Moving to San Diego: Things to Know Before You Move

Published: Mar 6th, 2024
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So, you are thinking about making the move to San Diego. It is an exciting decision, but it comes with its own set of considerations and preparations. Before you pack your bags and embrace the palm trees and perfect weather, there are a few things you want to know.

San Diego is one of California's second-largest cities and is ideal for residential and corporate relocation. The city boasts pleasant weather and warm climates for those who appreciate the beach and outdoor activities.

From understanding the local culture to navigating the housing market, this comprehensive guide will provide invaluable insights into the key things you need to know before moving.

So, let’s chat about the essentials before you officially become a San Diegan!

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San Diego's Thriving Population

San Diego's population is diverse and more evenly distributed. The total population of San Diego is approximately 1.4 million, and it is the eighth-largest city in the United States. San Diego is on a steady path of growth, and it's predicted to reach a whopping 1.9 million residents in the coming years.

San Diego is less crowded than other cities, so traffic is less of an issue. You will encounter less overcrowding, whether meeting at the beach or participating in daily activities.

Things to Know Before Moving To San Diego

Breakdown of Cost of Living in San Diego

Let's chat about the real talk – the cost of living in San Diego. Living in this sunny city comes with its own set of costs. According to PayScale, the cost of living in San Diego is 44% higher than in other cities.

Whether you are dreaming of a luxury apartment or a cozy beach cottage, be prepared to open up that wallet. And then there's the day-to-day stuff – groceries, getting around, and keeping yourself healthy.

Here's an estimate of how much items cost when moving to San Diego, according to PayScale. 

Items Average Cost
Energy bill $232.64
Loaf of bread $4.76
Doctor's visit $109.01
A gallon of gas $3.36

San Diego's rent is higher but fairer than in similar-sized West Coast towns. San Diego's average rent cost is the following:

Bedroom Average Rent Cost
1-bedroom $2,989
2-bedroom $3,736

It's a balancing act, but once you have got the hang of it, you are all set to soak up the social life.

Revealing San Diego’s Tax Rate

Taxes are something that everyone hates. Unfortunately, California is not a tax-friendly state. Living in regions such as San Diego will result in some of the highest taxes in the nation. So, if you are considering moving to San Diego, consider the tax rate of this area first.

The base sales tax rate is 7.25%, with a marginal income tax rate of 13.3%. Both are among the highest in the country in their respective tax brackets. 

There is some good news regarding property taxes. California's overall property tax rate is 0.73%, lower than the national average of 1.07%.

San Diego's Career Opportunities

Are you moving to San Diego in search of a good Job opportunity? If yes, you will be glad to know that San Diego has numerous fine job opportunities.

San Diego relies on four primary industries for its economic backbone: manufacturing, international trade, tourism, and defense. The city's economic landscape is diverse, with major employers from the U.S. military to academic institutions and healthcare and biotech corporations.

Exploring San Diego’s Public Transportation

Public transport is a good option, particularly if you live downtown. San Diego's Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) provides buses and trolleys across the city.

Picture this: iconic red trolleys cruising through the city, connecting you to cool spots, and buses covering the ground like pros. And paying is a breeze with the Compass Card – just swipe and go.

Traffic can be a challenge, especially during peak hours. Embracing the public transit system eases the commute and allows a more sustainable and stress-free way to explore San Diego.

Get a Glimpse of Education System of San Diego

San Diego's education system is as diverse as the city itself, offering many opportunities from primary to higher education.

The San Diego Unified School District, University of California and State University are some big names when it comes to the education of San Diego. These institutes contribute significantly to the city's academic reputation, attracting students worldwide.

Additionally, the city has various private schools, ensuring a diverse educational landscape for all residents.

Price Tag on Hiring Movers in San Diego

Hiring a full-service San Diego mover is unquestionably the most convenient option, but it comes at a price. You need to understand the average cost of hiring a moving company before making an informed decision.

Here is the average cost of hiring a moving company in San Diego:

Home Size Avg. Total Cost Cost/Hour # Of Movers
Studio $450 $280 2 movers
1 bedroom $1,300 $280 2 movers
2 bedroom $1,286 $392 3 movers
3 bedroom $3,550 $549 4 movers

You can also find the best movers in San Diego here.

Weather in San Diego:

Ask any San Diegan what they enjoy most about living here; almost everyone would say the weather.

Picture this: year-round good vibes. Winters? More like a mild breeze. Summers? Total sunshine party. Rain? Well, it comes sometimes.

Coastal breezes keep things chill, and the occasional marine layer adds a cozy touch. Whether you are hitting the beach or exploring outdoors, the weather is always on your side.

It is like a friend you didn't know you needed – always down for a good time and turning living here into a sun-soaked adventure!

Weighing the Pros and Cons of a San Diego Move

Analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of each location is crucial for making informed decisions. Here are some benefits and downsides of moving to North Carolina.

Pros Cons
The Weather High Cost of Living
Amazing Beaches Homelessness
Varying Neighborhoods Parking Problems
Minimal Bugs Tourists/Overcrowding
Fantastic Dining Air Traffic Noise
Relaxed, Casual Ambiance No Discernable Seasons
Tech, Hospitality, and Career Opportunities Drought

Checkout the Key Attractions of San Diego

If you plan on moving to San Diego, you're in for a treat! There are some fantastic attractions that you absolutely shouldn't miss. Let me give you the lowdown on the key spots.

  • USS Midway Museum: The USS Midway (Museum) is in downtown San Diego and was America's longest-serving aircraft carrier during the twentieth century. You will get a firsthand look at naval aviation and explore aircraft from different eras.
  • San Diego Zoo: If you are an animal lover, the San Diego Zoo is a must-visit. It is not just a zoo; it is practically a wildlife wonderland. 
  • Balboa Park: Balboa Park is a massive urban oasis. It is not just a park but a mix of museums, gardens, and performance spaces.
  • La Jolla Cove: Don't forget about La Jolla Cove – a slice of coastal paradise. It combines rugged cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and adorable seals sunbathing on the rocks.

Explore the Unique Neighborhoods of San Diego

Let’s check out some attractive neighborhoods of San Diego that combine affordability with scenic beauty.  

  • North Park: North Park is one of San Diego's most popular neighborhoods. This hipster area, located north of Balboa Park, is walkable to various pubs and cultural attractions.
  • Little Italy: If you are a foodie, then Little Italy is the perfect option. You can find many excellent restaurant options and a farmers' market that attracts residents and tourists.
  • Ocean Beach: Ocean Beach is a peaceful beach community that offers waterfront living. You will not find any crowds here.
  • Pacific Beach: Pacific Beach is one of San Diego's most relaxing and desirable neighborhoods. College students come to Pacific Beach, which is why the region is known for its vibrant party scene.

Final Thought

Moving is more than just a change of location; it is also a change of lifestyle. San Diego offers a balanced lifestyle with diversified landscapes, a robust employment market, and inviting communities. 

The state balances affordability and comfort, offering city life and a calm atmosphere. San Diego provides an opportunity to explore, learn, and enjoy a unique lifestyle. 

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