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The Pros And Cons Of Living In California

Before you make a life-changing move, make sure you know the pros and cons of living in California. This sunny paradise isn’t perfect!

California…where the year around temperature is 68°-72° on average. With stunning beaches and some of the most beautiful weather to offer, it’s easy to see why people travel across the country to make this their permanent home.

It’s one of the best places to live! But while California is known for its gorgeous weather all year long, you should know both the pros and cons of living in California before you make a big move.

The Pros And Cons Of Living In California

There are many good reasons that California is a good place to live for people of all ages (and dogs, it’s very dog friendly!) and if you’ve ever wanted to live on the west coast, check out the pros we have listed for you!

Pros of Living In California

Beautiful Beaches

California has the longest shoreline of any state here in the United States. No matter where you are in Cali, you can usually find yourself within good driving distance from both the beautiful beaches and the mountains.

Something that I have always loved about this beautiful state is the proximity to the pacific ocean (just look up the coastal views!) and how easy it is to be in the great outdoors. 

Some of the best cities and counties in California are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Orange County, Santa Barbara, and Malibu.

A trip up the 101 highway will take you along along the coast of California from the most southern point to the most northern point. And this trip does not disappoint!

Higher Than Average Salary

That’s right, if the cost of living is expensive, well then that means higher salary.

California’s job market is a competitive one, too. With a higher than average salary, this can help offset the high cost of living. So if you live here, and work here, be prepared to negotiate a high than usual salary for yourself!

California has a higher than average salary compared to many other states in the U.S., and this is mainly due to the competitive job market here.

The average salary for workers in California is around $58,650 per year according to Salary.com, which is slightly higher than the national average of $56,516.

Year-Round Sunny Weather

That’s right, we have some of the most beautiful weather there is to offer!

I’d say 85% of the year it’s sunny and warm, while the other 15% is during the colder months.

While weather can be more and more unpredictable, with climate change, you are usually going to find sunshine wherever you go in CA.

It’s a great place to be, especially in the winter months!

If you want a little less sunshine, you can focus your search to northern California. San Jose, the bay area, and San Francisco for cooler summers and slightly-damp winters.

California is known for its mild climate all year round, but it really depends on where you’re located.

For example, the northern part of California tends to be cooler than the southern part.

During winter months (November to March), temperatures in Northern California can range from 40-60°F while Southern California is generally warmer with temperatures ranging from 50-70°F.

Photo by Steven Pahel

Entertainment Industry

California is home to none other than Hollywood and Beverly Hills. While most A-list celebrities live in LA, you may find them at some of your favorite theme parks or just when you are out and about shopping on Rodeo Drive.

It’s thrilling to think that LA offers some of the best history of Cinema, dating back to the golden era.

The entertainment industry in California is one of the biggest draws to the state. With Hollywood and Beverly Hills being two of the most iconic cities, it’s no surprise that many filmmakers and actors flock here for their careers.

Not only does LA offer some of the best history of Cinema from the Golden Era, but it also offers some of the hottest nightlife and restaurants in the country. From comedy clubs to great movie production studios, California has something for everyone to enjoy.

Also, the talent pool here in California is one of the best you can find anywhere in the world. With so many aspiring actors and filmmakers all looking for their big break, it’s easy to see why so many professionals choose to stay here in California.

Whether you are a fan of the entertainment industry or not, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this sunny state. From theme parks to beaches and great nightlife, you can find whatever it is that you are looking for in California.

Diversity

One distinct thing about California, is how incredibly diverse we are!

If you are a Californian and you have never ventured out of state, chances are you will have culture-shock when visiting another state.

Living in California means seeing lot’s of diversity from a variety of cultures and backgrounds to the overall acceptance of the LBGTQ community. We are inclusive, non-judging and one of the more diverse states in the US.

California is truly a melting pot of all kinds of cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs. From those who have lived in the state for generations to people from other parts of the world looking to make California their home, there is no shortage of diversity here.

Every city has its own unique history and culture that you can experience through exploring its various neighborhoods and landmarks.

California also has one of the most diverse economies in the U.S., with many industries ranging from entertainment to technology and everything in between.

Furthermore, the state is seen as a leader in environmental sustainability, a testament to its commitment to making life better for all residents. From its unique culture and rich history to its booming economy and progressive environmental policies, it’s no wonder why California is one of the most sought-after places to live in the entire world.

The diversity and openness in our culture here in California also make it a great place to raise children and start families. We have some of the best schools in the country and an array of activities for everyone, from the arts and culture to outdoor recreation. No matter your interests, you can find something that suits your taste here in California.

It’s no wonder why so many people from all over the world choose California as their home—our diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences make it a truly unique place to live and thrive.

Photo by Lala Miklós

National Parks

California is known for its stunning natural beauty and is home to some of the most spectacular National Parks in the United States.

With a total of 9 National Parks, California offers breathtaking landscapes and unique ecosystems that are worth exploring.

From the largest national park in America, Death Valley National Park, to Yosemite National Park, one of the most popular parks in the world, California is sure to have something for everyone.

No matter which park you choose to explore, you will be amazed by its diverse landscape, awe-inspiring scenery and geologic wonders.

From quiet forests and majestic mountains to rolling hills and thickly wooded valleys, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied.

Whether you are a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or are just looking for a place to get away from it all, California’s National Parks provide everything from camping and hiking to backpacking and kayaking opportunities.

With so much to explore, these parks truly deserve their reputation as some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Cons of Living in California

Whether you want to live in a small town, a big city, in northern California or southern, there are so many factors to measure.

Make no mistake, living here can be down right expensive and moving out here, well, just google the median home price for a home in one of California’s hottest cities and compare it to the national average.

Taxes

We’ll jump right into it: most people have heard about this and it is actually a major reason why Californians leave CA.

The taxes are so high and there seems to be a tax for everything. California is one of the most expensive places to live in the US.

California also has a higher than average sales tax rate at 8.25%, which does not include local taxes that can increase total taxes to up to 10% for certain areas. Other costs such as

We are convinced that there is a tax just to enjoy the sun so much so that it has its own name! The sunshine tax. It’s sad but unfortunately true.

Photo by Iris Papillon

Living Expenses

The Golden State is a very expensive state to live in. Along with high taxes, come high property taxes! Real estate here in CA is insane. Maybe not as bad as NYC but we are up there. 

To live anywhere near the coast, even a 20-30 min drive, you are likely to spend a hefty amount on a small 2-3 bedroom house. Average home price is CA is $683,996.

In some counties a home for that price will get you a 2-3 bedroom fixer upper, and by that I mean you might as well gut it and do a total reno! The home prices in this state are no joke, even for a one-bedroom apartment.

The San Francisco bay area as well as Santa Monica and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles are the most expensive cities to live in, but you’ll often live within walking distance of a grocery store, coffee shop, art galleries, and trendy, unique shops. You will also very likely live in close proximity to the ocean or greenspace!

However, if you venture out towards the eastern part of California, it tends to be much more affordable but then you are finding yourself in much hotter weather and it just doesn’t feel like you’re in CA anymore.

The cost of living also plays an important role in the overall expenses you’ll be paying while living in California. Housing prices are some of the highest in the country and vary significantly depending on which city or county you are staying in.

In San Francisco, for example, housing costs can reach up to $3,500 per month. In comparison, in Los Angeles the average cost of housing is around $1,750 per month.

Pollution

Unfortunately, CA has been dealing with its own epidemic with our pollution issues. One thing that was noticeably different was the quick retraction of pollution when the pandemic first began.

California cities have so much traffic, the rush hour grind definitely contributes to the air quality.

While photos across the globe were pouring in after the earth basically stood still, Californian’s saw drastic improvements within days of commuters being off the roads.

California is one of the most polluted states in the US with various cities surpassing federal air quality standards.

The Los Angeles Basin, Bay Area and Central Valley have been struggling with smog for decades now due to its high population density as well as emissions from cars and trucks. While some cities have taken measures to reduce emissions and improve air quality, the problem still persists.

California also has a big issue with water pollution, especially around agricultural areas. The state is facing an alarming amount of contaminated drinking water due to numerous factors such as fertilizer run-off, oil and gas drilling activities and urban runoff from cities.

Overall California can be a beautiful place to live if you live in the right city, but unfortunately, with all of its beauty comes some cons and high taxes are one of them. It’s important to consider these factors before deciding if you should make the move or not.

Overpopulation

Another reason for the high cost of housing is people flocking to come to our beautiful state. High demand for housing makes the housing market go way up. Along with overpopulation comes hoards of traffic issues, over packed schools, and over populated cities.

With the influx of people, California has seen an increase in traffic congestion and pollution levels. The growing population has also caused a strain on resources like water, electricity, sewage systems and garbage disposal services.

With more than 39 million residents, California is one of the most crowded states in the country. This leads to increased competition for housing and other resources, leading to higher prices and overcrowding in the cities.

Photo by Corey Agopian

In Summary: Pros and Cons of Living in California

Living in California has its share of cons, however, I personally think the pros outweigh the cons. I was born and raised in southern California and can’t ever imagine leaving home to live somewhere else.

The sunny days out number the rain, the winters are short with warm weather during the day and cool, crisp nights, and it’s one of the best states in my opinion!

While I love to travel and explore new places, I keep coming back to Cali. There’s plenty of sunshine and great weather, and I love the positive vibes and being within close driving distance to either the beach or the mountains. California is an incredible place to live.

In conclusion, California is an amazing place to call home with its endless supply of attractions and natural beauty. But with high cost of living, overpopulation, and pollution, it’s important to consider all these factors before making the move. The pros definitely outweigh the cons for me, but ultimately you have to decide for yourself. Good luck!

About the Author

Jovi Casie

Jovi studied Journalism at Southwestern College. She currently works full time and is a mom to a beautiful daughter, named Olivia. When she isn't working or spending time with family and friends, she enjoys being a crazy plant lady, watching HGTV and spending quality time with her daughter. You can often find her cozied up in a local coffee shop writing for her personal blog. She hopes to one day work full time as a writer and to inspire others to live a happy and successful life.

Website: www.jovicasie.com


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