Ever since visiting Disneyland as a kid, you have wanted to move to Southern California. Over the years, you've been back numerous times for vacations, and you love the gorgeous weather, scenic beaches and great lifestyle that this area offers.
Soon, though, you'll finally fulfill your dream of living in SoCal. You're currently scoping out places to live, applying for jobs, and are ready to take the plunge to become a resident of the Golden State.
To help prepare for your move and make the process go as smoothly as possible, consider the following four tips:
1. Realize You'll Need a Car
While Southern California is rich in sunshine, its public transportation options are rather poor. In other words, you'll need to have a car to get where you need to go. If you've relied on your bike to get to work or take the bus or light rail, just know that cars are king in SoCal. Of course, many of those vehicles travel on the freeways at the same time, which brings us to our second tip:
2. Be Prepared for Heavy Traffic
Traffic is notoriously heavy in SoCal. For many residents, rush hour is an all-day affair that can result in long commutes at slow speeds. You might have experienced some of this congestion while on vacation. But if not, prepare yourself for spending more time inside your vehicle getting to and from work and/or school and running errands.
To help keep your driving time to a minimum, don’t start shopping for an apartment or house until you know where you're working or attending school. Then, work with a Realtor to find a place in a great neighborhood that offers a relatively short commute.
3. Shop Around for New Furniture
For those moving into a new home, SoCal offers plenty of amazing shopping opportunities. If you decide to leave some of your old, worn-out furniture behind and spring for some new pieces, rest assured as there are plenty of places to buy furniture and other home goods.
For instance, Jerome’s Furniture, a SoCal-based company, has several showrooms in the region, including in Chula Vista. The retailer has a wide selection of furniture for any and all rooms; Jerome's also offers in-home delivery and convenient financing, which can come in handy after an expensive move.
4. Know Housing Costs are Pricey
Unless you're moving to SoCal from another metropolitan area known for high housing costs — think Chicago, New York City or San Francisco — you may very well be paying double or triple the cost of what you are used to for housing. However, don’t let high housing costs cause you to give up on your dream of moving.
By opting for a smaller place than you had back home and/or getting roommates, you can swing the higher cost of housing. As a bonus, downsizing your house means paying less for electricity and water, which are savings you can apply to the higher rent or mortgage.
Enjoy Your New Place
After years of dreaming, it might be hard to believe you're moving to SoCal and will soon have a California address and driver’s license. By looking for a place close to work or school, being aware of the higher cost of living and realizing you may be spending more time in traffic than you'd like, your transition to SoCal will be easy, relatively stress-free and successful.