What Will Moving from East Coast to West Coast Bring You

Posted in Coping With Relocation,Moving Essentials on October 4, 2021

Moving from East Coast to West Coast seems like an “only-in-your-dreams” situation for native Easterners. However, more and more of them are taking the plunge and relocating to the western region. We researched this to see why people are making such big life changes and the benefits of relocating across the country.

Why Do People Move from East Coast to West Coast?

In 2020, the three states that experienced the highest rates of outbound migration were all in the eastern area – New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. People relocate for very different reasons, but more often than not, those reasons are employment, life quality, and cost.

Based on those statistics, you’re likely to wonder is the West Coast better than the East Coast. Well, yes and no. A lot depends on where you’d want to live – Portland and San Francisco are two very different players in this game. That’s why living in the eastern region seems easier for some. While every city and state are different, they seem to form a cohesive unit where change is only experienced in the details.

If you long for a drastic lifestyle change, you can do the where should I move quiz or just research how to relocate to one of the coastal towns of the western area. Every bit of it is different, which is what makes it exciting and attractive to move to. Combine that with bigger houses and cheaper rent, and the sky is the limit.

a view of some people hanging out at Washington Park in Portland
There could be significant lifestyle and health improvements if you relocate to one of the western states

Moving from East Coast to West Coast Will Bring You More Sunny Days to Look Forward to

The first thing that crosses anyone’s mind with moving across the country is probably the weather. It seems like many NY residents and those from other eastern states can’t give up snowy winters and cold springs, but the adaptation to warmer weather is easier than it seems. Once you get used to it, you’ll think of the weather conditions in the eastern region as treacherous.

When you start packing clothes, make sure there are enough light jackets and short sleeves to last you a month before fully adapting. The weather can be one of the major benefits of moving cross-country because seasonal depression affects more people than ever, and it’s a tough burden to carry when you have to be productive five days a week.

Of course, if you’re not ready to give up moody seasons, relocating to Oregon or Washington could be suitable for you.

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Consider Relocating to the West Coast In Winter

Relocating in winter is considered an out-of-season relocation. Movers typically work full steam between April and September, but that also makes it more expensive to move. If we could offer any tips for long-distance moving, it’s to attempt it in winter. While it may be complicated because of the cold in the eastern areas, your efforts will be welcomed in sunny California, where winter temperatures rarely go below 50°F.

It’s a good idea first to ask the long-distance moving company of your choice if they’d recommend a winter-themed relocation, but it’s unlikely that they’d discourage you from it.

a father and daughter packing for long-distance moving in winter
A winter relocation could save you money, and it could be fun to see how different everything is across the states during this period

The Housing Situation is More Versatile (and Sometimes Cheaper)

Some who went from the eastern to the western areas have written lengthy blog posts and social media rants on how much cheaper rent is in the western states. If you don’t indulge in reading riveting blogger experiences, there’s also statistical evidence that rents come lower in LA compared to NY for spaces of a similar size.

Besides rent benefits, landlords are more easygoing in places like LA. While there are conditions any renter must fulfill, in the NY area, you’d have to have a ton of paperwork for a shoebox-sized apartment for $1,200 a month, which won’t necessarily be the case in CA or even OR. Additionally, taxes are lower in California. That seems surprising since this state is heavily taxed, but at an 11% tax rate, it’s an upgrade from NY’s 12,7%.

If these numbers don’t make you more confident in organizing your move, you can always look at comparisons between cities. Something we can emphasize is that it’s harder now than ever before to live on your own. The economy is tough everywhere, especially with the changes caused by the coronavirus. If you have the option to cash out on rent and enjoy your new life solo, that’s awesome. Otherwise, consider having roommates (which could help with making friends in a new city.)

Costs of Living in Major Western Coastal Cities

To present you with all the data, we made a comparison of costs in western cities.

PlaceMonthly average salaryRent for 1 bedroomRent for 3 bedroomsMonthly utilitiesMonthly transportation
Los Angeles$5,033$1,668 - $2,225$3,115 - $4,445$169$100
San Francisco$7,716$2,493 - $2,869$4,566 - $7,510$188$81
San Diego$4,497$1,731 - $2,173$2,875 - $3,676$137$72
Portland$4,029$1,309 - $1,669$1,989 - $2,798$201$100
Seattle$6,324$1,542 - $2,047$2,846 - $3,783$207$99

Be Ready to Chill Out and Find the New You In a City in California

Moving from the East Coast to the West Coast might give you adjustment insomnia, and that’s probably not the only thing that’ll give you sleepless nights. You’ll spend the first month or two wondering how people are so chill and easygoing when anyone back home would likely be having their third mental breakdown of the day at that very moment.

Leaving a place where everyone carries pent-up anger and anxiety can be an enormous health benefit and a valid reason to move. Sure, you may bring your Newyorker mentality to the most relaxed place on Earth and get annoyed at how slow, easygoing and time-flexible everything is. However, the more time you spend in such an environment, you’ll find yourself worrying less about some things and worrying just enough about others.

Fresh Produce Makes for a Better Meal in LA and the Area

Anyone relocating to another state alone may find it scary at first, but we think we have a solution for getting to know LA and the area around it – food. Known as the social connection for so many, food is considered fresher and more versatile than in the eastern region because of the variety of produce that’s picked up fresh.

There’s no place in the country with more juicing stores and produce sellers, where most residents watch their diet and indulge in fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible. You can watch the video below and prepare for the best restaurant chains that only exist in the western region.

Choose Portland and Seattle for Amazing Living Conditions

Besides the Californian paradise-like coastline, other places in the western region could be wonderful to live in, too. Portland and Seattle are prime examples of that. These cities are not famous for warm weather or magnificent sunny beaches, but they’re fantastic for someone who wants to relocate to a big city and be surrounded by high living standards.

Relocating for love to one of these cities will feel like a home away from home, which will make bonding with your partner easier when jet lag and relocation depression hit. You know how some people like to say the best cure for depression is spending time in nature? Well, in Portland and Seattle, this could even turn out to be true. They rarely use air conditioning in Seattle, and Portland has a bicycle-only bridge. Health pursuits could be very fruitful here.

Moving With Family Is Rewarded In These Cities

Both cities are considered to be very pet and family-friendly. If the plan is to relocate with pets, in Seattle, the home of the puppuccino, making friends will be a walk in the park. Because you’ll be walking your dog in the park when you meet them.

Even relocating with a newborn or small children to one of these cities will have great benefits. Seattle is considered an intellectual city, as 47% of its residents hold bachelor’s degrees (the US average is 24%). That means there won’t be a lack of high-quality education when the little ones get into their school age.

a city view of Seattle, Washington
If you give Seattle a chance, we think it will change the way you do many things and improve your lifestyle

Tech Lovers, Entrepreneurs, and IT Industry Enthusiasts Will Thrive In the Western Area

Most folks prefer to get a job before relocating, and it seems that in the western states, applying for a tech position could be an excellent way to start looking for employment. Seattle continues to be one of the ten cities with consistent workforce growth and opportunities. It’s the home of Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and Microsoft, so it’s evidently a great place to start hunting for a job in a new city.

And how could we talk about tech and the IT industry and not mention San Francisco? Silicon Valley in SF’s Bay Area has been dominating the industry for years now. It’s the birthplace of many Fortune 1000 companies, and new start-up baby companies keep popping up everywhere. While it may be competitive grounds, there’s enough room for anyone to try out.

Lovers of Media and Film Can Also Try Their Luck In the Western States

Most young adults who decide to relocate without a job do it to pursue a media, film, or entertainment career. Good old Hollywood has stuck around and stayed relevant for a while, so there’s no lack of jobs and enthusiasts alike. Many LA residents in their early to late twenties don’t need too much incentive to start telling you all about their breaches into acting. If you feel a film or entertainment career is the right fit for you, LA is the way to go.

a view of the Grand Park and fountain in Los Angeles
As you get used to life in LA, pursue a career that could fulfill you and give you a sense of purpose

The Cost of Moving from East Coast to West Coast

How much does it cost to move from the East Coast to the West Coast? This question may be the most asked in the relocation industry; you might even call it a relocation essential at this point. The costs of cross-country moving services are typically based on a packing list provided by customers. That’s an excellent way to plan out and follow a relocation budget, but you will also have to save up a few months before actually relocating to feel comfortable.

If you keep your options open and relocate to a smaller apartment outside of the center and curb spending for a month or two before you move, you could have a decent amount of money left in the bank account to keep you above water for a while.

Why It’s Best to Hire Cross-Country Movers for Relocating Between Coasts

As mentioned, the cost of long-distance movers is based on a packing list of things. That means they wouldn’t charge you for anything more than that; besides, supplies and packing services are part of their professional relocation service, which is especially beneficial if you have heavy or breakable furniture. Anything you change your mind about can be stored in storage units.

Since the western states have wider streets and the cities generally cover more extensive areas, having good quality transportation is smart. That’s why packing the car you already have is a good idea, and movers offer car shipping for the ultimate stress-free relocation.

two cross-country movers carrying stuff for a customer that's long-distance moving
Hiring movers can help you plan out a more precise budget and save up more for

Moving from East to West Coast Can Accommodate All Tastes

Moving to the West Coast from the East Coast is a big decision, but we consider it worth making. It may not be the easiest to keep in touch with friends, but there will be more than plenty of opportunities to meet other ones and create a life you’ve always wanted. After all, it’s not across the world, just at the other end of the US. You can go back whenever you want, but we think it’s going to be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.