Heading out to the West is as American as apple pie; people have been seeking their fortunes in the Western half of the United States since before they were united. There are plenty of pros when it comes to West Coast living, whether you have your sights set on the San Francisco Bay Area or San Diego.
First of all, the weather is enough to get anyone smiling. Living in New York and the whole Northeastern U.S. means that you have to suffer through harsh winters, and the best way to avoid those is to hike over to California. Plus, the innovation of Silicon Valley, the job opportunities, and the delicious cuisines of the West Coast will bring a better quality of life to any westward wanderers.
All that being said, you need to prepare for a move to the Golden Coast. It’s not enough to just buy a map of Los Angeles and throw out your winter clothes. If you really want to understand the essentials of West Coast life, read this helpful guide. These three tips will have you ready for a brand new life in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Fran, and anywhere else in California.
1. If you’re headed to the Bay Area, it’s a good idea to bring a sweatshirt.
Not all of California is equally sun-drenched, and if you’re planning on a move to the San Francisco Bay Area (Oakland, Berkeley, or anywhere else near SF), you shouldn’t throw out all of your sweatshirt options quite yet. Sure, it’s sunnier in SF than in New York City or Boston, but San Francisco still gets plenty of cloudy days, and the San Fran fog is legendary. If you’re moving to someplace like San Francisco, you also need to be prepared for a higher cost of living. Aspiring SF homeowners should be prepared to pay a high price for homeownership, so be sure that you have work lined up before you buy your first BART ticket.
2. When you’re moving to Southern California, you need a reliable HVAC.
The Golden State is known for sunshine and starlets, and Southern California is where you’ll find them—not in Sacramento or SF. San Diego, Los Angeles, and the rest of Southern California are where you’ll be using your sunglasses, sunscreen, and sandals more often. SF is more of a sneakers kind of town—with those notoriously steep hills, you’ll want comfortable footwear in San Francisco.
What you’ll want in the southern part of the Golden State is a reliable air conditioner and a technician you can trust. You may have had experience fixing your furnace or knocking the ice off your windshield in Maine or New Hampshire, but locals in Southern California will be quick to tell you why DIY HVAC repairs are a terrible idea. Between the compressor, the ductwork, and potential leaks of gases and coolant, it’s best to have your HVAC system cared for by an HVAC technician with plenty of experience. You may make the problem worse by trying to go the DIY route, and then fixing this very important appliance will cost you even more!
3. Visit the City of Angels before you move there—it’s a big city.
A lot of people are overwhelmed when they head to Los Angeles for the first time. What with the traffic, the size of the city, and the possibilities that abound, it can get to be a little overwhelming. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a California trip before you choose a Los Angeles neighborhood to call home. Make sure that you have all the essentials when packing for a trip to California by planning some activities ahead of time. Planning to surf to go for a horseback ride? That may mean you need a swimsuit or a light jacket. Either way, make a list of activities that will help you get a feel for the big city before you become one of the many Hollywood-adjacent homeowners.