Things to know before moving to California

California, the Golden State, is renowned for its stunning coastline, varied landscape, and year-round mild climate. From Silicon Valley, the hub of technology to Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world, California has something to offer for everyone.

With this state being the world’s 5th largest economy, it is no surprise that people from all over the globe are moving here. California has so much to offer, including excellent job opportunities, warm weather, great food, cultural diversity, and an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals. However, there are a few things you need to know before making a move to the Golden State.

In this article, you’ll learn about the important things you need to consider before relocating to California, such as the cost of living, job market, and local customs.

Firstly, it is important to know the cost of living is high in California; not only is rent expensive, but also utilities, groceries, and entertainment.

Secondly, the job market is competitive, so having a strong resume and networking skills is crucial. Additionally, traffic is notorious in major cities, so planning transportation ahead of time is essential. Furthermore, earthquakes are a real concern, and it is essential to be prepared with a kit and knowledge of evacuation routes.

Lastly, California offers breathtaking scenery, diverse culture, and a thriving entertainment industry, making it a unique and exciting place to call home.

Overall, knowing these important things before moving to California will make the transition easier and more enjoyable.

Average cost of living in California per year

The average cost of living in California per year has seen a steady increase over the last five years. In 2018, the average cost of living was $75,265. This figure increased to $81,248 in 2023, with an increase in housing and healthcare costs being the primary drivers. Compared to other states, the cost of living in California remains higher than the national average. Factors that impact the cost of living in California include housing, healthcare, transportation, and taxes.

To budget for the cost of living in California, it is recommended to research housing options carefully, use public transportation, and consider the cost of healthcare and taxes when planning expenses.

Housing in California

In California, there are a variety of housing options available including apartments, condominiums, and single-family homes.

However, the average rental and home prices in major cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles are significantly higher than in other parts of the state. When considering a neighborhood to live in, factors to consider include safety, proximity to public transportation, access to amenities such as grocery stores and parks, and school districts. Ultimately, choosing a housing option and neighborhood in California will depend on individual preferences and budget.

California climate and weather

California boasts a diverse climate featuring both temperate and arid regions, with an average temperature of 61°F. However, its unique geographical location leaves the state vulnerable to a range of weather patterns. In the winter months, the main concern is rain and flooding, while summer brings the threat of wildfires and heatwaves.

To combat these issues, it is advisable to always carry an umbrella or waterproof jacket during winter and stay safe indoors during a wildfire. The scorching summer months also call for the use of sunscreen, staying adequately hydrated, and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun.

Overall, while the climate and weather patterns of California can pose some problems, a little bit of preparation and foresight can help anyone tackle them with ease.

Job market in California

The job market in California is diverse and presents many opportunities for job seekers.

Firstly, an overview of California’s job market shows that the state has a wide range of industries, including tech, entertainment, tourism, and agriculture. Job seekers should consider their skills and interests when searching for a job in California.

Secondly, there are some tips that can help job seekers find employment in the state, such as networking, polishing their resume and cover letter, and utilizing online job search platforms.

Lastly, some of the best places to work in California include San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Silicon Valley, which are known for their innovative and competitive job markets. Overall, with a little research and preparation, job seekers can find success in California’s job market.

Schools in California

California is home to a diverse and extensive education system. Firstly, an overview of California’s education system reveals over 6.2 million students enrolled in K-12 public schools and over 300,000 in private schools. Comparing public versus private schools in California, there are differences in funding, curriculum, and admission processes.

Public schools are funded by taxes and must follow state-mandated curriculum, while private schools have more flexibility in their curriculum and admissions process. Additionally, some of the best school districts in California are located in affluent areas such as Palo Alto and Los Gatos.

These districts have high graduation rates and offer extensive extracurricular activities. Overall, schools in California provide various opportunities for students, regardless of their background or preferences.

Transportation in California

California is known for its extensive transportation infrastructure. The state has an extensive network of highways, including several major interstates that run throughout the state.

In addition, major cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego offer a variety of public transportation options, including buses, trains, and subways. However, navigating California’s crowded streets can be challenging, with heavy traffic and confusing highway interchanges.

To avoid getting caught in traffic, it’s important to plan your route in advance and be prepared for unexpected delays. And if you do decide to drive, make sure to stay alert and defensively navigate the roads. Overall, California’s transportation system provides a wide range of options for both residents and visitors, but it’s important to plan ahead and stay aware of your surroundings to ensure a safe and efficient journey.

Food and Culture in California

California is a melting pot of different cultures, which is why the state is known for its unique food and culture. One can expect to find an array of dishes that represent the state’s diverse communities. From tacos and burritos to Chinese dumplings and Italian pizzas, California has it all.

Some of the famous California dishes include sourdough bread, In-N-Out burgers, and fish tacos. California also boasts of its world-class wines, which are produced in the lush vineyards of Napa and Sonoma counties.

Apart from the food, California is famous for its festivals and cultural events. The state hosts several food festivals like the San Francisco Street Food Festival and the LA Food Fest. Additionally, California also celebrates a variety of cultural events, including the Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo, and the Day of the Dead.


In conclusion, it is crucial to remember a few essential things before moving to California. Firstly, the cost of living in California is relatively high compared to other states, and housing can be particularly expensive. Secondly, California is vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes and wildfires, so it is essential to take appropriate safety measures.

Additionally, California is a diverse state with a unique culture and lifestyle, so it is crucial to be open-minded and embrace the local way of living. Finally, California offers an array of opportunities and experiences, and with proper planning and research, moving to California can be a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

In short, before packing your bags, ensure you have considered the pertinent aspects and are ready for the challenges and rewards that come with living in California.

Resources for further information on moving to California.

1. The official website of the State of California
2. The California Department of Public Health
3. The California Department of Transportation


Q: What is the cost of living in California?
A: As of 2023, the cost of living in California is higher than the national average. The average home price is around $550,000, and the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is around $2,500 per month. Grocery prices are also higher than the national average.

Q: Is California prone to natural disasters?
A: Yes, California is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, and flash floods. It is important to be prepared and have an emergency plan in place.

Q: How is the job market in California?
A: As of 2023, the job market in California is strong in industries such as technology, healthcare, and entertainment. However, competition for jobs can be high, and the cost of living may make it difficult for some individuals to maintain a comfortable standard of living.

Q: How is the transportation system in California?
A: The transportation system in California varies by region, but overall, it is heavily reliant on cars. Traffic can be congested in major cities, and public transportation options may not be as extensive as in other parts of the country. However, California does have a growing network of bike lanes and public transit systems.

Q: What are the best cities to live in California?
A: This can vary based on individual preferences, but some popular cities to consider include San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento. These cities offer a variety of cultural attractions, outdoor activities, and job opportunities.

Q: Does California have a diverse population?
A: Yes, California has a diverse population with many different ethnic and cultural groups represented. This diversity is reflected in the state’s cuisine, art, and music.

Q: What is the weather like in California?
A: The weather in California can vary depending on the region. In coastal areas, the climate tends to be mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing. Inland areas can be hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. Some parts of the state, particularly in Southern California, experience droughts in the summer.

Author – Stan Huxley

Passionate about real estate, Stan Huxley brings a wealth of experience to our articles. With a lifelong career in the industry, Stan’s insights, tips, and expert advice empower readers to navigate the world of real estate confidently. Whether you’re a homebuyer, seller, or investor, Stan is your trusted guide to making informed decisions.

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