20 Things to Know Before Moving to Southern California

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California is one of the most visited states in the United States due to its diverse and vibrant surf culture, beautiful national parks, and expansive wine country. With its location on the west coast and its coastline along the Pacific Ocean, California is still one of the largest states in terms of its land area and population.

Weather, history, and the state’s myriad natural treasures are just a few reasons people fall in love with this place. The unique Southern California lifestyle still draws many families and even single professionals. If moving to Southern California is something you’re thinking about doing, you should definitely conduct a lot of study about the region first.

Here are some of the things you should know and tips for moving to Southern California. One of the most stunning states in the United States awaits your arrival!

The Job Market in Southern California

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Overall, the job market in California looks promising. The unemployment rate in the state is low, and job growth is expected across the board. However, you should know that there are concerning spots around the state and that future trends can make life challenging for people who decide to live in California for employment.

Nonetheless, if you have plans to move to Southern California, here are some things to know before moving to the state. These will help you understand the current job market in the region and help you in making the best choice for you and your loved ones!

Southern California’s non-agricultural employment grew by 4.3% in November 2022, compared to the same month in the previous year. This indicates continued healthy expansion.

Southern California’s job market is second only to the dynamic Bay Area in terms of the annual increase in payroll. The job growth rate in Southern California was significantly higher than the statewide average of 4.0%.

Employment Growth in Southern California (per Sector)

Sector% Of Growth
Leisure and Hospitality+9.6%
Education and Healthcare+5.4%
Professional and Business Services+5.0%
Information Services+4.6%
Government Services+1.7%
Financial Services+1.35%
Mining and Logging+0.1%
Other Services+6.6%

Leisure and Hospitality, Other Services, Education and Healthcare, and Professional and Business Services saw the most significant increase from the previous year.

Although job growth in the Leisure and Hospitality sector is strong and continuously growing, it has generally decreased since reaching a peak in January 2022, and the increase in November 2022 was the lowest since job growth in this sector began to pick up again in April 2021.

Meanwhile, Government Services (+1.7%), Financial Services (+1.3%), Mining, Logging, and other natural activities experienced the slowest increase over the period.

As a moderate recession strikes Southern California in 2023, the region’s non-agricultural job growth is predicted to remain flat at 0.1%.

Employment Growth in Southern California

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Employment growth in Southern California may slow down during the next two years due to the region’s reliance on industries such as external markets, leisure, amusement, film and television development, and hospitality and tourism.

Southern California’s unemployment rate climbed to 4.1% in October 2022 from a record low of 3.8% in September 2022, signaling the region’s onset to slow down. This falls within the range of the average unemployment rate in California, which is equivalent to 4.1%.

Forecasts placed the average unemployment rate in Southern California at 4.7% for 2022, the lowest level since 2019, before rising to 5.2% in 2023 and 5.6% in 2024 as the effects of the Fed’s interest rate hikes take hold and persistently high inflation dampens growth in consumer expenditure.

Transportation Options in Southern California

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More and more Californians are opting to use public transportation, such as buses, subways, ferries, and light rail systems, to navigate the state’s largest towns and cities.

Public transit is often the best alternative because it is easy, cheap, safe, and environmentally friendly, especially in densely populated places where parking and maneuvering traffic can be difficult. Before you travel, research ticket prices and alternatives online to find the best deal for your travel needs.

Buses are also convenient for lengthy commutes within the state. Greyhound is the most popular intercity bus service in the United States, with routes connecting major cities and smaller towns across the country. To help you get across the state, we’ve provided links to California’s key regional transit agencies. These services typically include bus, subway, light rail, train, and even ferry boat alternatives.

Statewide Alternatives

Buses and Subways Alternatives in Southern California

Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Southern California

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The overall cost of living in Southern California is 41% higher than the national average. The cost of housing is higher than it is in the majority of other states in the country. Aside from that, everything else, including food, education, and transportation, is significantly more expensive than the US average.

Thus, there is no question that living expenses will be higher in rapidly developing cities in California, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Beverly Hills, and Malibu are among the most expensive places to live in the state. The Bay Area, particularly San Francisco and the surrounding area of Silicon Valley, are home to some of the nation’s most expensive real estate.

For a family of four to comfortably live in San Francisco, an annual income of $92,000 is suggested. As an alternative, in Los Angeles, a median income of $77,000 is recommended for a comfortable lifestyle. Fontana and Oxnard are just a few Southern California communities that rank among the state’s most affordable places to call home.

The Golden State is a paradise for those who enjoy spending time at the seaside and appreciate the outdoors. Moving to SoCal is a fantastic idea if you enjoy being active, discovering new locations, and are always searching for ways to spice up your life with excitement and entertainment.

Hiking is a popular activity for the people who live in California because the state has a large number of mountains. Thanks to the abundance of state and national parks in the surrounding area, you will never have a dull moment and a loss for things to do in SoCal! Try your hand at some of the many water sports available as well for authentic Southern California living!

Living in California affords one the chance to participate in educational opportunities among the best in the world, which is unquestionably one of the state’s many desirable advantages. SoCal has some of the best educational opportunities, thanks to its comprehensive selection of higher learning institutions, including the University of Southern California.

Expenses associated with living in Southern California are costly. Although real estate taxes are relatively low in the area, income tax is rather high compared to other regions in the state. The state tax rate of 7.25% is among the highest in the country.

On the other side, due to the thriving employment market in California, you will undoubtedly be able to bring in a respectable amount of money.

Excellent cuisine is the cornerstone of any successful establishment. The sheer variety of things to do and see in California guarantees that the state’s cuisine will reflect it. You are about to enter a culinary paradise filled with delectable treats in Southern California.

You will have various options available to satisfy your cravings, ranging from neighborhood shops to food straight from the farm. The nightlife in the cities is relatively interesting, and you can get some great meals at the hip pubs and restaurants scattered around the districts.

In addition, those passionate about cuisine and wine will find California an ideal destination. It has more than 1,200 wineries, making it one of the world’s greatest wine producers. Therefore, visiting wineries is a frequent pastime for newcomers to SoCal.

Relocating to California might be a wise option for you if you are concerned about the environment because the state offers a lot of financial incentives and other tax benefits for people to install solar panels in their homes.

Moving to Southern California is an excellent idea if you are interested in utilizing solar energy in your home. Large solar power plants can be found in California, utilizing the state’s abundant natural resources.

Moving to Southern California Checklist

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While daydreaming about life in California may be simple, making that goal a reality requires a little preparation.

The warm climate, delicious cuisine, and laid-back demeanor of the Golden State immediately come to mind. If you’ve found yourself drawn to the West Coast, make sure you’ve done some research before deciding to move to California.

Having an excellent moving to Southern California guide can make your relocation process much less stressful. You can improve your preparation and save time by knowing these tips and reminders on moving to Southern California:

  1. Cut off all of your additional services.
  2. You should terminate all household services, including cable, internet, energy, and others. To ensure a seamless transition, you will need to submit an application at least one month in advance.
  3. Pick a moving and packing service to handle your belongings. Investigate various moving companies, weigh the pros and cons of each, and solicit advice from friends and family who have relocated in the past. After that, choose your moving company carefully to ensure a smooth relocation.
  4. Another important action to take is to keep your address up to date. You can complete the process online.
  5. If you have school-age children, be sure to transfer your children’s academic information to the new location.
  6. Make sure to update your address with your bank, your doctor, and your insurance company to avoid any additional issues in the future.
  7. Determine the items that will remain in your possession. Cluttering your life with unnecessary possessions serves no purpose. You can choose to have a yard sale, or donate the clothes and other items you no longer need.
  8. Get the boxes and other items that will come in handy when packing.
  9. You should always keep all of the vital documents with you at all times and store them in a secure location.
  10. You should pay off all of your bills well before the moving day, as you want to make sure everything runs smoothly on the big day.
  11. Always make sure you have some cash with you in case of an unexpected expense.
  12. Ensure all your bank accounts are updated to reflect your new address.
  13. Since moving will be such a long day, make sure you stock up on the necessary refreshments, including food, water, and snacks.
  14. Make sure you check in with your movers and communicate with them about the entire process.
  15. After you have moved, you will need to register your children with the new school district.
  16. Obtain a valid driver’s license.
  17. Update all your identification documents to reflect your new address.
  18. After moving into your new home, you need to contact the appropriate companies to set up your utility services.
  19. Be sure that you have all of the necessary insurance coverage. Prioritize getting insurance for your health and your property because these are the two most important ones to have.
  20. Your existing employer must know your new address and any other relevant information you may have changed.

Wrap Up

What else can one possibly say about the state of California? In general, this region is one in which you can locate pockets of nature in addition to bustling metropolises. You can’t help but be drawn in and attracted by the ambiance and spirit of California. Both vacationers and permanent residents greatly appreciate the relaxed atmosphere of the local culture.

No matter what your preferences are, you will be able to find a spot in California that caters to them. Thus, moving to California is a brilliant choice. A smooth transition to California is guaranteed with the help of our carefully crafted relocating to California checklist.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 818-298-9790 for further assistance. For other real estate blogs, please feel free to navigate our website here. You can also follow me on my social media accounts linked below to receive the latest updates about the vibrant region of Southern California!

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Northern and Southern California are entirely different from one another. Consider Northern California if you enjoy the four distinct seasons, including the changing of the leaves, rains, hot sun, and the cool crispness of autumn.

Meanwhile, choose Southern California if you’re a fan of mild temperatures but dislike snow, extreme cold, and everything pumpkin flavored.

The climate in Southern California is typically Mediterranean, with somewhat wet winters and hot, dry summers. The average temperatures are higher than those in Central and Northern California.

Among the most expensive regions in the United States is Southern California. Living costs in the city are greater than in other states because of its high population density and the shortage of available resources.

If you want to live comfortably in Southern California, you’ll need a pretax yearly salary of around $46,000 for an individual and around $128,000 for a family consisting of two adults and two children.

In Southern California, both home prices and sales activity have slowed recently. Median property prices in Southern California are no longer increasing by double digits.

Southern California’s property market has been booming for the past two years, but things are slowing down. The median home price in Southern California fell 1.2% from September to October 2022. Still, the median was 3.2% higher than a year ago.