The quality of life you get from living in San Diego, California, is second to none. All of that sunny weather does come at a price, though, as this Southern California city is one of the more expensive places to live in the country.
There are a few things to note before writing off the average cost of living in San Diego. While prices may be higher for things like housing, you may be making a higher salary while living here, too. The minimum wage is double that of the federal wage, and the median household income is higher than the national average.
San Diego is also not as expensive as California’s other larger cities when looking at the cost of living index. Some areas of the county are comparable to Los Angeles neighborhoods in price, but San Francisco’s housing prices are much more expensive. Property taxes are also lower in San Diego than in many of the mid-sized to larger cities around the country.
Now, let’s get into a breakdown of the cost of living in San Diego, America’s finest city.
The median home price in San Diego for 2021 topped $740,000, with those prices only continuing to rise into 2022. Despite those housing costs, San Diego remains a highly desirable place to live, a factor that drives San Diego’s costs and real estate prices higher and maintains a hot market.
Housing costs also vary quite a bit by location. The most expensive housing is along the coast, including La Jolla and Del Mar. Prices come down as you travel south and east into San Diego County. Townhomes and condos are also predictably more reasonably-priced than single-family homes or San Diego homes on a plot of land. More space comes at a premium.
Apartment rent costs have also come up over the previous year. The average 1-bedroom in San Diego could run you around $2,700 per month. Again, it depends on the area of the city you’re targeting as your adopted neighborhood. Live further inland, and you’ll save money. Look beyond downtown San Diego, and your San Diego living expenses won’t be as high.
Utility costs are around the national average in San Diego, and much of that is thanks to the city’s temperate climate. While you will get some hot days, many San Diego residents see little need for air conditioning or heating for the majority of the year.
From there, costs for utilities vary based on need. Internet costs will depend on the area you’re in, especially if you’re part of an HOA that already has a relationship with a provider. High-speed internet is plentiful across the city, though, making San Diego a great city for remote workers.
Southern California isn’t alone when it comes to rising gas prices over the last few years, and California typically has the highest gas prices across the United States on a good day. Thankfully, traffic in San Diego is much better than the gridlock of Los Angeles.
While many San Diegans drive to get from place to place, you can also reduce the average cost of living in San Diego by using public transportation. The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System offers both bus and trolley rides across the county.
Once you’re in San Diego, many of the city’s best neighborhoods are both walkable and bikeable, with dedicated bike lanes. Some of the favorite metro neighborhoods are North Park, South Park, University Heights, and Hillcrest, just to name a few. Getting around on a bike or on your feet can go far when it comes to bringing down the average cost to live in San Diego.
Food & Entertainment Costs
Food and entertainment costs are quite variable depending on what you’re used to in your day-to-day life. Neighborhood markets may be a less expensive shopping trip than bigger grocery stores, and you’re often supporting local growers that way while picking up fresh fruits and vegetables. Going out to eat also doesn’t have to be a big event. San Diego is spoiled with choices when it comes to cheap eats, including the best fish tacos in the country and some of the best Vegan restaurants on the West Coast.
Should I Move to San Diego?
Only you can make an important decision like making a big move to a new city. San Diego remains a hot market for a reason, though. The weather is nearly perfect year-round, there’s no shortage of things to do in San Diego for young people and families, and it retains a more laid-back vibe than other large cities in the state.
Should you move to San Diego? If you do, you certainly won’t be disappointed. If you are thinking of buying a house in San Diego, feel free to contact us right away. We would love to help you find the perfect place to live.