Everything That Awaits You When Moving to San Francisco

San Francisco is bursting with love and opportunity. Do you have questions about moving to San Francisco? This guide has it all.
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Everything That Awaits You When Moving to San Francisco
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San Francisco, the city affectionately referred to as San Fran, SF, The Frisco, or even simply The City by the people who call it home, has much to offer its citizens. It is one of the most popular California cities to live in for a reason, after all.

Being right in the middle of Silicon Valley where the biggest innovations in the technological world take place, home to historic neighborhoods and homes, great communities to choose from, and all kinds of entertainment on offer are just a few of the things people love about San Fran.

If you’re planning on moving to San Francisco, you will see very quickly why it is so loved by the people who live there, just as much as the tens of thousands of visitors who flock to the city every year.

To get your move underway, you should first make a plan and create and be familiar with your moving budget. Using an online tool, such as a moving calculator, can be a great way to know how much of a budget you’re working with, and more importantly, how you can stick to your budget during the moving process.

Things People Love About San Francisco

San Francisco is no ordinary California city. There is much to do and enjoy in SF, and all of these great things are what keep the people who live there as well as the tourists who frequently visit happy and fulfilled.

So, just what are some of the things that make San Francisco so great? Here are some of the things that will be waiting on you once your move to San Francisco is complete:

1. Varying temperatures that are neither too hot or too cold 

San Francisco has a climate that varies in temperature but is rarely too hot or too cold. It would be more accurate to describe the climate as either warm or chilly, depending on the season and sometimes, the time of day.

In the mornings and evenings, you might find yourself wanting a hoodie or pullover sweater, while during the afternoons you’ll be reaching for shorts, flip-flops, and a short-sleeved shirt. 

2. You might not even need your car 

San Francisco has all kinds of public transportation available and depending on where you live in the city, you can get to plenty of places on foot.

If you do need to hail a ride, there are public transportation options aplenty, such as ferries, taxis, and the infamous Muni.

You can even use a bike-sharing service or hail a private cab via ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft. 

3. There are plenty of entertainment options year-round 

You will not have anything to do in San Francisco. The city is bustling and always filled with entertainment options on offer to fill your time.

Concerts, festivals, theater performances, and so much more are par for the course in San Francisco, and there is no shortage of delicious local restaurants and nightlife options to choose from when you get hungry or feel like having a drink with your friends, family, or significant other. 

4. You’re at the epicenter of a booming tech revolution 

Silicon Valley is well known for being the heart of the majority of tech innovations, and San Francisco plays host to plenty of tech startups that are working on projects to change the way we think about technology.

Not only does it feel amazing to be right at the center of the tech boom, but it also offers jobs to people in the area who want to work in tech and make a difference not just in the tech community, but to the world in general.

San Francisco has so many things to love about it, it might be hard to choose what your favorite part of living in the city is. Suffice it to say, you will never be too bored or have anything to do in a city booming with entertainment options and pleasant weather almost all year long.

What’s the Living Cost in San Francisco?

San Francisco is by standard, one of the most expensive cities in America. The cost of living index as of December 2019 by the Council for Community and Economic Research revealed that San Francisco is only behind Manhattan.

The general cost of living in San Francisco is 97.6% above America’s average. Expensive housing is one of the vital indicators affecting San Francisco’s affordability.

The United States Census revealed that housing costs are beyond twice the national figures. The most recent Census numbers also reveal that the average value of homes in San Francisco is above one million. The average rent in the city is $1,805 per month.

Below is how San Francisco compares with the cost of living of other cities.

What’s the Living Cost in San Francisco


San Francisco

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For more information see: Cost of living in San Francisco Guide

Cost of Owning and Driving a Car in San Francisco

A lot of people in San Francisco use public transport to commute. People that use their cars to get around often spend most of their time in traffic. If you are moving from within the country to San Francisco, you will be able to continue with your license but will need to update your address.

You are allowed to drive on an international license for about 12 months as a tourist but immediately after that, you will be required to acquire an American license.

 If you are working or studying in the country, you can drive for 30 days on your international license. Follow the process given here to exchange your foreign driver’s license.

Below are some other related costs of owning and driving a car in San Francisco:

  • Volkswagen Golf:$22,265
  • 1 liter or a quarter gallon of gas (petrol):$0.82

Other fees (if any): The median cost of state and local taxes, title and registration, and license fees is $665 per year

Cost-Saving Ways While Driving in San Francisco

  • You can save money through car-sharing or pooling. Consider Zipcar, Kyte, Waze, Getaround, Gocarma, or Zipcar.
  • Taxis can be a cheaper alternative sometimes, especially if you will be parking all day. Consider Lyft or Uber.

Do you need your car/vehicle transported to San Francisco? Then click here to read our car shipping guide.  

What are San Francisco’s Rapidly Developing Neighborhoods?

In San Francisco, being a peninsula, San Francisco has short potential for sprawl. Protections around landmark conservation and historic preservation are strict, and also height restrictions.

Living in San Francisco implies that you will be able to see the sky, walk through a forest, and dip your feet in cold ocean water. 

1. Mission Bay:

This neighborhood covered a 300-acre area and is filled with luxury high rises closer to Oracle Park and a new UCSF Medical Center campus has turned to be a well-planned community over the past decade. It offers great city living with views and amenities, aimed at young professionals.

Chase Center is the latest addition and is where the Golden State Warriors called home. It is a perfect venue for mega-name celebrities and the performing arts.

Niche.com reveals that the average home value in Mission Bay is $923,500 and the average monthly rent is $3,032. If you choose to be a renter, you are in the right place as two-thirds of almost 6,550 residents are renters, too.

2. East Cut:

This fresh neighborhood that adds Rincon Hill is still settling with its name, East Cut. The neighborhood is filled with Gleaming glass towers and the average rent, according to Business Insider is almost $5,000 per month.

The price tag on the penthouses in just one luxury tower is $46 million and links to the new $2.2 billion Salesforce Transit Center with a 4-block-long public modern park.

 A new 120-condo tower features a private fitness center, spa, and sun terrace at one Steuart. The 4,100 people living in Rincon Hill and East Cut are shown by niche.com to have average home values at $1,123,660 and average rentals at $3,125 per month.

3. Mid-Market:

This part of the sprawling South of Market Street neighborhood is often controversial but is certainly central. It has been in the news since Twitter relocated its headquarters there in 2012. Five years after, the neighborhood welcomes San Francisco proper Hotel.

Serif at 950 Market Street is one of the existing combined-use projects changing Mid-Market where costs of condos begin in $500’s and the 5M development of 3 structures adding almost 700 housing units (together with parks, rooftop open spaces, retail, and restaurants.

Average home values in SoMa where 71% of the 25,577 are renters are $924,757 and monthly rentals cost $2,006, according to niche.com.

4. India Basin:

After many debates, the city of San Francisco in 2018 approved the development of new 1,500 homes in this neighborhood. The housing project will also feature commercial space, parkland, and parking.

What was once known as a semi-wild gravel yard, based on the website of Indiana Basic community will now be a walk-friendly residential area with pedestrian amenities.

With the average rent in India Basic at $802 per month and home values at $514,200 by niche, this may be a better time to be a homeowner.

5. Outer Sunset:

This neighborhood is on the other side of Outer Richmond, surrounding Golden Gate Park towards its southern border out to the long sand of Ocean Beach. Avoid being misled by the name; it is sunny here due to the usual fog rolls. However, it is a paradise for surfers and you will also see beautiful sunsets.

Your view will not be obstructed thanks to low density and low-rise housing zoning. The average home value as reported by Niche.com in this place is $964,069. The 53,324 residents of Outer Sunset are starring at average rent prices of $2,143 per month.     

Transportation in San Francisco

Consider the population density of San Francisco; it is not surprising that the city sees its reasonable share of traffic jams. San Francisco was in 2017 ranked the 5th worst in the world and the 3rd worst in the country for traffic jams.

With no space for expansion, San Francisco’s only plan to get rid of traffic is to streamline its current infrastructure. Its efforts have added HOV, paid express lanes, and bus lanes, and bridge tolls to support public transportation financially.

Fortunately, commuting around the city without a car is so much possible and in most cases, preferable. Uber and Lyft as well as other traditional taxi companies are available in San Francisco. Also, the city boasts of a nice bus and metro system called Muni.

Bus and metro stops are situated across the city, so it is easy to access public transportation at any location. You can access routes and times by calling 511 or via a smartphone app known as the 511 SF Bay Transit Trip Planner.

Residents of San Francisco also have easy access to cable cars and streetcars in the downtown area. Powell-Hyde, California Street and Powell-Mason are the three cable car lines. You can pay fare in-board with actual change, or you can buy tickets via the MuniMobile app or at different locations.

Those looking for a healthy and cheaper way to get around will be glad to know that San Francisco is a highly walk-friendly city. It also ranks repeatedly as one of the bike-friendliest cities in the county.

Over the past two decades, San Francisco has added traffic signals that right of way to cyclists, numerous bike parking areas, and more than 20 new miles of bike lanes. You can take your bike on public transit, and you also have access to bike-sharing programs.   

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving to San Francisco

Moving can be a strenuous, stressful, and daunting task to face. Like many people planning a move to San Francisco for the first time, it is only natural to have some questions.

Here are some of the questions most frequently asked by people getting ready to move to The City, as well as answers and tips to help you streamline your move and make it as easy and painless as possible:

How much money should I save to move to San Francisco? 

San Francisco is one of the more expensive places to live in California due to it being right in the heart of Silicon Valley, so it won’t hurt to have a bit of a nest-egg to live off of when you first make your move.

To be able to live comfortably in San Fran for at least six months while you get used to the city and look for steady work, you should save up at least $25,000 to $30,000 before you make your move.

What is San Francisco’s average monthly cost of living? 

The average monthly cost of living may vary depending on which neighborhood in San Francisco you choose, but you can expect to pay around $5,000 a month for basic living expenses on your own in San Francisco. This is taking into account the average $1700 a month for the cost of housing.

How can I find the best moving companies for my budget? 

Moving companies vary in prices depending on how far you’re moving and what type of services you may require for your move. To find the best ones for your move, ask people you know who have recently moved for recommendations for great San Francisco movers, or check online reviews of moving companies.

Once you have found a few great moving companies you might like to work with, call around and get a few estimates so you can choose the best moving company for your budget.

Some cross country movers even offer special services like loading and unloading of your belongings, as well as storage facilities in the event that you need to store valuable items during the moving process.

The Golden City has so much to offer you, just waiting for you to arrive and enjoy it. Once your move to San Francisco is complete, you’ll be able to explore this beautiful paradise to your heart’s content, taking in all the tropical scenery and enjoying everything the city has on display, living right in the heart of the newest innovations in the Silicon Valley.

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