The Ultimate LA FAQ


Picture courtesy of Neil Kremer Flickr

This is going to be a quick FAQ about living in LA.

If you can think of anything to add to this list, by all means please do so. If you want to disagree with me, feel free. I may be wrong on any of the items below.

There are many reasons people move to and live in LA. Depending on your reason, some of these won’t apply. All of these questions have been submitted to me by your fellow IMTLA readers throughout my time running the site.

Before we start, here are the rules: I’m going to give no explanations. Just listen.

1) How much money should I bring to LA? $10,000.

2) Where’s the cheapest, coolest, and safest place to live in Los Angeles? North Hollywood.

3) What are some cool things to do in LA when I arrive? Download 30 for 30.

4) I have lots of things I want to accomplish in LA including being a writer, actor, and entrepreneur.  How do I pick the right one? In a sense we’re all lost in LA when it comes to career aspirations. Just do as many possible. The right career will pick you.

5) Should I visit LA before I move? Double Yes.

6) Will I be mugged by gang members when I move to LA? No. Crime is at an all-time low but stay away from East LA if you’re not from there.

7) I heard LA is filled with Mexicans and they’re taking all of our jobs. Is this true? You’re racist. Please leave this page.

8) If I’m an actor with a college degree do you think I should pick up a regular corporate job or work at a restaurant because of its flexibility? Restaurant.

9)  Is traffic really that bad in LA? Yes.

10) Where can I find temporary housing in LA before I decide to sign a lease?

11) Besides Craigslist, where can I find a roommate that is not a potential serial killer? or

12) How do I meet new people in LA?

13) Should I have sex with my new roommate? Yes. If the feelings are mutual.

14) Hey, I want to be a YouTube star. Should I move to LA? No.

15) Hey, I’m tired of my small town and I want to find myself. Should I move to LA? See above.

16) What’s the quickest way to make money in LA? Craigslist Gigs.

17) How’s the dating scene in LA? Bad.

18) Do you really need a car to live in LA? No.

19) I’m too cool for the LA lifestyle. Where should I move? Silverlake.

20) How do you overcome adversity in LA? Keep going.

21) What’s your best advice when it comes to dealing with the California DMV? Make an appointment.

22) What is the sign of someone who will not make it in LA? Any of these things:

  • Discouraged about progress during their first year in LA
  • Terrified of rejection
  • Making friends with people who are obvious losers.
  • Dating people who are obvious losers.
  • Never goes out to enjoy what LA has to offer
  • Rejecting a job offer when you have almost no income.

23) What is the sign of a LA professional:

  • Knows exactly what they want from LA
  • Stays focused amidst the LA chaos
  • Making friends with people who are obvious winners.
  • Knowing how to distinguish between winners and losers (subject of an entire other post but in your gut you know, trust me).

24) Should I have sex with my roommate? Stop asking that.

25) Does it make sense to take a job on the Westside of LA (i.e. Santa Monica) if I live in the Valley (Glendale)? No. Never.

26) What do I do when I have doubts? Go to the beach. Go hiking. Get away from the LA noise.


Justin Resarieo is a creative entrepreneur and graduate of The University of Alabama. He has lived in LA for 6 years and enjoys the weather, creativity, and opportunity the city offers.


  • Reply October 14, 2013


    I agree with most of this except the part about a corporate job vs. working at a restaurant. There ARE flexible full-time jobs with benefits, health insurance, and perks to be had in Los Angeles. I’ve worked two of them. Working at a restaurant is not a pre-requisite for being in the entertainment industry.

  • Reply October 14, 2013


    It’s a great idea to be knowledgable about your rights as a tenant out here in LA. So many property management companies like to get over on their tenants.

  • Reply October 14, 2013


    Definitely second the suggestion of reading up on your rights as a tenant. I was in LA for 3 weeks before realizing I already needed to arm myself with information due to my apartment’s shady management company.

    Also, take up offers to outings/group hangs/mixers etc. whenever they come. It’s always helpful to meet as many people as possible, whether for platonic, romantic, or professional purposes.

  • Christopher Ming
    Reply October 16, 2013

    Chris Ming

    This is a great post, Justin. Definitely agree with the restaurant job, and wanted to expand on Michael’s comment: in terms of “flexible” just as important as being able to take time off when you need it, is the ability to get a job quickly (and quit, just as quickly). There tends to be less paperwork. You have more options to work for cash under the table, if that’s what you’re looking for. A restaurant job can feel less “permanent” thus you’re not as emotionally attached, so when that gig you’ve been holding out for comes up, you can move on it quickly.

  • Reply December 27, 2014


    It’s nice to see someone else from Alabama! I’ve been considering moving to LA for a while, but still not really sure. I’m interested in the arts district mainly.

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