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Things You Must Know Before You Move to California

California is one of the most popular states in America. Every year, millions of people move to the state from all over the world to live out the Californian dream.


If you’re planning a move to California in the near future, there are quite a few things that you’ll need to know before you set off. As exciting as it can be moving to a new place, it’s also a complex and nuanced process.


It can be especially complicated if you’re moving to the States from another country. You will need to sort out your visa, finances, taxes, and insurance.


In this article, we’ve got a list of important things that you need to know when you move to the Golden State of California.


6 Things You Must Know Before Moving to California 

You Will Definitely Need a Car 

California is a very car-oriented state. It has many large highways and vast, winding roads that are literally impossible to traverse by foot.


Many of the cities and towns in California have very limited public transport options, making it practical to have your own vehicle.


Because California is designed around roads and driving, it’s a good idea to get a car as soon as you move. Of course, you will only be able to legally drive if you have a valid driver’s license and insurance.


Cars are expensive to buy and run but if you’re moving to Cali, they’re necessary.


To save as much money as possible, shop around for the cheapest car insurance in California and choose a second-hand car over a brand-new vehicle, as they’re usually much cheaper.


When you’re able to save on both your car and your car insurance, this can help out with the high gas prices and overall inflated economy in California. 


It’s Not All Sunshine and Rainbows

As amazing as the Californian dream is, there is a misconception that everybody who moves to the state will become rich and famous.


California is a magnet for aspiring actors, singers, and dancers and many people relocate to LA to begin their dream careers. It’s great because this means there is a large artistic community and a lot of people can connect and network with each other here! 


Even if you’re the most talented performer with years of experience in the entertainment industry, there’s no guarantee that you will land a huge Hollywood role.


The competition in California is rife when it comes to the entrainment industry so it’s important to set realistic expectations. It’s easy to get turned down the wrong path- keep your head on straight and follow your passions, but think logically! 


There is a North-South Divide

Something that you won’t realize until you move to the state is that there is a fierce rivalry between Northern California and Southern California.


The northern and southern areas of the state are separated by San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino.


There are key differences between NorCal and SoCal. Each area of the state has its own culture and social norms, so it’s worth doing some research to determine which areas would suit you the best.


A key between the north and south of California is the weather. The weather in the north of California tends to be slightly cooler than in the south of the state and it has more distinguishable seasons.


On average, there is a difference of around 25-30 degrees Fahrenheit between the north and south of the state. You might notice that there are differences in hobbies and lifestyles just depending on where you are in the state.


NorCal is more rugged, and perfect for outdoorsy hikers, and SoCal is more of the beachy surfer type energy. Just keep this in mind and see how this affects your lifestyle when you’re house shopping! 


The Cost of Living is High

As amazing as California is for opportunities and adventure, it can get very expensive.


Everything in California costs more, including food, utilities, travel, and entertainment. In fact, California has the third-highest cost of living in America after Hawaii and New York.


There are certain areas in the state that cost less than others but you can still expect to pay higher than average prices. If you plan to move to California, you will need to budget accordingly.


For example, places like Malibu and the Valley are notorious for celebrities like the Kardashians and Paris Hilton. If you’re looking to move somewhere like Hollywood, you must be prepared to budget that in! 


Have you ever watched “Selling Sunset” on Netflix? Yeah, the homes in California can be quite pricey in certain areas, so just be specific in exactly what you’re looking for. Luckily, the state is huge, so there are plenty of homes for every price point! 


California is Large

Most people who live elsewhere in the world use the names ‘California’ and ‘Los Angeles’ interchangeably. But California is much more than just one city.


The state spans over 160 square miles and spreads across a significant portion of the west coast of America. It contains several cities, towns, and national parks, as well as a mountain range and desert.


When you decide that you want to move to California, you will need to consider which area of the state you want to live in. Every area is completely different and has a unique culture.


For example, if you enjoy being in the middle of a busy city, Los Angeles might be great. If you prefer a more quiet and peaceful area, maybe Sonoma County might be better.

move to california

There Are Plenty of Great Education Facilities

Many people move to California specifically for the top-quality educational institutions in the state.


California is home to two of the most well-known institutions, Stanford and USC. Even if you aren’t yet at university or a college level, you can still take advantage of the state’s incredible education system.


Attending school or university in California will set you up for career success later in life. There are opportunities for people of all backgrounds.


No matter what your interests and passions are, you will be able to gain the right qualifications to enter your dream career.



So, you’re finally thinking about moving to the “Golden State” after all? That’s amazing! We hope that this list of 6 basics, yet beneficial tips will help you with your move. It will give you some valuable insight into the state as a whole!


As long as you know that California is a very large state, with high living costs, you should be good to go. It is a beautiful state, with lots of history and scenery. In fact, between NorCal and SoCal, it’s like two different worlds! 


You definitely want to do your research and find out which “side” fits you and your lifestyle. We actually have a list of the best places in Southern California for families, to start on your search. 


No matter where you go, you will find amazing educational systems. It’s definitely not a walking town, so be sure you’re aware that a car is definitely necessary. 


There are many amazing places to stay if you just want to visit, like these boutique hotels in LA.


In all, California is a beautiful state and has a lot of abundant sights to see and enjoy. We hope you have the best of luck moving there! 

Satyne Julianna Doner

Satyne Julianna Doner is currently a sophomore studying business management in sunny Tampa, Florida. A born bibliophile, she spends most of her free time curled up in a fantasy book or writing her own. When she isn't studying, reading, or writing, she is an avid equestrian and staunch supporter of rehabilitating retired racehorses. She owns one horse, named Hurricane, who keeps her grounded in all her endeavors.

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