Skip Navigation

Moving to California

Travel Forums North America Moving to California

1. Posted by lagosmm (Budding Member 50 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


I normally post at Travellerspoint for my world explorations - I recently got a job offer with a company based San Francisco, CA. I don't know what to consider as I move into the area. For you locals out there, if you could recommend me websites or sources to look at I would greatly appreciate it.

Here are few questions I have been thinking in the meantime; if you know of a key question I may be forgetting, please let me know. =)

1. Other than work, do I need a vehicle to get around?
2. Websites for rent?
3. Safety in the area?
4. Entertainment in the city?
5. Key city regulations I should be aware of?

Thank you in advance!

2. Posted by TravlScott (Budding Member 14 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I read your post and just had a couple of questions: Will you be living in the city of San Francisco itself or do you plan on moving to an outlying area and commute in (a popular option)? Is your job going to be located in downtown or is it somewhere within the greater San Francisco area or (as it kind of looks like) will you be working from home and telecommuting?

3. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 1999 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I currently live in the SF Bay Area, and work in the East Bay.

In answer to your questions:

1. Other than work, do I need a vehicle to get around?
Depends upon where your job is and how close you are to either the BART system or to the CalTrain--check out those two transit lines relative to where you plan to work and to live.

2. Websites for rent?

3. Safety in the area?
This takes to long to explain, but generally it is more dangerous in either the areas just north of Berkeley up to around Richmond and in the city of East Palo Alto. All the rest of the areas are okay.

4. Entertainment in the city?
Once again--there are way too many to list. This is a large American town known for its culture and its restaurants. As a result, you'll have no trouble finding lots of options--no matter what you are looking for.

5. Key city regulations I should be aware of?
Don't bring any large attack dogs, and don't carry firearms without a permit. Other than that, there's not much to mention.

4. Posted by TravlScott (Budding Member 14 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Calcurzer, you always come with some good information. I guess that's why you're a moderator.
Just to put in my meager two cents: Oakland, Richmond, and Fremont all had bad wraps at one point (as far as personal safety was concerned). But I'm only from Sacramento so I don't have the first-hand experience to make any definite claims (or at the very least, anecdotal claims).
On a brighterside: you will have plenty of time to find all fun and interesting things that can't be enumerated on this forum. One of my favorite places to stop by when I'm in "The City" is Bi-Rite Creamery (I have a ferocious sweet tooth). It's on Delores and 18th in San Francisco. Good flavors! Just my small offering of information there.

5. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2009 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

The city of SF is one of the nicest places in the USA to live - I lived there for 25 yrs until it just became too expensive for me (I'm retired). Many who work here live in the burbs and commute from the East Bay or Peninsula areas - it's just not the same thing! If you can afford it, then live in the city. Why, because the city lifestyle is so rich and rewarding. You will never be bored in this town - there's always something going on. Just walk down the street and you will be amused by the characters you encounter. No, you don't need a car if you live in town - very good transit with MUNI buses, subway and light rail + the BART train system for the general Bay Area. Renting an apartment is not one of the easiest, or cheapest, things you will ever do - they usually require a rental resume to apply to rent a unit here due to high demand. Everyone in the world wants to live here, and that's their stupid solution. Then there are the tourists - thousands of them, but city people usually just ignore them, and city people would not be found dead at Fisherman's Wharf. You will never regret your decision to live in this fantastic town!

6. Posted by lagosmm (Budding Member 50 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Thank you all for the help.

After doing more research, I now know the bay area is broken up into multiple types of regions. I know each is different both in the atmosphere it provides and the cost.

My main questions:

1. Good locations in San Fran and price?
2. Thoughts on San Jose and Palo Alto (location, price)?

Thank you again in advance! I have appreciated all your help thus far! =D

7. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 1999 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Since I don't live in the city of San Francisco, and bought my house over 11 years ago, it is difficult for me to answer your question concerning current rents in the city. As I said, I suggest you visit for updated information. The nicest areas are near the marina (north side of town closer to the Golden Gate Bridge. Another good part of town is out near the new baseball park. On the other hand, just south of market street near downtown is the worst part of town--really rundown. (The area called SOMA--south of market--which is a nice area, refers to the area that is about another 1 mile south.)

As far as Palo Alto and San Jose:

Palo Alto--this and the nearby town of Atherton are the two highest priced areas outside of San Francisco itself. The reason is that it is the home of Stanford University--and the land nearby has all been bought up years ago by those wanting to be close to the school or who work at business spinoffs started by Stanford students. But if you go east (to East Palo Alto) it is a very rundown lower-class area.

San Jose is different. The towns closeby and the downtown area are all nice areas, but if you are just south of downtown it isn't that nice--instead very run down. On the other hand, go another 8 miles south and you are still in San Jose, but now at the Silver Creek Country Club, where every home is about $1 million to $2 million.

As you can see, you really have to be here awhile to know the best areas for the money.