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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Pasadena, CA

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Stopping to smell the roses is what Pasadena is so popular for. The New Year's Day Tournament of Roses parade, watched world-wide, is located in the southern California community, which not only celebrates life on January 1st but enjoys it the other 364 days of the year.

Locals don't just get pleasure playing in Pasadena, they work and school with enthusiasm, making the environment upbeat and positive. Speaking of education, if you have heard of the famous Caltech, you have heard of Pasadena, where students from all over the nation flock to so they can train in the famed California college. And if young adults are not settling in the sector to attend school, families are relocating to the region to begin a new life within the 22 square mile municipality.

If you have ever thought about moving to the province of Pasadena, ponder it a little bit longer after reading this informative guide that gives you all you need to know information on the cost of living, education, transportation, employment and more.

Pasadena Climate

The southern California community is made up of a Mediterranean climate that brings in long hot summers, lasting until late October, and cold winters. June, July and August average close to 90 degrees and December, January and February are typically around 40 degrees. Spring season heats things up with temperatures rising above 70 degrees while buds begin to bloom, and fall cools climate down with temperatures dropping to a low of 50 degrees as the leaves start to turn. Fall, the third season of the year, is short and unpredictable, going from cold and wet to hot and dry one day after the next. Like with any other Californian communities, it is important to prepare for an earthquake while living in the province.

Pasadena Neighborhoods

So many diverse neighborhoods populate the Pasadena province. Most noted for Bungalow Heaven, 800 small homes built between 1900 and 1930 and still occupied today, Pasadena touts terrific architecture in all areas of town. From Annandale to Washington Square, 41 distinct districts divide the streets in the sector. Daisy-Villa, which has more parks than other Pasadena neighborhood, is a mix of light commercial and residential developments. Lexington Heights, also made up of retail and residential properties, is served by four different schools, making the area popular for families with children.

The Playhouse District, just as it sounds, is an entertaining neighborhood where most amusement and financial business take place. Suffice to say, the legendary Pasadena Playhouse is the center of the district, which is served by metro local and rapid rails that make it easy for locals to get around town.

Like many neighborhoods, Prospect Park is strictly residential with no commercial buildings between the houses that line the streets. With an elementary, middle and high school in the park, a child can literally be schooled from kindergarten to senior year and never have to train but a few blocks from their home. Teenagers and adults alike are always getting involved in the community, making Pasadena a close knit district.

Registering Your Car

You have 10 days to obtain a California driver's license. To legally drive in the state, you must fill out an application, have your photo taken, provide a thumb print and take a vision, traffic laws and signs test. Along with providing your name, residence and Social Security number, you must pay a $39 fee to get your license.

Registering your vehicle and getting California license plates can also be done by filling out the necessary paperwork and proving your vehicle is insured. Vehicle registration fees begin at $46 dollars in California and an additional fee for license plates is required. You must register your vehicle within 20 days of entry or residency to avoid penalties, according to state laws. To find out all the rules and regulations regarding license and registration, visit the Californian Division of Motor Vehicles.

Pasadena Schools

There is a lot to learn in Pasadena and plenty of places to do it in. The Pasadena Unified School District serves more than 18,000 students in 26 respective schools including 15 elementary, 2 K-8, 3 middle, 4 high school and 2 continuing education sites. Area children also receive parochial training in town with many private schools in the province.

Moving onto post-secondary schools, students either attend the Californian Institute of Technology, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Pasadena Oaks College, Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music or Pasadena City College. The local community college, the third largest in the country, is a popular place to attend school by area students. Between all the different types of colleges, thousands of young and older adults graduate every year with an array of majors from the many colleges in the municipality.

Pasadena Employment

As the top employer in the area, Jet Propulsion Laboratory employs more than 5,000 employees at the local NASA field center that is federally funded, and Kaiser Permanente is the second largest business in the sector, with 4,500 workers at the integrated care consortium.

The education field follows in lead employers with the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena City College and the Pasadena Unified School District employing more than 9,000 laborers collectively. The City of Pasadena is also fruitful as far as employment is concerned, with the local administration ranking 8 in the top 17 area employers.

The Pasadena unemployment rate floats at 7.6 percent, 3 percent down from the national average of 7.9 percent. Pasadena Jobs is a great local website to search out employment along with the reading the local classifieds listed in the Pasadena Star News. Of course there are also several staffing agencies in the sector that offer job assistance to residents who are looking for work in the region. If you are business owner looking to hire laborers, it would be a good idea to contact the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce since the local organization has access to local employee pools.

Living Costs in the City

Though there are plenty of jobs in the province, the cost of living in the community is a bit high so it is important to procure employment in the province to live there comfortably. Coming in at 7.8 percent higher than the California average and 41.4 percent higher than the national average, the Pasadena price of livelihood is high, with the price of housing, utilities and transportation higher than average states. Add the 8.25 percent state sales tax and it is clear that having a good career is important if you want to reside in the community.

However, with a median family income of $75, 916, according to CNN Money, it is more than possible to make a pretty penny in Pasadena. The financial periodical also reports a median home price at $477,000, which can be a bit steep if you are considering purchasing property when you first relocate. Renting is always an option, with one-bedroom units in the area beginning between $1,200 and $1,600 depending on the luxury and landscape of the locale. Utility costs will ultimately vary, depending on family size and usage.

Pasadena Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Pasadena, whether you’re moving from out of state or from another county in California. 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:

Pasadena Transportation

Served by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, locals use the Gold Line Light Rail to get around the region. With six stations in the sector, there is never a problem grabbing a ride in Pasadena for a fair rate. The Pasadena Area Rapid Transit System also runs bus service in the sector, providing many routes at reasonable costs.

Whether using public transportation or driving your own vehicle, locals travel four major freeways to get around town. The Foothill Freeway, I-210; Ventura Freeway, SR 134; Long Beach Freeway, SR 710; and the Arroyo Seco Parkway, SR 110 can become quite congested during rush hour with thousands of locals riding them. Though Bob Hope International Airport is the nearest landing strip, residents can also grab a flight out of the Los Angeles International Airport or the LA/Ontario International Airport.

Culture & Contemporary Life

There is never a problem finding any fun in Pasadena. On the contrary, the predicament of having too much pleasure in the province as been seen in the film Project X. The first place locals linger to on the first day of every new year is the Tournament of Roses Parade, considered America's New Year Celebration. Viewers from all over the world tune into the parade that is filled with rose covered floats, equestrians and marching bands.

After beginning each year with a boat t load of fun, locals continue to have a good time as they shop and dine in Old Pasadena. The downtown district is a happening hub where residents and visitors can find whatever they are looking for. From antiques to Yoga wear, there is nothing you can't grab on the streets lined with specialty shops.

As for food, you do not have to go far to grab excellent fare. While BAD Sushi and All India Cafe are popular places to tempt the taste buds, Brothers Pies n Fries is a great place to eat. After a good meal, locals look forward to the Blind Donkey, a whiskey bar and game room, and the 35er Bar to relax and unwind with a drink.

But you don't have to spend any money in the sector to enjoy yourself, with so many parks available to romp around and play in. La Pintoresca Park, which features an annual fun day, is where residents off all ages can be found frolicking in the sun as they engage in sporting activities and picnics. Allendale, Gwinn, Jefferson and Hamilton Parks are also very popular parks in the region.

Pasadena Relocation Tips

  • Visit Pasadena, CA and see for yourself all the southern California community has to offer for visitors and residents alike. While you are there, check out local commerce and educational opportunities to see if it is a right fit for you and your family.


  • Find your way around town by visiting Google Maps or jumping in the car and taking a drive on a nice day. Make sure you have a full tank of gas and charged cell phone in the case that you get lost while finding your way around!


  • There is great truth in that we are as happy as are loved ones. Help your children adjust to the move and find out their grins will spread to your own face before you know it.

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on May 28, 2013

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