Moving to Modesto: 10 Things to Know before You Go

Hall | Oct 02, 2017

Moving to Modesto is something a number of people do each year, for a variety of reasons. We did some research and created this article for you to help make the decision, if you are thinking of moving there.

How big is Modesto?

Modesto has a population of about 200,000, so it is a medium-size city. About two-thirds of the population is Caucasian, with about 25% Hispanic, and the rest is Asian or African-American.

What is the cost of housing?

In Modesto, the median home value is $264,900 and the average rent is about $1,100. Modesto has some condos for less than $200,000 and a number of mobile homes for less than $100,000. It might also be possible to find some undeveloped land to build a custom home on.

For renters, there are options which are cheaper than $1100, like small studio apartments and shared living situations. If you are open to renting a room in a home, the rent could be less than $700 a month.

Moving to Modesto is something that would probably appeal to people who are looking for more affordable housing, or much more. If the median home price in San Francisco is about $1.5 million, moving to Modesto might be a good choice for someone who wanted to buy a home for the first time, and build up some equity.

How are the schools?

According to Great Schools, the public schools in Modesto are about average. For adults, there are a number of options available locally or close by:

Modesto Junior College
Community Business College
Humphreys College
Cal-State Stanislaus in Turlock grants 4-year degrees.

If you are willing to drive a bit further, the University of the Pacific in Stockton and the University of California, Merced are within striking distance.

How are the jobs?

One of Modesto’s top employers is a winery, which is not surprising because agriculture is a prominent economic player locally. Here are some of the largest employers:

Modesto Junior College
City of Modesto
Sutter Gould Medical Foundation
Walmart
Sylvan Union School District
Modesto Irrigation District
E & J Gallo Winery
Memorial Medical Center
Modesto City Schools
Doctors Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente

How is the food?

If you like a range of food types, the eateries in Modesto probably won’t disappoint you. Here are some of the top-rated ones:

Crave Cafe
Poke Bowl
Dan’s BBQ
Oishi Teri Sushi Bar
Taqueria Cardenas
Lulas Neighborhood Grill

Raw Sushi Bistro
Vegan Donut Gelato
Redwood Cafe
Commonwealth
El Capitan Mariscos & Taqueria
Surla’s
Dewz
Bauhaus
Bauer’s 66 1/2
Pasta’s Pronto
Crawfish Noodle & Grill
Lanxang Kitchen
Brighter Side
Papachino’s
Thailand Rest.
Chefs of New York
Picassos Gourmet Deli
Famiglia Bistro Ristorante
Ciao Bella Ristorante
Beirut Falafel Hut
Le Saigon
Michael’s Pizza Bar and Grill
Modesto Sukiyaki

Churchkey
Divine Swine
Camp 4 Wine Cafe
Skewers Kabob House
Barkin’ Dog Grill
Me Mo’s Middle Eastern Cuisine
Saigon One
Ohana Hawaiian BBQ
Ralston’s Goat
Super Gyros
Phoenix Noodle House
Saibadee Restaurant
Kimoto Sake and Sushi
Dynasty Garden.

Some of the top-rated grocery stores are:

Sprouts
O’Briens Market
WinCo Foods
Raley’s
Trader Joe’s
Grocery Outlet
The Market at La Comisaria
Cost Less Food Company
Cornucopia Natural Foods
Downtown Market
O’Briens Market
Save Market
Sam’s Market
Village Health Foods
Asian Market
FoodMaxx
Babylon Market
Indian Grocery and Chaat
Hong Heng Market
Smart and Final
Angelita’s Carniceria Market.

How are the parks?

Modesto has quite a few parks–this list is just some of them:

Dry Creek Regional Park
Davis Community Park
Graceada Park
Freedom Park
Sanders Park
Catherine Everett Park
Jacob Myers Park
McKinney Colony Park
Woodrow Park
Moose Park

Mary Grogan Community Park
Cawell Memorial State Park
Beyer Park
Modesto Dog Park
Whitmore Park
Virginia Corridor Trailway
Elk Park
Coffee-Claratina Park
St. Salazar Park
Stockard Coffee Park

It is to be expected that a city the size of Modesto would have some parks, but the true appeal of moving to Modesto (other than the affordable housing) might be the proximity to places like Yosemite National Park. If you have your own vehicle, you can drive to Yosemite in about 2 hours, but the point of living so much closer than the Bay Area is not only the shorter driving time. Because it is more convenient to go there, you may visit many more times. (King’s Canyon is also somewhat close– about a 2.5-hour drive.)

Additionally, there may be very small places in that general area you might visit like Coulterville, LaGrange, and Groveland. There are places east of Yosemite which will be more accessible too, like Mono Lake and Bishop. Some people prefer the eastern Sierra because it is less crowded.

There are other less visited places to experience too, like Lodi and Sonora, which are about an hour or less by car.

How is the entertainment?

Modesto might not spring to mind as a cultural center, but it has its own symphony and opera. Live music such as rock and blues is available too, at a number of venues like bars and lounges.

If you want live music in a more formal setting, the State Theatre has a number of performances each year. (Independent films are shown here too.) The Gallo Center for the Arts also puts on various live music shows each year.

So, Modesto’s musical offerings might surprise those who are unaware of what is provided each year.

For movies, there are also theaters with the standard mainstream offerings.

Are there centers of worship?

In a city with 200,000 residents, it is typical to find many churches, and Modesto is no exception.

Here are some of the churches:

St. Stanislaus Church

Orangeburg Ave Baptist Church

Modesto Vineyard Church

Grace Worship Center

One Church: Bethel Campus

St. Joesph’s Catholic Church

Big Valley Grace Community Church

Redeemer Modesto

New Life Christian Center

There is also a Buddhist organization in Modesto — Watt Cambodian Buddhist Association.

A synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom, is also available.

If you are Muslim, there is an Islamic Center as well.

Finally, but of no less significance, there is a Hindu temple — Shree Ram Mandir.

Are there storage facilities?

Yes, we have a storage facility in Modesto, so if you need storage, please contact us.

What is near Modesto?

Monterey, 122 miles
Fresno, 96 miles
San Francisco, 91 miles
San Jose, 89 miles
Sacramento, 75 miles

So, after reading this article. Are you still interested in moving to Modesto?

Image Credit: Public domain

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