How Much Do Chula Vista Residents Need to Earn to Afford Rent?

Chula Vista is the Spanish phrase for “beautiful view,” and the second-largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area certainly lives up to it’s name. Aside from the visually appealing scape, residents of Chula Vista can bask in a comfortable, sunny climate year round. Temperatures in Chula Vista in the summertime range from the low to high 70s, and in the winter, temps rarely drop below 65°F. As the proclaimed, “Lemon Capital of the World,” the city offers year-round farmers markets, a 24-mile bike path, four different golf courses and one of the cleanest reputations for public works in California. Chula Vista is a haven for individuals and families looking for annual outdoor fun mixed with a healthy dose of beachside tranquility.

Considering moving to Chula Vista? It’s financially smart to first learn the necessary income level to afford median rent in the city, and then discuss the cost to buy a home, if you so choose to invest down the road.

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Income in Chula Vista 

The median household income for the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos California metro area was $66,192 in 2014, which is $4,259 higher than the median California household income and $12,535 greater than the US median household income. Income in the San Diego metro area increased 6.02 percent between 2013 and 2014, and 5.72 percent between 2011 and 2014. These jumps are much higher than those seen across the state of California, which were just 1.24 percent between 2013 and 2014 and 2.70 percent between 2011 and 2014, pointing to San Diego and the surrounding cities as one of the stronger economies in the Golden State.

Assume an individual filing single in Chula Vista makes the median income as of 2014. He or she would forgo about $17,873 of their total annual pay to federal and state income taxes, bringing their take-home pay down to $48,319 after withholdings. On a monthly basis, he or she would make a little over $4,000 after taxes.

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Median rent in Chula Vista

Unfortunately for renters, Chula Vista is expensive. The median rental value is $2,296, according to Zillow. Assuming an individual makes the median income, he or she would devote 57 percent of take-home pay to rent – and that doesn’t include utilities, parking or pet fees, unless included in standard rates. While the median rent is high, keep in mind this figure encompasses all apartments of all sizes – so renters making the median income can certainly find smaller apartments in Chula Vista at lower prices, with the right tools and patience.

And, if you want to find the right apartment in Chula Vista, searching farther from the beach until you can secure a higher income is key. Apartments without views might not be as enticing, but they are less expensive than their coastal counterparts.

Buying in Chula Vista in the future

If you rent smart and only spend 30 percent or less of your take home pay on rent – which would be about $1,200 per month in rent for households with a median San Diego metro income – you can put money aside each month to save for a down payment. Over the past year, home values in Chula Vista rose 7.5 percent and are now at a median of $451,900. Zillow projects home values in Chula Vista increase another 3.6 percent over the next year, making it a lucrative investment opportunity.

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If you want to rent in Chula Vista on a median income, don’t be put off by high median rent values. Remember that pricey condos and houses by the beach tend to tip the scale. As long as you stay within your budget, you can balance accordingly and maintain a healthy financial portfolio.