New arrivals on the hunt for accommodation in San Diego will find that the city offers a huge variety of housing and a diversity of neighbourhoods. Prospective tenants will have plenty of options, like affordable apartments, single-family homes in the suburbs and luxury oceanfront estates.
Many of those who move to the city rent accommodation first while getting to know their environment and the market before making a commitment to buy. If they don’t intend on staying for the long-term, expats in San Diego generally prefer to rent.
Types of accommodation in San Diego
Having formed through waves of changing architectural trends, San Diego is a diverse city with a variety of accommodation. Choices range from apartments and high-rise condominiums in pedestrian-friendly urban districts to Spanish-styled homes and stately mansions in picturesque neighbourhoods.
Finding accommodation in San Diego
The internet is a valuable resource for expats on the hunt for a new home, providing them with access to a wide variety of rental websites and online classifieds. Property sections in print media are another good resource. Seeing a property in person is the best way for house hunters to make a considered decision and opportunities can arise from exploring and responding to a neighbourhood's for sale and rental signs.
A real-estate agent is also a good choice, as these specialists have intimate knowledge of the various neighbourhoods in the city and may have access to property listings before they are advertised publicly.
Renting accommodation in San Diego
Properties can get snapped up quickly in San Diego, so expats should be ready to act quickly if they find a place they like.
Submitting an application
Once a prospective tenant has found a property they like, they submit a lease application. They will need to show proof of income and may be subject to a credit check.
Tenants will need to put down a security deposit, usually the equivalent of one or two months' rent. In addition, they will be expected to pay for their first month upfront.
Lease length can vary but most leases are signed on a six-month or one-year basis.
Utilities such as water, electricity and gas may or may not be included as part of the rental price – expats should inquire about this before signing the lease.
►Areas and Suburbs in San Diego gives insight on the best places to live in the city
►Accommodation in the USA gives more information on real estate in the country
"There is a huge variety for both buyers and renters, from homes and condos to apartments and lofts, and you can choose between many different neighbourhoods including several different downtown areas, the city centre or the city’s outskirts where properties are bigger. It is expensive and you will want to do due diligence before settling into one area. San Diego is a big county with lots of variety."
Read more about the experiences of Quinne, a South African expat who lived in San Diego for many years.
Are you an expat living in San Diego?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to San Diego. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance
With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.
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