Living in San Diego

It’s known as America’s Finest City. It’s famous the world over for its sunny, warm weather, its lovely beaches, and its rich history. But what is it actually like living in San Diego? What can you expect when it comes to cost of living, schools, crime rates, transportation and taxes? Can you afford to live here? Let’s break it down.


What is the Cost of Living in San Diego?

What is the Cost of Living in San Diego?

I’m going to give it to you straight—San Diego is an expensive place to live. Sperling’s Best Places an index for cost of living nationwide where the average is set at 100.00. On that index, San Diego rates a 166.00. That is just marginally less expensive than nearby Los Angeles, which is rated at 166.20.

Why is the cost of living so steep? San Diego’s balmy climate and abundant attractions make it a highly desirable place to live, so prices here have always been on the high side. With a housing shortage affecting the entire region, the cost for homes and apartments has skyrocketed in recent years.

On average, you will also pay more for healthcare, food and transportation. Utilities however should not run you much more than you would pay on average anywhere else in the country.

What Will You Pay in Taxes?

What Will You Pay in Taxes?

The good news is that San Diego’s cost of living is balanced out in some respects by low tax rates. The sales tax rate for California is 7.25%, which is just slightly lower than the nationwide average. Income taxes in the state are quite a bit lower than they are in many other states (including neighboring Oregon), so that is some money back in your pocket.

What is the Employment Market Like?

What is the Employment Market Like?

Hopefully if you are moving to San Diego, you have a job lined up, because this can be a competitive market. You will have an edge if you happen to speak both English and Spanish and having some connections in the area can greatly enhance your prospects.

The unemployment rate recorded for San Diego is 4.90% right now, which is a little bit lower than the nationwide average of 5.20%. Job growth nationwide is 1.59%, but in San Diego, it is a little bit faster at 2.22%.

How much can you expect to make?

How much can you expect to make?

That of course depends on your sector and position, but we can glance over some statistics to get a feel for the average income in the city.

According to the City of San Diego, the typical family of four residing in San Diego brings in a median income of $63,400. The US Census estimate is $66,529, with a per capita income of $33,482. It is believed that around 12.4% of the population is impoverished.

If you visit the Census link, you can view further information such as the number of men- and women-owned firms, minority-owned firms, and so forth.

What Does the Average Home Cost in San Diego?

What Does the Average Home Cost in San Diego?

As mentioned previously, housing in San Diego is on the pricey side, with costs rising swiftly as demand continues to soar. The Census reports that from 2012-2016, the median home value was $454,600. As of the time of this writing, Zillow lists the home value index for San Diego at $625,759.

What Are Schools Like in San Diego?

What Are Schools Like in San Diego?

Families with children will be pleased to know that there are numerous different options for schooling in the area, both public and private. That includes 42 primary and secondary school districts as well as 5 college districts. 335 private schools are in the area.

If you research online, you can view ratings for the different schools and districts. Some schools which have received widespread acclaim include Del Norte High School, Scripps Ranch High School, Scripps Elementary School, and Willow Grove Elementary School.

How High Are San Diego Crime Rates?

How High Are San Diego Crime Rates?

According to a recent report from the San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego’s crime rate has dipped to its lowest point in almost half a century. Crime rates decreased 7% between 2016 and 2017 alone. So, for those looking for peace and quiet and a safe place to raise their kids, that is excellent news.

How Can You Get Around San Diego?

How Can You Get Around San Diego?

If you have ever been caught in San Diego rush hour traffic, you might feel a bit daunted by the prospect of traveling around the area—especially since a lot of people work across town from where they live.

If you time your drives however and you do not live on the edge of the city, you can usually get around quickly. The Census states that on average, most San Diegans are able to commute to their jobs within 25.3 minutes.

Don’t want to drive? A lot of folks in the area rely on public transportation provided by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. There are both buses and trolleys, so you do not actually need to own a car. The Orange, Green and Blue lines keep the entire area well-connected.

What Is There to Do Around the Area?

What Is There to Do Around the Area?

One of the biggest draws to San Diego is leisure. You will work hard to make ends meet with the cost of living, but on the weekends, you will find endless fun activities awaiting you around the area.

Downtown, you can visit famous destinations like Balboa Park, SeaWorld San Diego, the San Diego Zoo, and the USS Midway Museum, or you can shop or dine in the Gaslamp Quarter. Lining the coast are numerous beautiful beaches where you can take in the fresh, warm air and wade in the sparkling waters. Those who enjoy hiking will want to drive east out of town to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Let’s make your California dreams come true!

Maureen can connect you with competitive mortgage rates and help you move into a beautiful home in sunny San Diego. If you are ready to make San Diego your home, contact Maureen Martin at HomePlus Mortgage today at (619) 857-7191.

See What Our Clients Are Saying About Us!

Sam Button
Sam Button
23:11 27 Sep 23
I had the pleasure of working with Maureen for my first home purchase, and her service was stellar from start to finish! Things can be very daunting for a first time home buyer, and Maureen made sure to take the time to explain everything easily and effectively - she is a great communicator and she made the process much easier for me. I was previously working with a different lender and Maureen was able to match their fees and provide quite a bit lower interest rate for me! Definitely will be recommending her to friends/family in the future if they decide to purchase a home.
Edward Lepe
Edward Lepe
16:08 25 Aug 23
This review is long overdue but well deserved. Maureen came to the rescue when I purchased my home in April. I was working with a different lender that was referred to me by my realtor, after a few bad experiences and my gut telling me to get a second opinion, I called Maureen less than 3 weeks before closing. From the beginning, Maureen was genuine, professional, and kind, she let me know what she could and could not do, set the right expectations and made me feel at ease. She immediately got to work, I can tell she was genuine in her intent to help me...not only was she able to close in record time, but she saved me over 1% in my rate, lower closing cost and a lower monthly payment. All while closing in record time. Maureen is truly in a class above the rest, she's passionate about helping people, genuine, honest, professional and effective. Thank you Maureen!
Ron Steen
Ron Steen
23:05 30 May 23
Spent 10 minutes on the phone with her and she helped me immensely. Without trying to push a sale or make a deal, she helped me answer questions and was truly trying to help me even though she had nothing to gain. I will recommend her to anyone that will listen. SHE IS AMAZING!!!
Yara Tercero
Yara Tercero
16:42 24 May 23
Maureen helped us close in record time even with repair negotiations. She was super on top of everything. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience with an always stressful process of buying a home. 1000% recommend Maureen. She sticks to her word and won’t promise anything she can’t deliver on.
Melanie Davis
Melanie Davis
10:39 19 May 23
If you are looking for a review to help you decide if you should use Maureen, this is it. She’s up front and “kept it real” with me. I had shopped around for the best rate for my refi and lenders quotes were all over the board and I couldn’t make sense of it. I called her to see what she could do and not only did she have expert knowledge of the market, she offered excellent advice on how to navigate it to my benefit. No one else did that. She was patient and explained how things worked so I understood what decisions I was making. I prefer to work with someone who will tell me like it is instead of what they think I want to hear. I saw first hand how some brokers don’t care, you’re just another client to them. But she advocated for me as if she were me and that is invaluable and rare. I can’t thank her enough for her insight, experience and support during the process. I’m so glad I called her.
Jerome Farnan
Jerome Farnan
18:06 17 May 23
Maureen is more than a mortgage broker, she's a helpful person who really wants to do what she can to make the process go smoothly. She is super knowledgeable about the mortgage business, real estate, financial trends and seemingly everything that is remotely related to mortgages. This made me very comfortable with the process and helped us greatly to coordinate the escrow people and the real estate people, and all the documents and information needed. If you get in touch with Maureen, she will start helping you before you even know what you need.
Christian Thorn
Christian Thorn
18:29 11 May 23
An amazing person to work with. Plans ahead for any hiccups in the process and is very organized. Definitely recommend her to anyone looking to purchase or refi a home!
Cam Tran
Cam Tran
18:22 11 May 23
We've bought 4 homes so far and Maureen has been the BEST lender we've worked with! She has outstanding communication and you can tell she is dedicated to her work. She was prompt, easily accessible and always willing to answer any questions we had. She was also ready to fund us for an earlier closing! If you're looking for a lender, SHE'S THE ONE!!
Emily Mitchell
Emily Mitchell
18:23 27 Apr 23
My experience working with Maureen starts off with a story of a lifetime. I am cofounder and president of a local nonprofit animal sanctuary, and towards the start of 2023 I found myself in one of the most challenging situations of my life. My husband and I had made the difficult decision to separate, and if the animals and I were going to stay at the property in Ramona, CA I would need to qualify for my own loan and refinance the house.This is where Maureen comes in. From the beginning, I knew I was in good hands. I had diligently searched for a good lender who could give me a good rate that would allow me to afford the house, and Maureen beat the competition. Not only that, but she was pivotal in pursuing an opportunity to lock-in on a good rate one evening when rates had momentarily dropped (rates went back up the very next day, so I was very lucky to have had a responsive and determined lender like Maureen!). Maureen never rushed me, encouraged me to do whatever was best for my unique situation, and was extremely patient with all of my questions. Perhaps above all, Maureen was kind, thorough, and a great listener throughout the entire process. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the phone call with her while I was driving one of our sheep home from the vet, midway through the process of securing my loan. I felt a little embarrassed that I had to speak loudly over a very opinionated sheep in the car, but that didn’t seem to phase Maureen. It only fueled her desire to help.Committing to a new loan is a big deal and can be stressful, especially with the future forever home of an animal sanctuary at stake. I’m beyond thrilled and relieved to report that my loan officially funded yesterday, and I could not have had a better lender on my side. 10/10 recommend Maureen for your future loan needs. She might just rescue you (and your animals)!
Rosie Zuno
Rosie Zuno
15:32 27 Apr 23
If we could give more stars we would! We have had the pleasure of working with Maureen Martin multiple times in the past 10 years, not only for personal transactions, but we also refer her to our clients and close family because she is simply amazing. She is a true professional, her work ethic is outstanding and we could not be happier to work with her and her team. As a Professional Realtor myself, I can say that Maureen Martin is the best in the industry, I have worked with may Lenders, none like Maureen and the team she has built. When working with her as my lender, I know the transaction will go smooth because she is on top of her game, and her team is as efficient as her. Thank you Maureen for always being there to help us with personal transactions and also my clients, we really appreciate you!!! We look forward to working with you again soon 🙂
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