Housing & Real Estate

When looking for a place to live in Los Angeles, there are many things to consider. What are your priorities – the neighborhood, the commute, cost of living? If you’re not sure, first read up on L.A.’s main neighborhoods and the best ways to get around. When you’re ready to start looking for Los Angeles apartments or real estate, use these resources to search for available rentals, condos or homes. If you choose to purchase Los Angeles real estate, you’ll also find helpful links for finding a realtor and searching homes for sale in Los Angeles.

Renting an Apartment

Los Angeles is full of rental properties, from apartments to guest houses. Landlords tend to be picky (or stingy) on where they list their properties, so check all possible listings to increase your chances of finding Los Angeles rentals. We recommend Rent.com and Craigslist for free listings, and if you’re willing to shell out a few dollars up front, try WestsideRentals.com. Their paid service is a little pricey, but they have more Los Angeles apartment listings than anyone else and they offer a partial refund if you don’t find a rental within a few months.

Happiness for Lease

Another good way to locate Los Angeles rentals is to drive around the neighborhoods you like and look for “For Rent” signs. You’ll almost always find a few buildings with available units, and usually the phone number of the manager is posted on the sign so that you can call and find out the details.

Depending on the neighborhood, expect to pay an average of $600-$1000 for a single/bachelor (usually doesn’t have full kitchen or separate bedroom, like a studio in other cities), $1100-$1800 for a 1-bedroom and $1700-$3000 for a 2-bedroom. A good way to find nice, but less expensive units is to look for Los Angeles apartments listed as “adjacent”. This means they’re nearby, but not technically within, the city they’re listed under. For example, a “Beverly Hills Adjacent” apartment will be located in the Beverly Hills area, but not within the postal limits, so it’s likely to be a bit cheaper when it comes to rent.

Buying Real Estate in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles real estate market can be expensive, but owning a home in L.A. is definitely cheaper than places like New York City or San Francisco. Los Angeles real estate is currently coming down in price due to a soft market, so you may even be able to find a place where the mortgage would be less expensive (or equal to) the rent, plus you’re building equity.

If you’re looking to purchase a condo or free-standing house in L.A., there are several real estate sites to help you out. We recommend finding a realtor and searching Los Angeles real estate listings on HomeGain.com or ZipRealty.com. If you’re an experienced home-buyer and want to find the best deal, we recommend looking at foreclosed Los Angeles homes at Bargain Network Homes and RealtyTrac.com.

If you need to find a mortgage for your new home, use a service that lets you compare rates from lenders. We recommend using LendingTree.com to get the best mortgage deal.

Once you’ve moved in, you may want to do some remodeling on your new Los Angeles home. To find contractors, remodelers and other quality service companies, we suggest subscribing to Angie’s List, where you can read reviews and ratings from other homeowners to make sure you’ll get good service and prices on your home improvement projects. Alternately, try Service Magic to get matched with pre-screened local contractors based on your project and budget.

Resources cited in this guide:
Angie’s List
Planning to Buy a Home? Home Gain
Service Magic
Westside Rentals

More Resources from Google: