Pros and cons of living in San Bernardino, California

Right in the inland empire of Southern California is San Bernardino. If you’re thinking of moving to this city, you’ll need to know what to expect as a resident. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in San Bernardino?

Living in San Bernardino comes with several advantages. These include low cost of living, affordable housing, Several activities, and great weather. But you also have to prepare for the associated disadvantages such as the prevalence of crimes, poverty rate, and inefficient public transport system.

Whether you want to move to the city or know about its livability, you should know the pros and cons. They give an overview of what the city is all about, and knowing them will help you make an informed decision. So, read on to know what living in San Bernardino is like.

Pros of Living in San Bernardino

Here are the positives you should expect when living in San Bernardino.

Low Cost of Living

The most significant advantage of living in a city like San Bernardino is that everything is cheaper here. When compared with the coastal towns in California, the cost of living here is like peanuts. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s cheap because it’s still not, but it’s better.

The cost of living in the city is 10.4% above the national average. For someone in a different part of the country, this might seem like much. But once you remember that the cost of living in California is 49.9% above the national average, you start seeing how cheap San Bernardino is. 

Grocery and healthcare are cheaper here than the national average. But the cost of utilities like transportation and other miscellaneous expenses is high. Everything apart from utilities is more expensive on the California average. So, if you’re looking for an affordable place to live in California, this city is an excellent option to consider.

Affordable Housing

Another benefit of living here is the cheaper cost of housing. Affordable housing is a problem in the whole country but more so in California. Houses in the state are very costly, with some cities going above $1 million. The state average is around $700,000. 

However, the average price of a house in San Bernardino is $399,260. Although this is still above the national average, it’s much lower than most of California’s other major cities. Rent here is also quite affordable. The average rent of an apartment is $1,510. No wonder San Bernardino County has just 40.2% renters.

Several Activities and Attractions

San Bernardino is a hybrid of a small town and a city. Even though it has a population of over 200,000, the city still has a suburban vibe. This makes the city more residential, and you’ll find several amazing views there.  From rugged mountain peaks to palm trees, San Bernardino has a tropical feel to it. If you like spending time outdoors, you’ll find many physical and fun activities that you can do in the city.

Attractions in the city include San Manuel Stadium, California Theatre of the Performing Arts, National Orange Show Event Center, original MacDonald site and museum, etc. In addition, you can have unrivaled access to nature at the San Bernardino National Forest. Go hiking on the San Bernardino mountains, which some call the Alps of Southern Carolina, or visit Silverwood Lake or Big Bear Lake for water sports.

Great Weather

Another benefit of living here is the weather. Southern California weather is great, and San Bernardino is no different. You get a lot of sunshine here, and the weather is generally between 42°F and 96°F. 

Living here, you don’t have to worry about the snow because it’s rare, and if it falls, it’s never heavy. However, the summer months can get a little hot at their peak, so you should prepare for that.

Cons of Living in San Bernardino 

There are also associated disadvantages to living in San Bernardino. They include

High Crime Rate

The crime rate in San Bernardino is a serious issue. So if you’re planning to live here, you should be familiar with this. The total crime rate in the area is 121% above the national average, and property crime is 99% above the national average. With the crime rate this high, it’s not surprising that AreaVibes gives it an F rating for Crime.

The rate of violent crimes in the city is even more alarming at 248% above the national average. Living in San Bernardino means you have a 1 in 19 chance of being a victim of a crime. Despite its high crime rate, there are still very safe neighborhoods in the city. Places like Chino Hills, Loma Linda, Redlands, etc., are quite safe. Also, San Bernardino is safer than 2% of cities in the US.

High Poverty Rate

The poverty rate in the city is also high, and this is due to its economy. There aren’t many opportunities here compared to major cities like Los Angeles. Some of those who live here work in LA, which is over 1 hour away, and other neighboring cities. 

In 2019 Poverty rate in the city was put at 26%, with the median household income being $45,834. According to AreaVibes, the income per capita is 50% less than the national average, and the unemployment rate is 71% higher. 

Even though these data are old, the state of things is yet to improve substantially in the city, and many still live below the poverty line. In June 2021, the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County was 8.0, far above the 5.9 that was the national rate in the same month.

Inefficient Transport System

The public transport system in the city isn’t the best, so you’ll need a car. WalkScore gives the city a walkability score of 43, transit score of 35, and bike score of 44. These point to the car-dependent nature of the city. The public transport options available aren’t nearby so having a car might help your movement. Of course, there are few bike trails and walkable neighborhoods.

In Conclusion

San Bernardino is a city with prospects. Living here comes with several benefits which you’ll generally get when living in a suburban city. But it has some disadvantages that you should be aware of too. Knowing all these will help you decide whether you should move to the city or not.