Cost of Living in San Jose, CA - Clutch Movers skip to content link

Cost of living in San Jose, CA

Posted on June 20, 2024

San Jose, also known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, is a busy city in the heart of the tech industry. Its sunny weather, booming job market, and economy make it a perfect place for people of all ages. Along with being the hub for innovation and technology, this place is very popular for its rich history, culture, and natural beauty. All these things make it a desirable city to live in. However, it’s crucial to understand the cost of living before you move here. 

Since it’s a tech-savvy city, the expenses can be higher than other regions. Knowing what to expect financially will help you plan better and make informed decisions. So if you want to learn more about the cost of living in San Jose, keep reading. 

1- Housing Costs

If you’re planning to move to San Jose, then housing costs are a major consideration for you. Whether you want to buy your own house or rent a property, you should have knowledge of the various factors that contribute to the overall cost of housing in the area. If you want to rent, then you have three main options:

  • Studio Apartments – These typically cost around $2,500 per month and are great for individuals looking for a compact, affordable living space.

  • One-Bedroom Apartments – These apartments usually cost about $2,800 per month and are popular among singles and young professionals.

  • Two-Bedroom Apartments –  If you need more space, two-bedroom apartments are an ideal option. They are usually around $3,500 per month and are suitable for small families or roommates.

Median Home Prices for Buying a House

Purchasing a home in San Jose is a significant investment. According to Zillow, the average home value in this city is $1,462,338. Here are some factors that influence these prices:

Proximity to Tech Hubs – Since San Hose is home to many tech giants and startups, you get access to great employment opportunities, which increases demand for housing. 

Quality of Life – San Jose offers a high quality of life with excellent schools, parks, and amenities, making it a desirable place to live.

Limited Supply – This place has geographic constraints and zoning regulations limits, which reduce the availability of new housing, leading to higher prices. 


Comparison of Housing Costs Across Different Neighborhoods

  • Downtown San Jose –  The average rent (1 bedroom) is $3,000 per month and the median home price is $1.3 million. 

  • Willow Glen – The average rent (1 bedroom) is $2,700 per month and the median home price is $1.4 million. 

  • Almaden Valley – The average rent (1 bedroom) is $2,900 per month and the median home price is $1.5 million.

  • North San Jose – The average rent (1 bedroom) is $2,600 per month and the median home price is $1.41 million.

2- Utilities and Services

If you want to budget the monthly cost of living in San Jose, then you must consider utilities and services. 


Here are basic utilities costs as per Numbeo’s reports:


  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) – 259.70 $

  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan – 48.08 $

  • Internet – 76.20 $

  • Gasoline – 1.30 $


If you talk about the service providers, then Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is the primary electricity provider. San Jose Water Company serves most of the city’s water needs. For gas, PG&E is mostly responsible, and providers like Xfinity, AT&T, and Sonic are responsible for providing internet services. 


Tips for reducing utility costs

  • Buy energy-efficient appliances to reduce electricity bills

  • Install a smart thermostat to optimize heating and cooling usage

  • Install low-flow showerheads and faucets to save water

  • Switch to LED bulbs and unplug electric devices when not in use


3- Transportation Costs

You will get various transportation options to get around the city and the surrounding areas. 

VTA Buses: This is an extensive bus network operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. You can get a single ride for $2.50 and a monthly pass for $90. 

Light Rail: You also get access to a light rail system with multiple lines where a single ride costs $2.50, and a monthly pass is $90.

Caltrain: If you want to travel between San Jose and San Francisco, you can use the Caltrain. A one-way ticket costs $8.75 while a monthly pass ranges from $96 to $386, depending on the number of zones traveled.

If you have a private vehicle, then your expenses will include fuel charges and other maintenance charges. The average price of gasoline in San Jose is around $4.50 per gallon and regular car maintenance can be around $100 to $200 per month. 


Cost of Ridesharing Services


Uber and Lyft are two popular ridesharing service providers. If you choose Uber, then it will cost you around $10 to $30 to travel within the city. Similar to Uber, Lyft rides cost between $10 and $30 on average for trips within the city.


Comparison of Commuting Costs for Different Areas of San Jose


  • Downtown San Jose – Monthly commuting costs can be as low as $90 with a VTA pass.

  • Willow Glen – It can cost around $200 to $300 per month.

  • North San Jose – It can average around $150 to $250 per month. 

  • Almaden Valley – This area might require more driving, so costs can be around $250 to $350 per month.


4 – Food and Groceries


Groceries expenses can vary based on your lifestyle and needs but here are some average monthly costs for a typical household in San Jose:


Individual: $300 – $400

Couple: $500 – $700

Family of Four: $800 – $1,200


There are many grocery stores like Safeway, Trader’s Joe, and Costco. So it’s better to visit each of them to get the best pricing. 


Average Cost of Dining Out at Restaurants


  • Casual Dining – Fast-casual places typically cost between $10 and $20 per person.

  • Mid-Range Restaurants – If you go to a mid-range restaurant, it usually costs between $20 and $40 per person.

  • Fine Dining –These upscale venue experiences can cost $50 to $100 or more per person.


5- Healthcare Expenses


In San Jose, you get access to a robust healthcare system with all the advanced facilities. You have hospitals like O’Connor Hospital, and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center along with clinics such as Stanford Health Care Clinics and Planned Parenthood. Here are some average costs:


Health Insurance – Individual health insurance can range from $400 to $600 per month while family plans can cost between $1,200 and $1,800.


Doctor Visits – An average physician visit can cost between $100 and $200 while specialists can range from $150 to $300.


Emergency Room Visits – If you require an emergency room, it can cost between $500 to $3,000. 


There are many providers like Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, etc. So you should consider researching their plans to get the best offer. 


6- Education and Childcare


Education is a big expense for families, and the costs would depend on the type of school you choose. If you choose a public school, then expenses can range from $300 to $1,000 per year per child. On the flip side, private schools are expensive, so annual tuition for private elementary schools ranges from $10,000 to $25,000 and you should expect to pay $15,000 to $35,000 for high school tuition. If you talk about daycare and preschool, then it costs between $1,500 and $2,500 per month. 


Overview of the Education System in San Jose


The public school system of this city is managed by several school districts, which include San Jose Unified School District, East Side Union High School District, and others. Various private schools offer specialized curriculums and smaller class sizes. If you need higher education, there are options such as San Jose State University, Evergreen Valley College, and private universities like Santa Clara University. 


7- Entertainment and Leisure


San Jose offers a variety of entertainment options:

  • Tech Museum of Innovation: $20 for children, $25 for adults.

  • San Jose Museum of Art: It’s free for kids under 18 and $10 for adults

  • Winchester Mystery House: Tours range from $20 to $42.


Average Cost of Leisure Activities

  • Gym Memberships: The average monthly price is $40 to $70.

  • Movie Tickets: Approximately $15 per ticket.

  • Live Performances: Tickets for theater and concerts range from $30 to $100.


Free or Low-Cost Entertainment Options

  • Municipal Rose Garden: Free admission.

  • Alum Rock Park: Free entry with low-cost parking.

  • Downtown Events: Many festivals and outdoor concerts are free to the public.


8- Family and Outdoor Activities


You will find many outdoor and family-friendly activities in San Hose, here are their average costs:


  • Children’s Discovery Museum: For children and adults, the admission fee is $15.

  • Happy Hollow Park & Zoo: Tickets are around $16 for adults and $14 for kids. 

  • Winchester Mystery House: Tours cost between $20 and $40 per person.


Overview of Outdoor Recreational Activities and Their Costs



  • Biking: Public trails are free; bike rentals average $20-$30 per day.



  • Picnicking: Public parks are free; reservable picnic areas may have small fees.


9- Taxes and Miscellaneous Expenses


State Income Tax: You will be under a progressive income tax system in California with rates ranging from 1% to 13.3%, depending on income.


Sales Tax: The sales tax rate in San Jose is 9.25%, which includes state, county, and city taxes.


Property Tax: The average property tax rate in San Jose is around 0.79% of the assessed home value.


There are other miscellaneous expenses as well, so if you want to figure out exactly how much does it cost to live in San Jose, then you should consider clothing, personal care, and other stuff as well. 



So this is the average cost of living in San Jose. Moving to a new city is no less than an adventure, especially if it’s a place like San Jose. Since it offers you a blend of good opportunities and lifestyle, it’s important to understand its cost of living. If you’re still asking ‘Is San Jose expensive to live?’, you should read other related topics to get a better understanding. For people who’ve made up their minds to make this city their new home,  Clutch Moving Company can help them make their move easy and efficient.

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