Moving to Los Angeles

Last updated: April 15, 2019

On this page about moving to Los Angeles you can find all the information you need for your move. This page spotlights the costs of a move, how to find work, how to find a house and useful information about the city’s transport links.

Smoggy Downtown Los Angeles Panorama

Popular with expats: The City of Angels

On the face of things it is easy to see why anyone would like to move to LA. With beautiful scenery and a warm climate this city sells itself. This metropolis is the second largest in the USA in terms of population and the city even has several more towns and cities within its own limits. Los Angeles is a vibrant and diverse city that can have unique cultures within each neighbourhood. With so much to do and so much to see in LA its easy to see why this destination is so popular with expats.

A pricey move to a pricey city

You may have heard that Los Angeles can be quite an expensive city to live in. Unfortunately due to the distance and lack of overland transport routes it is also an expensive city to move to. On the table below you can find the estimated costs of shipping your belongings (including door-to-door pick up and delivery) from London to Los Angeles.

PriceTime taken
1 bed apartment£2,600 – £3,6007-10 weeks
3 bed house£6,100 – £8,3005-7 weeks
5 bed house£9,300 – £12,5005-7 weeks
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Tips for moving to LA

Searching for furniture? If you can’t take everything across then you can save money on buying new things by buying second-hand. Craigslist is a website that has a whole host of second hand furniture in addition to other goods and services.

Leave your winter clothes behind. The weather is as good as they say, with a warm climate and over 300 days of sunshine per year do you really need to bring that puffy jacket?

Los Angeles is a huge city that lies within a great natural environment. With such great weather many residents choose to leave the city on weekends to escape the smog and see the beautiful nature that surrounds the city. Residents of Los Angeles are some of the healthiest people around, make sure to get out and make the most of the weather.

Things to keep in mind when moving

Moving to Los Angeles is very different to the UK for a wide variety of reasons. Below you can find a checklist of what you need to know before heading to the city of angels:

  • Visa – You will have to apply for a visa if you’re wanting to live in America, it can also take some months so make sure you apply in advance.
  • Health insurance – Health care in the USA is not free, so if you dont want to rack up a big bill if you become ill it is advised to get some.  Visit our page for more information about health care in the USA
  • Tax – Contact the tax authorities before your arrival for assistance with your tax situation and learn more about taxes in the USA.
  • Documents – Make sure all documents are in date and important documents are duplicated.
  • Pets – If you’re bringing your pets abroad make sure they are up to date with vaccinations or could be denied entry.
  • Cancellations – Cancel any subscriptions or current utilities you may have.
  • Mail redirect – In order to receive important mail you should get your mail redirected.

Neighbourhoods in Los Angeles

Finding a home

With a home in Los Angeles one of the most important things to remember is how big the city is. Commuting across LA is very time consuming so being relatively close to work should be a priority. There isn’t particularly one big centre in LA and each neighbourhood offers something different so try and pick a neighbourhood with a style that suits you. Unlike other cities the downtown isn’t particularly more hip or happening than other neighbourhoods.

Families

Areas for families include: Boyle Heights, Miracle Mile, Sherman Oaks, Mar Vista and Winnetka based on the cost of living, access to schools and parks and transport links.

Young professionals

Young professionals looking for a vibrant atmosphere with good access to the business districts should look at: Los Feliz, Beverlywood, Santa Monica, Downtown, Silver Lake (for creative professionals) and Culver City.

Party goers

For those looking for a vibrant social life the best places include: Hollywood, West Hollywood and Santa Monica.

Dangerous areas

Unfortunately Los Angeles has some dangerous areas too. Try to avoid living in South Cental LA, East LA and Venice as there is still some gang violence there.

Finding a job in LA

The most important thing about finding  a job in Los Angeles is to make sure that you have the right visa to suit your needs. Generally you can apply for a visa if you don’t have a job but it is much more useful to have an employer who can help you.

After getting past that crucial first step we can start to look at the work place culture of LA. It is known for being very casual, multi-million dollar deals are made in jeans. This casual attitude is also reflected in people’s attitude towards timekeeping as Angelinos often arrive late.

Finding a job in LA takes patience. As it is the second largest city in the USA there is a lot of there is a lot of competition. Despite there being competition there are jobs available but bear in mind that these things can take time. There are several job sites that work well in LA including Indeed and Monster however some smaller businesses and freelancers advertise on Craigslist.

If you’re looking to pursue a career in performing arts in Los Angeles then the good news is that LA is the best place in the world to be! Unfortunately, the bad news is that this is one of the most competitive industries too. As LA is so expensive you might have to be smart about how you go about pursuing your dream. Stick to your strengths at first, its vital to have a bit of steady income to limit your risk – this is also more likely to help you to secure your visa.

Neighbourhoods in Los Angeles (2)

Transport in LA

Traditionally the best way of getting around this vast metropolis has been with a car. The streets are very car friendly and there are even highways that span the city including the 101, 405 and 10. Unfortunately as the city is so car friendly it feels like the whole world uses their car. LA traffic is famously bad and it is recommended not to even bother driving between 4pm and 7pm to avoid it. Spend some time studying maps and make sure you’re connected to your sat-nav whenever possible in order to cut your journey time.

Recently public transport in Los Angeles has improved greatly. There is even app where you can buy tickets which brings the LA transport system firmly into the 21st century. For more information on the comprehensive metro system check out the Discover Los Angeles website.

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