California has a lot to offer: for anyone who wants to leave cold weather behind to those job hunting in the tech, healthcare, and entertainment industries.
However, relocating isn’t without its hardships, and safety is often the main focus. There are some things that you’ll need to know beforehand to stay safe. Use the tips in this article to ensure you have a smooth transition.
What You Should Know to Stay Safe when Moving to California
The Higher Education in California is Top-Notch
If you have kids or are thinking of enrolling in school yourself, you’re in luck. Plenty of people move to California to attend the state’s quality institutions of higher learning like Stanford, USC, UCLA, Cal Tech and more.
California’s state university system is the biggest public university system in the country. This means that there are a total of 450 different colleges and universities to choose from. Another perk is that there is affordable in-state tuition at approximately $13,000-$14,000 per year.
Perhaps the biggest player is the University of California, located in Berkley. It has 10 campuses with nearly a total of 300,000 students. It has a reputation for outstanding education.
107 Nobel Prize winners are alumni of this institution alone. Stanford is also among the top universities in the country, ranked by Forbes as the second top college in all 50 states.
No matter where you decide to move, California offers the best private and public colleges and universities. In addition, you have a wealth of choices, and the tuition prices are quite favorable, especially for someone who has just moved to the state.
You should consider looking at California public records to help you decide on the best institution for you or your kids.
Direct Democracy is Big in California
In 2008, there was a lot of controversy over Proposition 8 in California. Opponents of same-sex marriage fronted this ballot initiative. It sparked a ferocious battle with heavy spending on both sides. This is just one example of high-stakes direct democracy in California.
While other states also allow these citizen-proposed ballot initiatives, California is well known for them. Any resident of this state can start a petition, get the necessary signatures, and put a proposal on the ballot.
The Crime Rate is High in California
California is a large state that’s full of diversity. The social climate and opportunities in one city may be quite different than in the next. There is also a huge difference in violent crime rates. Some cities in California are more dangerous than others due to various factors such as economic opportunity, drug abuse, gang activity, and much more.
Every year in California, there are approximately 150,000 violent crimes and 1,000,000 property crimes. In addition to this, approximately 1.2 million arrests are made annually. With such statistics, it’s only natural to wonder whether California is a place you’ll be safe if you do end up moving there.
Some of the most dangerous cities in California include Oakland, Stockton, San Bernardino, Compton, Modesto, Richmond, Vallejo, Santa Cruz, Redding, and Madera. Luckily, there are also safe cities you can consider moving to. These include Garden Grove, Upland, Manteca, Chico, Elk Grove, La Mesa, Downey, Petaluma, and Pasadena.
Before you make the big move, it’s a good idea to access California public records to find out if the place you’ll be moving to is safe.
The Northern California vs. Southern California Rivalry is Intense
When deciding where to live in California, it usually boils down to understanding the differences between NorCal and SoCal, as they are popularly known.
Northern and Southern California have an intense rivalry that stems from the difference in their cultures. The residents of each like to make fun of the other. This rivalry has its roots as old as 1850 when pro-slavery Southern Californians made the first real attempt to split the state. You should know that if you’re moving to this state, you’ll have to ‘choose a side’.
California is a High-Tax State
Taxes are inevitable no matter where you live. However, how much you pay in taxes depends on where you live. If you are moving to the Golden State, then you should expect to pay more taxes.
Unfortunately, California has the highest income tax among all states. The top income bracket incurs a state tax of about 12.39%. California has a progressive tax policy with the bottom income bracket incurring a state tax of only 1%.
In addition to this, California has a high base rate of state tax at about 7.25%. The only consolation is that property taxes (averaging 0.79%) are lower than the national average of 1.19%, which is good news if you want to buy a house. Californians may pay more in taxes, but they aren’t in a rush to reduce them.
Actually, in 2018, voters declined a ballot initiative to reduce gas tax! Apparently, they don’t mind the high taxes. You can search California public records to verify just how high the taxes are in California.
Sophie Wright started her Free Background Checks blog as a way to shed light and provide knowledge on major social issues.