Moving to San Jose, CA


If you’re looking to relocate to Silicon Valley, San Jose is a great choice for a city. It’s innovative and diverse with something for everyone, and if you hope to land a job in tech (or start your own company, for that matter), there’s really no better place for it than San Jose.

The city itself is in Santa Clara County to the south of the San Francisco Bay, approximately 50 miles from San Francisco. San Jose is the “the Capital of Silicon Valley” due to one word: tech!

There are more than 6,600 tech companies there–plus the Tech Museum of Innovation. If you’re working your way up in the tech industry or want to move your family somewhere safe with a high earning potential, San Jose is the way to go.

But before moving to San Jose, let’s chat a little more about the city itself.

Bellhop is here to help!

The Basics of Moving to San Jose: Data, Cost of Living, and Of Course, Jobs

Below are some things to factor into your decision about moving to San Jose:

The Numbers: Population Info and Demographics

Over 1,003,120 people live in San Jose. The city is the third-biggest in the State of California and the 11th biggest in the country. There are about 5,642 individuals per square mile in San Jose, and the primary languages are English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

The Cost of Living in San Jose

It costs nearly 50% more to live in California than the national average, and San Jose’s cost of living is even higher. All in all, San Jose has been found to be 114.5% more expensive than the national average.

Groceries and transportation in San Jose also cost more. However, the cost of healthcare is pretty similar to the national average, and the cost of utilities is just below average.

Now, how much does a person need to live in San Jose? We’re glad you asked!

It’s estimated that the salary needed to live in San Jose is $132,343, which will keep a person from spending more than 28% of their earnings on rent. (San Jose’s median household income sits at $104,675.)

So, while the cost of living in San Jose is higher than average, you can end up with a pretty good income, which makes the move worth it and things like groceries and housing much more accessible.

The San Jose Job Market

San Jose is the fourth-happiest city in the U.S. There are also only five cities in the country where people are happier with their job and earnings.

The top industries in San Jose include “manufacturing; professional, scientific, and tech services; and healthcare and social assistance.” People tend to get paid the most in management, as well as professional services, science, and tech.

All in all, San Jose has a thriving job market. The unemployment rate is below average, and the future job growth rate and the 10-year job growth rate are both above average. In fact, the 10-year job growth rate is more than double the national average, according to one report.

In other words, you want a great job and income? San Jose is not a bad place at all!

Getting Around San Jose

One of our *favorite* parts of San Jose is the Downtown area. You pretty much always feel safe walking there. It comes up as #16 on the list of “most walkable neighborhood[s] in San Jose.”

But let’s say, you don’t want to walk. Maybe–just maybe–you want to put some miles on your bicycle. Great news! You can bring your own or rent one from the Bay Area Bike Share. (The city gets a 91 for its bike-friendliness.) You can also get a pedicab from Eco City Cycles.

Now, let’s say you don’t feel like walking or biking, and you would rather drive or take public transportation. Not to worry! There are plenty of options for you in San Jose. The city has the VTA Light Rail and Bus, Dash Shuttle, and Caltrain–to name a few.

Where to Live in San Jose? Here’s a Mini Neighborhood Guide

No San Jose relocation guide is complete without a list of the top neighborhoods in the city. Here are a few to choose from:

1. West San Jose: Best of the Best

West San Jose is one neighborhood that consistently makes it on the “best neighborhoods in San Jose” lists. In fact, Niche even calls it the “#1 best neighborhood in San Jose.” So, of course, we had to include it here.

This neighborhood has top-tier schools and beautiful trees surrounding the streets. Much of the neighborhood was designed 50-60 years ago, giving the housing its own unique charm. West San Jose isn’t too far from Saratoga or Cupertino, so if you plan to work in one of those areas, you’ll be happy living here. (The commute will be a piece of cake.)

People in tech especially like this neighborhood due to its close proximity to many of the major tech players in San Jose. It’s one of the leading neighborhoods for new professionals and families. So, whatever category you fall into, West San Jose is likely for you!

2. Willow Glen: “San Jose’s Local Treasure”

One person on Quora says, “Willow Glen is one of the cutest, safest and most diverse neighborhoods in the San Jose area. The streets are lined with beautiful trees, there are safe parks for all ages within one mile or less of each other. The downtown is filled with diverse restaurants from Mexican to Japanese and Greek to American.

In Willow Glen (rated a top-5 neighborhood in San Jose), there truly is something for everyone. Not to mention, if you need to travel downtown for work or fun, it takes less than 10 minutes. Willow Glen is what we call a gem in San Jose. It gives you the friendly, local feeling of living in a small town while still providing you with all of your basic suburban amenities.

Whether you’re a young, single go-getter looking to climb the corporate ladder at a major company downtown, or you hope to have children in the near future, Willow Glen could be just the place you’ve been searching for. (Plus, with its many bookstores, local shops, and farmers’ market, you can’t go wrong.)

3. Campbell: For Rising Professionals

Like West San Jose, Campbell is on the top-3 list of neighborhoods in San Jose. It’s one of the more affluent cities, with over 88% of workers in well-paying white-collar positions. Sales, computer science, math, and management are some of the leading industries in the area.

Fun fact: Campbell has more workers in the computer and math industries than 95% of the cities throughout the country. So, if you’re moving to San Jose as a young professional looking to move your way up in the workforce and network with like-minded people, Campbell could be a great place to call home.

Moving to San Jose: Pros and Cons

Living in San Jose has many pros and cons. Here are a few that we haven’t touched on yet:


Endless Activities:There are tons of things to do in San Jose. For instance, you can check out the Winchester Mystery House, San Jose Museum of Art, Children’s Discovery Museum, or Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.

Basically, if you like museums, you’ll love it here! You might also enjoy the Municipal Rose Garden, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, or SAP Center.

Great for Kids:While the crime rate in San Jose is slightly higher than the national average, many people consider it a safe city as a whole. One study even calls the San Jose Metropolitan area one of the top “places to raise successful and healthy children.”

Some of the things that go into this include the high-school graduation rate, employment rate, and education system as a whole.


High Median Home Cost: Many people who live in San Jose own a home, but it comes at a price. It’s 333% more expensive in San Jose than the national average to buy a house. How much does the median home cost? $1,249,900!

That means that if you move to San Jose, securing a good-paying job right away is important to help you afford a comfortable lifestyle and not have to worry about renting (which can get pretty costly, too).

Traffic: San Jose’s traffic is one of the biggest drawbacks of living there. It may not affect you if you work remotely, but if you’re a commuter, you may find the time it takes to get to work (an average of 29+ minutes) difficult at times.

The good news is that you can choose from many routes, which can help you avoid traffic at peak times of the day. Nancy from Quora says, “The worst [roads for traffic] are 101 south , Hwy 85, and Hwy 89. Go to work earlier and get off earlier to avoid the rush.

Good Luck With Your Move to San Jose

If moving to San Jose is in the cards for you, you deserve your move to go as smoothly as possible. That’s what Bellhop is here for! As your dedicated local and long-distance moving company in San Jose, we are committed to helping you get to San Jose without stress.

Ready to get started? Book a move online today.