Eight of the last 13 sellers we’ve worked with have sold their homes and moved out of state. That’s 61% of our listing!
Because we personally are working with these families, we’d like to share what we’ve learned.
Who is leaving?
First of all, not everyone is leaving but a lot are. Of those that we have worked with, we see both families and retirees leaving. Parents of younger kids are typically leaving for states like Tennessee and Texas, while retirees are leaving for places like Idaho and Arizona.
Why are they leaving California?
There are three driving factors for those leaving and they are economic, values, and family.
Nearly everyone we’ve worked with has cited the need to live in a more affordable place. If they are retired they want to make sure they can afford to live comfortably on their retirement income. If they are in the workforce they want to move to a place where the cost of housing is lower than here in California.
The second reason we see people leaving is that they feel like they need to move to a place that supports the values they hold whether it be religious, political, or otherwise. We’ve seen many conservatives leave California because they no longer feel like they can express their views here.
The third reason we see is what I call the “grandkid magnet”. That’s when grandparents leave California to join their kids and grandchildren wherever they have moved to. Grandkids are a top priority for many and will leave everything behind to stay close to them.
What keeps them from moving sooner?
We belong to many Facebook groups of people who are leaving California and the question often comes up, “What is keeping you in California?” We constantly see two primary reasons: Jobs and Family.
Many people are looking for jobs in their destination state and won’t move until they have one. Others are on the verge of retirement and won’t leave until they are fully retired and receiving their check.
A third and less expressed reason people wait is that they have a strong community of friends and family locally that is not going to move with them. This is less and less the case though.
How do they plan their move?
Leaving California happens in stages. First, they explore the possibility of a move. Once they think it might be possible they start planning trips to these areas so see what it’s like. At this point online research is constant and home search sites become their favorite websites. Then they visit the locations over a period of months. Once they have a good idea of where they’d like to go, they start visiting homes in the destination state. Only once they have crunched the numbers, looked at what they can buy do they start preparing their California home for sale.
Most people don’t tell others about their plans because they are afraid of what they might think. The truth is a lot of people are thinking about moving and telling others is actually helpful during this process.
Once they know they are moving they contact REALTORs in both the destination state and in California to set the plan in motion. The home is prepped, listed, and sold. Usually, this is done simultaneously with the purchase of the replacement home. Garage sales and giveaways are common and movers are hired to take the important things. For approximately four months life is in a constant state of change as they complete their move.
Do people come back?
We are often asked if people move back. Yes, some do but most do not. Moving doesn’t solve your problems or create a life of bliss. Remember, wherever you go, there you are. You and all your personal issues are going with you and the destination won’t change who you are. For those that do come back, they do so quietly, often fearing that people will criticize them. But that’s not really fair to them. Sometimes things don’t work out, they realize it wasn’t that bad in California after all, or they finally get that promotion they were hoping for but didn’t because the company didn’t realize how awesome they were until they left. The reasons vary but some do come back.
Are you thinking about moving out of California?
If you are thinking of moving out of state, please contact us today. We have some valuable resources and we’d like to share with you the knowledge we have learned from helping dozens of families leave California.