What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?

Neighborhood characteristics, amenities, proximity to public transport, schools, work, shops, cinemas, churches and type of accommodation. It's best to consult with a person knowledgeable of the areas that you are interested in. It is not difficult to find housing, as long as you are willing to pay for it. Rental living is at a premium in Southern California and rent is expected to increase 10% in 2013. L.A.'s housing market greatly favors landlords and not the tenants. For the most part, people live on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The city itself is mostly business and commercial and not conducive to family living.
↑ Top

What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?

Los Angeles and Orange Counties are very large geographical areas and it's best to consult with an experienced real estate professional or Crown Los Angeles when considering a move to the area. There are several neighborhoods that people migrate to (whether they're expats or native Californian). They are selected for their sense of community, citizens and standard of living. Some of these neighborhoods include Westwood, Brentwood, Thousand Oaks, Bixby Knolls, Irvine and Mission Viejo. These areas are planned communities with newer housing, plenty of parks for family outings and convenient shopping for daily needs and have been designed with family living in mind.
↑ Top

Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?

When unfamiliar with the area, they tend to rent for a short term before leasing or purchasing, depending on the length of stay. If they plan to stay at least three to five years, purchasing a home is more common.
↑ Top

Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?

Typically, one month's rent and a security deposit equal to one month's rent can be requested up front. The costs vary depending on the amount of monthly rent required. If the rent is $2,000 a month, the property manager may require first month's rent of $2,000, plus an additional security deposit of up to $2,000. California State Law limits the security deposit to no more than two months' rent for an unfurnished apartment and three months' rent for a furnished apartment.
↑ Top

Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?

Generally, utilities are not included when renting homes, condos and townhouses. Sometimes, apartments have utilities included. Utilities can include gas, electricity, phone, DSL (high speed internet), trash and water.
↑ Top

Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?

As is common in most cities, certain areas are less desirable than others. It is a very good idea to consult with friends, co-workers, and Crown Los Angeles to help you select the area that suits you best.
↑ Top

I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?

The electric current in the United States is 110 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 60.

Do note: It is not recommended that you bring appliances from overseas. Although there are converters available, the appliance will probably not function properly.

Below are examples of the types of plugs that are used in the U.S.:

Type A - Flat blade attachment plug

Type B - Flat blades with round grounding pin

↑ Top

Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?

Be prepared for the rental management company representative to perform a credit check when you apply to rent a home. It is recommended that you have your employer prepare a letter for you indicating your financial stability. This does not present a problem for expats coming to the area. LA encompasses a very large geographic area. Single family homes without common walls are available for rent or purchase as well as units sharing common walls (referred to as apartments, condos, and townhouses). Most homes do not come with appliances other than an oven/stove. Some units offer a number of amenities (such as a pool or recreational facilities) and others offer merely the accommodations. Pet friendly accommodations are not plentiful.
↑ Top

Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.