The Pros and Cons of Living in California

November 25, 2020

If you are considering moving to California, this article describes some of the pros and cons of a move to The Golden State.

The Pros

That Lovely California Climate

While most people equate California with warm, hot days at the beach, California’s climate actually varies widely as does it’s terrain; featuring everything from redwood forests to beaches to farmland and desert. The third largest US state by land area (155,973sf), California temps also run the gamut – from extreme heat to extreme cold – depending on your location. Its popular coastal regions, the Sierra Nevada foothills, and most of the Central Valley enjoy a Mediterranean climate which boasts warm, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The California Current is largely responsible for this moderate coastal climate and also creates that well-known summer fog. If you head inland, California’s climate becomes fairly continental and, in some areas, even semi-arid. So living inland means colder winters and much hotter summers, so choose wisely!

Redwood National Park

If you’ve never seen a redwood tree up close, you will be blown away by their towering size and majestic beauty. Along California’s Northern coast you’ll find acres and acres of massive, old-growth redwood trees amidst lush, breathtaking forests. The tallest trees on earth; redwoods not only reach upwards of 350 feet tall, but the park where they grow also protects prairies, riverways, oak woodlands and cherished California coastline. The National Park Service joined forces with California State Parks to restore these lands. Whether you want to walk the paved walkways or hike the rugged backcountry, Redwood National Park offers something for everybody.

Lake Tahoe

When you visit Lake Tahoe in California, along with roughly 2.7 million other people each year, you’re in for an experience like no other. This is a place that not only features breathtaking scenery, but also offers up stunning resorts, luxury spas and world-class restaurants. Get your heart racing on a downhill bike path, hike the trails for hours, hit the beach and marina or just relax and soak up the sun. Whatever you choose, you’ll get back to nature…feel the wind in your hair…and experience nature’s bounty.

No matter the season, there are so many things to do in Lake Tahoe. The warm June through September weather is sure to inspire a paddle-board, kayak or water-ski adventure. Hit Lake Tahoe in spring or fall for legendary hiking and mountain biking. But be sure to always have a jacket on hand – after all, snow has been known to fall at lake Tahoe any month of the year!

Did We Mention the Beaches?

California offers more than 420 public beaches spanning some 840 miles – overwhelming to say the least! Each public or private has its own special atmosphere and attractions. Some allow dogs, some have volleyball nets and others have boardwalks with rides and games. From Laguna to Malibu, San Diego to San Francisco, each California beach is unique in its own way. Take a look at this article about the 21 best beaches in California by US News & World Report to get a taste of the best.

The Cons

Taxes in California

California is not exactly known as an inexpensive place to live. In fact, ask most people and they’ll quickly state how high the taxes are in California. And they’re not wrong – California has the highest marginal individual tax rate in the country. However, their top rate of 13.3% only kicks in once you hit $1m in income. But their income tax rates are definitely higher than many other states even in lower income brackets. For example, if you make roughy $57,000 a year, you’ll pay 9.3% in taxes in California compared to just 4.7% in Arizona. So it pays to do your tax homework before you make a move to California.

That Infamous California Traffic

One of the first things people think about when they think about California is the terrible traffic and long commute times. In 2019, Los Angeles was listed as the 6th worst city for traffic by INRIX with 103 hours per year lost due to traffic congestion. The traffic issue could be a major factor in your decision to move to California if you will have a commute.

Every state in the US will have its own pros and cons, and California is no different. It’s a matter of weighing your lifestyle priorities against each state’s pros and cons to find the right fit for your family. When you do…it’s time to decide if you should hire movers or not. If you decide that you do need an interstate mover, Sterling Interstate would be honored to handle your out-of-state-move. You can trust us to get your home packed, loaded, transported and unloaded with the utmost attention and care. Get a free Sterling moving quote today.

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