NYC to SF - Tips on Making the Move

San Francisco

San Francisco is seemingly all the rage these days! From a burgeoning tech industry closeby in Silicon Valley, centuries of fascinating history, or a powerhouse NBA team revolutionizing basketball, everyone has their own unique reasons of being drawn to the city. Oz Moving wanted to hear from former New Yorkers who have actually taken the plunge into the Bay Area, and see what they have learned from their time in SF. We hope these tips help make the transition from NYC to SF easier and less surprising.


SF has more of NYC’s virtues than you might think

“Though smaller, San Francisco contains all of the world-class amenities that one might find in New York.” says Robin Lee Allan, a former New Yorker who moved to San Francisco in January 2016.  “The general standard of living is slightly higher.” Allan adds, later noting the city’s excellent cuisine (Zagat rates San Francisco higher than NYC on food).
As a global city, SF makes the grade as well. Movers to SF “can find just as much culture and diversity here as they could in NY,” according to former NYC resident Shani Gillum, now residing in San Fran. Though the city’s population is changing, its diaspora of Asian-Americans is among the largest in the United States, with over 270,000 census respondents at last count self-describing as Asian. SF has always been a city where many languages are spoken, and many distinct cultures coexist together; those who appreciated that aspect of NYC will enjoy what they can find of it in the Bay.

Downtown San Francisco


SF has more of NYC’s downsides than you might think

“I wish I had had done more research on the housing situation in San Francisco, and I’d probably tell someone if they are planning to make the move to not expect it to be any cheaper here.” Gillum added to us on rents. She’s completely right; those seeking solace from high rents in NYC ought look elsewhere than San Francisco. Apartment List’s August 2018 data shows rents in SF are actually higher on average than those in NYC by 15-20%. Rents have steadily increased over the past few months and years steadily in SF, unlike NYC, so that trend is unlikely to change. Make sure your bank account is well prepared for the rental rates before you make the move to SF!

It’s not the Water

Patrons of NYC’s legendary delis have often opined that the quality of NYC bagels is due to the high quality of NYC tap water. But as Allan notes, “The quality of San Francisco water is on par with that of New York City.” While that’s a plus to any New Yorker looking to make the move to San Francisco, it should help dispel the myth that NYC’s water makes its bagels higher quality.
Not to be unfair to SF, there are a few decent places to find a bagel yet.


Relax, Dude

NYC gets a reputation of being uptight; the stereotypical has the famous refrain of “I’m walking here!” ready to prove the hostility latent on the New York city streets during even the most amicable days. That isn’t the case in San Fran, where the population typically has a reputation of being much friendlier. But that leisurely attitude comes at a cost. “Very few things in California happen in what New Yorkers would call a timely fashion. Much patience will be required to adjust to the slower pace of life.” Allan says.

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