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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Fresno, CA

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As the center of San Joaquin Valley, Fresno has the California feel of palms trees and friendly people that can only be found on the West coast.

Known for the famous Tower District, Fresno touts top-of-the-line entertainment, arts and dining, always giving residents a place to escape after a hard and hectic work week.

Home to Fresno State, a California State University campus, and only 58-miles from Yosemite National Park, the region rates high for education and entertainment, making the area a great place to learn and have fun.

Feeling like a change? Fresno may be the answer. To see if this gorgeous California community is the place for you and your family, browse this guide to find out more information on all it has to offer.

Fresno Climate

With temperatures reaching an average high of almost 100 degrees during the summer, regional residents enjoy plenty of sunshine in the season. However, conditions are not as clear in the spring and winter months, with Fresno experiencing Tule Fog, a thick ground haze that settles in both the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys.

During December and January, the coldest months of the year, residents are rarely chilly with temperatures averaging 55 degrees. With approximately 12 inches of rainfall a year, Fresno remains typically dry most of the time except for wetter winters.

Fresno Neighborhoods

The Tower District is one of the most popular places to live in Fresno. A hub of both business and residential properties, the area is always alive with commerce and entertainment. Residents work and unwind in the area centered around the famous Tower Theatre that is listed among America's most historic places. Another age-old area of Fresno that is culturally diverse is the Westside district. Homes from the 1930s are concentrated within the community along with mature architecture and lovely landscapes.

Historic Huntington Boulevard extends from First Street to Cedar Avenue, lining the locale with elaborate edifices. Also known as the Alta Vista Tract, other popular streets to live on in the adjacent area are Platt and Balch. Woodward and Sierra Sky Parks are also popular places to live.

Sierra Sky Park, the first aviation community in the world, created by contractor William Smilie and his wife, started with more than 100 homes in 1950 and has grown leaps and bounds since. Downtown, Sunny Side and Old Fig Garden also make up the community, with area subdivisions housing thousands upon thousands of residents.

Registering Your Car

The California Division of Motor Vehicles mandates that you have 10 days to maintain a license if you relocate to the Fresno region. You are considered a state resident if you register to vote, pay school tuition or file property taxes. Along with completing an application, new residents must provide proof of name, address and birth date, as well as a social security card to get a California license.

You must also take a vision test and pay a $39 fee for the permit. Registering your car and receiving California plates is also an easy process. With the necessary paperwork and proof of insurance, you can register your car in the Golden State for $46 dollars. After your car is registered, you will receive new license plates to signify you are truly a citizen.

Fresno Schools

The Fresno Unified School District is the premier public school system in the area, educating more than 73,000 students from kindergarten through senior year. Along with dozens of elementary, middle and high schools, the district provides Magnet and Charter Schools, meeting all the students' needs no matter what they are. The Central Unified School District and West Fresno Elementary School District are also public school systems in the city with several educational sites for students to learn from.

With quite a few private elementary, middle and high school facilities, students who seek a religious or specialized education have no problem locating an area school. Higher education is all over Fresno, with four-year and two-year facilities available for residents and non-residents alike. The most popular college, only 58-miles from Yosemite National Park, is Fresno State, a highly-ranked campus of California State University.

Pacific University and California Christian College are also popular campuses in the central California valley. Fresno City College caters to students seeking a two-year degree, with many majors available to residents who are looking to attain an associate's degree.

Fresno Employment

There is no escaping the high unemployment rate in Fresno that averages 14%. Almost double the national average of 7.7%, and much higher than the state average of 9.8%, Fresno can be a hard place to find a job if you do not have one upon relocating. Circling classifieds in the Fresno Bee and searching out several staffing agencies in the area are ways to find work if you are seeking employment. The City of Fresno, Community Medical Centers, Foster Farms and Ruiz Foods, Inc. are top employers that are always well worth applying to when searching for a job.

Living Costs in the City

Though the cost of living average in Fresno is 15.5% less than the state average, it is 10.8% greater than the national average. CNN Money reports that the region has a $48,184 median household income and $141,000 average home price. Fresno apartments range between $500 and above a $1,000 depending on the landscape and luxury of the residence. Of course renting or owning a condo will cost you more than an area apartment since the residence will offer more amenities.

Fresno Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Fresno, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Oregon. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at to get quotes for the following services:

Fresno Transportation

State Route 99 is the most popular path motorists travel in the area to get around town. The large bus fleet that makes up the Fresno Area Express transports tourists and residents alike around 20 different regional routes. Passenger rail service is offered by Amtrak so residents can enjoy a ride along the tracks when getting about town or long-distance bus service is offered by Greyhound. The Fresno Yosemite International Airport brings new and long-time residents in and out of the region from all over the world.

Culture & Contemporary Life

With a plethora of places located all over, residents have no problem having fun in the region. Annual events like the Big Fresno Fair and Fresno Film Festival, Bike Party and Greek Fest, give residents a chance to enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities all year through. The Bulldog Stadium at Jim Sweeney Field is where more than 40,000 spectators gather for a good time during all seasons, enjoying several sporting events.

With many museums and the Fresno Grand Opera, residents in the area are quite familiar with fine arts. Fare from almost every culture is featured in Fresno, always offering residents dozens of dining experiences to decide.

Fresno Relocation Tips

  • Map out your move ahead of time. Take some time to research the Internet to find out where banks, businesses and shopping centers adjacent to your new place are located. This will make it easier for you to get around when you first arrive.


  • Research volunteer opportunities in the area. Serving a non-profit organization in the region is a great way to make new friends and create a sense of purpose in your new place.


  • Visit the vicinity before thinking about moving there, making sure the business, education and entertainment opportunities are right for you and your family.

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on April 23, 2013

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