Top 7 Cheapest neighborhoods in San Diego with the Best quality of life – 2024

In a city renowned for its stunning views, climate and beautiful beaches, San Diego offers affordability to its current and new coming residents. The city lies along the Pacific Ocean, close to Los Angeles and Mexico. Every part of San Diego has its own vibe of lifestyle and culture, making every neighborhood unique.

While it is no secret that the cost of living in San Diego can be high, it still has a handful of affordable neighborhoods with the best quality of life. 

Are you on the lookout for a budget-friendly neighborhood in San Diego? MovingWaldo has got you covered! The Top 7 Cheapest Neighborhoods in San Diego with the Best Quality of Life as of 2024 are listed below.

Methodology

We based our ranking of the 7 cheapest places to live in San Diego on the median cost of buying a property in 2023, the median cost of rent for a 1-bed apartment in 2023, and the quality of life. We collected the property and rental data from Rocket Homes Real Estate Housing Market Reports and Zillow. To help you compare, as of July 2023, the median cost of buying a property in San Diego is $856,746 and as of July 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,595

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, environment (cleanliness), as well as availability of recreational facilities and parks.

Widgets Magazine

Ad

Cheapest neighborhoods in San Diego

Featured in this article

Ad

1. El Cajon

El Cajon, San Diego
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $1,825 
  • Median property buying cost: $688,800

Our top pick for the cheapest neighborhoods to live in San Diego is El Cajon, a centrally located neighborhood with a short commute to beaches like Solana Beach or Playa del Rosarito, hiking trails, and downtown San Diego. El Cajon offers its residents a handful of community amenities like the local churches, parks like Wells Park and multiple museums for a weekend activity. 

Locals appreciate the selection of schools El Cajon offers, ranging from public to private to charter schools, making sure every family has options to choose from. Every year, residents get to relax and enjoy the annual Mother Goose Parade with festive floats and marching bands.

As of July 2023, the median cost of buying a property is $688,800 while the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,825 as of August 2023. 

Rocket Homes (July 2023) Zillow (August 2023)

El Cajon, San Diego, CA

2. El Cerrito

El Cerrito, San Diego
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $1,925
  • Median property buying cost: $555,000

El Cerrito is a great choice as it has easy access to the BART station (Bay Area Rapid Transit) through El Cerrito del Norte, which is considerable for getting around for concerts, restaurants and night-life. 

For outdoor enthusiasts and family friendly activities, El Cerrito has several parks and green spaces for its residents to enjoy like the Kensington Park or Arlington Park. These parks also have access to hiking paths and sports fields. 

As of August 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,925 and the median cost of buying a property is $555,000 as of July 2023. 

Rocket Homes (July 2023) & Zillow (August 2023)

El Cerrito, San Diego, CA

3. Spring Valley

Cheapest Neighborhoods in San Diego: Spring Valley
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $1,800
  • Median property buying cost: $710,000

Spring Valley is a suburb located in the East County of San Diego. The neighborhood provides a combination of community and tranquility. Throughout the year, Spring Valley provides its residents with local events and festivals like the Spring Valley Tailgate and Barbecue Festival and the annual Spring Valley Lemon Festival. 

Locals like the Spring Valley Beach and the Spring Valley County park, which promote outdoor recreation and family-friendly activities.

As of July 2023, the median cost of buying a property is $710,000, while the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,800 as of August 2023, making it one of the cheapest neighborhoods to live in San Diego. 

Rocket Homes (July 2023) Zillow (August 2023)

Spring Valley, San Diego, CA

4. San Ysidro

San Ysidro San Diego CA - Cars crossing the US-Mexico Border
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,100
  • Median property buying cost: $851,908

San Ysidro’s proximity to major highways like the 905, 805 and 5 makes it an ideal place for both work and entertainment. If you don’t drive, no need to worry, the San Diego Trolley connects to San Ysidro. For only $2.50 you can make your way to downtown San Diego from San Ysidro!

Locals commend San Ysidro’s proximity to nearby schools for elementary, middle and high school students. The neighborhood is also extremely close to the US-Mexico border.

As of August 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,100 and the median cost of buying a property is $851,908, as of July 2023. 

Rocket Homes (July 2023) & Zillow (August 2023)

San Ysidro, San Diego, CA

5. Oceanside

Oceanside - Front beach view
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,535
  • Median property buying cost: $760,265

Hence, its name, Oceanside borders the Pacific Ocean, including its access to the Oceanside Harbor Beach. Due to its sense of community, Oceanside is known for having a small town feel while also being close to San Diego and Los Angeles. 

The area has green space like Heritage Park & Museum promoting an environmentally friendly ambiance as well as access to surrounding beaches, attributing to the Southern California surf culture. 

As of July 2023, the median cost of buying a property is $760,265, while the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,535 as of August 2023, making it one of the cheapest neighborhoods to live in San Diego. 

Rocket Homes (July 2023) Zillow (August 2023)

Oceanside, San Diego, CA

6. Chula Vista

Chula Vista - Bayfront View
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,792.5
  • Median property buying cost: $730,872

Chula Vista is the second-largest city in San Diego, located near the San Diego Bay. One of its major advantages is its proximity to the US-Mexico border, making it great for anyone who loves to travel. 

Residents love the access to 92.75 miles of trails and Chula Vista’s 65 parks. Locals and newcomers can check out the neighborhood’s official page for upcoming meetings and events to take part in the community. 

As of August 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,792.5 and the median cost of buying a property is $730,872, as of July 2023. 

Rocket Homes (July 2023) & Zillow (August 2023)

Chula Vista, San Diego, CA

7. Clairemont Mesa

Creek Trail - Clairemont Mesa
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $3,400
  • Median property buying cost: $990,000

Clairemont Mesa is a central neighborhood close to San Diego and a 19-minute drive to the San Diego International Airport. The neighborhood offers its residents easy access to the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, although many locals prefer to use their bike to get around.

Clairemont Mesa is also known for its hiking trails like Rose Creek Trail, Tecolote Canyon Natural Park and La Jolla Trail. The area has many restaurants with Asian cuisine, along with bars and cafés. 

As of July 2023, the median cost of buying a property is $990,000 while the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $3,400 as of August 2023.

Rocket Homes (July 2023) Zillow (August 2023)

Clairemont Mesa, San Diego, CA

Featured in this article

Conclusion

When planning to buy a home, financial considerations cannot be forgotten. It is also important to be aware of the safety and protection of the neighborhoods in San Diego. Our list of the top 7 cheapest neighborhoods in San Diego with the best quality of life in 2024 can help you decide where you’ll live. 

Selecting the right neighborhood can require thoughtful planning, so be sure to review this list before making your decision. 

Are you planning to move soon? Learn about the Best San Diego movers!

Ad

Share this article on social media

Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

Relevant for your move

How much is your move?

Find a mover

Easily compare multiple quotes

Organize your move

Guided through a checklist

Internet packages

Get up to speed on the new deals

Address change

Update your address in a few clicks

Join the network

Become a trusted vendor in your service area

For agents and brokers

MovingWaldo is a one-stop-shop that simplifies tackling moving tasks

What is MovingWaldo?

We guide millions of families through each step of their moving process, helping them save time and money, and making sure nothing gets left behind.

Trouver un déménageur

Comparez plusieurs devis

Organisez votre déménagement

Guidé à travers une checklist

Changement d’adresse

Mettez à jour votre adresse en quelques clics

Forfaits internet

Soyez au courant des nouvelles offres internet à domicile

Rejoignez le réseau

Devenez un fournisseur de confiance pour desservir votre région

Professionnels de l’immobilier

Prolongez la relation avec vos clients grâce à votre propre plateforme de déménagement personnalisé

Qu'est-ce que MovingWaldo ?

MovingWaldo est un guichet unique qui simplifie la planification du déménagement

Get our printable change of address checklist directly in your inbox