(Closed) Maybe moving to the Bay Area! Help!

posted 9 years ago in San Francisco Bay Area
Post # 3
155 posts
Blushing bee

Try Bernal Heights.

Post # 4
41 posts
  • Wedding: September 2009

Hey! I just moved here this year, so I feel ya’!  There are lots of neighborhoods to choose from, so…. You could probably get a studio for ~1400 in the Mission or other central neighborhoods in the city… Just depends on how cheap you are looking to go.  If you can go a little higher (~$2000), you should be able to get a little 1 bedroom in a neighborhood that you’d like.  

Post # 5
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I’d recommend starting with the Mission, South of Market, Duboce, Buena Vista, the Haight and Inner Sunset. These are probably the lesser-expensive “hubs” where you’ll have lots of neighborhood action, buzz and convenience. Parts of the Mission and SOMA can be sketchy at night, but that said, San Francisco is a pretty safe city. I’ve lived in different parts of the city through the years and I’ve never felt threatened or unsafe (even alone at night).

Post # 7
399 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Areas around Clement Street in the inner Richmond are a bit more affordable and you will have access to a cool street with some great restaurants and bars.

If you decide to venture to the other side of the bay, I can recommend the following neighborhoods in Oakland: Piedmont Avenue, Rockridge (a little more pricey), Lake Merritt (stay to the north of the lake, closer to Grand Avenue), and Glenview.  Your rent money will get you a little bit more in Oakland than SF.

Good luck with your move!


Post # 8
1490 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Oakland and Berkeley are super cool places to live with great food, great art scenes, and more trees than San Francisco. They’re also a quick BART ride away from the city.

Post # 9
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

When we lived in the city, we lived South of Market, which was a really great “starter” place to be first moving to the city, because it was close to a lot of touristy hot spots that we loved (the ferry building, downtown, and it was easily accessible to BART and the MUNI). 3 years ago when we lived there, we paid $1350 for a 460 sq ft. studio. It was tight quarters, but the lease was only 6 months and then went month to month with no raise in rent after that for a year… so it was a great place to start in and put the “feelers” out to discover which neighborhoods we liked best, rather than comitting to a 1 year lease somewhere and end up not liking it (but to be honest, we looooved SOMA and would have never lived anywhere else).

This was our apt. complex:


It was easily accessible to… well, everything. And, I felt very very safe there!

Good luck and hope that helps! San Francisco is an amazing city and a great place to live for a young couple!!!

Post # 10
20 posts

Aw San Francisco is so cool. Moved here just over a year ago as well… if you are set on the city, definitely look at what you are comfortable spending. It is far more expensive than most cities (compared to where I’ve lived, LA, Boston, Toronto etc.) I am looking to relocate into the city now, living in Emeryville (right between Berkeley and Oakland). It’s a great location, 12 minute drive to downtown (25 minutes during rush hour) and the subway (Bart is nearby) we have free shuttle bus around our little town… the biggest difference I notice when searching in the city, aside from price (all the posts gave good suggestions on neighborhoods) but the hard part is finding everything you want. For example, if I compare what I have now in Emeryville (ammenities, parking, rent) I get a lot less in SF but for at least $400 more. Some apts don’t have full bath, just shower, limited closets, no parking (or street only, or for $$ only). Depends what your deal breakers are… you will find something though! So dont fret about that. Good luck, feel free to ask more questions if they come up. I know what it’s like to be new.



Post # 11
41 posts
  • Wedding: September 2009

Also, fyi: we just requested a rent decrease of $200 and our landlords gave it to us! So–if you’re looking around, it couldn’t hurt to negotiate with landlords right now…. places are hard to keep filled in the city right now and rents are dropping so you might get a deal. 

Post # 12
2470 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We just moved here too (what up keho) and we live in East Bay which is more suburban. I work in SF so its easy to take the BART in. I can’t help with neighborhoods IN SF but I would suggest checking out emeryville and some parts of Oakland like Rockridge .. its still “City-esque” but you might be able to find a little cheaper rent.

Post # 15
828 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I don’t know how expensive Albuquerque is, but SF is really pricey, unless you are willing to settle for a tiny little place in a sketcy neighborhood. Can you give us more of an idea of what sort of place you’d like to live in? Do you want an authentic Victorian, a sleek loft, a free-standing house, or just a basic bland apartment? 

For example, if you want to live in a new or newish (last 10 years) high-rise or many unit building, SoMa (South of Market) is where you should be looking. There’s lots of places in SoMa that don’t have much character, but are somewhat affordable for a new space. Previously, my fiance lived in a 400 sq ft studio in a bland newish building and paid $1600/month. Most places in SoMa will start around that price for the same square footage. 

I know the most about SoMa, because that’s where I live. It’s a very modern, industrial neighborhood, so if that’s your thing, cool. It’s quite safe, but more so in the lower numbers (below 6th) DON’T live anywhere near the Tenderloin because you’ll probably get stabbed. 

South Beach is well, south of SoMa, and has a ton of new (in the last year) many-unit buildings. It’s really clean and quite inoffensive, near a lot of chain stuff like Starbucks and Safeway. Try looking for buildings owned by the “Avalon” company in SB and SoMa. They’re pretty bland, but reliable. 

The Sunset might be a good option if you want a single-family home, it’s still technically the city but is right up on the coast. I don’t know about the prices, though. 

Hayes Valley is pretty and full of authentic Victorians, but it’s quite expensive and not near any grocery stores, unless you like eating at cute clothing boutiques 🙂

The Mission is cheaper, but has some really, really bad neighborhoods. Alternately, a ton of hipsters. 

Portrero Hill is a nice option, it feels a little like SoMa, and has some nice industrial living spaces if that’s your thing. 

I don’t know anything about The Richmond, but I always find it depressing over there. More old buildings than anything else. 

The Castro is expensive but has some great Victorians.

Forget about anything like The Marina, Cow Hollow, and Russian Hill. That’s where the uber-rich people live. 

Cole Valley and The Haight have a lot of authentic old buildings, and is really close to Golden Gate Park. This may or may not be a bonus depending on your tolerance for burnouts and hippies.

Whoo, I think I covered most everything! Sorry for the super-long post, I just wanted to make sure I covered everything. As mentioned above, I know the most about SoMa and some of South Beach, so if you want to ask any questions, feel free to message me. 

PS- Craigslist will be your best bet for finding someplace!

Post # 16
355 posts
Helper bee

Welcome to the Bay Area!  I live in SOMA too and I love it.  It’s not as cutesy as some of the other neighborhoods but the convenience can not be beat.  Plus it’s warmer here than a lot of the other neighborhoods. 

Although moving is a complete pain, one option is to get a studio in SOMA (Avalon, Archstone, Bayside Village, etc) for a month or two and then explore when you get here.   There are some decent deals in the rental market right now but they still get snapped up quick and it’s hard to search remotely.  There is, as Nexus noted, an amazing variety of housing types and neighborhoods.   Also, in this market, you can haggle on the rent.  My building just lowered my rent by $100 when my lease was up to get me to stay. 

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