Things You Should Know Before Moving to Santa Rosa, CA -
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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Santa Rosa, CA

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There is no better place to open a fresh bottle of wine than in Santa Rosa. The wine and farm country is surrounded by rivers and redwood forests that literally take your breath away, leaving you dizzy with spirits and beauty.

As the Sonoma County seat, Santa Rosa is only 55 miles from San Francisco. Being so close to Baghdad by the Bay makes the municipality a popular place for those who commute to work and play over the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you are considering relocating for a job or education in Santa Rosa, take some time to read this guide that will inform you on the cost of living, neighborhoods and transportation. Who knows, you may become a Californian before you know it.

Santa Rosa Climate

Don't let the state name of California fool you since the West Coast community can get a bit cool come winter. Though the average high during December, January and February is between 57 and 61 degrees, the average low in the winter ranges between 39 and 41 degrees.

The summer months, obviously much warmer, average between 78 and 81 degrees, with up to 28 days a year reaching 90 degrees. During the season, there is an early morning and evening fog that causes a low overcast on the community; however, it is usually separated by the mid-morning sun.

The fall and spring are comfortable months, with temperatures ranging from 81 to 43 degrees in September, October and November, and the climate averaging from 73 to 43 degrees in March, April and May. Santa Rosa experiences an average rainfall of 30-inches a year over 74 days out of 365.

Santa Rosa Neighborhoods

Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest divide the Santa Rosa district into four distinct regions. Up to 28 separate subdivisions make up the 41 square mile sector and include Bennett Valley, Coffey Park, Lomita Heights and Montgomery Village to name a few. The neighborhoods are divided by U.S. Route 101 and State Route 12, with U.S. 1 dividing the city into the east and west sides and Route 12 dividing Santa Rosa into the north and south ends.

With five historic residential neighborhoods and three shopping centers, Downtown Santa Rosa is a happening hub where residents love to live and shop. And when they feel like a little entertainment, locals have an array of choices to choose from. With top chef restaurants and popular clubs, residents always have a great place to eat and unwind any night of the week.

There are many reasons why one of the Santa Rosa regions may be right for you. But before you pick your neighborhood, make sure you research all the areas in the city so you decide exactly what you want right outside your front door.

Registering Your Car

Considered a state resident if you register to vote, pay school tuition or file property taxes, the California Division of Motor Vehicles mandates you have a license within 10 days. After 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. A vision test and $39 fee are also required to retain a permit. Registering your car and receiving California plates can be done by filling out the necessary paperwork and providing proof of insurance. It cost $46 dollars to register your car.

Santa Rosa Schools

Santa Rosa City Schools combines both the elementary and high school district together. With 11 elementary, five middle and 10 high schools, as well as 5 other charter and continuation sites, the system serves more than 18,000 students, priding itself on its ability to reach children throughout the entire region.

Along with other school districts in the city, Santa Rosa private schools educate students of all ages in both specialized and religious training. After high school, students can move onto Santa Rosa Junior College or Empire College, both directly located in the city. Sonoma State University and the University of San Francisco are also close and just outside the city's borders.

Santa Rosa Employment

Government, healthcare and education lead the area in employment, offering careers to thousands of local residents who make a good living right in town. With the County of Sonoma employing 4,254 staff members, Kaiser Permanente employing 2,400 workers and Santa Rosa Schools employing more than 1,300 laborers, there is always job opportunities available as employees retire, quit or are terminated.

Other top employers in the area include Medtronic, Safeway and Agilent Technologies. It is obvious by all the area employers why the Santa Rosa unemployment rate is three points lower than the national average, floating at 7.6 percent.

While some people are seeking the perfect job in the province, others are busy looking for solid employees. As a business owner, Santa Rosa may just be the new location you are looking for, with so many residents ready to work hard. There are many reasons to relocate your business, and they should all be considered if you are thinking about bringing your commerce to this California community.

Living Costs in the City

With a median family income of $74,652 and a median home price at $280,000, according to CNN Money, Santa Rosa seems like a great locale to live when you couple those figures with the low unemployment rate. However, the extremely high cost of living dampens the dream of relocation for many.

With a 38.6 percent greater cost of living than the national average and a 5.7 percent greater cost of living than the California average, Santa Rosa is an expensive place to call home. Most one-bedroom apartments are at least $1,000 and up, with larger units costing well over $1,500 a month. Unless you have landed a good job, have some savings and find a reasonably priced residence, the Californian community may be too costly to consider.

Santa Rosa Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Santa Rosa, 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:

Santa Rosa Transportation

Santa Rosa City Bus has 400 stops along 17 fixed routes with 29 busses transporting 2.8 million passengers a year. The Sonoma County Transit and Golden Gate Transit buses are also available to locals who need to get around. For residents that drive themselves, U.S. Route 102 and State Route 12 are the two most traveled highways. With many taxi and limousine services available in the city, residents never want for a ride in the region.

The Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport is the nearest landing strip available and is the most popular place to take off or land in the area. If you are considering moving to Santa Rosa and are going to fly into the area, you can hire an automobile mover to transport your car from your old address to your new one. Make sure to call more than one company so you can compare quotes and get the best deal.

Culture & Contemporary Life

Whether it be hanging out at a local winery, riding through a redwood forest or taking a short trip to San Francisco, Santa Rosa residents are always on the run having fun. Railroad Square is a popular place locals gather for a good time, eating, shopping and dancing in the historic district. If they are not there, residents can be found in the nearby Russian River resort area where all types of water sports are a hit.

Annadel State Park and Spring Lake Regional Parks are other popular places locals enjoy outdoor activities at all year through. If not outside, residents can often be found inside the Sonoma County Museum or Sonoma County Library educating themselves while having fun. There is not a moment to spare in Santa Rosa or reason to be unhappy with the endless and fun list of things to do.

Santa Rosa Relocation Tips

  • Visit Santa Rosa, CA and see for yourself why so many locals love to call the region home.


  • Read the Press Democrat to find out the scoop on government, crime and education in the area.


  • As the seat of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa is highly rated for its governmental services. See what the area offers its residents free of charge.

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on May 16, 2013

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