Moving to San Francisco | Cross Country Movers
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Don’t Let Moving to San Francisco Turn Into a Nightmare – Here’s What You Should Know

Posted in City Guides,Moving Tips & Tricks on April 27, 2022

Do you feel like the Bay Area is calling your name? Are you curious about moving to San Francisco? We don’t blame you. Stories can’t depict how wonderful SF can be but rarely show how tough it gets. As any city, it has its light and dark sides, and it’s up to you to learn about both, which you can do right here.

Moving across the country from the East Coast to the West Coast is a big feat, but for SF, it might be worth it. While it may give you mixed feelings at first with the living costs and rush hours, you’ll learn how to love it. It won’t be that different from the East Coast – it may, in fact, be better and teach you how to chill out with the locals until you become one, too.

Moving to San Francisco, California? Here’s All the Advice You’ll Need for Living in This International City

Before you make rash decisions and call cross-country moving services to book a move to the home of the Golden Gate Bridge, why not take a short trip there first? Many of us have the wanderlust itch and wish to get to know the world and its wonders, but when we look to move somewhere new, doing research is essential.

While the research might make you question your decision, it will also help you learn about the ins and outs of the place you wish to call home in the future. It’s a must for anyone who wants to move for the first time and create a life elsewhere, away from their old ways.

SF may be the best and the worst place to be a newcomer. We’d be lying if we said that living there doesn’t sometimes mean survival of the fittest because it’s typical of the locals to lack understanding for someone new.

At the same time, SF is deemed one of the best cities for millennials precisely because of its largeness. Anyone who moves there can find a group they belong to and ultimately reduce the anxiety about relocating to a place as big as SF. It is a multicultural, international city with a lot to offer.

The First Dilemma Is – Is It Worth Moving to San Francisco?

Long-distance movers can help you reduce relocation costs by offering packing services and other amenities but can’t give you advice on whether relocating to SF is worth it or not. In many ways, doing it will be an adventure of a lifetime that not many get to experience.

When you look at the pros and cons of living in SF, sometimes objectivity goes out the window. It might be better to take it from someone who moved for personal reasons, which they explain, just like the man in the video below.

Things to Consider When Looking for a Neighborhood in SF – Amenities, Walkability, and Safety

When moving to San Francisco, the advice we can provide is – stick to your relocation essentials. For example, if you’re relocating with kids, consider areas that are safe for them and have schools relatively close to home. If there’s a neighborhood with great schools and business areas nearby, see how much it will take to afford it.

For anyone relocating for work or education, finding a good residence to share with others will be an ideal start. Consider a reasonable walking distance in SF between 10 and 20 minutes from any important establishment. Research from 2017 shows that every SF resident lives within a 10-minute walk to a park.

Still, walkability can become an issue if you find a residence in the hills, which are steep and troublesome if you’re out of shape. But hey, there’s another benefit of the city – free exercise across town.

Why You Shouldn’t Move to San Francisco? The Average Rent in the City Can Make Anyone Waiver

What may shock you about SF is the price of relocating from a house to an apartment. However, the living standard there can’t compare to anything in the US. Moving cross country to one of the most competitive cities in the world will mainly cost a lot of money, but not much of anything else.

If you really want to live on your own, you shouldn’t move to SF. If you expect to live it out like the main character of a romantic comedy, think twice. Make sure you have the option to save money to move and then consider relocation, but before that, check out online roommate websites and the availabilities.

Two roommates working from home after moving cross country
Be open to making adjustments to your living preferences in SF

How Much Money Do You Need per Month to Live in San Francisco? The Costs of Living and Rents

The biggest question anyone has is, “what salary do you need to live in San Francisco?” You’ll be happy to hear that the average annual salary in SF is way higher than the national average, and the median household income is double the national average, so you’ll earn your stay no matter what.

In short, a single person needs around $3,600 on average per month, while a family of four should consider those costs to be $7,600. According to Numbeo, the site that compares living costs worldwide, the average monthly salary in SF is $7,800, which could be enough to keep your head above water while living and working in the Bay Area.

For folks who are long-distance moving and plan to stick to a specific relocation budget, there may be some hope if they choose professional movers to do it for them. Their services can significantly lower costs and let you put some of your hard-earned money into surviving the Golden Gate City.

By getting a car shipping service, additional custom packing, storage services for emergencies, and relocation insurance during the move, you’ll get some of these essential services for free, which won’t be possible when relocating alone. So, movers might be your best bet for saving up.

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Try to Rent an Apartment in the Following Neighborhoods

In some areas, you’ll have to downsize for a move and rent a smaller place. Some interesting small apartment ideas can make it feel homier. Whatever your goals are, you can find a place in SF. Here are some of its great neighborhoods:

  • For families: The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Piers – despite being tourist areas, they’re close to the waterfront and walkable; kids could have a lot of fun here,
  • For public transport and amenities: South Marina (SoMa,) Civic Center, and Downtown – these areas attract those that want the taste of SF’s nightlife and entertainment. If you wish to stay in the heart of the storm, these are the places for you,
  • For a diverse and alternative experience: The Mission, Potrero Hill, and Dogpatch – here, you can eat great food, relocate with pets, and enjoy the company of techies, filmmakers, the LGBT+ community, and even dandies,
  • For the classic Golden Gate City views: Russian Hill and Nob Hill – while our house hunting tips wouldn’t include someplace atop a steep hill, these two areas may prove us wrong. There are many residents of various backgrounds here, and the sunset views are to die for.

Where to Look for Jobs and Opportunities to Thrive as a Newcomer

While getting a job before relocating is recommended, it can be tough to think about everything while planning a move. Still, the chances of landing on your feet safely increase with every potential job offer on your roster. Now, getting those offers will depend on one thing only: connections.

Like everywhere else, connections make the business world go round, and if you want to be taken seriously within your industry, you’ll have to start creating a network long before you move. Use social media to make those connections and ensure you’ll be listened to, but be specific about who or what you want to be introduced to.

To circle back on SF being the ‘survival of the fittest’ kind of town, it’s typically like that because the job market is highly competitive. It seems Silicon Valley is only made up of established IT companies, but many small ones are still trying to work their way up the ladder in the area.

If you want to move there, you must have a great desire to make it in Golden Gate City. That is why visiting a few times before leaping into the Bay might be better.

There’s Still a Big Market for IT and Software Jobs, but Environmental Work Is on the Rise, Too

Relocating to a big place such as SF does offer benefits, and a diverse market is one of them. Sure, everyone knows it’s home to the most famous tech village globally, Silicon Valley, but this industry isn’t in the lead anymore.

The competition is still high, yet the biggest job opportunities have opened in the tourism sector, mainly because Covid-19 stopped it for a couple of years. Now that the world is starting to bounce back and people can again consider and decide where to live, tourism is experiencing a revival.

Industries besides tourism that need employees in SF are also environmental, life sciences, biotech, social and digital media, and international business. The top employers in SF are currently Uber (82,000+ people,) Lyft (22,000+ people,) Service Now (15,000,) and Atlassian (7,000).

Three young people working together on a computer
If you want to make it in the Bay, you have to make connections early on

This Environmental, Multicultural City Has Entertainment for Every Taste

Despite the unnecessary scares of what might happen if you move to a new town alone, there’s not much you should worry about in SF. It is a large place, full of folks from all walks of life, but making friends in a new place will never be as easy as here.

It is home to the most diverse and largest LGBTQIA+ community in the US, it has been voted the most bicycle-friendly town for a few years in a row, and it is filled with various communities. From Chinatown to Japantown and Russian Hill, you can experience the entire globe in just one place.

There’s nowhere else that can so seamlessly put together hipsters and dandies as SF can; people mingle, and niche museums, clubs, and markets are always open. You may experience slight depression after relocating, but we’re sure that acclimating to the place won’t be that difficult.

All in all, finding an apartment may not be that easy, and SF is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but what they say about NYC can also apply here – if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Except, you’ll never be able to replace SF or find similar vibes anywhere else.

A street view of Chinatown in San Francisco
In SF, you'll never feel alone or be without a place to mingle and make friends

Move to San Francisco With the Help of Cross-Country Movers and Experience the Bay Area at Its Finest

Comparing the good and bad of a metropolis such as San Francisco may sway anyone to choose differently. Still, if you’ve visited it and know there’s space for you under that city’s sky, you’re more than welcome to open up some tips for relocation day and start planning your move.

We hope that, as long as you know where and who you want to be, disappointment won’t find you or hold you in a bind. Stay true to yourself, and you will see that no place in the world rewards that as much as SF can and does. Now, go ahead, call movers and book a trip into the future.

Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

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