In the 1960s, the world turned its eyes to the city of San Francisco. It became the Mecca of hippie culture during the summer of love and remains one of the most popular places in the world for people who love free living. Today, it also has a strong tech sector in the startup world. But, is living in San Francisco really as awesome as it appears to be?
San Francisco offers amazing weather, excellent entertainment venues, cultural hotspots, as well as excellent job opportunities in the startup world. Unfortunately, extremely high costs of living, rampant homelessness and a housing crisis make it hard to live here, even if you have a good salary. It’s also not a kid-friendly area.
This is the kind of city that can be your best place to live or your worst nightmare. Before you make a decision to move to this hippie haven, it’s a good idea to weigh things out.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Benefits Of Living In San Francisco?
- What Are The Pitfalls Of Living In San Francisco?
- Related Questions
What Are The Benefits Of Living In San Francisco?
San Francisco is one of those places that should be on your bucket list in terms of quality vacations. This California hotspot is an amazing place in so many ways. Check out why this is one of the best places to visit.
There is a lot of good things to be said about San Francisco’s weather. This area’s weather rarely dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a place where it’s “forever summer.” For people who love balmy weather that always is perfect for a day out, you can’t get much better. Besides, it’s always sunny here too!
Entertainment Venues And Cultural Hotspots
When it comes to entertainment, you’re never out of ideas in this part of the state. San Francisco has tons of incredible art museums, history museums, concert venues, movie venues, and cool parks to go to. There are tons of ways to enjoy this city both indoors and outdoors. Shopping is amazing here—like, genuinely amazing.
If you want to get a good view of the city, you can hit the bay and rent a boat. Or, you can go hunting for all the swings that are hidden throughout the city. Or you can check out some of the cooler abandoned locations in San Francisco. Or you can…well, you get the point here, right? It’s an absolutely incredible city when it comes to ways to have fun.
By the way, if you are a fan of great food, you can’t get better than San Francisco. The food truck scene here is famous, as is the local farmer’s market. Fresh food is a way of life here, as is avocado-eating. We can all appreciate that, I think.
What do Apple, Google, and Facebook have in common? Well, they all happen to have major offices or headquarters in San Francisco. The city is known as being one of the biggest branches of Silicon Valley, which means that you can find jobs that most people would only dream of within city limits. This is one of the best places to live if you want to work in the tech sector and make a huge impact on your career.
Of course, you don’t have to be a tech wiz to get a job here. The unemployment rate is 5.40 percent, one of the lowest in large cities. This isn’t just due to the tech sector, either. It also happens to be one of the hottest arts cities in the world. If you want to have a major art movement as a part of your career, moving to San Francisco is a great way to make it happen.
No matter what industry or sector you want to work in, spending some time in San Fran will make it happen. That’s primarily because the networking here is wildly popular. You never know who you will meet here, so always be on your tiptoes!
LGBTQIA+ Friendly, High Diversity
As a person who is queer, I know how scary it can be to go in some cities. You don’t want to be discriminated against, and you definitely don’t want to have to deal with hate crimes. The diversity and LGBT-friendly scenes in San Francisco make this place a winner for people who need inclusivity. After all, San Francisco is one of the first places where LGBTQIA+ rights really came to the forefront (the other being NYC’s Stonewall!).
In a lot of ways, the acceptance that you see in San Francisco should be a role model for other cities. That alone makes this place worth considering.
What Are The Pitfalls Of Living In San Francisco?
While San Francisco has the energy that everyone wants to see in their own hometowns, the truth is that this area has a lot of problems. Major ones. These issues below would make most people rethink life here.
Extraordinarily High Cost Of Living
There is no way to ignore how expensive life in San Francisco is. It’s actually the most expensive city in America, especially when it comes to real estate. Major real estate investors from overseas bought up the homes in the area, and due to the fact that the city has ordinances that limit construction, prices skyrocketed. It’s not unusual for people to spend $2000 or more on a studio apartment here.
In terms of the cost of living index, you should expect to see a range that is 80 percent higher than the national average. In order to live comfortably, your household would have to make around $110,000. That’s assuming, of course, that you’re a single person. If you want to live with someone, the price gets even higher.
A Housing Crisis
Even if you are able to afford an apartment, there is no saying that you will be able to find a place to rent. There is a very obvious, very bad housing shortage throughout the city. Many people who have worked in the area have resorted to living in their vans, trucks, or taking crazy long commutes just so that they can keep up their lifestyle. It’s pretty bad. Many claim that San Francisco is reaching a boiling point with this issue, so hopefully, things will improve.
A Homelessness Problem
Part of the problem that comes with the high price of a sheltered life in San Francisco is the fact that many people cannot afford it. As a result, homelessness is very visible here. The fact is that homeless people have full-blown encampments in and around the city. Many of these people have jobs, but many are severely mentally ill. As a result, crime rates and public cleanliness tends to be an issue in parts of San Francisco.
It’s Not Kid-Friendly
Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of great schools and kid-friendly attractions in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the day-to-day lifestyle associated with this city has a lot of adult matters that make it hard to keep kids innocent. High homelessness, instability, and a problem with serious drug use make this area one of the least family-friendly places to live.
If you’re okay with having kids who are jaded AF by the time they are 12, then you might be okay. Even then, it’s not the safest place to raise a kid. After all, the crime is high and it’s very easy for kids to end up rolling with the wrong crowd within the city limits.
How much should you expect to pay for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco?
If you need to have a two-bedroom apartment, then you are going to have a lot of financial needs you’ll have to meet. A two-bedroom apartment’s median cost is $3018 in the San Francisco area. If you want to have a luxury apartment, then you may need to spend as much as $6,000 or more per month. This puts an apartment of this size well out of reach for most people who want to move to the Bay area.
Does San Francisco still have the hippie vibes from the 1960s?
Yes and no. San Francisco still has many areas that are named after the Flower Generation, especially Hippie Hill. You can still find older hippies hanging out in the area, too. However, there is a lot more Silicon Valley energy that can be found here too. You will be able to find a very wide range of different people here.
People in the tech industry tend to be the more conservative people in San Francisco, while those in the arts tend to be more hippie-like. With that said, there are a ton of ways that you can enjoy the crunchy vibes here.
Is cannabis legal in San Francisco?
Absolutely. Most of California has legalized both medicinal and recreational weed. In fact, the city is known for having plenty of innovations when it comes to cannabis. You can even get your green delivered to you through the use of some local dispensary services. Moreover, many people in San Francisco also saw their former cannabis convictions overturned and expunged thanks to progressive lawmaking.