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Moving to Los Angeles – No BS 2020 Pandemics Updated Guide

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Before making any big life decisions, like moving to Los Angeles, it’s essential to be informed before finding yourself lost in an unfamiliar place. This article will explain the basics and necessary info for anyone looking to make this transition, such as

  1. Safety precautions
  2. Average income and expenses
  3. Weather
  4. Traffic and public transportation
  5. Culture
  6. Costs of moving

Real Stuff You Should Know About If Moving to Los Angeles in 2020

Some cities have a specific image in popular culture, which may or may not be accurate to a varying degree. This is especially true of LA, as the city has been ingrained in mainstream media as a one-dimensional caricature of itself. Lavish spending, cutthroat business… and these things might be somewhat true, but with such a diverse city, it’s a disservice to paint in such broad strokes.

Is moving to Los Angeles a good idea?

A lot of people may be wondering if moving to Los Angeles right now is a good idea, when taking into account the pandemic, costs of living, competitive marketplace, crime rate, and well-known wildfires.

The City of Angels carries with it a particular lifestyle that might not fit everyone. A city where everybody is looking to become somebody important provides an atmosphere of competition. The sheer scale of the industries that call LA home puts pressure on people, which may or may not be a good thing. It’s certainly a city with many ups and downs, so let’s get into them.

Image Source: Pinterest

Is LA safe?

The first thing on most people’s lists when looking to move somewhere is probably safety. Let’s look at some of the biggest indicators of safety when moving to Los Angeles in 2020. We will take into consideration the following:

  1. Crime Rate
  2. Wildfires
  3. COVID19

Crime and Violence

There’s a certain stigma surrounding LA when it comes to violence. With the country’s most infamous gangs, the Bloods and the Crips waging a gang-war in the city for decades, certain areas like Compton should most definitely be avoided.

That being said, in the past decade, the city has gone through a lot of changes and has been a frontrunner in crime prevention and quick dispatch to crime scenes. So, although the situation is getting better and better, when moving to Los Angeles you should pay close attention to what areas should be avoided.


The same goes for fires. If this is one of your concerns, you can keep track of the wildfires map.


If one of your concerns when moving to Los Angeles is the current state of pandemic, the good news is that the number of cases has been slowly declining.

Source: The New York Times

What salary do you need to live in Los Angeles in 2020?

Although Los Angeles has a high cost of living, it’s still relatively affordable than other parts of California. The most significant financial impact will be the housing prices, which average to about three times that of the American average. The average salary in Los Angeles is $75k. Assuming you work 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year, this averages out to $36 an hour. The minimum wage is $12, but a living wage is considered to be around $15.

How much should I save before moving to Los Angeles?

Considering that renting a studio apartment costs about $1k a month, and factoring in other expenses such as bills, food, and the occasional night out, moving to Los Angeles with $10k in your pocket should keep you afloat for the next two to three months while you get on your feet.

Is it easy to live in LA?

Moving to Los Angeles might seem daunting to some, especially financially. Compared to cities like San Francisco and New York, LA is relatively inexpensive while also providing the big city’s glamour. Some might be turned off by the size of the town and feel a bit overwhelmed. But as soon as they get a grip on the new lifestyle LA provides, they’ll become completely immersed in all the city has to offer.

Image Source: Pinterest

Is it expensive to live in LA?

LA is definitely an expensive city, no doubt about it. But, considering the prices in other major cities across the U.S., it’s not as expensive as people would have you believe.

Other Things to Know Before Moving to Los Angeles, That You Probably Already Knew About

These may seem less important, but they are certainly significant since they have a direct impact on your lifestyle.


It seems that everything LA has to offer has become somewhat notorious. We can probably thank the giant film industry situated in the city for its pop-culture status. Even the city’s heart has become infamous at this point. Summers are hot and dry, with an average temperature of about 75-83°F with virtually no rain. On the other hand, LA’s winters are a lot wetter, but the temperature rarely falls below 40 °F.

One thing is definite if you hate cold weather, then moving to Los Angeles will be perfect for you.


Most sources would rank Los Angeles in the top 10 most congested cities in the United States of America. On average, a resident of Los Angeles loses 128 hours a year in traffic. This sets it behind places like New York, Washington, Chicago, and Boston, probably due to the city’s lack of a strict urban center.

LA is spread out, but with a growing number of vehicles in the city, it’s hard to say how LA’s traffic will look in just a couple of years.

If you are moving to Los Angeles from a smaller city, then brace yourself. This is going to be one hell of a ride!

Image Source: Pinterest

Public Transport

Although LA has it’s traffic issues; its robust public transportation partially balances this. Metro Buses provide a convenient alternative to going by car, and with around 200 lines, they can take you across the whole city. On the other hand, Metro Rail is a railway system that incorporates a subway, meaning fast and traffic-free travel is possible and readily available.


Given Los Angeles’s diversity, it’s no wonder that the city is considered a hub for people who enjoy a wide variety of cuisines. It’s all due to diversity. LA has a large population of Mexican, Asian, and African American citizens, which means you can get great, authentic, and wildly different food at every corner.

Hollywood. The home of American cinema is located in central Los Angeles and is, to many people, a massive incentive to move to LA. Undoubtedly, if you’re looking to become a famous actor, director, or anything even remotely related to the film industry, you’re in the right place, but so is everyone else.

That being said, if you’re just looking to enjoy a film and the culture in general, you’ll find LA to be a hotspot like no other. Besides the myriad of film festivals, the city also offers a whopping 841 museums and galleries.

Image Source: Pinterest

Last but not least is the music scene. With such an extensive list of world-famous bands and solo acts, it’s hard to give a list and not leave anyone out! It’s important to note that LA has churned out outstanding and influential acts decade after decade. From the Doors and Beach Boys in the ’60s and ’70s, to hair metal acts such as Van Halen, Motley Crue, and Guns ‘n’ Roses. Thrash metal pioneers Metalica, Megadeth and Slayer, all originate in LA, and rap icons N.W.A. make the city truly is diverse in every sense of the word.

Cost of Living

Although Los Angeles is generally considered an expensive city, this might have to do with preconceptions formed based on the image LA has in popular media. That being said, housing in LA is not cheap at all, being almost triple that of the U.S. average. Still, other expenses such as utilities, healthcare, and groceries are the same as the average or even cheaper. Overall, the most important thing to look for in LA is reasonably affordable rent; the rest will fall into place.

The cost of living and taxes may be a shock to you depending on where you are moving from. If you are moving to Los Angeles from San Francisco or NYC, then some of the things will be even cheaper. However, if you are moving to LA from more rural or smaller places, than the spike in prices may take some time getting used to. You can see a detailed comparison of the costs of living in LA to other cities further in the text below.

Where (NOT) to Live in Los Angeles

LA has many magnificent neighborhoods. However, it also has some less preferable ones. Before you pick your dream destination, make sure to take into consideration the following things:

  1. Safety of a certain neighborhood
  2. Your lifestyle and needs
  3. Your budget


Westwood – Home to the University of California, Los Angeles, Westwood is a neighborhood geared towards students. Although it is one of the more expensive communities, it also provides many advantages. It is one of the epicenters for shopping, dining, movie theaters, and other entertainment. This, combined with the student discounts you can get with just your student ID, makes for a great night out between exam periods on a budget.

This can also be a great neighborhood for some of the young people that are moving to Los Angeles after graduating.

Image Source: Pinterest

A few establishments which offer student discounts:


Silver Lake – even though LA is known for having many hipsters, few places come close to Silver Lake. With its painted staircases, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, it’s easy to see why Silver Lake attracts so many people in search of an easy-going good time. It is also a hub for the LGBT community in LA and home to a diverse indie and alternative rock scene.

Young couples moving to Los Angeles will absolutely love it!

Image Source: Pinterest


Pasadena – considered either a city in its own right or a suburb of LA. Pasadena is popular with families because of the diverse options it provides.

It has a considerable downtown area filled with upscale restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and shopping centers. It is also connected with downtown Los Angeles via a light rail line, making for an easy commute. As if this wasn’t enough, Pasadena hosts many sporting events, meaning everyone will find a suitable leisure activity no matter their interests.

If you are moving to Los Angeles with a family and little kids, then Pasadena is our most sincere recommendation.

Image Source: Pinterest


Beverly Hills – warm, quiet, and peaceful, yet bursting with things to see and places to go, Beverly Hills is an ideal neighborhood for anyone looking to spend their twilight years in an easy-going atmosphere.

Beverly Hills has a Mediterranean climate, meaning the summers are hot and dry and the winters have scarce periods of rain with snow being a once in a lifetime ordeal. Distinctive architecture and great attention to parks and recreation centers make Beverly Hills a fantastic choice for older people just looking to enjoy their final days.

Keep in mind that Beverly Hills is not limited only to the elders. If you are a young, well-standing adult moving to Los Angeles, then Beverly Hills can be an exquisite place for you too!

Image Source: Pinterest

Where NOT to go

When moving to Los Angeles, it is very important to keep in mind what places should be avoided.

Compton – this infamous neighborhood has been the birthplace of many old-school and contemporary rappers. It’s enough just to listen to their music to get a taste of what Compton is like, and looking at the statistics only furthers the point. In 2005 there was a record of 72 murders per 90,000 residents. Even though the numbers have gone down substantially in recent years, the neighborhood is still home to a ruthless gang war between the Bloods and Crips and racial violence between Blacks and Latinos.

Image Source: Pinterest

Moving to Los Angeles Without a Job: Yes or No?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. First, and most obvious, how much money do you have saved up? As we have already mentioned, to cover your costs for the first three months, you will need at least 10k.

It might take you a bit to find a job in your field once you come to LA since there’s so much competition. Having a degree in some field will also considerably help out your chances of getting a well-paid job. However, jobs like waiter or bartender are also relatively well paid, but can be stressful given the upscale clientele.

One thing is for certain, if you are moving to Los Angeles without a job, save up enough money to sustain yourself for at least the first two months. This way you won’t start panicking if you don’t have luck finding a job right away.

Cost of Moving to Los Angeles

Cost of moving to Los Angeles depends on where you are moving from. Here we will explore some of the most common moves. For precise information on cost of moving tailored to your specific needs, make sure to contact us, or fill our instant move quote calculator.

Moving to Los Angeles from New York

People moving from New York City to Los Angeles will probably fit right in. From the extreme diversity in all aspects to the competitive atmosphere and streets filled with young, ambitious people trying to make it big, the two cities have more in common than some might like to admit. Notably, even the prices are relatively similar, with New York beating out LA by a small margin.

Los Angeles NYC
Overall 173 187
Food 104 116
Housing 298 294
Utilities 93 150

If you are moving to Los Angeles from New York, then our guide on moving from New York from California may be of a great help!

Moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles

First of all, LA is extremely art-oriented, in no small part due to Hollywood, while San Francisco is a tech giant alongside Silicon Valley. There’s also a considerable difference in the cost of living.

Los Angeles San Francisco
Overall 173 296
Food 104 116
Housing 298 596
Utilities 93 97

Moving to Los Angeles? Get a free quote estimate!

Moving from Seattle to Los Angeles

Seattleites are well-known lovers of Asian food, and as such, will be over the moon at the diverse options and traditional Asian foods LA has to offer. The prices are also relatively comparable, so the transition shouldn’t be that hard.

Los Angeles Seattle
Overall 173 172
Food 104 108
Housing 298 309
Utilities 93 68

Moving from Chicago to Los Angeles

Although pricier, living in LA rather than Chicago has its perks. Most notably, you can forget about the freezing winters and strong winds plaguing you every time you step out of your house.

Los Angeles Chicago
Overall 173 106
Food 104 97
Housing 298 99
Utilities 93 92

Moving to Los Angeles from Boston

The difference in prices between LA and Boston is less than you would expect. You could probably make LA cheaper than Boston if you opted for a neighborhood that doesn’t have too high a rent. So there’s not much-stopping anyone who has a dream of moving from Boston to LA to pursue his or her goals.

Los Angeles Boston
Overall 173 162
Food 104 114
Housing 298 260
Utilities 93 116

Leaving Boston and moving to Los Angeles? MovePrice can help!

Table sources: BestPlaces

How Can MovePrice Help You on Your Move to Los Angeles

Moving to Los Angeles definitely looks like a lot. Adjusting to a completely different lifestyle and cost of living, while trying to fit in your new workspace and take care of the kids. Put on top of that all the hassle that comes with packing and moving and we understand why people lose their minds in the process of relocation.

That’s why MovePrice is here. To make at least one part of your move easier. Moving.

Moveprice offers instant move quotes and quick and easy 100% virtual move estimates for a stress-free move!

Because you deserve only the best,


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