Before you make the decision to move to California or any of the cities within the state, understanding the huge impact it will have on your lifestyle is necessary. Finding some of the best places to live in California is a great way to start with.
In the United States of America, the state of California has been the first choice for many residents for their educational system, culture of lifestyle, career advancement, retirement, and family life. The reasons why California is considered to be one of the best places to live include brilliant infrastructure, scenic beauty, shopping centers, entertainment facilities, medical and educational institutions, plenty of job opportunities in sectors such as information technology etc.
For our article we have divided the article into four categories, depending on some of the major reasons why someone would wish to move to California – retirement, family, education, and work/career.
When people think of retiring, there are lots of factors to consider. Of course, the cost of living and location plays a huge role in it, but what some people may search for is the comfort level as well. There are other states that provide a better living condition than California, in terms of expense, there are certain areas where retiring can be an option for some.
Sacramento city is roughly divided into four areas – central/eastern, southwestern, southeastern, and north of the American River. The majority of people living in the city are Caucasians, African-Americans, and Asians, along with other minority groups. The population, as of 2012, is estimated to be a little over 470,000. October to April is generally the wet season, with chances of light shower in the months of June and September. The temperature can drop considerably in December and January, and the summer heat can be felt from May to August. Whether or not you wish to purchase a home, rent an apartment, or find a retirement community, the exact expense to find accommodations will vary.
Being the second-largest city in California, the population of San Diego is a little over 1.3 million and is often favored as an ideal retirement city. If you’re searching for an urban lifestyle after retirement, you can choose the Marina District, Del Mar, Encinitas, Rancho Bernardo, Bankers Hill, Mission Hills, Downtown Carlsbad, and Hillcrest. Of course, selecting one of these communities will depend on your overall budget. The temperatures during the months of January and August are warm. The only time the temperatures do go up are if the Santa Ana winds are bringing in the dry, hot air. Chances of rainfall is possible between the months of November and March. Caucasians, African-Americans, and Asians make up for a larger part of the community, along with other minority groups.
Moving with the entire family means a huge responsibility. A family doesn’t just think about the cost of living, but also worries about whether or not a particular neighborhood will be safe for them.
California’s third-largest city and Silicon Valley’s largest city, San Jose is home to approximately 7.6 million people. The standard and cost of living in this city is extremely high; the highest in California. There are 2 airports San Jose residents can access in the city, Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and Reid-Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County, Amtrak rail service is available, and there are 3 interstate freeways and 1 U.S. Route. There are several high schools, colleges, universities, and private schools with good academic reputation in the city and state. Also, San Jose has various attractions like the Almaden Quicksilver County Park, Kelley Park, San Jose Flea Market, Rosicrucian Park, Overfelt Gardens, Circle of Palms Plaza, and many more.
Being the fifth wealthiest city in the U.S., San Diego is one of the top choices to raise a family. Of course, no one can deny that the city is famous because it is a huge tourist hub and hence, it is a popular choice for retirement, college students, and families. There are several public schools, colleges, and universities that provide kids opportunities for excellence. If you have kids in your family, then they are going to love living in this sunny city as it not only offers them a chance to visit theme parks, zoos, museums, etc., but also experience the California-style living. As for transportation, the San Diego International Airport, Brown Field Municipal Airport, Montgomery Field, 3 interstate highways, and 10 U.S. Routes are available.
If you’re a student and wish to move to or in and around the state, the first thing that will matter is which university you’re planning to apply. For students, this is one of the major factors for moving after high school. Of course, California offers many fine community colleges and universities where students can avail the opportunities to move further in life.
The top universities in San Francisco are Stanford University, University of San Francisco, and San Francisco State University. The college tuition differs from one university to another. As far as traveling is concerned, you can take the bus, the tube, the cable cars, or drive your own vehicle. Again, remember, the total cost will vary here as well. It’s always a good idea to apply for financial aid as the cost of living can alter depending on the location you live in the city. If the university you have applied to has a dorm room, the total expense will be a bit lower than someone who has to rent a place. Also, you have to factor in the cost of food, utilities, books, and miscellaneous expenses. All in all, the cost can be close to US $1,000 per month, depending on your expenditure.
One of the major reasons students would like to move to the city is University of California, Santa Barbara. Situated on the west of the city, the university attracts diverse groups of students. There are many housing prospects around the university that will help you reduce the need for transportation. However, if you do have to live away from the university, expect the cost to be anywhere between US $300 to US $1,000 on sharing and non-sharing basis, respectively.
The city of Los Angeles probably has one of the most diverse student body ever. Many students from all over the country and across the world wish to live in Los Angeles for its glitz, glamor, and charm. Plus, the city is huge so you really have to do your research on exactly which location you wish to live. You can find lofts in downtown Los Angeles and the Metro Trains and buses give you excellent transportation options. For nightlife, shopping, and restaurants, West Hollywood and Hollywood are the places to be. Finally, the beach areas; choose from the South Bay can be a great place to live in with friends as the cost of living can be anywhere between US $700 to US $1,000 for a good home.
It can be tempting to live near the beach, but try to fight it because of high rent, unwanted sand everywhere, tourist traffic, etc. Staying close to downtown can give you a good price on housing as Hillcrest, University Heights, South Park, North Park, and Mission Hills have good neighborhoods, restaurants, shopping, and young demographics. San Diego is a great place for students to live in due to the presence of renowned educational institutes. In simple words, the quality of life and satisfaction which you get in this place is much more than what you get in different parts of the world.
While searching for a good place to live in California, it is necessary to stay as close as possible to your work. Even though it is the Golden State, traffic can be a nightmare in the state. You don’t want to end up driving long distances every day just to save a few dollars here and there.
As we mentioned before, Los Angeles is pretty big and commuting from one place to another can take a while. So while you’re planning to move to California, and Los Angeles happens to be the place of business (work), there are certain neighborhoods that rank higher than others. Mt. Washington, Burbank, Laurel Canyon, Leimert Park, Calabasas, Venice, Beachwood Canyon, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, etc. do provide excellent housing prospects. Now while choosing from any of these neighborhoods, consider factors like rent/sale prices, parking, crime statistics, recreational areas, restaurants, nightlife, shopping, schools/universities, and total driving time.
Although Sacramento isn’t like Los Angeles and can be a bit quieter in terms of traffic and pace of lifestyle, it sure can surprise you. The capital city has various types of neighborhoods that will cater to your different needs. Again, it’s a good idea to find a good neighborhood close to work. However, if you’re interested in checking out different places, then Natomas (suburbs just north of downtown), East Sacramento, Land Park, and Curtis Park (home to the elite), Elk Grove (growing suburbs), Midtown (sophisticated neighborhood), and Rancho Cordova (established suburbs) can interest you. Of course, the cost of living in these areas vary diversely. Hence, depending on your budget, you can make the final decision.
Since San Diego is a more tourist place, some people think that it may not make the best place to live. However, that’s not the case. There are many urban neighborhoods that make great homes for a lot of people. If you’re searching for good apartments or bungalows to live in, Hillcrest, University Heights, and Golden Hill are the right places to be. For housing options in and around downtown, pick from North Park, Little Italy, or Golden Hill. As far as public transportation is concerned, neighborhoods like Gaslamp, Park West, East Village, and Horton Plaza are the best. Mission Beach, Midway District, Black Mountain Ranch, North City, and La Jolla are some of the areas with the highest per square meter price for homes.
Once you have lived in this beautiful state, it’s very difficult to leave it behind and start somewhere fresh. The state has some of the most excellent choices when it comes to raising a family, starting a career, or advancing in education. Whether you purchase or rent a place in any of the cities/counties in California, one thing is for sure – you’re going to love California living.