Where to Live in Los Angeles – Guide to the Best Places in 2020

The City of Angels – the worldwide center of the entertainment industry – comprises over 200 distinct neighborhoods belonging to 11 regions. With such a wide array of choices, deciding where to live in Los Angeles is no easy feat. If you’re in the midst of searching for a new LA home, don’t worry. We have compiled a list of some of the highest-ranking communities we just know you’ll like.

In the effort to compile a diverse and comprehensive list of the best areas to live in LA, we took several factors into consideration. These included the cost of living, location, type of population, nearby amenities, and more. There’s something on our list for everyone, so keep on reading to find your new house or apartment.

Echo Park

Echo Park is located in Central Los Angeles. As with most central neighborhoods, this means that you’ll be close to, well, pretty much everything. The eponymous recreation center features a man-made lake, BBQ areas, courts and fields for various sports, play areas for children, and more. Sports programs for children and adults, camps, dancing classes, and fitness boot camps take place here on a regular basis. If you’d rather watch sports than participate in them, the Dodger Stadium is right around the corner. Aside from outdoor recreation for the whole family, this neighborhood is also the location of nine elementary schools, both public and private, and one academy. About a fifth of some 40,000 residents hold a four-year degree. The LA Public Library also has two branches here.

Can You Afford to Live in Echo Park?

With various amenities and activities right at your fingertips, this neighborhood may sound like it’s too good to be true. Well, depending on your budget, it might be. The truth is, Echo Park is not exactly the cheapest place on Earth. According to AreaVibes, the cost of living index for this neighborhood is 157, which is higher than the LA index and the California index. As you may have guessed, housing is the most significant factor in this. The median value of homes exceeds $750,000. If you’re planning to rent a place here, you should expect to pay around $1,400 monthly. This, along with the inevitable deposit that all landlords require, should be an essential entry on your moving expenses checklist.

Dodger Stadium during sunset
Living in Echo Park means being close to the Dodger Stadium

Culver City

Hollywood might be popular in the world of cinematography, but Culver City is the true king of the industry. This has been the address of the MGM Studios for the past century, so it comes as no surprise that the motto of the community is “The Heart of Screenland.” But there is more to Culver City than just moviemaking. This is where the UCLA IDEAS campus is located, along with the West Los Angeles Community College and Antioch University. With thirteen parks in the vicinity, several bicycle paths, museums, theaters, and the Julian Dixon library, you’ll always have something to do here. On top of leisure, business opportunities are plentiful. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Southern California Hospital, and the local government are among the largest employers.

The Neighborhoods of Culver City

Culver City comprises 17 distinct neighborhoods. Some of the most prominent ones include:

  • Downtown – despite being the very center of the community, the downtown area has managed to retain a small-town vibe;
  • Clarkdale – one of the most eco-friendly neighborhoods around, where solar energy has become the standard source of power;
  • Fox Hills – once desolate farmland, today, this community is home to the Fox Hills Mall.
A bicycle next to a wall at night
Culver City is a highly bikeable community

Downtown LA

This list simply wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the very heart of LA. DTLA has a population of over 80,000 people. However, due to commuters, the daytime population of the area reaches hundreds of thousands. The community is very diverse, with people from all over the world flocking here.

The average household in DTLA makes around $57,000. The median rent exceeds $1,600, and if you’d rather buy property, you should save up about $700 per square foot.

Living Near the Heart of the City

Living in Downtown LA is the dream of many people all around the globe and for a good reason. With over 80,000 people residing here, there is always something to do and somewhere to go. This includes everything from daytime outdoor recreation to nighttime entertainment, making this one of the best places to live in Los Angeles for singles.

However, being in the heart of the hustle and bustle is not all fun and games. For instance, you can forget about driving here. With commuters flocking here daily, traffic jams are pretty much constant. Luckily, the public transportation system is well-developed. Residents of DTLA get to use six Metrolink rail lines, five rapid metro lines, and DASH shuttle lines. Amtrak and Greyhound also operate in the area.

Downtown Los Angeles at night
Downtown LA is one of the liveliest hubs in the world

Santa Monica

Have you ever wondered where all the Hollywood celebrities go to escape the commotion of LA? Santa Monica is a resort town that has been attracting the well-off for the past century. Of course, this kind of population makeup is reflected in the cost of living. Being a resident of SaMo means that you’ll be spending three times as much as the average American. The median homes here cost more than $1.5M, and the number rises, the closer you get to the beach.

What it lacks in affordability, this community makes up in – everything else. Long sandy beaches, music venues, art galleries, shopping locations, outdoor green spaces, sunny weather, rich history, high-ranking educational institutions – you name it, Santa Monica has got it.

The Freeway Will Connect You to DTLA

Santa Monica is not exactly close to most parts of Los Angeles. However, a wide variety of transportation options are available. The Santa Monica Freeway, which can take you to DTLA, is known for being one of the busiest roads on the continent. The famous Santa Monica Boulevard can take you all the way to Wrightwood. And lastly, the historic U.S. Route 66 runs through the town as well. But not everyone drives here. There is also a public transit system made up of buses, light rail, and a subway. But the year-round sunny weather will likely make you want to spend more time out in the open – perhaps cycling. That is why the community has a well-developed bike-sharing system. In fact, the community has been awarded the Bicycle Friendly Community Award two times so far.

Santa Monica Pier at night
Santa Monica is the epitome of the high-end lifestyle

Westwood

Let’s go back to LA proper. Westwood is a mixed commercial-residential area in north-central LA. Although it is highly urban, Westwood is far from being the concrete jungle most people imagine it to be. There is a wide variety of upscale homes to choose from, ranging from studio apartments to mansions. All of their residents get to enjoy a wide variety of eating options, from expensive restaurants to casual diners. Overall, this is a family-friendly community with lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation, as well as the proximity to the beach. Amenities and attractions are plentiful, so you’ll never run out of things to do. If you’re moving with pets, you’ll be happy to hear that Westwoof Dog Park is located here.

A Great Place for Those Who Want to Attend UCLA

Out of all the amenities and activities Westwood offers, the thing it is best known for is UCLA. It should come as no surprise, then, that around two-thirds of the population holds a bachelor’s degree. Aside from UCLA, Westwood is home to two public elementary schools, two private elementary schools, and one middle school.

UCLA Royce Hall in Westwood
Westwood is home to UCLA

Alamitos Beach

Alamitos Beach borders East Village Arts District, Hellman, Bluff Park, and NABA. However, most notably, to the south, Alamitos Beach is bounded by a long, white-sand shoreline. No matter where you decide to settle down in this community, the ocean will be a short walk away.

Aside from the white sand, this community is known for a large LGBTQ community and a lively nightclub scene. Some of the most popular clubs and bars in the area include:

  • The Brit
  • The Ebell Club
  • The Silver Fox
  • BLACK
  • V Room.

All year round, this neighborhood is home to various festivities and events, such as the Toyota Grand Prix, the annual Marathon, Pride Parade, and the Amgen Bike Race. All in all, if you are someone who loves being active, always having something to do, dancing till the early morning hours, and hitting the beach, you should give your Los Angeles movers a call, because you’ve just found your new home.

Bird’s Eye View of Alamitos Beach

Before you start looking into Los Angeles moving companies, check out the video below to make sure Alamitos is the best destination for you.

San Marino

On the completely opposite side from Alamitos lies San Marino. Named after the Republic of San Marino, the two share more than just the name –  they are both notoriously expensive. Here’s a brief overview of the situation:

  • The overall cost of living index: 390 (based on the US average of 100)
  • Housing index: 1004.9
  • Grocery index: 116
  • Transportation index: 159

While it might be expensive, in San Marino, you get what you pay for. The tight-knit community puts in a lot of effort into maintaining the highest possible standard of living. Among other things, this includes bans on overnight parking, apartment buildings, and even special permit requirements for commercial vehicles. In terms of population, however, San Marino is not too diverse – most residents are either Asian or non-Hispanic whites, with other races and ethnicities making up around 6% combined.

Get a Closer Look at San Marino

Are you still not sure whether San Marino should be your next address? Then take a closer look at it in the video below and get in touch with your local LA movers when you’ve reached your decision.

Montecito Heights

Montecito Heights is relatively small, with a population of around 16,000 residents. Its nickname, Wilderness in the City, describes this neighborhood perfectly. WIth Ernest E. Debs Park, the community is a little oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle. The hilly landscape of the area provides breathtaking views of the rest of the city. If you’re considering moving to Montecito Heights, we suggest you take your vehicle with you. Although it has relative proximity to DTLA, it is still relatively isolated, and driving will be your fastest and most reliable form of commuting.

Renting a Place in Montecito Heights

While the views from Montecito Heights are magnificent, they are not why this community made its way to our list. What makes Montecito Heights stand out is that it is one of the best places to rent an apartment. The housing index in the area is lower than both the LA index and the California index.

A woman with a baby under a tree
Montecito Heights is an oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle

What’s the Best Area to Live in Los Angeles?

So which one of these places should take the cake? Well, that is entirely up to you. If none of these places seem right, you should also consider the following:

  • Hollywood Hills
  • Glendale
  • Silver Lake
  • Pico
  • Irvine
  • East Hollywood

Depending on your needs, requirements, and budget, we’re sure you’ll find a spot that’s right up your alley. And when you do, the next step on your moving to-do list should be to get in touch with a Los Angeles moving company. Luckily, the search for the right moving company in LA won’t be nearly as difficult, because All In Moving is at your disposal. We offer a wide array of moving services in Los Angeles designed to help you relocate with practically no moving stress. So contact us today, request a free quote, and let us help you move to your next LA home.

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