Moving from California to Washington: New Trend You Can’t Ignore

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Author: Vlad Kandybovich

Meet Vlad Kandybovich, your friendly moving expert with over 10 years in the game! As the heart and soul behind QShark Moving Company, he has been a part of more than 50,000 moving journeys, helping individuals like you make smooth and stress-free transitions. Vlad is not just about the business; he genuinely cares about making each move a happy memory. So, when you are looking for advice or a tip on your next move, know that Vlads wisdom comes with a big dose of care and friendship. Happy moving!

Moving from California to Washington

moving from california to washington with Qshark moving


Ah, California, the Golden State! Sun, surf, and Silicon Valley. But what’s this? A mass exodus north to Washington State? You bet. We’re digging deep into why people are making the move and how you can too. Learn more about Moving from California to Washington with Qshark Moving Company. Let’s roll!

Why the Move? – The Lure of Washington State

Lower Cost of Living

Let’s talk numbers. Compared to California’s whopping $712,430 median home price, Washington State offers homes at a significantly lower median price—although the 2002 data pegs it at $203,800. Add to this the lower living costs, and Washington becomes a financial sanctuary.

California vs WashingtonKey Financial Metrics (2021/2023)
Average IncomeCA: $77,036 / WA: $75698
Median Home PriceCA: $712,430 / WA: $203,800
Unemployment RateCA: 7.5% / WA: 4.5%

Employment Opportunities

Beyond just big tech names, Washington has a booming healthcare industry, a vibrant arts scene, and a growing green energy sector. Given the current unemployment rate of 4.5% compared to California’s 7.5%, it’s evident where the opportunities lie.

The line graph showcases Washington State's population numbers from 2001 to 2021.
The line graph showcases Washington State’s population numbers from 2001 to 2021. The golden line elegantly captures the state’s consistent growth over the years, with a small plateau in 2021.

No State Income Tax

It’s not just the absence of state income tax that’s appealing. This tax benefit can significantly impact your long-term financial planning, including retirement savings and investment portfolios. No state income tax equals long-term financial freedom!

The line graph illustrates the average wage growth in Washington State versus the U.S. from 2001 to 2021.

The Great Outdoors

Washington State isn’t just forests and mountains; it’s an outdoor lifestyle. From kayaking in the Puget Sound to snowboarding in the Cascades, the adventure never ends. It’s like an eternal vacation, only you live here!

Before You Leap – The Cons

The Weather Factor

Don’t be fooled by those postcard-perfect scenes of Mount Rainier. Washington’s weather is a mixed bag. The western part can be rainy and gloomy, while the eastern side is drier but colder. And yes, volcanoes are part of the package. Ever heard of Mount St. Helens?

Property Crime Rates

Safety first! Property crimes like burglary and auto theft are more common in Washington than in California. Research neighborhoods thoroughly and consider investing in a good security system.

This heat map illustrates property crime rates in different cities across Washington. Seattle and Tacoma register higher rates, making them areas to be cautious about when planning your move.
Heat Map: This heat map illustrates property crime rates in different cities across Washington. Seattle and Tacoma register higher rates, making them areas to be cautious about when planning your move.

Complex Local Taxes

No state income tax is a win, but Washington compensates with a labyrinth of local taxes, including high sales and property taxes. If you’re running a business, be prepared for confusing B&O (Business and Occupation) taxes.

 The graph focuses on the unemployment rate. Washington State fares better with a lower unemployment rate of 4.5% compared to California's 7.5%.
Unemployment Rate (Gold): The graph focuses on the unemployment rate. Washington State fares better with a lower unemployment rate of 4.5% compared to California’s 7.5%.
welcome to washington

Tips for a Smooth Transition

Choose the Right Moving Company

Not all movers are created equal. A reliable moving company like Qshark Moving Company offers various services, from packing and unpacking to specialized handling of fragile items. With professional movers, you’re not just moving; you’re moving smart.

Prepare for Weather Surprises

Washington’s weather can be, well, unpredictable. Equip yourself with all-season clothes and don’t forget a sturdy pair of boots. For more tips, check out how to pack clothes for different climates.

Heavy Traffic in Seattle

Seattle’s traffic is notorious. If you’re relocating there, consider your commute. Maybe even test-drive the route during peak hours to gauge what you’re up against.

Register Early

New state, new rules. There’s a list of things to update, from vehicle registration to voting. Make sure to change your mailing address and sign up for local benefits as soon as you move.

Understand Moving Costs

Moving isn’t cheap, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Costs vary widely, from as low as $883 to as high as $10,000 or more. Knowing this range helps you budget better.

qshark moving truck getting ready to go to Washington

The Price Tag of the Move

A move of this magnitude comes with its own set of financial considerations. The cost of moving from California to Washington State can vary widely based on factors like the distance, the size of the move, and whether you opt for professional movers. Estimates suggest spending anywhere from $883 to $10,000 or more. The most commonly cited range is between $3,000 and $4,000. Knowing these numbers helps you budget accordingly and avoid any last-minute financial surprises. It’s worth noting that a reliable moving company can offer both affordability and peace of mind. For a stress-free experience, consider a professional service like Qshark Moving Company.

Best Cities to Move to in Washington

  • Seattle: The Emerald City is a tech hub and cultural melting pot. Plus, you’ll never run out of coffee shops!
  • Vancouver: Right across the river from Portland, Oregon, Vancouver offers a quieter, more suburban lifestyle.
  • Olympia: As the state capital, Olympia is steeped in history and politics. Great schools make it ideal for families.
  • Tacoma: Known for its world-class museums and vibrant arts scene, Tacoma is Seattle’s edgier, less expensive sibling.
  • Spokane: On the state’s eastern side, Spokane offers a drier climate and is a gateway to outdoor adventures like skiing and hiking.

Each city has its own vibe and offers unique opportunities and challenges. Choose based on your lifestyle, job opportunities, and, of course, your budget.

Final Thoughts

So, is it worth moving from California to Washington? The answer is a resounding “it depends.” If you crave a lower cost of living, ample job opportunities, and an escape from state income tax, then yes, make the leap. Just be sure to prepare adequately.

Considering other long-distance moves? Check out these articles:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth moving from California to Washington?

If your priorities include a lower cost of living, robust job opportunities, and no state income tax, then it’s worth considering a move to Washington.

Is it better to live in California or Washington State?

It’s all about your lifestyle preferences. California is your place if you love sunshine, beaches, and a bustling entertainment scene. But if you’re drawn to the great outdoors, tech jobs, and a more affordable cost of living, Washington State has its allure.

Can you move from California to Washington?

Absolutely, you can! Proper planning and the right moving company make your move smooth and stress-free.

Why are Californians moving to Washington?

The main attractions include a lower cost of living, strong job market, and the absence of state income tax. Plus, Washington offers a different natural beauty that many find irresistible.

Is it cheaper to live in California or Washington State?

In general, Washington State is cheaper, especially regarding housing. However, average incomes are also lower, so balancing income prospects against living costs is essential.

What states are most Californians moving to?

Apart from Washington, other popular destinations include Texas, Nevada, and Oregon. Each state offers unique benefits that draw Californians away from the Golden State.

What are the hidden costs of moving?

Be prepared for additional expenses like moving supplies, temporary housing, and potential storage fees. Always get a detailed quote from your moving company to avoid surprises.

How do I prepare for a long-distance move?

Planning is crucial. Make checklists, start packing early, and consider hiring professionals to ease the process. For a comprehensive guide, visit how to prepare for movers to pack.

What should I know about Washington’s weather before moving?

It’s not all rain; different parts of the state offer varying climates. Western Washington is wetter, while Eastern Washington is drier but colder. So pack accordingly!

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