• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • What You Need to Know About Moving to California

What You Need to Know About Moving to California

family friendly activities in california
November 28, 2023

Moving to California, also known as the Golden State, is an exciting adventure that offers a diverse range of experiences and opportunities. Whether you’re drawn to the beautiful beaches, thriving cities, or stunning landscapes, California has something for everyone. However, moving to a new state is a significant transition, and it’s essential to be well-prepared. Are you interested in residing in San Jose? Thinking about moving to San Diego?  In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what you need to know about moving to California, from finding reliable California movers to understanding the local lifestyle, tax laws, notable attractions, language and culture.

Introducing Cali

California is known for its breathtaking landscapes, dynamic cities, and a lifestyle that embraces diversity and innovation. As you plan your move to the Golden State, it’s crucial to ensure a smooth transition. This guide will provide insights into various aspects of moving to California, making your relocation a seamless and enjoyable experience.

exploring california’s outdoor adventures

California Movers

While California offers many advantages, including its diverse job market, cultural attractions, and natural beauty, it’s also known for having a high cost of living and, in some cases, high taxes. However, there are a few specific tax benefits and considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Proposition 13: California’s Proposition 13 provides property tax relief by capping property tax rates at 1% of the property’s assessed value at the time of purchase. This can be advantageous, especially for long-term homeowners, as it limits property tax increases.
  2. Home Mortgage Interest Deduction: California allows homeowners to deduct mortgage interest on their state income tax returns. This can result in significant tax savings, particularly for those with substantial home loans.
  3. Homeownership Assistance Programs: California offers various homeownership assistance programs that can include down payment assistance and mortgage credit certificates. These programs can provide financial relief for first-time homebuyers.
  4. Research and Development Tax Credits: California offers incentives for businesses engaged in research and development activities. If you work in a field that involves R&D, you might benefit from these tax credits.
  5. Solar Energy Incentives: If you invest in solar energy for your home, California offers incentives and tax credits to reduce the cost of installation. These incentives are part of the state’s commitment to clean energy.
  6. Film and Television Credits: For individuals working in the film and television industry, California offers various tax credits and incentives to promote the industry. These can lead to reduced tax liability.
  7. Educational Tax Breaks: California offers deductions for educational expenses, including the College Access Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Credit, which can help offset the cost of higher education.

It’s important to note that while there are certain tax benefits, California also has relatively high state income tax rates, particularly for high earners. Additionally, sales taxes can vary by location, with some areas imposing higher rates.

Before moving to California, it’s advisable to consult with a tax professional or financial advisor to understand how the state’s tax system will impact your specific financial situation. While there are tax benefits in some areas, it’s essential to be prepared for California’s overall tax structure, which can be higher than many other states.

Embracing california Culture and Lifestyle

Unique Lifestyle

Laws for Movers to Know

California is known for its progressive approach to legislation, and while many laws align with common standards, there are a few unique regulations that newcomers should be aware of:

  • Lane Splitting: California is one of the few states that allows motorcycles to “lane split.” This means that motorcyclists can ride between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. It’s legal, but it requires caution and safe practices.
  • No Plastic Straws: In an effort to reduce plastic waste, some California cities have banned or restricted the use of plastic straws in restaurants. Be prepared to use paper or reusable alternatives.
  • J-Walking Enforcement: In California, you should be cautious when crossing the street outside of designated crosswalks. Police often enforce j-walking laws, which could result in fines.
  • No Smoking on Beaches: Many California beaches have banned smoking to protect the environment and public health. Make sure to check local regulations if you’re a smoker.
  • Hands-Free While Driving: It’s illegal to use a handheld device while driving. Ensure you have a hands-free setup for making calls or using GPS.
  • Beach Bonfires: While they’re not illegal, beach bonfires are often regulated and require permits. Always check local regulations before starting a bonfire on the beach.
  • Recycling Bottles and Cans: California has a “Bottle Bill” that requires a deposit on beverage containers. You can get your deposit back by recycling them at a recycling center.
  • Smog Checks: California enforces strict smog-check requirements for vehicles. Be prepared to undergo regular emissions testing to ensure your car meets air quality standards.
  • Cell Phone Warning Labels: Some retailers are required to label cell phones with information about the minimum separation distance a phone should be kept from the body to reduce exposure to radiofrequency energy.
  • Restrictions on Water Usage: Due to periodic droughts, California often imposes water use restrictions. Be prepared to follow these guidelines during dry periods.

finding jobs in california’s small businesses

Notable Attractions

California boasts iconic attractions, such as Disneyland, Yosemite National Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Hollywood. Exploring these landmarks is a must for any newcomer. Embracing these experiences will help you adapt to the Californian way of life.

  1. Yosemite National Park: Prepare to be awestruck by the dramatic waterfalls, towering cliffs, and pristine wilderness of Yosemite. Hike, camp, or simply soak in the natural wonders of this iconic national park.
  2. Disneyland Resort: Experience the magic of Disneyland, where dreams come true for the young and the young at heart. Explore a world of enchantment, from the whimsical rides to meeting your favorite Disney characters.
  3. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco: This iconic bridge is not just a marvel of engineering but also a symbol of San Francisco. Take a walk across its red-orange expanse and be treated to breathtaking views of the city and bay.
  4. Hollywood: Walk the Walk of Fame, visit the TCL Chinese Theatre, and take a studio tour. Hollywood is where movie history comes alive, and you might even spot a celebrity or two.
  5. Napa Valley: If you’re a wine enthusiast, Napa Valley is your paradise. Explore the vineyards, taste exquisite wines, and enjoy the serene countryside.
  6. Big Sur: Drive along the dramatic and rugged coastline of Big Sur, where the Santa Lucia Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. Breathtaking cliffs, redwood forests, and hidden beaches await.
  7. Death Valley National Park: Experience the surreal beauty of the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the U.S. Explore salt flats, canyons, and the mesmerizing Badwater Basin.
  8. Venice Beach, Los Angeles: Immerse yourself in the bohemian vibes of Venice Beach. Enjoy street performers, quirky shops, and the legendary Muscle Beach Gym.
  9. San Diego Zoo: Visit one of the world’s most renowned zoos and be captivated by a wide array of animals, from giant pandas to exotic species.
  10. Lake Tahoe: Enjoy year-round outdoor adventures at the stunning Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re into skiing in the winter or water sports in the summer, this alpine lake has it all.

Excited to Move?

Moving to California is an exciting journey filled with opportunities and adventures. To ensure a smooth transition, make sure to find reliable California movers, Colonial Van Lines, who can assist with your relocation. Remember that California’s lifestyle is influenced by its diverse culture, tax laws, and a plethora of iconic attractions.

If you’re ready to embark on your California adventure, we invite you to request a moving quote from us. Our team of experts is here to make your move to the Golden State as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Welcome to California, where dreams become a reality, and new beginnings await!

Planning a move to California? Discover important tips and insights to make your relocation seamless with Colonial Van Lines. Our national moving services ensure a stress-free transition to the Golden State. Contact us for a smooth and reliable moving experience.