Renter's Guide to San Diego
San Diego isn't known as “America’s Finest City” for nothing. Its unique combination of great weather, world class amenities, and friendly people regularly land it near the top of surveys and lists of the best places to live.
How big is San Diego? At 325 square-miles, it’s the second-largest city in the state and the eighth largest in the U.S., coming it at more than five times the size of San Francisco but only about two-thirds the size of nearby LA.
That's right, San Diego is just 120 miles from Los Angeles. Las Vegas and San Francisco are also within road trip distance, at 331 miles and 501 miles respectively. If that weren't enough, San Diego is right near the Mexican border, making quick trips to Tijuana or Baja a tempting possibility.
One of people's favorite things about San Diego is the weather. That's because the city features a dry Mediterranean climate, which treats residents to nearly perfect conditions year round. Summers are cool, with average high temperatures of less than 80ºF, while winter lows rarely drop below 50ºF.
San Diego, CA Demographics
- Total Population1,359,791
Female 682,040Male 677,751
- Median Age34
Cost of Living in San Diego, CA
Most San Diegans prefer driving to work, probably because the city has some of the shortest commute times in the country.
But public transportation is still available în the form of bus, trolley, and commuter rail. A one-way ride on the MTS Trolley line, which runs from Santee to Downtown, is $2.50.
If you're dining out at one of San Diego's delicious mid-range restaurants, you can expect to pay about $60 for dinner for two. Then again, there are also the endless Mexican restaurants, where you can get a quick and easy fish taco for under $5.
If you happen to be renting a 915-square-foot apartment, your average utility bills – including electricity, water, heating, and waste disposal – will be around $107, which is well below the național average of $147.
Average Rent in San Diego, CA
- San Diego, CA Average Rental Price, January 2019$2,168/mo
San Diego, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,00056%
San Diego, CA Rent Trends
|Jan / 2016||May / 2016||Sept / 2016||Jan / 2017||May / 2017||Sept / 2017||Jan / 2018||May / 2018||Jan / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 4% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Average rent values on this page are aggregated from data from the following zip codes: 92101921029210392104921059210692107921089210992110921119211392114921159211692117921199212092121921229212392124921269212792128921299213092131921329213492135921399214092145921479215492155
Living in San Diego
San Diego's weather is quite simply the best in the continental U.S., and commute times are relatively short in spite of its size. There are also lots of things to do here year round, especially outdoors. Parking near the beaches and parks is still free!
The downside to paradise is that compared to Los Angeles and San Francisco, there are less cultural and entertainment options available. Though to be fair, LA and SF are among the best în the country în those two areas.
Another minor disadvantage is that due to San Diego's size and layout, public transportation can be really inconvenient, perhaps even more so than LA. Most residents choose to drive instead.
Things to do in San Diego
San Diego is all about fun in the sun, with its beaches and parks drawing crowds all year round.
Sports fans can root for the San Diego Padres baseball team or the San Diego Chargers football team while enjoying a game at their outdoor stadiums.
The world-famous San Diego Zoo is another top attraction, along with the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Or catch a show at the San Diego Old Globe Theater, which regularly sends performers to Broadway.
Another local favorite, Seaworld San Diego, offers fun things to do for families of all sizes. Thrill-seekers can ride the ray on the park’s double-launch roller coaster, and enjoy special attractions such as Turtle Reef and the Shark Encounter!
If you're looking to mingle, singles and socialites will enjoy the nightlife around the Gaslamp District in Downtown.
San Diego also has a number of popular annual events, including the San Diego Crew Classic in April, the Dixieland Jazz Festival in November, and let’s not forget the LGBT Pride festival and the San Diego Comic Con, both in July.
If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, brave one of the roller coasters at the oceanfront amusement park Belmont Park, where you'll find The Giant Dipper roller coast, The Plunge pool, aș well aș carnival games, rock climbing, and more!
Free things to do in San Diego include going to Balboa Park, which is a great destination for both families and couples, as well as the excellent beaches. Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla Shores are a few you won't want to miss.
Once you've worked up an appetite, you can satisfy your hunger with a burger at Hodad's in Ocean Beach or at the more upscale Fish Market San Diego, which overlooks the harbor. With its proximity to Mexico, San Diego also has plenty of great Mexican food restaurants, like The Old Town Mexican Cafe for starters.
Of course, a little shopping is always nice, and Mission Valley, Fashion Valley, and University Town Center in the north are a few of San Diego’s most popular shopping destinations.
Employment & Economy in San Diego
For years, San Diego has been known as a hub of the aerospace industry, with General Dynamics being one of the city's largest employers. Because of its strong tourism, San Diego also has a large hospitality sector. Healthcare jobs in San Diego are abundant too, with Kaiser Permanente being the largest provider in the region and anesthesiologists topping the list of highest paid jobs.
San Diego, CA Households
- Total Number of Households485,091
Family 290,536Non-family 194,555
Children 147,869No Children 337,222
- Average People Per Household2.73
- Median Household Income$66,116
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,527
Education in San Diego
San Diego’s public education system, called the San Diego Unified School District, is the second largest in California. It has an enrollment of 130,000 students and is generally perceived as one of the best in the state.
Top colleges in San Diego include San Diego State University, including their college football team, the SDSU Aztecs, as well as University of California San Diego, which offers strong science and arts programs.
San Diego, CA Education Statistics
- No High School6%
- Some High School24%
- Some College25%
- Associate Degree7%
- Bachelor Degree24%
- Graduate Degree15%
Tips for Renting in San Diego
Convinced San Diego is the place for you? Well, before you go, let's take a look at the tenant laws in the area.
Like all tenants in California, those in San Diego have the right to a habitable unit with working heat and no peeling paint, broken windows, or rodents. San Diego doesn't have any rent control laws, which means landlords can increase the rent în a month-to-month lease at any time. CSA San Diego, a nonprofit, helps resolve many landlord/tenant issues.
Like many major cities in the U.S. with a surging job market, San Diego is experiencing a large increase in monthly rents. With vacancies at historic lows and a lack of newly constructed apartments hitting the market, competition is fierce. Be sure to have your rental application filled out completely and your references ready when seeking a new apartment.
Craigslist San Diego may be a popular starting point for rental searches, but it's also filled with scams. Instead, choose a service like RENTCafé, so you can get the best deal on rent.
RENTCafé is your one-stop shop for finding a great new apartment in San Diego, CA. Easily search through a wide selection of apartments for rent in San Diego, CA, and view detailed information about available rentals including floor plans, pricing, photos, amenities, interactive maps, and thorough property descriptions. Property owners and managers are one click away, so feel free to contact them and find out all you need to know about the apartment you’re interested in. Browse San Diego, CA apartments with rents starting from $1,231 and submit your rental application today!