Living in California vs Kitsap County, Washington: The Truth You Must Know!

One thing I’ve noticed recently is how many inquiries I’m getting from people living in California thinking of relocating to this area of the Pacific Northwest. Kitsap County has become incredibly popular with Californians looking to move out of state. We’ve never seen so many from one area wanting to move here ever: it’s crazy!

So, let’s take a look at the 9 main reasons so many Californians are packing up and moving north!

California vs Washington: 9 Reasons Californians Are Moving North! 

1.    Access to Great Amenities

One of the number one reasons why people are moving to Kitsap County from California is the desire to get out of the big city without losing access to all the amenities they love. Kitsap has a small-town feel but has all the amenities of a city, with great schools, high-quality restaurants, and you can be in Seattle in under an hour.

2.    Access to Recreation

Relocating Californians want the ability to get out in lush nature and experience the seasons. They want to walk in the forests, dip their feet in the river, and hike in the mountains. Everything here is just 30 minutes to an hour away, and if you want to drive a little further, there’s even more to explore. As an added bonus, for most people here in Kitsap, walking straight out the front door isn’t half bad either!

  • Changing Employment Landscape

COVID-19 has changed the landscape of employment. Many large companies have decided to allow their employees to work remotely for the long-term, and that means you don’t have to live in the inner-city or put up with long commutes if you don’t want to. There are many who have realized their lives are contained in a little bubble in the city, and they want to get out. Heading north is the perfect way to do that, while still staying within areas with plenty of employment opportunities.

4.    Plenty of Employment Opportunities

That clearly leads us onto our next reason why Californians are moving: there are plenty of employment opportunities here. Moving to Kitsap County doesn’t mean you have to leave opportunities for meaningful employment behind. Should a company decide remote working isn’t possible, there are a ton of opportunities up here.

For example, Amazon has built a huge warehouse in Bremerton, and I think that is just the beginning. We’re also home to the 6th largest naval base in the US which employs thousands of civilians, and the medical field gives jobs to thousands more. Also, Tacoma is just down the road, and Seattle across the bay. The economy is really strong.

5.    Quality of Living is the Same, While Cost of Living is Better

Let’s compare how much it costs to live in Kitsap County compared to a major Californian city.

Having done the math, living in Kitsap County is going to save you around a third of what you spend in Los Angeles. Buying or renting a house, utilities, food, car, everything you can imagine is cheaper in Washington. Compared to the national average, things here are around average except housing, and housing is still cheaper here than in much of California. The living costs in California are something like 50% higher than in the US as a whole.

Washington doesn’t charge income tax, and our sales tax is pretty much the same as the average in California. Our property tax, at about 1%, is also lower than in California. So, you’re going to save a bunch of money moving here!

6.    Cash-In on the Super-Inflated Californian House Prices

Next, let’s take a look at what your money can get you property-wise. I’ve had a lot of inquiries from Laguna Beach, as well as the Bay Area, so let’s compare Laguna Beach and Kitsap County.

So, for between $500,000 and $600,000, you get a lot in Kitsap County and a lot less in California. I found a four-bedroomed, three bath, nearly 2,400 square feet property with over an acre of land in a good area in Kitsap, for $590,000.

That same price bracket gets you a two-bed condo in Laguna Beach. It’s a nice condo, but just 1,000 square feet and no yard. Any more than two people, and that’s going to feel a little crowded. So, relocating to Kitsap from Laguna Beach gives you the chance to have the sort of property you’ve always wanted. You get as much space and seclusion as you want.

7.    Great Travel Opportunities

For much of California, you’re travel opportunities are limited unless you’re willing to jump on a plane. It’s even more limited if you don’t like the desert. Here, you can head into Seattle, drive across the boarder into Canada, down to Portland, and other states with plenty of outdoor activities to do.

8.    People LOVE Living Here

One of the biggest reasons Californians are moving here? They’ve heard people talk about how much they love it here! We’ve got strong communities and people that care for one another. Everywhere has their sourpusses, but Kitsap is an overwhelmingly positive place to be. We welcome new people and are very inclusive.

9.    Temperate Climate

Our climate is great for getting out and doing things all year round. For example, you can boat, camp and fish in the summer and ski and snowboard in the winter. And the scenery is so green, it’s always a pleasure to be out, and the views are breath-taking! Our summers aren’t so hot you want to stay inside, and our winters aren’t so cold that you can’t wrap up and head out. If you’re happy to deal with a bit of moisture in the air, you’ll love it here.

That’s just a few of the reasons why Kitsap County is attracting people from California, and all over, to live, work and play. I hope this has answered a few questions for you guys and helped you decide whether this area is for you. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I have enjoyed helping dozens of families relocate to the area and would love to help you too. I have the whole process dialed in, and I’ve got your back on moving to Western Washington. You can call me on (206) 940-4039, or click here to contact me.

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