The unexpected costs of living in L.A.’s ‘trendiest’ neighborhoods

It’s expensive to live in Los Angeles, but not every neighborhood is created equally.

While you can find good deals in many of L.A.’s boroughs and suburbs, a handful of the “trendiest” neighborhoods are going to cost a lot, even if you manage to strike gold on the home of your dreams.

While rent is more expensive in trendy neighborhoods, having an active social life is more expensive too.

Looking at 14 of the “trendiest” neighborhoods in America, a new study from Architectural Digest analyzed just how much people were paying to enjoy their neighborhoods on top of monthly rent.

Architectural Digest considered the cost of renting an average one-bedroom home, as well as entertainment expenses including the cost of attending events and treating oneself to semi-regular outings.

“We assumed the resident would be attending an entertainment venue once a week, an art venue once a week, dining out and buying coffee five times a week, and enjoying a cocktail twice per week,” the report states.

Two neighborhoods in Los Angeles made the cut, and this is how much Architectural Digest says it costs to live there under those circumstances:

Silver Lake

The popular enclave for creative types is among the most expensive neighborhoods in L.A.

Described by Visit California as the “Brooklyn of Los Angeles,” Silver Lake has loads of amenities, despite its rather small footprint. It’s home to the Silver Lake Reservoir, dozens of cafes and restaurants and, apparently, a handful of well-known celebrities.

But living in Silver Lake ain’t cheap. Architectural Digest estimates residents spend about $240 per week simply by having an active social life in the area, accounting for about 21% of a a resident’s monthly income.

Activity Cost
Entertainment $20
Arts $15
Dinner for One $42.34
Cup of Coffee $4.95
Monthly Rent $2,400
Salary needed to comfortably afford rent: $96,000

Another Los Angeles neighborhood analyzed in the study is one of the city’s most famous, although one that borrows much of its charm from a more well-known city in Europe.


The famous beach town nestled between Santa Monica and the South Bay, Venice is known for its unique style, eclectic residents and its famous man-made canals. Named after the Italian city built along natural canals, Venice Beach is known as a trendy neighborhood with a free-spirited vibe.

According to Visit California, Venice is famous for “quirky happenings on its iconic beachfront boardwalk and pier, where mimes, jugglers, musicians, and street performers of all kinds inhabit an ever-changing and unforgettable bohemian subculture.”

A week out on the town will cost the average Venice resident about $330, the study suggests. The weekly cost of being social in Venice is estimated around 29% of an individual’s median monthly income.

Activity Cost
Entertainment $28
Arts $20
Dinner for One $60.70
Cup of Coffee $4.90
Monthly Rent $3,500
Salary needed to comfortably afford rent: $140,000

In all, Architectural Digest suggests that, while it might cost an arm and a leg to live in the most desirable neighborhoods in Los Angeles, being within walking distance of vast amenities and unique cultural hubs appear to be worth it for those who call these areas home.

For more information on the methodology used in the study, as well as a breakdown of other trendy neighborhoods in New York City, San Francisco, Austin and beyond, click here.

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