Moving to San Francisco for an upcoming job, internship, or studies? Better be prepared! This beautiful city is one of the most popular destinations for new graduates and young professionals. Check out our take on what to know before moving to San Francisco.
Yes, the cost of living is expensive.
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It has been discussed many times but still worth mentioning because many folks who move to San Francisco do not always understand how expensive it is. The median monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is still at $2,650 even after pandemic price fluctuations. To save on housing many choose to share the living space and become roommates.
The shared housing scene in San Francisco is quite dynamic and offers lots of options. You can either share a small apartment with one roommate or live in a Victorian mansion with 10 roommates. In both cases, the demand for good roommates is at an all-time high. Coliving is another great option that offers affordable rent in San Francisco along with amenities such as a move-in ready room, all-inclusive rate, and managed community. It is perfect for someone who’s looking for convenience and flexibility in their housing.
Keep in mind the cost of transportation as well. In case you do not plan on using a car, San Francisco offers one of the best variety of public transit options in the U.S. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has 8 stops in San Francisco and can take you throughout East Bay. Buses and underground metro offers many routes within San Francisco. To make this experience seamless, get a Clipper card as it works almost with every transportation option in the entire Bay Area. On average, it will cost you $81+ per month to use public transit to get around San Francisco and Bay Area.
Car ownership in San Francisco is doable but not as convenient. If your housing does not provide parking, you will have to either navigate through street parking or pay for a spot which on average costs $250 – $400 per month. Don’t forget about the famous Bay Area traffic as it can add hours to your commute.
Weather can be tricky
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Technically you are in California, but the weather is not necessarily typical Californian sunshine. The average temperature in San Francisco is 60º F, so it’s not exactly summer year around. Cold ocean current and pretty frequent fog give the city a chilly breeze most of the time. Keep in mind that some neighborhoods are colder and some are actually quite warm. Mission district is known to have higher temperatures and does not get as foggy as the rest of the city.
If someone tells you that you need to dress like cabbage in San Francisco, trust them because it’s literally not a joke. Layers are the way to go in the Fog City. Make sure to always have a light jacket or sweater with you as the weather can drastically change from hot to cold throughout the day.
Don’t sit at home
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No really, there are so many things to do and explore in the city and surrounding towns. San Francisco is known for its diversity and rich culture. Chinatown district is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. In this neighborhood, you will find the best dim sum restaurants, various tea shops, markets, and a variety of shops filled with unique finds. Or spend some time in North Beach, also known as Little Italy, home to the best Italian cuisine in San Francisco. Or stroll along Ocean Beach and enjoy the views of the Pacific ocean.
The lively community of San Francisco is made of individuals from all over the world. Here you will meet people from all types of different backgrounds and cultures.
The housing market is sort of … very competitive
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If you are moving to SF for work or studies, you should start looking at housing options in advance and decide which one works best for you. Apartment hunting in the city is quite a headache. There could be 30 people interested in the same place and it’s considered normal. To make this process easier, be ready to make an offer on the spot and provide all the information that the landlord requires. Here are the most popular websites used to find housing in San Francisco:
- Facebook Marketplace