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Is San Diego Better than Los Angeles?

San Diego, home to 1.4 million, brings young and old to its communities each year, for many reasons – not the least of which is its beautiful weather, beaches, and green spaces. From families and couples to singles and young professionals, San Diego is a desirable place to live.

Los Angeles, home to 3.9 million, is much larger in size and couldn’t be any more different in terms of amenities, traffic, jobs, lifestyle, and attractions.

If you’re trying to decide between the two cities to move to, there are many things to consider about both. They’re tough to compare because they are so different. But there are many excellent qualities about each one that would attract you to live in one or the other. Let’s go over some main aspects of life in San Diego and LA.

Salary

San Diego

The median salary in San Diego is $63,73, with the average salary being up to $75K, according to According to NerdWallet. In fact, it happens to be the 14th most expensive city in the country out of 268 cities surveyed.

Los Angeles

According to PayScale, the average salary in Los Angeles is $75,000 per year. Wages increased by 1.8% in the second quarter of 2020. The most popular occupations here include Software Engineer, Project Manager and Operations Manager which pay between $44,000 and $143,000 per year. The most popular employers include Northrop Grumman Corporation, University of Southern California (USC), and The Walt Disney Company.

The cost of living in is 43 percent higher than the national average.

According to BestPlaces, Los Angeles is 8% more expensive than San Diego. Los Angeles housing costs are nearly 7% more expensive than San Diego’s. Health-related expenses are 0.4% more in LA.

Check out this graph by BestPlaces, which compares the cost of living in both places as well as the national average.

Mortgage/Rent

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.

The median price of homes in Los Angeles County is $664,495, with home values increasing 5.2% over the last year. Estimates say they will fall -0.5% within the next year. The median list price per square foot is $452, higher than the LA/Long Beach/Anaheim metro area average of $447. The median rent price is $3,200.

Transportation

San Diego has an excellent public transit system, with monthly transportation costs varying with your travel frequency, time of travel, mode of transportation and distance covered. 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, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In Los Angeles, transit rates start at a base fare of $1.75. On top of single-ride fare, options include the Metro Day Pass ($7) and the 7-Day Pass ($25). The average commute in LA is longer than San Diego at 53 minutes, which is four minutes higher than the national average of 49 minutes.

Utilities

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.

In Los Angeles, basic utilities, including heating, cooling, electricity, water and trash removal, will cost you an average of $130 a month, with a range of $70 to $245. Internet will cost you $64 a month.

Food

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.

In Los Angeles, the average household spends 13.2% on food, not much higher than the 12.9-percent U.S. average. Los Angeles-area households spend 50% of their food dollars on food at home and 50% on food away from home.

Even with all this information, it can be very difficult to pinpoint which city is better: San Diego or Los Angeles. You can’t go wrong with either one!

Contact Best Fit Movers

Whether you choose San Diego or Los Angeles, contact us at 858-429-0096 for a free quote.

 

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