What would it be like to wake up in a bustling metropolis filled with endless possibilities, set against rows of palm trees and idyllic beaches? For the almost four million residents of Los Angeles, this dream is their reality. It’s no wonder that La-La-Land is the most densely populated city on the West Coast of the United States: whether you’re in search of diverse communities, boundless economic opportunities, all-day entertainment, and attractions, or near-perfect weather all year round, this thriving hub will tick all the boxes. Where and what you want in a rental can significantly impact your daily cost of living in the city, as the range of prices is quite broad. However, everyone has their non-negotiables, so it’s important to identify what you are willing to compromise on and what’s non-negotiable before you even start looking. But rest assured, this gorgeous coastal city has something to everyone’s taste!
Identify Your Desired Neighborhood
Imagining your dream destination and finding a place to live there are two very different things. When locating a room for rent in Los Angeles, there are many factors to consider. With around 400 neighborhoods to choose from, when searching for a “room for rent Los Angeles,” you have many choices. So many options can also make your search seem a bit daunting, but narrowing it down to a few options early on helps.
Considering factors such as where you work (avoiding the notorious LA traffic as much as possible is highly recommended), how close you’d like to be to the beach or certain attractions, whether you enjoy walking everywhere, and where public transport goes will help you eliminate some choices so that you have a list of potential neighborhoods to start with. Conducting further research into these areas can help you narrow your search: is there a community of like-minded individuals? How expensive is the area relative to what you can afford? What kind of atmosphere does the neighborhood have? These valid questions can help you identify where you can see yourself setting up a long-term stay.
Set (and Stick To!) Your Budget
Seeing as your rent will likely consume a significant portion of your earnings, you must find a rental price you’re comfortable with. It’s time to weigh your average monthly expenses versus your income and identify the price range you can afford. In this city, you can expect prices ranging between $1,400 and $3,000. The average rental cost for a one-bedroom is $2,786, but this varies depending on the neighborhood.
Despite what you might have heard, not all of Los Angeles is wildly expensive. However, certain amenities will inevitably increase your potential home’s prices. For example, areas closer to the beach will naturally cost you more, as will apartments for one person, compared to renting with a roommate. While salaries are known to be higher in cities like LA, keep in mind that the cost of living is higher in line with average income.
Your Non-Negotiables Versus Your Nice-to-Haves
Now that you’ve identified some key neighborhoods and the budget for your rent, it’s time to weigh up what you can and can’t compromise on. Depending on your circumstances and preferences, this will differ for each individual. For example, does the rental need to be pet-friendly? Are you willing to share the space with a roommate? Are you a smoker? Would you like an ocean view, or would you like to look out over the city skyline? Do you need to have a balcony? Does it need to be furnished, or do you have your own furniture?
Make a list of these requirements and remember them when scouring rental websites. If anything seems particularly unobtainable after you’ve looked through a few postings on these sites, maybe it’s time to reconsider how essential it is to you. Similarly, if it’s a factor that seems to drive rental prices up, perhaps it’s time to review your list.
View the Rental in Person
Last but certainly not least, it’s worth taking a trip to your chosen apartment for in-person viewing. Online photographs and descriptions of a home can be very different from the real thing, and you’ll want to take every measure possible to ensure that you’re getting the dream apartment you imagined. Make sure you bring all the relevant documentation and your references to the viewing so that you can close the deal there and then if you decide this is the rental you want.
Time to Begin Your Search
Apartment hunting in one of the most beloved and highly sought-after cities in the United States is no small feat, but spending every day on the beach and soaking up that west coast sun will make it all worth it. Doing your research in advance, remaining optimistic, and harnessing the power of word-of-mouth will all stand you in good stead, so go on — get the word out there that you’re on the hunt.