Moving to Stockton, CA: Pros & Cons, Tips, & More!

Situated in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley, Stockton is a midsize Northern California city known for its agricultural heritage, waterfront activities, abundant sunshine, and cultural diversity. It’s central to the San Francisco Bay Area, Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, and so much more.

If you’re moving to Stockton, check out our local guide to learn more about your future home base.

The Benefits of Living in Stockton

From the vibrant murals of the historic downtown to the fertile farmland of the city’s outer reaches, there are many reasons to love living in Stockton.

Affordable Compared to Other Metro Areas

The Stockton population is about 320,000, making it one of the Central Valley’s largest and most affordable cities. The median home price is $441,769, compared to $1.4 million in San Jose and $1.2 million in San Francisco. While the real estate market is still more expensive than the national average — you get many of the perks of California living at a much lower price.

It’s Consistently Growing

While many California cities are shrinking, Stockton and the surrounding county are showing consistent growth. Many people are moving to the Stockton area due to high living costs and overcrowding in the Bay Area. In fact, San Joaquin County grew twice as fast as the California average over the past decade.

It Has Something for Everyone

Stockton, CA has a great mix of big city amenities and rural, suburban, and outdoor activities, meaning there’s truly something for everyone. The San Joaquin Delta offers boating, fishing, and water sports, while local parks like Oak Grove Regional Park provide opportunities for hiking and biking. The Stockton Channel in downtown Stockton provides waterfront dining, shopping, and entertainment, while the surrounding region offers year-round local farmers’ markets and agricultural tourism.

Drawbacks of Living in Stockton

Like San Francisco and other urban areas, our city faces challenges like crime rates and economic disparity. San Joaquin County currently has the highest crime rate in the state, so it’s important to choose your neighborhood wisely. Stockton neighborhoods like Shadow Lake Park, Waterloo, and Morada are great options, with good Stockton schools and beautiful homes.

If you’re not a fan of heat, Stockton weather could present another challenge. Summers are very hot and dry, with many days over 100 degrees. Luckily, it’s easy to land a house with a pool — or at least make friends with someone who has one.

Pro Tips on Moving to Stockton, CA

Depending on where you’re coming from, Stockton could be a big change. Here are our tips to help ease your transition.

Make an Effort to Meet New People

Acclimate to your new city by getting to know people in the community. Check out Terra Coffee, Tuleburg Press, and Huddle Cowork to quickly connect with locals.

Establish a Routine

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by new surroundings, but you can orient yourself faster by getting into a new routine. Establish a sense of home by identifying your favorite local grocery stores, restaurants, gyms, and more. 

Make Your Home Feel Comfortable

Unpack right away to make your new home in Stockton, CA, feel more comfortable. Decorate, hang art, and add flowers and other touches that bring you joy. 

How to Prepare for Your Move to Stockton, CA

Moving to Stockton, CA, can be overwhelming, even if you’re on top of packing and housing arrangements. Here are some ways to reduce stress during a busy time.

  • Create a moving budget: Hidden moving costs can be a huge source of stress, so be sure to price out all expenses well before moving day.
  • Sell or donate unwanted items: Decluttering will save you time and money in the long run. Minimize your belongings before you make the trip to the Central Valley.
  • Stage your move with a self-storage unit: A storage unit gives you more freedom and flexibility during the packing and moving process, making it well worth the investment!
  • Forward your mail: Don’t forget to register your new address with USPS.

Simplify Your Move with Shield Storage

If you’re moving to Stockton, CA, sunshine, water activities, and cultural diversity await. Streamline your move by choosing Shield Storage in Stockton to help you store furniture, stage your home, or buy time as you decide what to keep. With affordable, secure storage units nationwide, Shield Storage is guaranteed to make life easier as you transition to your new home. 

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