Moving From San Francisco to Orange County
Did you know that there are currently more than three million people living in Orange County, California? It is a region that is famous for its warm and sunny weather, beaches, and bustling nightlight. San Francisco also has many of those things, but you will notice a few important differences when you make the move to Orange County.
No matter what part of Orange County you move to, you might be wondering what you should expect when you start moving from San Francisco. How can you know if you’re making the right choice? How much should you expect to spend on housing once you make the choice?
Keep reading and learn more about the pros and cons of moving to Orange County below.
The Weather in Orange County
Starting out with the advantages of moving to and living in Orange County, the weather is one of the most obvious benefits. For most of the year, the temperatures average around 75 degrees. If you are sensitive to the weather being too hot or too cold, this is the perfect climate for you.
You won’t find yourself dripping in sweat after taking a brisk walk outside. You also won’t need to bundle up or search for your winter hat, not even in the middle of winter. The winter months only drop down into the 60s and it rarely gets any colder than that.
During the winter, you’ll see that many people still find it warm enough to go swimming at the beach or tanning on the sand. If it gets especially chilly, all you’ll need to keep yourself warm is a light sweater. But what about the summers?
The summers can get somewhat hot (it is California, after all). However, throughout the summer, the temperatures average around the 80s. On some days in the middle of summer, it might get a bit hotter than that, but you could easily retreat into the air conditioning of your new home if that happens.
Otherwise, you will find that summer is a great time to go outside and do things. The beach will be especially popular and you will be able to see plenty of people surfing on the waves and warming themselves on the sand. Some people even spend their tie parasailing and windsurfing out on the water.
If you’ve ever wanted to try any of these fun activities, you’ll always have the opportunity when living in Orange County. While you’re outside you’ll also have the chance to explore all the other local attractions that Orange County has to offer.
Things to Do in Orange County
While San Francisco may have a lot of things to do, San Francisco is just a city. Orange County, on the other hand, is a whole region that encompasses several towns and cities. That means you’ll have even more fun things to do, regardless of where you live in Orange County.
The most obvious attraction is all the beaches that rest along the shores of Orange County. Some of the beaches are large while others are smaller and more hidden. This gives you plenty of variety when it comes to finding the perfect beach to spend the day at.
Keep in mind, however, that the beaches can get quite crowded during the spring and summer. Spring breakers tend to hog the beach during the earlier part of the year. The same happens during the summer but with everyone who is taking a break for summer vacation.
However, you should never let the idea of a crowded beach deter you from going to the beach at all. Many of the beaches in Orange county are large enough to fit everyone. But there are also other things to do than just go to the beach.
There are plenty of museums dotted all throughout Orange County sitting around for you to enjoy. Many of them are history museums and explore the early years of Orange County. Others may explore the unique culture of the region.
Then, of course, there are plenty of art museums. One thing that Orange County has in common with San Francisco is that it is a very hip and artsy region. It is full of artists of all different kinds and, as a result, you’ll find a lot of art to enjoy throughout the area.
This renders Orange County a very colorful and exciting place to live.
Spend Some Time Outside
When it comes to moving out to Orange County, you should know that the beach isn’t the only place where you can get some fresh air. If you follow along the beaches long enough, you will eventually leave behind all the crowds of sunbathers and the soft sand. Instead, you will come across some cliffs and rocky shorelines.
Along that shoreline, you will find plenty of tide pools. Tide pools are amazing little habitats for certain sea creatures. They consist of little pockets of ocean water stuck between rocks and pits at low tide.
In the tide pools, you will be able to find animals that you might only otherwise see at zoos. You will find plenty of starfish crawling along the rocks, beautiful braids of seaweed, snails, sea urchins, crabs, and more. You will, of course, also find plenty of seagulls and other sea birds hopping around on the rocks.
The tide pools are ideal if you are an animal lover. They can give you a chance to go off on your own and enjoy the peacefulness of nature. They are also great if you have children because your kids will have the chance to observe strange new animals in their natural habitat instead of in a zoo.
There are also plenty of natural parks that you can enjoy in Orange County. For example, the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is a large park (more than 7,000 acres) with long, dusty trails that you can walk along for ages.
As the name of the park suggests, you will also be able to enjoy some of the amazing wildlife that this part of California has to offer. That’s because much of the park is untouched wilderness. You can also choose to ride your bike instead of hiking through the park.
Orange County Is Safe
Seeing as Orange County is right next to the city of Los Angeles, you might think that the safety rating in Orange County isn’t all that great. However, you would be wrong. Even though Los Angeles is known for its high crime rate, you won’t see those same statistics in Orange County.
At the moment, Irving is one of the safest cities you’ll be able to find in the area. Both Irving and Yorba Linda are on the list of the top 10 safest cities in all of Orange County. Some of the cities in Orange County have even been voted as some of the safest cities in all of California.
This is ideal if you have a family or plan on starting a family.
You won’t want to worry yourself sick wondering if your kids are safe going to school or coming back home at the end of the day. When it comes to most forms of crime such as violent crime, robberies, property crimes, car theft, and so on, Orange County has a much lower rating than the surrounding area of Los Angeles.
But, of course, no area is completely safe. While you might be safer than you would be in Los Angeles or San Francisco, you should always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Car theft is also still a problem in Orange County just as it is in the rest of the state of California (and the rest of the country, for that matter).
For that reason, you won’t want to forget to lock the doors of your car. This will make it more difficult for robbers to run away with your car. Remembering to lock your home’s doors is an important consideration as well.
The Cons of Living in Orange County
While there are many benefits of moving from San Francisco to Orange County, you will find that no location is without a few cons. If you are looking to find a place that is more affordable compared to your San Francisco home, you might have to look elsewhere.
Also, if you are looking for a place with less traffic, Orange County might also not be the right place for you. But before you make any hard and fast decisions, be sure to weigh the pros and cons against each other. Keep reading to explore a few of the biggest cons of living in Orange County.
As mentioned before, Orange County is right next to Los Angeles. This doesn’t put it in a great position when it comes to traffic. Also, keep in mind that Orange County is home to several popular cities and towns such as Anaheim and Irvine.
It is also right next to Long Beach which is one of the most popular areas along the coast of southern California. Next to Long Beach, of course, is Los Angeles which is home to almost 4 million people. When you have so many densely-packed locations right next to each other, you can’t expect that the traffic situation is going to be any good.
The bad traffic in Orange County can make daily commutes to work especially unpleasant. Even if your job isn’t all that far away from your new home in Orange County, you will find that it still might take you quite a long time to arrive. You will spend much of your time sitting in stopped traffic or traffic that moves very slowly.
The bad traffic can also be a drag when you’re taking a break from work and taking a trip to the beach or to an event. Many other people, especially in the summer, will all have the same idea. But you shouldn’t let the idea of bad traffic stop you from moving to Orange County.
The traffic in San Francisco isn’t often any better than Orange County traffic. For that reason, you may already be accustomed to bad traffic. So, by moving to Orange County, you won’t really notice much of a difference in terms of traffic quality.
If you really hate traffic but also really want to move to Orange County, you will want to remember to be patient and keep your stress down.
The Cost of Living in Orange County
You shouldn’t move to Orange County with the idea that you’re going to save any money because you likely aren’t. The cost of living in San Francisco and Orange County is quite similar. These costs include housing, food, transportation, entertainment, and so on.
The cost of living in Orange County is actually quite a bit higher than the average cost of living in California. But again, this is the same case with San Francisco. Some might argue that San Francisco is even more expensive to live in.
But keep in mind that the average cost of a home in Orange County is more than $900,000. In some areas, it might even be very close to $1 million. In the same vein, the cost of rent is also very expensive.
You might need to spend a couple of thousand dollars a month on an apartment and even then, your apartment might not be very large. You will likely have to spend more if you want a larger apartment or an apartment that is in the heart of one of Orange County’s cities.
And, of course, any kind of property near the beach will be much more expensive. Homes with ocean views are the most expensive of all. The further you get from the ocean, the cheaper the homes will get.
You will also find yourself spending quite a lot of money on other things as well such as groceries, eating out, and entertainment. But you shouldn’t let the idea of money get in the way of your dream to move to this little slice of paradise.
Since you already live in San Francisco, you should be able to afford the cost of living in Orange County. You might have to consider your budget, but you should be able to do it.
How to Prepare for Your Move to Orange County
If you think you are set on moving to Orange County, you will need to consider a few things to make sure that your move will be as smooth as possible. One of the first things you should do is learn how to pack properly. Many people don’t put a lot of thought into packing their belongings away before a big move, but this can be a serious mistake.
If you don’t bother to label boxes or organize certain items into certain boxes, you will find yourself in a whirlwind of confusion once it’s time to open up your boxes again. You might need to find a specific item and not be able to find it because you forgot where you packed it. Or it might be so buried under other items that it will take an hour to reach.
You might also end up wasting a lot of precious box space if you toss your belongings without thought into boxes. Learning how to pack in an organized way can save you from all of these headaches. You should keep a list of all the things you have packed away somewhere in a notebook or elsewhere.
You should also label your boxes and packing containers. This way, you will know what’s inside without having to open the boxes. You should also avoid overstuffing some boxes and barely filling other boxes.
Overfilled boxes will be especially heavy and difficult to move. With boxes that are barely filled, you are wasting space that could be very valuable for your move. You should also have a bag of belongings that you can access whenever you want.
This bag might include clothes, a toothbrush, a hairbrush, and so on. This will all make your move much easier and less stressful.
Keep Your Budget in Mind
Many people get so excited about making a big move that they forget all about their budget. You shouldn’t let this happen to you because you might end up regretting it. Planning your moving budget is one of the most important things you can do.
It will allow you to add up all the little expenses so you can see just how much you might be spending. This is important because many people only think about the main expenses such as hiring professional movers, renting a new apartment or buying a home, and so on. However, you are sure to encounter many little expenses during your move that may add up and cost you more than you might expect.
For example, you might need to buy new furniture once you move to your new home in Orange County. Or you might need to spend a lot of money on the gas for your car when you drive from San Francisco to your new home. And even if you don’t drive all the way to Orange County, you’ll still have to pay for a plane ticket to get there.
You might also have to set up a new phone service, a new internet service, a new television service, and so on. While all of these expenses on their own are quite small, they can make a big dent in your budget once they start to add up, especially if you don’t plan for them in your budget in the first place.
The best way to consider your budget is to write it down on a piece of paper. This way, you will be able to map out all of your expenses and what you can afford. Doing this can take a big weight off of your shoulders.
Create a Checklist for Your Move
Moving can get very hectic very fast. At the last minute, things can start to pile up over each other, things start to get confusing, and it all translates to more stress for you. But this doesn’t have to be your fate as long as you plan ahead.
By keeping things organized, they won’t get so chaotic in the first place. As mentioned before, keeping your moving boxes and belongings organized will take a lot of stress out of your life because you won’t be rummaging through boxes wondering where you packed your favorite spatula or pencil sharpener. But organization for your move goes far beyond what you pack in boxes.
When you make the move to Orange County, you will want to make sure that your living situation is in order. There’s nothing worse than moving all the way to Orange County to find that your new house isn’t ready to live in yet. You will want to know all the details of your new home or apartment that you’re renting so you won’t come across any unexpected roadblocks during your move.
If your house isn’t ready to live in yet, you will have to book a hotel somewhere nearby. Even if your home is ready, your movers might not have arrived yet. Since most people won’t want to sleep on a cold floor in an empty house, again, booking a hotel may be the best option until everything is ready to go.
All About Moving From San Francisco to Orange County
Moving from San Francisco to Orange County can be the next best decision of your life. Orange County is full of things to do and has many beautiful beaches, museums, parks, and more. As long as you keep everything organized during your move, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
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