Moving to San Jose

Welcome to the brink of an exciting journey! In traversing the path towards moving to San Jose, California, you're not just relocating to a new address, but to a vibrant cosmopolitan hub offering rich cultural experiences, world-leading tech industries, and a sunny environment year-round. Our comprehensive guide, as thrilling as the city itself, will walk you through every pertinent detail with equal measure of clarity and enthusiasm. A frolicsome adventure through the heart of Silicon Valley awaits you, striking a harmonious balance between novelty and professionalism - much like life in San Jose!

Moving to San Jose, CA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to San Jose

1. Tech Town, Baby!

You probably already know this, but let's state it anyway, Silicon Valley Bingo is the most popular game in town! San Jose is the powerhouse of tech, housing big shots such as Apple, Adobe, Google, and eBay. They serve as inspiration to new unicorns also sprouting up through the cracks, like Uber and Lyft. As a result, the atmosphere positively buzzes with innovation, ambition, and caffeine!

2. The Rain Secret

We've got a secret that might throw you off your decision to move here, or perhaps justify your high rain boots expense. Despite being in sunny California, San Jose experiences its fair share of rainfall, especially between November and March annually according to AccuWeather. But hey, who said rain couldn't be fun too? Rubber ducky themed rain gear, anyone?

3. Cultural Hotspots

San Jose isn't just about tech and rain. It's also a bustling cultural hotspot. Dance your heart out at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, immerse yourself in works of art at the San Jose Museum of Art, or get lost in the magic of performance at the San Jose Repertory Theatre. The city keeps its cultural heritage alive with events and places that cater to every taste.

4. Immigration Station

San Jose is the melting pot of different cultures and backgrounds. Boasting the largest Vietnamese population in the United States and a significant number of immigrants from other nations, this city is a multicultural paradise. Get your chopsticks ready to dive into mouthwatering Pho at Pho Kim Long, or soar on culinary clouds with diverse international cuisines available here.

5. Wait, We Have A Castle?

Surprise, surprise! San Jose hides a gem in its landscape that not everyone knows about. In the heart of the city, there is a real, bona fide castle called the Lick Observatory. Located at the summit of Mount Hamilton, it provides extensive research facilities for Stanford University and UC Berkeley, and a fantastical skyline view for all the romantics out there. You can also take a tour, find more information here.

6. The San Jose Semaphore

How about playing real-time puzzle games the size of buildings? That's right, another less-known fact about San Jose is the San Jose Semaphore, a digital art installation by Ben Rubin. It broadcasts a visual puzzle via four rotating disks displayed on the Adobe Almaden Tower. And guess what, no one has fully decoded the current message yet - are you up for the challenge?

There you have it, stepping into San Jose is stepping into a city humming with tech-savvy brains, set against a backdrop of cultural vibrancy, culinary adventures, breathtaking landscapes and mind-bending visual puzzles. It mostly appeals to seekers of sun (and yes, rain too!), scholars of innovation, and art lovers. So when you feel a wave of excitement at the mere thought of San Jose, you know you're making the right move!

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Pros and Cons of Living in San Jose

Pros of Living in San Jose

High Quality of Life

San Jose is known for its high quality of life. The city boasts excellent educational institutions, top-notch healthcare facilities, and diverse recreational and cultural amenities. These factors contribute to a fruitful and enriching living experience for residents.

Excellent Job Market

The city's job market, particularly in the tech industry, is thriving. Big-name tech companies like Apple, Google, and Adobe Systems have offices in San Jose, providing abundant job opportunities for residents. Additionally, the entrepreneurial spirit in the city facilitates the growth of start-ups and small businesses.

Great Weather

San Jose enjoys great weather throughout the year. The city has more than 300 sunny days a year which provides ample opportunity for outdoor activities and to take advantage of the area's beautiful natural resources.

Rich Cultural Diversity

San Jose is a culturally diverse city with residents from various ethnic backgrounds. This influences its varied cuisine, vibrant festivals, and a multitude of languages spoken, which enriches the community and enhances the city's multicultural vibe.

Access to Outdoor Activities

San Jose's location provides ready access to outdoor activities. With its proximity to amazing natural assets like the Pacific Coast, Sierra Nevada, and dozens of city and county parks, residents can easily go from urban to outdoor settings.

Cons of Living in San Jose

High Cost of Living

San Jose is notorious for its high cost of living, which is well above national averages across many sectors including housing, transportation, and food. This can make it tough for some people to afford to live comfortably in the city.

Heavy Traffic

Like many metropolitan areas, San Jose deals with heavy traffic during rush hours. This can add significant time to daily commutes and could be a source of frustration to residents who must navigate it regularly.

Large Population

San Jose is the third largest city in California and the tenth largest in the United States, which can lead to crowds and congestion. For some, this bustling atmosphere is appealing, but others may find it overwhelming.

Limited Affordable Housing

The housing market in San Jose is highly competitive and prices are significantly higher than national averages. Affordable housing options are limited, making it difficult for some individuals or families to find suitable accommodation within their budget.

High Crime Rate

Like many large cities, San Jose struggles with crime in certain areas. While the city as a whole is safer than many other U.S. cities of its size, understanding the neighborhood-level crime rates can be crucial for potential residents.

Modern day picture of San Jose, CA highlighting pros and cons of living in San Jose, CA

Is San Jose a Good Place to Live?

San Jose, CA is a great place to live because of its comfortable weather, thriving job market in the tech industry, and fantastic access to various cultural pursuits. It's filled with exciting attractions ranging from beautiful parks to world-class museums, not to mention having an eclectic food scene, lending a cosmopolitan vibe to this sunny Californian city. Additionally, San Jose offers vast educational opportunities with high-performing schools and universities, making it an enticing destination for families and students alike!

What Is San Jose Famous For?

Capital of Silicon Valley

San Jose, often referred to as the "Capital of Silicon Valley", is home to many of the world's largest technology companies. The city has become a hub for innovation and development, attracting tech enthusiasts from around the globe.

The San Jose Museum of Art

Art lovers flock to the San Jose Museum of Art, which boasts a stunning collection of modern and contemporary artworks. Its dynamic exhibits, which blend technology and art, reflect the city's vibrant spirit and innovative heart.

The Winchester Mystery House

A true architectural wonder, the Winchester Mystery House is famed for its peculiar design and enchanting history. The sprawling mansion, with its labyrinth-like layout and rumored ghostly inhabitant, offers a quirky yet fascinating glimpse into the past.

Rich Cultural Diversity

San Jose is celebrated for its cultural diversity. The city's numerous festivals, eclectic array of cuisines, and variety of arts and music scenes are a testament to its culturally rich and vibrant community.

Capital building of San Jose, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In San Jose, CA, the property tax rate is generally set at around 0.75% of the property's assessed fair market value. Compared to the national average property tax rate of around 1.07%, San Jose residents pay less property tax overall.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, the overall sales tax rate in San Jose stands at 9.25%, which includes the California state sales tax of 6%, Santa Clara county tax of 0.25%, and additional district taxes. This is considerably higher compared to the national median sales tax rate of 6.5%.

Income Tax

The marginal income tax rate in 2023 for San Jose residents can range from 1% to 13.3%, based on income brackets, with the highest tax rate being one of the highest in the nation. In comparison, the average state income tax rates across the US vary from 0% to 8.82%, making California's income tax notably higher.

Housing Market

The housing market in San Jose, CA, outstrips most areas in the US with its steep prices. As of 2021, the median home price stands at $1.1 million, well above the national average. However, this is balanced by higher average incomes. For renters, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about $2,500, again much higher than the national average. Despite these costs, San Jose's thriving tech sector and quality of life make it an appealing market for both renters and buyers.

Cost of Living

San Jose, CA boasts a vibrant economy, diverse culture, and top-tier amenities, paralleled with a high cost of living. It ranks among the most expensive US cities, surpassed mainly by San Francisco and New York City. This expense is primarily driven by housing costs, which are significantly higher than the national average. Despite this, many are drawn to live in San Jose because of its strong job market, particularly in tech industries, and its unmatched quality of life.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Located in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, San Jose enjoys a Mediterranean-type climate with over 300 sun-filled days a year. Ranging between mild winters and warm summers, average temperatures vary from 50degF to 70degF. Rainfall is quite modest, mostly concentrated between November and April, averaging around 15 inches per year. The city is largely shielded from extreme weather conditions due to its inland geographical position. However, it does face natural disasters, predominately earthquakes due to its location on the San Andreas Fault line. Occasionally, droughts and wildfires may also affect the area during the dry seasons. Despite this, the region's pleasant weather and abundant sunshine draw people from across the globe, making San Jose a prime location for outdoor activities and year-round tourism.

Typical weather in San Jose, CA

Economy & Job Market


* Information Technology and Software Services

* Manufacturing, especially semiconductor and electronics

* Education

* Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

Situated at the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose, California shines as a vibrant hub of innovation and opportunity particularly geared towards the tech industry. Traditionally, industries such as agriculture and manufacturing played a major role in the city's economy, with the production of fruits, vegetables, and semiconductors. However, the digital revolution transformed San Jose into an epicenter for information technology and software services. Today, many renowned tech companies call San Jose home, including Adobe Systems, PayPal, Cisco Systems, and eBay, to name just a few. In addition to technology, other key industries include education, healthcare, and professional services.

Are you planning a move to San Jose, CA and wondering about the job market? Well, you're in luck! With a lower unemployment rate than the national average, San Jose presents a dynamic and diverse job market. The city's high job growth rate, particularly in sectors such as tech and healthcare, makes it an attractive destination not only for tech wizards but also for educators, healthcare professionals, and service providers. If you're looking for a job in tech or professional services, neighborhoods like North San Jose and Downtown San Jose are your hot spots with a high density of tech companies, startups, and business services. Ready to pack your bags and kick-start your career in this bustling Californian city? San Jose awaits you with unlimited techtonic - pardon the pun- employment opportunities!


Traffic and Transportation

San Jose, CA: The city that invites you to buckle up, tune in to your favorite podcast, and enjoy the ride! On average, San Jose commuters can expect to spend 31 minutes on their journey - a perfect window for an episode of your favorite sitcom. Public transport in the city is covered by the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), which rolls out both bus and light rail services, ensuring you're never left out in the Californian sun. Exploring further afield? San Jose International Airport will be your jumping-off point, serving as the city's sleek, streamlined gateway to the skies. Whether you're a 9-to-5 commuter or a globetrotter itching for your next adventure, San Jose has all your transportation needs covered! So get moving, the city is waiting!

What is the traffic like in San Jose, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in San Jose

1. Willow Glen

Famed for its palm tree-lined streets and beautifully preserved period homes, Willow Glen is a picture-perfect neighborhood in San Jose. The area has a quaint, small-town feel, with its own downtown strip full of charming boutiques, cozy cafes, and delectable dining establishments. Willow Glen also offers a tight-knit community vibe with traditions such as an annual Founders' Day Parade and holiday lights displays that attract visitors from all over the region.

2. Rose Garden

Named for its iconic Municipal Rose Garden, this prestigious neighborhood is awash with color and fragrant scents during blooming season. But Rose Garden offers more than just flora. The area is peppered with grand historic homes and the renowned Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. This neighborhood truly fuses urban living with a lush suburban feel, offering an array of cultural attractions and parks in a charmingly serene setting.

3. Downtown

If you crave the hustle and bustle of city life, Downtown San Jose should be on your radar. This vibrant neighborhood is the epicenter of San Jose's cultural scene, boasting numerous museums, art galleries, theaters, and modern high-rise living. Foodies will enjoy the plethora of dining options from upscale bistros to international food courts in San Pedro Square Market. Plus, you're steps away from nightclubs, trendy bars, and weekly farmers markets.

4. Japantown

A historic enclave boasting a rich culture and a strong sense of community, Japantown is one of the few remaining authentic Japantowns in the United States. The neighborhood retains a relaxed and welcoming ambiance, with a mix of family-run businesses, hip eateries, wellness centers, and art festivals. Don't miss the local farmers market every Sunday, offering fresh produce, artisan baked goods, and a variety of Japanese snacks and delicacies.

5. Silver Creek

Silver Creek is a well-regarded neighborhood known for its gated housing communities, top-rated schools, and picturesque scenery. The area presents a balance of luxury and tranquility, featuring an upscale country club and a variety of recreational facilities. Silver Creek also offers convenient access to hiking trails and panoramic hill views, making it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy a quieter residential experience.

In conclusion, whether you're seeking the urban excitement of downtown living, the quaint charm of a historical enclave, or the serene luxury of a gated community, San Jose provides a neighborhood to fit your lifestyle. Each offers its own unique charm and vibrancy to ensure that your move to San Jose is not only comfortable but also enlivens your daily living. If you're planning your move, check out this helpful guide to living in San Jose.

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Things to Do

San Jose: the heart of Silicon Valley, a city that's every bit as fascinating as its northern neighbor, San Francisco. If you're planning a move to San Jose, you won't want to miss these iconic experiences and undiscovered gems that embody the spirit of the city. Enjoy navigating through seven thrilling, adventurous, and unique top things to do in your future hometown.

1. Delve into Tech History at The Tech Interactive

San Jose lives and breathes technology, hence it makes good sense to start with The Tech Interactive. This fascinating museum offers hands-on exhibitions focusing on science and technology. You'll have fun while learning about the tech industry that's integral to the city's identity.

2. Explore the Winchester Mystery House

For a touch of the eerie, step into the Winchester Mystery House. This former home of Sarah Winchester is a labyrinth of secret passages, rooms, and staircases leading nowhere. This peculiar mansion and its haunting tales offer an excellent escape from the city's tech-centric universe.

3. Enjoy a Stroll in Alum Rock Park

When it's time to decompress, there's no better place than Alum Rock Park. Nestled in the foothills of Diablo Range, it's an oasis offering breathtaking hiking trails, picnic spots, and even mineral springs - all within the city limits.

4. Savor Vietnamese Cuisine in Little Saigon

San Jose is home to one of the largest Vietnamese populations in the U.S., and has the culinary delights to match. The heart of this is found in Little Saigon, where you can taste delicious Pho, Banh Mi, and much more, all seasoned with authentic flavor and culture.

5. Celebrate Japanese Culture at Japantown

With one of the last three authentic Japantowns in the U.S., San Jose offers a wonderful celebration of Japanese culture, boasting a selection of sushi restaurants, unique shops, and art galleries. Make sure to attend one of the vibrant annual festivals that include Obon in summer and New Year's Mochi Tsuki (pounding sweet rice into cakes).

6. Visit the Oldest Building in San Jose: The Peralta Adobe

This hidden gem is the Peralta Adobe - the oldest building in San Jose. This modest adobe home, located in the heart of downtown, showcases some intriguing San Jose history that most residents aren't even fully aware of. It's definitely worth a visit to connect with the city's roots.

7. Lose Yourself in the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

The last on our unique list is the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. This astonishing museum houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in western North America. The peaceful temple gardens, a labyrinth, and the mesmerizing planetarium are sure to enchant history and architecture lovers alike.

To conclude, San Jose is a diverse city filled with tech culture, international flavor, outdoor beauty, and surprising historical tidbits. Whether you're indulging in Vietnamese delicacies, exploring museums, or wandering through stunning parks, there's always something exciting to do in San Jose. Here's to making your move all the more exciting by exploring these incredible experiences!

Things to do in San Jose, CA?

Find Movers for Your San Jose Relocation

Transitioning your life to San Jose, CA should match the elegance of the city itself, smooth and stress-free. Let Great Guys Moving help you make that move. We are committed to connecting you with reputable, affordable, licensed, and insured movers tailored to your needs. Take that first step towards your new chapter in San Jose by simply providing some basics about your move. Let us swiftly provide you with a direct link to quality service and peace of mind. Request your free moving quote now and start your journey towards the charming city of San Jose with confidence, knowing you're in good hands.

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