Moving to Santa Monica, California

Moving to Santa Monica

    DISCLAIMER By continuing, you agree that our moving specialist partners may contact you by text message, email, and/or phone (Possibly by auto-dialing or recorded message) to get in touch with you to provide a quote and/or for marketing purposes. You understand consent is not a condition of purchase of movingist. You also agree to the Privacy Policy.

    Who wouldn’t want to live in a beautiful Cali beach city? Moving to Santa Monica, CA, makes that dream a reality with its gorgeous weather, stunning coastal views, fantastic neighborhoods, entertainment and nightlife, and endless outdoor activities to enjoy at any time of day.

    Santa Monica is a chill beach town in California located west of LA. It has three miles of Pacific coastline, the Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade, Pacific Park, and significant tech startups, which have earned it nicknames like “Silicon Beach” and “Dogtown.”

    With this guide, you’ll get all the answers to your questions about relocation to Santa Monica. So stay tuned!

    Quick facts before moving to Santa Monica, California

    Where is Santa Monica, CA, located?

    Santa Monica, California, is a city in Los Angeles County along Santa Monica Bay on the South Coast.

    Population in Santa Monica, CA

    Santa Monica, California’s population in 2023 is estimated to be 87,976, indicating an annual decline of -1.73% and a 2020 census decrease of 5.11%. 

    The median age of Santa Monica is 41.4 years.

    Diversity in Santa Monica, CA

    With a diversity score of 96 out of 100, Santa Monica ranks #9 for the most diverse places in America. The major racial compositions of Santa Monica, CA, are as follows:

    • White: 63%
    •  Hispanics: 17%
    •  Asian: 9%
    •  African-American: 5%
    • Two or more races: 6%

    Cost of living in Santa Monica, CA

    Santa Monica is the second least affordable city and has a much higher cost of living than the national average, with a cost of living index of 220, making it 120% higher than the national average and 56% higher than the California average.

    • Housing is the main reason for the high cost of living in Santa Monica, being 463% higher than the national average, followed by utility and grocery prices at 11% higher, transportation expenses at 28% higher, and healthcare at 12% higher.
    • The median household income in Santa Monica is $106,797.
    • The recommended minimum annual income for a comfortable life is $317,520 for a family and $88,400 for a single person, and with a roommate, this could be reduced to $75k.
    • The average cost of living in Santa Monica, CA, is $4686 Per month for a single person and $13802 for a family of four,  making the city one of the World’s most expensive.

    Here is a table summarizing the cost of living in Santa Monica, CA:

    Cost of Living CategoriesSanta Monica, CANational Average
    Overall Cost of Living Index161.7100
    Housing389% higher than the national average100
    Utilities111% of the national average100
    Transportation128% of the national average100
    Groceries111% of the national average100
    Healthcare112% of the national average100

    Housing market in Santa Monica, CA

    Santa Monica, CA’s housing and rental market is solid and competitive. Homeowners can generate a substantial income, and renters can find good-quality apartments in the area. Learn critical statistics regarding the city’s housing and rental market before moving to Santa Monica, CA.

    • The average cost of buying a home in Santa Monica is around $1,685,607.
    • The median home value in Santa Monica is $1,654,800.
    • However, the median sale price of a home in Santa Monica was reported to be $1.9M as of 2023, reflecting an 18.6% increase from the previous year.
    • Homes often receive multiple offers and sell in Santa Monica within 22 to 45 days.
    • Santa Monica’s homeownership rate is 28.54%, and the renter’s is 71.46%.
    • The median list price per square foot in Santa Monica is $1,300.

    The latest rental prices, CA:

    • The average rent for an apartment in Santa Monica is $3,940.
    • The median rent of a home in Santa Monica is $3750.
    • Studio apartment average rent in Santa Monica: Less than $3,940.
    • The price range for a 1-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica is $2,334 to $4,790.
    • The 3-bedroom house rent in Santa Monica is $2,500 to $9,000.
    • The 4-bedroom house rent range in Santa Monica is $14,500 to $55,000.

    Job market in Santa Monica, CA

    Santa Monica, California, has shown promising job growth, with monthly employees increasing from 75,000 to 83,045 during pandemic times, notably in the Accommodation and Food Services and Arts/Recreation/Entertainment sectors. Check out some critical points regarding the job and salary market before moving to Santa Monica, CA.

    • The unemployment rate in Santa Monica was 6% in November 2023, slightly higher than the long-term average of 5.95%. 
    • In 2023, Santa Monica, California’s job market is growing, with a 0.7% increase in jobs over the past year and a predicted 33.0% growth in the next decade.
    • The average salary in Santa Monica is $90,000.
    • The median household income in Santa Monica ranges from $99,847 to $94,906.
    • The average salary for males in Santa Monica, CA, is $87,783. Male median earnings are reported to be $76,909.
    • The female average wage in Santa Monica, CA, is $64,041. Female median earnings are reported as $58,053.

    The top employers in Santa Monica, CA

    Most typical job titles in Santa Monica, CA

    • Sales Associate
    • Internship
    • Cashier
    • Administrative Assistant
    • Executive Assistant
    • Server
    • Customer Service Representative
    • Receptionist
    • Assistant Manager
    • Office Assistant

     Highest paying jobs in Santa Monica, CA

    Senior Vice President of Marketing$269,409
    Senior Vice President$245,776
    President/Chief Executive Officer$225,175
    Revenue Officer$225,000
    Executive Vice President$209,499
    Vice President-Products$203,267
    Chief Executive Officer$201,996
    Senior Director, Product Management$200,928
    Vice President Of Engineering$200,636

    Is living in Santa Monica, CA safe?

    If you are moving to Santa Monica, CA, you must know that the city faces a high crime rate compared to similar-sized cities, making it the 244th safest city in California. The following are the key stats about Santa MOnica’s crime rate.

    • Santa Monica faces 51 incidents per one thousand residents,  indicating a one in 20 chance of being a crime victim.
    • The likelihood of falling victim to violent crime, including armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape, or murder, is 1 in 173, with a rate of 548.4 per one hundred thousand inhabitants.
    • Property crimes occur approximately every 2 hours and 23 minutes on average. Homes without security systems are 300% more likely to be robbed.
    • The theft rate stands at 3,153.2 per 100,000 residents during a standard year, with probabilities ranging from 1 in 8 in southwest neighborhoods to 1 in 44 in the north part of the city.

    Safest neighborhoods in Santa Monica, CA

    • North Of Montana East
    • North Of Montana
    • Sunset Park Southwest
    • Wilshire Montana
    • Northeast
    • Pico
    • Wilshire Montana North

    How fast can you commute in Santa Monica, CA?

    The average one-way commute time in Santa Monica, California, is around 26.2 minutes, slightly below the national average of 26.4 minutes.

    Most residents in Santa Monica choose to drive alone to work.

    Santa Monica’s public transportation options include:

    • The Big Blue Bus operates on 20 routes within a 58-square-mile service area.
    • The Metro E Line connects Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angeles in under 50 minutes, with three stations in Santa Monica.
    • The circuit offers a free ride service to popular spots like the Santa Monica Pier, Ocean Park, and 3rd Street Promenade.
    • For older adults and persons with disabilities, the Big Blue Bus has partnered with Lyft for Mobility On Demand Every Day (MODE), a shared-ride service.
    • Taxi! Taxi! is the only taxicab company with a franchise agreement with the City of Santa Monica.

    How is the weather in Santa Monica, CA?

    Santa Monica features a coastal semi-arid climate marked by warm and cool seasons. The city experiences temperatures ranging from 49°F to 76°F. The temperature rarely falls below 43°F or exceeds 84°F.

    • Santa Monica experiences two main seasons: a warm season from July to October, with average daily highs above 74°F, and a winter season from December to April, with average daily highs below 67°F.
    • The wetter season lasts 4.2 months, from November to March, with February having the dampest days. The total seasonal rainfall in Santa Monica is 13.45 inches.
    • Santa Monica typically does not experience snowfall.
    • The city enjoys an average of 310 sunny days per year.
    • August is the hottest month, with an average high of 76°F and a low of 64°F.
    • December is the coldest month, with an average low of 50°F and a high of 66°F.
    • The best time to visit Santa Monica, California, is September to November.

    How much are the taxes in Santa Monica, CA?

    The types of taxes imposed in Santa Monica, CA, Are:

    • Sales Tax: 10.25% (California’s state sales tax is 6%, Los Angeles County sales tax is 0.25%, Santa Monica city tax is 1%, and the special district tax is 3%)
    • Property Tax: 1.11% of the assessed value.
    • Income Tax: 1%-12.5%

    Education system in Santa Monica, CA

    Santa Monica, California, has a well-established education system with various schools serving students of all ages. The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. consists of 17 schools catering to 9,929 students, including elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as an adult high school and an alternative school.

    • The schools in Santa Monica has an average ranking of 8/10, placing them in the top 30% of California public schools.
    • Santa Monica High School holds the 106th spot within California and 736th nationally.
    • The student-teacher ratio in Santa Monica schools is 21:1, slightly lower than the California state average of 22:1.
    • Santa Monica College, a local community college, charges California residents $46 per unit. On average, attending Santa Monica College full-time costs just $1,350 annually.

     Best middle schools in Santa Monica, CA

    • John Adams Middle School
    • Lincoln Middle School

     Best elementary schools in Santa Monica, CA

    • Franklin Elementary
    • Grant Elementary
    • Roosevelt Elementary
    • Edison Elementary
    • John Muir Elementary School
    • Canyon Charter Elementary School

    Best High Schools in Santa Monica, CA

    • Santa Monica High School
    • Pacifica Christian High School
    • Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences

    Best universities and colleges in Santa Monica, CA

    • Santa Monica College
    • Pardee RAND Graduate School
    • Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine

     What are the best things to do in Santa Monica, CA?

    The top attractions to explore and things to see in Santa Monica, CA, include:

    • Explore the iconic Santa Monica Pier with Pacific Ocean views, souvenir shops, and an amusement park.
    • Relax at Santa Monica State Beach, a classic Southern California spot for sunbathing and beach activities.
    • Shop and dine at the lively Third Street Promenade in downtown Santa Monica.
    • Discover fresh produce and local products at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.
    • Enjoy breathtaking ocean and mountain views at Palisades Park, a bluff-top park.
    • Cycle along the 26-mile bike path for scenic city exploration and coastal views.
    • Learn about the local history at the Santa Monica History Museum.
    • Admire beautiful stained glass art at the unique Adamms Stained Glass Gallery.
    • Explore the charming shops and restaurants on Montana Avenue.
    • Visit the Heal the Bay Aquarium at the Santa Monica Pier, dedicated to marine environment protection.

    Best neighborhoods in Santa Monica, CA

    Out of 6,824 cities, Santa Monica was ranked 16th as America’s best suburb for young professionals. Here are the top neighborhoods in Santa Monica, CA:

    • Downtown Santa Monica
    • Wilshire Montana
    • Ocean Park
    • Mid-City
    • North of Montana
    • Sunset Park

    Pros and cons of living in Santa Monica, CA

    The pros and cons of living in Santa Monica, CA, are as follows:

    Pros of living in Santa MonicaCons of living in Santa Monica
    Maximum Sunny WeatherHigh Cost of Living
    Good access to freeways.Traffic congestion, especially on weekends due to beach visitors.
    The city offers beautiful parks and outdoor activities.Limited parking spaces 
    Excellent public school system and highly rated schools.Higher real estate market 
    Booming job market risk of earthquakes.
    Good public transportation options.

    Final verdict

    If you’re planning on moving to California, Santa Monica is a beautiful and luxurious place to call home. From a chill beach lifestyle to delicious dining and world-class art, entertainment, and nightlife, the sun-kissed city is waiting for you here. So, don’t just dream of Santa Monica. Book a moving company for a hassle-free move and make your dream a reality.

    Photo Credit: ilirjan rrumbullaku