Moving to SF in a week. Where should I live?

Apr 7 27 Comments

Where / which neighborhood should I seek for an apartment? I’m moving there with wife and we might have child in a year.

TC 160

TC 260 new job, wife seeking new job (may take some time, and not engineering)


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TOP 27 Comments
  • CDK Global pWBq64
    I moved to SF 15 days ago, and was looking at rental apartments/house/condo. You might be needing a 2bed, 1 bath apartment/house. Useful resource: a combination of and

    Zillow has a feature called zestimate (which estimates what rental price of the apartment should be so that you know that you are not being completely cheated) and trulia (has info about the neighborhood: crime, schools, public transport, general stores, etc.

    Always wise to stay at a decent commute distant from work, so that it doesn’t frustrate you later. Traffic in this city is like no other city. Trust me, I have lived in Chicago downtown, and that doesn’t even cut close.

    You probably want to stay at a direct train/bus route, and avoid driving for work. Parking is usually $35 for the day in downtown. Monthly parking in downtown is maybe $250-300.

    If your office is in downtown, you can look for rentals on the other side of the bridge. There are several good options in the north and north east sub-urb, which are on a direct route via BART blue, yellow and red lines. You will most likely like a place there, which will keep your rent pressure closer to 35%.

    Most places have a 1.5 month rent as a security deposit. So, be prepared for that. They take that with the first months rent, and the total can approximately be 8-10k. Be prepared for that upfront expense.

    If you want to live in the city, you can try looking for western neighborhoods like inner Richmond, richmond district, outer Richmond, sunset.

    Anything 2-3 miles from downtown will be heavily expensive and smaller in size. For example, I have a friend who lives in the lower pacific heights and pays 4K for 2bed2bath for 1000 sq. ft. Another one in the same area pays 3k for 1bed 1 bath 800 sq. ft. Parking not included. I was able to find several places in the western neighborhoods that I mentioned earlier in $3200-3500 2bed 1bath houses 750-1200 sq. ft. Most of the time, you can find parking included with rent in these places.

    Another good resource is where you can select what you want, your budget, things that you care about the most, and then, apartments will be recommended to you based on your choices. Pretty good way to see what you really want, and what are the things that you are okay to compromise on.

    There are places that have rent control as well. That basically means that the annual increase for the apartment will be controlled. Not sure about the details, but, definitely explore that aspect if you have multi-year plan in the same house.

    It’s always better to start your search online during the week, and schedule open houses by wed/Thursday of the week. Try to club appointments in the same area together, it will save you a bunch of time. And the only way to do that is plan earlier in the week, otherwise it’s hard to find the time hat you want with the agents. They are super busy, but, very helpful and respectful of your time. At least in my experience.

    With all that said, it can be overwhelming at first. But, once you find a home, start exploring the city. By far, living in this city has been great, it has a unique vibe to itself unlike any other city I have lived in earlier. Weather is amazing the entire year, and lots of good places to explore along the bay. All the best for your move. Cheers!!
    Apr 7 6
    • New naduruk
      Accepted answer.
      Apr 7
    • OP
      100% accepted answer. I really appreciate the details!

      Did you live in something like extended stay until you found a place to stay? We’re thinking we might need a couple weeks to find a decent place considering I have to work during the day m-f
      Apr 7
    • CDK Global pWBq64
      Thanks guys. Glad that I could share these.

      Yes, I had a 30-day accommodation given by my employer for relocation. I was able to find a place in 2 weeks, so should be just fine for you. Having that initial accommodation really helped out. You can try talking to your employer about it.hopefully, something will work out.
      Apr 7
    • OP
      They don’t provide it unfortunately. I’ll be communing to Redwood City for work m-f, so I can only see apartments on weekends :(

      Do you know if any company that provides short furnished accommodations?

      It’ll be much better than extended stay.
      Apr 7
    • CDK Global pWBq64
      Unfortunately, no. I don’t know a company that does that. I have heard some people just do a 2-week Airbnb, but, that’s equally expensive as a hotel in most cases. Or even the furnished accommodation if you find one.
      Apr 8
  • Uber Tổng
    With that TC, be sure to bring a tent.
    Apr 7 2
    • Amazon crumb
      He can afford an RV and park it at Walmart
      Apr 7
    • Apple iCould
      There are no walmarts in sf
      Apr 7
  • Just wanted to throw in that I bet half these people saying 160 is not enough don't actually live in the bay. It's very doable, you can rent a 1 bedroom for easily under $2.5k unless your wife or you wants a mansion. Even after expensive COL and taxes and high rent you'll be fine.

    If you wanna save money and are willing to commute you can live a little further like Oakland (although Oakland is generally not super safe) or one of the South Bay cities like Cupertino (excellent school districts, kind of $$$ still but should get you more house per dollar than SF)
    Apr 7 3
    • New cmdcl84
      It's Blind, unless you're making $350k TC, you're considered poor.
      Apr 7
    • Facebook LavarBall1
      It’s true. I rented a 2700 studio while making 110 for 2 years. I now make more than double after 2 years.
      Apr 7
    • Amazon xlmxlm
      Oath is so right. My family and I lived on 25k/yr until i graduated couple years ago and got a job. Lots of government benefits helped us survive and succeed. We lived in Oakland

      A lot of gentrifying techies and wealthy new ppl want to live in prime areas, get best public/private schools for children, hire tutors, hire nannies, etc
      Apr 7
  • Salesforce Gjdh76c
    Does your wife have a job?
    Apr 7 0
  • Western Digital / Eng YhRR24
    Just live close to where you will work. Almost any savings from staying even 10 miles away would actually be a loss for your family.

    160k is good one if it’s mostly cash and given that you don’t plan to buy a home here and don’t need to brag about your earnings or be extravagant in your expenses.
    Apr 7 0
  • Uber $ROPE
    At 160 TC? GLHF hope she's working
    Apr 7 0
  • Square


    I'm Rick James bitch
    The lower parts of Nob Hill are the best values. Overall nice area, but near (not close) sketchy areas enough to keep the rent down. Nice neighborhoods that actually feel like part of SF and you can get downtown easily for work.

    Avoid Soma like the plague.
    Apr 7 0
  • Facebook Haggle
    Bernal heights, noe valley, glen park are nice and more family oriented. Sf school districts suck I’ve heard
    Apr 7 1
    • Facebook Haggle
      Just to clarify op I lived in bernal and liked it. The west neighborhoods are too foggy and cold for my taste while I feel like the south neighborhoods are as good of a commute, same price but better weather. (Those microclimates are insane)
      Apr 7
  • OP
    Please see my update on TC for the new job, and spouse employment status
    Apr 7 0
  • LinkedIn / Product gassoup
    Somewhere else.
    Apr 7 0
  • Synopsys nooffense
    Sent u chat message.
    Apr 7 0
  • Salesforce hfkkc7
    Glen Park is beautiful, cheap, and a great place to raise a family.
    Apr 7 0
  • Amazon crumb
    160k, good luck
    Apr 7 0
  • Salesforce teddybeer
    What’s your budget and commuting tolerance?
    Apr 7 0
  • Yahoo


    Salesforce, LinkedIn, Microsoft
    Financial district. Or may be near your company.
    Apr 7 0