Changing Your Address in California – The 2019 Complete Guide [How To]

Renting a new apartment or buying a new house in California is an exciting step in your life. You get to discover new restaurants, meet new people, and explore an entirely different area. While moving can be exciting, it can also be a lot of work.

Going beyond the standard process of moving your belongings, you also have to do things like get a change of address in California. Getting a driver’s license, tax, and USPS change of address can be a hassle, but there are ways you can make the process easier.

Many of these address updates can be done online. In some cases, you can even do them before you move. For example, USPS lets you schedule when you want your mail forwarded, so everything automatically starts arriving at your new address when necessary.

Ideally, you want to make these changes as soon as possible. If you forget to update your address, you could miss out on an important bill or insurance document. All it takes are a few simple steps to start changing your address in California.

Post Office

A USPS change of address can easily be done online. If you want your mail forwarded to the new address and to change your address, you can simply go to their website and update your information. They charge a $1 fee so they can verify your identity through your debit or credit card.

California USPS

Another option for changing your USPS address is to visit your local post office and ask them for the Mover’s Guide packet. Fill out the form and return it to the letter mail slot or a postal worker. Within the next five days, you should get a confirmation letter at your new location.

As USPS forwards your mail, pay attention to the senders so you can update those addresses. USPS will only forward your mail for about 12 months, so you need to update your details with other third parties before then. Changing your USPS address is the most important address update as it allows all your mail to arrive at your new place whether you updated the addresses or not.

California DMV

Thankfully, a California DMV change of address does not require an in-person visit. As long as you already have a license or identification card in California, you can change your address online. To get a California driver’s license address change online, visit their website and update your information.

Keep in mind, this option only works if you already have a California license or identification card. If not, you will need to do a California driver’s license address change by mailing this DMV 14 Change of Adddress form or by visiting the DMV in person. The form also lets you update your voter registration at the same time.

 

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If you need to replace your license showing the new address, the state charges a $28 fee. According to state law, you must finish changing your California DMV address within 10 days of moving. The state needs an accurate address to send you important documents and they will give you a penalty if you don’t update your address on time.

Tax Agencies

The next step in getting a change of address in California is updating your details with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Unless you are expecting a tax refund or document, you can just update your address when you file your next tax return. All you have to do is use your new address in the address box.

California IRS

If you need an immediate address update, you can call the IRS, mail in an address form, or tell the IRS in person at the nearest office. This is the IRS Form 8822 Change of Address document. You will need to have your address, date of birth, social security card, ITN, EIN, and photo ID ready when you update your information.

Utilities – Changing your Address

Your old utility companies will still need to send your last bill after you move, so make sure they have your forwarding address when canceling services. If you have updated your USPS address, you should still get your final statement and other information forwarded to your home. But it’s always better to change it with them firsthand to avoid late fees.

Once you arrive at your new address, make sure you talk to the utility company or city officials in charge of your new services. You will need to open up a new account and some of these updates will include initial service fees. For phone and internet companies, you can go online or call your provider to update your address and have the services moved.

Insurance

Your insurance company needs to know your location as your insurance rate can vary based on where you live. You should get a change of address in California right away for your homeowners, renters, and auto insurance, so they can update your premiums.

California Insurance

In most cases, you can call your insurance company and immediately update these details for free. Many insurance companies also offer convenient options online. Just make sure to update your address right away so you don’t miss out on an important bill or updated insurance cards.

Banks

Like most modern companies, the majority of banks will let you change your address online. Go to your bank’s website and log in to your profile page, where you should be able to update your personal information.

If your bank doesn’t have an online option, you can call the customer service center for help. You can also go to your local branch to update your information with a personal banker. Make sure you bring any cards connected to your account and your ID so they can verify your identity.

Subscriptions

While many companies use email and online portals, subscription boxes and magazines still arrive in your mailbox. As part of the process involved with changing your address in California, you need to update all your subscription services. Companies like Hello Fresh, Dinnerly, and MightyNest let you update your profile with a new address.

Many magazine companies will also let you update your address online, although some of them require you to email or call customer service. For example, the National Geographic and the Smithsonian Magazine require you to call or email customer service to change your address. As long as you get a USPS address change first, you should still receive these subscriptions until your address has fully updated.

Family and Friends

While most people use email instead of snail mail now, your loved ones will still want to send you seasonal Christmas cards, gifts, and other items. If you want to tell your loved ones about your new address right away, send out a Facebook notification or update your status. You can also send an email to all of your family members who are online.

Social Media Updates

Updating everyone online might be the easiest option, but you can also have some fun with your address update. If you plan on hosting a housewarming party, send out invitations which include your new address. You can design party gifts like pens or magnets that have your new address on them.

Another option is to use a creative service like Vistaprint to update your friends. Vistaprint lets you print postcards with the photo and details you choose, so add a picture of your new place with your address. You can even make the postcard into a holiday photo of your family enjoying your new home.

Getting Ready for Changing Your Address in California

While getting a change of address in California requires a bit of work, you can make the process easier by following the steps above. But to make your move as simple as possible, ensure you tell USPS first. USPS will forward your old mail to your new address, so this technique prevents any of your important documents from getting forgotten.

As you’re planning for your upcoming move, you can make the process as simple and hassle-free as possible by hiring our team of professional movers to help you! Contact Move Central today to see what we can to ease the transition. Give us a call at (858) 230-8281!

Moving to Escondido, CA – 9 Things You Need to Know in 2019

Named after the Spanish word for “hidden”, the shallow valley of Escondido is well suited to its name. Even though it is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County, the years have been kind to Escondido as it has grown into one of the most popular parts of town.

The first recorded discovery of this gorgeous area was back in 1776 by a Spanish explorer named Juan Bautista de Anza. More than 100 years later the Escondido Land and Town Company purchased the land and incorporated it as a city. Starting as a small town of only 500 residents at the time, it has since sprouted into a thriving community of beautiful homes and friendly locals.

Anyone moving to Escondido will love the great weather, local amenities, and calm atmosphere. To help you learn more, we’ve put together this list encompassing everything you need to know about this unique city.

1. The City of Choice

Residents, visitors, and tourists alike love this city and everything it has to offer. Marketed as the “city of choice”, people living in Escondido are far enough away from the big city to avoid the overwhelming traffic and outrageous housing costs. Compared to the 1.3 million people living in San Diego, the Escondido population currently rests comfortably around 152,000.

With an average resident age around 33 years old, you’ll find a mixture of locals ranging from young families up to a fair share of retirees. One of the many reasons for the “city of choice” adage comes from how many people decide to make Escondido their final home.

2. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Odds are you’ve heard about the San Diego Zoo, one of the most popular zoos in the world. But did you know there is also has an extension to the park located about 30 miles away in Escondido? The Safari Park covers over 1,800 acres of land and offers visitors a look at some unique wildlife you won’t see at its namesake zoo.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

From the Asian Savanna and Tiger Trail to the Elephant Valley and the African Plains, you’ll feel like you’re skipping across continents as you move through the park. It has been one of the best things to do in Escondido since its opening in 1972. Hop on a safari ride to see some amazing animals like African Rhinos, cheetahs, gorillas, and more than 300 other species.

3. Creative Fun for Kids

Started with the intent to spark innovation and creativity in little minds, the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum is a great place to take your kids all year round. The activity center maintains a consistent weekly schedule with events like music, dancing, art, world culture, and more.

 

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They also play host to many special events and workshops like baby storytime and family nights. Whether you want to rent the museum space for a birthday party, send your kids there for seasonal camps, or simply enjoy a quiet day doing art, it’s a perfect place for any parent and their children. If you want to head into the big city, there are plenty of fun things to do with kids in San Diego as well.

4. Housing in Escondido

Though it’s well below the San Diego rankings, you’ll still need to be prepared for fairly expensive housing prices. The average cost of a home in Escondido is $522,800, an increase of 5.6% over the past 12 months. The market is sizzling as real estate experts are predicting a similar rise in the next year.

With rental options ranging from about $1,600 per month to $3,100 per month, there is a fairly decent spread of apartments, townhomes, and condos to choose from in the area as well. As the cost of rent in Escondido averages $2,460, you’ll want to ensure your income can manage that type of payment.

5. Escondido Neighborhoods Based Around Your Needs

Your desired living arrangements and lifestyle will play a key factor in choosing where you’ll end up. If you’re looking for a family-oriented area, the best neighborhoods in Escondido are on the south side of town. You’ll find larger lots and homes befitting a family lifestyle in places like Felicita and Vineyard.

Neighborhoods in Escondido

But if you’re moving to Escondido for retirement or desire a smaller home that’ll be easier on the wallet, you may be better off looking in the northern part of town. Communities like Hidden Meadows and the Escondido Country Club neighborhood are popular options among locals.

6. Cost of Living in Escondido, CA

Although the housing market follows the Californian trend of being expensive, you may be surprised to know that most other aspects related to the cost of living in Escondido are near or below the national average. You’ll pay less for health-related costs while paying about the same rate for groceries and utility expenses.

When you head to the store for some of the bare essentials, you’ll find a gallon of milk for less than $3.50, a dozen eggs for about $3, and a pound of chicken breasts for less than $4. Basic home utilities cost about $119 per month for a one bedroom location. And when it comes to local transportation, most Escondido residents drive their own vehicles.

7. Escondido Schools

Elementary and high schools in Escondido rank well among others in the California education system. The areas top two high schools include Classical Academy High School and Escondido Charter High School. Both have a good student to teacher ratio and offer extracurriculars to keep students engaged. Parents with younger children may want to take a look at either Heritage K-8 Charter School or Bernardo Elementary.

Any soon-to-be college students will have only two options to choose from in they want to remain in the immediate area. John Paul the Great Catholic University offers degree programs in business and the creative arts, while Palomar College specializes in technical and engineering fields.

8. Escondido Food and Drinks

From American and Mexican to French and Vietnamese, the food in Escondido is just as diverse as the California population. Grab some delicious tacos or burritos from Lourdes Mexican Food or try some Vietnamese pho from Pho Truc Xanh.

Places to eat in Escondido

If all you’re craving is a thick, juicy burger, one of the most popular places to eat in Escondido is Burger Bench. One look at their menu will have you racing to their doorstep. No matter your culinary preferences, Escondido is sure to have a restaurant that’ll fit your needs.

9. Best Weather in the World

Whether you’ve lived in the area before or only visited, you probably know the cities surrounding San Diego are widely known for having some of the world’s most comfortable climates. Escondido weather joins the ranks with average summer temps rarely going above the upper 80s and winters almost never dipping below the 40s.

Another perk of living in Escondido is that you’re only a 30-minute drive from the nearest beach. You can enjoy the outdoors all year long with little more than a light jacket to keep you warm in the evenings.

We Can Help With Your Move

If you’ve read this far, you are obviously getting serious about moving to Escondido. Once you have determined your new living arrangements and have a date set, Move Central is here to help you with the next step. Our Escondido moving company has been serving the area for over 10 years. We strive to provide customers with a simple move from the first contact to unpacking the last box.

Get in touch with us today to learn about our Escondido moving services. We can help you with everything from packing and moving to affordable storage solutions. Give us a call at (858) 230-8281 for a free quote!

San Diego vs. Los Angeles: Where Should You Move? | Pros & Cons 2019

Should you move to San Diego or Los Angeles? If you’re making the big move out west, the choice can be daunting. Both San Diego and Los Angeles beautiful, with sunny weather, gorgeous coastline and lots of fun things to do. Both are expensive, but have stunning homes for people who can afford them. And both are meccas of industry with incredible work opportunities.

As if it wasn’t hard enough to decide, Los Angelinos and San Diegans are fiercely loyal to their hometowns, so it’s tough to get an unbiased view of each city from the residents. Ask an LA native, and they’ll tell you that San Diego is too slow and too small, make a comment about how it’s a tourist trap, and remind you how amazing the food is in LA. Go to a San Diego neighborhood, and they’ll remind you of LA’s horrible smog in the 50’s and 60’s, and mutter on about the traffic and how overcrowded LA is with wannabe actors/writers/directors.

In this guide to choosing between living in San Diego or Los Angeles, we’ll take you through some pros and cons of each city, so you can see which one better fits your situation. We’ll also cover some important questions to ask yourself before making your choice. No matter which city you end up moving to, we’re confident you’ll find the perfect place for you.

Pros and Cons of Living in San Diego

San Diego Pros

brewer evaluating a glass of beer

What are the best parts of living in San Diego? Other than the coastline and the incredible weather, this close to the Mexican border, you can bet you’ll find some amazing mexican restaurants. From taco trucks with sidewalk-blocking lines, to brick-and-mortar restaurants like Las Cuatro Milpas and Super Cocina San Diego can always satisfy your need for margaritas and tacos.

San Diego is also the Craft Beer Capital of America. More than 150 breweries call San Diego home, making everything from West-Coast Style IPAs to epic lagers and seasonal flavors like the ever-popular summer shandies. If you love beer, you’ll always have friends in San Diego.

San Diego’s surfer lifestyle is another “pro” for this SoCal city. Unlike the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, San Diegans like to take things a bit slower. It’s not that we aren’t ambitious– actually, the city is a leader in tech and the biosciences. But people moving to San Diego will quickly notice that this city doesn’t get faxed by much.

San Diego Cons

Nowhere is perfect, even if San Diegans think their city comes close. San Diego is home to some of the world’s top beaches, the famous San Diego Zoo, and tons of other tourist attractions, which means that during tourist season, the city can quickly get overrun by East Coasters looking to get a tan before heading back to the snow. Annually, more than 32 million people come to visit San Diego, so if you choose to live here, be prepared.

Another disadvantage is the cost of living in San Diego. The median home value in San Diego is $526,900, although upwards of 12% of homes in San Diego sell for over $1 Million. Property taxes here are also high, with most people spending more than $3,000 per year on taxes alone. Plus, since San Diego doesn’t have a significant public transport system, nearly everyone here owns at least one car and drives at least 20 minutes to get to work.

Pros and Cons of Living in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Pros

One of the best things about LA is LAX. The Los Angeles International Airport simply can’t be beat. It’s one of the top airports in the country, flying over 84.5 Million people in 2017 alone. Yes, San Diego has an airport two, but the single runway San Diego International offers fewer flights at higher rates, prompting even native San Diegans to trek to LA for their travels.

If you’re a serious go-getter, you’ll love the fast pace of LA. Los Angelinos are hustlers, creating a competitive atmosphere that’s perfect for the nation’s most ambitious. And we aren’t just talking about film and entertainment jobs, either. LA is a hub for technology startups, and you’ll see lots of digital nomads building their own brands online while sitting in any cafe in Los Angeles.

Cons of Living in Los Angeles

Aerial view of LA traffic

LA traffic is world-famous, and not in a good way. Unlike the other stars of Hollywood, traffic here sucks, and we wish it would just go away. No matter where you’re going, you have to add on time for general congestion, which is only made worse by streets that are closed for filming, presidential motorcades or construction.

Also, you’ll need to read parking signs carefully when you’re living in Los Angeles. Street parking in LA is heavily regulated and complicated, and it seems like every street only allows parking on alternate Tuesdays from 3-5AM, except for bank holidays. The good news? You can find valet at everywhere from high-class dining venues to Denny’s, but don’t forget to tip.

Another Los Angeles con is the penchant for natural disasters. Because of its location along California fault lines, Los Angeles tends to get several significant earthquakes a year, ranging from mild shakes to richter scale events that bring down homes and offices. Los Angeles also suffers from yearly wildfires, which can be devastating for homeowners and dangerous for folks living in the affected areas.

How to Choose Between San Diego and Los Angeles

If you’re still stuck between a sunny place and another sunny place, we get it! Choosing a new city to live in is hard to matter where you go, and these two monoliths of culture, diversity and economic growth are both amazing choices. So when you’re choosing between moving to San Diego and Los Angeles, consider these few questions:

What’s Your Style?

Happy young woman in city

Are you a hustler or a surfer? If you love hitting the pavement and competing with the best of the best, LA is the place for you. But if you enjoy a laid-back lifestyle where flip-flops and shorts are the norm, you may be more suited for San Diego.

Do You Want a Big or Small City?

Okay, San Diego isn’t really “small”, but when compared with LA, it is! The actually city/county of Los Angeles covers 500 square miles of sprawling neighborhoods. In comparison, San Diego only spans 372 square miles. If you love cities like Boston and New York, LA is probably right up your alley. If you like a small-town vibe and a close-knit community, San Diego is the better choice.

What Industry Do You Work In?

If you’re in entertainment, the choice is easy. Competition may be stiff in Los Angeles, but it’s called the “City of Dreams” for a reason, and you won’t find the same concentration of film and TV jobs anywhere else in the U.S. Fashion retailers and aerospace engineering are also thriving LA industries. In contrast, the top industries in San Diego are technology startups and hospitality. Biosciences are big in both cities, though San Diego boasts a larger diversity of companies. And if you’re interested in entering the armed forces, San Diego’s naval and military bases are the obvious choice.

Moving to San Diego or Los Angeles

No matter which city you choose to move to, we’d like to be the first to welcome you to the “Best” Coast. If you want to learn more about California living, check out our blog posts on the Cost of Living in San Diego and the Best San Diego Neighborhoods. We can also help making your move easy with local moving services in Los Angeles and San Diego, so give us a call if you’re interested in a free moving quote!

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