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Moving From California To Arizona: Benefits, Cost & More

Every day, more and more California residents are moving to Arizona. Just ask any Arizonian living in a major city. Moving from California to Arizona comes with a host of benefits, including lower real estate prices and less time spent in traffic on your daily commute. But is becoming a resident of the Copper State really the best choice for you and your family? We’ve created a comprehensive guide for anyone thinking about relocating from California to Arizona. Read on to learn everything you need to know about pricing, job opportunities, and more.

    Best Movers from California to Arizona

    Here are some of the best movers to consider for a move from California to Arizona:

    Best Full-Service Mover

    4.8
    • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
    • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
    • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

    Best for Extended Storage

    4.6
    • Local, National, & International Moving
    • Extensive Add-On Service Options
    • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

    Best Customer Service

    4.6
    • Personalized Approach To Moving
    • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
    • 24/7 Customer Care & Support

    Best for Military Moves

    4.5
    • FMCSA-Licensed Broker Nationwide
    • Long-Distance Moving Only
    • Packing & One Month Storage Included

    Most Competitive Pricing

    4.7
    • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
    • Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')

    Should You Move From California to Arizona?

    Cost of living is one of the most commonly cited reasons among people who choose to move from California to Arizona. Housing prices and taxes in California’s urban areas are generally higher than comparable expenses in Arizona. Household necessities and transportation expenses are also lower in Arizona. However, not everyone can save money by moving. The amount of money that you’ll save (if any) depends on where you’re moving from in California and where you plan to live in Arizona. Another important thing to keep in mind is that Arizona may have fewer high-paying job opportunities, which can impact your overall household budget.

    To help you decide if this relocation is right for you, let’s explore some of the most important considerations when moving from California to Arizona:

    Housing Costs

    Real estate prices in California’s major cities are undeniably higher than Arizona’s major cities. Housing cost is one of the primary factors inspiring residents from the Golden State to move to the Grand Canyon State.

    California Arizona CA vs AZ
    Avg. Home Cost (source) $883,400 $346,100 -$537,300 (-42.2%)

    Avg. Rent (source)

    $2,563 / mo $1,477 / mo -$1,086 / mo (-42.3%)
    Utilities (source) $401 / mo $352 / mo -$49 (-12.2%)

     

    • Home Cost. The median price of a home in Arizona’s capital city of Phoenix is $279,650. A comparable house in the Californian city of Los Angeles will cost about $670,200. Los Angeles isn’t even the most expensive city in the state of California. If you plan to buy a home in the famed Silicon Valley area, you can expect to pay an average of $1.18 million for your property.
    • Rent. Rental rates follow a similar trend. The average rent for an apartment in Phoenix, Arizona is $1,477 per month, while rent for a comparable apartment in Los Angeles is $2,563 per month. That’s more than $1,000 compared to a rental in Phoenix.
    • Utilities. Utilities are also cheaper in Arizona, with an average of $49 in savings per month across electricity, water, gas, cable, and other utility bills.

    Cost of Living

    Like real estate trends, general cost of living is also lower in Arizona compared to California. The buying power of a $100,000 annual salary in Phoenix is nearly double that of a similar salary in San Francisco.

    Expense CA vs AZ
    Groceries -19.2%
    Restaurants -4.4%
    Transportation -12.7%
    Childcare -41.2%
    Entertainment -17.1%
    Clothes -10.8%
    Average Savings -17.6%

    Source

     

    • Food, Entertainment & Clothing. Household goods and necessities like food, clothing, and childcare cost substantially lower in Arizona. On average, groceries are about 19% cheaper, restaurants are about 4% cheaper, and clothing is about 10% cheaper. If you have children who need to be cared for, you can save big by moving to Arizona, with childcare costs a significant 41% cheaper than California.
    • Transportation. With the exception of San Francisco, neither state has a robust public transportation system. This means that a vehicle will likely be a necessity whether you stay in California or move to Arizona. Overall, transportation expenses are about 15% cheaper in Arizona. For example, car insurance in Arizona is about $475 annually compared to $1,500 in California. A gallon of gas is about $2.75 in Arizona compared to about $3.50 in California.
    • Taxes. Taxes are also significantly more affordable in Arizona than in California. California has some of the highest tax rates in the United States, while Arizona is virtually on par with the national average. Arizona’s individual income tax rate is 4.54%, which is less than half of the 9.3% rate in California. Sales taxes are also significantly more affordable in Arizona, with Arizonians paying a 6.6% sales tax rate compared to California’s 7.25%.

    The bottom line? If you’re looking to save more money on a day-to-day basis, chances are that you’ll be able to do so when moving from California to Arizona.

    Weather & Climate

    If you’re very sensitive to heat, you’re not likely to find much comfort in either California or Arizona, as both states are known for their year-round warm temperatures and climates. However, the state of California extends further north, which offers you a more diverse range of temperatures and seasons to enjoy.

    California Arizona CA vs AZ
    Average Temp July 87.1 F 93.9 F 6.8 F
    Average Temp Jan 53.5 F 52.6 F 0.9 F
    Average Sunny Days 69% 71% 2%
    Average Daily Rainfall 1.69 in 0.87 in 0.82 in

     

    • Brutal Arizona Summers. Arizona is known for its exceptionally oppressive summer temperatures. In Phoenix, you can expect an average July high temperature of 105 degrees compared to 84 degrees in Los Angeles. Some Arizona residents have even claimed that the state can get so hot in the summertime that they can feel the asphalt melting beneath their feet.
    • Comfort Index. Los Angeles boasts a comfort index rating of 9.1 compared to Arizona’s 7.3, signifying that Los Angeles is generally more comfortable for residents than Phoenix.

    If you’re looking for milder temperatures, California can be a better choice of residence for you—especially if you hate the heat.

    Job Opportunities

    When comparing job opportunities in California and Arizona, it’s important to consider which industry you’re looking for employment in. California and Arizona are thriving in different sectors. If you’re interested in aerospace engineering, electronics, or manufacturing, you’re likely to find more opportunities in Arizona. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a job in the healthcare, technology, or tourism sectors, California is likely a better area for you.

    • Unemployment Rates. Unemployment rates are higher in California than in Arizona. The unemployment rate in California is about 6.9%, while the unemployment rate in Arizona currently sits at about 4.7%.
    • Median Wages. The median wage in Arizona is a bit lower than California. The median wage in Arizona is about $37,020 annually, while the median in California is about $42,430. It’s important to remember the higher cost of living in California. Even with lower average salaries in Arizona, your dollar can go much further.

    Things to Do

    Activities accessible to you will of course largely depend on where you live within each state. More urban areas will have more opportunities for culture and entertainment, while more rural areas will bring you closer to state parks and outdoor activities.

    • California: A western state with more than 900 miles of coastline access, Californians love the shores and the sun. The Golden State is home to some of the most famous beaches in the world, including Hermosa Beach, Laguna Beach, and Santa Monica State Beach. In addition to its beaches, California is also full of fun and exciting amusement parks and recreational centers to enjoy.
    • Arizona: For nature lovers, Arizona can be a recreational dream. The state is full of fun and exciting outdoor activities that are sure to satisfy every weekend warrior. From the gorgeous Grand Canyon carved from the Colorado River to the cactus-filled Sonoran Desert, Arizona is home to a wealth of landscapes and opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Arizona’s residents enjoy camping, exploring the wonders of the state’s many parks and nature preserves, and visiting some of the state’s many quirky museums.

    Lifestyle & Culture

    As is the case with any state, you can find a wealth of people living in a multitude of ways in both Arizona and California. However, residents of California tend to enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle, prioritizing their weekends by spending time outdoors and caring for their health. Residents of Arizona tend to enjoy taking on more active roles in their time off from work. Expect to see Arizonians biking, hiking, or exploring the great outdoors when they have free time.

    How Much Does It Cost to Move From California to Arizona?

    There are multiple ways to move from California to Arizona. The moving method that you choose will play a role in the total price that you can expect to pay over the process:

    • Full-service moving companies: Full-service moving companies like International Van Lines are professional moving service providers that offer you the easiest and most straightforward way to move to a new state. Unlike partial moving services, full-service moving companies can provide you with an enhanced range of services like packing, storage, and more to take some of the stress out of the moving process. This is usually the easiest but most expensive way to move.
    • Moving container services: If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to a full-service moving company, you may want to consider working with a moving container service like U-Pack or PODS. Moving container services deliver a weatherproof moving container to your home, which you’ll then load with your things on your own schedule. The company will then pick up your container and drop it off at your new home. If you’re willing to do the loading and unloading yourself, you can save big compared to a full-service move.
    • Moving truck rental: The most common (and affordable) way to move is to rent a moving truck and handle all of your own loading, packing, and transportation. While renting a moving truck might not be a viable option for everyone, it allows you to move without breaking the bank.

    Average Moving Costs

    It is about 506 miles from California to Arizona. To help you plan your move, here is what you can expect to pay for different types of moving services. We’ve highlighted cost estimates for top companies in each category:

    Provider 2 BR Cost 4 BR Cost Get A Quote
    Full-Service Move International Van Lines $1,900 to $5,400 $5,100 to $8,100 Free Quote
    Allied Van Lines $2,400 to $5,400 $5,700 to $8,700 Free Quote
    Safeway Moving Systems $2,100 to $5,100 $4,700 to $6,700 Free Quote
    Moving Container U-Pack $1,200 to $2,200 $1,800 to $2,800 Free Quote
    PODS $1,300 to $2,300 $1,900 to $2,900 Free Quote
    Truck Rental National Average $1,000 to $1,450 $1,200 to $1,700 Free Quote

     

    Cost Factors

    There are many factors that can impact your moving cost, including:

    • The total size of your home. The larger your home, the more your moving company will need to spend on transportation for your things. You can expect to pay significantly more to move a larger property than a comparatively smaller one.
    • The total distance you’re traveling. Longer moves require moving companies to spend more resources on things like toll charges, gasoline costs, and labor hours. The further away from your current home you’re moving, the more you can expect to pay to move.
    • The specific services you request. Though you can pay a full-service moving company to provide you with packing, furniture disassembly, and a host of additional services, you’ll pay more for the convenience.
    • The date that you’re moving. Like any other industry, moving has a busy and a slow season. If you’re moving during the summer or on a weekend, you can expect to pay more for your move.

    Check out our Moving Cost Guide for more information on how to budget for your move.

    Best Places to Move to in Arizona

    Are you still deciding where you want to move? Here are some of the best places to live in Arizona:

    1. Peoria, AZ

    An active, thriving, and sustainable community, Peoria is a bustling city that’s becoming equally as popular with families as it is with young working professionals. Increased economic activity combined with the installation of the Luke Air Force Base has allowed the city to continue to outpace its peers in terms of growth, average income, homeownership rates, and more. This trend continues today, though the economy has largely shifted towards leisure and the resort lifestyle rather than the manufacturing industry it boasted in the past.

    One of the biggest draws of Peoria is the wealth of diverse neighborhoods that you can access all within a short drive of one another. This convenience provides you with multiple opportunities to take advantage of everything the city has to offer without moving to the most expensive parts of town. If you’re an avid golfer or a nature enthusiast, you may want to consider moving to the Dove Valley Ranch neighborhood, which is separate from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life. On the other hand, if you’re looking to raise children and you need convenient access to city amenities and educational centers, the neighborhood of Vistancia could be the right choice for you.

    Find Peoria, AZ Moving Companies

    2. Gilbert, AZ

    Another appealing choice for commuters in Arizona, the town of Gilbert is gaining popularity for its comparatively affordable real estate and strong education options. In particular, the neighborhood of Val Vista Lakes is known for the great quality of life that it offers to its residents. Some locals even refer to the area as a 900-acre “water wonderland,” as Val Vista Lakes’ residents have access to plenty of opportunities for recreational swimming, fitness facilities, waterfalls, and even a tropical lagoon. The area is also just a short drive away from the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, one of the most popular outdoor attractions in Arizona.

    Gilbert is also home to a number of well-reviewed golf courses and community centers, including two unique options for recreation in the large Power Ranch neighborhood. Each community center in Power Ranch is also outfitted with its own park and swimming pools, making it an ideal suburb for anyone looking to raise a family. Public schooling options in Gilbert are also stronger than most other parts of the state, with some of the highest-ranked school districts in the country.

    Find Gilbert, AZ Moving Companies

    3. Phoenix, AZ

    If you’re a fan of year-round sun and want to live in an area with thriving art and cultural scenes, Phoenix might be the right destination for you. The most populous state capital in the nation, Phoenix has long held a reputation for being a retiree’s paradise. However, an influx of young professionals moving into the area has completely reinvigorated the city, making it an ideal place to settle down for everyone from small families to older men and women.

    Phoenix has earned the nickname “the Valley of the Sun” from residents, as it enjoys more than 330 days of warm, balmy sunshine a year while also seeing very little rain. Despite its growing popularity, the city also has a lower cost of living than the national average, allowing you to experience its wealth of culture, culinary options, and live performance venues without completely exhausting your household budget.

    Find Phoenix, AZ Moving Companies

    4. Scottsdale, AZ

    If you’re interested in a more luxurious lifestyle, Scottsdale might be a great city to consider. Many residents of Arizona are surprised to learn that Scottsdale has one of the highest concentrations of AAA Five-Diamond hotels and resorts, and there are more luxury homes located in Scottsdale than elsewhere in Arizona. The national average income in Scottsdale is also almost double the national average, which can be a major benefit if you’re looking for a prosperous place to begin or expand your career.

    Another great perk of living in Scottsdale is a shorter commute time. The average Scottdale resident enjoys a 22-minute commute thanks to the city’s central location. Other major destinations in Arizona are also conveniently located close to Scottsdale and interconnected with the state’s well-structured highway system.

    Find Scottsdale, AZ Moving Companies

    5. Tempe, AZ

    A midsize city, Tempe rounds out our list of the best places to consider moving in Arizona thanks to its dynamic growth. Though Tempe was primarily a university town until the last decade, more and more of its residents are graduating and choosing to settle down in the area permanently thanks to its flourishing economy. If you enjoy collegiate sports, you’re sure to find plenty of fun living in Tempe. No matter if you’re just beginning your educational career or you’ve graduated long ago, Tempe is one of the best places to live in Arizona today.

    Find Tempe, AZ Moving Companies

    How to Choose a Moving Company

    Have you decided where you’d like to move when you arrive in Arizona? While choosing the right city is the most important factor when it comes to making a major move, it’s not the only thing you should consider. You’ll also need to find a reputable moving company to ensure that your belongings will get to your new home safely and securely.

    Though every moving company claims to be the best, the unfortunate truth is that some moving companies are better than others. The moving company that you choose will play a direct role in how easy (or stressful) your upcoming move is. Here are a few factors that you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing a service provider to help you move from California to Arizona:

    • Licensing: Moving companies that provide interstate moving services are required to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can tell that a moving company is registered with the FMCSA by searching for its USDOT number. Be sure to ask every moving company that you’re considering working with for their USDOT number and verify it using the FMCSA’s website here. If a company claims that it can service moves from California to Arizona without registering with the FMCSA, you should continue your search elsewhere, as this is likely a rogue moving operation.
    • Customer service responsiveness: Losing all contact with your mover after they’ve taken your shipment can be nerve wracking. The best long-distance moving companies understand that customers want to stay informed. You may want to call each moving company that you’re considering working with to ask a few questions before booking. This can be a good way to gauge their responsiveness and the level of customer care you can expect if you were to work with them. If a company seems to be poorly versed in its own policies or takes a while to get a response to you, this is likely to be the same type of treatment you’ll receive on the road.
    • Third-party reviews: Unfortunately, moving companies will often cherry-pick the best reviews to showcase on their sites, leaving out poor reviews. This might not give you an accurate picture of the type of services you can expect. We recommend looking for reviews on third-party moving websites like Pro Mover Reviews, Trustpilot, or the Better Business Bureau before booking.

    Book Your Move Today

    Start planning your move from California to Arizona by requesting quotes and comparing rates from top moving companies:

    Best Full-Service Mover

    4.8
    • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
    • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
    • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

    Best for Extended Storage

    4.6
    • Local, National, & International Moving
    • Extensive Add-On Service Options
    • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

    Best Customer Service

    4.6
    • Personalized Approach To Moving
    • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
    • 24/7 Customer Care & Support

    Best for Military Moves

    4.5
    • FMCSA-Licensed Broker Nationwide
    • Long-Distance Moving Only
    • Packing & One Month Storage Included

    Most Competitive Pricing

    4.7
    • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
    • Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')

    Moving from California to Arizona FAQs

    Is it worth moving to Arizona from California?

    If you’re looking for more job opportunities and a lower cost of living, it can be worth the effort to make a move from California to Arizona. Despite there being a large difference in the effective tax rates between each state, Arizona residents’ earnings are about on par with those seen by California residents. This means that job opportunities in Arizona are about on par with those found in the Golden State, but residents pay less money in taxes each year. Daily essentials, medical care, and transportation expenses are also more affordable on average in Arizona.

    What are the dangers of living in Arizona?

    The primary danger that comes with living in Arizona is related to the state’s extreme temperatures. Summer highs regularly reach more than 100 degrees in most parts of the state. If you aren’t careful to remain hydrated and avoid outdoor activities during the hottest hours of the day, you might find yourself becoming the victim of heatstroke. This is a particularly common concern for older residents and children who have more trouble regulating their body temperatures.

    What jobs are in high demand in Arizona?

    There are many industries that have a high demand for workers in Arizona. In particular, the state’s industrial sector, construction industry, and manufacturing realm are showing strong growth and more positions opening each year when compared to other sectors. If you work in any one of these industries, you’re likely to be able to find gainful employment throughout Arizona.