cost of moving to San Diego CA

How Much Money Do You Need to Comfortably Live in San Diego?

Home to 1.4 million, San Diego attracts many people to its neighborhoods every single year. From families and couples to singles and young professionals, San Diego leaves its mark on anyone who lives here. There are plenty of open green spaces, tight knit communities, lots of recreational opportunities, and proximity to beautiful beaches.

But the question is: can you afford to live here? If so, how much money do you need to comfortably live in this Pacific Coast city? Let’s dive right in.

According to NerdWallet, the median salary in San Diego is $63,73, with the average salary being up to $75K. It’s the 14th most expensive city in the nation out of 268 cities. Here are some more quick stats:

  • Median two-bedroom apartment rent: $2,393
  • Median home price: $798,964
  • Gas: $3.79 per gallon
  • Bread: $4.66
  • Dozen eggs: $2.99
  • Gallon of milk: $2.19
  • 12-inch Pizza Hut pizza: $10.99
  • McDonalds Quarter-Pounder with cheese: $5.31
  • Movie ticket: $14.12
  • Yoga class: $20.67
  • 6-pack Heineken beer: $9.66
  • Cost of a doctor’s visit: $131.25
  • Cost of dentist visit: $104.00
  • Cost of optometrist visit: $114.50
  • Average public school rating on 6/10


You shouldn’t be spending more than 25 percent of your gross monthly salary on rent. So if your income is $4,000 a month ($48K/year), your monthly rent should be no higher than $1,000. But in San Diego, the average rent is $1852 per month, and that’s for a one-bedroom, an increase of 2.7 percent from the previous year.

You’ll need to make almost double that salary to afford it.

The median price of homes in San Diego County is $650,000, with the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage at 3.29 percent, the lowest it’s been in 50 years. That’s down from 4.41 percent over last year.

At this rate, a household with a $500K mortgage would save $300 on their monthly payments.


Don’t forget to factor in transportation costs. San Diego has a great public transit system, with monthly transportation costs varying with your travel frequency, distance covered, the time of travel, and mode of transportation. Using the public transit system will cost you between $75 and $165 per month. If you take a private car instead, you will spend between $150 and $400 depending on distance traveled.

The average commuting time here is 26 minutes, with San Diego residents spending 14% of their budget on transportation, says the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.


In San Diego, services such as electricity, water, trash removal, gas, cable, and Internet have increased by 1.4% over the last year, with some experts saying that number will go up by 1.1% this year. The average cost of essential utilities for a 1000-square-foot apartment in San Diego is $200 per month, which covers the basics like those listed above.

How much you spend on utilities will vary with lifestyle and location. Those who live in urban areas will spend more on utilities than people in rural areas.


San Diego residents spend 13.3% of their household budget on food, slightly above the national average at 12.9%. The average monthly cost of food is between $345 and $500. Cooking at home will save you a lot of money. The average cost of cooking at home is $15 per day while a three-course meal at a restaurant costs $50.


The State of California is notorious for high taxes. It actually has the highest income tax rate in the country. The sales tax rate for San Diego is currently at 7.75%, combining city sales tax and state-county taxes. San Diego property tax rate is 0.77%, below the national rate of 1.08%.


The cost of healthcare in San Diego is expensive, with health care prices being 64% higher than the national.

Cost of Moving

If you’re looking to move from another state to San Diego, be prepared to pay up. San Diego is ranked third amongst the most expensive cities in which to relocate, with the average cost of relocating to San Diego being $5,174. This sum includes the truck rental, fuel, professional movers, and first-month rent and deposit. Other cities with high moving coast include San Francisco and San Jose, with average moving costs of $5,523 and $5,661 respectively. Cities with the cheapest relocation cost? Las Vegas and Orlando.

Even with all this information, it can be very difficult to pinpoint how much money you will need to comfortably live in San Diego. What you need to do is determine how much your salary is or will be once you move here, then calculate all your costs from there. Create a budget, and stick to it.

If you love it here enough, you will make it work!

Contact Best Fit Movers

When you’re ready to make the move to San Diego, contact us at 858-429-0096 for a free quote.






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