What You Need to Know About Moving to San Diego from Out of State

Moving to a new city, especially one as vibrant and diverse as San Diego can be thrilling and daunting. In this guide, we'll discover the top 5 things to know before moving to San Diego, explore the San Diego lifestyle, and learn about housing options in San Diego. 

San Diego Overview

San Diego, often referred to as "America's Finest City," is a coastal metropolis located in Southern California. The city is known for its stunning beaches, diverse neighborhoods, and thriving economy. With its rich cultural influences, food, traditions, and beautiful weather, San Diego offers residents an enviable lifestyle year-round.

5 Things to Know Before Moving to San Diego

1. Weather

San Diego is known for being sunny year-round, and there is truth to that stereotype. San Diego averages only 41 days of rain per year, with sunny skies for over 70% of the year. So enjoy the warm, sunny weather!

Unfortunately, with the sun comes drought. San Diego has been in and out of drought for decades. So it’s extremely important to be water-conscious when living in San Diego.

2. Earthquakes

Like most places in California, San Diego experiences earthquakes. The USGS predicts that San Diego may experience a 7.0 or greater magnitude quake in the next 30 years. If you live near a fault line, taking out earthquake insurance isn’t a bad idea. That said, most earthquakes here are very minor and hardly even noticeable. 

3. Cost of Living

No surprises here, the cost of living in San Diego is very high. In 2023, San Diego became the #1 most expensive place to live in the United States. Before making your move, make sure you consider all the costs of moving to and living in San Diego. 

4. Traffic and Transit

With the increasing population, traffic in San Diego can be no joke. While nowhere near LA level, driving during rush hour can be a nightmare. However, outside of rush hour driving in San Diego isn’t that bad.

Another way to avoid the traffic is to take advantage of San Diego’s public transportation system. Over the past several years, San Diego has been investing in making public transport more accessible and available. The trolley system especially is a great way to beat road traffic.

5. Recreation

Thanks to the nice weather and gorgeous landscapes, outdoor recreation is a San Diego favorite year-round. San Diegans love surfing at the beaches, hiking our local mountains, and picnicking at Balboa Park or by the Bay. In the winter, locals also love making the short drive up our local mountains for snowboarding and skiing.

San Diego Lifestyle

Embracing the Laid-back Vibe

Embrace San Diego’s relaxed pace of life and laid-back attitude. As a newcomer, make sure you take time to get to know the city. Explore the city's diverse neighborhoods, culinary scene, and outdoor attractions. It's common to see locals enjoying outdoor pursuits like surfing, hiking, or simply lounging at the beach. 

Adapting to Local Norms and Values

Living in San Diego it’s important to respect cultural diversity and be open to new experiences. San Diego prides itself on its inclusivity and tolerance. Embracing different perspectives and customs is key to thriving in the community. 

Housing Options and Neighborhoods

The cost of living in San Diego is expensive, but there are more affordable options. Communities in East County San Diego, such as El Cajon, Spring Valley, and Santee, are great options. Located along major freeways, these neighborhoods are all less than half an hour from the beach.


Moving to San Diego from out of state is a journey filled with opportunities for growth and discovery. Whether you're drawn to the surf, sunshine, or culture, San Diego invites you to make America's Finest City your own. 

Ready to make San Diego your home? Contact Steven Rotsart, your local San Diego Real Estate Agent.

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