Expat life in California

The ‘Sunshine State’, California, boasts a rich and varied landscape. As the third largest US state by size, California is home to both snow-capped mountains suitable for skiing and extremely dry and hot deserts. Equally varied is the range of options for expats looking to make California their home. A large economy provides employment opportunities across a broad range of industries, from finance and real estate to professional services and, of course, technology. The state’s many famous cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and more – each offer something unique to residents. So, for expats looking into moving to California from the UK, there’s bound to be something to suit every taste.
Whether you’re into mountaineering, skiing, or surfing, California’s landscapes can accommodate your passion. The San Bernardino mountains in Southern California are easily accessible from Los Angeles and are home to a great many popular ski resorts such as Mountain High, Bear Mountain, and Snow Summit. California’s western border is the Pacific Ocean, which is home to a great many beaches – perfect for surfers or a family day out.
To the North, the Sierra Nevada mountain range is another popular choice for skiers and snowboarders. The Sierra Nevada range is also home to Yosemite National Park so if snow sports aren’t your thing you can enjoy the outstanding beauty of the granite cliffs, crystal clear streams, and impressive waterfalls. The Sequoia National Park, home to the single largest tree in the world as well as five of the top ten largest trees, can also be found in the Sierra Nevada.
As for work, California’s employment options are as diverse as its landscapes, with major international companies in fields such as mining, pharmaceuticals, scientific research, and manufacturing based there. The large and stable economy is home to three of the 20 largest companies in the world by revenue (Apple, Chevron, and McKesson) and would, by itself, constitute the sixth largest economy in the world if it were a separate country. Of course, technology is a huge part of the Californian economy, which is home to the famous Silicon Valley. Many of the world’s largest tech firms are headquartered here, but it is also the base of thousands of start-up companies and venture capital firms, creating the perfect environment for entrepreneurial expats.
Property prices in California have remained steady over the years, with houses and apartments in the major cities holding their value particularly well. Property prices in the bigger cities are far higher than the US national average – in San Francisco, for example, you can expect to pay around $12,000 (£8200 at current exchange rates) per square metre for an apartment in the city centre – but these prices are still less than what you’d pay for an equivalent home in London.
If you are moving to the USA from London, Cadogan Tate are here to provide help and advice for you every step of the way. We take care of the entire moving process from start to finish, ensuring everything goes smoothly. Find out more about our specialist international removals services from London.
Information correct at time of publication.