1. Traffic is bad—really bad. Everyone outside of Los Angeles has heard about the notorious traffic in LA, but only those who live in the city know its true terror. Traffic is truly worse than everything you’ve heard, so be prepared and have patience. It’s just a way of life around these parts.
2. Know the neighborhoods. First things first, get a good idea of the lay of the land. As previously mentioned, traffic is bad, so it’s important to reside in a neighborhood central to your needs. An extra 10 miles away from your place of employment may incur an extra 40 minutes of traffic each way. Also, each neighborhood has its own offering, so find one that fits your budget and personality.
3. You’ll need a car. Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US, but unlike New York or Chicago, it doesn’t have a public transit system. Los Angeles is a sprawling city of individual neighborhoods and suburb connected with freeways, so you’ll need a set of wheels to get around.
4. Get connected. Los Angeles is a social city; it’s all about who you know. If you’re in the entertainment industry, networking is key. For those who aren’t in show biz, making valuable connections can help you in your specific profession, and it can help you learn the city. Chances are, you’ll be looking to make new friends, so get involved—volunteer, hang out at the dog park, join a club. These connections, whether socially or professionally, will benefit you for years to come.
5. Los Angeles is expensive. The average rent is $1,435 in Los Angeles. Plus, the city is very lifestyle-centric, so be prepared for an escalated social life or be prepared to resist temptations. Keep in mind—moving in itself is expensive, so consider added expenses of hiring a moving company, furniture purchase, security deposits, cable set-ups fees, and so on and so forth.