7 Things to Know Before Moving From San Diego to Long Beach CA

7 Things to Know Before Moving From San Diego to Long Beach CA

Sep 22, 2023

Living in a metropolis has its cons. The price is a bit expensive, the traffic is terrible, and public space often gets overcrowded. That’s when people seek a new destination. And for some San Diego residents, it’s Long Beach. The beach town just south of LA is getting attention from Californians. Kevinisha Walker moved to LB from LA, and she isn’t looking back.

But what it’s like to move to Long Beach, CA? And what should San Diego residents know before moving? We have compiled 7 things you must know.

1.    Long Beach, CA, is also a Charter City

First, you should know that, like San Diego, Long Beach is also a charter city. It has been granted special jurisdiction to govern itself in addition to the general State and Federal law. This means that laws can change more often for the residents compared to other cities.

For example, Long Beach was the first to implement a 12.5% sales tax in California before others caught up. The greater freedom of self-governance also means the services are more personalized for its residents.

The city, incorporated in 1897, is governed under a Council-Manager government type. And the members are elected by the residents. Thus, you can have more say on the public matter as a resident of Long Beach.

2.    Similar Cost of Living

As compared to San Diego, Long Beach is a smaller city. So you’d expect the cost of living to be lower. But that isn’t the case. The cost of living in Long Beach is more or less the same as in San Diego.

Focused young Caucasian man look at laptop screen calculate expenses expenditures pay bills taxes online. Millennial male busy managing household family budget, take care of financial paperwork.

As per Best Places, the cost of living index for Long Beach and San Diego is 159.1 and 160, respectively. Thus, both the cities are above the national average (like many Californian cities).

When you break down the cost of living, it’s good to know housing costs much less in Long Beach. The median home cost here is $739,900, while the same is $833,500 for San Diego. Long Beach also scores better on grocery, utilities, and health but not public transportation. But it isn’t as bad, and you should find good connectivity to most of the city.

That being said, some neighborhoods are less expensive than others. El Dorado Park and Belmont Heights are some of them. So, plan accordingly to make a seamless transition.

3.    More Beach-y Experience

San Diego is known for its beautiful 70-mile-long coastline with world-class beaches. But you’re not going to miss that one bit in Long Beach. The city has its own beach culture, and it’s even more diverse.

Long Beach is blessed with world-beating beaches like Mother’s Beach, Bayshore, Granada Beach, and Rosie’s Dog Beach, among others. The last, in particular, is meant for dogs, and it’s common for the four-legged beasts to go leash-less. Bayshore presents various water activities like kayaking, swimming, and paddle boarding. Besides that, Long Beach is closer to the surreal beaches of Huntington Beach and Los Angeles. These areas have their own beach culture and plenty of distinct things on offer.

And if you ever happen to miss the gorgeous beaches of San Diego, you can always drive down to it. They’re merely 118 miles away from Long Beach.

4.    Inferior Job Market and Economy

San Diego has a robust economy driven by the military, shipbuilding, manufacturing, tourism, tech, and service sectors. It has weathered the Great Recession, and there are no signs of stopping.

Successful group of designers, business people at work in office

But things aren’t going to be rosy in Long Beach. In comparison, it has a far inferior economy and lower job counts. The jobs, on average, also tend to pay less when compared to those in San Diego. This is one of the reasons for unaffordability among the Long Beach residents.

That being said, the city provides ample opportunities for those deserving. Manufacturing is the primary employment sector in Long Beach. Japanese company Seiko Epson has its headquarters here along with Pioneer Corporation, Boeing Aerospace, and SCAN Health Plan, a non-profit HMO.

The local school system also employs a large chunk of the population. And you’ll have frequent job openings from the City of Long Beach and local educational institutes.

For self-employed entrepreneurs, the Long Beach Accelerator is opening up the doors. So, there’s a lot to look forward to. Just bear in mind that it’s nowhere going to be like San Diego.

5.    Higher Crime Rate than San Diego

San Diego is applauded for its low crime rate. At a violent crime rate of 4.2, it is among the safest in California. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Long Beach. The city is reeling with some high crime activity, with burglary, theft, and homicides being more common.

In 2022 alone, violent crimes rose by 8%. A part of this can be attributed to unemployment and homelessness, both of which are increasing in Long Drive. The pandemic has accelerated homelessness, and some neighborhoods are dominated by them. While the city council is working on it, the problem is far from solved.

That being said, Long Beach is not among the most dangerous cities in the US. It ranks 36th among the most dangerous American cities. Despite the higher rate than San Diego, you can still stay safe. By taking necessary precautions and residing near low-crime neighborhoods, you can ensure safety for yourself and your family.

6.    Among the Worst Air Quality in the US

Long Beach is notorious for being a place with poor air quality. The Lung Association has listed the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area as the most ozone-polluted region in America. This means there are more polluted particles in the air of the LA-LB metropolitan area than anywhere else in the nation. It also leads to higher smog pollution in the region.

Young woman sneezing in park. Allergy, flu, virus concept.

One of the reasons for the degraded air quality is the presence of two big ports on either side of the city: the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. There are ships, trains, trucks, and warehouses that operate 24/7, all contributing to the poor air quality.

Therefore, when moving into Long Beach, the vulnerable with breathing problems should take caution. Follow the recommendations of the doctors and keep yourself safe.

7.    Excellent Schooling System

Long Beach is a perfect destination for those with school-aged children or wanting to raise children. The Long Beach Unified School District is among the best in California, with 84 public schools. You also have the Paramount Unified School District with some schools in Long Beach.

These school districts have earned recognition at the national and international levels. Some top-ranked schools in Long Beach are Naples Elementary School, Eunice Sato Academy of Math and Science, Bancroft Middle School, and Lakewood High School.

You also have a few charter schools in the city, like the Intellectual Virtues Academy and Clear Passage Educational Center.

There are universities and colleges for higher education. California State University is at the top. So, all in all, Long Beach is perfect for families with kids.

Are you looking to move your family to Long Beach, CA, from San Diego? Hire Oakley Relocation’s best moving services for an effortless move. Rest assured, we understand the intricacies of the job. Get your free quote today.

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