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Moving to San Jose: Relocation Guide

San Jose is a wonderful part of California to live in. it’s also the political, financial, and cultural center of Silicon Valley. This part of the world is the the largest city in Northern California as it spans a total of 179.97 square miles. In addition to this, San Jose has the highest population of any part of California.

Originally inhabited by the Ohlone peoples of California, the city was founded in 1777. In 1821, San Jose became part of Mexico, however, this only lasted 27 years. In 1848 the city was given back to the United States. Fast forward to the 1960s and the area was seeing a large growth in population. Coupled with the rapid growth of the electronic industries, the area quickly turned from an agricultural community to a metropolitan area. Now home to the State’s fastest-growing economy, San Jose is also home to many parks and trails offering locals a chance to escape city life.

moving to san jose

Quick San Jose Facts:

  • Population: 1,021,795 (2019 estimate)
  • Official Language: English (de facto) with Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hindi and Korean spoken by at least 1% of residents.
  • GDP Per Capita: $128,308 USD (2019)
  • Currency: US Dollar (US$). As of August 2020, £1 = $1.33, €1 = $1.19, $1 CAD = $0.76, $1 AUD = $0.73
San Jose Population

San Jose Relocation Highlights

The costs and pricing above should give you a good idea of the cost of living in San Jose but perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly. For comfortable and smooth relocation hire movers from San Jose.

  • San Jose is the home of innovation and IT home of Silicon Valley. It’s home to thousands of tech companies, including several major tech companies, including IBM, eBay, Cisco Systems, and Adobe Systems
  • SmartAsset ranked San Jose the sixth safest city in the nation last year
  • San Jose has the highest median household income in the country, at $83,400
  • San Jose is one of the most expensive places to live in the country, with monthly rent averaging around $2,790 and the average home cost sitting at $1,800,000
  • With quick commutes, healthy lifestyles, and an extremely low poverty rate of less than 10 percent, San Jose is one of the top 10 least stressed cities in the country
  • San Jose has some of the best weather around, with the sun popping out for roughly 260 days every year
  • Boasting a presence of close to 7,000 tech companies, San Jose is the most concentrated tech center in the entire world

Cost of Living

Below you will find a chart that shows you the approximate cost of living in San Jose when compared to other parts of the country. Please note, each comparison is an estimate and there might be a large or smaller difference between the cities.

City Monthly Rent (Apartment) Utilities Monthly Groceries* Monthly Transportation* Increase/decrease (Rent & utilities)
San Jose $2,790 $131.15 113.7 151.00 ***
New York $3,323 $145.55 116.6 140.70 +$547.40
Los Angeles $2,524 $110 104.1 165.30 -$287.15
Seattle $2,169 $115 108.7 137.50 -$637.15
Chicago $1,963 $191 97.2 138.50 -$767.15
San Francisco $3,629 $154 116.6 158.20 +$861.85
Boston $3,432 $147.15 111.4 131.80 +$658.00
San Diego $2,237 $200 109.7 120.20 -$484.15

*Where national average is 100. Please note, all of the above figures are averages.

As you can see, the cost of living in San Jose can be higher in terms of monthly transportation, rent and groceries. However, if you plan to move to the city from New York, San Francisco, or Boston you could save money. Therefore, while San Jose might seem to be a more expensive area to live in, the costs can occasionally even out.

Cost of Living in San Jose

Best Places to Live

Here are the top eight places to live in San Jose in 2020.

Place Affordability Culture Safety Job Market Education
San Jose City 5 out of 10 10 out of 10 7 out of 10 8 out of 10 9.5 out of 10
Walnut Creek 4 out of 10 10 out of 10 7.5 out of 10 7 out of 10 10 out of 10
Oakland 4 out of 10 9.5 out of 10 6 out of 10 6.5 out of 10 8 out of 10
Milpitas 4.5 out of 10 8.5 out of 10 8 out of 10 8 out of 10 10 out of 10
Livermore 4.5 out of 10 10 out of 10 7.5 out of 10 8 out of 10 9 out of 10
Almaden Valley 5 out of 10 10 out of 10 7 out of 10 7.5 out of 10 10 out of 10
Blossom Valley 5 out of 10 10 out of 10 7 out of 10 7 out of 10 10 out of 10
Evergreen 5 out of 10 8 out of 10 8 out of 10 8 out of 10 9 out of 10

Finding the right place to live in San Jose might not seem very easy. However, making a note of what you want can help you determine which area is right for you.

  • Evergreen is the safest area.
  • San Jose City, Walnut Creek, Livermore, Almaden Valley, and Blossom Valley are cultural hot spots.
  • Walnut Creek, Almaden Valley, and Blossom Valley have the best schools.
  • San Jose City, Livermore, and Evergreen have the best job market.
  • San Jose City, Alamden, Blossom Valley, and Evergreen are the most affordable areas.
San Jose Areas

San Jose Areas

A little more about each area:

San Jose City – Known as Silicon Valley’s political, financial, and cultural center, San Jose is one of the most populated areas in the country. It has a Mediterranean-like climate and is home to the most millionaires and billionaires in the country. Founded in 1777, the city was originally home to the Tamien nation. If you’re looking for tech-related jobs, this is the place to be.

Walnut Creek – Walnut Creek is located in San Francisco’s East Bay and is home to buildings that are more than 100 years old. You’ll find a lot of high-end stores around the area as well as many entertainment venues and eateries.

Oakland – The largest city in Alameda County, Oakland is home to California’s busiest port. Once covered in woodland and coastal scrub, the area is a well-known agricultural region.

Milpitas – Milpitas is located in Santa Clara County and is home to many professionals and corporate headquarters. A part of Silicon Valley, Milpitas is surrounded by interstates, making it a good communing city.

Livermore – Considered to be the most populated city in the Tri-valley, Livermore was founded in the 1840s and is home to a well-known laboratory. Complete with vineyards, and good schools, the city is located in Alameda County.

Almaden Valley – Considered to be an upper middle class area, Almaden Valley was originally home to mercury mines. Predominantly residential, the valley is very close to Los Gatos and Santa Teresa.

Blossom Valley – Home to a number of parks, Blossom Valley is the ideal location for families. The local mall contains many major stores and the area is close to the Almaden Valley and the Santa Teresa Hills.

Evergreen – Originally home to gliding experiments in the early 20th century, Evergreen is home to four parks, and is well-known for its incredible scenery. Close to the Diablo Range and on the edge of the Santa Clara Valley, the area is also surrounded by two expressways.

Housing Costs

The table below shows the yearly salary required to purchase a median-priced home in a city’s metro areas.

Area Yearly Salary Difference
San Jose $216,181.25 ***
San Francisco $171,344.76 -$44,836.49
Seattle $93,418.01 -$122,763.24
Los Angeles $115,068.77 -$61,12.48
Chicago $62,731.35 -$153,449,90
New York City $99,151.22 -$117,030.03
Boston $97,465.24 -$118,716.01
San Diego $116,119.96 -$100,061.29

Please note, a median-priced home is not the same as an average-priced home. A median-priced home is one that reflects the middle point for homes that are being sold. It is, therefore, the middle of a data set. 50% of homes will cost less than the median price and 50% of homes will cost more.

Before you buy a home, you should think about the type of home you’re looking for. This is because it will determine the price of the home.

  • Are you planning to have a family? If so, will you need more bedrooms than you currently have?
  • How many bedrooms do you need?
  • Would you like to have a yard?
  • If you’re looking for an apartment do you want a balcony?
  • Do you need good transportation links?
  • Would you like to live close to a school?
  • Would you like to live close to a park?
  • What type of neighborhood are you looking for?
  • Do you need to be close to stores or the center of town?
  • Do you need a garage?

When thinking about your future home you will need to consider everything that you want from your new home. If you had to compromise on something what would it be?

Moving Costs

Below are some sample container shipping costs to San Jose from other major world cities. Just keep in mind they only reflect the shipping portion of the cost and not the full moving costs. Moving prices depend on many factors, like the size of your home, the weight of the items and how far you need to go. Get a quote from San Jose movers.

  • New York City – $525+
  • Los Angeles – $155+
  • Canada (Vancouver) – $565+
  • UK (London) – $1,508+
  • Australia (Sydney) – $1,156+
  • Ireland (Dublin) – $1,742+
  • New Zealand (Auckland) – $1,823+
  • Hong Kong – $1,195+
  • Dubai – $3,030+
  • Singapore – $2,003+

How to reduce your moving costs

  • Look for free boxes – Many stores might offer you some of their unwanted boxes. You might need to ask for them though. Try to get hold of banana boxes as they’re perfect for carrying heavy items such as books.
  • Declutter your home – This can help to reduce your moving costs as fewer belongings will take up less room in the truck. It will also mean you will have less to pack and unpack.
  • Put some of your belongings in storage – Doing this can help to lower your moving costs. In addition to this, placing your items in storage can help you to unpack and organize your new home at your own pace.
  • Choose a cheaper date and time – Most people like to move home late in the morning or in the early afternoon. However, you might find that moving later on it the day is cheaper. Mid-week moves might also be cheaper than moves that take place on a Monday or Friday.
  • Get a range of quotes – Look for local moving companies and see how much they will charge you. Find out what services they offer and if they can beat a quote given by another local moving company.
  • Pack as much as you can – You should ideally pack as much as you can. This can save you time and money. If you have hired a moving company to pack your items for you make sure you know how the pricing works. Will they charge you per box, per room, or charge you a set fee? If you’re charged by the box or per room, pack as much as you can.

Use the above tips to help you make your move run smoothly.

Business Relocation in San Jose

Business Relocation

  • Meetups: San Jose has lots of Meetup groups to ease you into your new life in a new city. There are groups for most people’s interests, from Pilates through to gaming, baseball or languages.
  • Attend local events: There’s always something going on in San Jose, so whether you are interested in the theater, sports or just socializing with like-minded souls, you’ll find something to do in San Jose. Have a look at San Jose Events, 10 Best, TripAdvisor and Things to do and find an event you’ll enjoy.

Renting a business premises

Rent is charged per square foot and can depend upon the type of premises rented. Rental costs will also depend on the location and how modern the premises are.

Year Built Type of Property Total Square Foot Price Per Square Foot Per Year
1931 Retail space 800 $51.00
1953 Offices, warehouses 120000 $9.84
1960 Industrial space 3840 $19.80
1977 Offices 946 $30.60
1981 Laboratory 5000 $12.00
1985 Industrial space 4750 $14.40
2002 Retail space 1421 $30.00
2020 Offices 2220 $47.40

Please note that the prices were taken from a selection of advertisements and may differ from those advertised.

Business tax rates

Employee Numbers Tax Rates from July 1st, 2020
1 -2 employees $203.85
3 – 35 employees* $32.70
36 – 100 employees* $43.60
101 – 500 employees* $54.50
501+ employees* $65.45
Cap $163,745

* the incremental tax rates that are applied per employee.

The best places to rent an office

San Jose is home to an increasing number of shared office spaces. Areas such as these allow small business owners or those who are self-employed to work in an office without paying a high price. Locations such as these are also ideal for those who wish to meet a client or hold a meeting. Hire office movers to move your business in minimized downtime.

Some of the best places in San Jose include:

  • Spaces, 3031 Tisch Way, West San Jose;
  • Star Space, 1250 Borregas Avenue;
  • Workonomy Hub, 15166 Los Gatos Boulevard;
  • WeWork Valley Towers, 75 E Santa Clara Street;
  • Silicon Valley Business Center.

10 Tips for a Smooth Relocation

  • Find an insured moving company
    When you move home with an insured moving company you know that you’re protected. For example, if one of your items was damaged you could claim for the cost of that item.
  • Book all your travel arrangements now
    The sooner you book, the more likely you are to get the date and time you want.
  • Keep your important documents safe
    Place them in a small safe or in a bag. Make sure you know where they are at all times. Ideally, you should keep them with you until you have moved house.
  • Tell everyone you are moving
    This will give everyone time to say goodbye to you and even organize a party. It also lets people know that you want to stay in touch with them.
  • Ask your friends for help
    It’s likely that many of your friends will want to help you pack. They might even help you clean your old home before you move.
  • De-clutter your life
    This will ensure you won’t need to unpack unwanted items. It can also save a lot of room in the truck.
  • Label all of your boxes
    This will help you to find everything you need when you reach your new home.
  • Rent a storage unit
    Did you know that renting a storage unit can help? You can place some of your items in storage and take them to your new place when you’re ready.
  • Pack an ‘essentials’ bag
    Fill this bag with your medication, glasses, contact lenses, cell phone chargers, a change of clothes, and cash.
  • Give yourself plenty of time
    Don’t assume that you can move house in a few days. The process takes longer. Give yourself at least one month to pack everything. Take at least 3 days off work to unpack as you won’t be in such a rush.

Things to do in San Jose

Things to do Address Opening Hours Entry Fee
Municipal Rose Garden Naglee Avenue & Dana Avenue, San Jose, CA 95216 8am until 1 hour after sunset No charge
Winchester Mystery House 525 S Winchester Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95128-2588 Wed-Sun 10am – 4pm & 8pm – 11pm Free to $24.99
Santana Row 377 Santana Row Suite 1005, San Jose, CA 95128-2053 Sun-Sat 10am – 10pm No Charge
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum 1660 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95191 Wed-Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat &Sun 10am – 6pm, Mon & Tues closed $5-$9
Happy Hollow Park and Zoo 1300 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA 95112-2520 Mon-Sun 8am - 8:40pm $14.25

Prices correct at the time of writing.
There are many things to do in San Jose, however, the above chart shows some of the most popular destinations.

Weather in San Jose

Weather & Seasons

If you’re considering relocating to San Jose chance are, you’ll want to know what the weather is like.

The summer months in San Jose are typically long and dry. The winters tend to be quite short and wet with a little cloud. Temperatures tend to vary over the year from 43 degrees Fahrenheit to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is very rarely below 36 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

As far as the rain is concerned, the wettest season lasts from November to April. There’s likely to be more than 15% chance of rain and at least 0.04 inches of rain.

Month Weather Average Temperature
January 6 hours of sunshine up to 3 inches of rain. Cold, crisp air. 42.1 degrees Fahrenheit
February Wettest month, up to 3.1 inches of rain. Cold mornings & warm afternoons. 61.9 degrees Fahrenheit
March Warmer days & slightly cool nights. 65.7 degrees Fahrenheit
April Warm & sunny. Up to 1.1 inches of rain. 69.3 degrees Fahrenheit
May Rise in temperatures. Cold weather disappears. 74.3 degrees Fahrenheit
June Start of the warm summer months. 79.2 degrees Fahrenheit
July Higher temperatures. 81.9 degrees Fahrenheit
August Warm & dry weather. 81.9 degrees Fahrenheit
September Up to 0.2 inches of rain, slightly cooler. 80.1 degrees Fahrenheit
October Nice moderate temperatures. 73.9 degrees Fahrenheit
November Cold nights and cooling temperatures. 64.2 degrees Fahrenheit
December Coldest month with cold & wet weather. 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit

When we compare the weather in San Jose to the weather in San Francisco and the country as whole, there are some clear differences. These differences can be found in the chart below.

Weather/Averages San Jose San Francisco United States
Snow in inches 0 0 28
Rainfall in inches 17 25 38
# of sunny days 257 259 205
Low temperature in January 42 46 22
High temperature in July 82 67 86
Comfort index* 8,8 8,5 7
UV index 5,1 5,4 4,3

*The higher the comfort index is the better it is.

The differences in the weather and average temperatures shows that San Jose is a pleasant place to live when compared to other areas.
Using all the information found above, you can now make a more informed choice about moving to San Jose. Is the move right for you? Will the area offer you everything you expected or are you prepared to compromise? With an economy that is still growing and a promising future ahead of it, there has never been a better time to move to San Jose.

moving to san jose