California may draw visitors with attractions like Disney Land, the famous "Full House" home and beautiful beaches, but some longtime residents are ready to leave — even if they aren't looking to go far.
One of the top destinations for onetime Golden State residents: nearby Las Vegas. Tens of thousands of people are moving from California to Nevada each year, signaling an exit from costly California.
Ben Malone and his dog, Coco, are still getting settled into their new Las Vegas home. Malone lived in San Francisco for nearly five decades, but after retiring, he was ready for a lower cost of living.
"I moved here because the California taxes are high," he said. "I was making good money, but when you retire, it was cut more than in half."
He’s one of 826,000 people to leave California since 2019, according to Exit California, which helps people with the moving process.
Former California resident Ed Gordon is another.
He bought a 2,300-square-foot home in Las Vegas that costs around half a million dollars, about half of what it would sell for in California.
That’s just the start of his savings.
"We saw about a 28% reduction in our overall costs just by moving here, so that for us was really something to consider and everything else is just icing on the cake," Gordon said.
Nearly 3.3 million people have left the Golden State between 2015 and 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The top destinations include Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Washington State, Oregon, Colorado and Florida.
Brandon Roberts is a real estate broker and the president-elect of Las Vegas Realtors. He says the market is hot, with too many buyers and not enough homes, and the people coming from out of state. Both factors are helping push the prices up.
"We’ve got a lot of people selling in other states and moving here because of no state tax here. But yeah, there’s an influx of out-of-town buyers coming in and paying cash," Roberts said.