Relocation Information

Moving to San Jose, you’ll discover it’s a town that has come a very long way since its humble beginnings all the way back in 1777. Today, San Jose is a thriving metropolis and "The Capital of Silicon Valley."

Moving Advice

movingWith 998,537 (2013) residents and a metro population of almost 2 million, San  Jose is a great city to live in that offers a diversity of culture, arts and careers. If you’re not sure what to expect when moving to San Jose, the following insider tips will help.

The best time of year to move into San Jose is…anytime! The climate here is temperate year round and you won’t encounter any inclement weather conditions more severe than rain. Weather hindering move-day safety shouldn’t be a concern, but keep in mind that heaviest rainfall occurs between November and April.

You can trace the prosperity of San Jose by measuring its traffic congestion. Historically, freeway traffic has eased as unemployment rates have risen. Lately, those moving to San Jose have found increased job opportunities but increased daily commute times.

Expect significant traffic delays if you’re moving to San Jose during the week and find yourself on the freeway in the morning (between 6-9 a.m.) or the afternoon (between 3-7 p.m.).

Weekend traffic is a possibility as short-term vacationers shuttle back and forth between their San Jose homes and the numerous state parks and attractions that are within a day’s drive, although roads are rarely as congested during these times as they are during weekday rush hours.

Moving permits aren’t required, but can be obtained through the San Jose Department of Transportation if needed to facilitate a move into a particularly crowded area. Be sure to scope out the area ahead of time so that you can determine if you’ll need a moving permit to block off a section of street. In many cases, this will not be necessary.

San Jose is home to nine universities, the largest being San Jose State, which is located in the downtown area. If you’re moving to San Jose and are settling into downtown, you’ll find a high probability of living within immediate vicinity of rented student housing. To better plan your move if you’d prefer to live away from the most heavily student-populated areas, visit the Universities and Colleges section of the San Jose City website to learn more about their locations.

When moving to San Jose, it’s important that you fill out a change of address form with the US Post Office within a week of your move, as processing can take anywhere from 7-10 days.

Cost of Living

moving2The cost of living in San Jose is far and above the average found in many other places throughout the country, but don’t let that discourage you from moving here. The fact is, you stand to make a much higher salary by moving to San Jose than you would by living elsewhere. Here’s how the cost of living in San Jose breaks down.

  • Real Estate: The average price of a home in San Jose is right around $500,688 - $630,517. When compared with the median cost of homes across the board throughout California, which is $440,000, this is considerably higher. However, you can expect to earn a lot more by working in San Jose than you could somewhere else.

  • Income: The median family income for a single family in San Jose is $91,533. Compare that against the median state income of $60,190 and the median national income of $52,250.

  • Rent: The average price of monthly rent in San Jose for an apartment is $2656 per month, which is only a few hundred dollars shy of the $3586 per month average in neighboring San Francisco.

  • Gas: Fuel prices in San Jose are typically higher than they are anywhere else in the country, with the exception of Hawaii, New York City and a handful of metropolitan areas in Southern California. San Jose usually ranks among the top 20 most expensive cities in the United States for gas.

For newcomers to the area who are eager to make smart investments, now is one of the best times to buy real estate in San Jose. While housing costs are still high, they’re significantly lower than they were several years ago and also much lower than they’re likely to be in years to come. If you’re a savvy investor eyeing the cost of living in San Jose warily, it is wise to consider what a rebounded economy will potentially do for home prices, as well as your personal bank account when the time comes to cash in on that real estate investment.


Education should be a chief concern among those moving to San Jose with school-aged children. Start your search with this list of the five highest rated schools in the San Jose metro area, separated into individual categories for elementary, junior and high school levels.

Top 5 San Jose Metro Area Elementary Schools

  • William Faria Elementary (Cupertino)
  • Nelson S. Dillworth Elementary (San Jose)
  • Mission San Jose Elementary (Fremont)
  • Millikin Elementary (Santa Clara)
  • Herbert Hoover Elementary (Palo Alto)

Top 5 San Jose Metro Area Middle Schools

  • William Hopkins Junior High (Fremont)
  • Redwood Middle (Saratoga)
  • John F. Kennedy Middle (Cupertino)
  • Ardis G. Egan Junior High (Los Altos)
  • Georgina P. Blach Junior High (Los Altos)

Top 5 San Jose Metro Area High Schools

  • Dr. T.J. Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (Gilroy)
  • Monta Vista High (Cupertino)
  • Palo Alto High (Palo Alto)
  • Leland High (San Jose)
  • Lynbrook High (San Jose)

There are more than a dozen school districts serving the cities that comprise the San Jose metro area. In alphabetical order: Alum Rock, Berryessa, Cambrian, Campbell, Cupertino, East Side, Evergreen, Franklin-McKinley, Moreland, Morgan Hill, Mount Pleasant, Oak Grove, San Jose Unified and Union.

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