So I’ve said this line a lot recently, but for the newbies, I just moved from South Carolina all the way to Los Angeles, California with my girlfriend and two cats. Today is the day that I want to show you my new apartment in Silver Lake and talk about how we successfully found this apartment within our $2500 budget. Let’s get into it!
BEFORE YOU MOVE TO LOS ANGELES:
Before you just drop everything and come out here, it’s important that you are somewhat ready. I get the appeal of just coming out here on a whim, trust me.
But it’s so much better when you are mentally & fiscally prepared. If you’re like me and my girl, you came out here to experience the culture, GROW, find a tribe, creatively flourish and utilize some of the best artistic resources in the world so let’s set you up for that.
And I’m not saying I have it all figured out, but we made it here and are surviving so here’s what I got.
HOW MUCH MONEY TO BRING
We made sure to come with at least $6,000 saved a piece. On top of that, we booked a one-month stay at an Airbnb in Glendale. This was OUTSIDE of our $6,000 budget. And the Airbnb was $2700 for the month – so technically it was $7300 apiece. If you want to push it, maybe book an Airbnb for two weeks. Because we technically found a place that quickly. BUT it would have definitely added more stress on us to do this so I stand by my one-month recommendation.
If you are solo, I recommend coming with a minimum $10k.
I have to say this too – please don’t come with a terrible credit score.
My credit score is on the come up but was still in the low 600’s. Ngoc’s is great so we got LUCKY to both be accepted. Make sure if you’re solo your score is around 700 so that property managers have no reason to deny you.
HOW WE FOUND THE APARTMENT
We packed up everything in two cars and drove to our LA Airbnb in about 4 days.
After a three-day break, we started searching for places.
Los Angeles is so freaking overwhelming when it comes to where to live, and after driving around A LOT, I am constantly finding new places that seem so cute and fun.
I’m going to recommend the area I currently live (SILVER LAKE) the most BECAUSE: It’s like in the middle of everything. Super artsy. Feels nice and not as dirty or busy as a lot of places. Not a lot of homeless people. Doesn’t seem dangerous and so much to do nearby. Maybe one day I’ll own one of these multi-million dollar estates around here 😬.
But after driving around, there are so many places that are super cute as well. Other places that caught my eye – Burbank, Glendale, West Hollywood, Jefferson Park, Studio City, Echo Park, Los Feliz. And so much more honestly.
As you can tell, there are a sea of choices SO that’s why it’s incredibly important to get an Airbnb first and actually drive around these places.
Check out the coffee shops nearby, the parks, all the things you will want to frequent because though traffic isn’t as bad as people make it seem, it’s still an issue. And parking can be rather annoying – the more places you can walk or take a short drive too the better!
Another plus about driving around once you get here is that you will hopefully see the diamonds in the rough – the people that maybe haven’t listed their properties on Zillow, Apartments.com, or Trulia. They just threw up a FOR RENT sign in their yard to see what happens. You’ve got to hit the ground to find these!
We looked on these websites every day multiple times a day for about a week. Nothing seemed perfect for us at first, but we kept digging, and after about a week, we were ready to go out see some spots. We knew the competition was high so the ones we really liked we did our best to JUMP on them.
We feel like we got so lucky because our spot was/is a diamond in the rough. I didn’t even want to see it because the pictures were so bad and it didn’t look like much. But Ngoc did, so of course, we gave it a shot. The one thing that made me interested was that it is literally one street away from the Silver Lake Reservoir which I just think is such a peaceful nice place to walk/run or have a picnic with some beautiful homes and water around you. And it’s walkable to coffee shops, whole foods and so much more.
OUR $2400 SILVER LAKE APARTMENT
Long story short – we fell in love with it immediately.
Floor to ceiling windows in the living room. Super open space with so much LIGHT. A fireplace. Gorgeous white kitchen with stove & ice maker. 2 AC units ( we saw places with no AC so this was a plus)
A small outdoor patio space that’s semi-private (can’t wait to renovate that) – 1 parking space – not ideal but doable with a good bit of storage space.
It was so close to perfect that we hopped on it immediately. The price was $2400 – which is at the top of our budget, but we really felt like for the area and what it was – it was so worth it.
Our landlord has been so awesome and gave us a shot despite my credit score not being the best. Honestly, others might not have done the same, so I feel super thankful that it wasn’t an issue.
The only 2 negatives about this place after living in it for a few months is the parking space & you can hear traffic pass by. But these are pretty standard from what I hear. Other than that, it’s perfecto.
A COUPLE OF NOTES ON STARTING FRESH
A couple of things about moving here and starting fresh. This means your coming here with practically no furniture like us.
We found a lot of stuff on Facebook Marketplace, including our couch, desk, and little nick-nacks.
To move our couch, we used this awesome app called Lugg – you can hire 1-2 people with different sizes of trucks. They will come meet you at the house you are buying the furniture from – then follow you and completely unload for you. It cost $88 for us – which can add up for sure, but it was worth it for the price we got this couch.
REALITY OF LOS ANGELES
I talk a little about why I moved out here in this video here, but I want to mention briefly the reality of Los Angeles based on living here for a few months.
It’s not all beautiful, lots of places smell like dog pee. Yes, there are homeless people. It’s actually very sad what we as people drive or walk past every day without batting an eye. It has made me think a lot about perspective.
Traffic can be annoying. Parking too. Some places are incredibly too busy and can cause anxiety. Or at least they cause ME anxiety.
Just because you move out here doesn’t mean all of your dreams will come true. You still have to work – you still have to try – honestly probably harder than ever. But in my opinion, it’s completely worth it. So if you feel in your gut, that it’s the right thing to do – bring it on. You got this.
I’m doing some videos on side hustles out here so make sure to tune into those like this one on Rover.
Lastly, on the home, We obviously have a lot to do to make this fully a home, but we are on our way. I’ll give you an update once we are “finished”.