Guide to House Hacking in San Diego, California

Are you interested in house hacking San Diego?

In this post, we’re going to give you all the information you need to do it. We’ll look at whether San Diego is in a landlord or tenant-friendly state, the six demographic data points we use to analyze a market, and the house hacking strategies that might work well in a market.

San Diego: Landlord or Tenant Friendly?

From the state level, California is definitely more on the tenant-friendly side of the scale than landlord-friendly. You can see where California falls on the graph here. This is probably not a surprise to anybody (if it is, you might want to study real estate a bit more before you buy… sorry if that’s harsh!).

San Diego is more tenant-friendly than other parts of California and is considered one of the most tenant-friendly cities in the United States. This doesn’t bode well for real estate investors, or house hackers, like you.

When house hacking, given that you will have tenants, it is often worth considering whether your location is landlord or tenant-friendly. In this case, I personally think California as a whole, and San Diego specifically, is too tenant-friendly for me to want to invest.

However, many, many people do invest in California and do very well. It’s certainly possible, it’s just not how I like to invest.

That said, there can be benefits to tenant-friendly environments. A few benefits might be higher rent, a less competitive investor market, and clearer guidance on what you can and cannot do as a landlord. Additionally, tenant-friendly markets typically have more restrictive building codes, thus decreasing the supply of new housing. 

However, take some time to consider this for your own risk tolerance and determine if San Diego house hacking is right for you.

San Diego Demographic Data Analysis

The 6 demographic data points that we’ve learned to use when analyzing a market are population growth, income growth, property value growth, crime level, crime change, and job growth.

This was taught to us by Neal Bawa at Grocapitus and MultifamilyU.

When it comes to these six metrics, this is how San Diego compares to our benchmarks:

Data PointBenchmark (since 2000)San Diego
Population Growth20%16.4%
Income Growth30%87%
Property Value Growth40%199%
Crime Level< 500208.3
Crime Change0% or declining-40%
Job Growth1%4.45%

Overall, a San Diego house hack looks quite good based on the 6 metrics above that we analyze. Although the population growth does not meet our benchmark, the other metrics exceeded significantly. You may consider analyzing San Diego neighborhoods to find specific areas that are exceeding the population benchmark. 

Strategies for House Hacking San Diego

San Diego offers different types of house hacking properties. These property types include single-family homes and multifamily properties. Also, San Diego is a large city with many business and vacation travelers. Enjoy 70 miles of pristine beaches only miles from Mexico!

This means that you can utilize nearly any of the house hacking strategies. These strategies include rent-by-the-room when house hacking a single-family home, renting out additional units in a multifamily property, or even utilizing Airbnb.

The Airbnb strategy may be most successful as San Diego is a major vacation destination. The additional cash flow from Airbnb can offset the higher purchase prices in San Diego.

Check out this well-established Airbnb:

Airbnb in San Diego for house hacking

Overall, San Diego is a great city. If you’re moving to the area, or you already live in the area and you’re just doing research, you now know house hacking San Diego could be a great option.

If you’re interested in house hacking San Diego, be sure to check out our free house hacking calculator to analyze all your potential deals. And, if you’re interested in learning more about house hacking, check out our book The Everything Guide to House Hacking.

Photo of author
Analyzed by: Cannon St Peter
I am a property manager, real estate investor, small business consultant and passionate writer of real estate investing information.

Learn more here.