Moving From New York To California

Moving From New York To California

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    It can be quite expensive to relocate from New York to California. There are several factors that determine what the costs will look like. These factors include:

    • How far away the move is
    • The volume of the move
    • The timing of the move
    • As well as the particular services that are needed for the move to be carried out. 

    We have written this guide for you to fully understand all the options that are available for moving from New York to California. 


    However, before we dive deep into it, you must be curious as to why people are moving to California from NY. Here’s the answer:

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    Why are New Yorkers Moving to California?

    For starters, California has become an attraction to New Yorkers (and every other person) because of its fabulous weather and beautiful beaches. The state is an ideal destination for many interesting and fun activities like tanning, beachcombing, surfing, swimming, etc.

    It is also home to popular destinations such as Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park, Legoland, Disneyland as well as several aquariums, museums, zoos, and many more.  

    But asides from the perfect weather and tourist attractions, California also continues to attract New Yorkers because of the amazing job opportunities. The vastness of the state in terms of size also offers highly lucrative career opportunities to professionals in certain industries.

    This is why specialists with more education and higher wages are the sect that mostly moves to California.

    Let’s consider Silicon Valley, for instance. It is the capital of global high-tech companies and startups. It welcomes the brightest and most innovative minds from across the country. 

    Also, Hollywood, being the backbone of the entertainment industry, continues to attract potential actors, writers, and other talents hoping to achieve fame in film and TV. California’s economy proudly boasts a thriving job market in many important industries including:

    • Technology
    • Agriculture
    • Tourism
    • Government
    • Entertainment

    In the rest of this article, we expound on how much it will cost you to move from NYC to California. We also explain the various factors that influence the pricing and bonus tips on how you can save more money in the process.

    Let’s quickly look at how much it will cost you to relocate from New York to California for the sake of your convenience.

    Cost of Moving from New York to California

    Whether you’re relocating to Buffalo from San Francisco or from New York City to Los Angeles, it is no doubts a huge move. This is why you would want to save as many funds as possible during this process. 

    On average, it costs within the range of $2,500 to $6,500 to move from New York City to California. The timing, distance, route, and size of the move will determine the exact amount to pay. Also, you should expect this estimate to be on the higher end if you hire a professional moving firm for the job. 

    On the other hand, you can use a moving container or rent a truck to save some money. However, this will increase the workload for you.

    Now let’s really break down the costs. 

    Professional Moving CompanyMoving Container CompanyFreight Trailer CompanyTruck Rental Company
    Studio/One Bedroom$1,750 – $3,200$2,900 – $3,700$2,000 – $2,650$2,150 – $2,700
    2-3 Bedrooms$4,750 – $7,250$4,600 – $5,800$4,280 – $5,450$2,650 – $3,350
    4+ Bedrooms$7,600 – $14,000$5,900 – $7,500$5,200 – $6,600$3,250 – $4,150

    Keep in mind that this estimate is inclusive of fuel cost, but excludes other related costs such as parking, tolls, or lodging.

    Why is there such a Huge gap in Prices?

    As earlier mentioned, you should expect to pay between $2,500 – $6,500 to move from NYC to CA. While moving companies will reduce the bulk of the stress of moving, they are however more expensive.  

    If you choose to rent a truck and make the move by yourself, the implication will be more stress for you during the process, in addition to the physical task of loading and offloading the truck. Moreover, you would still have to incur other expenses like gas and food, as you travel from coastline to coastline.  

    Freight companies and moving containers are less costly alternatives. However, you would still have to sacrifice time and energy for packing

    If you decide to hire professional movers, like Moveity, make sure you obtain nothing less than three moving quotes. Understand that the timing of your move and the popularity of where you’re moving all influence the final price. 

    How much is a moving truck from New York to California?

    The cost of a moving truck from New York to California varies according to your move size. A moving truck for a studio space costs about $1,900+, while much larger sizes like a 3-bedroom apartment cost about $3,300+. 

    Cost of living in New York Vs California

    Generally speaking, the cost of living in New York City is 8% higher than in California. Utilities account for the major factor in the differences in the cost of living. Overall, utilities are 60.0% more costly in New York. 

    Cost of Living IndexesLos Angeles, CANew York, NYDifference
    Overall Index: Homeowner, No Child care, No tax considerations173.3187.28.0% more
    Food & Groceries104.1116.612.0% more
    Housing (Homeowner)298.2294.31.3% less
    Utilities93.7150.560.6% more
    Transportation165.3181.19.6% more
    Miscellaneous104.5121.216.0% more

    Taxes in New York Vs California

    You would most likely be paying the same amount of taxes in California as in New York too. The state-based sales tax in New York is 4%. However, after the addition of domestic sales tax, the sales tax rate for New York City goes up to 8.875%.


    California on the other hand has a combined domestic sales and state taxes ranging from as low as 7.75% to a maximum of 9.75% in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Long Beach. This means you may eventually pay less or more sales tax in California than in New York City.


    According to, the overall purchasing power in New York City is about 12% lower than in Los Angeles. However, rent prices are lower in San Diego or L.A. than in New York City. In addition, the median costs of homes in California are also lower in the majority of its metro areas than in New York City. 

    IndexLos Angeles New York, NYDifference
    Housing (homeowner)298.2294.31. 3% less
    Median Home Cost $689,500$680,500$9,000 (1.3% less)

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    Do you know that healthcare in New York City is 26% more costly than in California?


    *Note that 100 is the US Average. So anything lower than 100 means it’s cheaper than the country’s average. Figures higher than 100 mean that it is more expensive. 

    IndexLos AngelesNew YorkU.S. AvgDifference
    Health89.4112.610023.20 (26% higher).

    Tips for moving from New York to California

    The following tips are important things you need to know before you move from New York to California:

    • California is a big state and most of the cities and towns are low-density areas with limited options for public transit. Hence, you might have to get your own car. 
    • Before relocating to California, you must consider which region you prefer: Northern California or Southern California? Both regions have an intense rivalry, as well as distinct cultures and weather. You just have to pick a side!
    • If you’re moving from NY to California, then you may want to start taking Spanish classes. California, just like the remaining 49 states is multi-lingual. So it would help to learn some Spanish before your move. 
    • Also, don’t forget that income taxes in California are quite high. This is something you should consider before your move.
    • Finally, we don’t mean to discourage you but California is known to be full of several risks: from earthquakes to wildfires to mudslides. This shouldn’t discourage you from moving – but we just have to tip you ahead of your move. 

    Best places to live in California

    The truth be told, you’d find only a few states offering more than California offers. Are you looking for an urban vibe? The top cities in California are full of it. Or are you a lover of nature and calm weather?

    Well, lucky you – Northern California gives you just that! What about somewhere with diverse cultures and sunny days? Then Southern California is the place you should be! Below, we have identified just 5 of the best places to live in California.  


    California is not only the home of Google and movies, it is also the center of agriculture in the country. The farming sector has advanced its own cities such as Fresno. You’re sure to always get fresh farm produce every single day! (Talk about healthy skin goals!)

    Los Angeles

    One of the most popular cities in the world, Los Angeles is a major center of attraction in California.


    Even though it has a relatively higher housing cost, the city offers a vast labor market and many lucrative career opportunities. 

    San Diego

    San Diego has often been ranked as one of the best places to live in California. It boasts a robust labor market, consistently mild climate, and several wonderful beaches.

    However, it is pertinent to mention that the high cost of living in the city competes with the significant income flow. 


    Sacramento is one of the few places in California with a lower cost of living. With about half a million inhabitants, this city has such a tranquil and friendly atmosphere. Its rich cultural diversity, as well as picaresque neighborhoods, are another major highlight.

    Sacramento is crisscrossed by several lakes and rivers, and very close to nearby hills and mountains. 

    Santa Rosa

    Santa Rosa has been ranked as one of the 100 top cities to live in the U.S. by the U.S. News and World Report. Santa Rosa is a small city that offers high education, cultural diversity, and job growth.

    Its proximity to San Francisco makes the cost of housing relatively high. However, if you can afford it, Santa Rosa promises the best of music and local art, farm country life, and technological growth. 


    While a lot of people consider California to be a vast area of hot sandy beaches and unlimited sunlight, it is in fact an enormous state that is rich in geographical and cultural diversity. Moving across the coast to coast has never been an easy task.

    There are many factors to consider to ensure you have a smooth relocation process. Don’t worry – Moveity is here for you! We have a dedicated and experienced team of movers who will handle all your relocation needs at the most affordable cost.

    With Moveity, you are guaranteed absolutely zero stress moving from one part of the country to another. We look forward to helping you move in grand style!

    Hopefully, the information in this article and our tips for moving from New York to California will guide you in planning an almost stress-free and very cost-effective move from New York to California. 

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