Deciding where to settle in Los Angeles involves considering a variety of factors. An important thing to keep in mind is the problem of the home-work commute, especially if it were a real commute. In general, it is not advisable to stay too far from the place of work or study: travel times in Los Angeles can be very long and directly affect the quality of life. Also, traffic in the city can be heavy and looking for parking is a mostly stressful experience. On the other hand, however, rent in the central districts is not cheap.
Depending on your budget, and the level of comfort you seek, you may find yourself considering only a few options or, conversely, the possibilities may seem endless. But since Los Angeles County covers an impressive 4,751 square miles (about 8799 km2), there’s a good chance you’ll find something that fits your situation perfectly.
Let’s start by taking a look at some of the most popular neighborhoods in Los Angeles:
With the recent construction of new residential areas, Hollywood has become a beautiful and lively neighborhood that is not only cinema and entertainment industry. The neighborhood is home to many startups and small businesses as well as several coworking spaces like WeWork and Second Home.
Residential properties in this neighborhood are mostly high-end multi-story buildings. If you’re on a budget, you might be able to find a studio or one-bedroom apartment for around $2,000.
The neighborhood offers all the standard amenities, from top-rated grocery stores to modern movie theaters, bars, and an abundance of restaurants.
As you might guess from the name, Mid-City is the central neighborhood of LA, in the middle of the city. From here you will be able to easily reach any area, without necessarily relying on a car.
It offers a wide range of accommodation: from well-maintained historic buildings, to charming Spanish-style duplexes, to luxury bungalows. The average rent for an apartment is around $2,000.
There was a time when Downtown LA (downtown literally means downtown in a functional sense) was primarily a neighborhood that was alive only during office hours. Its streets were busy and populated during the day, but with the arrival of night, the area ended up emptying, giving the impression of not being a safe area. Today, that has changed and Downtown has become a popular destination for dining out, nightlife and entertainment.
If you work in Downtown LA, it may be a good idea to settle here as well, considering the time savings commuting to work. The average rent for a studio apartment in DTLA is around $1,800.
Good to know:
While Downtown LA has seen some drastic redevelopment in recent years, there’s one area in the neighborhood that’s best avoided: Skid Row. Skid Row is home to a large number of homeless people and is not considered a safe place, either during the day or after dark.
If you’re looking for the famed Los Angeles beach lifestyle, Venice is the place to be. It’s a lively bohemian neighborhood, popular with artists and surfers, home to quirky shops and the Venice Beach Boardwalk, a boardwalk with wooden piers.
Venice is often referred to as “Silicon Beach” due to the high concentration of tech startups. Plus, big names like Google, YouTube, and Snap have offices here. This fact (and, of course, the presence of the beach) makes this neighborhood very popular with young professionals. If you want to live in Venice, however, be prepared to spend a lot on rent: the average price to settle here is around $3,300 a month.
For those moving to LA with the family, Sherman Oaks is an option to definitely consider. It’s a quiet neighborhood nestled in the San Fernando Valley. Living here can be very convenient as the area is surrounded by expressways and freeways and the main localities of Los Angeles are just a short drive away. Additionally, the neighborhood boasts one of the highest concentrations of highly rated public schools in California.
The area’s nightlife and social life takes place on Ventura Boulevard, home to fancy pizzerias, boutique shops, and chic cocktail bars. The average rent in Sherman Oaks is around $2,200.
West Hollywood (WeHo)
West Hollywood is considered “a city within a city” and is the cultural heart of Los Angeles. This neighborhood sits right between Beverly Hills and Hollywood and offers everything from trendy boutiques, famous restaurants, to the latest trends in wellness.
WeHo is home to the famous Sunset Strip, the West Hollywood Design District, and the hub of LGBTQ nightlife, i.e. Santa Monica Boulevard. Approximately one-third of West Hollywood residents identify as part of the LGBTQ community.
One thing to particularly like about this neighborhood is that it’s well-connected to other parts of Los Angeles and is particularly good for walking and strolling, judging by its high walkscore.com rating. The average rent in West Hollywood is around $2,500.
Beverly Grove is more affordable than other hip Los Angeles neighborhoods like Venice or West Hollywood, but it’s similar in terms of what’s on offer. It is home to an upscale shopping mall (The Beverly Center) and many trendy restaurants. Additionally, Beverly Grove is also home to the Original Farmers Market, a popular place to eat and shop. Apartments in Beverly Grove start at around $1,500.
Silver Lake is a nice neighborhood in Los Angeles devoid of many big-city drawbacks. The area boasts beautiful green spaces, and traffic and parking issues aren’t as pronounced as in other parts of Los Angeles. It’s especially popular with trendy young people, but you’ll also find professionals of all kinds among the neighborhood’s residents. Another aspect not to be underestimated is that it offers easy access to DTLA, Hollywood and other popular locations in the city. The average rent in Silver Lake is around $1,900.