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California is a fantastic mixture of nearly everything that America has to offer. California possesses iconic pop culture, beaches, mountains, vineyards, movie stars, deserts, and a coastline that stretches well over 800 miles long from Oregon to northern Mexico.
The ‘Golden State’ is the most populous in the Union, with a staggering 39.5 million people and 18,788,800 of those situated in the Greater Los Angeles area alone. California itself is the largest sub-economy in the world, raking in a breathtaking $3 trillion in gross state product. If California were its own sovereign country, it would be wealthier than entire countries like France and India.
Depending on preference, visitors to California could experience everything from arid temperatures in the south to snowy peaks in the north. This diversity in climate holds something for everyone. From hikers, mountain climbers, skiers, and those who want to laze about on one of the countless beaches, there is something for every type of nature lover.
Places like Hollywood, a neighborhood nestled right in Los Angeles, is home to a vibrant and storied history in filmmaking. Movie studios and studio lots dot the landscape, and you seemingly can’t walk a few feet without seeing some significant history of Hollywood’s impact and past.
California is also home to Silicon Valley and companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tesla, Netflix, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and Apple.
Housing in California
With its size, along with its diversity, pinning down places to live in California is no easy task. Are you a city slicker, or are you better off living in the suburbs or a more rural landscape? Overall, living in California is usually not an inexpensive option.
The median value for a home in California is $571,875. The value of homes in California has risen by 3.9% in the past year and is predicted to grow an impressive 7.1% over the next 12 months. The median rent price is ~$2,800. Some places, like San Francisco, have unbelievably expensive home and rent prices, with a median home value of $1,436,145 and an average rent price of nearly $5,000. A significant drawback of California is its notoriously costly real estate.
Depending on your preference, some of the best places to live in California are San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Salinas, Modesto, and Fresno.
Taxes in California
The sales tax in California is 7.25%. This is based on the flat rate of 6%, combined with a possible local rate of 1.25%, depending on where you are in the state.
In terms of property taxes, it depends on where you live. The average property tax rate in California is 0.77%. This is lower than the national rate of 1.08%. If we were to apply to the California property tax rate to the median home value of $571,875, a resident could be paying around $4,000 annually. The national equivalent would be ~$6,000, which is markedly lower than the national average. Again, it depends on what county and municipality in which you find yourself.