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Poway Moving Guide

April 12, 2022

Everything You Need to Know When Moving to or Around Poway, CA

It takes a lot for a city to earn the nickname "City in the Country."

People move to Poway for different reasons. For some, it's the city having the best school district in San Diego. For others, it's for the tight community with San Diego right at its doorstep.

Either way, once they move there, both get to watch the sunset over Lake Poway, sight shooting stars at Potato Chip Valley and send their kids to the best schools in California.

If you're worried that you don't know enough about Poway to relocate, you're not alone. Our College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving city guides have your back. We've done your homework and are ready to show you the good, the bad, and the compromise.

4 Things You Didn't Know About Poway.

Did you know that Tony Gwynn is a Poway native, born and bred or that half of its area is reserved as a natural space?

Now you do. With that in mind, there's a lot more to poway than meets the eye. 

Some of the things you should know before you relocate to Poway include:

1. Geography

Can you point out Poway on a map? Well, for a city that hides in plain sight, it can't be that hard.

You can find Poway in North Eastern San Diego County, South of Escondido and east of Ramona. 

2. Demographics

The residents of Poway are a very welcoming bunch; they value diverse and different cultures. As a result, Poway is a relatively diverse town, with transplants from all over the nation and across the world.

And it's getting better. Poway is becoming more diverse with time. 

According to Census Bureau, the demographics of Poway are:

  • White alone — 74.1%
  • Hispanic/Latino— 17.4%
  • Black / African American (Alone) — 1.6%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native — 0.9%
  • Asian alone — 11.6%
  • Two or more races — 5.6%

3. City Populations

With its population of 49,323 people, according to the Census Bureau, it's easy to see why many rather call Poway a town, some even going as far as calling Poway a small town.

Poway's population is spread on 39 square miles of California soil, giving it a density of 1,249 people per sq. mile.

Nonetheless, don't let the small population scare you. Poway is far from a ghost town. In fact, it's in San Diego County, which has a population of 3,338,330 according to the Census Bureau.

4. Median Income

California is known for two things, its high cost of living and its high incomes. Poway is no exception.

According to Census Bureau, the median household income in Poway in 2019 is $107,902; it's one of the zip codes with a six-figure income as the median household income. 

This average is head and toes above the national average of $62,843, which is expected given the high cost of living.

What is the Cost Of Living in Poway, CA

Living anywhere in California is expensive- there's no way around it. That said, if you're moving from anywhere in the rural south or Midwest, don't freak out over the $3.70 gas prices or groceries. It's normal there.

It shows in the numbers, according to Payscale- the cost of living in Poway is 46% higher than the national average.

For more perspective, that cost broken down is:

  • Housing- 142%
  • Utilities- 15%
  • Groceries- 13%
  • Transportation- 29%

And the cost of living is still rising. According to Salary.com, the cost of living in Poway increased by 2.6% in 2021; If Poway residents had a single greatest fear, it would be the cost of living. 

Anyway, if it helps, the minimum wage in Poway and California is $14 an hour, double the national minimum wage.

Average Rental Prices

California rental prices have been an issue of national debate these past few decades. You probably have an opinion. Heck, even people in Mississippi have one too.

However, things in Poway are not as bleak as the media portrays them. Census Bureau puts the median gross rent in Poway at $1,627. Payscale, on the other end, puts the median rent at $2,628 a month. 

Despite both being higher than the national average rent of $1,463, with a few compromises and the high California income, you can make it work for you.

Average Home Prices

Many people visit Poway and its attractions; a few get to Poway and never go back. If putting down roots in Poway has been on your mind, you're not the first to fall for its charm.

Think about, the great schools, the lake, and half an hour from downtown, who wouldn't want to live there?

However, there's a catch. Housing in California costs an arm and a leg (you pay the butcher too).

According to Census Bureau, the median value of owner-occupied housing units is $686,400. This is almost double the national average sales price of $394,900, making Poway one of the most expensive places to call home in the nation.

What's the Job Market in Poway, CA like

You know what they say about California and being the engine of the American economy. It's true, and Poway's a small part of that engine.

And it's not by accident. The legislators in Poway have shown time and again their value for enterprise. That's why they built the Poway Business Park, an entrepreneurial jungle that sprawls 700-acres, housing over 500 enterprises, and employing over 17,000 people.

Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate of Poway as of August 2021 is 4.8%. This is quite a commendable post-pandemic recovery for a city that had one of the strictest lockdowns in the nation.

Despite all this, Poway's unemployment rate is 1% shy of the May 2021 average national unemployment rate of 5.8%

Largest Employers in the Area

Some of the greatest enterprises in American corporate history call Poway home. Whether you want to work for a Fortune 500 tech company, an American factory, or an inspirational startup, you'll be spoilt for choice there.

A few honorable mentions of enterprises that employ the citizens of Poway include

  • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems-  4,500 employees
  • Geico Direct- 1,720 employees
  • Poway Unified School District- 1,285 employees
  • Cohu- 750 employees

What's The Education in Poway City Like

People come to Poway for many reasons; the schools are why they stay.

The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is the heart of this city's education engine. It runs an impressive 22 elementary schools, 6 middle schools, and 4 high schools.

Average Level of Education

Poway needs a technical and highly sophisticated workforce to keep its industries alive. That's why the city invests a lot in a robust education system and has an educated populace to show for it.

According to Census Bureau, 48.2% of Poway residents above 25 have a Bachelor's degree. This is 12% higher than the national average of 36%.

How do the Residents of Poway Commute

Like most cities in America, Poway is designed around the car. This fact alone makes living in Poway without a car at best a nightmare and at worst almost impossible.

That said, once you move to Poway, you'll realize you've never needed that Jeep more than you do after the move.

According to Best Places, the people in Poway commute as follows:

  • 80.3%- drive to work 
  • 8.1%- Carpool with others
  • 7.2%- Work from home
  • 1.2%- Take mass transit

Availability of Public Transport

Poway, as a city, has a lot going for it. Public transit isn't one. In Poway, public transit is almost non-existent. Residents get to use other options from San Diego county for public transit.

The city in the country still remains car-dependent, and the traffic is a source of discussion around many Poway dinner tables.

The public transit in Poway is run by the Metropolitan transit System which has youth and adult fares of $2.50 for its MTS Trolley, MTS bus and MTS rapid. 

The MTS operates along three routes:

  • Route 944- This route operates East to West covering the Garden road and Floral Avenue loop from 6 a.m- 7 p.m.
  • Route945- This route extends north on Midland road to the Old Parkway area operating from 5:15 a.m to 8 p.m.
  • Route 945 A- This route provides 4 weekday trips along the Twin Peaks Road - Espola Road - Pomerado Road - Poway Road circuit. The busses use Poway High School bell time.

Some of the public transit options for Poway residents outside the city include:

  • The Sabre Springs/Penasquitos Transit Station
  • Transit Station Del Ago
  • San Diego Coast Express Rail

Parking in Poway is readily available, even around Lake Poway. However, non-poway residents get to pay $10 for parking in Lake Poway on holidays and weekends. This website will help you with Parking around town.

Average Commute Times

That said, commuting in Poway is not all bad. One thing that'll cheer you up as a Poway resident is the commute times that are shorter than the national average.

According to Census Bureau, the average one-way commute in Poway is 26.4 minutes. This is a minute shy of the national average commute time, which is 27.6 minutes.

What Is Living in Poway, CA Like

Fun and nightlife are quite elusive in small, family-friendly city towns like Poway. However, a closer look reveals that the city has a lot more to offer.

Once you go out of your way to look, you'll discover a city drowning in historical breweries, hidden gems, and excellent restaurants.

Nightlife and Culture

You won't be walking sampling Poway bars and breweries for long before you discover an exceptional place and run into one of the best nights of your life.

Poway doesn't offer the best nightlife in San Diego (that's a fact); however, there are hidden gems that get pretty close.

Start your adventure along the 78th corridor in Poway, which is lined with world-class breweries end-to-end. It's literally a beer-lovers paradise you can't afford to miss.

Also, many Poway residents would recommend Davina's Cabo Cantina for live music, karaoke, and one of the best happy hours in the city. 

Restaurant Scene

As you prepare to move, grab a few napkins and a fork before you savor San Diegos culinary experience. If you think the weather in California is great, wait until you meet the food.

The streets of Poway are flush with excellent sushi bars, fantastic taco trucks, and world-class Italian pizzerias.

An excellent place to start is Convoy Street, which sits at the heart of the Convoy Culinary district. Its restaurants offer unique Asian dishes that have the entire community addicted.

For the best experience, consider ditching fast food chains for hidden steak houses, hole-in-the-wall eateries, grill spots, and barbecue places.

What Outdoor Activities do Poway Residents Love

The Poway outdoors are flush with outdoor activities. A weekend will catch you anywhere between scaling Iron Mountain, watching shooting stars above Lake Poway, or exploring the San Diego backwoods.

Some outdoor activities that Poway residents enjoy include:

  • Whale watching in SanDiego beaches
  • Hiking at lake Poway
  • Bike riding or walking in Poway nature trails

All these adventures are made possible by the warm and temperate Poway climate. The average temperature in Poway is 16.4 °C (61.5 °F), with winters that are rainier than summers.

That said, you probably didn't know that Poway has fifty-five miles of nature trails and seventy-two miles of some of the finest horse trails and trails in California.

Don't know where to start; all Poway residents will agree that you've not visited Poway until you've scaled Potato Chip Rock. Start there.

What are the Best Neighborhoods and Schools Around Poway

The best way to describe the Poway vibe is a small-town mentality in a country-like setting. Tony Gwynn's words, not mine. He goes ahead to say that it reminds him of Tennessee, where his parents grew up.

Poway has its roots in a farm town, a culture, and history that its neighborhoods portray to date. Here, expect quaint suburban silence, tightly knit communities, and friendly neighbors.

National Rankings Of Poway Schools

These schools that nurture Poway kids are some of the best. This is not only in California but also in the nation. In a comprehensive study of 17,000 schools, five in the PUSD ranked best in the nation.

These schools include:

  • Poway High School
  • Del Norte High School
  • Westview HighSchool
  • Mt Carmel High School
  • Rancho Bernando Highschool

Best Poway Neighborhoods

Given that 80% of Poway residents live outside the city, some of the best neighborhoods in and around Poway include:

1. Normal Heights

Normal Heights is one of the most nuanced neighborhoods to live around Poway. The houses there are relatively affordable, in a city without the word "affordable" anywhere near its dictionary.

Normal height residents enjoy convenient access to everything they need and are a 12-minute drive from Downtown San Diego.

Normal Heights is also family-friendly. Its urban-suburban streets are punctuated with some of the best schools in the neighborhood. You can always get lost in its walks and trails with bars and restaurants a few minutes away.

2. Ocean Beach

If you're willing to compromise a 30-minute commute to work, Ocean Heights is what you're looking for.

One, the neighborhood has a beach, both in its name and its backyard. Ocean beach is probably the shortest drive to the beach you'll ever have this side of great Poway neighborhoods.

And it doesn't stop there. Ocean Beach has a vibrant downtown that is lined with breweries, restaurants, and shops within walking distance. 

3. Mira Mesa

Mira Mesa is also another popular neighborhood if you're relocating to Poway. The breweries alone are worth it.

Niche gives Mira Mesa an A overall for being a decent community to live in. Mira Mesa also gets an A for schooling, an A+ for diversity an A- for both nightlife and families.

Most essential is that Mira Mesa offers a perfect blend of lively community that has the peace of dense American suburbia with the liveliness of a city downtown.

Pros of Living in Poway

There's a lot of reasons to look forward to your move to Poway. Some of the benefits of living in Poway include:

  • Family-Friendly City

Poway is a quiet, affluent suburban town with great schools. These qualities make it one of the best places to raise a family.

  • Favorable Climate

If you're moving during the summer, the California weather is something you'll come to appreciate.

 In Poway, it's the right amount of heat during winter and cold during summer to create a place you want to live forever.

  • High-Paying Jobs

With a median household income of close to or above six figures depending on where you're living, the high-paying jobs in Poway are a great reason to move there.

Cons of Living in Poway

That said, as any Poway forum would reveal, Poway is far from perfect. Some of the complaints from Poway residents on forums like niche include:

  • High Cost of Living

As we've mentioned above, the cost of living in Poway is 46% higher than the national average. Dollars don't stretch that much on this side of the country, and the rising prices are kicking Poway residents while they're down.

  • Traffic

There isn't one single Poway resident that is happy about the traffic. This situation is aggravated by the public transportation that is essentially non-existent, putting all Poway residents in personal vehicles.

Ready for your Move to Poway?

Moving can be quite a hectic experience. Once you're done with raising the money, you still have to read piles of information and skim through heaps of legislation.

We here at College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving are willing to help. Our city guides will help you narrow down to the best locations and learn everything about them.

For more information, contact us today, and we'll be more than willing to help.