Moving to San Francisco, CA


Looking for a change of scenery? Want to move somewhere new, exciting, and culturally diverse? Need to find a good job? San Francisco has your back.

People from all over pick up and make the move to the Bay Area due to work, the beach, and–we can’t forget–the food. (San Francisco has even been voted “1 in Best Foodie Cities in the U.S.” Check out Nopa, Plow, Zuni Cafe, and Tartine Bakery. You can thank us later.)

So, what is there to know before moving to San Francisco? Today, we’re going to share the ins and outs so you can figure out if the move is a “yay” or a “nay,” and start packing your bags. We hope you’re ready, Freddy!

The Basics of Moving to San Francisco: Data, Cost of Living, and Of Course, Jobs

Here’s what you should know about moving to San Francisco in 2022:

The Numbers: Population Info and Demographics

According to our good friend, the World Population Review, San Francisco is home to 884,108 residents. The city is the fourth biggest in the State of California, coming up behind L.A., San Diego, and San Jose.

Fun fact: it’s also the 17th biggest city in the U.S. There are about 18,850 individuals per square mile in San Francisco, which, as you might expect, can result in some pretty dense traffic.

The Cost of Living in San Francisco

California’s cost of living is understandably higher than the national average. After all, how can it not be with the vast number of activities, beaches, schools, etc.? That said, if you’re wondering about San Francisco’s cost of living, it’s considerably higher than the average cost of living in California and 169.3% higher than the national average.

The one area that’s cheaper in San Francisco is utilities, which is 2.5% less than the national average. All other areas (groceries, healthcare, transportation, and more) are all higher, particularly the cost to buy a home.

Housing is just over 496% percent higher than the national average, with the median home cost sitting at a “cozy” $1,471,200. (You’ll need a good job for those prices!)

The San Francisco Job Market

As we mentioned, it’s not exactly cheap to live in San Francisco, which is why the right job is important. So, how’s the job market here in the Golden City? We’ll put it to you this way: San Francisco scored 8.1 out of 10 in the job market index.

That’s good.

In fact, it’s so good that in December 2021 alone, out of the 50,200 jobs that California brought in, the Bay Area accounted for 20,900 of those. “The San Francisco-San Mateo region gained 7,000 positions, while the East Bay added 6,400 jobs,” according to one article.

Getting Around San Francisco

If you’re considering moving to San Francisco, you’re in luck. There are tons of ways to get around. First, we have to talk about Muni. If you haven’t heard of it, “Muni is San Francisco’s bus and metro system that runs throughout the city, operating buses, trains, cable cars, and the F-line heritage streetcar.”

It’s basically the go-to way to get around in San Francisco. You’ll also see a lot of people walk or ride their bicycles to work, or even hop on an Uber vs. driving their own vehicle.

When you move to San Francisco, you’ll find that it doesn’t take too long to get to some of the city’s best attractions if you’re in the center of the city. For that reason, you might just decide to get a good bike and hang up your car keys for now.

(Of course, you’re welcome to drive, too! To give you an idea of what it’s like driving in San Francisco, there are quite a few one-ways and hills. So, prepare for that. Rush hour usually goes on from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. or so during the weekdays.)

Where to Live in San Francisco? Here’s a Mini Neighborhood Guide

In San Francisco, there’s a neighborhood for everyone, from young professionals to growing families. Below are some of the best neighborhoods in San Francisco:

1. Bernal Heights: Great for Families and Young Execs

Let’s say you’re moving to San Francisco with your family, or you’re a young professional who’s looking for a quiet place to network, relax, and have fun on a Friday night. You want a neighborhood that feels safe. If so, you’ll love Bernal Heights. (One report even gives it an A- for family-friendliness and a B+ for public schools!)

This neighborhood is at the south end of the Mission District. Here, you’ll find Bernal Heights Park, the Alemany Farmers Market (AKA the “People’s market”), Saint Mary’s Playground, a variety of coffee shops and restaurants, and the list goes on. Oh, and we can’t forget Fiesta on the Hill or the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema. (Seriously, you have to check them out!)

2. Marina District: Beach Lovers

Love a beautiful view of the water? If so, the Marina might be just the neighborhood for you. It’s situated on the bay and is home to some of the top tourist attractions, including the Golden Gate Bridge.

In this neighborhood, you can check out the Fort Point National Historic Site, Crissy Field, Palace of Fine Arts, Fort Mason Center, and much more. There are also a long list of places to shop, including clothing boutiques Heritage Row, FAWN, and White Label.

3. Fisherman’s Wharf: Extroverts

This neighborhood is one of the top destinations for tourists in San Francisco–and for good reason. It can get pretty busy over there (introverts beware), but if you enjoy being around people and want to stay in on the action, you’ll love this famous part of the city.

There are multiple things to do, whether you’re moving to San Francisco after college and looking to meet new people or just really want to experience San Francisco in all its glory. Fisherman’s Wharf has Pier 39, an aquarium, and beyond. You can even check out Alcatraz by taking a ferry from Fisherman’s Wharf. You’ll find that this neighborhood is a top location for new families and young people based on the many activities. It’s also safe!

Moving to San Francisco: Pros and Cons

We’ve covered a lot about the pros of living in San Francisco. The job market is a big one, but how about some other pros (and are there any cons)?

Below are some things we haven’t discussed yet that many people wish they knew before moving to San Francisco:


High Earning Potential:According to ZipRecruiter, “As of March 11, 2022, the average annual pay for the Average jobs category in San Francisco is $72,813 a year.” So, while it can get spendy to live there, finding a good job at that level of income can make it much more manageable.

A few of the highest-paying industries include science and tech, analytics, and business and management. You also have many employers to choose from, including Salesforce, Wells Fargo, Discord, Amplitude, and ROBLOX.

Scenery:Scenery-ously. San Francisco is one of the most eye-catching places we’ve ever had the pleasure of calling home. It even makes the list of the “top 10 most beautiful cities.”

There are tons of Instagram-worthy photo spots, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps, Painted Ladies (think: Full House), and Twin Peaks. The bottom line is if you want good scenery, you can’t get much better than San Francisco.


Karl the Fog:Oh, good ole Karl the Fog. He has gained quite a reputation in San Francisco. What is he exactly? He’s exactly like he sounds. Fog! San Francisco sees roughly 108 foggy days annually. It can get so difficult to see sometimes that it’s safer not to drive.

The fog has put a stop to flights, sports events, and more. But don’t let this dismay you too much. The city gets plenty of clear days, too (about 160 every year, to be exact)!

High Income and Sales Taxes:If you already live in California, you’re probably used to paying a lot in income taxes. The personal income tax rate ranges between 1% to 12.3% based on your income and marital status, as well as whether you choose to file jointly or separately.

The sales tax rate in California sits at 7.25%. However, if you live in San Francisco, you’ll be looking at a combined rate of 8.63%, which includes the state, city, and county rates for sales taxes.

Good Luck With Your Move to San Francisco

Whether you’re thinking about moving to San Francisco alone or with family, we hope this guide made things a little easier for you. Now, we know that making a long-distance move is rarely easy (especially if you’re navigating a hilly city like this one), so if you want to make things even easier on yourself, consider hiring movers like Bellhop. We’re here to help.

Find movers near you today. We coordinate local and long-distance moves to San Francisco.