Accommodation in Los Angeles

Los Angeles
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Updated 2021-07-30 11:39

Los Angeles is the second most populated city in the US. It's a popular destination for both tourism and relocation — and if you move to LA, you will be living together with almost four million people.  

You will also be living in a diverse and dynamic environment with lots to discover and explore.

However, before you get to live your LA life, you will need to find a place to stay. In this article, we will look into the basics of apartment hunting in the city: from choosing the right neighborhood to evaluating the cost of living and rent.

Where to live in Los Angeles: neighborhoods

Where you decide to settle in LA can be guided by a variety of factors. However, one important thing to keep in mind is potential commute. It is generally not advised to venture too far out from where you work or study — commute times in Los Angeles can be really long and will have a direct effect on your quality of life. What's more, traffic in the city can be notoriously bad —and parking is rarely pleasant. On the other hand, renting in central neighborhoods doesn't come cheap.

Depending on how free you are with your budget and what level of comfort you are looking for, you may be looking at just a few options — or, your opportunities may seem endless. But as

Los Angeles County stretches for an impressive 4,751 square miles, you have a good chance of finding something that will make a good fit.

Let's start by taking a look at some of LA's most popular neighborhoods.

Hollywood

With the recent wave of new development, Hollywood has become a nice active neighborhood that is not all about movies and the entertainment industry. The neighborhood is home to lots of startups and small businesses and a good share of coworking spaces like WeWork and Second Home.

The residential real estate in this neighborhood is mostly high-rises, with a lot of upscale options. However, if you are looking for someone on a budget, you may still be able to find a studio or a one bedroom for under or around $2,000.

The neighborhood has all the standard amenities: from popular grocery stores to modern cinemas, dive bars and a plethora of restaurants.

Mid-City

As you may have already guessed, Mid-City is LA's central neighborhood. From here, you will be able to easily get to other parts of LA, even without relying on a car.

There is a wide range of different accommodation types here: from well-maintained century-old buildings to cute Spanish duplexes and luxury bungalows.

The average rent for an apartment here is around $2,000.

Downtown LA (DTLA)

There was a time when Downtown LA was primarily a 9-to-5 neighborhood. It's streets were busy during the day but as night time set in, the area used to clear out giving it a rather dodgy feel.

Today, things are different and Downtown has become a popular destination for dining, nightlife, and entertainment.

If you work in Downtown LA, it may be a great place to call home too — considering how much time you will be saving on the commute. The average rent for a studio apartment in DTLA is around $1,800.

Good to know:

While Downtown LA has gone through some major development in recent years, there is one area in the neighborhood that is best to be avoided — Skid Row. Skid Row has a large homeless population and a reputation for not being a safe place: in the daytime and especially after dark.

Venice

If you are looking for LA's famed beach lifestyle, head to Venice. It's a vibrant bohemian neighborhood popular with artists and home to surf culture, funky shops and the Venice Beach Boardwalk.

Venice is often called “Silicon Beach” due to a high concentration of tech startups. Plus, big names like Google, YouTube and Snap all have offices here. This (and, of course, the beach) makes this neighborhood very popular with young professionals. If you want to live in Venice, however, get ready to spend quite a bit on rent — the average price for settling here is around $3,300 a month.

Sherman Oaks

If you are moving to LA with a family, Sherman Oaks is a good area to look at. It's a quiet

family-friendly neighborhood nestled in the San Fernando Valley. Living here can be very convenient as the area is surrounded by freeways and key LA locations are just a short drive away. What's more, the neighborhood boasts one of the highest concentrations of well-rated public schools in California.

All major fun in the area happens on Ventura Blvd, where you will find fancy pizzerias, boutiques and upscale cocktail bars. The average rent in Sherman Oaks is around $2,200.

West Hollywood (WeHo)

West Hollywood is considered to be “a city within a city” — and is the cultural heart of LA. This hip neighborhood sits right between Beverly Hills and Hollywood and is packed with all sorts of amenities: from trendy boutiques and popular restaurants to the latest wellness trends.

WeHo is home to the famous Sunset Strip,

West Hollywood Design District and the hub of LGBTQ nightlife — Santa Monica Boulevard. In fact, about a third of West Hollywood's residents identify themselves as part of the LGBTQ community.

A great thing about this neighborhood is that it's well connected to other parts of LA and has a very high walkability score according to WalkScore.com.

The average rent in West Hollywood is around $2,500.

Beverly Grove

Beverly Grove is more affordable than other trendy neighborhoods in LA like Venice or West Hollywood but has lots of similar amenities. It's home to a high-end shopping mall (The Beverly Centre) and lots of hip dining spots. What's more, Beverly Grove is also the location of the Original Farmers Market, a popular spot for eating and shopping. Apartments in Beverly Grove start at about $1,500.

Silver Lake

Silver Lake is a nice little LA neighborhood that is free of many big-city downsides. This area has wonderful green spaces and the traffic and parking complications are not as bad as in other parts of Los Angeles.

Silver Lake is especially popular with young hip crowds — but you will also find a diverse mix of professionals living here. Another great thing about Silver Lake is that the neighborhood offers easy access to DTLA, Hollywood and other popular city locations. The average rent in Silver Lake is around $1,900.

The cost of living in Los Angeles

Lost Angeles ranks towards the end in the list of top ten most expensive cities in the US (according to Investopedia.com). This means that you will want to budget your stay very carefully and make sure your monthly rent payments don't get in the way of you having dinner.

Rent in Los Angeles can be very expensive — especially if you decide to rent a large place in one of the city's trendy neighborhoods. On the other hand, you will also be able to find budget accommodation options if you are willing to venture out a bit further — but this may take a bit more research.

The average rent for an apartment in LA currently stands at about $2,400. However, the pricing heavily depends on where you live and what type of accommodation you are renting. The average utility bill in LA is about $120 per month.

The lease contract is generally drawn up to include water charges, maintenance, trash services, etc. and rental properties usually come with basic but essential home appliances.

Leasing conditions and formalities in Los Angeles

The lease agreement is generally drawn between two parties before moving into the apartment. The duration of the lease is entirely dependent on how long you will be renting — though most landlords prefer long-term rent. You may also be able to get a better deal if you sign a longer rental agreement.

The conditions and terms of the lease do not change throughout the lease period. Hence, conditions cannot be changed overnight, and this is one of the most prominent benefits of a lease agreement in Los Angeles. Expats can hold on to the apartment for more extended periods without having to comply with new conditions and demand for homeowners.

Here are a few other things to consider when signing a lease in San Francisco:

Make sure to check the property before agreeing to rent it. If you are still in your home country and are renting remotely, consider asking your friends, family or colleagues who are already in LA to do a walkthrough of the property and make sure that everything is in order.

Check the guest policy. In some cases, landlords will have a clause in the leasing agreement about long-term guests. Thus, if you plan to have family or friends visit you while you are in the US, it's best to make sure that they can stay with you.

If you are a student, your rental agreement may also include a guarantor clause. This means that you will need to provide a guarantor (in most cases, this would be one of your parents) who will beliable for rent payments if you aren't able to pay rent.

Make sure to get everything in writing. If there is a specific set of rules that comes with renting a property, get these rules in writing. This way, you will have a clear reminder of all the rules you need to keep to. Plus, it can also help you manage potential future disputes.

Consult an expert. Finally, if you have further questions about your lease, it is best to get a professional opinion. Consult a lawyer or real estate agent and make sure the contract you are signing is legally accurate.

Although a lease agreement is legally binding, you can get evicted from your apartment if you fail to pay rent, constitute a nuisance or break the rules stated in the lease agreement.

Everyday life in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city that has something for everyone. If it's the nature you are after, you will have a long list of hiking trails to conquer and ocean views to capture. LA's many beaches offer the perfect retreat from city life and are a great place to surf, tan, meditate and simply breathe some ocean air.

If you are looking for something more commercial, LA won't disappoint either. The city is home to countless larger shopping malls and upscale boutiques. Check out the movie-famous Rodeo Drive, explore what local designers have to offer or go vintage treasure hunting at one of the many flea markets.

Dining in the city is on a level of its own. From a row of wellness cafes offering the latest kale craze to Michelin started eateries, you will have plenty of spots to explore. Another interesting thing is why you will probably notice about LA is that a lot of people work on unconventional schedules (creative industries, IT, entertainment, etc. are very popular here) — so, expect to see cafes and restaurants filled with people all day round, even on weekdays.

Health and fitness play an important role in the life of many LA residents. A lot of people are health conscious and you will find lots of gyms and yoga studios in every LA neighborhood.

Los Angeles remains the city of creatives. It has a vivid art and culture scene, numerous entertainment venues and a general bohemian feel — with just a touch of glamour.

Living in Los Angeles can be an amazing experience. But to make sure it is the absolute best it can be, invest some time in learning more about the city prior to your move. Look into job opportunities in Los Angeles, what student life in the city is like, how to adjust to a new culture — and more.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.