FRESNO, California - Californians are leaving the state in droves, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 2017, more residents left California than moved in.
In the “Golden State” – some say you can't beat the sun, the beaches, the mountains – and how about that wine country.
“We love going to Napa. That was our favorite escape; we would do it three, four – five times a year,” said Phil Bourekas, a former California resident.
Phil and Berni Bourekas lived in California nearly all their lives. The former San Jose residents want to retire soon. The question was where?
“It just made a lot of sense to move out of state because we would have to work several more years if we were to stay and retire in California,” Berni said.
The couple have decided to call Las Vegas their new home. They've been there almost a year – where they say things are cheaper.
“Nevada has no state income tax which is a pretty significant difference from California,” Phil said.
Mike Powell is the sales operations manager of Courtesy Moving and Storage in Fresno.
“Out of 100 moves, we are probably showing about 30 percent moving out of California,” Powell said.
Powell says his clients are calling it quits in the Central Valley – opting instead for Idaho, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada.
“People are tired of the regulations; they're tired of California government,” Powell said. “People are definitely complaining about the cost of living here in the state of California.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 522,000 people moved into California last year, but more than 650,000 left.
A real estate broker in Las Vegas says the market is booming in “Sin City” for both renters and buyers.
“I'm excited; I'm happy; I'm also worried at the same time that one day Las Vegas will be similar to California – prices and demands and traffic, said Kami Zargari, a broker with Triumph Property Management.
Powell says he noticed an uptick on out-of-state moving about four years ago with no signs of slowing down. He says it's doing wonders for business.
Powell, “I did an estimate this morning for a couple that in fact is moving up into northern Idaho and they are looking at around $12,000.
The Bourekas' say they miss California and all the beauty and perks that come with it, but they're not looking back on what it cost them to live in the “Golden State.”
Berni said, “The increased crime, due to loosening of California crime laws; the increased taxation – we just went along with it; we just paid it.”