$2,559 - $2,999
- Studio-1 Bed
- 1 Bath
$2,639 - $4,999
- Studio-3 Beds
- 1-2 Baths
South Beach$3,218 - $9,095
- Studio-3 Beds
- 1-2 Baths
- Studio-3 Beds
- 1 Bath
Eureka Valley - Dolores Heights$3,995 - $5,495
- Studio-2 Beds
- 1-2 Baths
$2,395 - $3,795
- Studio-2 Beds
- 1 Bath
Renter's Guide to San Francisco
As you cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and make your way into the city of San Francisco, you can't help but be amazed!
This is a city that truly has it all. There's the booming tech scene, the great weather, the amazing local restaurants, and the famous sports teams. And we're just getting started! Whether you're considering a move here or just curious to find out more, you'll want to keep reading.
The population of San Francisco is just north of 850,000, which makes it the 4th largest city in California. For reference, let's look at it side-by-side with some of the country's other major cities. How big is San Francisco compared to New York City, for example? Well, it comes in at about 10% the size of NYC and 20% the size of Los Angeles. On the other hand, San Fran is almost twice as big as Atlanta or Miami. In short, it's a big city – but not too big. And for many people, that's a good thing.
The city is located just 383 miles from Los Angeles and 503 miles from San Diego – a little less if you're flying. Meanwhile, San Jose is just a quick 48 miles away, and Oakland is right across the bridge.
Like many California cities, San Francisco benefits from a Mediterranean climate, with cool summers and mild winters. Temperatures tend to hover between about 50º F and 80º F year round. In fact, San Francisco has rather chilly winters, partially due to the city's famous fog, which helps keep the sun at bay. The city also gets plenty of wind, but not much rain.
San Francisco, CA Demographics
- Total Population840,763
Female 427,909Male 412,854
- Median Age38.5
Cost of Living in San Francisco, CA
San Francisco is not the most budget-friendly city. Dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant will run you an average of $70. A domestic beer will set you back about $6.
Of course, you can always save a little money by taking public transportation. Bus or rail fare is $2.25 per ride, while a ride on one of the city's famous cable cars is $7. Monthly bus passes are available too, offering unlimited rides for $70 to $83.
With the city's cool weather, plenty of people choose to bike their way around town, and there's a great bicycle sharing program in place. Just rent a bike at point A and drop it off at point B. Membership rates are $9 for a day, $30 for a month, and $88 for a year.
Taxis are abundant in San Francisco too, if you're in a hurry and don't mind spending the extra cash.
As for your actual bills, the average San Francisco resident pays around $112 in utilities for a 915-square-foot apartment – that includes electricity, water, heating, and garbage.
Average Rent in San Francisco, CA
- San Francisco, CA Average Rental Price, August 2018$3,442/mo
- 1 Bedroom$3,261
- 2 Bedrooms$4,377
San Francisco, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,00093%
San Francisco, CA Rent Trends
|All rentals||Studio||1 Bed||2 Beds||3 Beds|
|Aug / 2018||$3,442||$2,461||$3,261||$4,377|
|Jan / 2018||$3,441||$2,453||$3,258||$4,382|
|Sept / 2017||$3,426||$2,500||$3,239||$4,351|
|May / 2017||$3,448||$2,489||$3,291||$4,382|
|Jan / 2017||$3,355||$2,404||$3,163||$4,308|
|Sept / 2016||$3,426||$2,416||$3,195||$4,534|
|May / 2016||$3,485||$2,471||$3,281||$4,508|
|Jan / 2016||$3,474||$2,462||$3,269||$4,514|
|Sept / 2015||$3,377||$2,448||$3,210||$4,335|
|May / 2015||$3,251||$2,310||$3,095||$4,189|
Average rent is projected to grow by 3% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Average rent values on this page are aggregated from data from the following zip codes: 941029410394104941059410794108941099411094111941129411494115941169411794118941219412294123941249412794129941309413194132941339413494158
Living in San Francisco
When it comes to living in San Francisco, there are plenty of things to love – and a few to dislike too.
Unfortunately, the city does have a high number of homeless, the sometimes chilly weather isn't for everyone, and finding a parking spot can be a challenge.
But despite the drawbacks, the city presents a unique blend of culture, tech savviness, and active lifestyle options. Whether you love food, sports, or art, there's something for you.
It's no surprise then that San Francisco is one of the country's most ethnically diverse cities, attracting people from all walks of life – Asians and Latinos, in particular.
Things to do in San Francisco
There's so much to do in San Francisco, you'll have trouble getting to it all.
If you're looking for a little time outdoors, there's always the famous Golden Gate Park, where you can take a stroll or play a quick game of catch. Inside the park, you'll also find the oldest Japanese tea garden in the country.
For even more outdoor adventures, there's the Twin Peaks, two large hills that are a favorite among local hikers. While you're at it, you can start training for the San Francisco Marathon, an annual event that attracts over 25,000 runners.
If you'd rather watch the pros do all the work, San Francisco has two major professional sports teams – the San Francisco Giants baseball team and San Francisco 49ers football team.
Either would make a great choice for a family outing. But your kids will love the San Francisco zoo too, if that's more your thing.
When you're in the mood to shop 'til you drop, there's the Westfield San Francisco Centre shopping mall and Embarcadero Center, for something a little more mid-range to upscale; or the Treasure Island Flea Market, if you're looking for a little more character and simplicity.
Oh, did we mention food? San Francisco is home to some of best restaurants in the country – and to a lot of them. Only New York has more Michelin-starred restaurants.
The city's culinary scene is one of the reasons San Francisco is considered one of the most culturally rich places in the US. But for even more culture, there's the San Francisco Symphony or the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Where to Work in San Francisco
San Francisco is the biggest tech hub in the entire country. Ever heard of Silicon Valley? Well, it's part of the San Francisco Bay Area.
This means residents in the tech field have no shortage of job options, whether looking to join absolute giants like Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, and AirBnb, or any of the hundreds of tech startups that pop up in San Francisco daily.
Of course, with so many restaurants and hotels in town, there are plenty of job opportunities in the service industry as well.
San Francisco, CA Households
- Total Number of Households353,287
Family 161,887Non-family 191,400
Children 65,704No Children 287,583
- Average People Per Household2.32
- Median Household Income$81,294
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,740
Top Colleges in San Francisco
But those aren't the only education options in San Francisco. There's also Santa Clara University, University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and the University of California, San Francisco.
San Francisco, CA Education Statistics
- No High School7%
- Some High School18%
- Some College18%
- Associate Degree5%
- Bachelor Degree32%
- Graduate Degree19%
Tips for Renting in San Francisco
If you're moving to San Francisco from Los Angeles, you'll quickly find relief in the city's slightly slower pace. And the healthier lifestyles of the locals is a nice refresher too.
Of course, you'll need to stay on top of the renters’ rights and laws here.
To balance the high cost of living, San Francisco law provides rent control, which only allows landlords to raise rent by a certain amount each year. The amount is tied to inflation.
You can even petition the Rent Board for a rent decrease if the landlord isn't providing things you agreed to, like storage space or a washer and dryer.
Landlord asked you to move? If you're a rent controlled tenant, you're probably covered. Landlords are only allowed to evict you for one of 16 “just causes”. You can dispute most of these, and the ones you can't require the landlord to provide relocation payments.
If you are evicted, you can expect it to take a month or two from the time you're given your eviction notice.
You also have protection against landlords who fail to provide repairs and the like. You can move out, sue, withhold rent, or make the repairs yourself and deduct it from your rent.
Like the rest of California, security deposits can be a maximum of two months’ rent and must be returned by the landlord within 21 days of your move-out.
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