It’s being called the “California Exodus.” So, why are people leaving California? With the pandemic rupturing the economy and the financial state of many worldwide, some Californians are deciding to abandon the beauty of perfect weather and sunny beaches for a more affordable lifestyle. As the cost of living in California continues to take a toll on millions of “golden state” residents, many of them are also realizing just how expensive it is to live comfortably in California.
Housing costs, gas prices, taxes and overall utilities have skyrocketed throughout the years, and now California remains one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. Because California is focusing on progressive regulations, some of which aim to reduce carbon emissions and preserve the environment, the overall cost of housing has gone up exponentially.
Reuters reports that a poll taken by the University of California, Berkeley of 4,527 California voters found that 71% cited housing costs as the reason they considered leaving California, a feeling more prevalent among younger participants. Another 48% claimed “high taxes” were a reason to consider leaving, and 46% blamed the state’s political culture as an incentive.
Due to these factors, living out the “Californian Dream” has been a lot harder on residents. COVID-19 has drastically impacted living situations across the US, and some states are starting to receive droves of Californians looking for a more sustainable cost of living.
Many people are starting to ask if it’s really worth managing all of the costs of living in California, and relocation is becoming a viable alternative that seems to be happening everywhere across the country.
Ex-Californians relocate in search of something more … for less
Brittany, a family travel blogger, and her family decided to relocate to Utah to seek better opportunities outside their two-bedroom apartment in LA. Her husband, a 2015 UCLA alumni, and Brittany, who runs the blog The Minivan Bucket List, both ventured into the vast green spaces of Utah, where it just “made so much more financial sense.” She says that her new home has three times the square footage of the two-bedroom apartment in LA, and the mortgage is less than the rent they were paying in California.
Ex-Californian resident Anne-Marie got a feel of two states where many California residents are relocating – Tucson, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas. “As much as I loved Tucson with a small-town big-city feel, it felt a lot smaller during the pandemic, especially since I worked in the restaurant industry,” she says. “I took a chance and chose San Antonio. I love it here because the people are humble, the river runs citywide, and it’s very green.
“Plus, I’ve lived in the desert way too long,” she emphasizes.
Things like car and medical insurance or the cost of groceries have made life more difficult for people wanting to live in cities like Los Angeles. UCLA graduate Ashley Dizon “moved to venture into new territories,” awakening her mind out of the “mundane slumber” she felt stuck in. She gives a breath of clarity as she begins to settle into her new place she calls home.
“Being closer to nature brings out the best in people, and out in Colorado, you get a lot of that,” Dizon remarks. “It’s very affordable, and it also helps that there isn’t as much crime, toxic extremism and high taxes.”
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the world’s economic stability, many California residents are beginning to realize just how expensive it has become to stay in the state. States like Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, Texas, and Washington have seen a wave of California dreamers make their way into more sustainable grounds.
Unfortunately, with COVID-19 still in full effect, the financial state of many in California will continue to disrupt the lives of future and current residents.
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