How Does San Jose Compare to the Rest of the Bay Area?

The Bay Area has been a center of attraction for centuries. From the Gold Rush to the emergence of Silicon Valley, it is a place where hopes and dreams come to life. However, having access to the balmy Bay Area climate and high quality of life comes at a price: the Bay Area cost of living is one of the highest in the world.


San Jose is the largest city in the Bay Area, both in terms of population and size. Located at the heart of Silicon Valley, it benefits from a dynamic economy. Those living in San Jose generally enjoy an active lifestyle with easy access to nature. It is also considered one of California's best places to build a new home or raise a family.


If you are considering moving to the Bay Area, you may be hard-pressed to find the perfect location. So, how does San Jose compare to the other cities in the Bay Area, such as San Francisco or Oakland? Let’s learn more.


San Jose Cost of Living

It should come as no surprise for the Bay Area: San Jose is an expensive place to live in. In fact, the San Jose cost of living is a whopping 49 percent higher than the national average. However, San Jose is more affordable than other cities in the Bay Area, like San Francisco, where the cost of living is 25.5 percent higher than that of San Jose.


The main culprit responsible for the difference is the price of real estate. The median home cost for a house in San Francisco is $1,378,300, with a severe shortage in inventory. Meanwhile, the median price for a house in San Jose is $1,003,100 – although you can find new homes for sale in San Jose for as low as $750,000.


San Jose Beaches

Although the city may be located among rolling hills rather than by the shore, living in San Jose can give you easy access to miles of sandy beaches. If you are an avid surfer – whether you are a beginner or a veteran - you are in for a treat as many Bay Area beaches offer excellent surfing conditions.


The beaches closest to San Jose are located less than one hour away, in Santa Cruz – aka Surf City – and Davenport. For some soft sand and family-friendly atmosphere, head to Pescadero State Beach or Pomponio State Beach. Wadell Beach is a water sports lover’s paradise, with plenty of kayaking and surfing opportunities. Natural Bridges State Beach and its spectacular rock formations will take your breath away. At the same time, Ano Nuevo State Park offers the perfect setting to get better acquainted with the Bay Area fauna, including elephant seals, sea lions, sea otters, and countless coastal birds.


San Jose Restaurants

San Jose is only a stone throw away from the Bay Area wine country, and Californians have a well-earned reputation for appreciating good food with a healthy twist. Besides, the capital city of Silicon Valley attracts newcomers from every corner of the world. Therefore, you will find that San Jose boasts an array of high-quality restaurants to satisfy all palates and budgets.


San Jose may not have the same reputation as a foodie destination than San Francisco. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to overlook the countless hidden gems you may find among San Jose restaurants. Start your culinary journey at Michelin-starred Adega, serving refined Portuguese cuisine. Then, get lost in the streets of Little Saigon and neighboring Japantown for an authentic ethnic fare. With its strong Italian tradition, San Diego has no shortage of excellent al-fresco dining, like the one you can find at Palermo. Finally, for a delicious on-the-go meal, stop by the Falafel Drive-In. 


San Jose may not have the same glitzy appeal than other Bay Area cities. However, with its high quality of life and relatively low cost of living, it offers the perfect alternative for those hoping to find an option to relocate. Check out our collection of communities and new homes in the Bay Area.



Contributed to Your Home blog by Alix Barnaud 

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Published 1.7.21

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