Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
The state of New York and California lie on two different
ends of the map. One is a go-getter of the east coast while the other is of the
west. Both of these states are superior in their own ways and among the most
desirable places to relocate to.
Sure, both these states share a bunch of similarities, but at the same time, a simple debate between a New Yorker and Californian will unleash all the differences there is. A shoulder to shoulder comparison only shows the similarities. Although, we’re here to present to you the differences along with similarities and everything else in between. If only to help you understand whether moving from New York to California makes sense for you.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
The Golden State of California is considered to have the
most temperate climate in the nation. It basically lacks extremes in
temperature and the year-round atmosphere is dominated by pleasant ocean
breeze, clear skies and plenty of sunshine.
If you’re a New Yorker who wishes to never see or shovel
snow again, then the state of California will fulfill this desire. While making
the big move here, you’d have to make arrangements to either sell or donate
your winter gear, boots and bulky coats. Shorts, t-shirts, flip flops,
sundresses and beachwear is the attire to prepare for in California.
Summer Comparison: California has a very mild version
of the four seasons year round. Summers in the state are hot and dry with
temperatures swinging from 70F to 80F. Now that’s not way too different from
New York in terms of temperature, although it’s more humid in NY.
Cities on the coast such as San Francisco and Los Angeles
face comfortable summer temperatures in comparison to those located in the
central areas. For instance, temperatures would soar upto 97°F (36.1°C) in
Sacramento and Fresno during peak summer months (especially August).
Winter Comparison: During winter months here, you
don’t have to worry about single digit freezing temperatures like that of New
York. On an average, the temperature would lie somewhere between 55°F (12.8°C)
to 60°F (15.6°C). But do note that conditions are cold in the northern region
of the state.
Spring And Fall Comparison: Spring and fall temperatures are
comfortable and pleasant. But just a heads up that even though it practically
never rains in California, you have to be prepared for an occasional shower
with a light rain jacket and umbrella. Ideally, as a New Yorker that shouldn’t
really be too big a deal for you.
Overall, it’s clear that California has no shortage of sunny
days and if that’s something you’re after, you’d definitely have it in the
sunny state of California. You won’t have to spend energy shoveling snow,
waiting for your car to warm up or preparing an all-season wardrobe. It’s also
easy to step out to stores in the winter without layering or thinking about icy
In its entirety, the cost of living in both New York and
California aren’t poles apart, but extremely similar. California is like a
heartbeat away from reaching the costs of living in the state of New York. It’s
an extremely close call and perhaps this is good news because it makes it
easier to get financially comfortable with the expenses in California.
For instance, if we specifically look at data on housing
costs, you’ll see there’s a small marginal difference in costs.
Here is the difference in costs in housing (according to Zillow)
In addition to that, this is the difference between median household income (according to Niche)
Just a heads up that in Californian cities like San Jose,
Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, the cost of living is on the higher
end of spectrum in comparison to other areas of the state. This is similar to
how you would most likely shell more cash to live in areas like Midtown
Manhattan and Hudson Square.
Speaking of similarities, a six digit annual income in both
states would mean that you’re ahead of the game and living a little above the
comfortable standard of living. It’s difficult to say which one is more
expensive, since these states are huge and offer a lot of choice for residents
of different financial backgrounds. This is why it’s possible to live
comfortably even if you’re earning somewhere within the 70k-80k bracket
annually. Depending on your spending habits and the lifestyle you adopt, it
might also be feasible to get by with an income lower than the ideal average
In terms of income, both states offer employees figures way above the national average, so even though things might come across as exorbitant in California, you might just be able to afford those expenses. All in all, both states are similar in terms of cost of living standards and are among the top in the nation. However, the good news is that California is affordable and expensive at the same time. This is probably why millions take the leap to relocate and then find costs manageable.
New York and California are the top dogs when it comes to
job opportunities. In other words, there’s no alpha-beta in this equation, but
just two top performing alphas. New York is a dream job city for millions of
individuals from all over the nation and California is participating in the
New York has Wall Street which is a global hub for financial
firms and California has Silicon Valley which is a global center for tech
giants. Both states have the spirit of bustle, hustle and the buzz in terms of
lucrative job opportunities across a variety of industries.
Both job markets are far from mediocre, but depending on the
line of work you are drawn towards, you may or may not find yourself with a
richer opportunity in California. Presently, few of the industries that
dominate the economy of California are high-tech, hospitality and healthcare.
Different types of industries have a stronghold in the state apart from these.
Just like you have the MTA bus and rail system in New York,
for intra city travel, you would have a couple of commute systems in
California. In terms of practicality, it does not have as much coverage as the
MTA in New York, but it’s still pretty decent to get around. The state of
California is secured with light rail lines, subway systems, buses, metro and
street cars. But do keep in mind that each system is specifically convenient
for those who reside in that vicinity. Here is a list of the options you would
have at your disposal:
With these systems in place, it is possible to go carless in
the state just like it is in New York. In terms of airports, three of the most
commuted one are Los Angeles International (LAX), San Francisco International
(SFO) and San Diego International (SAN). So, it is safe to say that the state
is pretty loaded and above average in the case of transit options for
Now that you have an overview of everything that California has to offer you, let us go over some of the top cities you can consider moving to in the state.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll probably fall in
love with the city of Sacramento. Residents here have easy access to mountains,
beaches, lakes, nature trails and more. The cost of living is also relatively
low in comparison to other cities of the state. It is also the epicenter for
jobs and so you have exposure to endless opportunities here. A great perk is
that the city is extremely diverse in nature and filled with top-notch
restaurants, places for entertainment, historic districts, making it far from
stagnant. Broadstone, Lexington Hills and Boulevard Park are the top
residential neighborhoods of this city.
Median value of homes - $313,400Median rent - $1,179
The city of Berkeley is located in the San Francisco Bay
Area. This is definitely an affluent part of the state that might not be for
everyone from the affordability aspect. The area is diverse, vibrant and is
home to the University of California. It is undoubtedly a hotspot for students,
young professionals and families. Bear in mind that it does have the atmosphere
of being a college city because of the concentration of universities here. The
place is sociable in its essence and among the most popular places to live in
Median value of homes - $938,800Median rent - $1,612
A large percentage of people are drawn to the vibe and
atmosphere of San Diego and probably pushes them to move the state. San Diego
has a laid-back vibe and is a great option if you don’t like being cooped
indoors. The city boasts of having the best weather conditions, the beach and
lots of things to do nearby. If you choose to live here, you’d be staying in
close proximity to the international airport, have lots of choice for food and
entertainment. The city is also a bustling hub with a plethora of companies
that have set up their headquarters here.
Median value of homes - $569,100Median rent - $1,611
See also: Moving to San Diego
The city of Los Angeles has a big character and a spirit
that draws millions of people to the city. Presently, it is the second most
populated city in the entire nation with over 12 million people occupying the
city. This definitely makes it a crowded place but at the same time desirable.
L.A. is home to thousands of media firms, advertising agencies and film
studios. It’s a great place to reside in if you need to expand your network or
increase your ties with the entertainment industry. Do keep in mind that the
city possesses all of the charm and amenities that is expected of it but also
consists of the cons that comes with the immense amount of development.
Median value of homes - $599,700Median rent - $1,376
See also: Moving to Los Angeles
If you wish to stay connected to the Bay area community but
also keep your distance because of the massive crowd there, then the city of
Fremont is a safe bet. The atmosphere in Fremont is quiet and residential, cut
away from the noise. Residents here enjoy the fact that they have access to dog
parks, playgrounds, lakes and good school systems. It’s easy to find close-knit
communities and is surely a biker’s paradise.
Median value of homes - $863,800Median rent - $2,188
See also: 10 Best Places to Live in California
A move from New York to California is an expensive affair
and the cost falls in the range of $3,000 to $7,000 for full-service movers.
The smaller the move, the lesser the cost will be. If you look at services such
as PODS or a U-Haul, overall costs could amount to around $4,000 to $5,000.
The main cause for the expense is the vast distance and ground being covered to move all the way from the east coast to the western corner of the nation. To get an accurate estimate, it is necessary to share the zip code of your current location and the prospective place you’re moving into. Keep in mind that it is absolutely necessary to dive into the teeny-weeny bits of your move with the moving company.
Ask yourself if you need help with packing, loading, unloading, storage or anything else and convey this information to your mover so you have an accurate estimate.
How many days does it take to drive
from New York to California?
York is roughly 3000 miles away from California. If you plan to drive there,
you must know that the entire journey sums up to about 53 hours of traveling.
Assuming that you drive for 5 hours a day, you will take 10 days to reach
California. Similarly, if you drive 10 hours a day, you will reach California
in about 5 days.
What state is halfway between New
York and California?
must have realized that New York and California are on two opposite ends of the
country. Nebraska is the state which falls halfway between New York and
How long is a train ride from New
York to California?
is roughly 3000 miles away from New York. The duration of your train ride will
obviously depend on where you plan to go in California. However, it will take
you 78 hours and 29 minutes on average to reach California if you take the
train. Some of the fastest trains will take a minimum of 67 hours and 20
minutes to reach California.
Is it worth it to move to
is a beautiful state with a diverse and easy-going culture. People primarily
move to California for its weather and its beaches. California is generally
warm and sunny for more than 250 days a year. In addition to that, there are
several award-winning restaurants and delicious cuisines, art galleries,
museums, outdoor activities, etc., that can be enjoyed by you at all times.
However, one thing you must know before moving to California is that life here is super expensive. You might have to spend a major part of your income on housing costs, utilities, transportation, health care, taxes, and so on. In our opinion, moving to California is totally worth it if you have enough money. On the other hand, if you are running on a tight budget, California might not be the best option for you.
How far is NY to California?
York is 2,441 miles or 3,928 miles away from California. Traveling from New
York to California will take you about 4.5 hours by airplane.
How much is a train ticket to
you are traveling from New York to California, you can expect to spend an
average amount of $240 on your train ticket. If you find a train ticket below
this value, you can rest assured that you are getting the best deal possible.
How much is a bus ticket from New
York to California?
cheapest bus tickets to California from New York costs about $150. The starting
price for tickets for buses would be roughly $150. However, the average cost of
a bus ticket to California is $202.33. Remember to book at least 30 days in
advance to make sure that you get the cheapest deals.
Can you take Amtrak to California?
can choose to take the Amtrak to California from most of the states (for
instance, Louisiana, Illinois, etc.) of the USA. If you want to travel to
California from New York, Amtrak is the only train that connects California and
New York. The good news is that 11 Amtrak trains run between New York and
California every day. The average cost of the ticket of an Amtrak train from
New York to California is $127.
The Golden state of California has its perks, so it could be a suitable option depending on what stage of life you’re in. Overall, the pros of Californian life may or may not be appealing to you. Of course, that depends on what you seek to find here that New York doesn’t offer. If it ticks all the boxes, remember that it is absolutely necessary to begin planning logistics and taking insights from professional movers in NYC well in advance, because this is truly a big move.
Also See: Moving From Florida To California – Expert Tips & Advice
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