Understanding the Cost of Living in Chula Vista, CA

understanding chula vista cost of living

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Understanding the cost of living in Chula Vista, CA, can help potential residents evaluate their current financial situation and see if this aligns with the expenses they will encounter in their new location.

The overall Chula Vista CA cost of living is 54.9% higher than the national average. Housing is the most expensive, at an index of 238.1, while Healthcare is the most affordable, at 89.

If you are planning a move to Chula Vista, CA, and wondering if it is an expensive place to live in, this article breaks down the cost of basic expenses in this city.

Introduction to Chula Vista's Living Costs

As mentioned previously, the cost of living in Chula Vista is significantly higher than the national average. In fact, it is among the most expensive cities in the United States.

The total monthly expenditure you can expect to incur in Chula Vista depends on the cost of housing, food, utilities, transportation, healthcare, other miscellaneous goods, and services.

Overview of Chula Vista Cost of Living

The table below shows the overall cost of living in Chula Vista in comparison to California and the United States.

Cost of LivingChula VistaCaliforniaUnited States
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The Housing Market in Chula Vista

The Chula Vista housing market is very competitive, with homes receiving three offers on average and selling in around 27 days.

Overview of Housing Costs

Housing costs are a major factor to consider if you’re moving to Chula Vista, as this is the highest basic expense, 138.1% higher than the national average. The median sale price of a home in Chula Vista, CA, is $849,000. The median sale price per square foot is $489.

The average rent in Chula Vista for a 2-bed apartment is $3,099. This is 110% higher than the average rent across the country.

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Daily Life Expenses

Next to housing, daily life expenses in Chula Vista are also higher than the national average. The cost-of-living index for Transportation is 127.9; for Groceries, 108; and for Utilities, 102.8.

Groceries and Eating Out

Chula Vista is well-served by several grocery stores and retail options that meet the daily needs of its residents. Some of the popular grocery chains in the area include Vons, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Walmart Supercenter.

ItemAverage Cost
Milk (1 liter)$1.23
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)$4.02
Eggs (regular, 12)$4.25
Rice (white, 1kg)$5.63
Local Cheese (1kg)$13.17
Beef Round Back Leg Red Meat (1kg)$17.90
Apples (1kg)$4.92
Banana (1kg)$1.90
Oranges (1kg)$3.35
Tomato (1kg)$4.49
Potato (1kg)$3.17
Onion (1kg)$2.20
Lettuce (1 head)$1.99
Water (1.5-liter bottle)$2.33
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)$15.00
Domestic Beer (0.5-liter bottle)$2.17
Imported Beer (0.33-liter bottle)$3.33
Meal at an Inexpensive Restaurant$22.00
Three-Course Meal for 2 People at a Mid-Range Restaurant$95.00
Combo Meal at a Fast-Food Restaurant$12.00
Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught)$8.00
Imported Beer (0.33-liter bottle)$9.00
Cappuccino (regular)$5.60
Coke/Pepsi (0.33-liter bottle)$2.66
Water (0.33-liter bottle)$2.00

Utilities and Internet Service

Like the prices of any goods or services, utility expenses in Chula Vista can fluctuate depending on variables such as climate, available energy sources, geographical location, and state regulations.

Utilities in Chula Vista, CAAverage Cost
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85 sqm Apartment$310.00
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data$69.72
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$75.64
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Transportation Costs

There are numerous public transportation options for residents –a trolley system, an extensive roadway system, trails and pathways, and freeway connections. Cycling is encouraged in Chula Vista, and there are many choices for biking in and around the city.

Monthly expenses for Chula Vista transportation also include fuel, insurance, and routine maintenance for those who own vehicles.

Transportation in Chula Vista, CAAverage Cost
Local Transport Ticket – One-Way$2.50
Monthly Pass - Local Transport$72.00
Taxi Ride (1 km)$1.68
Gas / Petroleum (1 liter / 0.26 gallon)$1.37

Healthcare and Education Costs

Healthcare in Chula Vista, CA, is very affordable, at an index of 89. The cost of private education is included under Miscellaneous, which has a cost-of-living index of 153.6.

Healthcare Services and Insurance

The health of residents in Chula Vista, CA, is a top priority, and the city provides access to a variety of local hospitals and medical facilities, ensuring quality healthcare options are available to them.

Medical facilities in Chula Vista include Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Bonita Valley Medical Center, Palomar Health Downtown Campus, and Scripps Mercy Hospital.

In addition, the city offers several programs and services that promote good health for its population, including preventative care clinics, mental health resources, community education on nutrition, senior care centers, and exercise classes.

Visit to a Medical ProfessionalAverage Cost
General Practitioner$130.41
Prescription Drug$480.48
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Education: Public vs. Private Schooling

Chula Vista residents have access to a variety of public, private, and charter schools that provide high-quality education and prepare students for success in their academic and personal endeavors.

The primary education needs of students in the area are served by Chula Vista Elementary School District. Some of the notable elementary schools in the district include Hedenkamp Elementary School, Veterans Elementary School, and Wolf Canyon Elementary School.

For middle school and high school education, the Chula Vista community is served by Sweetwater Union High School District, with notable schools including Eastlake Middle School, Olympian High School, and Hilltop High School.

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Lifestyle and Recreation in Chula Vista

Chula Vista residents enjoy an abundance of amenities and facilities that contribute to their high quality of life. Well-maintained parks, recreational facilities, and green spaces offer opportunities for outdoor activities and promote an active and healthy lifestyle.

Entertainment and Leisure Activities

Entertainment and Leisure in Chula VistaAverage Cost
Cinema Ticket$16.89
Beauty Salon $65.77

Sports and Fitness Options

Sports and Fitness in Chula VistaAverage Cost
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult$17.00

Budgeting and Saving Tips for Chula Vista Residents

Despite the high cost of living in Chula Vista, the economic opportunities in the area provide residents with a median after-tax salary of $5,046, which is enough to cover living expenses for 1.7 months, given the average cost of living of $2,969.

To live comfortably in Chula Vista, the recommended minimum annual income for a family is $145,440 and $86,000 for a single person.


With its diverse community, an abundance of amenities, and an attractive quality of life, Chula Vista offers an appealing lifestyle that justifies its high cost of living.

If you’d like to explore your home options in the area, please give me a call today at 619-393-6246 or send me an email at edward@teamrivera.com to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

The average rent in Chula Vista for a 2-bed apartment is $3,099.

Yes, there are. Give me a call today at 619-393-6246 or send me an email at edward@teamrivera.com so I can provide you with more information.

Definitely! The city is served by reputable school districts, there are plenty of amenities for enjoying the outdoors, the healthcare system is exemplary, and the community offers a safe environment for its residents.