If you ask someone to describe San Francisco, they'll tell you about a city that feels more like a place in Europe. With its gorgeous architecture and breathtaking views, it's easy to be mesmerized by this beautiful city. But the cost of living in San Francisco will snap you out of your daydream very quickly. While most neighborhoods in San Francisco are on the expensive side, there are some that don't come with a hefty a price tag.
While Inner Richmond is better known for attractions, Outer Richmond is a great place to get a neighborhood feel while also enjoying great restaurants and culture. Outer Richmond is known for rich, ethnic diversity which has resulted in some of the best international cuisine that San Francisco has to offer. Since this neighborhood isn't considered as "trendy" as Inner Richmond, it has a considerably lower housing cost and perfect for someone that's holding back from making the move due to price. Outer Richmond boasts parks, theaters and great views and a one-bedroom apartment goes for about $2,475 according to myapartmentmap.com. If you're set on living in SF, consider this a steal.
While not considered one of the "hippest" neighborhoods in San Francisco, this neighborhood is one of the largest and home to over 40,000 San Francisco residents. Also known to be one of the least pretentious neighborhoods of the city, perpendicular streets are named after countries and the parallel streets after world capitals. This culturally-rich atmosphere is only complemented by the colorful murals painted on the walls and sidewalks. Informally dubbed the "blue-collar" zone of SF, ethnic markets and neighborhood parks line the streets of this "no-frills" neighborhood. Excelsior has relatively cheaper rents and a two-bedroom apartment goes for about $2,000 which makes it one of the cheapest areas in San Francisco.
The Outer Sunset neighborhood is known to be a more serene and peaceful part of SF. Often not highlighted in guidebooks due to it's distance from the City Center, Outer Sunset is the haven that locals visit for a bike ride, jog or to simply get away from the city buzz. Because this neighborhood isn't as trendy and urban as some other parts of SF, the rental cost stays relatively low as well. If you're looking for a peaceful and picturesque area that's still close to the city, Outer Sunset is a great choice. Outdoor concerts, strolls on the beach and close proximity to the San Francisco zoo are all part of the low-key appeal of this area. $2,200 is typical for a one-bedroom so if you're the "outdoorsy" type, rejoice; you've found the ideal stomping grounds.
Oakland isn't a neighborhood and we know that. However, Oakland is a great compromise for those San Francisco aspirers that are looking for a gradual transition. And who knows? You might end up loving Oakland enough to make it your permanent home. Oakland is fast-becoming a dynamic, cultural hub of the West Coast, often being compared to Brooklyn, NY due to the diversity and vibrancy of the city. From Lake Merritt to Jack London Square, Oakland has an abundance of cool things to do and see. Stay forewarned that the housing prices in some parts of Oakland are starting to rival SF but it's still easy to find affordable living. From the great art scene, micro-breweries and down-to-earth vibe, Oakland has its own charm and appeal that will be sure to capture your heart.
As you see, San Francisco doesn't have to be out of your reach. While easily one of the most expensive cities in the country, it's still possible to make it work for you if it's your dream city to be in. We guarantee that you'll finally discover why everyone leaves their heart in San Francisco.