City Guide / Los Angeles

Moving to Los Angeles: Your Relocation Guide

By Bri Hand | Nov 17, 2021
California dream houses and estates in Los Angeles.

Whether you’re guided by the glimmering stars of show business or the bright lights of the booming aerospace industry, moving to Los Angeles is often the first step to a brighter future. This area is home to a wealth of opportunities, and residents love its palm trees, hiking trails, and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. 

While moving to such a diverse and energetic city can sometimes be overwhelming, there’s nothing to worry about. This guide will provide the facts to make your move to Los Angeles County smooth and your first days feel like a familiar stroll down your favorite street. 

This guide covers need-to-know information about life in this Southern California city, including:

  • History
  • Demographics
  • Living costs
  • Weather
  • Transportation

So, prepare for a ride down the 405. From Beverly Hills to Long Beach, this guide explores every corner of the city.

The history of LA

Originally, the section of land now known as the Los Angeles area was inhabited by indigenous tribes, going back all the way to 8000 BC. By the late 18th century, the area was a Spanish outpost given the name El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles de Porciúncula, which translate to, “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciúncula.”

When Mexico declared its independence, the area fell out of Spanish colonial control and was retained as a part of Mexico. That didn’t last long, as the U.S. annexed the area in 1848 during the Spanish-American War, and shortly after, the land was made a permanent part of the U.S. through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The early history of Los Angeles as a U.S. territory is notable for two things:

  • The Gold Rush: Almost immediately after becoming a part of the U.S., gold was found in Southern California, bringing out thousands of interested parties looking to find their fortune in the West.
  • Ranching: Cattle ranching became another profitable industry in the second half of the 19th century. With the influx of new people to the area, ranchers were one of the few providers of a stable food source for the population.

Once the Los Angeles Aqueduct was opened in 1913, the West Coast city began growing exponentially. Modern La-La Land began to take shape and two new industries emerged:

  • Hollywood: The age of cinema was ushered in by directors D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. de Mille, followed by the annexation of the former small town known as Hollywood. For more than 100 years, this entertainment industry has been at the heart of the Los Angeles economy and a decisive part of the city’s overall culture, making for tons of fun things to do in LA.
  • Oil: When the oil boom began in California, large oil companies created massive fortunes and paved the way for the extensive railroad system that still exists across the United States.

Today, Los Angeles continues to move full-speed ahead toward new revolutions in the medical sector, a renewed focus on the tech industry, and a strong presence on the national and global stage.

Los Angeles demographics

The best neighborhoods in Los Angeles are made up of a distinct blend of cultures. The nearly 4 million residents of the city are diverse in terms of their ethnic backgrounds, education, and employment. It’s estimated that nearly half of the businesses in the city are minority-owned, and more than half of the city’s residents are female.

For a Los Angeles resident, demographics are more than just numbers and statistics. They’re a way of knowing how unique and multifaceted the culture of Los Angeles can be. Still, if you’re considering moving here, you may be interested in a few data points, such as:

  • Improved income: Recent census data has pointed out that residents of the city are looking at improved earnings since the previous census. These numbers go across all racial demographics, making it a shared success story city-wide.
  • The largest demographic is 20- to 44-year-olds: That same census data also points out that approximately 37 percent of the city’s residents fall between the ages of 20 and 44. While that’s a relatively broad demographic, it makes it clear that there’s plenty of room for people of every age in the city.

To that end, the many neighborhoods of LA are home to amazing opportunities to learn about your new neighbors through their food, festivals, and cultural events.

Living costs in LA

For those moving from other parts of the country, Los Angeles is generally thought of as an expensive place to live. Overall, the cost of living in LA may be higher in the city compared to many other parts of the U.S., but that’s not the last word on the subject. 

Before you pull out the calculator and smash open the piggy bank, stay tuned for insight on how to afford living in Los Angeles. Specifically, consider:

  • Housing: While the cost of buying a home in LA will easily put you into the upper six figures, rent costs aren’t quite so astronomical. Compared to the average price for studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedroom apartments in the U.S., LA prices are about 30% to 40% higher. This will also depend on which LA neighborhood you decide to move to.
  • Food, healthcare, and necessities: While food and healthcare run a little over the national average (10-12%), the access to medical services, grocery stores, and food co-ops is significantly greater than in many areas of the country.
  • Higher household income: While you may find yourself spending a little after moving to Los Angeles, it’s notable to point out that the average household income within the city is higher than the country’s average. Depending on your career trajectory, you may see a significant bump in your paycheck by moving here.

Before moving to LA, build a budget that works for you, price out your plan, and be mindful of where you’ll pay a little extra. Don’t let a price tag keep you from experiencing everything the city has to offer!

Los Angeles weather

Sick of snow flurries, downpours, icy streets, and teeth-chattering shivers? Then you’re going to love LA weather. 

California may be known for its sunny skies and beach-appropriate temperatures, but it’s also worth noting that LA has a temperate winter, cool evenings, and a typically Mediterranean climate.

As far as packing for the weather, there are a couple of staples that will get you through any season, such as:

  • A light jacket: Nothing too bulky should be necessary since temperatures rarely drop below 43 degrees. If the weather does become unusually cold, layer up with a sweater, and that should be all you need to survive a LA cold front.
  • Hiking boots: If you’re moving to Los Angeles, there’s no excuse not to see the majestic vistas and beautiful trails. From Griffith Park to Runyon Canyon, unlock your inner hiker and bring the footwear necessary to make it all happen.

Your LA outfits can range from highly fashionable to highly practical. As a generally stylish city, there’s no reason not to express yourself even when you’re dressing for utility.

Transportation options in LA

There’s a lot to experience across the nearly 500 miles of Los Angeles, which means you need a reliable way to get around. These are the most common methods of getting to your destination while in the city.

1. Public transit

With six rail lines and dozens of bus lines, Los Angeles Metro transportation can take you all over the city for the low price of $1.75 per ride

While you may have to wait for your bus or train to arrive, there are numerous benefits to taking public transit including:

  • Simplicity: Explore the city without worrying about traffic. Buses and trains run often, allowing you to jump on and off at a whim and experience a true LA adventure every time you go out.
  • Cost: No gas money, car insurance, parking fees, or registration—just you and your transit pass. While you’re still spending a bit on fares, it’s practically nothing compared to owning a car.

2. Personal car

Los Angeles is somewhat known for its traffic. While the average resident spends a significant amount of time in their car, there is a reason so many people choose to use their personal vehicle to get around the city. The top reasons include:

  • Convenience: The open road is yours. Drive where you want, when you want. You may even start to enjoy the occasional freeway backup. Bumper-to-bumper traffic just means more time to listen to your podcast!
  • Travel options: Los Angeles has plenty to offer on its own, but it’s worth considering getting out of the city once in a while. With San Diego to the south, San Francisco to the north, and the entirety of the Pacific Coast Highway to the west, there’s definitely a good reason to hop in the car for a road trip.

3. Biking

Looking to go car-free and get a little exercise in the process? Biking is a great option that many Los Angelinos are using to get their hearts pumping on their daily commute.

If you’re planning to take advantage of this bike-friendly city, you can look forward to:

  • Designated bike lanes
  • A growing biking community
  • Plenty of places to lock your bike up

Be sure to do plenty of research into potential neighborhoods in Los Angeles, as this can make a big difference with how your commute pans out if you have to head downtown often. 

Love LA and rent with Landing

We’re confident that these simple tips will make your move to LA a walk in the park (Echo Park, perhaps?). So, while you’re packing, planning, and looking for a fully furnished apartment in Los Angeles to rent, there’s one more need-to-know fact to help with your relocation: Check out Landing.

Instead of racking your brain for the right play to stay in LA, Landing makes it simple—no complicated applications, negotiations, or fees. Just fully furnished, pet-friendly apartments for rent, with flexible lease options to fit your lifestyle.

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.