Moving to Downey

Welcome to the city of sunny smiles - Downey, CA! Nestled right in the heart of Southern California, Downey offers an irresistible blend of vibrant city charm and suburban tranquility. From thriving businesses to idyllic residential districts, the city certainly knows how to roll out the welcome mat for those seeking new opportunities. Our comprehensive relocation guide was designed to make your move to Downey smooth and enjoyable. Whether it's finding the perfect home or exploring local parks, we've got you covered. Buckle up, as we embark on this exhilarating journey to your future home in the delightful city of Downey!

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What to Know Before Moving to Downey

1. Welcome to The Heart of Southern California

Located just 13 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Downey is a bustling city with a heart. It's the birthplace of the Apollo space program and the historic site of the oldest operational McDonald's. With its smooth blend of old and new, Downey is just the right mix of suburban comfort and big-city buzz.

2. Stunning Weather, All Year Round

If there is anything to love about Downey, it's the weather. Imagine a place where there is no drastic change of seasons, only endless sunshine and a paradise-like climate. In Downey, you get to experience summer practically all year long, while enjoying the occasional drizzle here and there.

3. A Foodie's Paradise

Downey is home to a vibrant and diverse culinary scene. Whether you're craving Mexican food, fusion cuisine, or classic American dishes, you'll undoubtedly find a spot that hits the spot here. And let's not forget about the historic McDonald's restaurant that remains open till date--making Downey a unique site on the world's fast-food map.

4. Say Hello to The World's Most Musical Car Wash

Yes, you heard it right--Downey is home to a musical car wash. At the Downey Hand Car Wash, you'll hear symphonies play as your vehicle gets spruced up. But there's more to this car-washing haven--it intermittently rides on charity, offering its services to raise funds for local schools and community programs.

5. Parks, Parks and More Parks

From playgrounds to picnic spots to sports fields, Downey offers a diverse range of parks and recreational locations. If you're a nature lover or someone who enjoys working up a sweat outdoors, this city is the perfect fit for you. The beautiful Wilderness Park serves up fishing lakes and streams for local anglers, while Furman Park, Downey's oldest park, offers up lush greenspace for an afternoon picnic or a spirited soccer match.

6. Downey's Secret Celebrity Locale

Situated only a stone's throw away from Hollywood, Downey has its fair share of celebrity connections. Many might not know that 'Weird Al' Yankovic is a native Downey citizen, and rock 'n' roll mega-group The Carpenters called this city home. So, be prepared--you never know whom you might bump into at the local coffee shop!

In conclusion, whether you are an aspiring space explorer, a history buff, a gourmand, or a nature enthusiast, you will find your piece of happiness in Downey. This charming city offers a vibrant, unpretentious lifestyle with a slice of the extraordinary. So pack your bags, because Downey, California is waiting for you to explore every nook and corner of its warm and welcoming urbanity.

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Pros and Cons of Living in Downey

Pros of Living in Downey

Access to Great Healthcare Facilities

Downey is home to some exceptional healthcare facilities including the Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. Residents can access high-quality medical care without needing to travel far, making life a lot easier especially for folks with chronic health issues.

Proximity to Major Cities

Being in a location that provides easy accessibility to both Los Angeles and Anaheim, residents of Downey can avail numerous job opportunities and enjoy the sporting events, cultures and several other aspects that these larger cities have to offer.

Community Events

Downey hosts several community events throughout the year, like the annual Car Show and various holiday-themed events which foster a strong sense of community. These events provide a great platform for local artists, craftspeople and food vendors to showcase their talent and products.

Diverse Dining Scene

Downey's culinary scene is quite diverse, allowing the residents an opportunity to taste food from different cultures. The city is known for some iconic spots such as Porto's Bakery & Cafe, a popular Cuban bakery, and Bob's Big Boy, one of Downey's historical landmarks.

Community Safety

Downey is considered a safe community to raise a family. The city's police and fire departments are well-funded and responsive, contributing to a lower crime rate as compared to some neighboring towns.

Cons of Living in Downey

Cost of Living

As is common with many areas in California, Downey has a higher cost of living than the national average. Everyday expenses from groceries to gasoline can be noticeably higher, which can be a potential deterrent for some individuals contemplating to move here.

Traffic and Commute Times

As Downey is strategically located near major cities, heavy traffic and longer commute times, particularly during peak hours, can be a common occurrence. While public transit is available, most residents still prefer to use their own cars.

Limited Nightlife

Downey is not particularly known for a vibrant nightlife. If you enjoy a bustling night scene with varied options for clubs, bars and late-night entertainment, you may find Downey a bit quiet in comparison.

Air Quality

Downey's close proximity to larger cities can sometimes impact its air quality due to smog. This might be a critical factor to consider for individuals with respiratory problems or those who value pristine air quality.

Heat During Summers

Southern California is known for its warm climate and Downey is no exception. The city experiences hot summer months which some people might find uncomfortable, particularly those who are accustomed to cooler, less humid climates.

Modern day picture of Downey, CA highlighting pros and cons of living in Downey, CA

Is Downey a Good Place to Live?

Downey, CA is a great place to live because of its friendly community, scenic parks, and cultural diversity. Living here offers an urban-suburban mix feel where people enjoy the benefits of a city with a small town charm. The city is vibrant with many great schools, restaurants, and a thriving art scene making it truly an exciting place to reside.

What Is Downey Famous For?

The Birthplace of the Apollo Space Program

The city of Downey boasts being the birthplace of the Apollo Space Program! It was in Downey that much of the technology used for moon landings and space exploration in the 60s was developed. You could say that Downey's reach is literally out of this world!

The Oldest McDonald's Restaurant In The World

Downey is home to the oldest McDonald's restaurant still in operation. Built in 1953 with the distinctive Golden Arches, it's a delicious slice of nostalgia. This McDonald's isn't just a fast-food joint - it's a piece of American culinary history!

Columbia Memorial Space Center

Downey's rich history in space exploration doesn't stop at the Apollo Space Program. The city is also home to Columbia Memorial Space Center, a hands-on learning center dedicated to aerospace. What better place to inspire young astronauts and space enthusiasts?

Filming Location for Popular Movies and TV Shows

Hollywood is not the only place in California where you can find big film sets. Downey has been the backdrop for several popular movies and TV shows like "The Wonder Years" and "Transformers." This adds an exciting touch of showbiz to the city's charming vibe.

Capital building of Downey, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the average property tax rate in Downey, CA, is 1.16% of the property's assessed value, which is slightly lower than the national average of 1.2%. The property tax rate in California is set at the state level, but can vary based on county, city, and district levies.

Sales Tax

In Downey, CA, the total sales tax rate is 10.25% in 2023, which is higher than the US average of 7.65%. The sales tax rate in California includes state, county, and city taxes, with the state-wide rate being 7.25% and the additional 3.0% being special district levies.

Income Tax

As of 2023, the state income tax rate in Downey, CA, ranges between 1% to 13.3% based on the income bracket. This is significantly higher than the national average, with the highest state income tax rate being one of the most steep in the country.

Housing Market

The housing market in Downey, CA is highly competitive compared to the national average. Homes average around $630,000, a hefty price when compared to the average U.S median home price of $279,500. Renters in Downey also face higher costs, with a median rent of almost $2,500. Downey hosts a stable market with a relative 2.9% rise in home values over the past year. This is promising for buyers and investors although the higher cost of living is a serious consideration for renters. Information and economic forecasts indicate only minor shifts in these conditions are expected in the foreseeable future.

Cost of Living

Downey, CA, presents a moderately high cost of living relative to other cities. Housing, grocery, and transportation expenses are higher than the national average, making it costlier than many U.S cities. However, in comparison to neighboring cities like Los Angeles, Downey offers a more affordable living. Overall, though Downey might be more expensive than average American cities, it is competitively priced in the context of Southern California.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Downey, California, enjoys a Mediterranean climate characterized by warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The average high temperature in summer hovers around 82 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures generally average around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Downey's annual precipitation amounts to an average of 15 inches, primarily falling in the winter months. Foggy conditions are common in the early morning hours but typically give way to clear skies by afternoon. Natural disasters that could occasionally occur in Downey include earthquakes, due to its location within the Pacific Ring of Fire, and wildfires during the warm, dry months. Despite these risks, the climate and weather in Downey, CA present an overall pleasant environment where residents can enjoy outdoor activities for a vast majority of the year.

Typical weather in Downey, CA

Economy & Job Market

Healthcare and Social Assistance


Retail Trade

Education Services

Accommodation and Food Services

Downey, CA has a rich and vibrant economy that spans numerous major industries. Historically, this region was renowned for manufacturing, with car plants and aerospace industries setting the foundation for a strong job market. A prominent example was the Rockwell International plant - the birthplace of the Apollo Space Program. Fast forward to present day and healthcare and social assistance has become the leading employer in the city, followed by retail trade, education services, manufacturing, and accommodation and food services. The city is home to some large employers such as Stonewood Center and Kaiser Permanente, contributing to diversified opportunities.

If you're someone planning on moving to Downey and searching for a job, you're in for a treat! The city's recent employment rate indicates a resilient job market with promising opportunities. While the healthcare and social assistance sector leads the job market, retail trade and education services also offer a significant number of roles. Furthermore, the city is strategically located in Los Angeles County, providing easy commute to a more extensive job market in surrounding areas. If you're not tied to a specific industry, the area's diversification means you're likely to find something that fits your skills and interests. So pack your bags and get excited for your new chapter in Downey, CA!

Traffic and Transportation

Settle into the driver's seat and crank up the tunes, because the average commute in dazzling Downey, CA, is about 31 minutes. But fear not, gridlock grumblers! Downey's public transportation options are plentiful. You can hop on one of the sassy silver Metro buses that dart around town, or catch the thrilling roller-coaster ride that is the Metro rail. If you are more of a high-flyer, Downey's strategic location between Los Angeles and Long Beach affords you convenient access to two major airports: LAX and the Long Beach Airport. Jet-setting on a business trip or escaping to a tropical paradise couldn't be easier! Downey, transportation is more than just getting from point A to point B. It's an exciting part of the journey in this sprightly Southern Californian gem! 

What is the traffic like in Downey, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in Downey

1. Downtown Downey

When it comes to the heart and soul of Downey, it's hard to look beyond the vibrant and exciting Downtown Downey. Diverse and rich in culture, Downtown Downey offers an array of eateries such as the iconic Porto's Bakery and Cafe. For history enthusiasts, there's the Downey History Center, home to four permanent showrooms detailing the city's vibrant past. A weekly farmers market offers opportunities to connect with local farmers and artisans.

2. Northeast Downey

The gem of Downey, Northeast Downey neighborhood is home to the city's finest homes and an array of neighborhood parks such as Wilderness and Apollo. The tree-lined streets of Northeast Downey exude a delightful suburban charm that is both warm and inviting. To top it off, it boasts top-rated schools, making it the perfect backdrop for families looking for a mix of suburban tranquility and metropolitan convenience.

3. Downey Landing & Promenade

For shopaholics moving to Downey, Downey Landing & Promenade is an unbeatable choice. This bustling shopping and dining hub is the neighborhood's heartbeat, offering a wide range of brand-name stores, cafes, and restaurants. Plus, its close proximity to the Columbia Memorial Space Center, a hands-on learning center dedicated to astronomy makes it an exciting place to live.

4. Old River School District

Named after the historic Old River School, this neighborhood breathes a quintessential small-town feel, complete with safe streets and tight-knit community vibes. The top-rated Old River School is still in operation, making this neighborhood a strong contender for families with young children. As an added perk, you're a short drive from some of Downey's tastiest eateries.

5. Southern Downey & South Gate

Southern Downey & South Gate is a culturally rich and diverse neighborhood that features appealing family-oriented amenities. Enjoy a picnic or a brisk walk at Downey Park, or savor an indie movie at the old-school, family-owned Vineland Drive-in. The neighborhood also offers easy access to Downtown LA, perfect for those who crave city thrills from time to time.

To wrap things up, each of these diverse neighborhoods in Downey, CA, brings its unique charm, making the city an appealing attraction for newcomers. Whether you're a foodie, a history buff, a keen shopper, or you're seeking a family-friendly neighborhood, Downey has a place that will make you feel right at home. Happy moving!

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Things to Do

Moving to a new city can be both exciting and intimidating. But don't fret! Downey, California, known for being the "Birthplace of the Apollo Space Program," offers a diverse range of activities, sights, and experiences that quickly make you feel at home. Here are seven top things to do in Downey that embodies its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and scrumptious food offerings.

1. Columbia Memorial Space Center

No visit to Downey is complete without exploring the Columbia Memorial Space Center. Kids and adults alike will enjoy learning about science, technology, and space exploration through hands-on exhibits. And yes, if you've ever wondered what a real Apollo spacecraft looks like, this is the place to be.

2. Downey Theatre

Putting on your best attire and visiting Downey Theatre is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture. This vibrant venue boasts a variety of performances, from captivating plays, breath-taking concerts to must-see dance shows.

3. Wilderness Park

For an afternoon escape that connects you with nature, head over to Wilderness Park. With its beautiful pond, lush trees, and scenic walking paths, it's a slice of tranquility amid the city's hustle.

4. Porto's Bakery and Cafe

Downey's own Porto's Bakery and Cafe deserves a spot on this list. Their menu, filled with delectable pastries, cakes, and sandwiches, is sure to delight foodies and casual diners alike. Don't miss their guava and cheese strudel - it's a local favorite!

5. Stay Gallery

If you're looking for something a little different, Downtown Downey's Stay Gallery offers a unique blend of art, culture, and community. This artistic haven hosts cultural events, exhibits local artists, and champions educational programs, making it more than just a gallery. It's a testament to the city's support for local talents.

6. Downey Farmers Market

Are you aiming to cook a special meal, or just want fresh local produce? The Downey Farmers Market should be your next stop. Beyond its array of fresh fruits, veggies, and handmade goodies, it also promotes a sense of community.

7. The Avenue of the Palms

If you're up for a little street adventure, take a drive through the famed Avenue of the Palms. But, it's not just a regular road, it's unique because every tree on this beautiful boulevard was planted by a celebrity, adding a fun twist to a simple afternoon drive.

There you have it, seven of the top things to do in Downey, CA that will quickly make you feel a part of the city, help you discover its soul, and elicit a sense of pride in its rich history and vibrant community spirit. Whether you're an arts enthusiast, foodie, nature lover, or space geek, Downey delivers an experience that is sure to delight.

Things to do in Downey, CA?

Find Movers for Your Downey Relocation

Transitioning smoothly into life in Downey, CA is enhanced by a reliable, affordable move. That's where Great Guys Moving really steps up, connecting you with top moving companies in the industry. The process is easy - simply submit some basic information about your move, and Great Guys will match you with vetted movers who can handle your specific needs. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that all the movers in the Great Guys Moving network are licensed and insured. Make that initial step towards a hassle-free move to Downey by requesting your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.

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