack your sunglasses, suntan lotion and that can-do spirit, LA awaits!


Traffic and Transportation

Welcome to Los Angeles, a sprawling urban utopia, industry powerhouse, and also the land of infamous traffic! If you think LA life is all sunshine and palm trees, wait till you experience the I-405 at rush hour. The average commuter here spends a whopping 128 hours per year stuck in traffic. That's a lot of time to listen to your favorite podcasts! But don't worry, there're other ways to explore the City of Angels! Public transport, believe it or not, does exist here - with metro rails, buses, and even a ferry service connecting the coastal areas. And let's not forget the city's two major airports, LAX and Hollywood Burbank, airlifting people to and from all over the globe. So, buckle up and get ready to navigate the dynamic transport landscape of LA - it's going to be a wild ride!

What is the traffic like in Los Angeles, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in Los Angeles

1. Silver Lake

Let's start with Silver Lake, known for its eclectic vibe and indie spirit, perfect for anyone who loves a hip, creative atmosphere. This neighborhood boasts a range of colorful murals, more than a handful of artisanal coffee shops, and plenty of vinyl record and vintage clothing stores. The Silver Lake Reservoir isn't just a picturesque sight; it's often surrounded by locals jogging, walking their dogs, or picnicking alongside its banks. Think of Silver Lake as Los Angeles' very own slice of Brooklyn.

2. Santa Monica

If you're all about the beach life, Santa Monica might be your California dream come true. This laid-back, breezy neighborhood epitomizes West Coast charm. From the iconic Santa Monica Pier and its lively Pacific Park amusement park to the trendy Third Street Promenade, there's no shortage of entertainment. Even with its large tourist draw, Santa Monica still offers plenty of spots perfect for the locals, including the bustling Santa Monica Farmers Market and numerous yoga studios.

3. West Hollywood

West Hollywood, also known as WeHo, combines the glitz and glam of Hollywood with a friendly, down-to-earth community vibe. Known for its emphasis on inclusivity, West Hollywood is home to LA's vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, fabulous boutiques, trendy restaurants, and the world-renowned Sunset Strip. Weekly farmers markets, outdoor music events, and the expansive West Hollywood Park ensure there's more to WeHo than nightlife.

4. Downtown LA

Once considered a neighborhood to avoid, Downtown LA has experienced a renaissance and emerged as an exciting, dynamic area. Loaded with history and architectural gems, you'll fall in love with its jaw-dropping Art Deco buildings and the famous Grand Central Market, a foodie haven. The Broad contemporary art museum, trendy bars, like the rooftop at The Standard hotel, and the vibrant arts district all add to DTLA's magnetic charm.

5. Beverly Hills

No list would be complete without Beverly Hills. The land of palm tree-lined streets and the iconic shopping street, Rodeo Drive, it's an area filled with glamour and elegance. With its well-curated galleries, grand mansions, and the beautiful Beverly Gardens Park, this neighborhood's star quality extends beyond its famous zip code. Nonetheless, Beverly Hills maintains a small-town feel with its close-knit community and local farmer's market.

In conclusion, each of these vibrant Los Angeles neighborhoods offers unique charms and attractions, whether it's the creative scene in Silver Lake, the sun-soaked living in Santa Monica, the friendly, inclusive vibe of West Hollywood, the resurgence of culture in Downtown LA, or the timeless glamor of Beverly Hills. No matter where you choose to call home, there's no place quite like Los Angeles for a fabulous mix of opportunities, people and places!

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Things to Do

Welcome to Los Angeles, the City of Angels! This sunny paradise is not just about Hollywood, palm trees, and beaches - it's an eclectic mix of amazing food, culture, arts, and outdoor activities. If you've just moved to LA, buckle up for an epic adventure. Here are seven must-do activities to help you fully embrace the Los Angeles lifestyle.

1. Get star-struck at Hollywood's Walk of Fame

Start with the quintessential LA attraction: the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bring out your starry-eyed side and stroll along the sidewalk stars dedicated to entertainment greats. Don't forget to catch a movie at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, or snap a selfie with the iconic Hollywood sign in the background.

2. Explore the LA arts scene at The Broad

The Broad presents the perfect blend of architectural marvel and modern art. If you're an art enthusiast, this downtown contemporary art museum should be at the top of your LA bucket list. Don't miss Yayoi Kusama's immersive, Infinity Mirror Rooms - they're Insta-worthy!

3. Sun, Sand, and Surf at Venice Beach

Your Los Angeles initiation isn't complete without a trip to Venice Beach. Alongside sunbathing and surfing, watch the colorful parade of street performers, skateboarders, and artists at the flamboyant Ocean Front Walk.

4. Try Authentic Street Tacos

No other city does tacos like LA. Venture into East LA for some of the best street tacos you'll ever taste. Pro tip: head over to Leo's Tacos Truck late-night and dig into the mouth-watering al pastor tacos.

5. Stroll Down The Secret Stairs

For a lesser-known LA experience, find the city's hidden historic staircases called the Secret Stairs. These public stairways, located throughout Silverlake and Echo Park, were initially built to help citizens navigate the hilly neighborhoods. Now, they serve as the perfect urban hiking trail, offering stunning views of the city.

6. Discover the Last Bookstore

Believe it or not, LA has one of the coolest bookstores in the world. The Last Bookstore, housed in an old bank building, is a labyrinth of books, where literature meets art. Its whimsical, Instagrammable installations, genre-themed rooms, and secret passageways make it a must-visit for book lovers and wonder-seekers alike.

7. Attend a 'Cemetery Screening'

True Angelenos know about the unique summer tradition of attending outdoor movie screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Lounge on the lush lawn, surrounded by the tombstones of Hollywood's legends, and enjoy classic film screenings under the stars. This bizarre-sounding event is a fun and essential LA experience!

So there you have it, seven top-tier experiences you've got to try out in your new city. Now that you're a proud Angeleno, step out and discover what delightful secrets the City of Angels has in store for you.

Things to do in Los Angeles, CA?

Find Movers for Your Los Angeles Relocation

Having gleaned a wealth of information about LA, you are one step closer to making the City of Angels your home. Now, it's time to entrust your move to professionals who make relocation seamless - Great Guys Moving. Known for connecting people with reputable, licensed, and insured movers known for their excellent service and affordable pricing is at your service. A quick submission about your move specifics grants you access to tailored quotes from movers aptly suited for your needs. Don't delay, tap into Great Guys Moving's network today and request your free moving quote for a hassle-free relocation to Los Angeles.

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