How to Relocate to Los Angeles

Los Angeles boasts dozens of neighborhoods within the city.
Despite the smog, insane traffic and crowded neighborhoods, relocating to Los Angeles is something that thousands still do each year. Relocating comfortably to Los Angeles requires careful consideration.

Save money.
Los Angeles is an expensive city. Yes, it is said to be less expensive than New York City, but you will need to add up the cost of a car, car insurance, gas, moving, furniture, necessities, and rent plus security deposit (depending on credit, can be for months in advance). Add a few thousand to that figure. That's how much you should save before you even attempt to move to Los Angeles. Unexpected expenses--and potential difficulty in obtaining a job--will surely come into play.
Visit Los Angeles.
All neighborhoods in Los Angeles have great strengths and weaknesses, but one should discover such quirks through experience. One person's who finds Beverly Hills disgusting or snotty may be surprised to hear a description of it as a clean, beautiful and compassionate city full of philanthropy.
Try to secure a job before the relocation.
This can be tricky as most employers will want to meet you in person. However, try Websites to connect with potential employers in your area of interest. For jobs such as waiting tables or retail, you'll have to wait until you arrive before applying. Otherwise, use Websites like Mandy, MediaBistro and Cragslist to apply for employment from a month to a week before your visit. See our Resources section for links to those Websites.
Network with those who live in Los Angeles.
Perhaps you know old high school or college buddies who live there. Look up old chums on networking websites. See the Resources section for links to these options as well. Ask around for old phone numbers. Knowing a friendly face in the city can really help make the move easier. Keep in mind that this person knows what it's like to move to Los Angeles, and he can show you the ropes. Since he was once in your shoes, he's likely to have empathy and lend a helping hand.
Secure temporary housing in advance.
If you arrive with no place set up in advance, you'll end up at either a shady or overpriced hotel. Think about corporate housing. You should book a month-to-month place before tfirst. That way, you can simply leave in a month if you've found your dream apartment. It usually takes a couple of months to explore Los Angeles and discover a truly cool place to live.
Move with company.
If you know someone who is also moving to Los Angeles, try to coordinate it so that you share the moving experience. Sharing half the expense of a U-Haul or gas for a road trip is worth it. Although a constant companion on your travels can get annoying, it is oftentimes the best--and safest--way to make the move.
Try to put most of your things in storage.
if you have a lot of stuff, it's cheaper to place the bulk of it in storage than it is to drag it all the way to Los Angeles. You can always send for it through a friend if you want it later on. Start over when you get to Los Angeles.
Pack simply for your move.
Pack things of personal value first. Photographs, scrapbooks and special gifts from loved ones should be given top priority alongside your valuables. Keep these secure and with you at all times. When you stop at a motel along the way, always bring this inside with you.
Take action from the moment you arrive.
Inaction only invites more of the same. There's no room for procrastination in Los Angeles. Apply for a job, check out neighborhoods and save money any way you can while adjusting to this big move.

Tip

  • Try to plan your move at least six months to a year in advance. It takes time to put all the pieces into place for a proper move to a city of this magnitude.

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Warning

  • Don't move here without money. You'll quickly become a homeless statistic or back on your way to your hometown.

About the Author

Robin Raven was first published in 1998. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and online publications, including "The Malibu Times," "Act'ionLine" for Friends of Animals, USA Today Travel Tips and the official Melissa Gilbert website. Raven specializes in travel, health, beauty, culture, vegan nutrition, joyful living, arts and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing.