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The Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose, California, during the daytime. There are two lanes of full traffic and green palm trees surrounded by buildings.

Moving to San Jose? Read All About Teal Town Here

San Jose California

by Bridget Houlihan Posted on February 29, 2024
If you’ve always wanted to live in a thriving city with plenty of job opportunities, amazing weather, and lots of cultural events, then moving to San Jose might be the right decision for you. Known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose is ranked as the 2nd happiest city in the U.S. — and for good reason. Here’s what you should know before you pack up and go.
Planning a move to San Jose? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

About San Jose

San Jose is located about 50 miles from San Francisco and is known as the city where tech rules. In fact, it’s considered the Capital of Silicon Valley. Here you’ll find the tech giants that make up FAANG — Facebook (Meta), Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google — along with many others. That means there are a lot of bright minds in the area — a large part from other countries and areas of the U.S. You’ll find all kinds of different nationalities in San Jose, as well, which contributes to the high degree of cultural acceptance. Bonus? It also means there’s amazing cuisine to try from all areas of the world! 

San Jose has a population of around 971,200 and a median age of 37.5. You can easily find residents taking advantage of the mild weather and staying active by exploring parks like the Municipal Rose Garden or Alum Rock Park. They also enjoy being entertained by their NHL team, the San Jose Sharks, and visiting local institutions like the San Jose Museum of Art and the Computer History Museum.

Moving to San Jose — FAQs

Q: Is it worth moving to San Jose?
Yes, San Jose is definitely worth moving to because of the great job market, wonderful weather, and variety of entertainment options — among many other reasons.

Q: How much money do you need to live comfortably in San Jose?
To live comfortably in San Jose, a single person needs an annual income of around $68,400 before taxes. A family of four with two working adults needs about $167,300 before taxes.

Q: Is it cheaper to live in San Jose or San Francisco?
It is cheaper to live in San Jose. Although the cost of living is significantly higher than the national average in both places, it’s lower in San Jose than it is in San Francisco.

Q: Is it cheaper to live in L.A. or San Jose?
L.A.’s cost of living is 161, while San Jose’s is 231. Although both places have average costs of living much higher than the U.S. average, it’s cheaper to live in L.A.

A row of colorful stores in downtown San Jose, California, during the day. There is greenery and chairs and tables outside of a cafe.

Moving to San Jose, CA: Pros and Cons

San Jose has been attracting people and businesses since the tech boom of the early 2000s, and it’s one of the main reasons the city is so popular — well, that and the amazing Mediterranean climate it enjoys. The job market is still thriving, and there are all kinds of opportunities in tech, finance, business, and hospitality. People come to San Jose for the jobs, but they tend to stay for the culture, food scene, and the great weather. Like any city, though, there are pros and cons to moving to San Jose.

High Cost of Living

While the jobs are great, you can’t talk about San Jose without mentioning the very high cost of living. California already has a high cost of living in addition to some of the highest taxes in the U.S., but San Jose is one of the most expensive cities to live in, not just in the state but also in the nation. It’s important to be aware of that before you move. This means that housing is also very expensive, and you’re going to pay a lot for a space, whether you’re renting a one-bedroom apartment or you want to buy a house.

Tricky Work-Life Balance

While the jobs are abundant in San Jose, you should be aware that you may find it difficult to find a good balance between your work life and your home life — especially if you’re working in the high-pressure tech industry. Salaries are higher in San Jose, but so is the cost of living, adding even more stress.

Fantastic Weather

When you do get a breather from your job and get out and about, you’ll have plenty of great days to do so! San Jose has one of the most consistent climates, and it’s never too hot or too cold. In the summer, there’s always a breeze coming in from the bay, and you can forget about humidity when you’re this far north in California. The winters are very mild, too, and the temperatures throughout the year don’t fluctuate that much. You may have to deal with some morning fog here and there, but that tends to go away as the day goes on. 

Lots to Do

San Jose always has something going on! Whether it’s a food festival, craft beer tour, farmer’s market, museum exhibit, cultural event, or opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature, San Jose certainly has something to tickle your fancy. And since the city is so diverse, you’ll be living with people from all walks of life and can enjoy festivals or events that are particular to those cultures. 

A residential neighborhood in San Jose, California. There is a cream two-story home with plenty of green lawn and trees.

San Jose Cost of Living

Yes, one of the biggest drawbacks of living in San Jose is dealing with its very high cost of living. The city has a cost of living index of 231, compared to California’s 149.9 and the U.S. average of 100. So San Jose is considered expensive even by California standards. The average home price is around $1.35 million, and the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $2,950. Other necessities, however, like groceries and transportation, are more in line with California prices, but they’re still more expensive than the national average. 

To put things into perspective, the minimum annual income for a single person living in Los Angeles, according to BestPlaces, is $74,800, while that same number jumps to $100,800 when you move to San Jose. This is something to consider if you’re migrating from a different part of the state.

Taxes are high, as well, as the California state tax is 7.25 percent, but in San Jose, with city and county taxes combined, it totals at 9.375 percent. 

San Jose Climate and Weather

San Jose has a Mediterranean climate that features warm, arid summers and short, wet winters. Most residents find this to be a very likable climate, and the temperatures throughout the year don’t tend to fluctuate all that much. The hottest month of the year is July, which can see high temperatures in the 80s and lows in the 60s, with very low humidity. In the winter, you’ll find the coldest month of the year is December, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s. And the wet season lasts from November to April. 

Getting Around San Jose

Unlike other California cities like L.A., San Jose (and San Francisco) have decent public transportation options. The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) offers a pretty extensive bus and light rail system that operates throughout the busy downtown area and offers service to several office parks outside of the city. There’s also a daily train between San Jose and San Francisco for those who commute between the cities for work. 

The city is also very walkable and bike-friendly, so you can bike or walk to a lot of areas and contribute to San Jose’s environmentally focused goals. In fact, single young professionals can probably get by without a car; however, if you’re coming here with your family, you most likely want to have a car. 

Best Places To Live in San Jose

There are great places all over San Jose to live, and people from all walks of life can enjoy living in a safe, tight-knit community. Here are a few of our favorite areas.

  • Rose Garden. If you’re a young professional who wants to be close to everything fun and exciting in San Jose, consider looking for a place in Rose Garden. Ranked as one of the best neighborhoods in San Jose by Niche, you’ll never be far from all the fun, and chances are, you’ll have a short commute to work, as well. And located within close proximity to Interstates 880 and 280, you can easily hop on the freeway and be on your way in no time.
  • Almaden Valley. If you’re coming to San Jose and moving with kids, then you should definitely look for a place that’s ranked #1 for families by Niche — and that would be Almaden Valley. There are all kinds of top-notch schools in the area, including Los Gatos High School, Blossom Hill Elementary School, and The Harker School. And here, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas with easy access to outdoor adventures for you and the kids in Almaden Quicksilver County Park — or closer to home at Cathedral Park or Singer Park. 
  • Cambrian. Looking to spend your retirement years in San Jose? Then consider moving to Cambrian. This is a quiet, safe community that offers a lot of amenities, such as The Good Samaritan Hospital, parks like Los Gatos Memorial Park and Houge Park, and easy access to the 85. The Cambrian Library is also a great place to visit with lots of opportunities for enrichment, and afterward, you can stop and grab something sweet at Butter n Bubbles.

The San Jose Sharks NHL team celebrates a goal in their white jerseys with teal accents.
Source: Perry Nelson via USA Today Sports 

Things To Do in San Jose

If you’re wondering why move to San Jose, there are actually a lot of reasons! In a vibrant city like San Jose, it always seems like there’s something to do or a way to stay active in the community. Whether you want to spend time exploring the downtown area or take the opportunity to get out and explore Santa Clara County, it’s easy to do in San Jose. In addition to all the beautiful natural wonders to see and local plants and wildlife to observe, you can always bet there’s some kind of event, food market, or festival going on in the city itself. For example, San Jose has one of the last Japantowns. And you can easily explore the city’s diversity by taking part in the Tet Festival, the Obon Festival, visiting the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, or simply dining at the many amazing restaurants serving authentic cuisine. 

And speaking of, San Jose has a thriving food and drink scene. Craft breweries and wineries abound in the northern California climate, and there’s no shortage of places to try. like Uproar Brewing Company and Strike Brewing Co. Not to mention J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines and Coterie Winery are nearby, too!

Whether you want to attend a festival, a flea market, or a museum, these are some of our favorite things to do in San Jose:

Moving to San Jose

When you’re ready to get moving to San Jose, California, you’ll need to first consider your options. People tend to have three moving options, depending on their situation: DIY with a rental truck, full-service moving companies in San Jose, or a hybrid move with a PODS portable storage container (great for both local and long-distance moving to San Jose). You’ll need to first figure out what type of move your budget allows for, and then you can narrow down the type of San Jose moving style that works best for your specific situation. 

DIY With a Rental Truck

This is often the least expensive way to move to San Jose, but keep in mind, it does require the most work. You’ll need to box up and load all your items (including the heavy stuff), drive to San Jose (which, depending on where you’re coming from, could take a lot of gas), and then unload all of your items. Keep in mind, you’ll also need to figure out how to get your car to San Jose if you’re bringing one.

Full-Service Movers

If you choose to go the full-service route, you won’t have to worry about packing or loading, as these professionals will do it all for you. However, this is the most expensive option, so only do this if using one of the local moving companies to San Jose is in your budget. Full-service movers will wrap and load your items, do all the heavy lifting, then drive your belongings to your new San Jose address. But while this method may take away some of the stress of moving, be aware that you may need to micromanage the movers, and there’s a risk your items could be damaged or lost.

PODS Portable Moving Containers

Another way to move (whether it’s long-distance moving to San Jose or moving a short distance) is with the help of PODS. After you choose the size of your moving and storage container, you can pack it up on your schedule. Need help with heavy items? Not a problem. You can always hire movers to take care of the heavy lifting. And when you’re ready, PODS will come and pick up your container and drive it to your new address. From there, you can unload at your leisure, or choose to take advantage of easy storage at a secure PODS Storage Center.

The Cost of Moving to San Jose

The cost of moving anywhere will depend on how much stuff you're bringing, whether it’s a short or long distance, and the type of moving service you choose. There’s no one right way to move. It all depends on what fits your budget and what you’re most comfortable with. These days, there are lots of ways to make moving a little more manageable, whether it’s taking your time and getting friends and family to help you load a portable storage container or getting professional full-service movers to help you move lots of heavy items. Your best bet? Start with getting a free moving quote at PODS.com or a long-distance quote by calling 877-350-7637.

A dad and son celebrate loading the last of their belongings in their PODS portable moving and storage container. They are holding their arms in the air as if cheering, with the container and their two-story gray house behind them.

Why Not Move to San Jose With PODS?

If you’re ready to start moving to San Jose, California, make it a little easier with PODS. Choose the size of your portable storage container, and then fill it up with your belongings on your schedule. When you’re ready to go, a PODS professional will head over,  pick it up, and drive it to your new destination in San Jose. And the best part? Your move automatically comes with one month of storage!

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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