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Bedford & Driggs

The Real Cost of Living in San Diego

June 8, 2023 

San Diego is a unique coastal city that stands out from others across the country. It boasts of stunning beaches, world-famous landmarks, popular tourist attractions, year-round sunshine and a thriving economy, making it a vibrant and diverse city that offers an exceptional quality of life. However, like many big cities, the cost of living in San Diego is high, making it an important factor to consider when contemplating a move. Whether you’re moving to San Diego for work, school, or a change of environment, having a clear understanding of the cost of living will enable you to make informed decisions and manage your finances efficiently. So, let’s explore what it entails to live in “America’s Finest City!” 

Housing Costs
One of the biggest expenses when it comes to living in San Diego is housing, with the median home value reaching a whopping $796,000, according to Zillow. While this can be daunting for some, it’s essential to note that the cost of housing in San Diego varies by neighborhood. If you’re looking for a luxurious lifestyle, neighborhoods like La Jolla, Del Mar, and Coronado may be the perfect fit, but keep in mind that the median home values are well over a million dollars. However, if you’re on a budget, more affordable neighborhoods like City Heights, National City, and San Ysidro have median home values closer to $400,000. 

Renting is also an option in San Diego, but like buying, it varies depending on the neighborhood. If you’re looking for a prime location, neighborhoods like Downtown, La Jolla, and Mission Bay have median rents well over $3,000 per month. However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, areas like Lemon Grove, El Cajon, and Santee offer median rents closer to $1,500 per month. 

Despite the high cost of living in San Diego, many young professionals find the city’s vibrant culture and excellent job opportunities to be worth the expense. With the housing market becoming more competitive due to high demand and limited supply, it’s essential to do your research before making any big moves. Don’t let the cost of living in San Diego scare you away. Join the many others who have found success in America’s Finest City!

Transportation Costs
Exploring the lively city of San Diego requires reliable and cost-effective transportation. While the city boasts an extensive public transit system with buses, trolleys, and bike-sharing programs, the expenses can quickly add up for daily commutes or frequent travel. Monthly passes for public transit cost around $70, while one-way fares range from $1.25 to $5. For a more comfortable ride, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are readily available, but costs may vary based on distance and time of day. 

For some residents, owning a car is a practical option. However, the cost of gas in San Diego fluctuates around $4 per gallon, and car maintenance and parking fees can add up. Parking fees range from $1 to $4 per hour in most areas, with some locations charging even higher rates. Monthly parking permits can cost anywhere from $45 to $250 depending on the location. 

Considering all these factors, owning a car can be a practical choice, but it’s crucial to factor in all the expenses. Public transportation, ridesharing services, and biking are also cost-effective transportation options that can help you stay within your budget. Regardless of your transportation preferences, there’s no shortage of exciting places to explore in San Diego. 

Food and Leisure Costs
San Diego is not only known for its beautiful beaches and great weather but also for its diverse and vibrant food scene. With countless restaurants, food trucks, local markets, and street vendors, there is no shortage of delicious food to be found. Eating out can be expensive, but there are plenty of mid-range options available for under $30 per meal. For those on a budget, food trucks, local markets, and street vendors offer affordable and delicious options. 

When it comes to leisure activities, San Diego offers a wide range of options, many of which come with added costs such as admission tickets and service fees. However, there are also plenty of free events and attractions throughout the city, such as festivals, free museum days, and outdoor concerts. Oh, and the beaches and parks in San Diego are of course free to visit and offer a great way to enjoy the city’s natural beauty and outdoor activities! 

Overall, while San Diego can be an expensive city to live in, there are ways to enjoy the food and leisure scene without breaking the bank. By exploring affordable food options and taking advantage of free events and attractions, residents can experience all that the city has to offer without overspending. 

Living in San Diego can be a dream come true for many, with its perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and an abundance of activities to enjoy. While the cost of living in San Diego may be higher than other cities, it’s important to remember that the expenses are subject to variation based on your lifestyle and requirements. With careful budgeting and prioritization, anyone can enjoy the high quality of life that San Diego has to offer. Whether you’re looking to splurge or stick to a budget, San Diego has options that suit your needs and preferences. 

If you’re considering relocating to San Diego, we recommend exploring the city before committing to a long-term lease. Short-term rentals can be an excellent way to experience different neighborhoods and get a feel for life in San Diego. At B&D, we offer fully furnished, move-in ready units in the highly sought-after area of La Jolla UTC. 

Get a taste of San Diego living. Contact us to learn more about our short-term rental options and find your perfect temporary home in San Diego. Come experience the beauty of this wonderful city for yourself!

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