By Michele E. Buttelman
Moving out of California is a hot topic of conversation throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, and throughout the state, as well.
If you’ve been thinking of relocating to another state you are not alone. According to the United States Postal Service California saw a net loss of more than 101,000 households in 2021 making it the number one state in the nation followed by people leaving New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Reasons given for leaving California include high taxes, increased cost of living, high housing prices and declining quality of life.
A WalletHub survey released in March reported the top five states in order of tax burden, which includes state income tax, property tax and sales and excise taxes, are 1. New York 12.75% 2. Hawaii 12.70% 3. Maine 11.42% 4. Vermont 11.13% 5. Minnesota 10.20%.
California is ranked ninth at 9.72%.
The states with the lightest tax burden are 45. Florida 6.64% 46. New Hampshire 6.41% 47. Wyoming 6.32% 48. Delaware 6.22% 49. Tennessee 5.75% 50. Alaska 5.06%.
The top three destinations for California residents according to the postal service are Texas (tax burden #32. 8.22%), Nevada (#33. 8.19%) and Arizona (#29. 8.39%.)
To view the report, visit https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-highest-lowest-tax-burden/20494
People who have taken the leap to move out of state recommend doing thorough research on your new state before you move.
Dennis Poore, a former resident of Canyon Country, said he was surprised at the number of differences between California and Rhode Island.
“Some things are so different it’s almost like the United States is really 50 different countries,” he said.
Dennis and Wendy Poore moved in April of 2022 to join family in Providence, R.I.
The first surprise that greeted the Poores in R.I. was when they purchased their home.
“In Rhode Island they don’t have escrow. Home sales are conducted entirely with the assistance of attorneys. The seller and the buyer each have an attorney that is paid out of pocket,” Dennis Poore said.
To register their cars the Poores first had to visit a local police station with a $20 cashier’s check to have their vehicles “VIN” numbers verified. Then they could move forward to the state DMV to register the vehicles.
“Our vehicles then had to undergo a complete inspection and we received a sticker on our windshield,” he said.
Poore was surprised that no paper registration was necessary to carry in the glove box.
“The sticker serves as the registration,” he said.
Jim and Stephanie Weiss of Saugus were ahead of the California exodus curve when they moved to Georgetown, a rural suburb 30 minutes outside of Austin, Texas in 2010.
Weiss who grew up in the San Fernando Valley and considers Santa Clarita her hometown initially found the move difficult, but soon made new friends through her church and other activities.
In addition to lower gas prices and lower taxes Weiss said there are many other pluses to life in Texas.
One of the pleasant surprises of living in Texas Weiss noted is the lack of smog.
“I was surprised at how blue the sky is in Texas,” she said. “There are big white fluffy clouds we see about every day.”
Weiss said learning where the grocery stores and shopping centers are located was among the first challenges she encountered.
“The hardest thing for to learn was the pattern of roads and freeways in Texas,” she said. “Texas has a lot of frontage roads and you have to know where the exit road is you need to take. I can’t tell you how many times I would get off at the wrong exit and figure out how to go back.”
Weiss said another plus is how friendly and mannered people are in Texas.
“Kids have manners here,” she said. “Kids are raised very differently in Texas.”
Juli and Blaine Woodgerd moved to Missoula, Montana early during the pandemic in August of 2020.
“My in-laws called and said they needed help so we decided to make the move,” Juli Woodgerd said.
Woodgerd was a 1-year-old when her family moved to Saugus. A graduate of Saugus High School she said the couple knew they wanted to eventually retire to Montana, but expected the move to be a decade away.
“I always wanted to move to Montana because I couldn’t take the heat in the SCV,” she said. “It also seemed it kept getting hotter and hotter.”
One surprise for Woodgerd in Montana was the lack of gardeners.
“There are no gardeners here,” she said. “I have to mow my own lawn now, which I’ve found I enjoy.”
Do Your Research
Here are the top tips from people who’ve made an out-of-state move.
–Do your research. Research more than one neighborhood. Don’t limit yourself with preconceived ideas of exactly where you want to live. Research crime, weather, cost of insurance, nearby hospitals, grocery and drug stores.
–It sounds great to live in the “country.” Be aware that homes in most rural areas are not connected to sewers. Septic systems require maintenance and changes in daily living (no grease down the drain and one-ply toilet tissue is recommended).
–Access to quality medical care is an important consideration. In many areas of the country finding a new doctor, dentist and specialists can be challenging. Veterinarians are also in high demand.
–Find a mover you can trust and ask for personal references. Horror stories abound of misdirected deliveries, lost and damaged furniture and long waits. Get everything in writing. Make sure everything is insured. Take treasured family heirlooms with you, don’t trust anything with a mover you don’t want to lose.
— Plumbers, electricians and contractors are often booked far in advance in many areas.
–If moving to an area where there is snow in the winter it is important to invest in a car with all-wheel drive.
–Change your address with the post office.