Moving to San Diego

2019 Moving to San Diego Relocation Guide

Welcome to 2019 Ultimate Moving to San Diego Relocation Guide! Before this big step, find out all important information about San Diego.

  • Basic information about San Diego zip and area codes, average yearly temperature and spoken languages.
  • Read about San Diego neighborhoods and learn some fun facts about the city.
  • Check out the list of Pros and Cons of living in San Diego before deciding to actually move.
  • Most importantly, find out all about San Diego moving and living costs!

    Take a look at the list of basic daily expenses, transportation costs, basic leisure, and recreation costs and housing and utilities cost in San Diego.

  • Read all about moving and shipping costs.
  • Learn about flight costs from San Diego.

    Every information regarding costs and pricing is compared with average US pricing.

  • You will also find very detailed information about the average yearly salary in San Diego, as well as the information about schools and education.
  • We prepared lists of moving to San Diego tips.

For moving tips in general check out our Moving Checklist and Paperwork page.

San Diego

Welcome to the “America’s Finest City”, welcome to the city of 70 miles long breathtaking coastline and the city of perfect weather, welcome to San Diego. Apart from beautiful sandy beaches, San Diego is famous for its diverse neighborhoods and surrounding nature. San Diego is perfect for outdoor lovers, sports fans, artists, musicians, and young enthusiasts. San Diego is perfect for almost everyone. Sand Diego is a city of the perfect balance. You will always have something to do but you can also enjoy the laid back, relaxing atmosphere.

San Diego is the second-largest city in California ut it doesn't seem as crowded, residents are spending a lot of time sunbathing at the beach. Art and culture scene is constantly growing and if you want to explore it you should start with the famous Balboa Park.

San Diego is home to numerous public events that are attracting tourists from all over the world each year. For example, worlds largest comic book convention is located in San Diego, featuring celebrities, artists and countless comic book lovers.

Moving to San Diego Pros & Cons

If you are planning to move to San Diego, you will need to consider the main pros and cons of living in this sunny city. San Diego is often described as the perfect, calm, family-friendly city with sandy beaches and amazing weather. All of this is true but if you will also have to make some adjustments. First of all, you need to know that you can not rely on public transport, so you will need to own a car. If you need to travel a lot, you will want to reconsider your decision. Go ahead and read all about the pros and cons of moving to the City of San Diego:

Moving to San Diego Pros

1. Breathtaking Beaches

San Diego is home to over 70 miles of beautiful coastline. Heading down to the Pacific Ocean will become your favorite habit. San Diego beaches offer more chill vibe then ones in Los Angeles or other major cities in the USA. You will also be able to enjoy numerous beach types here. San Diego beaches are diverse and there are a lot of beach-related activities that you can enjoy. You get to choose from beaches that offer stunning views, dog beaches, the ones with surfing or partying opportunities, nude beaches or quiet and calm beaches where you can simply relax.

2. Weather

Holiday Magazine once described San Diego as the “only area in the United States with perfect weather. Pleasant Weather Rating Service Poll voted San Diego as the best year-round weather in the nation and the second-best in the world. You will never have to deal with cold winters or extremely hot summers. The ocean stays cool throughout the whole year.

3. Weekend Getaways

San Diego is located close to some great tourist spots that are great for weekend getaways. First of all, Disneyland is about 90 minutes away, beautiful lakes are within reach at less than 8 hours of driving time. If you want to go a little further you can visit Las Vegas for a weekend, or even Phoenix or Yosemite.

4. Nature in San Diego

In San Diego, you can literally drive up to the mountains to go skiing in the mornings and get back after a few hours to go sunbathing on the beach. You can enjoy almost any kind of landscape here. Mountains, hills, parks, beaches, lakes, bays are the most popular landmarks in San Diego. Apart from breathtaking views, these landscapes will provide you with countless outdoor activity opportunities.

5. Food

If you are a fan of Mexican food, you will enjoy living in San Diego. The city’s location is right along the border of Mexico which means that there are countless incredible Mexican dining options to enjoy. The majority of fast-food restaurants are open 24/7.

6. Family Friendly

San Diego has one of the most family-friendly cities in the United States. The city offers a lot of family activities, apart from Disneyland which is only 90 minutes drive away you will also enjoy the Zoo, Sea World and Legoland. Apart from that, the San Diego crime rate is much lower than in other major US cities. Only property crime is rated as moderate while other types of crime are low in all areas of the city.

7. Things To Do

San Diego offers chill vibes, still, something is always happening here. Firstly, if you are living in San Diego where going to the beach is a form of a lifestyle, you will want to spend a lot of time outdoors. You can also enjoy a lot of weekly events, listen to great live music or engage yourself in sports activities.

8. Art and Culture

Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the United States, and it is located in San Diego. This cultural center features numerous museums, art galleries, and theaters, with many beautiful parks and gardens. The art and culture scene in San Diego is constantly growing, and you will be able to enjoy some great modern art shows, with many young artists starting their careers in this city.

9. San Diego Neighborhoods

San Diego is often described as a collection of small towns, which means that the city is filled with diverse neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is offering a unique atmosphere and lifestyle. There is a place for everyone here. If you choose the right neighborhood, you will start feeling local in no time.

10. Golf Courses

Lately, San Diego is becoming a golf city. There are over 80 golf courses in San Diego and the surrounding areas, making it a renowned golf vacation destination.

Moving to San Diego Cons

1. High Living and Housing Costs

Fast population growth in Southern California has affected the prices of the average home in San Diego too. Housing costs are higher than the national average even in the less attractive parts of the city. Rent is also expensive and so are the utilities. San Diego is still much cheaper than San Francisco, NYC or LA, but basic everyday costs are also higher than the national averages.

2. Public Transportation

Most of the residents will tell you that owning a car is still the best option if you are moving to San Diego. The public transportation system is not as developed, and it is not reliable.

3. Homelessness Rates

There are a lot of homeless people in San Diego, you will not be able o walk two blocks without spotting one. They are building tents everywhere and they are living in the subways. Most of the time they are harmless, but you will want to be careful.

4. The Airport

The San Diego Airport is not as developed as you may think. You will have trouble finding direct flights and low-cost flights. Most of the city residents are commuting to LAX for better prices and direct flights.

5. Parking

Finding a parking space in San Diego is almost impossible. You will need more than 10 minutes o find the parking spot. You can always decide to walk or bike to work.

San Diego Pros and Cons
San Diego Fun Facts

Moving to San Diego Tips

If moving to San Diego is your next step you are probably excited. You are moving to the city where you can enjoy ana amazing weather and a high quality of life. We have prepared the list of tips to make your moving easier, San Diego is a culturally diverse city, with many numerous events and attractions. You are moving to the “America’s Finest City", but you will still need to get adjusted. Moving to a new city is always a challenge and you will need to get prepared, so go ahead and read our tips for moving to the City of San Diego and make sure that you are making the right decision. Read our 10 TIPS for moving to San Diego, 10 facts that will help you prepare for this step.

  • Move During the Winter Season - winter is the best time to move to San Diego. If you move during the winter you will be all settled when the spring comes and you will be able to fully enjoy it. Summer is the tourist season, so it can get really crowded, and you will want to avoid the fall season because the students are coming back to town.
  • Don't Relay on Public Transportation - most of the San Diego residents use public transportation during the weekends. It will take to all of the surrounding attractions, and it will not be too crowded. But for daily commuting, you will need to own a car.
  • Choose Your Neighborhood Wisely - San Diego rents are high. Good thing is that commuting to work will not be as time-consuming as it is in some other major USA cities. You can consider living in the suburbs where the rents are cheaper. Every San Diego neighborhood has its own charm and you will want to choose the one that fits your style, but most of all, you will choose the one that you can afford.
  • Find Your Community - There are numerous different lifestyles in San Diego. There is an overall laid back surfer atmosphere but you need to know that Mexico is right next door, there is a huge group of comic-con fans and San Diego is home to the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet and Cyber Command.
  • Go Out! - If you are moving to San Diego that means that you are moving to the land of vacations. There are so many things to do and explore in this city and nearby. You don't want to spend your time at home, ever.
  • Explore the San Diego Nightlife - San Diego is a major tourist destination and it is filled with college students from all over the world. This equals an amazing nightlife scene. Explore your options, there is something for everyone.
  • Be Aware of the Comic-Con - Comic-con is a big deal in San Diego, it is the world largest event of this type and every year it draws 130.000 people to the town. Even if this is not your type of fun, you will want to know when it is happening because it will make some changes in public transportation.
  • Explore the Craft Beer Scene - Made in San Diego is the cities most famous craft beer that is only sold locally. Apart from that, you will be able to enjoy craft beers on almost every corner.
  • Go on Weekend Getaways - San Diego is a quick drive away from anything you can think of. Explore the amazing surroundings. You can easily get to LA, Las Vegas, Disneyland, or you can enjoy the perfect outdoors of the surrounding hills and mountains.
  • Explore The Arts - San Diego is the perfect city for exploring the arts in California. You can enjoy music, performing arts, all types of visual art and street art as well.

Check out our printable Stage-by-Stage MOVING CHECKLIST.

This ultimate moving checklist will help you complete your moving without stress.

Moving Checklist

San Diego Moving Costs

There are certain costs associated with moving that most people tend to neglect. Even if you have opted for a self-moving job that does not involve hiring a professional moving company, you will have to pay extra for certain things. Here is a list of moving and packing costs you may have forgotten.

  • Packing Supplies

    If you plan to move on a budget and want to fo the packing yourself, you must know that you will need to invest in packing supplies like boxes, tape or bubble wrap.

  • Moving Insurance

    During the move something almost always brake. Getting moving insurance is always recommended. Most of the moving companies offer insurance and you can decide how much to get, considering how valuable your things are.

  • Moving Start-up Costs

    For renting new space start-up costs include things like your first and last month’s rent, a security deposit, a pet deposit or an application fee.

    If you are buying start-up costs are much bigger. They include closing costs for your new mortgage which is often measured in thousands of dollars. Average closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the cost of your home. These costs include things like a fee for running your credit report, a loan origination fee, attorney’s fees, the cost of a home inspection, a title search, an appraisal fee, and a survey fee, etc.

  • Boarding Your Pets

    You can expect extra costs for boarding your pets. Often enough, people tend to move their pets overnight, that way pets are not exposed to the stress.

  • Stair Fees

    Some of the moving companies will ask you to pay a stair fee.

  • Moving Large Items Fees

    It is always best to check with moving companies about extra fees and inform them about your large items, like piano or pool table, in advance. That way you will avoid surprises on a moving day.

  • Valuable Artworks or Decorative Pieces Are Often Handled by Specialised Movers

    There are professionals who are trained to handle valuable items. Packing and moving valuable items is more complex than regular moving. So you can expect to pay extra on moving those kinds of pieces.

  • Storage Space Renting

    Sometimes, you don't want to bring all of your things to your new home, but you don't want to throw them either. If you find yourself in this situation you will have to find storage space for those things. Having to store items could mean an additional monthly expense.

  • Re-buying Items Once You've Moved In

    While you shouldn't get rid of everything before a move, there are going to be some items that you're not going to want to bring to your new space.

  • Tips For Your Movers

    Your movers are doing a lot of hard work and heavy lifting, and they deserve to be compensated. Just note, that tips are always expected by your movers.

San Diego Shipping Costs

Here you can find a list of shipping costs. Please note that the cost of international shipping (calculated with reallymoving) is solely the cost of shipping itself, while the cost of shipping within the United States (calculated with also includes other additional expenses. Costs are calculated for moving entire two bedroom home, in the next three monts.

International Cost
Vancouver (Canada) $3,400 - $4,700
Sydney (Australia) $4,400 - $6,100
Auckland (New Zealand) $4,400 - $6,100
Beijing (China) $4,400 - $5,900
Tokyo (Japan) $4,200 - $5,700
Dubai (United Arab Emirates) $4,000 - $6,800
Mexico City (Mexico) $3,800 - $6,200
London (United Kingdom) $4,700 - $6,300
Dublin (Ireland) $4,500 - $6,200
Singapore $4,500 - $6,200
United States Cost
San Francisco, California $1,309 - $1,639
Denver, Colorado $3,096 - $3,898
Los Angeles, California $988 - $1,220
Chicago, Illinois $4,204 - $5,342
Austin, Texas $3,495 - $4,418
New York, New York $5,094 - $6,505
Washington, DC $4,763 - $6,070
Boston, Massachusetts $5,109 - $6,521
Seattle, Washington $3,406 - $4,302
Miami, Florida $4,746 - $6,047

San Diego Living Costs

Life in San Diego is not affordable, living cost in the city is higher than the national average, the price of housing ranges across different neighborhoods, but the average San Diego house price is twice the national average. Residents are willing to pay the higher prices, calling the differences “sunshine tax.” The best thing about San Diego is that there are plenty of things to do for free, in fact, almost all of the most popular activities are free. If moving to San Diego is the next step you will probably need to get informed about the cost of basic and personal necessities in this city. For more information about living costs visit numbeo or expatistan.

How much are utilities in San Diego

  • 85m2 Apartment Monthly Utilities, Basic (Electricity, Water, Cooling, Heating, Garbage):


  • 1 Min. Of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans):


  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/adsl):


  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), for 20 Years Fixed-rate, Yearly:


San Diego VS US Average
Food San Diego US Average
Meal in Inexpensive Restaurant $15 $14.50
Mcmeal at Mcdonalds (or Equivalent) $7.5 $7.00
Water (1.5 Liter Bottle) $1.69 $1.45
Milk (Regular), (1 gallon) $3.49 $3.11
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) $3.15 $2.36
Eggs (Regular) (12) $3.41 $2.27
Chicken Breasts (1 lb) $4.34 $3.85
Potato (1 lb) $0.93 $1.1
Apples (1 lb) $1.66 $2.02
Local Cheese (1 lb) $5.48 $4.74
Child Care San Diego US Average
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Monthly $1,071.48 $886.18
International Primary School, Yearly $20,233.33 $17,116.12
Self Care San Diego US Average
Private Doctor Short Visit $99 $112
Box of Antibiotics $16 $17
Tube of Toothpaste $1.81 $1.78
Hair Shampoo 2-in-1 $4.97 $4.77
Deodorant, Roll-on $4.20 $3.39
Toilet Paper - 4 Rolls $3.56 $3.41
1 Box of 32 Tampons $7 $7
Transportation San Diego US Average
Local Transport - One-way Ticket $2.5 $2.20
Local Transport - Monthly Pass $71 $70.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) $2.8 $3.25
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) $3 $1.71
Gasoline (1 gallon) $3.75 $2.77
Housing San Diego US Average
Apartment (1 Bedroom) - City Centre $2,049.01 $1,291.27
Apartment (1 Bedroom) $1,623.33 $1,015.10
Buy Apartment in City Centre - Per Sq Ft $547.79 $239.62
Buy Apartment - Per Sq Ft $371.75 $173.92
Hourly Rate for Cleaning Help $21 $21
Leisure and Recreation San Diego US Average
Fitness Club Monthly Fee, 1 Adult $37.02 $36.17
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $18.33 $15.14
2 Movie Tickets $28 $25
2 Theater Tickets (Best Available Seats) $286 $171
Coke/pepsi (Small Bottle) $1.95 $1.80
Cappuccino (Regular) $4.42 $4.07
Domestic Beer (500ml) $6 $6.00
Bottle of Wine $12 $12.00
1 Cocktail Drink $13 $12.00
Marlboro Cigarettes 20 Pack $8 $7.25
Clothing San Diego US Average
Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 or Similar) $49.09 $43.12
Summer Dress (Zara, H&m or Similar) $34.58 $34.67
Pair of Nike Running Shoes $78.03 $73.84
Pair of Men Leather Shoes $116.96 $94.36
Laundry Detergent (3 L.) $11 $11

Work and Salary

Average Yearly Salary in San Diego is $62,210

Currently, most popular and best-paid jobs in San Diego are:

  • Software Engineer - $85,646/yr
  • Project Manager - $78,088/yr
  • Operations Manager - $66,068/yr
  • Mechanical Engineer - $74,108/yr
  • Senior Software Engineer - $112,586/yr
  • Electrical Engineer - $83,555/yr
  • Project Engineer - $72,954/yr

All the information is provided by Glassdoor and Payscale where you can get more detailed information about the job of interest. If you don't have a specific job in mind, you can also check this list of 10 common jobs and professions in the United States with an average salary for each of them.

Job San Diego US Average
Cashier $24,560/yr $22,711/yr
Receptionist $31,026/yr $29,844/yr
Repair Technician $35,681/yr $32,606/yr
Actor $37,497/yr $37,208/yr
Registered Nurse $87,909/yr $69,270/yr
Secretary $37,646/yr $31,279/yr
Preschool Teacher $32,390/yr $28,973/yr
High School Teacher $50,727/yr $51,027/yr
Lawyer $116,539/yr $141,470/yr
Truck Driver $61,112/yr $57,062/yr

San Diego - Important Information

The City of San Diego

San Diego Seal

San Diego the second largest city in the state of California, located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, approximately 190 km south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico. The city is the seat of San Diego County and is the economic center of the region as well as the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area. The city is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches, long association with the United States Navy, and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center. San Diego has been called "the birthplace of California" since it was the first site visited by Europeans on what is now the West Coast of the United States.

  • Official City Website:

  • Official State Website:

  • Official Language:

    English and Spanish

  • Spoken Languages:

    Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mon-Khmer, Cambodian, Hmong, Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese, French, French Creole, Italian, Portuguese, German, Tagalog and others.

  • Area Code:

    619 and 858

  • Zip Codes:

    92101–92124, 92126–92132, 92134–92140, 92142, 92143, 92145, 92147, 92149–92155, 92158–92161, 92163, 92165–92179, 92182, 92186, 92187, 92190–92199

  • 372.39 sq mi (964.50 km2):

    Land: 325.19 sq mi (842.25 km2)

    Water: 47.20 sq mi (122.24 km2)

San Diego Population:

  • According to the last census (2010): 1,307,402
  • According to the latest estimate (2018): 1,425,976
San Diego Demographics by Race
White 900,052 64.71%
Asian 233,477 16.79%
Other Race 86,463 6.22%
Black or African American 88,774 6.38%
Two or More Races 70,403 5.06%
Native American 6,094 0.44%
Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander 5,703 0.41%

Taxes in San Diego

Single Filing Status, Average San Diego Salary ($62,210) Taxes:

  • Income Tax: - $14,374
  • Sales Tax: - $1,339
  • Fuel Tax: - $272
  • Property Tax$: - $1,910
  • Total Estimated: - $17,896

Percent of income to taxes = 32%.

For more personal information calculate your taxes with smartasset.

San Diego - Average Yearly Temperature

  • Hours of sunshine: 2958
  • Average Rainfall: 264 mm
  • Annual high temperature: 20.9°C
  • Annual low temperature: 14.2°C
  • Average temperature: 17.55°C

San Diego - Crime rate

San Diego achieved great progress in security in the past decade. Currently, the city is one of the safest places to live in the USA. On average, there are fewer murders and crimes against property in San Diego than in the entire US. San Diego crime index by numbeo is 36.72 (low).

  • Level of crime: - 38.30 (low)
  • Property crime index: - 46.21 (moderate)
  • Violent crime index: - 31.70 (low)
  • Corruption and bribery: - 37.61 (low)

Flight Costs from San Diego

List of flight costs, from San Diego to other major cities. Based on the cheapest flights from skyscanner, booked one month ahead.

  • Vancouver (Canada): $113 (1 stop)
  • Sydney (Australia): $645 (2 stops)
  • Auckland (New Zealand): $519 (2 stops)
  • Beijing (China): $236 (1 stop)
  • Tokyo (Japan): $584 (direct)
  • Dubai (United Arab Emirates): $317 (3 stops)
  • Mexico City (Mexico): $153 (1 stop)
  • London (United Kingdom): $232 (2 stops)
  • Dublin (Ireland): $289 (2 stops)
  • Singapore: $348 (1 stop)

San Diego Reviews