10 Pros and Cons of Living in California


For those looking for diverse views, sunny weather, and adventure, California is a state for you. From hiking among the Redwoods in northern California to surfing at Newport Beach, there are activities for everyone to enjoy. So if you’re wondering if California is a good place to live, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking at homes for sale in Santa Monica or moving into an apartment in Los Angeles, here are the ten pros and cons of living in California to consider before making your big move.

California street with palm trees

Pros of living in California

1. You’ll find an abundance of nature throughout the state

From the scenic views of the iconic Highway 101 to various national parks, California has no shortage of beauty. Being a large coastal state, residents can enjoy long stretches of stunning beaches and see beautiful sunsets and views of the Pacific Ocean year-round. Aside from the beautiful beaches, you’ll find rugged mountain ranges in Yosemite National Park, picturesque lakes like Lake Tahoe, and the gorgeous desert in the south. So whether you prefer a lounge day at the beach or want to wander through the woods, California has everything you need.

2. Constant sunshine year-round

California boasts sunny weather all year – around 258 days, to be exact. A perfect destination for those seeking dryer weather. Although it’s sunny most of the year, it doesn’t mean it’s too hot outside to enjoy the fresh air. California has favorable weather throughout most of the state, so grab your sunblock, and get ready to enjoy all the fun activities outdoors without an umbrella. 

People relaxing on a California beach

3. California has mild winters

Not a fan of cold, dark, and snowy winters? California has the perfect weather for you. Northern cities, like San Francisco, can have an average high of 58 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Cities closer south, like San Diego, can experience higher winter temperatures averaging around 66 degrees Fahrenheit – perfect for those that want to escape the snow. Plus with this favorable weather in the winter, residents and visitors alike can enjoy all things outdoors.

4. The job opportunities are endless

Home to big-name tech giants in the bay area to the film industry in Hollywood, there are plenty of opportunities in this state. You’ll find large employers like Google, Apple, The Walt Disney Family, Oracle, and Netflix. In Los Angeles, you’ll be surrounded by the TV and film industry with companies like Paramount Studios, Warner Bros Studio, and Universal Studios.

5. There are a ton of activities to keep you busy

With favorable temperatures and an abundance of space, you’ll find a hobby you’ll love in no time. Grab your friends and wander through Main Street in Disney Land, or head over to the Pacific Ocean coastline and surf, kite surf, or play beach volleyball. Put on your climbing shoes and boulder the various canyons throughout southern California or road trip down to Joshua Tree National Park.

Someone hiking in Yosemite

Cons of living in California

1. Inland city summers can be hot 

If you live farther away from the Pacific Ocean, temperatures will likely increase in the summer months. Cities like Fresno have average temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. So if you’re considering moving to an inland town, learn how to heatproof your home and stay cool.

2. California has a high drought risk

As temperatures rise, so does the risk of drought, and in California, drought is very apparent. It’s essential to know how climate change affects drought risk in the areas you’re looking to move, as some areas are impacted more than others. Sometimes the drought can be extreme enough that the government will ask residents to cut their water use. So keep this in mind when you are looking for homes for sale.

California desert

3. California has significant income and sales taxes

With a state sales tax of 7.25% and income tax of 1-12.3%, California has the highest tax rate in the nation. Along with sales and income taxes, California also has one of the highest gasoline taxes in the country. If you decide to move here, you should consider how taxes will factor into your budget.

4. The cost of housing is very high

Not only are sales and income taxes high, but the cost of living is also high. California’s median sale price is $759,900, up 2.3% YoY. Compared to bordering states like Oregon, which has a median sale price of $503,500, California can be an expensive place to live.

Pink ladies in San Francisco

5. California is prone to wildfires

Along with drought, California is also prone to wildfires, and with climate change, wildfires are increasing each year, devastating land. If you decide to move here, you should research the fire risk information in your desired area and options to fireproof your home so you can stay protected.

Pros and cons of living in California: Bottom line

California is a good place to live if you love relaxation adventure. From amazing surf opportunities to hiking trails, there’s an abundance of activities for all residents. Although there are great advantages, there are also drawbacks to living there like drought and fire risk as well as expensive housing. Before making this state your home, you’ll want to weigh the pros of cons of living in California.


Explore more California articles:

Affordable San Diego Suburbs
Hidden Gems in San Francisco
Unique Places to Take Pictures in Los Angeles
Affordable Los Angeles Suburbs
Hidden Gems in San Diego
Affordable Long Beach Suburbs

References: Ana de Guzman

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