Moving from Washington DC to Los Angeles: Cost and Tips

Before you make your move from DC to LA, know the important factors that may affect the cost of your move.

A true cross-country move like this is going to be expensive, there’s no way around it.

How much?

Quick Answer: The average cost to move from Washington DC to Los Angeles is $5,500-$11,250 depending on the size, route, and timing of the move. Hiring a professional moving company will be on the more expensive side. Renting a truck or using a moving container will save you money but also require a lot more work.

Understanding the factors that raise the moving cost will greatly help you save money.

Already know when you’re moving? See how much it will cost using our moving cost estimator.

Ready to learn all about moving from Washington DC to Los Angeles?

Let’s get to it.

How Much Does It Cost to Move from Washington DC to Los Angeles?

Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company Truck Rental*
Studio/1 bedroom $2,990-$6,608 $2,717-$3,432 $2,138-$2,700 $2,099-$2,651
2-3 bedroom $6,214-$9,390 $2,247-$5,364 $3,230-$4,080 $2,498-$3,155
4+ bedroom $10,200-$14,550 $5,470-$6,910 $4,560-$5,760 $3,069-$3,876

*Estimates for truck rentals includes fuel costs only. Other costs may include lodging, tolls, or parking.

Why Do the Prices Vary So Much?

When you pay more for professional movers, you take a lot of stress out of the moving experience. To save money use moving containers. Freight companies and DIY truck rentals are other options.

For example, moving containers and freight companies only move your stuff, you must complete the packing and unpacking.

If you rent a truck you are responsible for every step of the moving process, which can be both physically and mentally stressful. Professional movers on the other hand do all the heavy lifting, door to door, which costs more.

Inbound vs. Outbound State Demands Impacts Price

If more people are moving to a state, the move may cost you more. California is balanced with nearly the same people moving out of the state as moving in. With urban centers like Los Angeles as your destination, the popularity of state may not be much of a factor. However, moving season may influence cost.

Offseason vs Peak Moving Season Impacts Price

When you move also affects your cost. If you move during peak moving season you will pay more. Offseason moves will save you a lot if you can control your moving dates. Compare the costs of a moving season move (summer) to an offseason move (fall or winter).

  • November 1: A five-bedroom house with professional movers: $7,290-$12,550
  • July 1: A five-bedroom house with professional movers: $10,200-$14,550

Use the moving cost calculator to get an estimate based on your moving dates and the size of your move.

Why Are People Moving from Washington DC to Los Angeles?

Housing costs are skyrocketing in DC following a gentrification trend that has left little in affordable housing.

Add to this less than comfortable weather.

LA on the other hand offers year-round sunny weather and a lot of employment opportunities. The unemployment rate in L.A. County decreased to 4.9 percent in January 2017 – below the rate of 5.6 one year ago.

While housing costs in LA are still a challenge, the other perks make this sunny city a prime destination.

Best Places to Move in Los Angeles

What’s interesting about LA is that it is a nest of diverse neighborhoods that intermingle and work together. Choosing your destination neighborhood depends on how each community matches your needs and personality.

Atwater Village

Atwater Village is perfectly situated among the main LA freeways and the hotspot of northeast LA is just a street ride away.

This diverse neighborhood is a cultural mix that celebrates its variety. And with average one-bedroom rents at roughly $1,800 it is one of the more affordable places to live in Los Angeles.

Beverly Grove

Beverly Grove has slightly higher rentals, but it may be worth it if you want to get closer to the center of the city. This stretch between West Hollywood and Beverly Hills has touches of old LA everywhere you look.

Two of the most talked-about perks of Beverly Grove is the gigantic megamall and the must-see farmer’s market.

Beverly Hills

If you can afford the much higher cost of living and want to rub elbows with the aging rich and famous, Beverly Hills is the ideal LA location.

Amazingly Beverly Hills retains a neighborhood feel among the Hollywood glam. There are several affordable eateries among the overpriced restaurants. You’ll find Rodeo Drive is ideal for celebrity spotting.

Culver City

Culver City has somewhat more affordable housing and offers quick access to main arteries like the 405 and the 10 for speedy travel.

Culver City is the home of most of the working folk in Hollywood. If you wonder where the makeup artists and cameramen live, it’s here.

Downtown LA

For those who want the true city experience, living in downtown LA is doable with rents for a one-bedroom a little over $2000.

Currently, LA is going through a transformation, new residential development and urban renewal are giving the city a fresh look. Like any big city, downtown LA is full of bustle. The great part is that they have renovated their public transportation system that connects you to many of the outlying communities like Koreatown and the Arts District.

Echo Park

The highly affordable Echo Park is great for starter families or singles just moving to LA. With monthly one-bedroom rent costs at about $1,900, you don’t have to invest everything in housing to live here. There are lots of restaurants and bars on the historic Sunset Blvd.

What is remarkable about Echo Park is the huge Cuban influence on the neighborhood. You’ll find great sandwich shops, bakeries and Miami style bars along with the annual Presencia Cubana festival.

Frogtown

Affordable rentals and a more pedestrian-friendly design make it worth it to live in a LA neighborhood with a funny name, Bike and walking paths wind throughout Frogtown so you become less dependent on freeways. One-bedroom apartments run for about $1,780 a month.

The city is up and coming. Once the home of a warehousing district, Frogtown is changing to become more resident-friendly. New breweries and coffee shops are popping up along with lots of restaurants with diverse cuisine.

Glendale

Glendale has become famous as the culinary epicenter in LA. Here you will find restaurants representing nearly every culture.

While the rent is slightly higher than neighboring communities, the commercial experience of shops and food make you feel like you are living in a major urban center.

Northeast LA

This historic district includes a cluster of neighborhoods like Highland Park and Eagle Rock. The unique experience of this side of town is the mix of old and new. Historic LA resides here along with new development.

You’ll enjoy all the family businesses as well. The barbershops and bakeries passed down through generations make you feel the close-knit quality of this community.

And it’s affordable. Typical rent is about $1,450 a month for a one-bedroom.

Koreatown

Don’t be fooled by the name. Koreatown has a large Korean population but is not specifically an ethnic neighborhood. In fact, you ‘ll find some of the best bars and restaurants. Yes, there is a lot of Korean BBQ, but there is also a lot of other diverse restaurants to explore.

Koreatown has a diverse mix of young and old and different cultures. There is a sense to keep the neighborhood the way it is, and it seems to be working.

With affordable rent at $1,620 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, you can enjoy the nightlife and easily hop on the 101 to get to downtown LA.

Pasadena

For a more family-friendly community, consider Pasadena. You’ll find lots of kid-friendly activities here along with plenty of shopping, dining and drinking establishments.

Pasadena is a great place to settle, especially if you are just starting a family. You’ll find great schools and plenty of outdoor fun.

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