The 10 Cheapest San Diego, CA Neighborhoods To Live In For 2019


We used science and data to determine which neighborhoods in San Diego are the cheapest of the cheap.

Editor’s Note: This is our first time ranking the cheapest neighborhoods to live in San Diego.
Cheapest Neighborhoods In San Diego

Everything else equal, I think we can all agree that living in a cheaper place is better than living in a more expensive place.

I’d much rather pay $500/mo in rent than $1,000. And I’d rather pay $2 for coffee than $5.

And while every neighbhorhood in San Diego might be more expensive than living in rural California, there are certain neighborhoods that are definitely cheaper.

So what exactly are those San Diego neighborhoods where your dollar goes a little further — you can get that one bedroom instead of the studio?

Instead of relying on public opinion and speculation, we wanted to get the facts straight and find out which neighborhoods in San Diego are the cheapest.

Here are the cheapest neighborhoods in San Diego for 2020:

  1. Gaslamp Quarter (Homes)
  2. Nestor (Homes)
  3. Bay Terrace (Homes)
  4. San Ysidro (Homes)
  5. Palm City (Homes)
  6. Webster (Homes)
  7. Sky Line (Homes)
  8. Core (Homes)
  9. Mira Mesa (Homes)
  10. Alta Vista (Homes)

What’s the cheapest neighborhood to live in San Diego for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Gaslamp Quarter looks to be the cheaptest San Diego neighborhood to live in.

At this point we should make it clear that you do get what you pay for — some of these neighborhoods might not be the best places to live in San Diego. You could be sacrificing location or crime rates in return for more space and cheaper groceries.

Read on to see how we determined the places around San Diego that deserve a little bragging rights or maybe you’re interested in the worst neighborhoods in San Diego.

Once you’re done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from cheapest to most expensive.

For more California reading, check out:

How We Determined The Cheapest San Diego Hoods In 2020

In order to rank the cheapest places to live in San Diego, we had to determine what criteria defines “cheap”.

Using census and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:

  • Overall Cost Of Living
  • Rent To Income Ratio
  • Median Home Value To Income Ratio

We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 85 in each category, where 1 was the cheapest.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a cheap neighborhood index.

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest cheapest neighborhood index the “Cheapest City Neighborhood In San Diego.” We’re lookin’ at you, Gaslamp Quarter.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the cheapest places San Diego. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from cheapest to most expensive.

The 10 Cheapest Neighborhoods To Live In San Diego For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 1,083
Cost Of Living Index: 109 (4th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 4.1 (6th cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.022 (48th cheapest)
More on Gaslamp Quarter: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Gaslamp Quarter comes in at $46,313 and the median home value is $189,600 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 16,126
Cost Of Living Index: 110 (6th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 3.2 (2nd cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.023 (53rd cheapest)
More on Nestor: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Nestor comes in at $57,292 and the median home value is $181,400 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 22,838
Cost Of Living Index: 126 (28th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 4.2 (10th cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.02 (29th cheapest)
More on Bay Terrace: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Bay Terrace comes in at $73,018 and the median home value is $310,253 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 28,456
Cost Of Living Index: 115 (9th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 5.4 (31st cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.02 (30th cheapest)
More on San Ysidro: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in San Ysidro comes in at $46,562 and the median home value is $252,665 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,132
Cost Of Living Index: 114 (8th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 3.8 (4th cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.023 (59th cheapest)
More on Palm City: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Palm City comes in at $56,621 and the median home value is $216,300 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 10,383
Cost Of Living Index: 123 (20th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 5.4 (30th cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.02 (34th cheapest)
More on Webster: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Webster comes in at $57,071 and the median home value is $309,071 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 10,572
Cost Of Living Index: 123 (20th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 5.2 (25th cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.021 (40th cheapest)
More on Sky Line: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Sky Line comes in at $58,462 and the median home value is $301,957 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,770
Cost Of Living Index: 99 (1st cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 2.9 (1st cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.033 (83rd cheapest)
More on Core: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Core comes in at $33,240 and the median home value is $96,950 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 71,228
Cost Of Living Index: 140 (52nd cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 4.3 (11th cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.019 (23rd cheapest)
More on Mira Mesa: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Mira Mesa comes in at $92,480 and the median home value is $401,867 for 2020.

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 9,210
Cost Of Living Index: 132 (37th cheapest)
Home Value To Income Ratio: 4.2 (9th cheapest)
Rent To Income Ratio: 0.022 (43rd cheapest)
More on Alta Vista: Homes For Sale | Data

The median income in Alta Vista comes in at $80,027 and the median home value is $339,814 for 2020.

Summing Up The Cheapest Places In San Diego

If you’re measuring the neighborhoods in San Diego where prices are low and it’s cheap to live, this is an accurate list.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in San Diego aren’t all cheap. Park West takes the title of the most expensive neighborhood to live in San Diego.

We ranked the neighborhoods from cheapest to most expensive in the chart below.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Neighborhoods To Live In San Diego For 2020

Rank Neighborhood Cost Of Living Index
1 Gaslamp Quarter 109
2 Nestor 110
3 Bay Terrace 126
4 San Ysidro 115
5 Palm City 114
6 Webster 123
7 Sky Line 123
8 Core 99
9 Mira Mesa 140
10 Alta Vista 132
11 Tierrasanta 142
12 Jomacha-Lomita 125
13 Midtown District 120
14 Sorrento Valley 144
15 Allied Gardens 127
16 Chollas View 116
17 Columbia 142
18 Paradise Hills 124
19 City Heights East 104
20 San Carlos 151
21 Encanto 127
22 Balboa Park 132
23 Rancho Penasquitos 162
24 Mission Valley 127
25 Oak Park 118
26 Gateway 130
27 Darnall 126
28 Bird Land 133
29 Grantville 128
30 Scripps Ranch 163
31 Bario Logan 106
32 Carmel Mountain 159
33 Old Town 148
34 Clairemont Mesa 140
35 Mission Bay 133
36 Talmadge 130
37 Carmel Valley 188
38 Emerald Hills 125
39 Cortez Hill 109
40 Kearny Mesa 134
41 Rancho Bernadino 157
42 Valencia Park 124
43 Lake Murray 143
44 El Cerritos 125
45 Egger Highlands 120
46 Sabre Springs 161
47 Del Cerro 156
48 Serra Mesa 135
49 Little Italy 139
50 North Hills 139
51 Kensington 153
52 South Park 147
53 Marina 152
54 North Clairemont 143
55 Linda Vista 133
56 Southcrest 117
57 Normal Heights 129
58 East Village 132
59 Bay Ho 152
60 Mountain View 110
61 Midtown 143
62 City Heights West 116
63 La Jolla Village 138
64 Torrey Pines 185
65 North City 221
66 West University Heights 143
67 Bay Park 154
68 Moreno Mission 133
69 Roseville 176
70 University City 151
71 Del Mar Heights 218
72 Mount Hope 121
73 Wooded Area 183
74 College Area 139
75 Horton Plaza 136
76 Loma Portal 152
77 Grant Hill 122
78 La Jolla 248
79 Memorial 121
80 Ocean Beach 168
81 Lincoln Park 124
82 Pacific Beach 164
83 Rolando 135
84 Tijuana River Valley 158
85 Park West 158

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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