1 April, 2021
San Francisco is one of the most iconic cities in the United States, if not the world, and it's not hard to see why. Blessed with a stunning location on the California coast, known as the San Francisco Bay Area, the city has been a destination for immigrants since it was founded. Established by Spanish forces back in 1776, the city became part of Mexico after that country broke free of Spain. It wasn't until 1848 that San Francisco became part of the United States. But from that day on, it became a place for people to start a new life far away from the more populated East Coast. The city grew rapidly during the gold rush in 1849, and its natural harbor made it one of the most important ports on the Pacific.
Now, San Francisco is one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the United States. Buoyed by a more modern goldrush, the boom in tech companies located in nearby Silicon Valley, San Francisco is one of the country's most sought after and cosmopolitan places to live. This vibrant city is surrounded by some stunning natural areas as well as man-made ones, like the Golden Gate Park, making it an enduringly popular place to move to.
The County of San Francisco has the seventh-highest income of any county in the nation, with a per capita personal income of nearly $140,000. Currently, San Francisco has the highest salaries and the highest disposable wealth anywhere in the world. Buoyed by financial services and tourism, San Francisco's economy has also benefited from the Silicon Valley tech boom. The city is also a center for medical research, and the presence of the port also creates many high-paying jobs.
But there's more to San Francisco than the money. Located on a natural harbor surrounded by mountains with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop, the City by the Bay is absolutely beautiful. And with Point Reyes National Seashore, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and even the stunning Yosemite National Park not too far away, San Francisco is a city in the heart of some of the United States' most breathtaking wilderness.
Living in San Francisco means you'll never be bored. The varied neighborhoods of the city offer more different experiences than you could have in a single lifetime. From the anarchic gay village of the Castro to the glitzy old-money charm of Nob Hill to the trendy counterculture of The Haight or Hayes Valley, you'll find plenty to keep you occupied in the city. Plus, waves of immigration from around the world, particularly from Asia, have given San Francisco a culinary scene that rivals any on the planet.
San Francisco is also a very walkable city — provided you don't mind hills. Give your legs a workout exploring the city's many varied neighborhoods, and you'll be getting yourself in shape for the hiking trails of the surrounding hills and forests too. Living in San Francisco combines the best of city, ocean, and mountain life, so you'll never run out of things to do.
If you're the type that can travel light, moving to San Francisco isn't too tricky. Pack up your life in a single bag and fly into the city, and you can take the BART train right into San Francisco itself. However, if you have more to bring with you, it may be necessary to bring a truck to the city. Hiring your own truck and driving it yourself can save you money, but navigating the hilly streets of this coastal city isn't always easy. And parking is always at a premium. Easier if you can hire a local moving company and let them do the lifting.
However you choose to move to San Francisco, you can make things easier by using a package acceptance service. Receive your mail before you have a permanent address set up to make your move go seamlessly.
San Francisco has the highest rents in the world, so affordable here is a relative term. Look to the Tenderloin, Outer Sunset, and Inner Richmond areas for the closest thing you’ll find to a bargain.
Thanks in part to its warm climate and partly due to the high cost of living, San Francisco has a large homeless population that makes certain areas best avoided. Hunters Point, the Mission District, and certain parts of SoMa are best given a wide berth.
San Francisco's cost-of-living is one of the highest anywhere in the world. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $3,500, and you can expect to pay much more in desirable areas. To save money, consider living a little further out of the city and using transit to get into town when you need to.
San Francisco is known for its cable cars. In fact, San Franciscans have been using the city's cable car system since the 1870s. There are three different routes you can take if you're catching cable cars as a way to get around the city. Make sure you read up on which line to get and how to pay before you start to use them.
You can never have too many boxes when you're moving. San Francisco has plenty of hardware stores and moving supply companies where you can pick up some cardboard. Alternatively, online retailers such as Amazon and Uline can be great places to source boxes. Also, don't neglect local grocery stores, which may even provide you with boxes for free. Finally, ask friends and colleagues, especially those who may have recently moved themselves.
Finding an apartment in San Francisco isn't easy. Despite the high prices, good apartments get snapped up quickly. Often, it's about who you know. Make sure to leverage your social networks to see if anybody knows of a place that's available.
Failing that, websites such as Zillow, Facebook, Apartments.com, and Craigslist can all be helpful. Where possible, look for buildings built before 1979, as they may be rent-controlled and offer a relative bargain in this expensive city.
San Francisco is a city that can't help but make a good first impression. Its natural beauty is as much a part of that as the lively and vibrant culture of the town itself. If you're starting a new life, you could hardly have picked a better place to do it. San Francisco combines exciting urban life with access to beautiful nature in a way few other cities in the world do.
However, San Francisco is not without its challenges. One of the biggest of these is cost. Moving to San Francisco is a sure way to find out just how expensive life in paradise can be. And hunting for an apartment can almost feel like another full-time job in this popular place.
You can make things easier on yourself by using a San Francisco package acceptance service. This can provide you with an address to receive packages while you're househunting. And even once you've found a place to live, the service can safely hold large parcels in a convenient location for you to pick up later. If you live in a building that doesn't accept packages, this can be a lifesaver.
Whatever brings you to San Francisco, you’ll never forget the time you spend in this fascinating city. And like so many of the residents of the town, once you’ve lived there a while, you’ll wonder how you ever lived anywhere else.