Relocating to San Francisco
If you are considering relocating to San Francisco, you will find an abundance of housing options available, from single family homes, luxury condos, to Victorian styles flats in the older established neighborhoods, to full service amenity rich complexes close to job opportunities. I encourage you to use my deep knowledge of San Francisco and its unique neighborhoods to help focus your search, to sort through the various neighborhood options such as South Beach, Mission Bay, Pacific Heights, Marina, Noe Valley and many others. There are over 88 neighborhoods just in the city of San Francisco, they are all different with unique offerings, transportation routes and shopping. Finding the “right” neighborhood to land in is key to your overall success and enjoyment. Remember San Francisco is a lifestyle city, so where you live in the city is critically important to your overall enjoyment.
People who are relocating to San Francisco are coming primarily for job opportunities and the exciting lifestyle. Many are new to the city as were we 20+ years ago having moved back to the US from overseas (Taiwan).
We moved from Taiwan and landed in the neighborhood of Cole Valley. A few years later we moved to our first condo in the Haight Ashbury (actually at the corner of Haight at Ashbury of all places). We loved that area of town as it has amazing shopping, restaurants and conveniences, close to the parks, beautiful architecture, great neighbors and more.
For newcomers to the San Francisco, one of the first things you'll need to do is familiarize yourself with the different neighborhoods that you might be interested in. See how the neighborhoods can affect your lifestyle, your weekday and weekend life, the ease and convenience of living close to a shopping street, and especially if you plan to commute.
To get you started, I have put together a comprehensive overview of the neighborhoods, schools and various resources. This guide that I will share over a few blog posts, can give you a feel for what might work for or not, regards to location, lifestyle, community and housing preferences in San Francisco.
As you explore the various neighborhoods, you'll also want to contemplate the decision to either purchase or rent a home. A consultation can help you clarify the steps associated with the logistics of selling property in your current location, identify homes or condos within your price point, work to find the right lending solution to bridge the gap financially, learn the best places to live that meet your goals.
San Francisco Relocation Guide: Step-by-Step!
Are you thinking of moving to San Francisco? Visualizing yourself moving from here to there sounds really easy, but when rubber meets the road there are so many moving parts that people need teams of people to help in the process.
My job is to make this process as straightforward and uncomplicated as possible for my clients, thus the creation of this guide. By taking a moment to look at each step independently, the entire process becomes much easier to understand and navigate.
Reasons to Move to San Francisco.
World Class City – As we all know, San Francisco is an amazingly beautiful city filled with architectural spender, fabulous neighborhoods and local shopping, diversity of people which I think is part of the magic that makes San Francisco so special.
Jobs and Opportunity – San Francisco is a magnet for jobs and opportunity to create a better life. Employment opportunities are found in the financial, medical, biotech, and technology industries.
Close to Outdoor Recreational – San Francisco has various venues to stay active, from running or kite boarding off Christy Fields, surfing Ocean Beach, your pick of beautiful golf courses, to a variety of sports leagues that will keep you active. Go a little further outside of city limits and you are in the heart of Marin County open space, or head to the mountains to ski. The city is located to where you literally can be surfing and skiing on the same day, if you were motivated.
Proximity to Wine Country – 45 minutes north and you are in the heart of Sonoma wine county, a little further down the road is Napa. Offering wonderful afternoon escapes or overnight luxury spas. Wine County is full of fantastic vineyards.
Community: As you probably already know, San Francisco is a mecca of various communities, all dependent on what someone is looking for. Relationships are forged within neighborhood specific groups, various sports and recreation clubs, networking opportunities and so much more. I know you can find other to share your similar interests, you just need to go out and look for it.
Small City Feel: It is true, unlike the East Bay or Peninsula where cities tend to blend into one another, San Francisco is unique as the 80+ neighborhoods all have specific characteristics. They all are made up of different conveniences such as shopping, parks, property characteristics, etc. One can simply find their preferred neighborhood and only really travel within it and surrounding areas.
Things To Consider:
To Start, Should I Rent or Own? One road is a little easier than the other when it comes to relocating into San Francisco. Clearly both renting and buying possess advantages and disadvantages. If you are new the area and under time constraints than renting for the short term does make a lot of sense. It is financially more flexible for you to enter into a new life in a new location. Renting also allows you to be somewhat non committed to a home or neighborhood, the typical lease term is at least 1 year. During that time many of my client will take their time to learn the different neighborhoods, tour homes / condos and move forward on purchasing those homes that work for them within a time that suits them.
Need to Sell Before You Can Buy? Renting also allows people to effectively sell their property on the backend of the move. It is always easier to prepare a home for sale while it is vacant. Once the home is vacant our teams of painters, floor refinishers, handyman and stagers are able to bring the property up to move-in condition, which always set the bar higher on home values.
Financial Options Also Play Into Establishing A Strategy: When planning your move you should be discussing your financial options with a qualified lender. Get your financial house in order is always the best place to start. Know your limitation on values and options if you can bridge the financial gap, meaning you can buy your new home and close escrow and either sell or rent your old home on the back side.
It Might Make Sense to Rent Your Current Residence: Depending on your financial portfolio, it might make sense to keep the current residence and rent it out for a few years. That is exactly what we did and to our clear benefit. Not only did we break even on overall cashflow, the market was appreciating so holding for an additional 3 years really helped us out. SF real estate market changes quickly and we clearly benefitted for holding on to the asset for a few more years. Once again, it really comes to your overall financial portfolio and if it makes sense to hold. Also, you would need to consider what type of real estate you are holding, if rent or eviction control comes into play.