A Renters Guide To Los Angeles
The city of angels is a mecca for artists, actors and musicians. People come here from all over the world to pursue their dreams. They may not be living the high life that they had hoped, but that’s only because Los Angeles is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. Why? If you live here you already know the reasons. But if you are thinking of coming to the land of the stars you should know just how cool Los Angeles really is. From the waves on the Santa Monica shores, to the mansions in Hollywood Hills, the diversity in L.A. keeps us intrigued.
The L.A. culture tells us so much about the city. From the trendy artist lofts to the panoramic Pasadena suburbs, this city offers a little of everything to anyone who wants it. Getting a great deal on cheap renters insurance comes easier than renting itself. Renting in the Los Angeles definitely varies in price and availability. But for the most part, you will need to be on top of your search from beginning to end. The high demand of apartments and rentals in this cities is in direct correlation to the high prices of real estate. The average home in Los Angeles is 670 thousand dollars. This includes apartments and condos as well as large mansions. And this is just an average. Depending on your neighborhood, paying a million dollars for a home is not unusual.
High real estate markets price out potential home owners and force them to rent. Of course you have the occasional person who prefers renting. This person might be a college student, a business person who only lives in L.A. on weekdays, or even the family of five. If you want your children to attend school in a prestigious neighborhood but cannot afford the price tag on the homes, then renting might be a better option. Getting to the bottom of the renting debacle in Los Angeles means putting your hat in the ring. You might not get the first house you apply for, but by doing research you can find out what makes a good tenant and how you can land the rental of your dreams.
Because L.A has so many different areas broken up by class and affordability, figuring out where you want or need to live first is key. Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the United States are far as geography goes. The vast amount of land that makes up L.A. and the surrounding suburbs is 503 square miles. That’s larger than Manhattan. Los Angeles encompasses San Fernando to the North, Santa Monica to the West, Compton to the South and Pasadena to the East. You have upscale communities such as Beverly Hills and Bel Air, as well as lower income areas such as Inglewood. Burbank and Hollywood are made up largely by movie studios and movie sets.
Pick a Neighborhood
The most important thing to do when searching for a rental is finding a neighborhood. Because traffic can be so hectic in L.A., staying close to work is always a good idea. The last thing you want to do at the end of the day is sit in rush hour traffic hour on end. And public transportation in this great city is unfortunately not what it is in Manhattan or Chicago. There are almost 500 different neighborhoods in the greater L.A. area. And each neighborhood will have a different cost of cheap renters insurance.
Setting out on picking a place to live is a fun adventure. Try spending an evening in the suburb or city you like. Check out the night life and have some food. Get to know it. And if you like what you see, put into action finding a place to live. Sometimes we move to a new town or neighborhood with no idea about what it has to offer. Then we and up spending all of our time somewhere else. Don’t do this. Research the neighborhood where you want to live first.
Here is a list of cities in L.A. to choose from:
- Downton L.A.
- Hollywood Hills
- Bel Air
- Beverly Hills
- Boyle Park
- Silver Lake
- Echo Park
- Los Feliz
- North Hollywood
- Highland Park
- West L.A.
- Sherman Oaks
- Atwater Village
- Van Nuys
- Eagle Rock
- San Pedro
- Pacific Palisades
- Studio City
- Del Rey
- West Adams
- Lincoln Heights
- Century City
Set A Budget
The average cost of a one bedroom apartment in Los Angeles is $1360. And for a two bedroom apartment, rates are over $2000 a month. You also have to keep in mind that there is a deposit involved as well as an application fee. And if you have animals, sometimes you can end up paying up to $500 per animal as a deposit. You must set your expectations realistically. Many people who rent, choose to sublet part of the apartment or house to make living more affordable. There are many benefits to living in this great city but cost of living is not one of them.
Setting a budget is always a great idea. But it may limit your options. You want to make sure that what you set aside for rent is around one-third of what you make. This way you know you will have money left over for your car, groceries and utilities. Most tenants require you to make at least two and a half times what the rent is. So if you make $5,000 a month gross, you should be looking at not spending more than about $$1,600 on a place. This limits you to an apartment for the most part. Make sure that you also budget for cheap renters insurance. Although this part of the process is fairly inexpensive, you don’t want to over extend yourself. You can easily obtain renters insurance for around $20-$30 a month.
Look For The Right Place
You can search for rentals online, or simply ask around. Once you find a neighborhood you like, and figure out how much you can spend, you can search for the right place. Let’s say you need to find a two bedroom apartment for under $1900 a month. You will need to search for this in multiple search engines such as apartment.com or rent.com. If you find a couple places you like, make sure you visit them in person. Take a tour of the entire place from the laundry room, the pool area and of course an actual apartment. Luckily apartment complexes usually leave apartments vacant just to show potential residents. If you like the place, you can see what they have available and leave a deposit. Sometimes there is a waiting list. This is why the rental search process might take a while. Depending on how picky you are, you should give yourself at least three months to find the perfect place.
You might even consider applying to multiple rentals at one time. This way your chances of getting into one gets better. There are also rent-controlled apartments that could be a hidden treasure for you. People refer to these apartments as rent stabilized apartments because it is a way to keep the rental market accessible to everyone. Finding cheap renters insurance will also depend on where you live. In a nicer neighborhood with less crime, your insurance rates will always be lower. When looking for the right place, think of things that will make your life easier.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Searching For A Rental
- Is there a place to park my car?
- Is it close to public transportation?
- Will I have to commute far to get to work?
- If I do have to commute, what freeways will I need to take?
- What is the crime rate in the neighborhood?
- How much is the deposit and is it feasible for me to afford this?
- Are animals allowed?
- What are the lease terms: 1 year, 6 months or month to month?
- Is it in a gated area or community?
- Is there a pool?
- What are the amenities?
- What is included with rent?
- How much will my utilities be?
- How is street parking in the neighborhood?
- What appliances does the rental come with?
What Renting Is Like
If you have never rented before, there are some things you should know. The first is that you should treat your rental with the same love and respect you would treat your own home. Why? because you paid a deposit and you want it back. Also the way that your landlord feels about you could help you immensely next time you want to rent a pad. If you are ever looking to upgrade from an apartment to a house, your landlord could make or break your next rental arrangement. One positive part of the renting process is that any maintenance is usually fixed by the landlord. Let’s say your air conditioning breaks in the middle of summer. Your landlord has an obligation to keep his tenant happy. There are landlord/tenant laws that make it easy to rent because these laws protect you.
Renting can be a little unsettling because you never know when the landlord will want to sell. If you are living in an apartment situation, you have a little more security. One thing that can make you feel secure is having a great renters insurance policy. Renters insurance can cover your assets inside the home from theft. When you rent, you have less control over how much the home is protected. When searching for cheap renters insurance, you may want to talk with a broker who can help you find a great deal as well as the right amount of insurance. You can always bundle your renters insurance with your car insurance.
Here is what you can get covered with renters insurance:
- Theft- if someone comes into your home and steals any personal property
- Fire or lightning damage- mother nature has a way of damaging property
- Smoke damage- a small kitchen fire can cause a lot of damage, be covered.
- Water damage- if there is any water damage to the house you are renting it could costs thousands to repair
- Hail or windstorm damage- Live in a place with high winds? Be prepared.
- Damage from falling objects- If a tree falls, it can cause some serious damage.
- Personal property- Jewelry, furs, fine art, and the excess things in your house not covered by theft.
- Dwelling- major property coverage that protects house and attached structures.
- Explosion damage
- Ice and sleet damage
- Liability coverage-If someone is injured in your house, they could sue. Liability is a good idea.
- Medical payments to others- if someone is injured and needs to have medical care.
- Loss of use- which means that you will still be covered if the house you live in needs repairs from fire or other damages. This coverage helps with additional living expenses for you and your family.
Why Do I Need Insurance?
More break-ins happen in apartment buildings or condos than other types of homes. The National Crime Prevention Council has found that apartments are 85% more likely to be robbed than other homes. Home Insurance is required by law, but most renter’s in California don’t carry adequate insurance to protect themselves for this type of loss. Accidents happen. If your bathtub or sink overflows and leaks into a neighbor’s apartment, you may be liable. If somebody falls in your yard, or in your apartment, you could potentially be found at fault. The average price of Renters insurance in the state of California annually is $207. That comes out to a little over $17 a month. That is very affordable! Especially for all of the things that renters insurance protects.
You can save by paying your renters insurance up front in one annual payment or two bi-annual payments. Shave off some of your hard-earned money form your bill. You are not required to carry renters insurance by law in the state of California. You will be much better off having. It could save you thousands of dollars in the end. Los Angeles is a city where you will want to be covered. With over 4 million people living in the city itself, there are a lot of chances for things to go wrong. Insurance will also give you peace of mind. Some landlords expect you to have it and it looks good on your future lease applications if you have carried it.
Los Angeles Is Where It’s At
L.A. is a great place to live and this is why. The Hollywood sign is iconic but also is a great excuse for a hike. Hike to the Hollywood sign for some of the best views of the city. The Getty Center is a beautiful museum and exhibit which is one of a kind. This architectural wonder is a spectacular sight. The botanical gardens are one of the best in the country. The night life is amazing and is not to be missed. With some of the best restaurants in the world, a true Los Angeles favorite is Sushi Park located off Sunset BLVD near the Hollywood Hills. And last but not least the beautiful ocean views just miles away. Surf, sun and sand as well as stars and success.