LA Cost of Living

Currently, more than 4 million people are living in LA, which makes it the second biggest city in the US. It wouldn’t be easy to draw sweeping statements pertaining to a city as huge and diverse as LA, however, one thing is certain about the place – the cost of living here is quite expensive.

Despite having an expensive cost of living, a lot of people are still attracted to live in LA because of its rich architecture, good weather, sumptuous foods, and beautiful beaches. LA also brags a huge impact on the sweeping culture. Compared to other cities, LA is known for jobs that concentrate more on entertainment, design, arts, media, and sports – a lot of people choose to live here to establish their ambition in these fields.

What You Need to Know When Living in LA

If you are planning to get a home in LA to start a new life with your family, you’ll just have to know that nearly everything here is pricier compared to the other cities in the US. Here are some of the things you need to know if you want to learn the LA cost of living:

Housing Market

To begin with, if you are looking for the cheapest housing market in the US, then LA shouldn’t be on your list. As a matter of fact, the average home price in LA is more than 250 percent than the average price in the US. Even though this city is known to be a neutral market, you should know that home prices keep on increasing.

Currently, the average home price in LA is roughly $679,200. This figure marks an increase of 6.4 percent compared to its average home price last year. The following year predicts another price hike of a similar percentage. Although there are some neighborhoods in the city with homes costing only around $100,000, the majority of the more ideal communities get closer to the average price of the city. Some of the homes even cost millions.

It is not an exaggeration that LA is one of the cities in the US with the priciest homes. Many parts of the city accommodate the upper-middle class as well as the above classes. Since LA is a big city, the prices of homes here can differ according to its location. The median price of single-family homes in beachfront Venice is around $1,763,285. Homes in Mid-City are around $835,074. Homes in downtown LA have median prices of $700,000.

Rent Prices

The average LA rent prices remain to illustrate the direction of expensive housing. Rent in LA is around $2,900 per month. This is two times the average cost of the US. When looking for a home for rent in LA, the choices could range from small townhomes and apartments to luxurious mansions.

If you would like to settle in a small apartment with a single bedroom in the downtown area, the monthly rental is around $2,100. Homes from the areas on the periphery of LA, on the other hand, will cost nearly $1,600. Nevertheless, if you want to get a little bigger home, there are 3-bedroom downtown that has rental prices of around $3,900 monthly.

Although these figures are significantly pricey, living in the city does not have to be out-of-the-way. Living with a roommate can make you spend a lot lesser than getting solo housing. For instance, the average cost of a Bungalow for an exclusive room in a shared house is 7 percent lesser than getting a regular studio apartment in a similar neighborhood.


One great thing about living in LA is the cost of food. Your expenses for the groceries will surely not clean up your savings. Hanging around similar average prices in the US, you can already buy your basic needs such as bread, milk, cheese, and eggs at an affordable price.

The majority of the fast-food establishments in the city implements reasonable pricing on their products, based on the suggestions of the franchise. However, if you will go for a nicer meal along with one company in a more decent restaurant, you will likely spend $15 higher compared to the average prices in the US. Most restaurants in LA target the upper class which is why they are imposing higher prices.

Transportation Costs

When it comes to transportation costs, LA can be very costly. The local transportation of the area is operated by Metro. You can choose from monthly, weekly, one day, or one time passes. For one trip, the fare per ride is $1.75, although you may also want to avail yourself of a day pass if needed for $7. Weekly-pass will cost you $25. Monthly-pass, on the other hand, will cost you $100.

LA also had bad traffic. Unfortunately, commuters do not have enough options to win over the congestion. Even though California is known for its expensive gas, you should always get your gas tank full if you want to reach your destination.

Utility Costs

Well, this is one thing you can take advantage of from living in LA. The utility costs in LA are actually lesser than the average cost in the US. Utility costs comprising of the average electric bill in the city, sewer, trash, and heating are roughly less than $10 compared to the national standard.

A small-size apartment can consume a utility bill that is roughly $142 monthly. The price can, however, go up depending on the home size. Even television and internet services are quite cheaper by few dollars, averaging only $58 monthly.

Other Expenses

The cost of living index in LA is current around 79. It means that it is one of the priciest cities in the US. However, despite its high cost of living, it provides residents a lot of distinct places to check and local activities to experience.

Other than the expenses for housing, the average amount when living in LA for a single individual is around $1,000 monthly. A family consisting of four members will spend approximately $3,600 monthly.

Average Income

You really need to earn a good income to cover the cost of living in LA. At the very least, a single person has to earn $3,500 monthly so he or she can provide the basic needs. However, the said income shall only be good for basic living in a small-size apartment, with limited to no amenities at all.

The average income in LA per year is around $63,000. If you can manage to get this kind of earnings, then you can say that you can have a comfortable way of living in LA. If you have your ways to generate more income so you can reach the ideal figure, then that would be great. You want to make sure that you can save and be equipped in case something unexpected happens and you need to shell out money.


You now have a better idea about the LA cost of living. You then have to assess whether you are ready to explore the area and begin a life here. It would be best if you carefully consider the significant difference when buying a home or simply renting one and then identify your probable utility and transportation costs before you finalize your decision.

Posted by Richard Soto on
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