Series: City Guide

How Much Does an Apartment in Los Angeles Cost?

Posted on August 4, 2020

The City of Angels remains a dream destination for many thanks to its year-round good weather, diverse communities, growing art and culture scenes, and plenty of things to do in Downtown Los Angeles and beyond. For many, Los Angeles is a prime destination and an ideal city to live in that offers a wealth of new and exciting opportunities. Whether you are a student going to school in LA or considering a new life in a growing urban sprawl, one of the first things you are thinking about is probably rent. The city is notorious for a high cost of living, but how much does an apartment cost in Los Angeles? Read on to learn more.

Apartment Rental Costs in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the few cities in the United States where renters are more plentiful than homeowners. About 64 percent of residents rent apartments, while only 36 percent own a home. With so many things to do in Los Angeles with kids, even families are renting more.

While housing prices in the city are in a constant flux, the rental costs in Los Angeles proper have remained surprisingly stable over the past few years. In mid-2019, the median monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment was at about $1,760. Current apartment listing reports suggest that two-bedroom apartments have a median rent of about $1,758 per month.

The median rent of a studio in the city is about $1,146 per month, which is about $330 higher than the national average. A one-bedroom apartment rents at about $1,346 per month, which is over $400 higher than the national average rent. Three-bedroom apartments have a median rent of about $2,381 per month, which is over $800 the national average rent.

These numbers can be intimidating to newcomers, but it’s important to understand that Los Angeles is an incredibly large city with dozens of different neighborhoods and real estate properties. The more extravagant apartments in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and other wealthier neighborhoods naturally push the average costs up. That means, while the average cost of a studio in Los Angeles might seem far out of your range, the reality is that there are plenty of areas within the city that are more affordable and well within your budget.

Other Living Costs in Los Angeles

Southern California in general tends to have higher housing costs, but that doesn’t mean there are no affordable housing options as well. If you are planning to make the move to Los Angeles, it’s also a good idea to take into account the other costs and living expenses you’ll face when moving to this city.

Utilities

One of the reasons that rent costs are so high in Los Angeles is the plentiful sun all year round. However, depending on the region and neighborhood, you may be dealing with a little too much sun during the warmer seasons. While water and garbage disposal are usually included in rental costs, most of your utility bill will be taken up by electricity and air conditioning costs. Your exact utility bill costs will vary, but the citywide average utility bill is about $127.26 for an apartment measuring 915 square feet (admittedly larger than most apartments in the area).

Food

Los Angeles is well-known for its year-round access to fresh produce, but its overall food costs are generally higher than the national averages. A gallon of milk costs about $3.80 on average, while a dozen eggs cost about $3.53. A meal for one at an inexpensive restaurant averages about $15.75.

Transportation

LA’s public transit system is growing and improving, but it is by no means even close to the more established systems in New York, Chicago, and other large cities.Part of this comes down to just how sprawling the city is. Because of this, Los Angeles is very much a car city, making driving almost a necessity. That means that the two biggest transportations costs in Los Angeles are insurance and gas.

Insurance costs will vary even between zip codes. This is usually associated with levels of congestion and crime rates in the area. On average, monthly premiums are about $150 for comprehensive and collision insurance.

Gas prices fluctuate widely, but they tend to be fairly high in the city. Factor in the constant gridlock traffic and you can expect to fill your gas tank up more often than you would in other cities. If you do drive in Los Angeles, consider investing in a hybrid vehicle to save on gas or consider riding a bike for trips that are within your neighborhood and don’t require getting on the freeway.

How to Save on Rent in Los Angeles

Explore in Real Life

While it is easy to get discouraged looking up numbers and average rents for real estate in LA, the reality of paying for an apartment is much different. Your ideal apartment may not be as apparent to you as you think. Considering how car-centric the city is, the best way to explore and hunt for an apartment is to take to the roads and actually visit neighborhoods in person. Check out adjacent neighborhoods, and take note of all the cafes, eateries, and shops in the area. The city is full of hidden gems that you won’t necessarily find on a website.

Be a Discerning Shopper

While an apartment’s rent may seem well within your budget, make sure to keep in mind all of your other expenses. For example, if the apartment is far away from your place of work, all of the money that you are saving on rent may actually be negated by the amount you spend on gas and car maintenance. Keep in mind the things that you value.

Find a Roommate or Two

Perhaps the easiest way to save on rent in Los Angeles is to find some roommates. This allows you to split rent and utility costs, bringing down your monthly payments while still allowing you to live where you want. This is best for students and those just out of school. However, make sure you choose your roommates wisely. Knowing how to meet people in Los Angeles is easy, but knowing how to meet the right people comes with its own challenges. It doesn’t matter how low your monthly bills are if actually living in your apartment is a stressful, unpleasant experience.

Use Zeus Living

Zeus Living provides fully furnished apartments with all of the necessary tools, utilities, and amenities ready to go. Kitchens are already equipped with utensils, cookware, and dishware, and each home is stocked with all the essentials, from vacuum cleaners to dish soap.

The process is simple. Find an available listing with real photos, floor plans, and 3D tours. Sign your lease online and access it wherever you are, whenever you want. Pay rent quickly and easily with our online system. Once you are ready, you can move in on your own schedule with our safe self check-in system.

Zeus Living is designed to take the hassle out of finding the right apartment. Whether you need a Los Angeles apartment for a week, a month, or a year, we make it easy to just live where you want without needing to worry about all of the extraneous details.

While the average apartment cost in Los Angeles can be intimidating, actually finding an apartment to call your home is still well within your budget. If living in Los Angeles is something you’ve always dreamed of, don’t get discouraged. Once you move, you’ll only have to worry about the fun things, like where to meet new people, which neighborhoods to explore, and where to celebrate birthdays in Los Angeles.

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