Moving to California: What to Expect

images (8)So, you’ve finally decided to move to California. The Golden State, the land of sunshine and opportunity (and traffic jams), the Sunshine State. Yes, it’s a beautiful place, and it makes sense to move there; but, even if you’ve been there, you still have a lot to learn about this incredible locale. After all, one visit won’t familiarize anyone; it takes a lifetime of learning and living to really understand what it is to be a “Californian”. So, to at least get you started on this process, here are just a few things you need to look out for

1.  Expenses

It doesn’t matter where you live in California, even if you are as far south as possible; it is expensive to live here. Whether you are getting a flat in LA, or going more West, to Oceanside or San Diego, you’ll be shoveling money from your bank account into a burning fire, just to have the privilege to rent. Just to give you an idea of what you’ll be paying, many pay over $1,000 per month on a 1 bedroom apartment, and that’s not even in a good area (in LA of course)! If you want to be safe, or have a larger property…well, let’s just say you’ll be paying a premium. Add in the increased taxes, expensive food and cost of living, and the lack of parking in most areas, and it’s easy to see why California is considered one of the most expensive states in the entirety of the United States. And, unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it. Just grin and bear it; there’s enough out here to make it absolutely worth it.

2.  It’s Big

You probably already know this, but it’s pretty incredible just how big this state is. You hear all the time about tourists wanting to go to Disneyland for the day, only to get some seafood in San Francisco for dinner. This is absolutely impossible. It takes longer to get from Anaheim to San Francisco than it does to drive all the way to Phoenix, AZ. And that’s only one example; figure this. To drive from LA to San Diego, you have to expect a 3 hour drive. From LA to Sacramento?A 5 hour drive.To Oakland? That’s another 6 hour drive. And that’s not even considering the 45 minute to an hour drive you’ll probably be making to work every day. Add in traffic, and you’ll be spending a LOT of time on the road. Be ready for that, and accept it; if you can’t, then maybe California isn’t the right place for you.

3.  Massive Swings in Safety from one Block to the Next

That might be a mouthful, but it’s very, very true. If you’re living in LA, like any big city, there are safe and unsafe locales; unfortunately, you actually have to worry about that here. You may be able to find some affordable living downtown, but you will be right in the middle of some of the worst locations to live around. In other words, you won’t want to raise children there. Even worse, because these pockets of unsafe-ness proliferate in an unpredictable pattern—for an outsider, anyways—you always have to have an idea of where you are, because you might find yourself right in the middle of a scary situation. This can happen in any city, but LA (and San Francisco) are known for it; just be careful!

4.  It’s Still the Greatest Place on Earth

From Disneyland in Anaheim to Six Flags Magic Mountain to the Great Redwood Trees to Yosemite National Park, California offers some of the most incredible attractions you’ll ever see; but, living there brings its own rewards. Regardless of where you’ll live, you’ll have access to the best food, the nicest people, and a culture that’s unlike anywhere else. Living in California is an incredible experience, and one that simply shouldn’t be passed up on (even with the previous entries written here).

Trust me; you’re making the right choice.

Tyler Fleck is a multi-faceted blogger who writes all over the web. Check out his sponsor for this week’s post,, for the best long beach island real estate around! Thanks for visiting!

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