Houston and San Diego are two cities that seem to grow continually.
Residents moving to both areas are looking for mild temperatures, great work opportunities, and impressive community designs.
If you’re wondering what Houston has to offer as opposed to San Diego, let’s take a look at some of the differences.
Understanding some of these differences may help you decide which spot could be a better choice for you to move to.
Chances are there will always be positive and negatives about any town, but this will hopefully give you some basic ideas as to which one is better for you.
Houston Vs. San Diego: Differences
Depending on the reason that you are comparing Houston and San Diego, you may have an interest in some of these distinctions between the two cities.
If you are moving to Houston or San Diego because of work, for family reasons, for outdoor activities, or all of the above, it pays to understand the differences associated with these areas.
Although you will find that Houston and San Diego have a lot in common, they are not the same.
Each of these areas has its own unique positives, and they should be thoroughly understood before making any big decision.
1. Average Temperatures
Most people assume that California is hot and sunny and that San Diego would be the warmer of these two cities.
However, Houston has an average temperature that is about three degrees warmer.
This has to do with the fact that the summer temperatures in Houston are quite a bit higher than they can be in San Diego.
One of the things that San Diego has is more consistent temperatures throughout the year.
Although it may not get quite as hot when it comes to the average, the temperatures throughout the year are quite a bit higher.
Overall, this difference of three degrees is not that much.
When you compare other states, you will likely find that the temperature difference in the averages is considerably more.
Knowing what temperatures to expect is important when choosing your clothing and making certain upgrades to a home or workplace.
In addition to the higher average temperature, the higher maximum average temperature will be about four degrees higher in Houston.
Although you may not think this is a lot, you have to be prepared that Houston is a warm city to live in.
Once you have that down, you will be able to enjoy living there.
Just don’t be surprised by this fact.
2. Population Density
The population density can give you an idea as to how crowded a city is.
With a greater population density, residents will have to contend with quite a few more people.
The people around you may be positive if you are building a business in an area and need more customers.
However, if you are looking for a city that has a bit less of a crowded feel, then the population density is going to make a big difference.
One of the things to keep in mind about population density is that it can change, and it will also change depending on the specific suburb you live in.
Some areas of Houston or San Diego will have a significantly higher population density than others.
This is something that you will have to figure out as you spend more time living in one of the two cities.
Currently, the population density in Houston is about three percent less than it is in San Diego.
If you know anything about California and the San Diego area, you know that it is a place where people love to live and visit.
This has increased the population density considerably, and it has also, unfortunately, increased the pricing of visiting in and spending time in the San Diego area.
Overall, this difference in population density is not that significant, but if you spent enough time in both cities, you would likely notice it.
3. Public Transportation
Public transportation is very important in a large city.
With the expense of living in the city combined with the difficulty of getting a car to maneuver in and out of certain areas, public transportation becomes very important.
The great thing about both Houston and San Diego is that they have well-established public transportation systems.
You can easily get around these cities using the system, and it is efficient and well run.
The monthly ticket price for public transportation is about $22 cheaper in Houston than it is in San Diego.
This difference in price is likely tied into that overall higher cost of living that we see in California.
With California being known for higher rates of pay and overall higher expenses, expect things like public transportation to come at an increased cost.
Although this should not make or break your decision to move to Houston or San Diego, it is still important information to have.
4. Unemployment Rate
The unemployment rate may help you understand how difficult it is going to be to get a job in either Houston or San Diego.
Most people have a job when they move to an area, but this is not always the case.
There are times when you must first understand how unemployment is going to impact your decision to live in either area.
Currently, the unemployment rate in Houston is about one percent lower than it is in San Diego.
This is not a tremendous difference, but you must ensure that you have the skills necessary to get the jobs that exist in a certain area.
Some will say that the variety of careers that you can choose in San Diego may be more significant because of the location and the way the city is run.
However, there are some great things about Houston and the growth that it has seen.
This is a city that more and more people are realizing is a great place to live.
The Houston area has not been as popular as the San Diego area through the years, but we are seeing this start to change as time goes on.
Expect that many areas in Texas are going to increase in popularity because of the lower cost of living and the access to similar mild temperatures and great jobs.
5. Rent Prices
So far, many of the differences between Houston and San Diego have been rather minimal, but this is where we start to see things change.
The rent prices in these cities are very different.
A one-bedroom apartment in Houston will be about $750 cheaper per month than a one-bedroom apartment in San Diego.
This is a significant difference and will have a major impact on your budgeting and spending.
Those who live in the San Diego area have to prepare to spend a great deal more on their monthly rent as opposed to those living in Houston.
When monthly rent prices are higher, this can mean that people need to get part-time jobs or cut back on other leisure activities.
Some of the other things that will impact these rent prices are the overall real estate market and the average salary that people make.
When you live in an area with higher average salaries, then the pricing of everything goes up considerably.
Moving to San Diego means that a good deal of the money you make is going to go towards living expenses.
If you are prepared for this, there will be no issues.
If you are worried about the impact of this, make sure you check into some places to rent prior to moving.
6. Real Estate Pricing
You may have already guessed that the average pricing of real estate in San Diego is going to be considerably higher than it is in Houston.
If you did, you would be correct.
The prices that people pay for San Diego homes are almost unattainable for some.
The real estate pricing in San Diego on average is more than $800,000 for a single-family home.
In the Houston area, the pricing is going to be closer to $300,000.
Many people will move to the San Diego area to take advantage of the lifestyle, the weather, and the proximity of things to do.
However, in the end, they may never be able to afford a home in this area.
The real estate pricing in California has become a problem through the years.
People are struggling with the fact that the price of real estate may never stop increasing.
Those who have had dreams of moving to San Diego their entire lives sometimes need to give them up.
The lower interest rates on mortgages have helped more potential homeowners be able to afford a home.
However, in the San Diego area, there is still so much that must be done to ensure that the pricing is fair and reasonable.
People have to put down such a large down payment that the ability to purchase a home in San Diego becomes quite difficult.
Don’t let this stop you from looking in the area.
Just be prepared that your real estate purchasing process may be a bit more involved.
7. Average Salary
With the large differences in the real estate pricing and overall housing costs, you would expect that San Diego will have some of the higher average salaries.
In reality, the average salary in San Diego is only going to be about $4,000 a year higher than it is in Houston.
The differences between the highest and lowest salaries in San Diego will be considerably greater than the highest and lowest in Houston.
This comes from the fact that there are some parts of San Diego that have some very high-income areas.
The average salary is another thing that will change often, and it will be impacted by the unemployment rate and even the overall economy.
This is something that you will not be impacted by too much as you must choose an area based on your ability to afford it, not the overall average salary.
Keep in mind that regardless of what your monthly salary is when you live in the San Diego area, you are going to have to put quite a bit of it into your cost of living.
The terrain and access to outdoor activities in both Houston and San Diego will also differ.
One of the things that San Diego has that Houston does not have is access to the mountains.
The state of California has many mountains, and the terrain tends to be a bit more interesting than that in the Houston area.
Houston is flatter, and you will not find the same overall beauty that you can find in San Diego.
In addition, San Diego has access to the Pacific Ocean, and that is a huge benefit for many people who are considering relocating to the San Diego area.
Most of the state of Texas is landlocked, but there are areas within about one hour’s drive from Houston that will give you access to the beach.
If you are wanting to live on the water and you like more of that ocean life or feel, then San Diego is the better choice.
One thing that is good about both of these cities is that they offer plenty of outdoor activities for people.
If you care about spending time in the great outdoors and you enjoy being outside, you will find plenty to do in both San Diego and Houston.
In addition, the fact that the overall temperatures are mild throughout the year means that you can easily get outside and enjoy what the area has to offer.
Pros And Cons Of San Diego
Now that you can see some of the differences between Houston and San Diego, it’s time to analyze each of these cities individually.
San Diego is a well-known area that has been a dream come true for many homeowners.
1. Amazing Weather
The weather in San Diego is ideal.
Throughout the year, you will be able to enjoy great temperatures and spend the majority of your days outside.
Whether you enjoy playing golf, walking, or going to the beach, you will find that San Diego gives you plenty to do.
This weather factor is an important one to consider.
The weather is not something that can change, so you must choose a situation that fits the needs you are comfortable with.
Very few people complain about the weather in San Diego.
2. Outdoor Activities
Having this impressive weather in the city of San Diego also means that you will have access to a ton of outdoor activities.
Whether you like to hike or boat or swim or surf, you can choose to do any of these things in the San Diego area.
Outdoor activities are almost a way of life in San Diego.
If you enjoy the time that you spend in the outdoors, your home could also become an extension of the outdoors.
Homes in San Diego have outdoor living areas and porches to ensure that you can maximize the use of the space and get to spend plenty of time outdoors.
The outdoor activities in San Diego are endless, and it leads to greater overall satisfaction with the quality of life in San Diego.
3. High Taxes
San Diego has some of the highest taxes in the country.
Not only are there federal income taxes to deal with, but there are also state and local taxes.
Those who live in the San Diego area are going to have lots of great benefits and potential when it comes to the area they live in, but you will be paying a price for this.
The fact that taxes are high typically means that the education system is quite good.
This tends to be true in California, and there are many charter schools and organizations that will help to ensure that people are properly educated.
In addition, many of the areas in and around the city of San Diego are well-manicured and kept, and that has to do with these higher tax rates as well.
Keep in mind that your taxes are not going to waste.
These funds are being put back in the system to help ensure that you have a better life in San Diego.
Pros And Cons Of Houston
Houston has its fair share of pros and cons, just as San Diego does.
The Houston area is a hot spot right now, and people are moving there at a very fast pace.
People are finding that there are more benefits to living in Houston than there are negatives.
This helps to increase population and make it an even more popular city.
Here are a few of the reasons people are moving into Houston, and a negative you need to be aware of as well.
1. Lower Cost Of Living
One of the main reasons that people are moving to Houston is that the cost of living is considerably lower than it is in other parts of the country.
In the Houston area, you can expect that your ability to afford a home and live an excellent life is going to be quite a bit easier than it is in other parts of the country.
One of the main reasons that people are moving to Houston right now is the affordable real estate pricing.
Although the prices have gone up in the last few years, the lower cost of living in this area has made Houston an extremely desirable place to live.
Those who want to get out of the cycle of renting and are ready to purchase a home will very likely enjoy what Houston has to offer.
There are some great communities with homes that are well put together and affordable.
As real estate interest rates have dropped, this has become harder to find.
Take advantage of what Houston has to offer while it is still available.
2. Mild Winters
Another great thing about the Houston area is the fact that the winters are very mild.
You are going to experience a change of seasons living in Houston.
The time spent in Houston will be enjoyable as the seasons change from one to the next.
After a warm and sticky summer, it is nice to enter the cooler fall and winter season.
The fact that the snow and freezing temperatures are not as common in the Houston area will certainly help increase the appeal of this city.
Mild winters are something that people look for as they get older as well.
Having to shovel and move snow around as you get older can be difficult for your health.
In addition, this also means that you will be setting yourself up for a slip and fall on the ice.
Many people moving to Houston are young people who want access to jobs and affordable housing, yet there are also older people who are interested in an easier way of life.
3. Heavy Traffic
One of the downsides to the Houston area is the heavy traffic.
If you are living near the downtown area, traffic is going to become a way of life for you.
Prepare to be stuck in traffic for long periods and expect to have delays almost all the time.
This happens in many cities as they grow, and with the rate that Houston is growing, it is difficult for the traffic and traffic patterns to catch up.
Those who live in the city will sometimes forget the car and start to use public transportation to get around.
Although the public transportation system in Houston is not perfect, there are some great benefits to it.
You will find that you can get from one place to the next quite a bit cheaper and faster than when you are driving your vehicle.
Keep this in mind if you know that you are going to have a commute to the workplace.
Many people who work in the city of Houston choose to live within the city limits of Houston so that they can decrease commute times and make it easier to get from point A to point B.
Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding of the differences between Houston and San Diego.
As we mentioned in the beginning, it is important to think about why you are moving to Houston or San Diego and what could make or break the experience for you.
Even though these two cities are not located anywhere near each other, they have some similar characteristics.
The big thing that is going to set the two cities apart is the cost of housing.
If you live in the San Diego area, your cost of purchasing a home is going to be considerably higher than it is for those who live in Houston.
At some point, with the rate of growth in Houston, the pricing may increase.
However, for it to get to the level that we see in San Diego, it would be quite rare.
Chances are that the San Diego area will be a more difficult decision simply because of housing expenses.
In Houston, the door is open to quite a few opportunities, even if your budget is a bit lower.