With about 1.3 million residents, San Diego is the second-largest city in California, and it is still growing fast. Its main draw tends to be the beach, since the most popular areas of the city are right on the coast. San Diego is also the home of the famous Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND California, Belmont Park, and dozens more attractions.
The median cost of homes in San Diego is about $360,000, which is more than double the US median. Of course, the cost of living in this city is also higher than average, so you can expect to pay more to live here. More specifically, if you want a condo, you'll probably pay about $253,000, while the median cost of single-family homes here is $390,000. The good news is that you will have lots of options, whether you plan to rent, buy, or rent to own, since about 48 percent of properties here are rental homes and 45 percent are owner-occupied. The vacancy rate is only about 6 percent, which is no surprise since so many people are eager to enjoy the pleasantly mild climate of San Diego.
Whether you're tired of the constant heat where you live or want to stop shoveling snow, San Diego will delight you. The high temperature in the summer is usually no more than a cool 75 degrees, and the winter temperature rarely dips below 48 degrees. T-shirts, shorts, jeans, and bathing suits largely make up the typical San Diegan's wardrobe, with maybe with a light jacket thrown in there for the slightly chilly nights. Don't expect much rain when you get here, either, since precipitation is about 10 inches annually, compared to the national average of about 37 inches. Just be aware that the coastal areas of the city are susceptible to what is called June gloom, which consists of lots of clouds and a cool, humid feeling for part of the summer. If you live a few miles inland, you can avoid this, and you will actually notice slightly warmer temperatures year round compared to the coast.
San Diego has plenty of nightlife options, with one of the most popular locations being the Gaslamp District. This area is made up of a few streets lined with historic buildings that house everything from newer bars and trendy nightclubs to relaxing hookah lounges and family-friendly restaurants. For example, you can watch sports on TV at the cozy Dublin Square Irish Pub and Grill, listen to live bands at Hennessey's Tavern, or smoke hookah and have a drink at Pasha Lounge. Many of the buildings in this area were constructed in the late 1800s, when this part of San Diego was known for its saloons and brothels. But thanks to some remodeling and revitalization efforts in the last few decades, the Gaslamp District has become a popular place for both residents and tourists who want to party, and the many hotels and lofts near the bars prove this. If you'd prefer to socialize along the beach, though, you can head to Pacific Beach to take advantage of the bars there, which are known for being casual and appealing to mostly college students. Just one example is the Pacific Beach Bar and Grill, which goes from a casual hangout during the day to a rowdy club at night. Mission Beach also has some bars and restaurants along the coast, drawing mostly tourists, while Ocean Beach's tiny beachfront bars - including the Arizona Cafe and Shades Oceanfront Bistro - appeal to laid-back locals.
San Diego has more than 100 neighborhoods of all sizes, and each one is part of a larger region in the city. What sets the regions apart is mainly the proximity to the beach. Take a look at some of the most popular areas of this city before you start looking for rental houses and homes for sale.
Downtown San Diego: This is the heart of San Diego and includes several well-loved landmarks and districts that are mostly within walking distance of each other. Here you will find malls that include Horton Plaza and Seaport Village. The Gaslamp District is also located in this area, with Balboa Park which houses the San Diego Zoo and more than 15 museums nearby. Plus, historic Old Town San Diego is in the vicinity. This area mostly has high-rise apartments, lofts, and tiny houses, many of which are older and have plenty of unique charm.
Beach Cities: Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are next to each other, and as you might guess, they have miles of soft sand, boardwalks, bars, restaurants, tiny shops, and even amusement park rides. They mostly appeal to tourists who stay in local hotels or seasonal house rentals, but you can also buy or rent a condo, apartment, or house here. Ocean Beach is farther south and attracts lots of surfers and dog owners, due to the well-known Dog Beach here. Near this beach, you will find miles of small, older homes with tiny yards and beautiful views of the ocean, just a short walk away.
North County Coastal Areas: If you want to be a bit removed from busy Downtown San Diego without leaving the beach, check out some of the beach towns north of the area. Encinitas is just one, and it includes Moonlight Beach, several bars and restaurants, a golf course, and lots of single-family homes. In fact, you'll find that your money goes a little farther in these parts of San Diego, since you can get larger, newer homes that are perfect for raising your family. Similar family-friendly areas along the beach include Del Mar, Carlsbad, Oceanside, and La Jolla.
East County: If you're on a budget, going inland is your best bet. You can find newer homes that are not quite as close to each other as the ones downtown, yet the beach is still only about a half hour away. East County includes El Cajon, Santee, La Mesa, Alpine, and Spring Valley.
North County Inland: If you want to be a little farther north and are interested in clean neighborhoods with good schools, this is the place to be. North County Inland cities include San Marcos, Poway, Scripps Ranch, Escondido, and Mira Mesa.
to get full property details for our rent-to-own homes
(including price and contact info ).