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I’m moving from Michigan to San Diego in a few months. How hard is it to find a nice place to rent?

by tom44 on August 18, 2013

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Question by Nokomis: I’m moving from Michigan to San Diego in a few months. How hard is it to find a nice place to rent?
My boyfriend was accepted to border patrol, so we’re looking for something nice and affordable.

I’m also interested in what San Diego/ Imperial Beach is like and what there is to do. And will we have problems with people seeing as he is going to have a controversial job?

Best answer:

Answer by cblais2002
I would go to to browse the cost of apartments there, I’m from Boston so the cost of living here is quite expensive and comparable to San Diego, I’m not too sure about Michigan though.
I have been to San Diego however, and I don’t think you would have any problem with people, they were the nicest bunch of people I have ever met, and I have traveled a lot.

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4 thoughts on “I’m moving from Michigan to San Diego in a few months. How hard is it to find a nice place to rent?

  1. CK loves Chimichangas!! says:

    I would just like to say I appreciate what the first person said about us being the nicest bunch of people here. How kind! As for if you will have any problems with your boyfriend working for the Border Patrol, no, not really. It’s just a job, and people here respect the fact that he will have a job. It’s a decent paying job and a respectable one. Yes, we have A LOT of Hispanic people here in San Diego and there will be some people who will not appreciate the type of work that your boyfriend will be doing. Still, most people understand that the job is not just about keeping illegal immigrants in Mexico, but rather also involves keeping things safe on BOTH sides of the border for both countries.

    I live in East San Diego County, and only about 30 minutes from the border of Mexico. The farther south you both live, and closer to the border, the more Hispanic population you will encounter. This is not a bad thing, but if you are concerned about your boyfriend being accepted if he walks into a grocery store in his border patrol uniform after work, then there may be a little less acceptance there. Still, the Hispanic community is a very nice community of people. Hispanic culture is family-oriented and hard-working. Living closer to the border could provide an advantage for your boyfriend in that he could gain a better understanding of the Hispanic culture which could be helpful in his job.

    As for housing, there are tons of places to rent here in San Diego County. Average rentals of apartments, condos and homes range from $ 800-1200 for a 1-bedroom to $ 2000 on up for a 3-bedroom, depending upon the area one lives in, the age of the building and the amenities of the place. I pay almost $ 1800 a month for a rental on a 3-bedroom condo in East San Diego County. That is an average price for the area I live in.

    To sum it up, since you are in Michigan, if you want to find places to live which are within 30 minutes or less to the Mexican border, here is a list of those places:

    La Mesa, El Cajon, Rancho San Diego (considered part of El Cajon), Spring Valley, San Diego, Mission Valley, downtown San Diego, Chula Vista, San Ysidro (practically at the border itself), Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Point Loma.

    La Mesa, El Cajon, Rancho San Diego and Spring Valley are considered as East County.

    Mission Valley is considered a part of Central San Diego County. San Diego itself and downtown San Diego, are about 15-20 minutes away from the border.

    Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and Point Loma, are all beach cities within about 15-25 minutes from the border. Point Loma is a little bit pricier to live in, as it is older and has beautiful and expensive homes overlooking the ocean, so the rentals there of apartments are a bit higher.

    Chula Vista and San Ysidro are considered as South Bay or South San Diego. These two cities are just minutes from the border.

    Good sites to check on for rentals are:

    The 3rd listing,, is the online classified ads for our newspaper, The San Diego Union. You can learn more about our city by checking out that site. Also, you can take the city you are interested in and plug it in to that city’s Chamber of Commerce website. You should be able to get demographic and statistical information on crime rate, average income, etc. for a particular city in San Diego County.

    Best wishes to you and welcome to San Diego! I am a native Californian and have lived in San Diego County most of my life. It’s a beautiful city and a great place to live. The cost of living is very high here, but we call that the “sunshine tax”. It is well worth it, in my view.

  2. kate815 says:

    I think there a are a ton of affordable places to live that are 30 minutes from the border. I recently moved and found to be very helpful. They have lots of good neighborhood information, pictures, maps and write-ups of each individual neighborhood in San Diego and San Diego metro area. It looks like they have a lot of great information for San Diego too!

  3. JEMJEM says:

    To be perfectly honest with you the imperial beach area is affordable but not nice. High Hispanic area, not very good for your boyfriends line of work. Downtown is 20 minutes away from the border, and it much better. You can look in its surrounding areas, for affordable living. Golden Hill and North Park are great neighborhoods and you can find a 1 bedroom apartment for $ 825. Bankers Hill and Hillcrest is a bit more expensive, or for the same price you get less square footage. Apartments, smack in the middle of downtown rum from 1400 to 3000. Just remember the farthersouth you go (closer to the border) the more and more ghetto it gets. Although Chula Vista isn’t half bad, but it is expensive, National city and San Ysidro is horrid. It wont be that bad to drive 20 minutes…you’ll thank me later….oh and don’t go too far east in the east village, and be wary of the neighborhoods south of downtown (ie Logan Heights, Barrio Logan)…so look in the north, east and west of downtown….have fun…and welcome home

  4. Danny B says:

    Imperial Beach is fine, Lots of nice homes. Price range is from $ 3,000,000 to $ 500,000.
    There are lots of custom agents and border patrol personnel who work and live there.
    As for the Hispanic population a large number of border patrol agents are Hispanic so there are no problems.

    Imperial Beach is family friendly. It is your typical California Beach community in price, lifestyle and racial makeup.

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