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Tips For Moving to San Francisco

If visions of the Golden Gate Bridge are filling your head and the city apartment hunting is in full force, one thing seems to be true: you’re moving to San Francisco.

Whether you got a new job or just need a change of pace, moving can be a cause for excitement — and sometimes, stress.  

From public transportation and storage spaces to finding the best furnished apartments in San Francisco, let’s take a close look at top things to know about moving to San Francisco. Read on for our tips and tricks.

Befriend Public Transportation

If you’re moving to San Francisco without a car, you’ll be just fine — though if you have a parking space available, a car will grant you the ability to easily explore surrounding areas like the Napa Valley and Point Reyes National Seashore. For travel within the city, here’s a variety of public transit options that allow you to go by land or sea:

  • The Ferry: Take the ferry across the way for a scenic journey to Sausalito Island. 
  • Cable cars & Trolleys: The cable cars and trolleys, known as the Muni Metro, will get you up and down the famous steep hills of the city (and offer a great chance for a photo opportunity). 
  • BART: You can also take the BART trains, also known as Bay Area Rapid Transit, which will easily get you to and from the East Bay into the city. 
  • Buses: There are also city buses that are easy to use and the PresidiGo, which is a free shuttle that moves between the Transbay Terminal, Embarcadero BART, Union Street/Van Ness Avenue, and the Presidio.

If you’re coming to the city without any public transportation experience, no need to fear. Learning how to navigate the system is pretty straightforward and once you master it, you can help all the other SF newbies do the same. If you’ll be without a car, it’s a good idea to look for a place close to public transit; the convenience of hopping on and off and easily arriving home after a long day at your office or coworking space in San Francisco can’t be beaten. 

Embrace the Variety of Places to Live

One of the most exciting moving to San Francisco tips is to choose one of the best places to live in San Francisco. The neighborhoods and districts of San Francisco all have their own unique culture. Whether you’re grabbing a bowl of clam chowder from Fisherman’s Wharf or suiting up for a workday in the bustling streets of the Financial District, each area has its own vibe. 

If you’re looking for easy walkability and hip nightlife, try SoMa. If you’re more into upscale boutiques and cute cafes, Hayes Valley might be the way to go. A beachy family coming from San Diego and looking for a big home to spread out might do best near the ocean in Outer Sunset. Of course, for long runs along the water, Mission Bay is a beautiful place to call home. 

One of the best parts of San Francisco is there’s so much packed into such a relatively small area. Do your research and narrow it down with what’s important to you. A good way to do this is to list five things that are important — like being near a yoga studio, proximity to the park, or an abundance of restaurants. From there, you can find the spot that feels like home. 

Utilize Storage Spaces (If You Need To)

When you’re planning a move to San Francisco without a solid home base lined up, you might need storage space during the in-between time. Maybe a garage to store all your seasonal ski gear is part of the 5-year plan, but not exactly practical when it comes to renting out a studio or one-bedroom apartment in the city. 

Luckily, storage spaces abound in the area, and moving to San Francisco doesn’t have to mean shoving all your gear into the hall closet and foregoing the luxury of in-home space. Keep in mind that you may be able to find better prices on storage units if you get out of the immediate city area (hint: try Daly City near the San Francisco International Airport or San Mateo in the East Bay).

Become Familiar With School Districts

If you’ll be moving to San Francisco with little ones, or are considering starting a family in the future, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with school options. The San Francisco Unified School District is the only public school district in the city. Established in 1851, San Francisco’s school district now serves over 55,500 students across 160 institutions. 

There are also a variety of private schools in the city, which offer different programs and various approaches to teaching. Families can sometimes feel overwhelmed when moving to the city, but try not to worry. Lots of families live happily with kids in 2-bedroom apartments. Remember that the beauty of living in San Francisco is that all you have to do is venture outside the front door of your apartment complex — and the world awaits.

Consider the Average Cost of Rent

One of the most important things to know about moving to San Francisco — that may not come as a surprise — is the expensive cost of rent. In June of 2019, a national report released the average rent at a cost of $3,700 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. Keep in mind that this can fluctuate depending on the year, and many apartments are listed well-above this average rent. Of course, with that higher cost of rent, comes access to some of the most stunning natural landscapes, iconic landmarks, luxury apartments, and world-class dining. If you come along for the adventure, you’ll have no problem at all leaving your heart in San Francisco. 

Find (And Love) Your Apartment 

Finding an apartment in San Francisco might at first seem like a daunting task. Once you nail down the location you love, or a few top locations, it’s time to begin the rat race of applying. Set your budget, start your search, then go through the process of credit checks, pets, and application status. There are several websites online that can help you best navigate how to find an apartment in San Francisco and if you’re lucky enough to know someone in the city, they can help you out with those “for rent” signs that seem to pop up sporadically and without warning (and then disappear just as fast). 

You can also go the route of using Landing’s furnished apartments in San Francisco for either the short term or the long term. We offer flexible leases that save you the hassle and the stress. Our homes are expertly curated and move-in ready. In a place like San Francisco where it can be costly to rent and furnish an entire apartment, living in a furnished apartment with Landing is the perfect option. All you have to do is bring yourself and settle right in.

Create a Landmark Bucket-List

If you’re a history buff or landmark enthusiast wondering — should I move to San Francisco? — the answer is without a doubt, yes. San Francisco is home to so many sensational landmarks, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the gardens, trails, and museums of Golden Gate Park. There’s the incredible Palace of Fine Arts, Coit Tower, and the Ferry Building and Alcatraz Island across the way. 

If you’re moving to San Francisco and haven’t spent much time there, we like the idea of a landmark bucket list. This is especially true if you’ll be busy and working during the week, as the weekends offer a prime time to explore the museums, landmarks, and all the things that make this special city what it is. To gear up for your big move, grab a piece of paper or a dedicated SF notebook, and start jotting down ideas for your landmark bucket-list.

Living with Landing in San Francisco 

Whether you’re relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area next week or next year, we hope these tips have helped you on your moving quest. Remember, moving is all about taking things one step (and one box) at a time. Try not to get overwhelmed and celebrate the little victories as they come.

If you need any help searching for furnished apartments, feel free to contact us today. We’re happy to help and happy to house you — from digital nomads to startup founders — we’re here for you. 

The good news is, if you don’t want to pack anything at all, just show up with your toothbrush and your new home with Landing will be ready and waiting for you.

3 replies on “Tips For Moving to San Francisco”

[…] Moving to San Francisco is an exciting endeavor where you’ll become familiar with cute cable cars and days spent in Golden Gate Park. So, let’s take a closer look at things to keep in mind when you’re wondering how to find an apartment in San Francisco. Wherever you’re coming from, and wherever you’re moving, we’re certain you’ll love calling this magnetic and majestic city your home. Whether you’re looking for a small unfurnished studio or furnished apartments in San Francisco, our San Francisco rental guide will help steer you in the right direction.  […]