Living in San Francisco – guide for beginners

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San Francisco is a world-famous tourist destination known for its steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture throughout diverse neighborhoods, chilly summers, fog, and sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Chinatown and Mission districts. Everybody has heard of it, no matter where they’re originally from. It remains one of the most famous cities in the United States to live in. There’s a good reason it is often called the Golden City, albeit you’ll hear the locals call it ‘San Fra’. In any case, living in San Francisco remains one of the most sought-after options for companies such as NationwideMovers. With the moving between US states being ever so popular, San Francisco takes a special place on the map of the western United States.

What’s so good about San Francisco?

It’s one of the most culturally rich cities in the USA, if not the whole world. There are plenty of opportunities for both traditional sightseeing, but also experiencing all the culture by yourself. Decades of steady and diverse immigration have made San Francisco to be a true hub of diverse, multicultural communities from all over the world. You’ll be able to enjoy all sorts of world countries, from all continents, in tens of different languages or dialects. Furthermore, thanks to this unique aspect, it also has a unique and interesting history that will appeal to many. Local will often tell you there’s not a chance you’re going to be bored when you’re in SF. Plenty of different activities, festivals, plays or concerts happen all the time.

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous things you can see if living in San Francisco.
The Golden State Bridge is definitely a hallmark of the city.

Moreover, there’s no particular time of the year when the city truly shines. It’s simply active all year round, with lots of parties and other activities happening 24/7. You will quickly notice how easygoing the locals are, and people who visit, or relocate to the area, often say it’s rather easy to find friends there. There’s something about the San Francisco spirit that’s quite special from other American big cities. As people who’ve hired interstate movers Florida often say, the city is rather different than anything they’ve seen elsewhere. The city is filled with charming cafes, parks, lots of sightseeing opportunities, and beautiful nature all around. It truly feels like a magical place within California.

What are the local prices, salaries, and so on?

In San Francisco, the average annual wage is $93,842. When you calculate it on an hourly basis, that works out to be about $45.12. This equates to $1,804 each week or $7,820 per month. When compared to the Californian average of just $29 per hour, you can quickly see how much more people make in San Francisco. In fact, some of the nation’s highest salaries can be found right here. There’s a good reason people will often move from all sorts of a states right to California, and precisely to San Francisco. However, without rent, the monthly costs for a family of four are close to $5,000. On the other hand, a single person, without rent again, is going to pay just around $1,400 for the same period.

A woman seen grocery shopping.
Grocery shopping can be quite expensive when living in San Francisco, just as other living costs are higher.

As you can see, even though the salaries are great, the living costs can get quite high really easily. San Francisco has a cost of living that is 38% higher than the state average and 94% more than the nationalaverage. When living in San Francisco, housing in the city is 238% more expensive than the nationalaverage, while utilities are 34% more expensive. When it comes to basic necessities like food and clothing, it is approximately 24% more expensive than the rest of the country, while clothing is approximately 24% more expensive. As you can see, residential moving to the city can mean a lot higher bills and costs. SF is definitely not a place to be if you don’t have high-paying jobs. On the other hand, thanks to the city’s strong job market, it’s going to be easy to find a respectable position.

What’s the thing about living in San Francisco that attracts the most people?

Different people will move to San Francisco for different reasons, as well. On one hand, the ever-expanding job market is surely something that attracts lots of people. This is especially true when talking about the tech sector which is experiencing a big boom. Lots of young professionals from all over the world and the United States are choosing San Francisco as their place for living. Those are some of the reasons people moving from Miami to San Francisco often list. On the other hand, there are plenty of other reasons, as well. Plenty of great educational institutions exist within the city. That attracts thousands of foreign top-notch students to the city, allowing it to attract the world’s brightest and best minds. Furthermore, since there’s lots of nature in the nearby area, it’s popular with people who want to live in a bigger city but still have access to it.

A man working on a computer, potentially for a company in San Francisco.
Living in San Francisco is especially popular with people working in the tech sector, due to the high paying jobs in the city.

What are some of the negative things about living in San Francisco?

Living in SF can also bring some negative things. One of the biggest complaints the locals have about the city is the terrible transport and traffic. This is something that can be found in any bigger city. Locals often say that the quality of local public transportation is inconsistent. Without a car, some people feel like they can’t access some parts of the city. On the other hand, the problem of air pollution in SF is also present. If you’re someone who’d better want to stay away from it, then definitely think twice before relocating to San Francisco.

Another common issue when living in San Francisco is the price of apartments. Depending on what you may ask, and what period of the year you’re looking to relocate in, rent prices can get abnormally high. And as with any bigger city, parking spots can be tricky to find. Another problem that people often complain about is lots of homeless people who stay around. There doesn’t seem to be a systematic solution to this, and with so many people living openly on the street, it creates a shady picture of the city.