10 Pros & Cons of Living in San Diego

Considering San Diego as your next home?

Regarded as one of the greatest cities in the country, the third-largest Californian city is a lively place to live. But is it the right fit for you?

Let’s look at the good and the not-so-good of living here.

See: 10 Pros & Cons Of Living in Las Vegas

Pros of Living in San Diego

Abundant Job Opportunities

Moving to San Diego is a sure way of fast-tracking your career to success. The town has no shortage of employment opportunities and has something for its citizens. 

The unemployment rate in the city lingers below 5%, which is the state unemployment average. Fared against the national average, the average wages in San Diego are also 14% higher!

Moving to San Diego is a great opportunity for people with scope in industries, including tech, healthcare, tourism, and the military. There are plenty of Fortune five hundred companies in San Diego. 

According to Zippia, some big companies in San Diego include: 

  • Autoliv
  • Qualcomm 
  • Kyocera Mobile 
  • Petco Holdings, Inc
  • Sharp HealthCare

The Blissful Weather

As the city’s average hot temperature lingers around seventy degrees annually, the weather in San Diego comes off as pure bliss.

The residents in San Diego report that the weather here stays the good majority of the time, which accounts for a great outdoor experience.

The sunny weather of San Diego will allow you to visit and try the recreational activities and other entertainment options available in the city. 

Living in San Diego will also allow you to avoid the dreary winters and the gloomy rainy weather.

While you may experience a lack of season, the weather here remains delightful, enhancing the city’s lifestyle. 

Never-ending Recreational Activities

The outdoor recreation of San Diego never ceases to amaze and is a big draw for people considering moving to San Diego. 

The innumerable outdoor activities in San Diego ensure that living in the city is always exciting!

Especially if you have a knack for nature, San Diego has everything for you. For example, let’s talk about the dreamy beaches present only a mere stone’s throw away. 

Take on the beaches to enjoy the calm sea waves. San Diego is also famous for its active surfing scene. If surfing is not your thing, San Diego has more in store for you, including fishing, snorkeling, yoga, biking, or hiking, to name a few. 

Moving to San Diego is your chance to live a joyous life! 

Copious Food Delicacies

Here is a little fun fact: San Diego is home to more than 7000 restaurants within city limits! If you are a profound foodie, San Diego has much to offer you! 

The population here is diverse, as are the food options. Moving to San Diego, the diverse food scene will quickly catch your eye. Expect great ramen, sushi, and other Asian delicacies cooked to the finest. 

The Mexican dishes do not lag, either! With Tacos considered a way of life, Mexican food is a big hit in San Diego. 

Conclusively, moving to San Diego will expose you to many new places to try and introduce you to many food delicacies. 

According to Time Out, the best restaurants in San Diego include: 

  • Herb & Sea
  • Juniper & Ivy
  • Cesarina
  • Salud Tacos

More: Is Tacoma, WA a good place to live?

A Supportive Community

The biggest disadvantage of moving to a different city is being a stranger in a strange world.

An estranged environment might make you feel lonely, hindering anything good a city offers. 

Luckily San Diego is short on anonymity, with many neighborhoods having a strong sense of community.

The locals make the newcomers feel welcome and go above and beyond to make them feel like a part of the community. 

The locals in San Diego look out so much for each other that they consider supporting local businesses to develop a stronger community.

On the other hand, an area like Ocean Beqach is a festive place where the entire city gets together. 

Party out at Ocean Beach with the locals, and their colors will shine onto you too! 

Cons of Living in San Diego

High Living Costs

San Diego is in the big leagues. And if you want to thrive in the big leagues, you need to have a strong source of income. In the past half-decade, housing pricing in the city has increased drastically. Today, you must accumulate $650-700K to buy a house in San Diego. 

Renting is costly here too. For renting a studio apartment in San Diego, expect to pay $2500. In contrast, you can easily rent a 2-bedroom apartment in Florida for $2600. 

Minus the housing costs, San Diego will prove costly in other aspects too! We mean food, clothing, recreation, and transportation. So move to San Diego only if you can afford to live there! 

High Taxes

As if the city is not expensive enough, the residents in San Diego also have to worry about the high taxes in the city! 

San Diego citizens have an 8% sales tax imposed on them. A higher sales tax means you will be paying an additional amount over anything you buy, 8% more in this case. Apart from the sales tax, there are also enormous taxes on income. 

With high property rates, living costs, and taxes, living in San Diego is not for the faint-hearted. 


Being near the Mexican border, San Diego has always faced significant crime reports, majorly drug-related. 

With Tijuana close to San Diego, the drug problem still lives in the city, including many offenders partaking in drug trafficking.

While the entire city is not safe to walk out of the active city, there are some areas you must avoid during daytime hours! 

If you are moving to San Diego, you must always stay vigilant and pick one of the safe neighboorhoods in San Diego. While violent crimes are not in higher numbers, watch out for armed robberies, arsons, and vehicle thefts. 


While it’s true that San Diego’s traffic is better than notoriously congested cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, it can still be a frustrating experience for locals.

One of the biggest issues with traffic in San Diego is the lack of effective public transit options. While it is possible to get around the city using public transit, the system is far from perfect.

Not only is it expensive, but it can also take three times longer than driving to get to your destination.

This means that owning a car is a necessity for most people in San Diego, which can be a major expense.

Another issue with San Diego’s traffic is the sheer number of cars on the road. While there are some efforts to encourage alternative modes of transportation, such as biking and walking, the city is still largely car-centric.

This means that rush hour traffic can be especially frustrating, with long delays and slow-moving traffic becoming a regular occurrence.

If you are interested, check out our comparison between San Diego and Los Angeles.

Homeless Population

In recent years, San Diego’s homeless population has reached an all-time high, with downtown San Diego experiencing a particularly concerning increase in homeless individuals.

According to recent statistics, there were approximately 1,900 homeless people counted in downtown San Diego on January 31st, 2023.

The trend of increasing homelessness in San Diego doesn’t seem to be slowing down, with the city ranking 5th in the US for the homeless population.

This has led to many challenges for residents, including concerns about public safety, hygiene, and the availability of resources for the homeless population.

The situation has also led to a negative impact on tourism, with some visitors feeling uncomfortable in certain areas of the city and the downtown district becoming less attractive as a result.

Is San Diego a Good Place to LIve?

Absolutely, if you can handle the price tag. San Diego is pretty pricey, and unless you’re making a good chunk of change, owning a home might be a stretch.

That said, a lot of folks think it’s the best spot in California. The city’s got a mix of young folks and retirees, and with an average age of 35, it’s clear that it’s popular with the younger crowd.

If you’re thinking about raising kids here, there’s good news and not-so-good news. San Diego’s been recognized as a top spot for families, even getting a shoutout as one of the best U.S. cities to raise kids in 2023.

The catch? It’s not cheap, and if you’re on a budget, things can get tight.

Now, if you’ve got jobs lined up and have crunched the numbers to make sure you can afford it, then why not? Kids adjust, and the bonus?

When they’re looking at colleges, they’ll have some great options right in California. A big part of being happy, wherever you are, is feeling good about your decision.

So, if San Diego feels right for you and your family, go for it! Just remember, places that seem awesome on vacation can feel a bit different day-to-day. But in the end, it’s all about what makes you and yours happy.

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