Purchasing a home in Los Angeles can be an exciting experience because it can feel a lot like you've finally arrived somewhere you've always wanted to live. Of course, with the average home price hovering at around $600,000 and many neighborhoods in the L.A. area having much higher property prices than that, you've probably paid a pretty premium to be called an “Angeleno” – a person who comes from or resides in L.A. county. There are so many things to do in this huge city with its massive population and famous reputation, so what to do first? For starters, if you just bought a home in L.A., try taking the following 20 steps to have a better experience and get the most out of your stay:
1. Get Solar Panels
As you may know, L.A. gets plenty of sun. There's really no sense in letting all that energy smack into your rooftop and heat up your house, causing you to pay high electricity bills due to the ongoing need for air conditioning, when you could be using the sun to cover all of your home's electricity needs instead. California also provides special credits and tax write-offs to homeowners who opt for solar panels, which is part of the reason why there have been so many solar installations in Los Angeles these past few years. One of the best solar companies in Los Angeles is Semper Solaris (who you can find at https://sempersolaris.com/locations/los-angeles/). They're also one of the region's leading providers of solar panels, systems, and installation services.
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2. Put a Gazebo or Other Shade Source in Your Yard
If you've never experienced a summer in Los Angeles, then you're in for an unpleasant surprise if you don't have shade, air conditioning, fans, or preferably all three at the same time. Adding a gazebo to your new home's yard is a quick and easy way to give yourself somewhere comfortable to enjoy the outdoors on those days when stepping outside for a few minutes causes you to break into a sweat. As a bonus tip, you may want install a power outlet in the gazebo so that you can plug in fans and charge your devices conveniently.
3. Make Sure the Air Conditioning System is in Great Shape
One of the first home maintenance steps you'll want to take upon arriving is scheduling a checkup of your home's central air conditioning system. Even if it appears to be working, there could be problems that could increase the chances of it going out on a hot day, which could become a horribly uncomfortable inconvenience. Having your A/C checked immediately will also put you in touch with a local HVAC company that you could call on in the future when a repair is needed.
4. Start Learning How to Beat the Traffic
Let's face it, L.A. has some of the worst traffic congestion in the world. However, it's not all bad if you know when and where to drive. It's possible to beat the city's horrible traffic by avoiding areas that are prone to traffic jams and taking alternate roads. You might not be used to living in a city where you have to plan your day around the traffic itself, but that's exactly what you'll need to be prepared for.
5. Get to Know Some Locals
What's the point in paying for “location, location, location” if you're not getting any real benefits from the locale? There are endless opportunities to meet people and have fun socializing in this bustling city which is known for having some of the best night life in the world. Hit a few bars or clubs on the weekend and celebrate your VIP status as a new resident of the L.A. area. If you're a single individual, you'll probably be delighted to see how many new faces there are on the local dating app scene.
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6. Check Out the Local Entertainment Venues
L.A. has a few sports teams worth checking out, and the city is frequently home to live music concerts as well. There's always some sort of special event going on in the City of Angels. Don't forget that the area is also home to a number of theme parks, including the world-famous Universal Studios Hollywood.
7. Discover the City's Culinary Treats
Did you know that there are more than 8,600 restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area? That means you could eat at a new restaurant every day of the year for 23 years in order to eat at all of the dining establishments in L.A. Yes, that's right. There's two decades worth of food exploration waiting to be done in the city. Be careful though, because some of these restaurants can really start denting your budget if you're eating out every meal of the day.
[caption id="attachment_100045" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Best Seafood Restaurants In Los Angeles – CBS, The Strand House / Manhattan Beach, CA / Credit: Daniel Hennessy for Zislis Group[/caption]
8. Get to Know the Weather
The weather in Los Angeles can be beautiful or brutal, depending on which day it is and what time it is. Early mornings and evenings are generally tolerable, but any time from noon to 5 pm is typically a blistering scorch-fest in the months of July and August. As a new homeowner in the area, try to pay attention to the weather forecast to become more familiar with the area's climate.
9. Consider Using Public Transit
As mentioned, the traffic can seem absolutely intolerable if you're not used to it, and in many cases, it can cause significant disturbances in your personal or business life if you wind up getting caught in a traffic jam before an important meeting. Since buses and trains don't take the freeway, they tend to make it to their destination more reliably, so if you have somewhere really important to be, public transit might be your best bet in terms of reliability. However, do be aware that certain bus routes might take you through some less-than-pleasant areas, so do your research ion the bus routes before embarking on your commute.
10. Build Your L.A. Network
Networking in L.A. can help you become a better business person overall and could result in you meeting a connection that has a profound impact on your professional career. There's a lot of money floating around in L.A., and knowing the right people can certainly help you get your fair slice of the pie, especially if you're into real estate, entertainment, investing, or any other activity that could benefit from networking.
11. Come Up with a 5-Year Plan for the Property
Now that you own your home in L.A. What do you plan on doing with it? Are you going to live in it as a personal home for a year or two and then turn it into a rental property? Or maybe you have ambitions of selling it in a few years for a nice return. What kind of renovations or improvements do you have in mind? If you haven't given much thought to these questions yet, now is as good a time as ever for you to draw up a 5-year investment and maintenance plan for the property.
12. Be Prepared to Deal with All Kinds of People
L.A. Is a melting pot of culture, so if you're afraid of diversity or encountering a fairly high rate of rude people, this might not be the place for you. Life in L.A. moves fast, so you're bound to encounter impatient drivers, rude pedestrians, and other odd behavior in a city of that size. None of this stuff was probably advertised in your home's property listing, but now that you're an L.A. resident, it's good to be prepared for dealing with all sorts of personalities and attitudes.
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13. Study a Map of the City
Use Google Maps or another navigational app to check out a map of the city for a few minutes. Take note of which roads lead to your home and the various options you have for leaving and entering your community. While it can be easy to fall into the usual approach of relying fully on your GPS to guide you around, having a thorough navigational knowledge of the area could help you in an emergency and will certainly make your life easier by helping you avoid bad traffic and inefficient trips.
14. Take Advantage of Big City Discounts and Digital Coupons
Sites like Groupon have an absurd number of discounts available to people in L.A. because there are many stores and brands that are always actively running promotions in the city. In fact, one could argue that NYC and L.A. gain access to more exclusive promotions than any other cities in the U.S. Luckily, as an official resident of the city, you can now take advantage of these deals by the dozen. Along the same lines, you might even want to look into becoming a secret shopper in the area.
15. Avoid the L.A. DMV Altogether
If you've been thinking about going to the Los Angeles DMV to handle a transfer or license issue, just don't. It might seem counter-intuitive but in many cases, you'd be better off driving to another DMV location in one of the smaller surrounding cities than to put yourself through the hassle of waiting for hours in the city's famously slow DMV line. In fact, the Downtown Los Angeles DMV is statistically known as being the slowest DMV office in the state in terms of average wait times.
16. Come Up with an Exercise Regimen
L.A. is the perfect place to actually kick off that weight loss or workout regimen you've been wanting to do for so long. There are literally hundreds of gyms in the area, and plenty of social media groups that organize events related to cycling, swimming, running, marathons, sports, hiking, and all sorts of fun social activities.
17. Consider Renting Out Your Home as an AirBnB
If you own properties elsewhere, or have other reasons to leave your new home uninhabited for a few days, you could consider the benefits of renting it out on AirBnB, or a similar platform. Short-term rentals will pay you by the night, and if you add up the amount you could make per month, it's usually much more than if you were to rent out the home by the month. In fact, many people buy homes in the L.A. area just to rent them out as AirBnBs for profit.
18. Be Conscious of Air Quality
The city's air pollution problem is no secret, and there are some days when smog and pollen make any type of outdoor activity ill-advised. Keep an eye on the weather forecast to check the daily smog and pollen reports. Choose clear and sunny days for outdoor exercise and get a good air purifier or central A/C filtering system for your home.
19. Learn Which Neighborhoods to Avoid
Certain neighborhoods in L.A. probably won't be so inviting or enjoyable. As a new resident of the city, it would be wise to get to know which areas you should avoid if you want to minimize your chances of ever becoming a crime statistic of some sort. According to crime data, the worst neighborhoods in L.A. are Downtown, Fashion District, Watts, Skid Row, West Adams, Southeast Los Angeles, and Central City East.
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20. See the Surrounding Cities
Southern California is home to plenty of other awesome cities that are a short driving distance from L.A. Some cities that you might want to take a quick day trip to include San Diego, Santa Barbara, Napa Valley, Long Beach, Santa Cruz, and Orange County. In the off chance that you ever get bored or tired of the L.A. lifestyle, the rest of the region offers plenty of scenic variation to enjoy.
There's a Lot to Be Learned and Loved in L.A.
Ultimately, you'll discover that there are many sides to the city of Los Angeles, and many of them you won't find out about until you're actually there. While there are certainly some downsides to consider, if you've already purchased a home in Los Angeles, then rejoice in knowing that you live in a city where it's almost impossible to stay bored.