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United States of America (USA) - California

California is the 31st state of America, the third largest in size behind Alaska and Texas, but is the most populous state in the whole of the country. The state capital of California is Sacramento, although the most populous city is Los Angeles. Other major cities in the state include San Diego and San Francisco. California is bordered by Mexico to the south, Oregon to the north and Nevada and Arizona to the east. To the west coast of California is the Pacific Ocean.

The landscape of California is as varied as its culture. Death Valley is a desert region and the lowest point in the whole of the United States. California is also home to the beautiful Yosemite National Park, part of the Sierra Nevada range of mountains and Sequoia National Park, where the largest trees in the world are found. Napa Valley also boasts world famous vineyards which produce some of the best wine worldwide.

California is not short of activities for anyone looking at moving to the area. One could spend a month in Los Angeles and still not see all that there is to see. There are also plenty of sports to keep anyone entertained, from surfing off many of the fabulous beaches California has to offer, to American Football, baseball, basketball and even football.

California - Employment

The most well-known industry in California is the entertainment industry. Would-be actors and actresses flock to Los Angeles to be close to the studios of Hollywood in the hope of passing auditions for shows and movies and making it big on the silver screen. Those not lucky enough to make it could find plenty of work in the tourism industry, as California plays host to millions of visitors every year.

The Santa Clara Valley is the heart of the electronics industry in California. More popularly known as Silicon Valley, this is where big corporations such as Apple and Hewlett Packard have bases. For those with the correct qualifications and experience there are many jobs on offer in this area.

California, once the setting for the gold rush, still has mining today. As well as mining for gold there is also coal and various gemstones. Although mining is no longer as in demand as it once was for those with the right experience then work can be found. Farming and agriculture is also big business in California with crops of all varieties being grown.

There is a shortfall of healthcare providers throughout the whole of the United States and California is no exception. Qualified nurses may be required to sit competency tests to gain their California nursing licences before commencing work with the major hospitals in the area, but any prospective employer will explain their individual needs and expected qualifications.

California - Property

The California housing market has remained fairly strong during the downturn. Properties in Los Angeles have always been high, way above the national average. High end properties in the likes of Beverly Hills and Bel Air regularly sell for millions of dollars. Although the sales of all properties slowed forcing some home owners to drop their prices in order to achieve quick sales, this really only affected the homes selling for several million dollars. The mid-range and lower range of homes have had roughly equal amounts of supply and demand therefore sustaining the property market in these areas.

Even so, there are many homes on offer that are now in foreclosure, or offered on a short sale basis. These homes can be bought at a small percentage of what they are worth, although many of these homes are in need of serious modernisation. Certain industries have suffered more than others in recent years forcing many redundancies, thereby causing people to lose their homes due to non-payment of mortgages.

Properties in the bigger cities, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego have managed to hold their value extremely well on average, so those looking to buy homes may be wise to consider a purchase outside of the city and commute into the work place each day. Property rentals in these cities are also high, but shopping around further away from the centre of the city will again give more value for money.

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