You’ve decided that moving to San Francisco is high on your list of priorities because you’ve heard all about this amazing city and everything it has to offer.

Relocating, however, can be incredibly stressful and fraught with issues, especially if you’re not properly prepared. Read on for some advice to help make your move to San Francisco as hassle-free as possible.


Visit before you move

You might have heard a lot of great things about San Francisco, but that isn’t enough to justify a move, especially if your decision to relocate is not tied to a job offer (or other obligation).

a man packing his clothes into a yellow suitcase before taking a trip. Next to the open suitcase, there is a white phone, a black notebook, a pair of glasses and a laptop.

First, you should visit San Francisco and get a feel for the city to make sure that you actually like it. Just because a lot of other people love it doesn’t mean that you will be as fond of it as they are. Don’t assume that you can get to know a city just through pictures or on screen. You have to actually go there to determine if it’s a place you’d like to live. Even if you get a great job offer, it’s still worth visiting the city. There’s nothing worse than living in a place you don’t like, especially after you’ve already gone through the hassle of relocating there. 


Prepare for your move

Preparation is the key to a hassle-free move. In this case, we highly recommend that you start by talking to an immigration lawyer and researching the cost of living in San Francisco as well as the average salary there.

San Francisco is actually the most expensive city in the United States, which may or may not come as a surprise. The problem is that if you’re not aware of how much it will cost to live there, you might find yourself stuck in a city that you can’t really afford.

This information is also important to help you determine whether or not you should accept a certain job offer. If the salary you’re being offered is far beneath what you could comfortably live on, then you might want to pass on the opportunity, or, at the very least, negotiate a better salary and benefits package. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities.According to GoBankingRates, you need to earn about $98,000 a year in San Francisco to cover the necessities and have some disposable income. Although that’s without the possibility of setting aside anything for savings. If you want to save money, then you need to earn even more – around $123,000 a year.

Knowing this information now means that you won’t have any unpleasant surprises when you arrive. The last thing you need is to discover that you can barely stretch your paycheck to cover rent and food. You may even want to consider getting a cosigner so that you won’t find yourself in any sticky messes down the road. 

Since San Francisco is so expensive (a whopping 63% above the national average) you also should consider having some savings before making the move.

Remember that it will take a few weeks for you to get your first paycheck, so you will definitely need to have some cash on hand for your living expenses until then.


Find a job

Technically, finding a job should be part of the preparation stage of moving to San Francisco. Obviously, if you arrive in the city without any way to earn money, and without a sizable nest egg, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble. As we said, this city is very expensive, so you definitely shouldn’t be moving to San Francisco without the means to support yourself.

Unfortunately, if you wait to find a job until after you’ve already moved to San Francisco, you might be so desperate to get any form of income that you will take the first offer that comes your way. This isn’t wise. It will make life even more difficult in the long term, especially if you’re not being paid what you’re worth.


Choose a neighborhood

Once you’ve found a job, you need to decide on a neighborhood. There are a couple of factors to consider when choosing where in San Francisco to live. Some neighborhoods are cheaper than others, so if you want to lower the cost of living, then you might consider a cheaper suburb on the outskirts of the city.

On the other hand, the distance to your place of employment will also be an important factor. You’ll spend so much time commuting, and the cost of transportation is so high that most people are willing to pay a premium to live closer to the office. 


Find a place to live

Now that you have a general idea of which areas you find appealing, it’s time to find an apartment. Rent is expensive in San Francisco but it’s still a highly competitive market. Therefore, finding an apartment that matches all of your requirements might be difficult.

One of the best possible options is to rent from a company like Blueground. They offer beautiful apartments for a minimum of one month, in some of San Francisco’s best neighborhoods. They’re all fully-furnished and completely equipped. So, you can find your move-in ready space even before your arrival. Have your new home ready and waiting for you will make moving to San Francisco much easier. You won’t have to worry about buying or transporting furniture or even setting up utilities. All you have to do when renting from Blueground is show up and start living. 


Hire a moving company

If you’re looking to save money when moving to San Francisco, one area you definitely don’t want to skimp on is the moving company. Getting your stuff to your new apartment yourself might be problematic because of the crowded and the hilly terrain that this city is known for.

two men in the back of the moving van picking up and loading cardboard boxes

Furthermore, the last thing you want is to spend an entire day carrying boxes up to your apartment. In the best-case scenario, you’ll be tired and irritated, and in the worst, you could suffer an injury that will lay you up in bed for days or even weeks. Instead, hire a professional moving company that is experienced in getting around the city to make moving to San Francisco as hassle-free as possible.

And if you find that your belongings don’t all fit into your new home, you’re in luck because there are numerous portable storage options available for you in SF.

Rate this article


Share article

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.

I accept