The greater Los Angeles-Orange County area's housing rat race is pretty well known. A lot of people live here. A lot of people still want to move here -- and that includes Los Alamitos. That said, while this is a popular, well-established city, you shouldn't need to plan too far ahead to secure your new digs.
The weather is typically SoCal, in that it's warm except for when it's hot. Natives will say it's cold in the winter and Midwesterners will work to resist the urge to slap them silly. There will always be traffic on the surrounding freeways and people will always be headed to the OC's theme parks (you'll be just about 20 minutes from that mouse's house in Anaheim).
As in any city, landlords in Los Alamitos will expect to see your credit history, proof of insurance, references, and enough cash to cover your first and last months' rent and the security deposit (and pets usually up the ante).
The classic California ranch style home was born here and still dots the landscape with amazing frequency. Of course, there are also plenty more modern developments here and rental homes or rental apartments are widely available. Here are some neighborhoods to check out:
Carrier Row: Thanks to the concentration of military industry and personnel in the area, this neighborhood features streets named after World War II aircraft carriers. This neighborhood lies just south of Katella Avenue and features nearly exclusively detached homes, so this is a great place to look for rental houses. Bonus: there's a golf course conveniently located for links-lovers.
Royal Oak: Located along the northwestern edge of town. this neighborhood is close to great parks, has easy freeway access, and is a good place to look for condo rentals or an apartment to rent.
Old Ranch: Situated along highway 22 on Los Alamitos's southern border, Old Ranch provides residents with easy coastal access and is next door to the popular and large Old Ranch Golf Course. Rental properties here are typically detached homes or townhouses.
As with most land in Southern California, Los Alamitos was once part of a sprawling Mexican land grant, Rancho Los Alamitos. Sugar beets were the prime agricultural output of the area until insects killed the industry in the first half of the 20th century. The next industry to move in: aviation.
The Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base is a major feature of this city. You probably shouldn't hate airplanes if you want to live here: the base is home to the Los Alamitos Army Airfield. In fact, 48% of Los Alamitos's area is occupied by the base. What's left is a pleasant balance of residences and amenities.
You should never be bored, have trouble finding somewhere to eat, or be unable to find a desired store when you live in Los Alamitos. This city is very much part of a greater region with everything you could ever possibly need.
Within city limits, retail confines itself mostly to Katella Avenue -- a major Orange County artery that will take you all the way to Disneyland if you keep heading east. Big box retail is just outside city limits in the community of Rossmoor, at the aptly named The Shops At Rossmoor.
Pack the clubs if you're moving to Los Alamitos; for a city this small there is a surprising amount of land occupied by golf courses. Old Ranch Golf Course is in the southern end of the city, and the appropriately named Cruiser Course and Destroyer Course are part of Navy Golf Course -- open to the public -- which features a full-service golf club that's been recently updated.
Aside from those greens, Los Alamitos offers plenty of other open space as well. The city boasts nine parks, ranging from a tiny quarter-acre in Soroptimist Park to the sprawling 14-acre Oak Site with its lit sports fields (baseball and soccer), volleyball and basketball courts. If you need something even bigger, El Dorado East Regional Park in neighboring Long Beach is just a few blocks from Los Alamitos city limits. With docks for both model boats and real boats, a train ride, tree groves, water features, picnic areas, shelters, and playgrounds, it's a shady oasis in the midst of this suburban jungle.
When the shopping and golfing and recreating make you hungry, head to one of the many local dining options -- mostly concentrated at Katella Avenue and Los Alamitos Boulevard. Self-described "mellow spot" Polly's Pies offers classic American fare. Seafood lovers should try the Original Fish Company. The Rossmoor area offers more dining options -- plenty of chains, fast food, and local joints from which to choose.
When this slightly inland city gets too hot, the beach is a short 11-minute drive south. Seal Beach is the only thing between Los Alamitos and the water and offers quintessential beachfront amenities: a pier, restaurants, boutique shops, and great people-watching.
Residents of Los Alamitos have a relatively easy commute to major Orange County cities like Irvine and Anaheim, as well as into Long Beach and Los Angeles to the north. The nearest major airport is Long Beach (though LAX gives you the full array of national and international destinations). Los Alamitos gets decent walkability scores within its boundaries, but realistically, this is car country; you'll need your wheels while you're here and not just while you're looking for rental properties.