6 Things to Consider Before Moving to San Francisco

View of San Francisco under the San Francisco-Oakland Bridge

So you have decided to move to San Francisco; we can see why; it is a beautiful, vibrant city with tons of opportunities and one of the most diverse populations in the country. The City by the Bay has loads of career opportunities and is one of the best cities for foodies, but it’s also expensive and crowded, so you should know what you’re signing up for before you move here. 

Here are some things to consider:

Traffic!

The most obvious issue that you’ll face is traffic. Like many major metropolitan areas, San Francisco has a reputation for horrendous traffic. This is primarily because it’s an island city surrounded by mountains and water on three sides. The only way in and out is by bridges or tunnels, which can get clogged easily during rush hour.

If you can avoid driving yourself downtown during rush hour, do so! It will save you time, frustration, and money on gas costs. If you must drive, rent out a parking space to save yourself the headache of finding one; street parking is notoriously difficult. San Francisco monthly parking needn’t be expensive; you can find spaces for as little as $150 a month, saving you time and money. If you have a spare space, consider renting it out on the days you don’t use it to make some extra income.

The weather in San Francisco is much like that of other Pacific Northwest cities but has a few unique characteristics. The rainy season begins in October and lasts through March, with the most precipitation occurring on the east side of town. Foggy and windy conditions are expected during summer, while cool temperatures are typical year-round.

The hills and steep streets make San Francisco one of the hilliest cities in America; however, they also make it an ideal place to exercise! The city offers many opportunities for outdoor activities such as biking and hiking—plus, you can always walk uphill instead of taking public transportation when you’re trying to get somewhere fast!

Neighborhoods

Living in San Francisco can be expensive. However, like anywhere, not all neighborhoods are the same. We have some of the best neighborhoods in San Francisco that we think you might like:

  • Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow, and Presidio Heights are great family options. These neighborhoods are more expensive but also very family-friendly, with lots of green space nearby. So if you want to be close to the city center but still have a bit of space around you, these three neighborhoods would be perfect!
  • The Mission District is known as San Francisco’s hippie capital and is home to many artists who love the laid-back atmosphere. Its located near busy tourist attractions like Alamo Square Park or Dolores Park, where many concerts occur during the summer months (which can get noisy).
View over San Francisco on a Sunny day

Restaurants

You’ve probably heard about San Francisco’s incredible food scene. You know that it’s a city of choice for many chefs and restaurateurs who open their businesses here because they can’t find anything like it in other parts of the country. But what does this mean? What kind of restaurants are there in San Francisco?

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These days, food trucks are more popular than ever—many people prefer to eat on the street rather than inside a traditional restaurant. For this reason, you’ll find plenty of mobile vendors serving everything from tacos to burgers and even ice cream sandwiches.

What if you want to avoid eating out on the street? That’s fine, too; we have plenty of great sit-down restaurants where you can enjoy high-quality dining with top-notch service and atmosphere.

From Michelin-star restaurants with tasting menus featuring local ingredients grown by small farmers to hole-in-the-wall joints serving up delicious Chinese food at ridiculously low prices–we’ve got something for everyone here!

Fog is literally and figuratively everywhere

Fog is a common weather phenomenon in San Francisco, so if you’re moving here from a place where fog is rare, it may not be the most pleasant thing to deal with. Fog can be dangerous for drivers since it reduces visibility. It can also create some inconveniences, like having to wait until the sun burns off the mist before going outside or doing things like driving or walking around.

But fog also has its benefits! It creates an ethereal atmosphere; sometimes, you get lucky and see rainbows over Coit Tower. Plus, it makes photos look really cool 🙂

Fog shouding the Golden gate Bridge

Job opportunities are competitive

Job opportunities are competitive, and you must have a good resume, know how to network, and speak English.

If you are looking for work in San Francisco, there are many great companies in the area (like Facebook and Google). However, there is a high level of competition for these types of jobs because they pay well and offer great benefits. There is competition for entry-level positions at these companies and other tech companies in Silicon Valley.

You may also like: Our guide to what to ask for in a competitive expat remuneration package

Conclusion

Some people are surprised to learn that San Francisco is a charming city. Of course, a lot of this is because it’s located on a bay, which makes for some great views and opportunities for boating, swimming, and fishing. But there’s also plenty of natural beauty all around—hills, mountains, and even beaches! 

There are plenty of outdoor recreation options if you’re looking for something more active than just sitting by the water or hiking up a mountain trail. From sand volleyball at Ocean Beach to surfing at Fort Funston or Muir Beach, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy yourself outside while still being in SF!

It’s important to know what you’re getting into when moving to San Francisco. While it is a great city, some things should be considered before making a move here. First, be prepared when moving here by starting small and saving up some money before committing yourself financially. We hope this guide has helped you decide whether to move or not to move!

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