San Jose
  • $1300   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1582   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $2471   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southwest US)

80% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
drive close to San Francisco, but leave your car outside it
temperate climate 6
if u don't know anyone don't come here, always traffic guarantee, nanny land, mean rich people, boomer central, dealerships, donuts, way more chill than SFO, paypal HQ, expensive housing, nice basketball courts, apartments on apartments, OG King Eggroll, families in overpriced townhouses, wheeeee, shark tank, priced out normal people, and where Teslas are as common as a Camry are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's San Jose roommate rundown:

San Francisco and San Jose are the two Bay Area cities. Unlike our other metros with obvious reasons to be matched the way they are, these two could have gone either way, matched together (as one Bay Area) or separately.

But most roommates prefer we treat SF and SJ like everyone treats parts of NYC, like they're the two "boroughs" of The Bay Area.

Mostly because NYC and The Bay Area are the country's most densely populated metros, so they better support the distinction by the numbers. Many homeowners prefer the distinction as well, even though many roommates looking to move are open to both, rather than just one or the other.

So a lot of the same stuff applies . . . particularly our recommendation some subset might consider the "trial run" described in San Francisco, above?

San Jose is about 55 miles south of San Francisco, and you can Caltrain back and forth all you like, with two trains per hour most of the day. It'll take about an hour to get there. You can bring your bike too if there's enough room, but people take priority.

And people do. San Jose now bills itself as "Capital of Silicon Valley," meaning tech here boomed as San Francisco's did too . . . because some scooted over to San Jose . . . just to get a bit of elbow room? Because San Francisco is only about 50 square miles, and since it's surrounded by water, it can't grow. At least, not geographically.

Meanwhile, at 180 or so? San Jose's square mileage allowed more growth, so enterprise did.

As a result, there are now thousands of high tech, engineering, computer and microprocessor companies within San Jose's city limits, even more in surrounding areas. Exact numbers remain volatile, and there's ebb and flow, but a lot of tech has been in San Jose for decades.

Tech companies are definitely San Jose's largest employer of extremely well-educated roommates.

And where do they move? While many moving from across the country or farther prefer to move as close as possible to full-time employment, roommates that work and school part-time at multiple locations sometimes pick based on their love of public transportation. In that San Francisco's is absolutely stunning, while San Jose's is . . . not.

San Jose might appeal more if you do want to own a car. That's not completely insane here.

But the downside might be extra time spent driving, as SJ is spread out. There's a downtown that's walkable, along with many designated bike lanes, and about 15,000 acres of protected parkland within city limits!

But other than that, most of San Jose mostly drives around. Just don't drive inside San Francisco!

The rest of the San Jose roommate lowdown:

  • San Jose is on the south end of San Francisco Bay, about 55 miles south of San Francisco, and home to about a million residents within its city limits.
  • Summers are clear, dry, and sunny, with some smog - winters are typically mild if rainy, but usually less rain than San Francisco because it's them fronting the Pacific Ocean.
  • home to Cogswell College, National Hispanic University, San Jose State University, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, California University of Management and Technology, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, Santa Clara University, and Stanford University
  • hosts the San Jose Sharks (NHL), San Jose Earthquakes (MLS), and San Jose Barracuda (AHL)
  • San Jose invented In-N-Out Burger. Also, creative Cal-Mex flavor combinations, maybe served in a Burritozilla!

After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience San Jose's:

  • San Jose Museum of Art: Special focus on art from the Bay Area, the Beat, Funk, and Pop eras, and Social Commentary. College students and teachers with ID get in free.
  • San Jose Municipal Rose Garden: Since 1927, exclusively roses, now more than 4000 of them across 5 acres. Free and almost always in bloom.
  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum: More ancient Egyptian artifacts than anywhere in the US, including "Women of the Nile." You and your roommates can download a smartphone app and take yourselves on a self-guided tour.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library - Integrating San Jose State University's library system with the city of San Jose, now over 1.5 million items. Special focus on John Steinbeck and Ludwig van Beethoven. No ID needed to browse, checking anything out requires a library card that's free for residents.

Here's the city of San Jose's official .gov for residents, including recycling & garbage to parks to animals to emergency preparedness.


1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.

2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.

3.   From zumper.com.

4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.

5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.

6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.

7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.