The cost of living in Los Angeles is pretty steep and even steeper in Hancock Park. But what you get for your money makes the cost worth it.
Because living costs are directly tied to income, it is a major determining factor in what kind of lifestyle you can live. If the cost of living is high and expenses outpace income, then you’ll be limited in what you can buy and do.
Hancock Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, offers much to offset the high living costs, including wages that keep pace with the costs.
So let’s take a closer look and see if Hancock Park is really worth it.
Cost of Living in Los Angeles
First, let’s examine living costs for Los Angeles as a whole.
“Once you arrive in the City of Angels, you will immediately be faced with seemingly exorbitant costs. And we have to get that particular elephant out of the way at the beginning – the cost of living in Los Angeles is steep. The good thing is that what you get for your money is well worth it. And you can earn quite a bit here.”
What makes these costs so high in Los Angeles is primarily the cost of housing. “he average price of a square foot in downtown LA comes at around $745 and $475 in the outskirts. . . . Small apartments in the city center go for around $2,230 a month, while outside of it, the rent for a similar flat would be about $1,720.”
But, as we mentioned, salaries keep pace with the seeming high cost of living. The average net salary is about $4,400 per month. Keep in mind that this is just the average – many professionals make much more.
Cost of Living Index
With a cost-of-living index based on a national average of 100, here’s how Los Angeles stacks up . . .
- Food/groceries – 104.1 (slightly less than the 105.1 for the state and just barely above the national average of 100)
- Healthcare – 89.4 (below the national average of 100 and a bit lower than California’s 92.4)
- Housing – 298.2 (which make Los Angeles’ living costs appear so high when taken together)
- Utilities – 93.7 (below both the California and national averages)
- Transportation – 165.3 (higher than California’s 133.1)
- Overall – 173.3 (as compared to 149.9 for California and 100 for the US as a whole)
The median home price in Los Angeles is $689.500, which is almost triple the median price across the country at $231,200 and more than the median price in California as a whole at $552,800. This is the main reason why the cost of living in Los Angeles seems to be so high.
But you have to keep in mind that some of these living costs, as noted above, are actually below or on par with the national average of 100. Food and groceries cost about what you’d pay anywhere across the country, and in the important areas of healthcare and utilities, the costs are well below the national average.
Cost of Specific Goods and Services
Now let’s look at cost of some specific goods and services to get a more concrete idea of the cost of living in Los Angeles . . .
- Meal at an inexpensive restaurant – $20.00
- Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant – $82.00
- 12-oz. Bottle of imported beer – $8.00
- Regular cappuccino – $4.69
- Gallon of milk – $3.53
- Dozen eggs – $3.40
- Loaf of white bread – $3.04
- One pound of beef round – $6.66
- Local transit one-way ticket – $1.75
- Monthly pass – $100.00
- Utilities for 915 sq. ft. apartment – $165.66 per month
- Private daycare for preschool children – $1,055.44 per month
A few of these are a little high, some of them about what you’d pay anywhere, and a couple – utilities in particular – well below what you’d pay elsewhere.
The first thing that pops out when we look at Hancock Park in particular is the higher home and rent prices. The median home value is $1,446,297, and median rent comes in at $2,245. In fact, Hancock Park gets a grade of D+ for the housing category on Niche’s ranking.
But, again, that’s not the whole story.
“Hancock Park is a historic neighborhood. A century ago, this was an oil field owned by a local family. Today, it has 1920s-style homes and tree-lined streets. But there’s more to this area than pretty buildings. . . . In fact, this is one of the most diverse upscale communities in LA.”
One of the more sophisticated enclaves in the city, Hancock Park was developed “in the 1920′s [and] is known for its palatial and detailed revival period homes (Tudor, Mediterranean, American, English and Spanish Colonial – amongst others). Howard Hughes, Nat King Cole and Mae West were a few of the luminaries that have chosen to call the neighborhood home over the years. More recently, Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, David Schimmwer, Sean Hayes, Milla Jovovich as well as the British Consuls-General have resided there.
“Famous architects such as John Austin, Paul Williams, and Wallace Neff have contributed to the appearance of the neighborhood and because it’s a historically designated area (HPOZ – Historical Preservation Overlay Zone), it will insure that the splendor of the neighborhood survives over the years to come. The homes are typically two story, all set back 50 feet from the street (per the mandate of developer Allen Hancock in the 1920′s) and have side driveways through porte cochere to rear garages. In Hancock Park the telephone lines are buried underground – which means there are no power lines traipsing through back yards (a cherished rarity in Los Angeles).
“Driving through Hancock Park is one of the more meditative and calming experiences in the city.”
The Final Assessment . . .
Ultimately, the cost of living is higher in Hancock Park than in many other places. But much of the higher cost is driven by housing prices. Further, living costs are below the national average in a few categories. And salaries are high enough that the higher living costs don’t “feel” too onerous.
Hancock Park offers a lot and is a good place to live despite the seemingly high cost of living. But the cost of housing and the tight market call for the services of a top local real estate agent.