Relocating to San Francisco

  • AntiHer017

    Posts: 24

    Sep 18, 2011 10:09 PM GMT
    In the next few weeks I plan on moving out of my parents house in New Jersey and relocating to San Francisco. I was wondering if anyone out there has any advice on locations to live, good places for leisure, the gay community, the best websites to job hunt, ways to prepare myself, and any other advice that will help someone when they are moving to a completely new place.
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Sep 18, 2011 11:29 PM GMT
    ur moving our of ur parents house "in the next few weeks" and u dont know where to live or work yet?

  • AntiHer017

    Posts: 24

    Sep 18, 2011 11:33 PM GMT
    Import saidur moving our of ur parents house "in the next few weeks" and u dont know where to live or work yet?



    Don't worry about that, worry about what I asked. Please icon_smile.gif.
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    Sep 18, 2011 11:54 PM GMT
    What type of job? How much you want to spend for rent? Do you have a car?
  • AntiHer017

    Posts: 24

    Sep 19, 2011 12:23 AM GMT
    Yourname2000 thanks for the feedback!
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    Sep 19, 2011 12:32 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidActually, I'm with Import on this....sounds like you're planning things with your little head, not the big one. icon_biggrin.gif

    You're talking about moving to one of the most expensive cities in North America without a job (in this economy). Unless you have large reserves of cash I personally would be getting things more lined up from home...this "in the next few weeks" seems foolishly rushed.

    Whenever I've moved to a new city, I've really benefited from the experience of others on what areas to AVOID (one city I moved to had all these pockets of gang turf and ex-prisoner housing...one of the landlords I was talking to took the time to draw on a map a bunch of really high-crime areas). I personally move into my first place expecting it to be temporary....in fact, ideally, I want my first place for only a couple of months (so maybe look for a roommating situation for now). In those first couple of months, I scope out the city and figure out where *I* want to live. (Without knowing you, it will be difficult for someone to do that for you.)

    My impression of San Fran is that you needs boatloads of moola...my sister was renting what was basically a walk-in closet for $1600 month. Some businesses (car repair) are nearly priced out of operating on the pennisula. Going there without solid job prospects just seems foolhardy. You could be on the street in a couple of months. Everyone is online...whatever your field is (even if you're just looking for a mcjob), you can apply online. You're in a position of strength to continue to plan this from home, keeping your resources intact. Not sure if you're going to be able to get much of this done "in the next few weeks".

    My two bits. icon_smile.gif Good luck! Sounds like a great goal.
    I agree VERY strongly with this post. As a former resident of the city of SF AND an employment personnel advisor while there, I have seen my share of relocation failures. Many a young person has wanted the dream to live there and most do not survive. As Yourname as stated, unless you have a good job or boatloads of money, your failure is almost inevitable. I know, kinda dreary news but its fact. With the numbers of SFers that are out of work scrambling for the precious few jobs available (most are the bottom end) Its not a smart move.
    I wish you luck if you decide thats what you are definitely planning on doing, but remember that you're at a disadvantage in more ways than one.
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    Sep 19, 2011 12:35 AM GMT
    Setting up a life in SF 101:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=sf+neighborhoods

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/jjj/
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/zip/

    Craigslist was founded here, is headquartered here, and it's still the primary and most comprehensive source for all things in the SF bay area: housing, jobs, furniture, free stuff, etc.

    I don't recommend it for hook ups or finding a boyfriend, however ;)
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    Sep 19, 2011 12:42 AM GMT
    If you "must" move to California, ESPECIALLY the Bay Area....have you thought about suburbs OUTSIDE SF? Usually rent is cheaper but not by much. Or look at Central CA or down south (Not LA area like Inland Empire, away from LA and Ventura County) California is more largely a car state versus New Jersey (in my opinion) I know, you probably want a gay scene and all that but, you have to factor in what everyone else is saying. (Car, Job, etc)
  • AntiHer017

    Posts: 24

    Sep 19, 2011 12:47 AM GMT
    iguanasf-thanks this is the type of stuff I was looking for icon_smile.gif
    tropicalmark-i understand where you are coming from and thanks for the advice.
    xaldyn-maybe I will look around neighboring areas icon_biggrin.gif thanks!
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    Sep 19, 2011 12:50 AM GMT
    Xaldyn saidIf you "must" move to California, ESPECIALLY the Bay Area....have you thought about suburbs OUTSIDE SF? Usually rent is cheaper but not by much. Or look at Central CA or down south (Not LA area like Inland Empire, away from LA and Ventura County) California is more largely a car state versus New Jersey (in my opinion) I know, you probably want a gay scene and all that but, you have to factor in what everyone else is saying. (Car, Job, etc)


    There's always folks that tell you to live in Jersey instead of NYC. Or Staten Island instead of Manhattan. In the Bay Area, it's Daly City, or the East Bay.

    Of course it's cheaper. You get what you pay for.

    When you have kids and want a house with a lawn, a mini van, and a Barcalounger(TM), then yes, move to Pleasanton with the rest of the family types.

    But if you're uprooting your life to move to SF, move to SF. Don't live in Alameda cause it's cheaper, then commute in like the rest of the bridge and tunnel crowd.

    It's tough to live in one of the most expensive places in the country. Only you can decide if it's worth it.
  • AntiHer017

    Posts: 24

    Sep 19, 2011 12:52 AM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    Xaldyn saidIf you "must" move to California, ESPECIALLY the Bay Area....have you thought about suburbs OUTSIDE SF? Usually rent is cheaper but not by much. Or look at Central CA or down south (Not LA area like Inland Empire, away from LA and Ventura County) California is more largely a car state versus New Jersey (in my opinion) I know, you probably want a gay scene and all that but, you have to factor in what everyone else is saying. (Car, Job, etc)


    There's always folks that tell you to live in Jersey instead of NYC. Or Staten Island instead of Manhattan. In the Bay Area, it's Daly City, or the East Bay.

    Of course it's cheaper. You get what you pay for.

    When you have kids and want a house with a lawn, a mini van, and a Barcalounger(TM), then yes, move to Pleasanton with the rest of the family types.

    But if you're uprooting your life to move to SF, move to SF. Don't live in Alameda cause it's cheaper, then commute in like the rest of the bridge and tunnel crowd.

    It's tough to live in one of the most expensive places in the country. Only you can decide if it's worth it.


    Good advice, if I fail then I fail and come back to New Jersey, I have nothing to lose, I dont have a job out this way anyway.
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    Sep 19, 2011 12:57 AM GMT
    If you want to stay on the west coast, Portland Oregon would be a good place to look, its way cheaper than the Bay Area, a walkable city, good gay community. icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 19, 2011 2:13 AM GMT
    Don't come out here without a job lined up. Trust me. You will pay $1600 dollars for living in a shoebox- no exaggeration.... Either that, or $600 bucks for living in some one's closed (no joke, I have lots of friends who do that).
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Sep 19, 2011 2:27 AM GMT
    I just can't help but think that the OP may be a little inexperienced and naive...like he's just moving out from his parents house....or "another east coaster california dreamin"
    San Fran and california in general is not all like what u see on TV.

    im not here to crush ur dream, but u say ur moving out there in a few weeks, yet dont know where to live or work.
    Be realistic dude. As long as u have lots of money u should have no problems really. Money will solve any and all problems encountered out there as it will in most places.

    If you're like most 20-somethings just moving out from mommy and daddy's house you're probably broke.

    Who knows tho? Maybe ur parents are slipping u some cash, which would be sweet?

    if you are coming just for the experience and not much else, save a couple of bucks and have fun. If not and you are looking for some life change or career enlightenment, this is not the best place to cut your teeth simply due to the cost of living and thin job prospects. Of course this is right now, things can change within 5 years..
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    Sep 19, 2011 2:29 AM GMT
    SFYogi saidDon't come out here without a job lined up. Trust me. You will pay $1600 dollars for living in a shoebox- no exaggeration.... Either that, or $600 bucks for living in some one's closed (no joke, I have lots of friends who do that).


    Actually I have a friend who has a Studio in the tenderloin for less than 1,000 a month. lol. It's definitely an interesting building and neighborhood.... but hey... she gets by.

    Best way to get by on a budget in SF is to get roommates....
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    Sep 19, 2011 2:40 AM GMT
    How gay of you.
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    Sep 19, 2011 2:41 AM GMT
    Don't bring a car unless you're willing to pay big for registration, gas, parking, parking tickets, towing fees, etc. Having a car can be as much or more than rent. If you're living IN The City, you won't need a car. And, for those times that you do, there's "Zipcar" or "City Car Share". A monthly Muni "FastPass" is $62 and will get you all around the city unlimited. BART is extra.

    Rent: Be prepared to pay at least $900/month for your own place and that will be like a hotel room in the Tenderloin (which is a pretty seedy district). If you share a place with somebody, you might be able to do this for $450/month. Living outside The City is just not the same as living IN San Francisco.

    Bring as little "stuff" as possible. Travel light. Even clothes you can buy on the cheap at recycled clothing stores (i.e. Crossroads Trading Company). There's all kinds of quality from bargain basement (i.e. Goodwill) to "vintage".

    There are "jobs", but the economy is still tough out here. If you can qualify for student loans and such, consider going to school while you're here.

    This city is amazing. There is plenty of free stuff to do and see.

    Give San Francisco a try. The worst that can happen is that you have to move back to New Jersey with your parents. Do it while you're young. This is a city that just teems youth and vibrance...even among the "old".

    Do it. You won't regret it.
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    Sep 19, 2011 2:52 AM GMT
    ZbmwM5 said
    SFYogi saidDon't come out here without a job lined up. Trust me. You will pay $1600 dollars for living in a shoebox- no exaggeration.... Either that, or $600 bucks for living in some one's closed (no joke, I have lots of friends who do that).


    Actually I have a friend who has a Studio in the tenderloin for less than 1,000 a month. lol. It's definitely an interesting building and neighborhood.... but hey... she gets by.

    Best way to get by on a budget in SF is to get roommates....


    Oh but of course. I forget to mention that if you risk daily death, you can find something mildly affordable icon_lol.gif
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    Sep 19, 2011 5:37 AM GMT
    Agree with everyone saying to move to the city proper if you're going to move. You can do it if you're smart and tenacious. You have to be ready to have your mettle tested if you're moving to this challenging of a city alone. I moved here on less than I should have almost two years ago. It would have been less stressful and smoother if I had came with better reserves, but I learned so much from the experience, I don't think I'd do it again differently.

    Logistics:
    Save up 3-4 months rent at the very least. Aim for $900/month. However, there are shared rooms to be found in the $700-800 range. There are also cheaper, but they get scary (from personal experience). My first landlord actually found me through a "Room wanted" posting on Craigslist. So, after reading enough to figure out what's realistic, put up a description of what you're looking for.

    Housingmaps.com and Padmapper are your two best friends for finding places. They both map craigslist postings with varying results, but easier to find visually and see what's new everyday. (I got my current place, which is amazing, by catching the listing in the 2-hour window it was up and securing the first tour right away.) Couchsurfing.com and Airbnb.com offer brief launchpad options if you need to move first to hunt, which is likely since people looking for roomies are picky enough as is and not being able to meet in person is a huge drawback. There are also decent hostels in town that range from $30-40/night for your apartment-hunting HQ, but you need to have a plan and be aggressive. Watch out for SROs. Google them, but you don't want to stay there. A lot of them show up on Craigslist. Cross reference every place with the bed bug registry. Seriously. There are some dirty places in this city.

    Here's my personal take on ideal neighborhoods. I think the Divisadero area near Haight is very cool and it's been gaining popularity since I first moved here. Diverse and still a little rough around the edges. Alamo Square has some good room finds and is in the middle of a lot of cool neighborhoods. Every direction is something pretty different. Lower Haight is cool and there are some cheaper rooms on Fell and Oak since they're noisy with traffic and sheltered folks find them "thuggy." Hayes Valley is pretty, but half of it gets dead at night. The Mission gets labeled as Hipster, but it's just a younger crowd in general. Lots to do, but in high demand. Noe Valley is sleepy, but some people really like it. If you ever find something in your range around Church and Market, jump on it. That's area has a lot in terms of nightlife, transit and groceries. I'm not as big of fan of SOMA or TenderNob. They're more city and less residential. Just not as uplifting when you step out your door. Richmond and Sunset are cheaper, but it's almost like living outside the city when it comes to transit times.

    For jobs, it can be a tough market to break in, but new stuff shows up every day. A lot of good companies use Craigslist and you should be visiting that more than a few times a day. Indeed.com is like a good for jobs and you can easily set up alerts that email you new listings by keyword everyday. Be creative with keywords. For example, if you have a specific degree or type of experience, search for that instead of just job titles. Build your LinkedIn as much as possible and find out who you know where, even distantly. A lot of people use it here, so it's easier to find your degrees of separation. Also, this depends on your background, but get some personal site up that shows a little of who you are and organizes your social links. Flavors.me is a good one. You don't have to be techie, but it seems like employers here gravitate toward nifty people who look like go getters. Something tangible that shows this is a bonus. Also, save a budget for just going out to meetups in your field. This doesn't mean just going to industry networking events, but social stuff that will start building your relationships with people who are at companies that have jobs for people like you. My housemate was extremely active this way and got his dream job within two months with just his degree and no experience.

    As for social scene, I think sf.funcheap.com keeps the best track of interesting events in the city.

  • AntiHer017

    Posts: 24

    Sep 19, 2011 3:35 PM GMT
    That is very detailed thank you so much for your help icon_biggrin.gif that is what I was looking for.
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    Sep 19, 2011 3:57 PM GMT
    -1.
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    Sep 20, 2011 2:17 AM GMT
    AntiHer017 saidThat is very detailed thank you so much for your help icon_biggrin.gif that is what I was looking for.


    NP. I know other guys mean well in offering concerns, but one of my pet peeves is pushback to questions rather than a direct answer that a questioner is looking for. Good luck on your progress and keep us updated.
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    Sep 20, 2011 11:39 AM GMT
    HaightLifting said
    AntiHer017 saidThat is very detailed thank you so much for your help icon_biggrin.gif that is what I was looking for.


    NP. I know other guys mean well in offering concerns, but one of my pet peeves is pushback to questions rather than a direct answer that a questioner is looking for. Good luck on your progress and keep us updated.


    Welcome to the Internet:

    Q: Help me move to SF.
    A: Why do you want to do that? Move to Portland.

    Q: Help me put on weight.
    A: Just be lucky you're thin and stay the way you are.

    Q: I need help with my significant other.
    A: Dump him.

    Q: I just got diagnosed with [serious illness], help me out.
    A: I had [completely unrelated illness], it was awful.

    Q: [Political question]
    A: HITLER!

    Q: [Religious question]
    A: Your religion is stupid.

    See how easy it is to play the Internet game?
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    Sep 20, 2011 11:46 AM GMT
    jprichva said
    iguanaSF saidSee how easy it is to play the Internet game?

    Why K, I do believe you're becoming cynical.
    Now don't argue with me, yes you are.


    I'm old now. I've earned it.

    I did give honest optimistic advice early on in the thread, tho. I suspect that may disqualify me from the Cynical Society membership which I covet. You'll write a recommendation for me, right?
  • AntiHer017

    Posts: 24

    Oct 04, 2011 2:13 AM GMT
    I'll be out there October 16! Wish me luck icon_biggrin.gif