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Everything You Need to Know About Moving From San Diego to Los Angeles

San Diego and LA might be neighbors, yet these two cities are uniquely different from each other. S.D. is a bit more conservative while the latter leans into a faster way of life.

Moving to L.A. gives you access to a plethora of wonderful things this city has to offer – experience vibrant nightlife, find numerous opportunities, visit new places, and meet amazing people.

Although it can be difficult to start fresh, you don’t have to worry! This guide will fill you in with everything you need to know. Get ready!

It’s Cheaper to Buy a House in San Diego than in L.A.

There’s no denying that both cities are expensive. However, San Diego is a bit more affordable. That’s because the median home price in L.A. is $689,500 while it’s only $645,300 in S.D. Still not much of a difference, right?

Well, if you take a look at bestplaces.net’s data on both cities, you’ll find that:

  • L.A. is only 8.2% more expensive than San Diego in overall living costs. While the difference in home values is a primary factor, only a minimal gap exists between rent prices.
  • The average rent for a 1-bed apartment in S.D. is $2,237, while it’s $2,368 in Los Angeles.
  • The most significant contributing factor to the difference is transportation, where costs at least 40% more. Numbers for other categories like grocery and utilities are well within each other.

It’s not surprising that expenses are insanely high in both cities as they are both major hubs in California. That said, other differences you can expect relates to lifestyle, job markets, and a little bit of climate.

The Weather’s Warmer

Despite being in the same state, Los Angeles is hotter than San Diego. With LA averaging around 78° Fahrenheit in the summer and S.D. just shy of 71, it’s a no-brainer. That’s because there are more cars and establishments in L.A., resulting in increased carbon emissions. A bit too hot? It might sound like a deal-breaker for you but remember that Los Angeles sits near some of the country’s most gorgeous beaches. Once you get to experience the tropical freshness in Malibu or Santa Monica, there’s no going back.

Countless Opportunities Await You in Any Industry

Los Angeles is a breeding ground for success. It is home to Hollywood, the central hub for entertainment and media. You’ll also find plenty of mainstream tech companies like Google, Instagram, and Microsoft that are hungry for talent. With opportunities available in any industry, you won’t have a hard time looking for a job.

The cost of living might be high, but the salary range is higher as well. This gives you access to bigger homes, better cars, and other luxuries as long as you manage to find the right paycheck to back it up. People here also tend to be more laid-back than in San Diego. It’s easier to get along with your new colleagues, resulting in better performance at work.

Traffic is Thicker, But Transportation is Smoother Too

Prepare yourself. As one of the most congested cities in the U.S., gridlocks in L.A. will surely test your patience. But the good news is that L.A.’s public transportation system makes it tolerable, at least. If you don’t have a car, buses are your primary means of getting around.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of ways to deal with heavy traffic. Find yourself trapped in a gridlock? Listen for your favorite songs on Spotify or inspiring podcasts from inspiring channels. Need to catch a meeting? Drive early in the morning when traffic isn’t stuffed yet. As you familiarize yourself with the roadworks, you’ll also learn to avoid major chokepoints and avoid too much stress.

Plenty of Exciting Places

Like NYC, L. A is a top tourist destination on the West Coast. Whatever your dream adventure is, you can expect to find it in this city. First, you have the famous Disneyland with more than 50 massive attractions for people of all ages.

Then there’s the 4200-acre Griffith Park, a sprawling urban oasis that features miles of trails, picnic areas, and scenic mountain view. Of course, who would forget about Hollywood? Make sure you drop by to enjoy TV-themed rides from popular movies like Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, and Jurassic Park.

Aside from the fun, you can also expect rich culture here. There are over 92 museums and galleries all around the city that you’ll want to spend an afternoon exploring whenever you’re bored or need some inspiration for your next project. Overall, it’s a challenge to run out of things to do in L.A. There’s always something, somewhere for everyone.

Best Movers to Hire for the Job

LA might not be far from San Diego, but it’s still a huge city that can be difficult to navigate. Hiring movers make the process easier and get it done quickly. Here are some of the best professional companies to help you out:

  • Imperial Moving & Storage: With decades of experience, these movers let you sit back and enjoy while they safely pack, load, and transfer your belongings to L.A. Find out more here.
  • Excalibur Movers: Similar to its namesake, Excalibur is a legendary moving team in L.A. They’ve facilitated thousands of moves, so it’s no surprise that they can pull of yours.
  • Best Fit Movers San Diego: This moving company takes pride in its attention to detail and superb customer support. You can’t go wrong with entrusting your move to them.
  • 24/7 Moving and Storage: For many years, these guys have dedicated their profession to providing smooth moving experiences to Californians from far and near.
  • Move Central Moving & Storage: If you’re looking for a premier company that offers competitive rates, this is the one for you. Expect everything done in such a professional manner.
  • Stella Moving & Delivery: Stella might not be as large as the companies above, but they’re just as professional. They offer many moving services backed by stellar customer support.

Moving can be both exciting and stressful. However, knowing what to expect definitely makes things easier. Enjoy your move!

What to Know When Moving from Southern California to Seattle

So you are about to relocate from Southern California to Seattle, WA? It’s not a very long distance to migrate, but there are several real estate differences and recreational activity differences that you might want to be aware of. Knowing these differences will help you prepare in advance and ease your transition from California to Washington.

Change in Property Tax Rates

When you have lived in SoCal for a long time, you get used to the lower property tax rates of .76%. It will be quite a shock when you go to pay the property tax bill on your Seattle home because the King County tax rate is currently sitting at .95%! Part of that has to do with the fact that residents in Seattle voted to raise the property tax rates recently to improve public transportation, education for children, and various other improvements. A $160,000 home in California usually results in property taxes of about $1,208, whereas a $160,000 house in Seattle and the surrounding county area results in $1,525.

Availability of Property and Housing Is Less in Seattle

Suppose you were able to snag a property in Seattle, congratulations! Seattle is a hot housing market right now, and it isn’t easy to find anything for sale. Attempting to make an offer before something sells before spending any time on the market is expected. Even though San Diego and the surrounding area is cheaper than Seattle, there are many more properties and apartments available in Southern California than in Seattle. The fact that you managed to purchase (or sign for a lease on) a property in Seattle deserves kudos.

Let’s Talk Sales Tax

While we’re at it, let’s talk sales tax too. The sales tax you pay on a pack of gum or other San Diego products is 7.75 cents. That same pack of gum or other product in Seattle nets ten cents on every dollar spent. Unless your relocation is job-related and the job is paying you a lot more than what you were making in California, it might not be a great idea to relocate after all.

Recreational Activities

Of course, there’s always a lot of positives to moving to Seattle. It is the hub of cultural activity, what with all of its art museums, music performances, annual celebrations of different types, etc.. The city has a very different feel to it than San Diego or any other Southern California city. The “pulse” of the city of Seattle is a little more laid back, calm, and reserved than California, which you might find appealing.

In terms of outdoor recreation, the weather is much cooler most of the year. This local company notes that you can hike through forests outside the city, camp out most of the year, go fishing, boating, and lots of water recreation activities because Seattle is right on Puget Sound, and even ski (downhill and cross-country) in winter. Hunting is also prevalent, given that a great deal of Washington state has preserved much of its forested lands. If you don’t have enough outdoor gear, you will probably make that one of your first shopping trips after you get settled there.

The Weather

You will experience much colder temperatures than you are used to. You will experience a lot more rain, sleet, hail, and snow than you have ever experienced before. It may be the first time that you will need heavier winter outerwear than you had in California.

However, after a few years in Seattle, you will adapt well and probably not even notice the shifts in colder seasonal temperatures from summer to fall and fall to winter. Rain gear is highly recommended when living in Seattle, too, since the rainiest season begins in November and doesn’t end until March, with snow showers and blizzards mixed in here and there.

Try These Tips When Hiring Local Movers

Ideally, you should have a more effortless experience moving locally than moving across the country. However, your moving experience’s quality will largely depend on the local mover you choose to hire. While San Diego is a vast city abundant with moving companies, this variety of options can make hiring a local mover quite overwhelming.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the sea of local movers and settle on the right one.

1. Ask for Referrals from Family and Friends in San Diego

If you are fortunate enough to have family and friends in San Diego with positive moving experiences, ask them for referrals. Your family and friends may recommend an exceptional local mover who they have worked with before, and advise you on the moving companies to avoid.

2. Check the Online Reviews of Potential Local Movers

Excellent customer reviews and testimonials are a credible source of social proof that a potential local mover can handle the job professionally. Check the reputation of prospective local movers to filter out the less competent companies and avoid future disappointments, e.g., inflated costs and damaged property.

3. Get Quotes from Multiple Moving Companies

Despite being overlooked by many movers, getting quotes from multiple moving companies can help you find the best value for your money. Informing the moving companies that you are scouting for the best deal can help you land discounts.

To get a better sense of their professionalism, ask different companies if their estimators can visit your home for evaluation. A professional estimator should create an inventory of all the items you wish to move and generate a quote based on your items’ weight and volume estimates. When shopping around for quotes, give higher priority to movers located in San Diego.

4. Watch out for Companies That Practice Name-Switching

Consider it a huge red flag if you encounter a moving company with a different name to the one listed on its paperwork header. Usually, moving companies that use multiple names have something to hide. If you have any suspicions of shady business practices by a moving company after discovering a potential name-switch, look up their license numbers (both federal and state). California movers are regulated by the state’s Bureau of Household Goods and Services. You can easily look up a company’s licensing information online here.

You can determine whether customers have reported them for questionable business practices by calling The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can also refer to the Better Business Bureau if you have sufficient reasons to suspect the company.

5. Request a Contract with Reputable Estimate Terms

To ensure you pay exactly or close to the amount estimated in the moving inventory, ensure your contract comes with either of these estimate terms.

  • Binding

These terms imply that you will only pay for the estimated amount. Should you request any additional services, then you will have to pay extra for them.

  • Nonbinding

These estimate terms ensure that you do not pay more than 10% over the estimated amount.

  • Nonbinding to Exceed

These terms are flexible in the sense that you will not have to pay anything above the estimated amount. However, you will have to pay extra if the actual costs are lower than the estimates.