General Question

artemisdivine's avatar

How do people afford to live in SAN FRANCISCO ?

Asked by artemisdivine (1092points) February 26th, 2008

some may know what a HUGE fan i am of san fran. but i was checking out some links here and just wonder HOW to people afford to live there? i mean yes it is the dreamiest city ever but wow. do people have to have roomates etc. or do some have really great jobs. i am honestly curious.

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7 Answers

Spargett's avatar

It’s not as expensive as you think. Its something that can be expensive.

There are alot pretty nice places in SF that are cheaper way than the suburban town I grew up in, 20 mins NE of Sacramento. Also, people make alot more here as well. Minimum wage is $9.36 p/h.

I have a nice victorian one bedroom apartment (photo) with hardwood floors, crown molding, claw foot tub, french doors, etc. that’s a 10 minute walk to the marina, downtown, or any other place people usually go. I pay $1,100 p/m. That sounds pretty damn competitive to me for California. You can easily get a nice room, in a nice place, with nice people for $500 p/m. I lived in a really nice place in Nob Hill for $400 p/m when I first moved here about 3 1/2 years ago.

The problem is most people compare prices of SF with prices from somewhere in Indiana. You certainly get what you pay for, and if you ask me there’s some great deals here, but you have to look. I’m getting tired of all the misinformation people love to tote about inflated real estate here, when it’s just not the general reality. Yeah, there are some ridiculously priced places here, but you can find that anywhere.

Context and perspective need to be addressed with this subject.

jz1220's avatar

@spargett, great find! How in the world did you snag that? Also, you have an adorable kitty :)

ckinyc's avatar

I pay 1600/m for a shoebox size apartment in the west village NYC, and that is 8 years rent stablised. The apartment upstairs go for 2400/m!!! That’s crazy!

jrpowell's avatar

I live in a RV parked in the backyard of a friends house. I have electricity, water, sewage, and cable TV/Internet. I pay a flat 200$ per month.

I have a few friends (3) that live in SF and get by on working in restaurants. All of them have roommates.

Spargett's avatar


I found it on craigslist. Hands down the best resource in SF for almost anything, including booty calls.

It just takes patience and scouting, but the deals are put there. It also helps to wait till the end of the month and make a reasonable offer on a place. They’ll be more inclinded to not have of go unrented and unprofitable.

brain's avatar

Rent control helps. I know a few people who are grandfathered into awesome leases, and a few more who abuse the rent control and sublet.

VoodooLogic's avatar

Some of us don’t drive cars. It helps when you’re first starting out.

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