Moving to San Mateo


Oh, the charm of San Mateo in California! If you're considering planting roots there, you're in for a delightful adventure. This city isn't just full of radiant sunshine and pleasing weather, it also boasts a myriad of luscious parks, bursting farmer's markets, and a tech-driven rush, courtesy of its proximity to Silicon Valley. Moving to San Mateo means immersing into an atmosphere that beautifully blends, the tranquility of suburbia, the energy of urban living, and the thrill of being at the forefront of technological innovation. Welcome to our comprehensive guide to relocating to this captivating magnet.

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What to Know Before Moving to San Mateo

1. The Weather is Perfection

First things first, let's talk about the weather. The San Mateo climate is something you might not want to underestimate. With highs rarely reaching 80 degrees during summer, and lows barely dropping below 45 in winter, this city dishes out photo-perfect weather year-round. So, pack your wardrobe with lightweight clothes and a dash of layers for cooler days and nights.

2. You Need to Love the Outdoors

Moving to San Mateo means you'll be living in one of California's top spots for outdoor rec. Whether you're into hiking, mountain biking, or bird watching, the multitude of parks and preserves are yours to explore. A particular favorite is Coyote Point Recreation Area, where you can enjoy a beautiful sunset by the bay.

3. It's Tech Central

While San Francisco and Silicon Valley may be the iconic tech hubs, don't be mistaken, San Mateo is holding its own. It's a fertile ground for startups and houses many established tech firms. So, if you're into tech, prepare for exciting networking opportunities and exhilarating industry buzz.

4. Excellent Educational Institutions

Education is a top priority in San Mateo, which boasts some of the best schools in California. There's no shortage of great elementary, middle, and high schools. And, if you're considering higher education, the renowned College of San Mateo promises quality education.

5. The Seal Secret

And now, for the untold secrets! Did you know San Mateo is home to harbor seals? That's right, a short distance from the downtown area; Seal Point Park serves as a beautiful habitat for these fascinating creatures. It's a breathtaking spot where you can relax while watching the seals.

6. The Birthplace of Maker Faire

Here's an interesting tidbit: San Mateo is the birthplace of Maker Faire, a celebrated festival of invention and creativity. This quirky, fun-filled affair attracts hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. You won't want to miss it next time it's in town!

In conclusion, San Mateo is more than just an average city. With its pleasant weather, love for the outdoors, thriving tech scene, top-notch educational institutions, and some hidden treasures like the resident seals and Maker Faire, it's a destination teeming with opportunity and adventure. So gear up to enjoy the rollercoaster ride if you're moving to our beloved San Mateo!

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Pros and Cons of Living in San Mateo

Pros of Living in San Mateo

Great Weather

San Mateo boasts plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures year round, with an average temperature around the low 60s. This makes it perfect for those who love spending time outdoors without having to deal with extreme cold or heat.

Job Opportunities

As part of the Silicon Valley, San Mateo is surrounded by many tech companies and startups providing an abundance of job opportunities. This also includes high potential for upward career growth within these industries.

Excellent Education System

San Mateo has a high-quality public education system, including several top-ranked schools. This makes it an ideal place for raising a family and ensuring your children receive a top-notch education.

Proximity to Major Cities

San Mateo is conveniently located in close proximity to major California cities like San Francisco and San Jose. This means you can easily enjoy the amenities of these cities without having to live in the middle of their hustle and bustle.

Diverse Food Scene

San Mateo has a vibrant dining scene with a strong emphasis on farm-to-table and seafood restaurants. Plus, with the variety of cultures in the area, you'll find a wide range of cuisines to try out.

Cons of Living in San Mateo

High Cost of Living

Like many parts of California, San Mateo can be quite expensive, particularly when it comes to housing. While wages tend to be higher, factors like high property taxes and grocery prices can make everyday living pricey.


Despite its proximity to major cities, getting around can be a bit of a hassle due to heavy traffic during peak times. This can make commuting to and from work or running errands quite time-consuming.

Lack of Affordable Housing

It can be hard to find affordable housing in San Mateo, especially if you're not making a Silicon Valley salary. Rent and home prices tend to be significantly higher than the national average.

Earthquake Risk

San Mateo is located in a region with a high risk of earthquakes. While the city is prepared and structures are built to withstand these natural disasters, it's a risk to be aware of.

High Population Density

Due to its desirable location and amenities, San Mateo can be quite crowded. High population density can lead to issues like overcrowded schools, lack of parking, and that "big city" feel.

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

Is San Mateo a Good Place to Live?

San Mateo, CA is a great place to live because of its beautiful weather, abundant outdoors opportunities, and diverse food scene. Its excellent school system combined with its proximity to tech companies in Silicon Valley makes it a perfect place for families and tech professionals. Not to mention, the bustling downtown and adorable neighborhoods just add to its charm!

What Is San Mateo Famous For?

The San Mateo Japanese Gardens

This place is a stunning hidden gem in the Central Park, designed by Nagao Sakurai of the Imperial Palace of Tokyo. It's a tranquil, well-maintained garden showcasing a tea house, koi pond, and charming bridges, offering a perfect escape from the city's hustle and bustle.


Curiodyssey is a serious fun for kids and adults, offering a unique combination of science exhibits and a zoo focused on local animals. Families can have a fun-filled day interacting with native, non-releasable wild animals and exploring the laws of science in a memorable way.

Sawyer Camp Trail

This is a much-loved recreational trail stretching over six miles along the Crystal Springs Reservoir. It's a perfect spot for walking, biking, or jogging while soaking in the breathtaking views, diverse vegetation, and wildlife.

The San Mateo History Museum

Set in the stunning 1910 former County Courthouse, this museum offers a peek into San Mateo's rich history. Visitors can stroll through restored Judge's chambers, admire the mind-blowing stained-glass dome, or explore diverse exhibits from Native American history to the tech boom.

Capital building of San Mateo, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

The property tax rate in San Mateo, CA as of 2023 is approximately 1.1% of assessed home value, a rate that is relatively high when compared to the US average of around 1.03%. It is essential to note that assessed value is based on recent sales price or annual property assessments.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, the total sales tax rate in San Mateo, CA is 9.25%, which includes the California state rate of 6%, plus local and county rates. This is considerably higher than the national average sales tax, which currently stands at about 7.12%.

Income Tax

Income tax in San Mateo, CA as of 2023 is progressive, the rate ranges from 1% to 13.3% depending on the level of income. This is significantly higher than the average state income tax rate across the USA, with the highest being 8.82% in New York.

Housing Market

The housing market in San Mateo, CA is ranked among the highest in the US. With a median home price of over $1.4 million, it's much higher than the national average. The median rent is around $3,000 a month, again surpassing national trends. Despite the high costs, San Mateo offers a strong job market, particularly in the tech sector, and excellent schools, making it an attractive place for families, young professionals and investors. Nevertheless, potential renters and buyers should be prepared for a highly competitive market due to the limited inventory.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in San Mateo, CA, is significantly higher compared to most other cities in the U.S. Factors like housing, groceries, utilities, transportation and healthcare are all comparatively expensive. For instance, housing is roughly three times the national average, making it particularly prohibitive. Despite the higher costs, the area is highly sought, due to its great schools, robust economy, and proximity to Silicon Valley's tech hub. However, residents need to earn a substantially larger income to meet these costs.

Weather & Natural Disasters

San Mateo, CA possesses a Mediterranean climate marked by warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Its temperature ranges from a low of 44.3degF in December to a high of 77.6degF in July. Primarily, its balmy weather beckons outdoor activities all year around. Annual precipitation averages 23 inches, most of which descends between November and March. Fog is not uncommon in the mornings, often giving way to clear afternoons. While it is sometimes susceptible to earthquakes due to its proximity to the San Andreas Fault, comprehensive preparations and responsive emergency services help mitigate these risks. Wildfires, another natural disaster associated with California, are less frequent in the immediate San Mateo area due to its coastal location. Thus, San Mateo enjoys one of the most temperate, pleasant climates in the United States.

Typical weather in San Mateo, CA

Economy & Job Market


* Technology and Information Services

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

* Retail Trade

* Finance and Insurance

If you\'re into the \'blast from the past\' thing, you\'d enjoy knowing that San Mateo, CA\'s economy was once rooted in agriculture and railroads. However, today, the city has evolved into innovators\' paradise, housing the tech giants and youthful startups challenging them. The city has no nostalgic vibes when it comes to its economy. After Silicon Valley\'s tech boom, San Mateo became a tentacle of the technological octopus, serving as a hub for information services and tech companies. It also boots a strong economy in healthcare, professional services, retail, and finance. San Mateo isn\'t all bits and bytes; it also has a robust retail sector catering to both locals and tourists.

Planning to move to San Mateo, CA, and looking for a job? Brace yourself to embrace an energetic job market bubbling with opportunities. The city enjoys a lower-than-average unemployment rate and employment growth is positive. For job seekers looking for opportunities, the areas in technology, healthcare, and retail offer the most potential but don\'t overlook finance, insurance and professional services too. Don\'t worry if you\'re not a coding wizard or financial guru, San Mateo appreciates diversity in its workforce. A booming economy mixed with the Californian weather? Sounds like a great deal, doesn\'t it?


Traffic and Transportation

In the charming city of San Mateo, California, you'll find a vibrant swirl of commuters diving into their daily routine. The average commute time hovers around 25-30 minutes -- not too shabby considering the bustle of the Bay Area! Traveling around is a breeze thanks to an array of public transportation avenues available for both locals and visitors. SamTrans and Caltrain offer a delightful ride if you prefer the rhythm of train tracks or bus routes. Heading farther? No fear. You're just a quick, 10-minute drive to the San Francisco International Airport. So, whether you're taking off to the skies or navigating the streets of San Mateo, this city has got you covered. It's all about the journey, not the destination after all. Buckle up and enjoy the ride, travel enthusiasts!

What is the traffic like in San Mateo, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in San Mateo

1. Baywood-Aragon

The Baywood-Aragon neighborhood is where suburban charm meets vibrant urban living. Its cozy, tree-lined streets are perfect for leisurely strolls or biking adventures, and the houses here exhibit a variety of architectural styles, giving the place a unique aesthetic charm. You won't be stuck for things to do on the weekends: with an array of local shops, restaurants, and parks nearby, there's always something happening in Baywood-Aragon. Plus, the neighborhood hosts regular community events, fostering a tight-knit, friendly community atmosphere. Perfect for families, singles, and everyone in between!

2. Downtown San Mateo

If you crave city vibes and the convenience of having everything right on your doorstep, then Downtown San Mateo is the neighborhood for you. Brimming with diverse cuisine, unique boutiques, and picturesque parks, this neighborhood offers endless amenities and cultural experiences. Central Park is a beacon of the community and often hosts events, offering a rose garden, Japanese tea garden, and various play areas. Despite the urban setting, a sense of community pride resonates in Downtown San Mateo, where local businesses thrive and neighbors know each other by name.

3. Haywood Park

Welcome to Haywood Park, where the streets literally breathe history and character! This historic district features lovely vintage homes, giving the neighborhood a quaint, old-world charm. Haywood Park is also home to a great selection of parks, adding a splash of green to the urban jungle. Not to mention, it's also just a hop, skip and a leap from downtown, making it a perfect place for those who want a serene, homey feel but still wish to be close to the city hustle and bustle.

4. Beresford Park

Green spaces galore, top-rated schools, and friendly neighbors make Beresford Park a popular choice among families. This family-friendly neighborhood boasts an impressive roster of community facilities, including a large recreation center and Beresford Park itself. The park features tennis courts, ball fields, picnic spots, and even a community garden where residents can plant their own veggies. A weekly farmer's market adds more charm to this community-centric neighborhood.

5. Shoreview

If breathtaking water views and a laid-back lifestyle sound appealing, then Shoreview should be on your shortlist. Strategically situated on the San Francisco Bay, this neighborhood offers not only beautiful vistas but also leisurely beach strolls and fishing opportunities. Residents enjoy easy access to the Shoreview Shopping Center and the Parkside Plaza for their daily needs. With its coastal charm, serene environment, and convenient amenities, Shoreview offers the best of both worlds.

In conclusion, whether it's the cosmopolitan convenience of downtown, the vintage charm of Haywood Park, the communal spirit of Beresford Park, the suburban allure of Baywood-Aragon, or the tranquil seaside vibe in Shoreview, these neighborhoods in San Mateo each offer distinctly different vibes. Rest assured, San Mateo caters to a diverse hood preference, so you are bound to find a place that feels just like home!

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Things to Do

If you're moving to San Mateo, California, smack-dab in the heart of Silicon Valley and just a stone's throw away from San Francisco, you're probably wondering what's in store for you. Brace yourself! You're about to uncover an enticing mix of outdoor adventures, cultural richness, foodie delights, and lovely hidden gems in our sunny city. Here are seven must-do things in San Mateo that'll keep you invigorated and inspired.

1. Lose Yourself in Central Park

Downtown San Mateo's heart is Central Park, a green oasis featuring beautifully manicured gardens, play areas, a Japanese tea garden, and even a miniature train. Whether you want a peaceful morning jog, a picnic, or a soul-soothing stroll among the cherry blossoms, Central Park is your go-to spot.

2. Get Geeky at CuriOdyssey

If you have a passion for science and nature, head over to CuriOdyssey. This 'serious science playground' commands awe with its hands-on science exhibits, unique wildlife, and vibrant arts scene. It's not just for kids! Adults too can have their share of fun while stimulating their grey cells.

3. Explore the Coyote Point Recreation Area

A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, the Coyote Point Recreation Area offers a plethora of activities, including hiking, picnicking, windsurfing, and bird watching. Not to mention the breath-taking views of the bay and proximity to the fantastic CuriOdyssey museum.

4. Immerse Yourself in History at The San Mateo County History Museum

Housed in the stunning old San Mateo County Courthouse, this museum lets you travel back in time with its engaging exhibits. Witness the evolution of the county and explore its rich history as a land of opportunity, innovation, and cultural diversity.

5. Check Out the Ice Chalet

Shhh! Here's a local secret; we have a long-standing love affair with ice-skating in our city. Head to the Bridgepointe Shopping Center to discover the Ice Chalet, where you can glide and twirl to your heart's content. Whether you're a rookie or a seasoned pro, this rink guarantees a frosty blast of fun!

6. Visit the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia

And now for something completely different: a museum dedicated to PEZ dispensers. Just a short drive south of San Mateo, the Burlingame Museum hosts one of the largest collections of PEZ memorabilia in the world, plus a slew of other classic toys. A retro trip that's sure to ignite waves of childhood nostalgia!

7. Experience the Rich Dining Scene

The 'city of the fair winds' is also a city of fabulous eats. San Mateo's dining scene offers a veritable culinary journey around the globe. From delightful Dim Sum to tantalizing tacos, artisanal bakeries, and creative Cal-Italian fares, your palate will never tire.

In conclusion, San Mateo encases a cool blend of traditional and quirky experiences, whether you're a nature lover, a cultural enthusiast, a science geek, or a foodie. Embark on these adventures, and soon, you'll feel right at home in our vibrant city, all set to craft your own unique San Mateo story.

Things to do in San Mateo, CA?

Find Movers for Your San Mateo Relocation

As you prepare for your move to the vibrant and thriving city of San Mateo, consider turning to a trusted partner like Great Guys Moving. With proven expertise in connecting individuals with top-rated, licensed, and insured movers, we make your moving experience seamless and affordable. Tap into our extensive network of quality moving companies who understand the unique intricacies of relocating to San Mateo. Start your new chapter on a stress-free note by allowing us to provide you with quick, hassle-free quotes. Ready for a smooth moving experience to San Mateo? Don't wait - request a free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.

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