You’ve probably heard that the cost of living is high and housing expensive in San Francisco. So why would you want to move there?
Actually, there are plenty of compelling reasons why you should consider moving to the San Francisco area.
For one thing, the housing market offers opportunities that you can’t find in most other markets. The cost of living isn’t as high as it seems on the face of it. And there are the weather, the outdoor lifestyle, the progressive culture, the culinary scene, and more. See . . . lots of reasons.
Let’s take a deeper dive, then, and see why a move to San Francisco just might be a smart move.
Benefits of Living in San Francisco
The reasons to move to San Francisco are, of course, the benefits of living there, for example . . .
Yes, the city has its share of fog, but that pales in comparison to the weather extremes – cold and snow, searing heat, oppressive humidity – you’ll find in other areas. “In fact, San Francisco has the coolest daily temperatures in the country for June, July, and August. And did we mention there’s no humidity? While your friends on the East Coast are sweating their tushies off, you’ll be sitting pretty in a light sweater.”
With its temperate coastal climate, San Francisco “reaches 80 degrees F or higher on an average of [only] 21 days per year.” And at the other end of the seasonal weather spectrum, “the coolest the city gets is about 50 degrees F in January.”
And all that mild weather, naturally, makes the San Francisco area a great place for people to enjoy the outdoors. But there’s also the breathtaking natural beauty.
“Outdoorsy types are drawn to living here because of the region’s stupendous natural beauty. Muir Woods, just 12 miles north of San Francisco, gets you a bonafide California redwood experience. Mount Tamalpais, a 2,571-foot peak in Marin County, is supposedly where the mountain bike was invented. Angel Island, a short ferry ride away, is the Bay’s largest island, where you can bike on the elevated trail with gorgeous views. Sigmund Stern Recreational Grove’s tall pines and fragrant eucalyptus are the idyllic backdrop to the well-known free summer Sunday concert series featuring San Francisco’s world-class symphony.”
But you don’t even have to leave the city for outdoor recreation because San Francisco has numerous parks. Presidio Park offers 11 miles of hiking trails, and Dolores Park boasts a “Disneyland-esque playground.”
San Francisco was, of course, the epicenter of both the gay rights and the counterculture movements. And that phenomenon has continued right up to the present with its “minority-majority population and global community” where “[e]veryone fits in.”
Arts and Culture
When it comes to arts and culture, San Francisco has just about everything you could want – “from world-class museums and symphonies to one of the largest collections of street art in the world.” Just consider these many possibilities:
- San Francisco Symphony
- San Francisco Opera
- San Francisco Ballet
- Palace of Fine Arts
- Museum of Modern Art
And for the sports fans, there’s no shortage of pro sports offerings in this city. “Whether you’re a football, baseball, basketball, hockey or soccer fan, the Bay Area has a pro team (or two) for you – and many are very good.” Here are just a few of them:
- Golden State Warriors (NBA champs in 2015)
- San Francisco Giants (three-times World Series winners in the past six years)
- San Jose Sharks (2016 Stanley Cup playoffs participants)
- San Francisco 49ers (host of Super Bowl 50 in their new state-of-the-art stadium)
Three More Reasons to Move
And if the above isn’t enough to convince you, here are two more great reasons to move to San Francisco . . .
Good Salaries and Job Opportunities
As we’ve mentioned and as you know, housing is pretty pricey in this city. But the good salaries and ample employment opportunities more than offset that.
“In May of 2019, 20.5% of all jobs in San Francisco were in the tech industry. For workers in those jobs – especially in technical roles – pay is among the highest in the country. Across all industries, salaries in the Bay Area averaged over $100,000 per year at the end of 2019.”
Further, “workers in the San Francisco metro area earn wages that are 42% higher than the national average. The minimum wage in SF is the second-highest in the country (after Seattle) at $16.09 per hour. . . . Across all industries, salaries in the Bay Area averaged over $100,000 per year at the end of 2019.”
Lower Cost of Living Than It Seems
If you look at the San Francisco cost of living on most cost-of-living indices, it seems to be high. But overall living costs are skewed by housing prices. The cost of living is actually well below that in other places in a couple of areas.
Utilities are in fact very affordable, owing in large part to the mild climate. Air conditioning and central heating aren’t really necessary, so utility costs are very low for many San Franciscans.
And then there’s transportation – a huge cost for many in other parts of the country. But many San Franciscans pay little to nothing for transportation because the city is compact and extremely walkable. In fact, 40% of residents don’t own a car because they don’t need to
A “typical home in San Francisco is worth $1.26 million, which is the record high for the city . . . That’s up 11.6% from a year ago and 2.8% since April.” But there’s some good news that offsets this . . .
Currently, in most markets across the country, inventory is low and demand is high. This means that sellers are in the driver’s seat most of the time. But those conditions don’t obtain in the San Francisco market.
“Unlike the rest of the country, Bay Area home buyers are seeing more options on the market compared with last year . . . San Francisco’s housing inventory in May went up 8.7% from April, and 25.6% from this time last year. . . . Inventory in San Francisco has been rising monthly since February, according to the report . . . And inventory in San Francisco has been seeing year-over-year gains since last August, while nationwide inventory in May was down 31% from last year.”
In San Francisco, then, you have more home-buying options because inventory is higher than elsewhere. Still, homes are selling very fast, so buyers have to act quickly. And that’s why it’s so important to have a good agent in your corner.
The Agent Advantage
And that brings us to an important point to consider when moving to San Francisco: the importance of an experienced local agent.
As we just pointed out, the San Francisco real estate market is, well, different. And another of those differences is the highly competitive nature of buying/selling a home in or near this city. Many deals are done before properties ever hit the market. That’s why need an experienced agent who knows the local market inside and out.
You can find the agent you need at San Francisco Premier Properties – where the emphasis is on helping clients find the best deal possible and making the whole process as pleasant as possible.