Relocating to Los Angeles? Here Are the Questions You Should Be Asking
Whether you’re moving for a new job or a new way of life, relocating is a big decision. Southern California has plenty to offer — beaches, entertainment, excellent weather, and more. There’s no shortage of cultural experiences, diverse dining options, outdoor activities, and nightlife. Chances are that you already know that, or you wouldn’t be considering a move to SoCal.
What you really want to know is what it will be like to live in Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. Here are the questions you really should be asking as you contemplate relocating to Los Angeles.
Should I rent or buy?
Southern California covers a wide expanse of space and includes a variety of diverse neighborhoods, and picking one can be a challenge. Until you get to know the area, renting a space may make the most sense. You may even consider trying out the short-term rental market to hop around and experience life in different neighborhoods, as long as you don’t mind keeping the bulk of your belongings in storage until you figure it out.
On the other hand, buying can make more sense if you have time to check out the market. You may even consider the purchase of an entry to second home ownership—rent it out later if you want to move. An experienced real estate agent who knows the area can be an essential partner in the process. They can get to know your wants and needs and help you find a property that suits your lifestyle and can work in your future portfolio of investment properties.
What’s the Traffic Like?
To say that Los Angeles’ roads can be a bit congested — especially during rush hour — is an understatement. Most people who live in Southern California own a car and drive every day of the week. A recent study ranked Los Angeles in sixth place for traffic congestion in the U.S. That same study revealed that I-5 houses the most congested corridor in the country, with I-10 rounding out the top 10 list.
The good news is that the roads tend to be wider and better maintained than in other parts of the country. Highways can easily have six or more lanes to accommodate traffic. There’s also no snow or ice to damage the asphalt and create potholes. Just be prepared for the learning curve when figuring out how to navigate around all of the other cars on the road.
How Long Will My Commute Take?
You have to consider how far you’re willing to commute. Los Angelenos lost 62 hours to traffic in 2021, costing each driver an average of $968. That’s a 40% drop from pre-COVID commutes. The takeaway from this survey is that you’re going to spend time sitting in traffic, which extends the length of your commute. Don’t just look at the distance from your home to the office. You also have to consider what the roads are like between the two points.
If a short commute is important to you, you may need to adjust your home criteria. This may mean you have to consider specific neighborhoods, whether they are on a public transportation line or located near the most convenient roads for your commute.
What’s My Timeline?
If you’re relocating for work, you probably already know the day they expect you in the local office. If you’re moving to experience some adventure or create a new life for yourself, you may have a more flexible moving date. As soon as you have a moving date, you can begin preparing. Think about all of the tasks that you have to take care of between now and then: selling your home, decluttering the closets, packing boxes, etc.
In the midst of that, you have to find a place to live. You have to consider the type of housing you want and the features that matter most in your new neighborhood. If you’re only willing to live in a 1930s Craftsman within walking distance of the beach, your search for a new home is going to take longer than if your wish list has more flexibility.
How Do You Say That Word?
Nothing gives you away as an outsider faster than mispronouncing a name. Places like Los Feliz, Sepulveda, and even Griffith Park have a local pronunciation that may be different than you expect. Learning how to pronounce these words does more than help you fit in with the locals. It shows that you’re interested in being part of the community.
Reach Out to Our Team
Life in Southern California will keep you busy doing what you love, so let our team at OpenAiRE show you the benefits of effortless ownership. From finding the right property to managing it as a rental, we work with you as a partner to make the most of your real estate investing.