What It’s Like Living in San Bruno – Pros & Cons

If you are considering moving to San Bruno or the nearby San Francisco Bay Area, there are both some pros and cons. It is a charming small city with many trendy restaurants, wine bars, and breweries that provide fun entertainment. 

It’s also a great place to raise children because of the extensive network of schools in the area. For anyone looking for an upscale neighborhood with luxurious homes in a family-oriented area, you should definitely look into moving here.

San Bruno, South San Francisco Overview

San Francisco, California, is definitely one of the best states for real estate in the country. In fact, its housing market has consistently been a profitable option for investors due to the notable amount of property appreciation on average over many years. Because of this, San Bruno has its fair share of this benefit.

San Bruno is a lovely city in San Mateo County, California, incorporated in 1914. It is located on the San Francisco Peninsula, and San Bruno’s population is about 44,600. 

The city is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and borders Daly City to the north and east. The Port of San Francisco lies just north of downtown and provides for its harboring industry. At the same time, San Bruno Avenue serves as the main street through town from southwest to northeast. 

The city’s nickname is “The City with a Heart” due to its friendly well-kept residential neighborhoods and beautiful parks. It’s also known for its thriving high-tech business center and as the regional transportation hub in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • Population: 44,663
  • Population Growth: 0.63% (2022)
  • Median Home Value: $958,300
  • Median Rent: $2,459
  • Median Household Income: $113,103
  • Owner-Occupied Housing Rate: 60.5%
  • Poverty Rate: 5%
  • Livability Score: 72/100

San Bruno is among the best places to live in San Mateo and San Francisco, California. This city offers residents an urban-suburban mix of life, with the benefits of each. 

Most residents own their homes, typically single or two-story structures with driveways and yards. The streets are lined with trees that provide shade during hot summer days.

Pros of Living in San Bruno CA

If you were to move to a new city, it would be essential to understand that area’s pros and cons. A big part of understanding those is researching them. 

You can do this by reading articles online or listening to podcasts such as Icons of Real Estate Podcast to understand better what life there would be like. Here are some of the pros of living in San Bruno CA, that makes it a fantastic place to live:

The Weather is Mostly Sunny

San Bruno, CA is a coastal city, so you can expect it to be sunny most of the year. It rains in the winter, but not much, and only for a few days at a time. Summers are warm and dry, with temperatures reaching triple digits on some days. If you want to live somewhere where the weather is reliably good, San Bruno is an excellent place to go.

Ease and Proximity to Transportation

Proximity to transportation is one of the major draws for San Bruno, CA residents. The city has several residential neighborhoods where many San Francisco Bay Area citizens choose to reside. 

There are also several train stations located throughout the city, providing quick and easy access to downtown San Francisco and other major cities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Additionally, numerous bike trails allow residents an opportunity to exercise without compromising convenience or safety.

Low Crime Rates

The city of San Bruno is a safe community. The average crime rate in the city is low, and the violent crime rate is even lower. The only danger you might encounter while living here will be getting your hands on some delicious food from one of the many diners or cafes that line El Camino Real.

  • Safe Index: 22/100
  • Violent Crime Rate: 2.28/1000
  • Property Crime Rate: 21.52/1000
  • Chance of Being a Violent Crime Victim: 1 in 439
  • Chance of Being a Property Crime Victim: 1 in 46

Good Schools

San Bruno in San Francisco is an excellent place to raise children, as the city has some of California’s best schools. In addition, it has a high percentage of residents who are college-educated and white-collar professionals.

Cons of Living in San Bruno, CA

Now that you know some of the pros of living in San Bruno, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, that sounds great! I want to live here.” However, you should be aware of some downsides to living here. That said, before deciding to move here, there are a few things you should know:

Can Get Windy and Foggy

The weather in San Bruno is not as extreme as in some other nearby cities. For example, it can get windy and foggy. However, the winds are usually not too strong, and the fog is typically not very dense. 

In addition, it never gets too hot or cold there either. Nevertheless, learning to drive in challenging conditions like rain or fog is recommended if you plan to live here long-term.

Its Proximity to the Airport

Living in San Bruno, you are close enough to San Francisco International Airport to hear planes flying overhead. Depending on where you live and what time of day it is, this can be a minor annoyance or a significant disruption to sleep. 

It also means there is less chance of living in relative quiet compared to areas further from the airport. If you are sensitive to noise or simply love your sleep, this may be worth considering before moving into an apartment by the airport.

Higher Cost of Living

One of the main reasons living in San Bruno, California, is not for everyone is the higher cost of living. The average family in this city spends more than they do across the country and struggles to afford housing costs and groceries on their household income. In general, this suburb has a high cost of living compared to other cities in the country.

  • Overall Cost of Living: 224.8 vs. 149.9 (California) vs. 100 (USA)
  • Grocery: 113.9 vs 105.1 (CA) vs 100 (USA)
  • Health: 117.4 vs 98.3 (CA) vs 100 (USA)
  • Housing: 454.1 vs 234.8 (CA) vs 100 (USA)
  • Median Home Price: $958,300 vs $684,800 (California) vs $291,700 (USA)
  • Utilities: 86.6 vs 102.4 (CA) vs 100 (USA)
  • Transportation: 145.3 vs vs 133.1 (CA) vs 100 (USA)

San Bruno Demographics

Generally speaking, San Bruno has a very diverse demographic, with residents from all over the world. This is partially due to the high cost of living in South San Francisco and Silicon Valley, making it difficult for families to afford homes there. Many young professionals are looking for cheaper housing options close enough to their jobs or school so they don’t have to commute too much. It also helps that San Bruno is located just south of San Francisco and only 20 minutes away by car or train.

  • Median Age: 39.6
  • White: 42.06%
  • Asian: 31.16%
  • Other Races: 13.59%
  • Two or More Races: 9.35%
  • Pacific Islander Native Hawaiian: 2.93%
  • African or Black American: 0.80%
  • Native American: 0.10%

Cost of Apartments in San Bruno Near BART

If you’re looking for a home in San Bruno, CA, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the Bay Area Rapid Transit station down the road. As of October 2022, below are the average cost of apartments in San Bruno near BART:

  • average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $2,920
  • average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment: $3,631
  • average rent for a 3-bedroom apartment: $4,805

This price range is higher than what you’ll find anywhere within 10 miles of this station. However, if you want easy public transit access, it’s worth paying extra for convenience.

Things to do in San Bruno

California San Bruno has a lot to offer, no matter your interests. If you’re looking for a day at the beach, you can take advantage of the many options, such as Mori Point, within an hour’s drive. 

The city is also home to several parks and fun places that provide opportunities for enjoying nature, including Junipero Serra Park and San Bruno City Park. If you’d rather stay close to home and explore San Bruno itself, there are plenty of things to do as well. 

A stroll down El Camino Real will show some historic buildings, grocery stores, and shops. Also, there are restaurants, coffee shops, and entertainment venues like the Towne Center or the Red Lobster.

Best Schools in San Bruno

The best schools in San Bruno, CA, are the ones that provide quality education and the most opportunities for their students. Some of these options may be charter schools or public schools. If you’re considering moving here, it’s essential to know your school options before deciding where to live. The following list is not exhaustive, but it does contain some of the best educational institutions in San Bruno:

Monte Verde Elementary School

  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 25:1
  • Proficiency: 75% (Reading), 79% (Math)
  • Students: 530

Parkside Intermediate School

  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 21:1
  • Proficiency: 48% (Reading), 36% (Math)
  • Students: 789

Capuchino High School

  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 18:1
  • Proficiency: 60% (Reading), 33% (Math)
  • Students: 1,187
  • Graduation Rate: 95%

Skyline College

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 27% vs 49% (National)
  • Undergraduates: 8,747
  • Tuition Fee: $1,464 (Local), $10,164 (Domestic)
  • Students Receiving Financial Aid: 64%
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 19:1

Job Opportunities for Young Professionals

San Bruno in San Francisco is a great city and one of the best places to live if you are a young professional. The city has many jobs in the tech industry, biotech industry, healthcare industry, and retail. If you enjoy construction work, there is an abundance of opportunities for that as well. In addition to these traditional industries, this place has plenty of jobs with start-ups or small businesses that are often more flexible than larger companies.

Other Best Places to Live in San Mateo County

If you’re looking for a small-town feel, Daly City and Colma are great options. Both are only 15 minutes away from San Francisco and have plenty of affordable housing options. You can also enjoy the benefits of living close to Silicon Valley without paying insane prices. 

Menlo Park is another excellent option for those seeking an affordable place to live with a small-town feel. The population is only about 33,000, but it has many amenities resembling larger cities.


As you can see, living in San Bruno has its unique pros and cons. While certain aspects of the city may not be perfect, there is no question that it offers many great things to those who live here. It’s also important to remember that this city is constantly changing and growing, so plenty of future opportunities are available. 

If you’re interested in living here but don’t know where to start looking for properties or apartments in this area, give us a call today. We’ll help ensure that moving from one location to another is easy for everyone involved.

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