The mass California Exodus

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Turn-Key Properties LLC, Missouri and Kansas Real Estate

Reprinted from the Kansas City Real Estate Examiner ... ME!

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California in the rearview mirror.

California in the rearview mirror
California in the rearview mirror
Turn-Key Properties LLC

While California slips deeper into recession people who can leave are leaving in droves!

According to some statistical data many of them are headed to the Midwest and more specifically Missouri and Kansas. Other states like Colorado and Texas have benefited from the California exodus also.

In November of 2005 Mike Sinclair for The New York Times penned a piece chronicling the California exodus including the story of at least two families that had relocated to the Kansas City Area. They saw the opportunity to get much larger more affordable housing and to increase their standard of living by decreasing their overhead.

In my own Real Estate business I've seen several trends come out of California over the last few years. In the years when California real estate was drastically overpriced, California investors were flocking to Kansas and Missouri to buy investment real estate.  In recent months the trend has been I'm hearing from more California residents looking to move to the Midwest.

The Los Angels Times reported in December of 2008 that the trend continued. Both articles noted that the trend started in the 90's with the DotCom bust. Then it continued because the cost of housing was just too high for most to afford.

But the trend has continued to increase, even with the decrease in home prices in the Golden State people are moving out. Now it is estimated that nearly 150,000 people are leaving California a year! In an Associated Press article January, 2009 they noted the root causes of the problem.

  • Rising Taxes
  • Illegal Immigration
  • Traffic Jams
  • Rotten Schools

Those top the list of the complaints of many leaving the state. Several of the statistics cited come from United Van Lines tracking of inbound and outbound shipments, which may be a microcosm of the details. Not everyone moving, not even a majority of families moving use one particular shipper; besides the data shows a the numbers practically the same for inbound and outbound shipping (49%-51%).

There is even some speculation that if the Census numbers for California are low enough they could lose a seat in the House of Representatives!

So why Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Colorado?

Lower cost of living, better schools, less stress, job opportunities. Your typical Midwestern home; according to a National Association of Realtors study, shows that the median home price for the Midwest is lowest in the nation.

As many families are looking to reduce expenses, reducing your housing costs may be the single biggest cut you can make.

What you paid for that two bedroom walk-up in San Fransisco may buy you a farm in Missouri!


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Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I saw CA in my rear-view mirror in 1993 and I am VERY fortunate...returning to the RIGHT COAST was a GREAT move for my personal live and professional life....I followed U-Hauls out of CA and all across the country for 2 weeks and it seems that the Exodus continues.

Mar 14, 2010 01:00 PM #1

As more and more desperate poor immigrants come to California, it is making the cities and streets more crowded. As more and more cities are turning bad from crime and deteriorating schools, it is driving the inhabitants into smaller and smaller remaining good areas, and increasing the cost of a house to unaffordable levels. Even in the bad areas, the immigrants pack two or three families into a single house, and thus even though each family has a low income, together they are able to pay more than a single family and so bid up real estate prices and rent.

People are leaving California to get away from the immigrants. The poor do not have the incomes to contribute significant taxes, but at the same time, educating their children cost the state, both increasing taxes on the previous inhabitants, and decreasing how much money the schools recieve for each child enrolled. Even in the state colleges, the administrators are raising fees on legal residents to give scholarships to disadvantaged minority students, even if they were not born in this country. With so many children of immigrants enrolling in college, many hopeful students with only a moderate GPA cannot get in. Taxpayers paid into the system, but when it comes time for their children to go to a state college, their tax money goes to pay for an immigrant child instead, whose parents paid very little into the system.

The immigrants also took all the entry level jobs. Despite high costs of living, they are willing to work for minimum wage as construction workers and electricians, and so there are fewer decent paying jobs in the state. If you do not live in California, this still effects you. Californians fleeing into your state will take your jobs, just as the immigrants took Californians' jobs. In Oregon, there is prejudice and anger at Californians who move there because thereal estate prices have been going up. Little do Oregonians know how very expensive real estate is in California. $500,000 for a typical middle class home with almost no yard.

Aug 20, 2010 11:44 AM #2

People are leaving Criminalfornia to escape gangs, illegal immigrants, rising taxes, loss of jobs and rotten schools.

Feb 11, 2013 06:49 AM #3
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