Renting an apartment in a new city can seem overwhelming. From unreliable Wi-Fi to sketchy street parking, it’s difficult to figure out what you need to know before you give your money away!
Don’t worry, this blog post will guide you through what-to-look for when searching for San Francisco apartments, so you can get the most bang for your buck. Let’s dive in!
Choose Your Neighborhood
Your first step in finding an apartment in San Francisco is to choose your neighborhood. There are a number of neighborhoods to choose from, and each offers its own unique amenities and lifestyle.
Whether you’re looking for lively nightlife, bustling city life, or simply convenience, here are your options:
This popular Castro district is home to a thriving LGBTQ community, plenty of restaurants and shops, and some of the best-furnished apartments in San Francisco. It’s also close to Golden Gate Park, giving residents plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.
This historic district north of Market Street offers a quiet respite from the bustle of the city, while its proximity to Highway 101 makes it easy to get around.
This once-prohibitive hippie district has become one of the most popular neighborhoods in San Francisco thanks to its hip restaurants and trendy shops. Its wide-ranging availability of apartments makes it a great choice for those who want plenty of space but don’t want to break the bank.
Have Realistic Expectations
When looking for an apartment in San Francisco, it’s important to have realistic expectations. The city is dense and pretty crowded, and finding a place to call your own can be difficult.
Instead of focusing on whether or not you can afford an expensive complex or stay in a shared room, consider these factors:
How Much Space Do You Need?
Although living in a smaller unit may be more affordable, it’s not always the most comfortable or convenient option. In general, expect to spend between $1,000 and $3,000 per month on rent depending on the area you choose.
Are You Willing To Live In Close Proximity To Other People?
In San Francisco, cramped quarters and high rent prices aren’t the only problems associated with living near others. The city is notoriously noisy and foggy during the morning and evening rush hours, so you might want to find an area that’s less populated.
Do You Prefer Walking Or Biking?
If you plan on commuting by foot or bike, consider settling in a neighborhood that is friendly to bikers and with decent footpaths.
Set Your Budget
San Francisco is a notoriously expensive city to live in, so it’s important to have a firm idea of what you’re willing to spend before you start looking for a house here. To help you get an estimate, here are some factors to consider when calculating your budget:
• Your monthly rent
• Your utilities (gas, water, and electric)
• Deposit required for an apartment
• Your food budget
• Transportation (commute, car rental fees)
• Entertainment (convenience store costs, movie tickets)
Once you know how much money you need every month, you can now start looking at various neighborhoods and apartments that fall within those budgets.
Your Credit Score Matters
When it comes to getting an apartment in San Francisco, your credit score matters. Credit reports help to show whether you’re a high-risk tenant, so make sure to keep yours as accurate and up to date as possible before starting house-hunting.
Additionally, be sure to fill out all of the necessary application paperwork accurately and on time. If there are any errors, they can lead to delays or disapproval of your application.
Timing Your Apartment Search
You are likely to struggle to find a good place to live or be forced to pay higher depending on which time of the year you’re looking for a house. Here are the best times to find a rental in San Francisco.
The winter months are when demand for apartments in San Francisco is at its lowest, making it easier to find a rental that suits your needs. This is also the time during which many new construction projects come online, so there are more rentals available than during other seasons.
Summertime is another great time to find an apartment in San Francisco. Properties are typically less expensive during this time and more people are looking to vacation in the city. This is also when many university students move into new apartments, making the rental market more competitive.
September is usually a busy month for renters as school starts and people start moving out of their summer homes. This is also when landlords start advertising fall rentals and rates go up.
December is normally a slower month for the San Francisco rental market, which allows you to get a better deal on an apartment especially if you’re willing to wait a few months.
As with all top cities in the country, finding an apartment in San Francisco can be a daunting task, but with the help of this guide, you will have a much better chance of success.
By following these tips, you will be well on your way to finding your perfect place to call home in one of the most progressive and exciting cities in the world.
Remember, never stop looking until you find that special place! Good luck!