Average salaries in the San Diego area are $60,800, according to payscale.com. Unfortunately, high personal income tax rates for the state of California and a state-county-city combined sales tax of 7.75 percent take a toll on expendable income. The cost of living is higher than in most cities of this size, with housing consuming the largest portion of the pie.
San Diego can seem like a playground, but unless you’re independently wealthy or have a chunk of savings you’ll probably want to have a job lined up before you go. Housing costs in San Diego aren’t as steep as they are in San Francisco, but they can still be high. You can always turn to one of San Diego’s top 10 financial advisor firms for some advice. As an alternative, you could also use a matching tool like SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor to find a person to work with to meet your needs. First you’ll answer a series of questions about your situation and your goals. Then the program will narrow down your options to three fiduciaries who suit your needs. You can then read their profiles to learn more about them, interview them on the phone or in person and choose who to work with in the future. This allows you to find a good fit while the program does much of the hard work for you.
Sure, San Diego certainly looks like paradise: cerulean waters full of crisscrossing windsurfers, powdery beaches sprouting picturesque piers, a glittering downtown bordering the bay and one of America’s greatest urban parks. It’s all so wonderful that it probably makes you think to yourself, I’d really like to move there. But trust us: you don’t. Because there’s trouble in paradise, and as our infographic explains, you should probably think twice before moving to San Diego.
And all doom and gloom aside, this isn’t meant to dissuade you from moving to San Diego; it truly is a beautiful city. There are, however, some serious concerns that those considering a move there ought to consider, and we’ve done our best to lay them out here.
Of course, every cost of living calculation has to take into account the neighborhood. As with every city, San Diego has a number of different neighborhoods, which influence the atmosphere and local vibe, as well as rent and transportation costs.
La Jolla. If you’re looking to live in a ritzy beach town filled to the brim with exciting shopping and restaurants, La Jolla is the place for you. You’ll find higher-end luxury apartments around here, as well as pretty fancy beaches. If you’ve got the budget, this adorable little area is a great spot for both living and socializing.
Del Mar. The renowned home of the San Diego County Fair and the Del Mar Races, Del Mar contains classy homes, attractive beaches, and tons of activities. A pretty popular tourist spot, you’ll live among luxury hotels and beach resorts, as well as quite a few celebrity tourists. Hit up the Saturday farmer’s market for all of your produce, seafood, and floral needs, or spend the day on some of the cleanest beaches around.
Little Italy. Little Italy is a great spot for urban families, as the neighborhood association sponsors year-long family-friendly activities, like trick-or-treating on India street, and holiday tree lighting. Dog parks, playgrounds, pedestrian areas, and splash fountains at Waterfront Park make this neighborhood a great place to live with a family. Great brew pubs, designer shopping, and a fantastic farmer’s market add to the community spirit and make Little Italy appeal to guests as well as locals.
Pacific Beach. Surfer vibes combine with exciting nightlife to make up the neighborhood of Pacific Beach. Particularly popular among younger people, this is the place to be if you find yourself doing a different water sport every day and love a good burger right off the beach.
Downtown. Mostly known for the “Gaslamp Quarter,” Downtown San Diego is chock full of dining options and nightlife. You’ll also find a young, upbeat community and housing on the pricier side.
East Village. Sports fanatics, this one’s for you. East Village is an up and coming San Diego hood with lots of new luxury lofts and apartments for rent. It’s also home to PETCO Park and the San Diego Padres (MLB), tons of galleries, bars, and live music venues.
South Park. South Park is a small, tight-knit community with an eccentric array of local shops and restaurants, that values community preservation and supporting each other.
North Park. North Park is the craft-brew center of San Diego, and foodies love the diverse restaurants and unusual flavor experiences of this neighborhood.
El Cerrito. El Cerrito is the next up-and-coming neighborhood in San Diego, with historic homes and walkable streets close to freeways and transport. Cute bistros and traditional ethnic restaurants increase the appeal of this neighborhood.
Hi traveldreamer, I just came back from visiting San Diego exactly 1 month ago. I live in Montreal and graduate in April also. I also would like to move to San Diego. Especially for the Amazing climate:) Maybe we can exchange helpful info re. relocation. One thing for sure is that cost of living in San Diego is really high. Alot higher than Toronto.
I did rather well in San Diego without a car for a long time, but I had the same employer for years and lived near my place of employment. As the job market changed I was forced to commute longer distances, and driving became a necessity.
Take a working vacation in San Diego to research & network.
Residents in the San Diego area experience consistently mild weather (an average of 72°) throughout the year. The Mediterranean like climate is perfect for outdoor activities. Consider the fact that the average high annual temperature in this region is 64° and the average annual low is 57.5° and you’ll understand why locals love living here.
The city is located along the coast of the Pacific Ocean here in Southern California and is approximately 120 miles south of Los Angeles while sharing a border with Mexico. Visitors and residents enjoy a variety of restaurants, interesting attractions and entertainment. The San Diego nightlife is filled with jazz and Indie music, theater productions as well as local art exhibits. The city is host to the largest comics and entertainment convention in the world; Comic-Con International.
In addition to the typical activities one might expect, such as bicycling and hiking, there’s also a carousel and Shakespearean plays to provide a bit of culture. If you’re an animal lover, Balboa Park is also home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Additionally, there are 15 museums to visit and eight gardens to admire throughout the park.
San Diego may be expensive, but it offers a great deal to make those costs worthwhile. In fact, there’s such a variety of entertainment options, you may be tempted to turn every vacation into a staycation. La Jolla Beach is one such attraction, featuring large cliffs overlooking the ocean. There are plenty of opportunities for dining and shopping in the area, further enticing visits to La Jolla. When you’re ready to get back to the beach, you can rent kayaks, go tide-pool hopping, or you can try your hand at surfing. For the less adventurous, there’s nothing wrong with just taking a leisurely stroll along the cliffs, where you can take in the breathtaking views of the village and the ocean.
I was living in San Diego while my boyfriend was stationed in Pearl Harbor. I noticed that non-commissary grocery stores were incredibly expensive in Hawaii. Keep in mind that grocery stores in San Diego are probably closer to the commissary prices you are used to paying.
I was born in LA and moved to Denver, Colorado. Now I’m moving to San Diego.
Granted I’m going for college at San Diego state but I really hope I can live in San Diego even after school.
Spend summer evenings watching the San Diego Padres. Tickets are priced so families can enjoy a day at the park without breaking the bank, and Petco Park provides stunning views of both the local beaches and downtown. Taco Tuesdays, promotional giveaways and special theme games add extra fun between innings.
So if you have been wondering, “Should I move to San Diego?” add these items to that spreadsheet of yours or get out on the beach for some deep meditation. Once the decision is made, you can start a new list. Top 10 places to buy a bathing suit in San Diego, where to find the best craft beer in each of San Diego’s neighborhoods, 1,001 things to do in the summer sun … well, you get the picture.
Do: move in the wintertime. Summer vacationers drive up occupancy rates and make it harder to find a place.
Don’t: rent based an online ad without seeing the apartment in person. There are a lot of rental scams online, and you need to protect yourself.
Do: check out the local parking situation if you plan on owning and driving a car. Parking in some neighborhoods can be a challenge.
Don’t: be wasteful. California has laws mandating recycling and water conservation. Know what is expected of you.
Do: get a Compass Card even if you don’t plan to use public transportation regularly. That way you’ll have it if and when you need it.
Don’t: forget about Comic-Con. Even if you don’t plan on attending it, the influx of visitors from around the world will impact your commute, your recreation, and any travel or hospitality. Mark it on your calendar.
San Diego is a rich, diverse, incredible place to live. Following these tips for moving to San Diego will ease the process and make moving easier.
I was an international student myself when I came to San Diego. As for the immigration, it's much more strict now than 9 years ago, I'd recommend to find a job first, get a working visa (H1B) through a company then come out here. It's better to hire a lawyer if you can afford, they know the best. Or you can get a student visa which is a little easier, attend some kind of school here then get a practical training visa which is good for a year. With this visa, you will be able to work so meantime you can find a company that can support you with the working visa. It's very confusing and stressful, but if you want what you want, gotta do it! As for a place to live, you might want to find a roommate to start... If you want a decent studio/1 bedroom apartment just for yourself, it'll cost you btw $600-$900 at least. For all these infomation, go to signonsandiego.com and sdreader.com they are very useful. Best of luck!
P.S. You must have a car in San Diego.