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Major metropolitan areas—Los Angeles, Chicago, New York—generally have a higher cost of living than rural areas or small towns. It’s a given. Cities like Los Angeles, however, offer a specific type of living and opportunities that can’t be matched in more affordable locales. So before making the move to Los Angeles, take time to get acquainted with the cost of living in the city so you aren’t hit with sticker shock upon arrival.

First, it’s important to know that cost of living in Los Angeles can vary dramatically by neighborhood. For example, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Silver Lake stands at $1,485, while Studio City rent is slightly higher at $1,530. Santa Monica, on the other hand, is much pricier at $2,280 per month.

If you’re looking to buy a house, a three-bedroom single family home follows similar trends. The median Silver Lake home runs a cool $735,000. Studio City is about $799,000 for a three-bedroom home, while a place in Santa Monica of similar size will set you back $1,125,000. (Source: apartmenttherapy.com)

According to Payscale.com, Los Angeles cost of living is 50% above the national average. However, it’s not all bad news: Salaries in Los Angeles are also higher than the national average. Also, its East Coast counterpart New York City is 73% more expensive than Los Angeles, so comparatively it can be an affordable city.

But before packing your bags, don’t forget to incorporate moving costs during this planning period. Always get a quote for a Los Angeles moving company beforehand and factor in all the little details, from moving supplies to gas mileage, as these costs add up too.

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