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December 7, 2020 Posted in City Guides
Jane Davis

Apart from being a freelance writer and moving expert, Jane is also an art and museum lover.

All You Should Know About Living in San Diego

If you’re looking for pristine beaches, a mild year-round climate, and numerous outdoor activities, you should consider living in San Diego. This southern California gem has a lot to offer, and our guide will try to bring you the most important things you should know about its everyday life before moving cross country.

palm trees Thinking about relocating here in 2021? On this page, you'll find all information you need about life in SD

Located at the very southern end of California, close to the Mexican border, lies SD, the second-most-populous and second-largest city in the state. There are around 3.3 million residents in its metropolitan area, and there’s still room for more. Thousands of newcomers are moving to San Diego every year. If you are one of those who consider cross country moving to this coastal gem, our guide will show you everything you can expect after moving to a big city like SD.

Living in San Diego Pros and Cons: These Popular Categories Will Tell You Everything You Should Know

Before you start making your to-do list, how about you make a list of all the pros and cons? Although it sounds a bit like a cliche, the lists of pros and cons can be really helpful and keep our expectations realistic. We’ll point out some of the most significant advantages and disadvantages, but you can continue the list and personalize it by adding some of your suggestions.

Everyone’s Favorite Things About Living in SD, CA

We are sure you have plenty of reasons to move here, but in case you’re a bit hesitant, here are some of the things you’ll love about SD:

  • Weather – the climate here is absolutely divine, with no more than ten days of rain per year and stable 75 degrees all over the county. Winter evenings can get a bit chilly, but it is still pretty comfortable, so there are no reasons to postpone relocating during the winter months. Also, moving during the holidays is usually the cheapest season when it comes to moving services, so embrace the perks.
  • Beaches – relocating to the coast has its advantages. Whether you’re a sunset chaser or a passionate surfer, we are sure you’ll be pretty satisfied with your new laidback lifestyle by the ocean and the vast offer of things to do in San Diego.
  • Outdoorsines – who wouldn’t be outdoorsy when the weather is so good? Whether you’re into hiking, biking, jogging, or just chilling by the water, you’ll quickly discover why everyone loves spending so much time outside. There are beaches, mountains, and the desert, so pick your terrain and go out.
  • Education – if you’re moving with kids, you’ll quickly realize why this is one of the best cities to raise a family in California. Some of the finest public schools in the state are right here, and there are even 30 San Diego school districts to choose from.
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Cons of Moving to SD, CA

And now the downsides. Keep in mind that these are only some general drawbacks and that some of them may not even have an impact on you, or you can find a way to turn them into your advantage. So, stay positive, and don’t jump to conclusions just yet. Here they come:

  • Expenses – ok, so SD is not really known as one of the most affordable places in the Golden State. However, it is still significantly cheaper than, for example, Los Angeles, and it can’t be compared to the insanely expensive cost of living in San Francisco. So you still get the beaches, nice weather, at a somewhat reasonable price when compared to other hotspots,
  • Lack of seasonsWe all love nice weather and summer, but when the summer is pretty much the only season you get, it tends to get a bit boring. Luckily, you can easily escape to a colder climate and catch a bit of snow on Mammoth Mountain, Julian, or Big Bear. And after that, you’ll always be glad you’re coming back to warm and sunny SD,
  • Sports – Yup, it is not a mistake. SD is not really known for any professional sports team besides their local baseball team, the Padres. They are located in Petco Park, and the stadium is surrounded by numerous bars, but if you’re not a baseball fan, you can always go on a day trip to LA and watch the Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers, and many more.
Port with boats Access to beaches and excellent weather year-round are only some of the advantages of relocating to SD

Is It Affordable to Live in San Diego?

The cost of living in San Diego is a significant concern for anyone thinking about relocating here and looking into their moving budget. Before you start thinking about how to reduce costs when moving, ensure you have a plan on how to afford to stay in some of the best places to live in San Diego. SD’s cost of living index is 44% higher than the national average, so maybe you should start thinking about how to find a job before you move if you don’t have a lot of savings. Let’s see how much you’ll really need to earn.

How Much Do You Need to Live Comfortably in San Diego?

It is hard to tell how you need to maintain a comfortable lifestyle since not everyone has the same idea of a comfortable lifestyle. Do you plan to dine in the best restaurants in San Diego weekly or for special occasions? Do you want to stay in some of the best neighborhoods in San Diego, or you don’t mind commuting a bit longer if that means cheaper rent? There are a lot of factors to consider in this case, but according to Numbeo, on average, a single adult is going to spend around $1,000 per month to cover the basic costs, without the rent. The same survey shows that a family of four spends around $3,700 monthly, also without the costs of rent.

What Salary Do You Need to Live in San Diego?

Salary is another important concern, whether you have one of those jobs that require relocation or not. However, it is hard to tell how much you’ll need since it depends on whether you’ll be relocating with children or moving alone and searching through roommate websites for a flatmate? According to Numbeo, an average monthly net salary, after-tax, goes around $4,950, which sounds great, but it also can vary significantly from one industry to another. Talking about money is never comfortable, but it should be high on your list of important questions to ask your future employer.

The beach Can you afford to call SD your home in 2021?

Where to Settle Down in SD County?

SD County consists of a total of 18 incorporated cities and numerous great neighborhoods within, so as a newcomer, you’ll have a plethora of options. Take your time to research every neighborhood before you start house-hunting, and if you need any help with narrowing down your options, take a look at some of our recommendations below.

How to Find a Place You’ll Like

If you don’t know where to start, having no recommendations or friends staying here, rely on some of our picks. We listed a few neighborhoods that rank highly in various categories, so start from there and then expand your search if necessary:

  • Gaslamp Quarter – although the historic downtown can sometimes be a bit touristy, settling down in the city’s core has numerous perks, and great nightlife is only one of them.
  • Little Italy – If you’re a foodie, you’ll love this place. It has the most amazing food scene in the entire SD. Also, if you’re looking for a job in this industry, this is the right place to be.
  • East Village – If you’re looking for a peaceful and not so touristy area, this is it. It is home to the new public library and community college and is known as a cultural hub.
  • La Jolla – For families looking for a coastal paradise with great schools, there’s no better place than La Jolla. Just keep in mind that housing prices are high.
  • Mission Hills – An upscale family-friendly community with amazing views, excellent schools, and beautiful architecture is a dream for many. It is very safe, walkable, and close to downtown.
Sunset at the beach Find your home under the Californian sun

How to Go Around SD?

You better learn how car shipping works and count in the costs of auto shipping if you plan on relocating here because you’ll need your car beside you. Luckily, you won’t waste a lot of time while being stuck in traffic because SD is one of the rare big cities that is not notorious for its traffic jams and long commuting time. So driving a car around here won’t give you driving anxiety or stress. And if you do hear someone complaining about the traffic, it is probably a local person unaware of how the situation is SD is good in comparison to other major cities.

Park Your Car and Rely On Public Transport

Public transportation works pretty well, and many rely on it for their daily commute, so that is also an option if you don’t want to drive daily. There are several different modes, such as buses, trains, waterfront shuttle, pedicabs, or SD trolley, and the best part is that it is all very affordable. There are several different categories of tickets, but, for example, a monthly pass for adults is $72, and there are discounts for seniors, the disabled, and medicare.

Bus station You can rely on public transportation

What’s the Weather Like in Southern California?

You’ll probably be happy to hear that SD has a Mediterranean climate with an average of 263 sunny days per year, according to BestPlaces, which is a lot more than the national average of 205. Summers are hot and dry, with August and September as the hottest months, while winters are mild and a bit cooler, but still warmer than in the majority of California. If there are some winter snow boots on your household inventory list, feel free to leave them behind or bring them with you in case you plan to go to the mountains during winter, but don’t expect to experience a snowy Christmas or snow at all in SD.

Palm trees at night You can enjoy excellent climate year-round

What Is It Like Living in San Diego?

Wondering what to do around SD once you move there? Well, you certainly won’t have a dull moment, because the city is packed with various activities. Dedicate your weekends to exploring SD properly, and don’t hesitate to go around those tourist attractions neither. Take a look at some of the most exciting things you can do here in the video below.

Is San Diego Good Place to Live?

We are sure that America’s Finest City is a good place, but will it be the right place for you? There’s only one way to find out. And on that way, let our San Diego cross country movers be your guide and help you with everything you might need, from renting storage to packing services. Moving interstate doesn’t have to be stressful when you have the right crew by your side, and you’re relocating to a coastal paradise, so just keep your positive attitude and leave everything rest to our movers.


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