Living costs in Los Angeles is are 33% above the national average. One of the major reasons is the costs included in having a car which is practically a necessity. The price of basic household items can also deviate wildly from area to area. Movie stars and multimillionaires call some of Los Angeles's finer neighborhoods home and the stores prices reflect that. Choosing your neighborhood will define your costs. If you live in low-key Westwood your commute to work may add up, but local restaurants and housing will be reasonable. If you choose to live in upscale Beverly Hills, housing, dining and living in general will cost a fortune.
To get the area you want for a price you can live with a simple formula may be employed. Divide your monthly income (after tax) income by three. Not much more then a third of your income should go to rent to insure that you can pay for the cost of living. If this figure doesn't net you the desired lifestyle you still have options. Make more money, consider a different neighborhood, or consider a different living arrangement by taking a roommate.
There are many different apartments and many different ways to search and rent one. Here are a couple of options:
BROKER- If you are arranging a rental from out-of-town or have more money then time, using a real estate broker can be a pain free way of getting the job done. A brokers is responsible for finding apartments that fit your criteria and making appointments to fit your schedule. This convenience has a price, usually in LA one can expect to pay about a half month's rent as a fee, but this varies and it is recommended to shop around before selecting a broker. To find a broker you can check newspaper advertisements or online classified ads. Listings are also common in the yellow pages in the phone book. If you are employed with a company they may have a broker they work with and you may be able to use them by contacting your human resources department to use the broker your company uses. Pay attention to reviews by former customers to make sure you get your money's worth.
ON-LINE LISTING- There are a variety of on-line forums and community listings in which people will list their places or larger companies offer their apartments. One of the best is Craigslist rental listings.
APARTMENT GUIDE: A magazine of listings is available for free at local shops and grocery stores. While there are many listings, they usually have more large apartment complexes listed.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The classified section has a variety of listings in the paper and is also accessible on-line. Unfortunately, the on-line listings refer to another online apartment listing when you try to see details of the classified ads so the easiest way to check out listings is buying the paper. LA Times
THE DAILY BRUIN: This large campus newspaper frequently has well-priced listings and is available for free on the UCLA's campus. Many of the listings are centered around the location of the university in western Los Angeles, but are always worth a look. Daily Bruin
BULLETIN BOARDS: On college campuses, churches, grocery stores, schools, bus stops and outside community centers there are often boards available for posting local ads. This gives you an idea of the neighborhood as well as some useful leads on apartments.
DRIVING AROUND: Many places are listed by simply placing a sign in front of the apartment. Sometimes only a number is listed so it can be helpful to write notes about the place and call the number on your cell phone.
An important trait in any roommate situation is having boundaries and a clear understanding of what each roommate requires. To protect yourself against potential problems should the worst happen, try to arrange it so that your roommates co-sign the lease. This makes all the roommates responsible for whatever happens to the property. If the worst was to happen, such as your roommate losing their job and not being able to pay rent, they will be held financially responsible- not you.
Here are some others websites to find a roommate:
Looking for cheap accommodation in Los Angeles isn’t easy and can be time consuming. Fortunately the times of browsing innumerable adverts, making hundreds of phone calls and visiting dozen of houses belong to the past: with Uniplaces now you can look for your room comfortably sitting at home. You can pick a room in a shared home with other expats, a studio flat if you want more privacy, or you can team up with other friends and rent an entire apartment just for yourselves.
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