Moving from California to Washington

Moving from California to Washington.

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    Annually, a large number of Californians are moving from California to Washington state. This is because the Pacific Northwest state has wonderful advantages including stunning landscape, a moderate climate, and a plethora of outdoor recreation at a lower cost than California.

    It’s no wonder that Washington is one of the fastest-growing states in the country, thanks to its flourishing labor market, vibrant technological culture, and breathtaking beauty.


    Despite the surf, sand, and warmth of California, many people discover that they may have a better standard of living in Washington at a cheaper cost. People are moving from California to Washington for a variety of reasons, including lower taxes and less expensive housing.

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    Should I move to Washington State? 

    If you’re thinking about moving to Washington state from California, there are several things to think about. These include the following:

    What It’s Like to Live in Washington

    Washington State has established itself as a center for technology, metropolitan epicenters, a growing economy, and breathtaking scenery. From town to town, the state is filled with variations.

    Even the weather varies greatly depending on your location. In addition, there is a thriving artistic environment and international food.

    Cost of Living in Washington State

    The cost of living in Washington isn’t exactly recognized for being affordable. The fact that there is no income tax in Washington is a plus. Your apartment budget can benefit from the savings. Affordability also is influenced by your location in Washington.

    Washington State Income and State Taxes 

    To make up the difference for not having income taxes, Washington State has an incredibly high sales tax. The state income tax in Washington is fixed at 6.5 % but each city has its own sales tax, which could push that number up to 10.4 %.

    The Economy and Job Market in Washington State

    Washington is famed for its business and technological advancements. Amazon, Microsoft, and Expedia Group are among the powerhouses distributed to its bustling and rapidly-growing tech landscape. Boeing, Nordstrom, Alaska Airlines, and the world-famous Starbucks are all based in Washington.


    But don’t overlook the Evergreen State’s aerospace, agriculture, and farming industries. All this contributed to the very impressive job market this state provides. 

    The Weather in Washington 

    From end to end, Washington State’s climates diverge. They do, however, provide a colorful scene of environmental diversity. Seattle is, of course, famed for its rain. Eastern Washington, on the other hand, has a hot and dry environment. Summers are hotter, and winters are colder, providing a setting for watersports and snow skiing.

    Related: How to get Job in Another State

    Excellent educational system

    Washington is one of the most educated states in the US, with a wide range of educational options. Washington State University, Gonzaga University, The University of Washington in Seattle, and many others are among the state’s universities. 

    Cost of Moving from California to Washington state

    Moving from California to Washington state costs vary depending on the number of items being carried, the travel speed, extra services such as loading and unloading, and the date of your relocation.

    It’s critical to evaluate pricing before hiring a moving company to ensure you’re receiving the best deal. The average cost to relocate from California to Washington may range from $1,500 to $5,000.

    It will be more costly to hire a professional moving company. Renting a truck or renting a moving container will save you money, but it will also take a lot of time. Moving companies are expensive, but they take away a great deal of stress from a long-distance move.

    Moving containers and freight movers are less expensive, but you have to pack and unpack them yourself. The cost of hiring a professional moving company for each type of apartment is stated below.

    Check Out:  Best Ways to Pack Clothes for Moving

    Types of ApartmentMoving Cost
    One bedroom/ Studio$1,630 – $2,100
    2-3 bedroom $2,650 – $4,100
    4 bedroom and above $3,100 – $7,150

    Cost of Living in California vs Washington 

    Washington has a high cost of living in urban regions and a low cost of rural regions, similar to California. With a cost of living index of 172.3, which is higher than the national average of 100, Washington is ranked #38 in the US for the cost of living.


    Washington is more expensive than California in terms of food and housing. However, the general cost of living in California is higher. The table below compares the cost of living in California vs Washington. 

    Cost of living indexWashingtonCalifornia Difference
    The overall cost of living172.3173.30.6% more
    Food cost 108.7104.14.2% less 
    Median home cost$714,400$689,500$24,900
    Utilities 68.893.736.2% more
    Transportation cost 137.5165.320.2% more
    Healthcare cost more
    Other costs 120.1104.513.0% less

    Note: US Average =100 (Below 100 suggests it’s less expensive than the US average. More expensive if the number is greater than 100.)

    Taxes in Washington

    Washington is one of the very few states without an income tax. Although, no matter where you work, you will be subject to federal income and FICA (Federal Insurance Contribution Act) taxes.

    The amount of federal income taxes you pay is determined by a variety of criteria, including your marital status, earnings, and whether or not you want any further tax withholding.

    Medicare and Social Security are both covered by FICA taxes. Workers must pay a Medicare tax of 1.45 % and a Social Security tax of 6.2 % of their salaries. Individuals who work for themselves must pay the entire 2.9 % Medicare tax and 12.4 % Social Security tax. 

    Housing in Washington

    Generally, housing costs in Washington exceed the national average. The average home price in Washington is $385,800, and several of the state’s cities are among the 10 leading areas predicted to increase the most in 2019.


    The cities of Bellevue and Seattle are highly sought-after, and their real estate prices reflect this. However, if you don’t mind living several hours from the ocean, Spokane has more cheap housing. Spokane is a city located near the Washington/Idaho border.  

    Crime Rate in Washington

    Washington is less concerned about crime and safety daily than the rest of the country, which is understandable given the low crime rates in the state’s 20 safest cities. While Washington does a great job limiting violent crime than property crime, both have dropped significantly year over year.

    At 2.9 occurrences per 1,000, Washington is even with Hawaii for the lowest violent crime rate in the Pacific region. Property crime is 27 percent higher in Washington than in the rest of the country, with 21.1 incidences per 1,000. Washington has a total crime rate of 29.71 per 1,000 people.

    Violent crimeProperty crime Total crime 
    No of crimes22,377204,224226.601
    Crime rate (per 1,000 residents) 2.9426.8229.71

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    Healthcare Cost in Washington 

    Washington state has some of the most costly healthcare services, It is, however, 4.9 percent less expensive than California. Total healthcare spending in Washington totaled $45.2 billion, accounting for 13.6 percent of GSP, the lowest percentage amid surrounding states.


    Hospital treatment accounted for 35.5 percent of total healthcare spending in Washington. The average cost of healthcare per person is $6,782. There are numerous government-funded initiatives in Washington state, including the following.

    • Insurance for health
    • Medicare: For people 65 and older, Medicare guarantees a universal right to health care.
    • Medicaid: This is a government program that provides health care and medication coverage to those who meet certain criteria, such as income, assets, health, disability, & family size.

    Pros and Cons of living in Washington


    There are a lot of good sides to moving from California to Washington. And this includes. 

    • Eco friendly.
    • A fantastic educational system.
    • There’s no income tax.
    • Low rate of violent crime
    • Excellent weather 
    • Vast Employment opportunities
    • The minimum wage is quite high.
    • Electricity at a low cost


    Moving from California to Washington state also has some downsides which include. 

    • There is a lot of rain.
    • Living in Washington is expensive.
    • In Washington, there is a high sales tax.
    • A major earthquake is forecasted in Washington.
    • Property crimes are rampant.
    • In Washington, marijuana use is legal. 

    Best Places to live in Washington

    When moving from California to Washington state here are the best places to consider living in:

    1. Seattle

    The state’s biggest city is located between Puget Sound and Lake Washington on a tiny spit of land. The best outdoor recreation, eateries, nightclubs, and cafe culture in Washington can all be found here.

    The Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders are among the professional sports teams that call Seattle home. The University of Washington Huskies plays in their stadium just north of Union Lake if you’re a fan of college football.

    2. Bellevue

    The quiet Bellevue, Wa area is less than a 25-minute drive from metropolitan Seattle This is the perfect settlement for those who want access to the big city without the hustle and bustle of city life.

    The city has a flourishing commercial sector and some of the state’s best schools. The Bellevue Arts and Crafts Fair, which has been held annually since 1947, is the biggest attraction.

    3. Vancouver

    Vancouver is Portland’s most populous suburb, with a population of 162,000 people.


    The local economy is based on jobs in high-tech and service industries, as well as a large port on the Columbia River.

    4. Olympia

    There is a lot going on in the capital city. Olympia has a superb food scene, top-notch Evergreen College, and the amazing Olympic National Park, in addition to the obvious government busyness. Olympia is also a great place to bring the whole family.

    Your kids will be entertained all day at places like the Heritage Park Fountain and the Hands-on Children’s Museum. Unlike Seattle, Olympia is still a relatively affordable city to live in.

    5. Mercer Island

    For the second consecutive year, Mercer Island has been named one of Washington’s best cities. This island settlement in the center of Lake Washington stands out from the rest of the state because of its low crime rate and high income.

    The cost of living has risen due to a good educational system and a population of well-educated individuals. For those who can afford it, it is a fantastic place to live.

    Where should I retire in Washington? 

    Gig Harbor is Washington’s best place to retire, as well as the country’s fourth-best. For retirees, Gig Harbor, which is located in Puget Sound, provides spectacular and calming sights. You’ll also have access to many recreation centers and retirement communities across the city.

    Seniors make up about a third of the population in Gig Harbor. The city’s tax burden is 16.40 %, second only to Clarkston, Washington, in Washington. You’ll be relieved to learn that Gig Harbor has far more healthcare facilities per 1,000 residents than any city in Washington.

    Moving from California to Washington FAQs

    What’s the best town to live in Washington state? 

    Bellevue, which means “beautiful view” in French, is more than just another Seattle neighborhood, it is the best town to live in Washington state.

    The western city, which is one of Washington’s major cities and one of Seattle’s major suburbs, offers moderate weather, a flourishing economy, a simpler commute, and wonderful neighborhoods.

    The population is diversified, and the city’s public schools are among the best in the state. Nature lovers may go east for hiking and west for beach activities, all within a short drive of Bellevue.

    There are numerous career options available, particularly in the fields of technology and healthcare. It’s also an excellent spot to raise a family because it’s child-friendly and safe.

    Is Washington the prettiest state?

    Washington may not be the prettiest state in the country, but it is home to numerous beautiful sites that have earned it a place on this list of the prettiest states in the country.

    There are huge cities, such as Seattle, but there are also natural places that have not been tampered with. The North Cascades, which dominate the state’s north-central portion, has a stunning look.  

    Is Washington State tax-friendly for retirees?

    Only seven states do not levy an income tax, including Washington. This means that any funds received from Social Security, a pension, or a retirement account in the state are tax-free. In addition, Washington has no inheritance tax. 


    We hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at what relocating to Washington State is like. Although moving to Washington state is not for everyone. 

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