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Moving to San Jose: 11 Things to Know before You Go

Admin | August 8, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

Moving to San Jose is something many people do every year for a variety of reasons like jobs, school, and the weather. We did some research and created this article to help you make your decision, if you are thinking of moving there too.

How big is San Jose?

San Jose has a little over one million people, which makes it the third-largest city in California and the biggest in Northern California. In California, only LA and San Diego have more people. Most of the residents are white, followed by Hispanics and then Asians of various nationalities like Vietnamese, Chinese and Filipino. African-Americans are about 3% of the total population.

How much is housing?

The median home price in San Jose is approximately $1 million and the average apartment rent is $2800. If you are fortunate, you might find a small condo for less than $400,000, or a studio apartment for less than $2000. There may be some shared living situations for around $1000. Moving to San Jose might be a viable option if you are prepared for the cost of living, and have a good reason to be there. The cheapest permanent housing choice would be buying a mobile home if that is something you are open to, but some are not. In this case, you might be able to find something for less than $200,000.

There are homes for less than $1 million in places south of San Jose like Morgan Hill, and Gilroy but if you live there you will have to spend time commuting and San Jose traffic can be very dense. So, if you tolerate a lot of commute congestion well, these areas might be on the table.

How is the weather?

The average high temperatures in San Jose range from 60 in winter to 84 in summer. The lows are about 42 to 58 during the same reasons. The record high is 114 and the low is 19 — both are Fahrenheit. The average annual rainfall is 15 inches — for comparison, Seattle’s is 37 inches, and Chicago’s is 36. Moving to San Jose is something that a warm and sometimes hot weather person would enjoy probably — especially if you like less humidity.

What kind of jobs are there?

San Jose is considered by some to be the capital of Silicon Valley, so technology companies abound. Some of the top employers are:

Cisco Systems
City of San Jose
San Jose State University
County of Santa Clara
Western Digital
San Jose Unified School District
Kaiser Permanente
Good Samaritan Hospital
Cadence Design Systems

Are there parks?

San Jose is known for having a highly-rated park system, some of the parks are:

Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Alum Rock Park
Plaza de César Chávez
Raging Waters
Rosicrucian Park

Emma Prusch Farm Park
Field Sports Park
Kelley Park
Martial Cottle Park
Overfelt Gardens.

How is the food?

San Jose is a diverse and very large California city, so you might expect to find quite a number of options for cuisine — and you would be correct. Here are some of the top-rated restaurants:

The Table
Luna Mexican Kitchen
Firehouse No.1 Gastropub
Our House
Back A Yard
Danbi Korean Restaurant
1621 Bistro
KoJa Kitchen
Red Chili

Teriyaki Dude
TAOB Pit Stop
Claw Shack
Lalla Grill
ADEGA Restaurant
Pho Dao Restaurant
Sizzle Spot
Dish n Dash
Poke Paradise
Diwan Al Falafel
Bar Bay Grill
Ludwigs German Table
The City Fish
Bonchon Chicken
HOM Korean Kitchen
Hometown Noodle
Vn Grill

Asian Box
The Grandview Restaurant
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Yummi Tea Cafe
Paesano Ristorante Italiano
The Breakfast Club
Cali Spartan Mexican Kitchen
Masa Rameon
The Creek Eatery
Le Papillon
Jubba Restaurant
Tasty Pot
Bertucelli’s La Villa
Poki Bowl
Chez Sovan

Of course, with such a large population, there are going to be many grocery stores and here are some of them:

Zanotto’s Family Market

Trader Joe’s

New Season’s Market


Whole Foods Market

International Food Bazaar

Grocery Outlet Bargain Market


Zanotto’s Willow Glen Marketing

Dai Thanh Supermarket

Arteaga’s Food Center

Laredo Market

Mitsuwa Marketplace

Real Produce


Lunardi’s Markets


Whole Foods Market

Nob Hill Foods


Diridon Market

Bacalhau Grill & Trade Rite Market

Mi Pueblo Food Center

Lion Supermarket

Alum Rock Village Farmers Market

99 Ranch


How are the schools?

The public schools in San Jose are rated 7/10 according to Great Schools. For adults, there are many colleges and universities available such as:

Evergreen Valley College

San Jose State University

The National Hispanic University

San Jose City College

Santa Clara University

Heald College San Jose

Mission College

University of Phoenix Bay Area.

Is there access to nature?

As noted in the parks section, the city has many parks and there are quite a few places within easy driving distance one may enjoy very much. For example, Half Moon Bay, which is a small, quiet community on the Pacific Coast, is only 40 miles away. One of the more impressive state parks outside the city is Henry Coe, which is about a 34-mile drive. It is the largest park in Northern California. Even closer is Big Basin Redwood Forest which has many very tall redwood trees and extends all the way to coast, Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz. The entire coastal area extending from Santa Cruz north of Half Moon Bay is known for is beauty and open spaces. Of course, if you drive south of Santa Cruz, it won’t be too long before you wind up in Monterey and Carmel — and Big Sur is just south of them.

If you are in the mood to drive for about 3.5 hours, you can go east and a little north and wind up in Yosemite National Park, a place visited by millions each year. Moving to San Jose would most likely work for a person who prefers a blend of urban culture and open spaces within driving distance.

How is the transportation?

San Jose has its own airport, so you can fly to many places domestically and some internationally. For example, there are regular flights to American cities and Hawaii. Some destinations in Europe and Asia are also available. San Jose has a light rail system you can ride to various stations within San Jose, and it connects with Santa Clara and Mountain View.

The local freeways and highways can become very congested during peak periods, so having light rail is an advantage for San Jose. Additionally, there is supposed to be a BART station not too far from San Jose opening in late 2017 or 2018. This location is also where a VTA light rail station is, so BART riders can get off their trains, and connect to VTA so they can ride into downtown San Jose, and may proceed all the way to South San Jose. Moving to San Jose is a probably a viable option for a person who wants to ride public station.

Of course, San Jose also has a local bus system and in some locations, it connects with light rail.

What about entertainment?

San Jose has many places where you can enjoy live music in very large crowds with big names, or in much smaller venues with local or less known acts. Here is just a sample of the places you might visit:

SAP Center

Cafe Stritch

California Theatre

El Jardin Tequila Bar & Restaurant

55 South

San Pedro Square Market

Poor House Bistro

San Pedro Square Market Bar

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub

City National Civic of San Jose

There are also many movie theaters like:

Century 20 Oakridge


Cinelux Almaden Cinema

AMC Cupertino Square 16

Camera 3 Cinema

AMC Eastridge 15

AMC Saratoga 14

West Wind Capitol 6 Drive-in

Cinebrew mart

San Jose Camera Cinema Club.

San Jose also has its own opera and a symphony if you prefer classical music. If you like live theater, there are various venues such as:

City Lights

The San Jose Stage Company

Theatre on San Pedro Square

Broadway San Jose

Northside Theatre Company

Montgomery Theater

Renegade Theatre Experiment

San Jose Center for the Performing Arts

You might expect that living in a California city might mean some cultural deprivation, but moving to San Jose might exceed your expectations.

Are there places or worship?

Yes, there are many and of a variety of religions and denominations — San Jose is a large city and it is diverse, so you may find something suitable.

Here are some of the options:

Christian or Catholic churches

West Gate – Saratoga
South Bay Church
Vive Church
Awakening Church
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph
The River Church Community
The Cathedral of Faith
St. Francis of Assisi
Jubilee Christian Center
Five Wounds Church
Bethel Church
Family Community Church

Buddhist centers

Buddhist Church San Jose Betsuin
San Jose Dharma Punx
Golden Sage Monastery
Floating Zendo
Trung Tam Tue Vien Wisdom
Garden Buddhist Center
San Jose Buddhist Church Lotus Preschool
Quan The Am Temple
An Ton Meditation Center
Quan The Am Thien Tu
Chao Chow Community Center of San Jose
Tu Lam Buddhist Temple
Wat Lao Buddhaxinaram
The San Jose Cambodian Buddhist Society
Pao-hua Buddhist Temple
Chua An Lac


Congregation Sinai
Temple Emanu El-Reform
Am Echad Orthodox
Ahavas Torah-Torah Orthodox


What is near San Jose?

Santa Clara — 5 miles

Palo Alto — 17 miles

Santa Cruz — 32 miles

Oakland — 40 miles

San Francisco — 55 miles

After taking in all this information are you still interested in moving to San Jose?


Image Credit: Daderot, Wikipedia, Public domain

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