San Francisco has a long history of welcoming all types of people with open arms. And not much has changed. The City by the Bay continues to grow in population, opening its doors to thousands of new residents from across the globe annually. And there’s a reason people are flocking to San Francisco: the city
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Hearst, Relocation & Moving Guides, San Francisco
San Francisco has a long history of welcoming all types of people with open arms. And not much has changed. The City by the Bay continues to grow in population, opening its doors to thousands of new residents from across the globe annually.
And there’s a reason people are flocking to San Francisco: the city is known for its awesome restaurants, iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, and extremely low unemployment rates. A healthy balance of consistently mild weather, plenty of green space throughout the city, and a handful of free concerts and events every month continue to make San Francisco one of the most sought-after U.S. cities to live.
10 things to know before moving to San Francisco
Cost of livingNeighborhoodsRental marketLifestyle and activitiesFood and drinkTransportationWeatherJob market and economySportsEducation
Cost of living
Considering moving to San Francisco? Here’s some basic information about the average cost of living to keep in mind.
Rent prices: the average cost to rent a 1-bedroom apartment is $3,000 and a 2-bedroom is $3,950. These rates have remained relatively steady, although they are still the priciest in the country.Utilities: the average cost of utilities for a 915 square foot apartment is $218, and internet services range from $60–$80.Transportation: monthly transit passes range from $73-91 for adults, depending on the distance traveled. Food: residents of San Francisco spend roughly 12.5% of their household budget on food, on par with the national average. Of this food budget, 58.6% is spent on meals at home, and 41.4% is spent on dining out. Compared to the rest of the country, San Franciscans dine out more often and, with its dynamic food scene, it’s easy to see why.
San Francisco neighborhoods
Of course, every cost of living calculation has to take into account the neighborhood. San Francisco has a number of different districts, each with its own feel. Here are just a few of the city’s neighborhoods, but be sure to check out the most popular ones.
Castro District: The Castro is synonymous with LGBT culture, as is evident by the rainbow-painted crosswalks and rainbow flags billowing from storefronts. Between upbeat happy hours, a bustling nightlife, and close proximity to Twin Peaks–two hills offering an incredible 36-degree view of the city–the Castro District is a thriving neighborhood with plenty to do.Mission District: The Mission has historically been populated by a largely Hispanic community, and its culture is truly the lifeblood of the neighborhood. The Mission houses nearly 500 murals, making it the country’s most densely-packed tapestry of street art. Stores selling everything from piñatas to fresh produce dot Mission Street, and young professionals move there in drones for the tasty taquerias, lively nightlife, and proximity to Dolores Park. On weekends, locals head to Dolores and lounge in the sunshine for an unmatched view of the city skyline, which can be seen from just about every spot in the park.Noe Valley: Families make up a good portion of the population in Noe Valley. This kid-friendly neighborhood boasts quaint shops on 24th Street, its main drag, a Saturday farmer’s market, and generally sunny weather, perfect for playing all day at kid and dog-friendly Douglass Playground.SoMa: This sprawling neighborhood covers 406 acres, one of the largest in San Francisco. SoMa, short for South of Market, is an assortment of warehouses, trendy nightclubs, and is home to AT&T Park where the San Francisco Giants play. It also features many of the city’s museums and SoMa StrEat Food Park where locals go to grab a bite at rotating food trucks.Hayes Valley: Another popular neighborhood among the young professional crowd, Hayes Valley is packed with trendy restaurants, upscale boutique shops, and dog-friendly Patricia’s Green right in the center of the action. It’s within walking distance to a few other popular neighborhoods, like the Castro, making it an ideal location for those looking to explore outside their own hood.Marina District: Recent college grads love this neighborhood. The Marina is chock full of boozy brunch spots, sparkling views of the bay, and nearly every type of workout studio imaginable. If your commute requires a car, though, this is probably not the place for you; the Marina is situated at the very northern tip of the city, and getting in and out of San Francisco can be a headache. Richmond District: Beginning in the Presidio and spanning the length of Golden Gate Park all the way to Ocean Beach, the Richmond District covers 50 blocks. The Outer Richmond (the western half of the 50-block neighborhood) is closest to outdoor favorites Lands End and Sutro Baths, while the Inner Richmond (eastern 25 blocks) is a favorite of SF residents for its density of Dim Sum restaurants.
San Francisco rental market
San Francisco is known for having higher rental prices, and has consistently been included in the top five for median rent. If considering a move to San Fran, you’ll want to do your research early and get to know the vibe of each neighborhood to determine the right fit for you. Amenities can be an important component of your decision, and San Francisco apartments include some uncommon amenities such as electric car charging stations, pet grooming stations, and even Philz coffee and tea service. San Francisco is known for its iconic architecture, and the apartment rentals are no exception. From classic Victorian homes to modern high rises, there is something for every style of renter. To give you a better idea of prices to expect when renting in San Francisco, take a look at the breakdown below.
Median rent prices in San Francisco
Studio apartment – $2,1951-bedroom apartment- $3,0952-bedroom apartment – $4,1953-bedroom apartment – $4,950
The San Francisco lifestyle
With so much access to the great outdoors, San Francisco residents enjoy an active lifestyle, with many options for recreational activities. Combined with the beautiful scenery of the coast, there are many “must see” attractions to enjoy as a new resident to the Bay Area.
Crissy Field, a former U.S. Army airfield located in the Presidio, offers up-close views of the Golden Gate Bridge and nearby Fort Point is the perfect place for history buffs to geek out. Be sure to check out Golden Gate Park (which, fun fact, is actually larger than Central Park!) where you can catch the annual, and free, Bluegrass Festival, ride an old-fashioned carousel, and even see buffalo in real life. Chinatown may feel a little touristy, but the kitschy shops and authentic Chinese restaurants are a huge draw for many. For the best Italian food in the city, head to North Beach; you won’t regret eating at The Italian Homemade Company and grabbing dessert at Victoria Pastry. Watch the Giants play at AT&T Park and stroll along the Embarcadero for a nighttime view of the illuminated Bay Bridge. Living in San Francisco means your entertainment options are limitless.
Food and drink
When moving to San Francisco you’ll be welcomed with endless options for drinking and dining. Here are a few of our favorite options.
Where to eat
Mister Jiu’s: High-end, Michelin-star Chinese restaurant Pearl 6101: California inspired MediterraneanPork Store Cafe: A San Francisco brunch staple Limoncello: Italian style deli with a wide variety of specialty sandwiches
Where to drink
Top of the Mark: Penthouse level bar with panoramic views of the cityTrick Dog : Neighborhood cocktail bar with custom drinks and live musicBourbon & Branch: Speakeasy style bar
Public transit options in San Francisco are plentiful, and residents take full advantage of them all. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) makes 8 stops in the city, carving a northeastern path through SF before heading to Oakland and throughout the East Bay. The Muni, San Francisco’s local public transit, connects the rest of the city via streetcars, buses, and underground trains. Working outside the city will require you to drive or take Caltrain. Caltrain, which runs from San Francisco through the peninsula down to San Jose and the South Bay, is a good option if you live near one of two SF stations and don’t want to brave the infamous Bay Area traffic by car.
San Francisco experiences generally pleasant temperatures year-round. Weather here can be described as Mediterranean climate with wet mild winters, and dry warm summers. The cold current that flows along the coast of California can bring fog to the city, but also keeps temperatures cool in the summer months. The fog is embraced by locals, so much so that residents often refer to it lovingly as “Karl”. When moving to San Francisco, be sure to pack your layers to account for the cool mornings and evenings and warmer afternoons. The coldest month is January with an average high temperature of 58 degrees.
Job market and economy
Home to Silicon Valley, many tech startup companies place their headquarters in San Francisco allowing for many job opportunities. Major employers in SF include Wells Fargo, Amazon, Salesforce, and Deloitte. The average annual salary in San Francisco is $75,722 a year. The current unemployment rate in San Francisco is 3.0%, slightly lower than the 3.6% national average.
Sports teams are a major component of the culture in a city. San Francisco is home to many top professional sports teams including the Golden State Warriors (NBA), the San Francisco 49ers (NFL), and the San Francisco Giants (MLB) .
If moving to San Francisco for school, you’ll have a few options. Here are the top schools to consider:
University of California-Berkeley:
In-state tuition: $14,361
Out-of-state tuition: $44,115
University of San Francisco
Saint Mary’s College of California
San Francisco State University
In-state tuition: $7,484
Out-of-state tuition: $19,364
Tips for moving to San Francisco
Do: check out the local parking situation if you plan on having a car in the city. Parking in some neighborhoods is extremely limited.Don’t: assume San Francisco will be all warm weather and sunshine. Although the average temperature rarely drops below 40 degrees, temperatures can vary dramatically (thanks, fog!) between neighborhoods. A lightweight jacket is always a good idea, as the weather can change in minutes.Do: get a Clipper Card. It’s reloadable and will give you discounts on certain transit systems, like Caltrain. Plus you’ll avoid having to buy a ticket every time you need to hop on public transit.Don’t: rent based on an online ad without seeing the apartment in person. There are a lot of rental scams online, and you need to protect yourself. Rent with Zumper and put your worries at ease.Do: consider your commute to work before renting an apartment. No one likes to sit on a bus for an hour every day, so research the route you’ll take between home and work to ensure it’s something you’re comfortable doing every day. Don’t: forget about Bay to Breakers. Every May, this 12K race brings thousands of participants and onlookers to the city streets for a colorful celebration of San Francisco life between the Bay to the east and the breakers to the west; costumes are highly encouraged.
FAQ: Moving to San Francisco
San Francisco’s time zone is PST (Pacific Standard Time).
The current population of San Francisco is 815,201.
San Francisco is part of the San Francisco county. The Bay Area consists of nine counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.
San Francisco is most well known for its landmarks. The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the Painted Ladies are some of the most well known landmarks in the city. San Francisco is also known for its history. Many famous musicians called SF home including Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia.
Ready to Move?
San Francisco is a lively, diverse, and welcoming place to live. Regardless of which neighborhood you see yourself in, the city is dense-just over 46 square miles so you’ll always be able to explore other parts of the city easily. Follow these tips and make your move to San Francisco a smooth one.
See what living in San Francisco is really like. Once you’re convinced, check out apartments for rent in the City by the Bay.
The post Living in San Francisco: Your Moving Guide appeared first on The Zumper Blog.