Moving from California to Massachusetts: The Pros & Cons!

California to Massachusetts

Using the most recent stats, the fourth state that people relocated to Massachusetts from was California. Let’s talk about a comparison of these two states and give you a little bit of what to expect if you are considering making the move from California to Massachusetts. It’s like moving from Goliath to David… And if memory serves me correctly… David won! 

Before we get into this all… My name is Jeff Chubb and I am a recovering investment banker turned real estate agent that has sold more than 1,000 houses. If you are new to the channel then I appreciate you considering subscribing and if you are thinking about buying or selling a home… Then you should definitely reach out! 

I am going to do my best to stay away from the LA city to Boston comparison, but be on the lookout for some future videos as I actually think that could be a great idea!

Okay let’s talk about the Cost as the first category.

Neither state here is a bargain. But California makes Massachuseetts look gooooood. California has a couple major and expensive metro areas like San Francisco and Los Angeles. But California is so much more as there is a lot in between those major cities. 

We will talk about the difference in taxes shortly as there are some major differences here. has a cost of living Calculator and they do the calculator for city to city comparisons. For the Boston to San Francisco calculation, it would take $100,000 in San Francisco to have the same cost of living in Boston with a salary of $81,389. This means that the cost of living in Boston is 19% lower. Los Angeles and Boston are actually similar with no cost of living adjustment.

Now I know I said I was going to try to stay away from a city to city comparison, but I just thought one was a very relevant data point. 

When you look at it from a full state versus state, according to, Massachusetts is 7.4% more expensive than California. 

Meanwhile, according to, the median household income for Massachusetts is $89,645 compared to California’s $84,097. 

Let’s talk about the Housing Market as it’s a major part of the cost. 

Using data from, The Median price for a single family home is $561,403. This is compared to California’s whopping Median price of $728,629.

One of the reasons I love working with people who are relocating from California is that it is the few times where people think we offer a great value! If someone comes from say… Texas… People generally look at you crossed eyed when you start  

More than price, there were some other differences that I thought were really worth noting. For example the average property tax in Massachusetts was $5,351. This is compared to California’s average of $4,585. From my understanding California is so reasonable because the tax rate is 1% of the total home value and then can only increase by 2% per year. I have to say how awesome I think this is. Talk about a huge help to seniors who have lived in a property for 30 years.  

Another interesting stat that I found was that Single Family Housing stock accounts for 52% of the dwellings in Massachusetts. This is compared to 57% in California. Meanwhile Massachusetts has a 63% homeownership rate compared to 56% for Massachusetts. 

I don’t think it is necessarily fair to pick a town in California and try to compare it to a town in Massachusetts… Because my general knowledge of towns in California is not too extensive… To say the least! 

What I would say is that if you are looking for some suggestions of areas or towns that could fit your needs, then you should give me a call. Let’s talk about what is important to you and your price range and then I can probably point you in some right directions with suggestions of communities to look at. 

The big takeaway is that housing in the state of California is much more expensive than Massachusetts. Man that feels good to say… It’s rare that I can make that claim! But as a buyer, you will generally find more house for your money in Massachusetts then you will in California. 

Let’s talk Weather. 

This one may be a little tough if you are moving from California to Massachusetts. Californians may have to deal with wildfires and earthquakes… but they are rewarded with darn near perfect weather. It also doesn’t hurt that California takes up more than half of the Western Coast so their weather is… expansive. It’s sunny and perfect in San Diego while it’s perfect skiing weather in the Northern part of the state. 

Ah… Massachusetts is a little bit different. To say the least, we don’t span half of the Eastern Coast and what you see in the Northern part of the state is pretty much what you are going to get on the Cape. Yes, some areas may get a rain storm, but if it’s cold in Newburyport, then you aren’t wearing short sleeves and shorts while getting ready to hit the beach on the Cape. 

In Massachusetts we welcome every season. Everyone who isn’t from here thinks the Winters are worse than they are. The Springs are just gorgeous with the 70 degree perfect days. The Summers are well… Darn near perfect while we are known for our color show with Autumn leaves in the Fall. And the seasons generally ring true to the 3 months per season. 

So if you like snow… Then great! We get some of that. If you like the 70 degree perfect days… We will serve that up to you basically like clock work. If you like the summer heat, but don’t like the humid misery… Then get ready to hit our coasts. And if a majestic Fall is your thing, then get ready to be amazed. 

But back to the big misperception…When people think of Massachusetts, everyone always brings up cold and harsh winters. Granted I live off the coast… But I really don’t think they are that bad. The northern part of Boston definitely gets more of a snow beating than the southern part of the state, but I really don’t think it is all that bad.

Now let’s talk Taxes. 

Massachusetts has the nickname of Taxachusetts. And I think that is a rather unfair nickname. If anything, it should be called Feeachusetts. There are small incremental fees… which lets be honest are taxes… All over the place. It’s a death by a million cuts quite frankly. 

Let’s start with the income tax. Massachusetts is 5%. Massachusetts also has a recently voted in Millionnaires tax that increases the rate to 9% for anything over $1 million dollars. California has a graduated income tax scale ranging from 1 percent up to 13 percent! Ouch. If you are making 50 grand a year, then your income tax rate would be 6% plus an additional $932. 

California has a sales tax of 7.25 percent. And then has a sales tax rate cap of an additional 2.5%. So you could be in a local municipality and be paying up to 9.75% on sales tax! 

I would say that I would stop complaining about Massachusetts' 6.25% sales tax, but that would be a lie… But it is less. There is no additional municipal sales tax for the local cities in Massachusetts. 

I found an interesting CNN Money article that lists Tax Dollars state by state. It lists California as the 17th state for total taxes per $1,000. This is compared to Massachusetts which they had ranked as #40. To be fair, this is because of the low sales and excise tax rankings. When you are just looking at personal income, then California is number 13 with Massachusetts coming in at number 8. 

Either way, Massachusetts is not the Taxachusetts state that it’s made out to be. It’s not great, but it could definitely be worse! And I would LOVE it if it was better! 

Education is generally one of the most important factors when people are considering a move. 

School state rankings were a little all over the place. I think it’s important to first say that it's the municipality that you are in that makes the biggest difference in regards to the quality of the school. So that is where you need to first focus. 

In the WalletHub survey, they rank Massachusetts as #1 while California came in at #29. US News & Report had Massachusetts at #2 and California came in at #38 when you look at their Pre-K through 12th grade rankings. 

Again, this really comes down to the area that you end up calling home whether you are in California or Massachusetts. No matter the state, there are some school districts that perform better than others. While I don’t know the school districts in California well… I am sure there are some towns with some amazing schools. 

But when it comes to education, Massachusetts really takes the cake on this one. 

Let’s talk about job opportunities in both states. 

As economies go… California is basically a country… And one of the biggest in the world. California is the United States’ biggest economy with $2.9 Trillion in economic output. If it was it’s own country, then they would be ranked #5 in the world just behind Germany and Japan. This is compared to Massachusetts $544 Billion. I know they say size doesn’t matter… But I am confident that the state’s size is a little helpful in this metric. 

Currently the unemployment rate in Massachusetts is 2.6%. This is compared to the 4.6% in California. 

The three largest industries by revenue are the Drug, cosmetic and toiletry industries, Life insurance and annuities and College and Universities. Interestingly enough, Hospitals was #4 with Biotech at #7. 

Meanwhile in California, the #1 industry is agriculture, #2 is Film and Television and #3 is Travel and Tourism. I have to say… I was shocked that technology wasn’t on this list… 

A big fiber of the Massachusetts economy is higher education. Yes, it is what is tied to a lot of economic output, but is also why a lot of companies set up shop here. With so many colleges, each year there is a large pool of students to recruit from. And these schools include Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Northeastern… And Babson. Sorry, I just had to throw Babson in there! 

To round it all out, let’s finish it up by talking about what each state has to offer from outdoor activities to general entertainment.

I am biased, but even with my bias.. It feels like Massachusetts showed up to a gunfight with a knife. California’s sheer size and diverse weather and coastline alone just takes this hands down. Hence why Tourism reins in as number 3 for economic output! 

But for the fun of it… Let’s do a little comparison. I am not going to get into the quality of the sports teams… But we can talk about the number! California has FIVE baseball teams, three football teams, FOUR basketball teams and three Hockey teams. Massachusetts has one team in each sport category. I knew they had a lot… But wow. 

On a percentage basis, there is a vast amount of Green space in both states… But on an acreage basis… Massachusetts doesn’t even stand a chance. California has ski resorts, we don’t. During the winter months we escape by going up North to areas like New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine for skiing. Which would probably be a lot closer for the gal living in San Diego… But in technicality, it would still be in the same state!

Massachusetts has the Cape and the islands. California has what ah feels like … the entire West coast? I’ve only been to the beaches in San Diego… But I am confident that along that massive coast line there are a lot of additional nice beaches. 

I will say that Massachusetts’ ocean water is a lot warmer. So I guess we have that.  

And in case you were wondering… We don’t have any deserts, so if the Mojave Desert is your thing.. Then Massachusetts won’t be your thing. 

Whether you are looking to relocate to Cohasset Homes For Sale Massachusetts in the next 9 or 90 days, then I would love to chat with you. Would love to hear about your goals and also talk to you about what you are looking for in your new home to help offer some suggestions on possible communities that could work for you. 

All of my contact information is below. You can also reach out to me at and fill out your contact information and then I will reach out to you. 

Until next time. 


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