Moving to San Diego? Here's a bunch of info that will help you plan and execute your move!
Do you want to start fresh in a beautiful Californian city like gorgeous San Diego? Moving to this area can be tricky due to the many local laws, high cost of living, and unspoken rules of renting that many first-time residents aren’t aware of.
From saving enough money for an apartment to interviewing roommates to figuring out where to park, the details of relocating can be overwhelming and stressful no matter where you go, but it’s more difficult when you’re moving to San Diego. Where to live, where to go, what to look for, and how to get it all done:
These tips for moving to San Diego, CA, will help you make the transition faster and smoother. Here are the top things to look out for.
How Much Money to Save Before Moving
Let’s assume that you plan on renting an average studio apartment. In this area, the average cost for that apartment would be about $1,350 per month. Add up the first and last months’ rent, plus a security deposit, plus brokerage fees when they apply.
A few hundred dollars may be needed to go toward companies for moving help. San Diego is one of the more expensive places one can live; however, secondary costs like groceries are cheaper by comparison.
Estimating high and having a cushion of money to adjust for the 33% cost-of-living increase (compared to the national average) will help to make the transition easier as well. All in all, you should expect to spend somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000 when you move into an average studio apartment in San Diego, California.
That’s if you were to have a small apartment alone. If you plan to have roommates, you’ll likely spend $3,000 to $4,000 (which is still not cheap)!
Image source: Huffington Post
Where to Live
Next is the somewhat dizzying concept of trying to find the best place to live in a big city like this. Use our guides for finding the best apartment* and choosing the best neighborhood to help you locate the kind of neighborhood that’s right for you before moving to San Diego.
Advice a rental agent or expert would tell you includes focusing on the neighborhoods rather than only the features, especially if you’re looking for your family and trying to find the right environment for your kids. Look at the best schools, for instance, and the safety of the area. Then, consider your budget and whether or not an ideal neighborhood is within that budget.
When to Move
This is one of our most important tips for moving to San Diego, CA: Move during the winter! Vacation renters occupy the city during the “summer season” in early spring and late fall.
If you can, try to avoid moving during March, April, May, August, September, or October, since that’s usually when rental costs spike because of college students and vacation rentals. Aim to sign a lease in the wintertime, optimally within the month of January.
What to Watch Out For Before You Sign a Lease
The FBI has warned locals of several types of rental scams, and some organizations have issued warnings about using websites like Craigslist to find apartments. There are ways to avoid rental fraud, but the simplest and best way to handle this is to not just look at the listing and hand over a check but to visit the apartment in person with a friend. Inspect your apartment.
Have a checklist, and don’t be abashed about opening cupboards, turning on faucets, and even asking if it’s possible to have an overnight stay. Naturally, working with a broker like Jumpshell can help you avoid many of the common fraud issues and scams one sees. A rental company will work to bring the right renters and landlords together, eliminating the stresses of dealing with the free-for-all of an online listing service for both parties and making the process easy.
Getting Acquainted With the Area
Naturally, finding the best apartment is just one aspect of how to move to San Diego; moving also takes time and adjustments of little things. These unique aspects of San Diego are other things to consider in the moving process:
- Because of things like street-sweeping, parking can be an issue, depending on where you go. Be sure to learn about the parking around your apartment and workplace. Get a Compass Card for when you’re planning on using public transportation.
- Water is usually strictly conserved here; don’t waste it. Also, recycling is enforced here. Be sure to learn about local laws regarding both.
- Comic-Con is a thing. It’s a world-famous thing. And it draws 130,000 people. Even if you never plan to go, mark it on your calendar so you’ll be aware of potential changes in your commute.
- You’ll slowly become accustomed to the grocery stores (Albertsons, Vons, Ralphs, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Fresh & Easy), the Internet providers (AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Cox), and the local news channels (with the San Diego Union-Tribune being the main newspaper and CBS8, 10News, Fox5, and KPBS being some of the main local channels).
- If you have a dog, you’ll want to make sure your dog is licensed and vaccinated.
- You’ll want to obtain a new driver’s license and register to vote sooner rather than later.
Our team of local experts can also give more advice on how to move quickly, cheaply, and to an apartment you’ll love. Contact us now for more help.