Los Angeles street sign

7 Things to know and do before moving to L.A.

Los Angeles, usually known as LA, is the world’s entertainment center, home to Hollywood as well as the film, television, and music industries. Many people move to the city because of its connections to the entertainment industry and the opportunity to be a part of a creative setting. 

The city’s closeness to both the beach and the mountains is enough reason why this is a great place to live. Are you planning to move soon? Read on to learn more about the 7 things to know and do before moving to LA.

Moving to LA: Everything to know and do

1. First steps before moving to L.A.

Finding a job in Los Angeles

According to the Employment Development Department, the California unemployment rate in April 2023 is at 4.5%. When moving to LA, it is important to study the job market to learn about the industries that are growing and have a significant presence in the area. This allows you to more effectively target your job search. 

Most opportunities are in industries such as agriculture, the film industry, and the services sector, making it a popular choice for career-minded individuals. Finding a job in Los Angeles can be done online; consider popular job sites such as la jobs portal, simply hired, and indeed to search for employment vacancies. 

Getting there

Before moving to LA, you must decide whether you will hire a professional mover or do it yourself. There are a lot of ways to get there; you can look for flights from your closest airport to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or other nearby regional airports. 

You may research the schedules and rates of bus companies that provide trips from your current location to Los Angeles. If you decide to travel via train, Amtrak is the country’s main train service provider. Lastly, you drive your car to Los Angeles and use a GPS or an online mapping provider to plan your trip.

L.a. buildings with palm tree

2. Upon your arrival in Los Angeles

It is essential to get all necessary documentation before moving. Having these on available will assist you in legal matters and will serve as identification. Here are some of the first things to sort out upon your arrival:

Exchanging your driver’s license

According to California law, where Los Angeles is located, if you move into the state and decide to stay, you must apply for a California driver’s license within ten days of doing so.   It is important to update your address with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). DMV is a state-level government agency that handles everything related to vehicles and licenses.

Setting up a bank account

If you are planning to move to LA, consider setting up a bank account with a local financial institution because this will make it easier for you to manage your funds, utilize ATM services, and perform local transactions. City National is the largest bank based in Los Angeles and other banks are Chase, and Wells Fargo.

Getting health insurance

Getting health insurance in Los Angeles is important. If you are employed, inquire about your company’s healthcare policies. Otherwise, look into private health insurance or see if you qualify for any public healthcare programs.

The Federal Medicaid Program in California is known as Medi-Cal. These are for families that have limited income and resources, the Medi-Cal Program can provide you and your family with comprehensive health care for free or at a moderate cost. You may apply for Medi-Cal at any time of year online or through Covered California.

If you are uninsured and live in California, you may visit the Covered California website or call for assistance. Covered California will assist you in determining whether you are eligible for MediCal or subsidies.

3. Living in Los Angeles

l.a. beach palm trees

Finding a place to live

Best places to live in Los Angeles

Los Angeles features a variety of communities, so there is a place for everyone. Our ranking of the top 8 neighborhoods in Los Angeles can assist you in making a choice, whether you’re a young professional, student, parent, or retiree.

Our list of the best places to live in LA is based on research by niche.com, which took into account the following factors: education, affordability, public transportation, and safety. The neighborhood’s demographics and atmosphere have also been taken into account.

  1. Westwood – Best for university students
  2. Culver City – Best for young professionals
  3. Echo Park – Best for families with young children
  4. West Hollywood – Best for LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ2S+ community
  5. Los Feliz – Relaxing neighborhood
  6. Venice – Best for single individuals or couples
  7. Wilshire Center – Best for central neighborhood
  8. Downtown LA – Best for lively urban lifestyle

Setting up Internet

Setting up the internet in Los Angeles is a reasonably simple process. When you’ve reduced your list of possible ISPs, assess their plans, consider your internet usage, costs, and internet speeds. It’s also a good idea to read the service agreement’s terms and conditions and understand any data limitations, contract terms, or early termination fees that may apply.

Should you rent or buy in L.A.?

According to California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office,  California has long been known for its high housing prices, and Los Angeles is part of it. The city has a housing scarcity, which has resulted in higher property prices and rental rates. When determining whether to buy a house or rent an apartment in Los Angeles, consider your financial status, lifestyle choices, and future goals. 

To find an available listing, use real estate websites, such as realtor.com, trulia, and zillow, or engage with a real estate agent that specializes in rentals or purchasing a property for assistance.

If you wish to rent, these are the websites that you can check; apartment finder, zumper, and Craigslist. However, as of this writing, the annual rent increases are now restricted for rental units subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) of the City of Los Angeles until January 31, 2024.

4. Cost of living in Los Angeles

The cost of living in Los Angeles is rather expensive, particularly in certain parts of the city. It is important to calculate your budget, and it is essential to have an effective financial strategy in place.

CategoryCost of living in L.A.

Buying a property

Per square meter outside the city center

$621.57
1-bedroom outside city center$2,056.18

Groceries

Numbeo’s costs of groceries $50.16 multiplied by 4

$200.64

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage for 915 sq ft (85.01 m²) Apartment

$172.50

Internet

(0 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL

$72.84

Public transport 

Monthly pass

$95.00
Meal at mid-range restaurant$50.00
Movie ticket$15.00

Clothing

2 items

$160.95
Monthly gym membership $46.81
Total$2,869.92

(*Numbeo)

5. The weather in Los Angeles

The weather in Los Angeles is defined as warm and moderate, according to Climate Data.org. Los Angeles has an average temperature of 17.6 °C (63.7 °F). The annual precipitation here is around 357 mm (14.1 inches). 

Summers in Los Angeles are often hot and dry. Temperatures in the high 70s°F (mid-20s°C) to the mid-80s°F (about 30°C) are typical. Heatwaves, which bring temperatures exceeding 90°F (32°C), can occur.

Los Angeles’ winters are moderate and a bit cold. Temperatures in the mid-60s°F (about 18°C) to the low 70s°F (approximately 22°C) are typical. However, rain and colder temperatures in the night are possible.

6. What to do as a local in Los Angeles

The city’s warm weather is taken advantage of by locals because they participate in outdoor activities such as bicycling, rollerblading, and skateboarding, as well as playing outdoor games like beach volleyball.

Locals love to attend art openings and gallery events or visit museums like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), The Broad, or the Getty Center during their spare time.

The residents of Los Angeles often place importance on rest and self-care on the weekends after a busy week, so they often visit nearby spas, yoga studios, or wellness centers, or they might attend meditation or exercise programs.

7. Fun facts about Los Angeles

  • LA  is well known for its crowded roads. The city’s large size, automobile culture, and population all contribute to excessive traffic. The infamous “LA traffic” is regularly made fun of and has become part of the city’s character.
  • The food truck culture in Los Angeles is widely recognized. Taco trucks, in particular, have become an important part of the city’s culinary culture. Locals and visitors everywhere enjoy delicious street tacos with a broad range of ingredients and tastes.
  • With almost 200 different languages spoken, Los Angeles is highly diverse. It is known as one of the world’s most multicultural cities.
  • LA is well-known for its automobile culture. It has one of the world’s highest rates of automobile ownership. 

Conclusion

Moving to LA may be an exciting and satisfying experience, but it is not without its challenges. Los Angeles can offer you an exciting and interesting lifestyle, as well as access to beautiful coastlines, mountains, and historical sites. However, to ensure an effortless move and a good time in the city, consider things such as the cost of living in Los Angeles, traffic, and neighborhood selection.

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