San Jose Brownstone with Palm Trees in front

Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in San Jose

Whether you’re relocating to the Bay Area or you’re moving from San Francisco to San Jose to save money, finding a budget-friendly place to live is most likely top of mind—especially since living in the Bay Area is notoriously expensive. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the five safest, most affordable San Jose neighborhoods to help you find a home that fits your lifestyle without breaking the bank!

  • Berryessa
  • Cambrian Park
  • Evergreen
  • West San Jose
  • Willow Glen

Berryessa

Tan house with large front yard in Berryessa, San Jose. Photo by Instagram user @classymsmarie
Photo via @classymsmarie

Home Price: $646,752 median purchase price; $1,903 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 76% of California cities
Perfect For: Families, retirees

Spacious yards, Mid-Century Modern houses, and close proximity to some of San Jose’s best outdoor recreation spots are what you’ll find in Berryessa. With access to great schools like Cherrywood Elementary SchoolSierramont Middle School, and Piedmont Hills High School and friendly, suburban streets, this San Jose neighborhood is ideal for families looking for a safe area to raise kids, as well as for older couples searching for an affordable place to settle down for retirement in the Bay Area.

Things to Do in Berryessa

Hike or bike through Alum Rock Park, where you can stop for a picnic or to take incredible photos of the Santa Clara Valley. Visit the San Jose Flea Market Wednesday through Sunday to find organic produce, locally-made clothing and accessories, and handcrafted home goods. Take a language class or bring the kids to storytime at the Berryessa Branch Library. Catch a new movie with the whole family at Century 20 Great Mall & XD in Milpitas. Dig into the salsa bar and street-style tacos at La Chingada Taqueria. Try the fresh-boiled crawfish, shrimp, or king crab legs at seafood restaurant Claw Shack. Or sit down at all-you-can-eat Gen Korean BBQ House to sample Hawaiian Chicken, Pork Belly, and Garlic Calamari.

Cambrian Park

One-story grey home with green yard. Photo by Instagram user @allenb_realestate
Photo via @allenb_realestate

Home Price: $764,122 median purchase price; $1,700 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 78% of California cities
Perfect For: Families, retirees

Cambrian Park is one of the best neighborhoods in San Jose for families, thanks to its traditional suburban vibe. Though the neighborhood’s location on the south side of San Jose means a longer commute into the city for work, the trade-off for local residents is kid-friendly streets, large single-family homes with good-sized lawns, plenty of local parks and playgrounds, and highly-rated schools like Oster Elementary SchoolUnion Middle School, and Leigh High School.

Things to Do in Cambrian Park

Go fishing, get in some hiking, or bring your furry friend to play at nearby Los Gatos Creek County Park. Spend an afternoon at Houge Park, where you can shoot some hoops, play a game of tennis, or have an outdoor barbecue. Take advantage of the fitness room and the pool at Camden Community Center. Find handcrafted jewelry, scarves, and other unique treasures at Cottage Crafts Boutique. Sit down for a cappuccino and crepes at Heartbeat Cafe. Order the Mole de Puebla or Burrito de Camaron at Mexican restaurant Tu Mero Mole. Pick up some Pad Thai and Thai Fried Rice for dinner at Lanna Thai. Or pop into Stevie’s Bar & Grill for craft beers, burgers, and some football on the big screen.

Evergreen

White, one-story condo in Evergreen. Photo by Instagram user @lailafieldsrealestate
Photo via @lailafieldsrealestate

Home Price: $758,112 median purchase price; $1,638 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 80% of California cities
Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking for a San Jose neighborhood surrounded by outdoor recreation? With several golf courses, community parks, hiking trails, and expansive green spaces like Joseph D. Grant County Park and Hellyer County Park, Evergreen is one of the best areas in San Jose for anyone who loves the outdoors. The neighborhood also offers a variety of housing options from Spanish and Mediterranean-style houses to contemporary apartments and townhomes, so it’s easy to find a home that fits your needs.

Things to Do in Evergreen

Shop at stores like Macy’s, H&M, and JCPenney at Eastridge Center. Spend an evening with classic arcade games and a few rounds of bowling at Round One. Soak up the sun in the wave pool or on the waterslides at Raging Waters San Jose. Become a member at Silver Creek Valley Country Club to play tennis and golf, use the fitness center, or relax by the pool. Make a reservation at Milan Italiano and enjoy pasta dishes like Porcini Mushroom Ravioli, Linguine Pescatore, or Pesto Tortellini. Head to Seiki House for ramen with locally-sourced noodles, daily fresh-made broth, and handpicked ingredients. Or make your way to Foothill Lounge for cheap beers, jukebox tunes, and friendly bartenders.

West San Jose

Tan home with green lawn in West San Jose. Photo by Instagram user @juliedavissellshomes
Photo via @juliedavissellshomes

Home Price: $850,944 median purchase price; $1,677 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 72% of California cities
Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

West San Jose is one of the best places to live in San Jose for residents who want a blend of urban and suburban living. With trendy apartments and townhomes, quick interstate access, and a wide range of hip restaurants and bars, West San Jose is a popular spot for young professionals in the Bay Area. It’s also an ideal home for families, thanks to well-rated schools like John Muir Elementary School and Lynbrook High School, green spaces like Calabazas Park, and availability of single-family houses.

Things to Do in West San Jose

Explore the mysterious doors and stairwells that lead to nowhere at the famous Winchester Mystery House. Grab some popcorn and sit down for a new movie at AMC Saratoga 14. Go jogging, take the kids to the playground, or have a picnic at Saratoga Creek Park. Get in some retail therapy at stores like Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, and Nike Factory store in Westgate Center. Show off your skills with pub trivia, karaoke, and open mic nights at British-themed bar Britannia Arms. Meet up for brunch at Hash House, where you’ll find delicious eats like the Mexican Hash, S’mores French Toast, and Churro Waffles. Or settle in for happy hour specials on oysters, crab cakes, and cocktails at Forthright.

Willow Glen

Grey, one-story home with red door in Willow Glen. Photo by Instagram user @stevnle
Photo via @stevnle

Home Price: $776,100 median purchase price; $1,592 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 51% of California cities
Perfect For: Singles, young professionals

Just a few minutes south of Downtown San Jose, Willow Glen offers affordable apartments and houses, a diverse yet tight-knit community, and low crime rates close to the city center. With quirky thrift stores, plenty of restaurants and bars, easy commutes into the downtown area, and job opportunities at eBay Headquarters—which is located in the area—Willow Glen is one of the best neighborhoods in San Jose for young professionals and singles.

Things to Do in Willow Glen

Play softball, tennis, or basketball at Willow Street Frank Bramhall Park. Pick up new or used comic books and graphic novels from Hijinx Comics. Find unique home decor among the antiques at The Willow Glen Collective. Meet up with some friends for brunch at Cafe San Jose, where you’ll find breakfast favorites like Huevos Rancheros, Biscuits and Gravy, or Belgian Waffles. Settle in for hearty ravioli and meatballs with a glass of wine at Bertucelli’s La Villa. Order gyros, pastitsio, and dolmades from Souvlaki Greek Skewers. Root for your favorite pro team on the big screen while throwing back a few craft beers at Rookies Sports Lodge. Or try one of the 20+ ciders on tap at The Cider Junction.

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Data from AreaVibes.

Safe & Affordable Neighborhoods in San Jose, CA