What Does it Really Cost to Live in
Los Angeles?

APARTMENT THERAPY'S COST OF LIVING REPORT

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Thinking of moving to the City of Angels? If you're wondering what exactly that will cost you, we've crunched some numbers for you. Read on to see what it really costs to live in L.A.

At the outset, I'd like to explain my methodology. In a city as vast and varied as Los Angeles, it's extremely difficult to make generalizations. I've tried as best I could to cover three neighborhoods that give a relatively diverse view of the city's communities. I chose Silver Lake, Studio City, and Santa Monica because they are a) geographically distinct, (with Silver Lake to the east, Santa Monica on the westside, and Studio City north in the valley); b) neighborhoods that would appeal to our readership; and c) popular areas for different kinds of people.

While I realize that some Angelenos will probably wonder why I didn't include Culver City, or Downtown, or Highland Park, I was limited by time and space to choosing only 3 areas. I find that the neighborhoods I've chosen are fairly good representatives of each of their larger areas of the city.

I would also note here that, while the entirety of Los Angeles is extremely variable, each of these neighborhoods in and of themselves are diverse. As an example, in Santa Monica, the average condo price in the 90403 zip code is $1,100,000, while in the 90404 zip code, it's $630,000. That's a huge variable within one "neighborhood," so to speak, so keep in mind when looking at median prices that there's a huge range within each community.

With those caveats, it's on to the numbers!

Essentials & Entertainment
  • Milk: $3.19/gal regular; $6.79/gal organic
  • Monthly Metro EZ Transit pass: $84 (does NOT include Metrolink subway)
  • Gas: $3.91/gal regular 
  • Movie ticket: $12.50/adult
  • Restaurant Dinner: $40/person (with one drink)
  • Beer (draft pint): $8.00
  • Cocktail: $12.00
Apartments/Condos for Rent

Studios:

Median Rents:
  • Silver Lake: $1,150
  • Studio City: $1,040
  • Santa Monica: $2,010
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Examples:
  • Silver Lake: 1 bath, 700 square feet, $1,775
  • Studio City: 1 bath, 482 square feet, $1,495
  • Santa Monica: 1 bath, 435 square feet, $2,103


One Bedrooms:

Median Rents:
  • Silver Lake: $1,485
  • Studio City: $1,530
  • Santa Monica: $2,280
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Examples:
  • Silver Lake: 1 bath, 589 square feet, $1,465
  • Studio City: 1 bath, 651 square feet, $1,763
  • Santa Monica: 1 bath, 482 square feet, $2,270


Two Bedrooms:

Median Rents:
• Silver Lake: $2,273
• Studio City: $2,500
• Santa Monica: $3,700

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Examples:
  • Silver Lake: 1 bath, 1,000 square feet, $2,295
  • Studio City: 1 bath, 651 square feet, $1,763
  • Santa Monica: 1.5 bath, 837 square feet, $2,850

Houses for Sale:

Two Bedrooms:

Median Home Price:
• Silver Lake: $589,000
• Studio City: $540,000
• Santa Monica: $800,000

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Examples:
  • Silver Lake: 2 bath, 840 square feet, $599,900
  • Studio City: 1 bath, 1,283 square feet, $799,000
  • Santa Monica: 1.5 bath, 1,066 square feet, $969,000

Three Bedrooms:

Median Home Price:
• Silver Lake: $735,000
• Studio City: $799,000
• Santa Monica: $1,125,000

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Examples:
  • Silver Lake: 1.5 bath, 1,782 square feet, $825,000
  • Studio City: 3 bath, 1,963 square feet, $1,099,999
  • Santa Monica: 2 bath, 1,789 square feet, $1,699,000

Four Bedrooms:

Median Home Price:
• Silver Lake: $826,000
• Studio City: $1,092,500
• Santa Monica: $2,192,500

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Examples:
  • Silver Lake: 3 bath, 2,496 square feet, $979,000
  • Studio City: 4.5 bath, 2,352 square feet, $1,999,000
  • Santa Monica: 2 bath, 2,138 square feet, $1,768,000
Angelenos, please feel free to jump into the conversation and tell us about your experiences getting by in Los Angeles.

(Images: 1. Flickr user photographerglen, licensed for use under Creative Commons; property photos via Zillow)

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