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Your Complete Guide on Moving to San Francisco

If you’re planning on moving to the City by the Bay, you’re going to need a primer. Here’s everything you need to know about moving to San Francisco.

Did you snag a job in San Francisco? If so, you’re in good company. The city’s annual growth rate of 4.3 percent is about double the rest of the U.S. 

Jobs are plentiful. But that kind of economic growth makes moving to San Francisco a unique challenge.

The cost of living in San Francisco continues to climb. If you’re relocating to San Francisco, you need a solid plan. Showing up with a suitcase and winging it won’t cut it.

Keep reading to find out the basics of moving to San Francisco.

Places to Live in San Francisco

The rental market is hot and not expected to cool down in 2019. If you live in the City by the Bay, you’ll be paying the second-highest rents in the United States.

The only place with higher prices? Manhattan, New York. You can get a cheaper apartment in Brooklyn or Queens than you can in San Francisco.

The average rent is $3,579 per month. You can get a better deal than that if you don’t mind going into some less popular neighborhoods.

A San Francisco neighborhood guide will tell you that Presidio Heights and South Beach are among the priciest neighborhoods. You’ll get better deals in neighborhoods like Van Ness, Tenderloin, and Hayes Valley. 

Vacancy rates are low. You can make some headway by poring through online ads, but you’ll do best if you can visit the city. 

Visiting lets you walk around town and take note of “For Rent” signs. Got friends in the city? Buy them coffee and ask them to look over listings with you.

A local guide is in an invaluable resource in a city like San Francisco. Figuring out how to move to San Francisco is intimidating. It’s less intimidating if you have a friend who has been through the same process. 

Preparing Yourself for San Francisco Life

San Francisco has mild weather and lots of culture. Unfortunately, the high cost of leaving means the city also has a ton of homeless people.

Living in the Bay Area means interacting with homeless people. They’re on the street for a variety of reasons. Some can be loud or confrontational. 

There’s an ongoing debate about how best to address homelessness in San Francisco. You don’t necessarily have to take a side. But you should get prepared to hear others discuss the topic.

There’s a dark side to the city, but there are also a ton of positives. For instance, you’re likely to see someone walking their dog through the city. San Francisco has a very dog-friendly reputation.

If you feel like an out-of-towner, that’s OK. There are a ton of people living in San Francisco who didn’t grow up there. You should be able to find a friend group that consists of fellow transplants.

Finally, don’t assume you can bring a car to the city. It’s so crowded that parking is at a premium. There’s no guarantee your apartment complex will even offer parking. 

Moving to San Francisco: Final Thoughts

There’s no shortage of friendly people in San Francisco. But if you’re moving to San Francisco, you’re also target for scammers. 

A tight rental market is tough to navigate, but you still have rights. Ask questions if you feel uncomfortable about something in a lease agreement.

You still have room to negotiate aspects of your lease. Check out our blog post on that topic to find out more.