If you're planning on making a move to the west coast, particularly if you're coming from the east coast, it's almost like moving to an entirely different country. While it officially includes Hawaii and Alaska, it generally refers to Washington, Oregon, and California, with the coast stretching from Blaine, Washington at the Canadian border to the Mexican border just south of San Diego.
While you might picture the west coast as Southern California, which many do, there's a lot more to the region than sunshine and golden sands, although you will find that if you buy one of the Los Angeles homes for sale. It's a large area, and it's actually quite diverse, covering 333,462 square miles, but there are several things that you can expect no matter where you land.
The Abundance Tech Jobs Go Beyond Silicon Valley
If you work in tech, you're likely to find plenty of job opportunities, and not just in Silicon Valley. While that area is well-known for companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google, Portland is now referred to as the Silicon Forest.
You'll find plenty of opportunities in L.A. and in the Seattle metro area too, home to Microsoft, Amazon, and Expedia, to name just a few.
Home prices have been rising throughout much of the country, but the price tags were already high here. While Oregon and Washington were once known for their lower cost of living, and they are still cheaper, expect plenty of sticker shock throughout the west coast. The further you are from the beaches, the less expensive it usually is.
The Weather is Mostly Mild, But That Depends on Where You Go
Southern California is famous for its sunshine and dry weather. While it has been warming more in recent years, it's usually not too hot unless you head further inland to the desert area. Towns like Palm Springs experience summer temperatures that average close to 110 degrees. The mercury reached as high as 123 degrees for the fourth time on June 17, 2021.
In the mountains, you'll usually find snow in the winter, along with some famous ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area and beyond. The Pacific keeps things milder along the coast: think San Francisco and the fog that often envelopes the Golden Gate Bridge. Farther north in Washington, there's plenty of rain and lush greenery.
The Views are Diverse and Breathtaking
Just like the weather, the views are diverse and often breathtaking. You've got the palm trees and iconic beaches of San Diego and L.A., but the further north you go, the wilder those stretches of sand are, thrashed by waves and often strewn with driftwood.
There are redwood forests, soaring snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, rushing rivers, and sparkling lakes. Even the desert is beautiful and comes to life, filled with unique flora and bursting with colorful wildflowers that start to appear around mid-February and last until mid-April or longer at the higher elevations.
It's Laid Back
While the east coast is known for its fast pace, it's much more laid back in the west. Generally, people aren't as much in a rush. While people might say it's because cannabis is legal in all three states, it's been this way for decades. Perhaps it's the beautiful scenery that keeps it more “Zen.”