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Moving From California To New York: Benefits, Cost & More

California and New York are often recognized as the two most prominent cultural hubs in the United States. Over 24,000 Californians migrated to the Empire State over the past year. This comprehensive guide will help you decide if moving from California to New York is the best decision for you and your family. Here, you’ll learn:

    Best Movers from California to New York

    Not every mover is equipped to serve a cross-country move. It’s important to work with a team that has the experience, licensing, and insurance to get the job done safely and efficiently. Here are the top cross-country movers available today:

    Best Full-Service Mover

    International Van Lines

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

    Best for Extended Storage

    Allied Van Lines

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

    Best Customer Service

    North American Van Lines

    4.6
    • Personalized Approach To Moving
    • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
    • 24/7 Customer Care & Support
    Provider Superlative Service Model Average Cost Our Rating
    International Van Lines
    Best Full-Service Mover Full-Service Carrier, Broker $2,400 – $5,400 ★★★★☆ 4.8/5
    Allied Van Lines
    Best for Extended Storage Full-Service Carrier, Broker $4,400 – $7,400 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    North American Van Lines
    Best Customer Service Full-Service Carrier, Broker $4,400 – $7,400 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    American Van Lines
    Best Moving Add-Ons Full-Service Carrier $4,200 – $7,200 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Safeway Moving Systems
    Best for Military Moves Full-Service Broker $2,700 – $5,700 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    U-Pack
    Most Affordable Moving Container Service $2,100 – $3,100 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5

    * Average moving cost is based on a 2,000 mile two-bedroom move. Cost can vary significantly based on move weight and distance. Be sure to request a free quote to get an accurate estimate for your move.

    Should You Move from California to New York?

    New York has plenty of benefits to consider—especially north of the Big Apple, where the cost of living is low and natural scenery is abundant. Below, we’ll compare the two states in terms of home costs, general cost of living, culture, and more. Find out if NY is right for you:

    Housing Costs

    Housing in California is more expensive than New York State as a whole, but not by as much as many would think. Incredibly high real estate prices within New York City contribute to this, but other areas in the state are far more affordable.

    California New York CA to NY
    Avg. Home Cost (source) $683,996 $371,880 -$312,116 (-45.6%)
    Avg. Rent (source) $2,542 $2,221 -$321 (-12.6%)
    Utilities (source) $401 $378 -$23 (-5.7%)

     

    • Homeownership. California average home cost is $683,996, while New York home costs are $371,880. New York City is a major outlier, with average home costs at nearly $741,500. Outside of the big city, however, you can save an average of 45% on your new home.
    • Rental Rates. Rental prices are far closer than home prices, but California is still more expensive than New York, at $2,542 per month vs $2,221. If you’re interested in living in Manhattan, however, you’ll pay an average of $4,000 to rent an apartment.
    • Utility Bills. New York is only slightly cheaper than California when it comes to monthly utility bills like cable, internet, and electricity. Still, $23 per month can add up to $2,760 over ten years.

    Cost of Living

    California is ranked third in the nation for highest cost of living. At nearly 50% above the national average, you’ll be forced to keep a consistent and smart budget when living here. New York is generally cheaper than California, but it is also very expensive compared to the rest of the country. It is currently ranked fifth for highest cost of living, at 20% above the national average.

    Expense CA to NY
    Groceries -1.2%
    Restaurants +4.9%
    Transportation +13.6%
    Childcare -6.7%
    Entertainment +1.5%
    Clothes -6.4%
    Average Difference +1.0%

    Source

    Restaurants and transportation will cost you more in New York than California. But families can save money on childcare, groceries and clothes.

    Keep in mind that the relative cost of living in New York City drives these figures up. If you’re living in one of the five boroughs, you’ll see amenities and housing cost 87% above national averages. Necessities and entertainment are cheaper outside of the city.

    Weather & Climate

    In terms of weather and climate, California has more variety than New York. From desert to alpine zones, this West Coast state runs the gamut from hot to cold. New York is a large state, but many of the weather expectations are fairly in line with its position in the Northeast. Its pleasant summers (highs of 76) and beautiful autumn months come with harsh winters.

    California New York CA to NY
    Average Temp July 87.1 76.84 -10.26
    Average Temp Jan 53.5 29.18 -24.32
    Average Sunny Days 69% 51% -7%
    Average Daily Rainfall (in) 1.69 3.01 1.32

     

    • Harsh Winters. While not on par with states such as Michigan or Minnesota, New York is known for its snowfall, at 62 inches per year. Lows average in the teens in winter as well, with highs below freezing. You should fully stock your winter wardrobe before moving here.
    • Comfort Index. New York boasts a 9/10 comfort index in summers, with temperatures rarely exceeding upper 80’s. California’s sunny days are iconic, but summers can be too hot for some people, resulting in a lower comfort index of 8.7/10. Of course, winter is a completely different story. California’s mild weather offers a winter comfort index of 8.7, while New York freezing winters fall short of national average with a 4.2 comfort index.

    Job Opportunities

    Unemployment rates and competition are comparable in each state. Both New York and California would be among world leaders in GDP if they were their own countries, signifying a wide range of lucrative job opportunities. New York’s leading industries are financial services, manufacturing, and healthcare.

    • Unemployment Rates. Both states have high unemployment rates that exceed the national average. New York is slightly lower, at 5.4% compared to California’s 6.9%.
    • Average Salaries. New York is ranked #9 for highest average salary in the nation, at $67,727. California is #20 at $62,356. Of course, living in a large city like NYC or Los Angeles can significantly increase your salary potential. But the larger cities also have significantly higher cost of living.
    • Income Taxes. Both states have a bracketed tax system that is based on individual income. In New York, everyone under $80,650 pays a rate of 4-5.85%. Above this salary, you will pay 6.25% to as high as 10.9% for income over $25 million. In California, everyone under $48,435 pays 1-6%. Above this salary, you will pay 8% to as high as 13.3% for income over $1 million.

    Things to Do

    As far as cultural and recreational attractions, both states are fairly well-rounded. California sports 800 miles of coastline as well as numerous inland ski mountains, state parks, and resorts. From surfing and skiing to Big Sur, Redwood National Park, Disneyland and Fisherman’s Wharf, there is an incredibly diverse portfolio of things to do.

    Aside from New York City, The Empire State has its own range of activities for residents. The upstate regions are gorgeous year-round, especially during the late summer and early autumn. The Finger Lake Region and the Adirondack Mountains provide plenty of scenery to the North, while Niagara Falls is accessible to the West. As one of the original 13 colonies, the state is steeped in history. Many small towns have unique historical districts to explore.

    Lifestyle & Culture

    In recent election cycles, both states have leaned leftward reliably. You’ll notice a definite split in temperament and culture between urban and rural areas, which are worth exploring before moving.

    New Yorkers also enjoy a reputation for being go-getters. Things move at a generally faster pace here, at least in its cities. This should also be worth your consideration before you decide on an exact destination.

    How Much Does It Cost to Move from California to New York?

    We were able to gather some average price points for moves of varying sizes. These figures were derived from actual move data based on real customer reviews for top companies. These estimates should not be taken as a viable substitute for getting your own quotes. Visual estimates are necessary for movers to give you an accurate estimate prior to your move.

    Average Moving Costs

    It is approximately 3,000 miles from Sacramento, CA, to Albany, NY. We hope this chart helps you find the most affordable way to move cross country for your needs:

    Provider 2 BR Cost 4 BR Cost Get A Quote
    Full-Service Move International Van Lines $2,400 – $5,400 $6,200 – $9,200 Free Quote
    Allied Van Lines $4,400 – $7,400 $10,900 – $13,900 Free Quote
    Safeway Moving Systems $2,700 – $5,700 $7,800 – $10,800 Free Quote
    Moving Container U-Pack $2,100 – $3,100 $4,100 – $5,100 Free Quote
    PODS $2,200 – $3,200 $4,200 – $5,200 Free Quote
    Truck Rental National Average $2,000 – $2,700 $2,300 – $3,000 Free Quote

     

    Cost Factors

    There are many factors that play a role in determining your move cost:

    • Move Distance & Shipment Weight: These are the two main factors that will determine your “line-haul charges.” Most companies have standardized practices for weighing their trucks before and after loading. The further you’re moving and the larger your home, the more you will pay in general.
    • Season: Moving season peaks between May and September. If you know that your move will fall within this date range, then you should consider booking in advance. Doing so could help to mitigate any increased charges you could incur. It will also help to ensure that your preferred mover has availability on your intended move date.
    • Advance Booking: Booking a move within a week or a few days of the move date will often lead to increased charges. Planning ahead will save you money and stress.
    • Service Requirements: If your move requires packing services, crating, vehicle shipping, or other such add-ons, then your move price could be inflated well beyond the average figures above.

    Best Places to Live in New York

    If you’re planning on moving to New York from California, then the following cities are worth your consideration:

    Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY

    This Brooklyn neighborhood is home to nearly 80,000 and is one of the best places to raise a family in New York City. It is a relatively quiet area to live here, and education is placed at a premium. There are plenty of excellent schools in the area for both elementary and secondary education, with crime rates being fairly low.

    Find the Best Brooklyn, NY Moving Companies

    Country Club, Bronx, NY

    Country Club is a small, fairly safe Bronx neighborhood. Despite its location in the city, and middle to upper-middle class population, home prices here are competitive. If you’re looking for amenities, Country Club provides easy access to highways and public transportation. However, you may have to travel for any shopping needs.

    Find the Best Bronx, NY Moving Companies

    Kenmore, NY

    Kenmore is a small village within the larger city of Buffalo. It offers some of the best housing prices in the entire state, with a median home value of $111,000. The quiet atmosphere afforded by a small population of only 15,000 is accentuated by excellent schools and abundant employment opportunities.

    Find the Best Kenmore, NY Moving Companies

    Endwell, NY

    Endwell sits within the larger town of Union and occupies a scenic location on the Susquehanna River near Binghamton. Composed of a small population of families and retirees, Endwell offers a low crime rate. Affordable homes and rental properties make this location even more desirable.

    Find the Best Endwell, NY Moving Companies

    Astoria, Queens, NY

    Astoria has quickly become one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in New York City. Housing here is affordable by the city’s standards. The green spaces and safety record here, coupled with the numerous eateries and other amenities are just a few of the many reasons why people love living here.

    Find the Best Queens, NY Moving Companies

    How to Choose a Moving Company

    Before you settle on a moving company, you should thoroughly evaluate each provider. The following factors should be among your chief concerns when doing so:

    • Service Profile: Different moving companies offer varying ranges of services at different price points. You should make a list of services you may need when taking inventory of your home. Doing so will give you talking points to stick to during any moving estimates you get.
    • Agreeable Pricing: Shopping around is key if you want to book a move at a competitive rate. Get quotes from multiple moving companies to help lock down the best price for your move.
    • Well-Reviewed: Before booking, you should consult customer reviews from multiple sources. Valid review platforms include social media, Google, Yelp, and Better Business Bureau.
    • FMCSA Registration: All interstate movers must maintain an active license with the FMCSA and carry active USDOT and MC numbers. These numbers can be used to look up a mover’s complaint history and registration status through this link.
    • Workers’ Compensation: All movers must carry this form of coverage. It protects clients in the event of a work-related injury during a move. Without such coverage, you could be held liable for damages.
    • Released Liability Coverage: This provides for a baseline rate of compensation for lost or damaged property during a move. At a rate of $0.60 per pound, per item, it won’t cover the total value of most items. However, it can usually be supplemented with valuation coverage at an added cost.

    Start Planning Your Move Today

    You should begin planning your move around eight weeks before your ideal move date. Make a thorough inventory of your home and research the best local movers. Schedule quotes with all movers you consider for your relocation and aim to have your move booked a month in advance. Doing so will lead to far less stress throughout the process.

    The following companies are the best options to help anyone moving from California to New York:

    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 Moving Add-ons

    4.6
    • Local, Long-Distance & International Moves
    • Direct Carrier to All 48 Continental US States
    • Storage Options Available

    Best for Military Moves

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

    Best Insurance Options

    4.5
    • Local, Interstate, Local, & International Moving
    • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App
    • Low-Interest Financing Available

    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 New York FAQs

    Can I get a discount on my move?

    Many cross-country movers will package multiple homes onto the same truck for shipping. If your movers engage in this practice, then you may be able to get a reduced rate for your move.

    Is there an ideal time of year to book my move?

    If you book far enough in advance, then price or availability shouldn’t be an issue for you. If you have some control over when your move takes place, then the spring or autumn months may allow for you and your movers to be more comfortable throughout the process.

    Do I need to do anything special if I'm moving to New York in the winter?

    In a state that gets as much snow as New York, it would serve you well to plan for the worst. When moving from coastal California, the New York snow could come as a surprise. Be sure to have a shovel and ice melting compound on hand. Most movers will require that you clear any hazard to their work, which includes slippery walkways.