Relocating to a new city can be a daunting prospect as there are a lot of elements to consider, from where you will live and work, to what local laws you will need to adhere to and what taxes you will need to pay. If you already know someone in the area then they may be able to answer a lot of your questions, but otherwise an experienced and knowledgeable realtor is your best bet for getting accurate information and reliable recommendations.
In the meantime, we have put together this guide containing some of our top tips for relocating to San Diego.
One of the biggest mistakes of relocators is failing to budget accurately for the move. If you are looking at renting a property, you will need to be prepared to pay the first and last month’s rent upfront, in addition to a security deposit and brokerage fee. You then need to take into account how much your monthly bills are going to stack up to, so that you can be certain you’ve got enough to cover your primary costs.
If you are purchasing a property or renting, you will still need to factor in whether you will need to hire help to move your belongings, and of course the general increase in cost of living which is around 33% higher than the national average.
Decide whether to rent or buy
One of the biggest questions that relocators have to face is whether to rent or buy a property. There is a relatively even split of renters and buyers in San Diego, although some neighborhoods show a more noticeable split. If you plan on setting down roots, buying a property in highly desirable San Diego is often a sound investment. However, the fees associated with a property purchase may not be viable if you aren’t sure how long you will be sticking around. Speak to Realtor Todd Armstrong for some sounds advice.
If you don’t already own a car, you might want to think about getting one! San Diego is the second largest county in California measuring over 4,000 square miles, and there are some excellent attractions and amenities to be enjoyed throughout. That said, the public transport system is excellent, with buses, waterfront shuttles, trains, pedicabs and the San Diego Trolley all reasonably economical and reliable. There is also a growing cycling community and an increasing number of bike paths and routes are springing up to support this eco-friendly method of travel.
Local knowledge tends to come with time, but there are a few general hints about San Diego living that we can provide. These include:
- If you have a vehicle, check out the parking situation around where you plan to live, work or study. Get a Compass Card smartcard for those times that you plan on using public transport to get around.
- If you have a dog, make sure you get him licensed and vaccinated – it is compulsory.
- Apply for a Californian driving license as soon as you have moved in. This can save a lot of hassle later.
- Don’t forget to register to vote.
- Check out the local laws about recycling – again, it is compulsory in San Diego communities. Water usage is also heavily regulated and monitored.
Hire a great realtor
Whether you are looking at buying or renting a property, the very best step that any relocator can make is to hire a great realtor. Experienced and knowledgeable realtors will be able to accurately answer any questions that you have, both about purchasing or renting a property and about the local area. Often, they have inside information that even those living in the vicinity may not know, including properties due to come on to the market imminently. This is particularly important in desirable areas where demand far outstrips supply.