Everything You Need to Know About Living in California

The sunny state of California is a place many people dream about living. The American film industry has set numerous films in this west coast state and, because of that, exploring California can seem like stepping into a movie. Of course, there are a lot of practical considerations outside of cinema that someone needs to keep in mind if they’re considering living in California. The following will explore a few of the things you need to know if you’re looking to make California your home.

Everything You Need to Know About Living in California

California Is Huge

While you might already have an image in your head of Hollywood or the beaches or the redwood forests, few people have a sense of how big California is until they live there. Open your mind up to the countless cities and counties that you could be spending time in. 

Forest Fire Season Is A Thing

You’ve probably seen some of the fires on television during dry summers, but it’s another thing entirely to live in California during forest fire season. The entire west coast of North America, all the way up to British Columbia and the Yukon in Canada, have forest fire seasons where residents are legally required to follow safety precautions when using fire. 

In some situations, there are even burn bans preventing people from using flames at all because the landscape is too dry to handle even a small spark. Smokers need to be particularly aware of where they put their butts when they’re done. You might need to take precautions to keep the air in your home clean during this smoky season by purchasing an air filter. You will also need to think about home insurance differently, and of course, there is always the chance that a season will be particularly rough, and you’ll be asked to leave your home for a time.

Real Estate Is Competitive

California is a gorgeous state and home to many industries making it an excellent place to begin or develop a career. Because of this, the real estate market can be a little on the competitive side. If you’re planning on moving to California, it’s a good idea to start looking well in advance of your move. This is especially important if you have some unusual needs when it comes to your home or if you’re looking for a very specific vibe. Homes are bought and sold all the time, but if you want the perfect fit for you and your family, the search might take a touch longer than it would in other states.

Transportation Is A Whole New Animal

Because of California’s massive population, transportation looks drastically different than it does in other states. Yes, Elon Musk is working on a futuristic underground highway, but in the meantime, you’ll need to learn about public transit in the area you’re looking to live in (the Los Angeles area it’s called The Los Angeles Metro Rail System), but you might also want to think about getting your own vehicle if you don’t already have one. Getting around California without a car is possible, but it’s a bit trickier because the cities are so spread out.

Raise Your Job Expectations

The job market in California is stellar. Open your mind up to the idea of moving up in your field or making more money than you would be in another state. There’s a good chance that you’ll be paid more to do the exact same work you’ve done elsewhere, so don’t sell yourself short during the job application stage.

Establishing Residency

California is pretty strict when it comes to establishing residency. You have ten days only to switch over your license. Make sure you have all your documents ready to go and that you don’t delay on these important steps. Try to always be on time, and come prepared.

Higher Taxes

Yes, California has higher tax rates, but they also have more social programs, better public services, and well-maintained public spaces and parks. Your financial planning might have to change a little, given how taxes work in California. Maybe you even want to speak to an accountant to ensure that you’re taking all the appropriate steps for the new tax rate, so there are no surprises come tax season.

The above list should get you prepared for living in California. It’s a good idea to set aside some time to do all the touristy things when you arrive. Too many people don’t fully explore the places they live because they feel like they’ll always have time to do it later. The scenes and classic locations in California are well worth the time it takes to plan a visit.

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