Main Content

Moving to San Francisco: A Guide

San Francisco Cable Car City

There’s a lot of wonderful things to know about the San Francisco Bay Area if you’re planning on relocating here. Bordered on three sides by sparkling water, this hilly peninsula is famous for its bustling and diverse culture, which sits side-by-side with the best of what nature can offer.

With a population of just under one million, San Francisco attracts many young, upwardly mobile professionals. A recent report by Bay Area data analyst group Golden State Warrior revealed that the recent influx of people coming in consists mostly of whites and Asians in their 20s to 30s with family incomes going over $100,000.

It’s no secret that the cost of living in the Bay Area is among the highest in the nation, but if you have the means to buy a home or a condo here, you’ll want to be prepared for the following things and instances before actually moving to San Francisco.

Renting and Homeownership

Data from Rent Jungle and Zillow show that the average rental for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,400, while for a two-bedroom apartment, around $4,483. Meanwhile, homes for sale in SF have a median price of $1.4M. Thus, whether you choose to move into a modern apartment building or to a classic Victorian row house, expect a pretty high price tag.

Prices of residences in the east, north, and south bays are relatively lower-priced, so homes in these areas can be ideal for those looking to start a family.

Neighborhoods in The Tenderloin and Visitacion Valley are working-class suburbs so rent and incomes are significantly lower than in other parts of San Francisco. There are also plenty of options for single-family homes in these areas.

On the other hand, if you like to live close to the water, head towards the north shore into the Marina or look at the outer Richmond and Sunset districts. These may be a little farther away from downtown, but the vibe is decidedly more laid-back and eclectic.

Before Your Move

San Francisco’s hilly streets, bridge tolls, and street regulations can be tricky for someone relocating from outside the city, so here are several helpful suggestions on navigating the territory and preparing yourself for the move.

  1. While most San Francisco apartment buildings and homes were built in the early 20th century, there are still several older Victorian homes with odd angles and corners that you won’t find in more modern homes. That’s why it’s wise to do an ocular check of your new home before moving day to measure hallways and doorways. That way, you’ll know the ideal box and furniture size that will fit through. If you’re moving into a walkup, it helps to keep count of the flight of stairs leading to your unit so you can alert movers.
  2. Secure your options for loading and unloading. For high-rise apartments, ask the building manager about freight or service elevators that you can use when you move in. There may also be a designated parking space or a loading dock for your hired moving truck. Apartment complexes in Marin County have larger parking lots but be sure to ask about time limits for elevators and parking spaces.
  3. Plot your route. San Francisco is filled with hilly streets that can be tricky for larger moving trucks, so select a route for your truck with the least amount of steepness.
  4. All three bridges in San Francisco (Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, and the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge) are toll bridges. If you are renting a truck, some companies will cover toll fees and bill you later.
  5. Factor in the Bay Area’s microclimates as you schedule your move. Temperatures soar in San Jose and Oakland during the summer, while in the SF city proper, it can get really cold with heavy fog and winds. The best time to move in is between September and October. Plus, you can avoid human and vehicle traffic if you plan your move on a weekend.

Welcome to San Francisco!

Don’t be afraid to explore your new neighborhood. Try to compare how the reality on the ground checks out with information you’ve gathered about the place. Make friends with the neighbors – they’ll be your ideal guides to the city and surrounding areas, as well as your source of information on the best places for anything from steaks to good schools.

If you’re planning to move to San Francisco, let Team Hatvany help you find the perfect property that you can call home. Reach out to the team at 415.710.6462 or via email at team(at)teamhatvany(dotted)com.

Schedule a Consultation

Font Resize