Bucking Bull Movers

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.