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Resident & Relocation Guide


San Francisco is an ideal place to visit or call home. In fact, the city ranked as the number one travel destination in the nation by the Conde Nast Traveler magazine Readers’ Choice Survey for eighteen consecutive years—a first-time accomplishment for any destination. With a vibrant economy, diverse culture and proximity to world-class museums, universities and natural landscapes, why not make San Francisco your home?



• Downtown/Financial District
Beginning at Montgomery Street and extending east toward the Embarcadero, this is an area concentrated with banks and other financial institutions. The district has been linked to banking since the Gold Rush and has even helped earn San Francisco the title of the “Wall Street of the West.” Home values range between $350,000 and $2.5 million.

• Pacific Heights
This neighborhood came into being in the 1870s to accommodate the influx of working-class families who were leaving the wealthy Nob Hill area. The area is adorned with Victorian-style homes as well as impressive mansions and chateaux. Home values range between $1.8 and $14.5 million.

• Russian Hill
West of North Beach and east of the Marina, Russian Hill contains world-famous Lombard Street. A cable car line carries passengers from the base of Hyde Hill to Nob Hill. Home values range between $350,000 and $7.9 million.

• Cow Hollow
Historically, Cow Hollow was renowned for its dairy farms. Today, young professionals find their place in this bustling area that centers around Union Street and is known for its quaint architecture. Home values range between $450,000 and $7.5 million.

• Telegraph Hill
Coit Tower, a famed San Francisco landmark, finds its place in this neighborhood. Once home to a diverse European population of immigrants, the area has become significantly more expensive through the years due to its stunning panoramic bay views. Home values range between $400,000 and $6.5 million.

• Nob Hill
This upscale neighborhood is home to some of San Francisco’s elite. The neighborhood boasts some of the best views of the bay and several historic sites, such as a replica of Notre Dame called the Grace Cathedral and the Cable Car Museum. Home values range between $495,000 and $5 million.

• Castro
The Castro is widely considered America’s first and best-known gay neighborhood. A working-class Irish neighborhood in the 1930s through the mid-1960s, the Castro came of age following the Summer of Love in the neighboring Haight-Ashbury district. Today, the Castro is a symbol for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) activism and events worldwide. Home values range between $625,000 and $3 million.

Haight Ashbury

• Haight-Ashbury
Famous for liberal activism in the 1960s, the Haight-Ashbury district (the Haight) is world famous for its “Summer of Love” in 1967, when as many as 100,000 people converged on the neighborhood creating a cultural and political rebellion. Home values range between $600,000 and $3.8 million.

• Japantown
As the name suggests, this is the epicenter of the Japanese population in San Francisco. The area boasts authentic sushi bars and a five-tiered pagoda, a symbol of eternal peace. Over 12,000 Japanese-Americans call this area home. The average home value is $689,500.

• South Beach & Mission Bay
The San Francisco Giants call this neighborhood, which houses AT&T Park, home. Visitors and residents can also take a stroll down the Embarcadero’s waterfront sidewalks for both exercise and leisure. Home values range between $379,000 and $3 million.

• Mission
A predominantly Latino neighborhood, the Mission is home to Mexican bakeries, authentic Mexican restaurants and the largest concentration of murals in the city. Home values range between $300,000 and $1.7 million.

• Sunset
This area, once little more than sand dunes, is located just south of Golden Gate Park. Due to its proximal location to Ocean Beach, it is one of the foggiest neighborhoods of the city. Home values range between $450,000 and $1.2 million.


Planning Your Move


Planning a move is stressful no matter where you’re relocating from or how far you’re traveling to do so, but San Francisco has several resources to ensure that your move runs as smoothly as possible.

Moving Companies

Several moving companies are at your service in the Bay Area. Among them:

*Cor-O-Van Moving & Storage Company

One Big Man & One Big Truck Moving Co. Inc.

*Tri-Star Office Moving, Inc.

Temporary Storage

To store your belongings securely during your move, consult one of these storage companies:

*Security Public Storage

*Storage Advantage

All Aboard Mini Storage

AllStore Center

Extra Space Storage

Interstate Storage, LLC – Boats & RVs

SOMA Self Storage

Utilities & Telecommunications

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. supplies electricity/gas to San Francisco residents. Apply for service online at www.pge.com or call 800-743-5000.


The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) supplies San Francisco residents with their water needs. Reach the SFPUC at www.puc.sf.ca.us or 415-923-2400.

Garbage Collection

There are multiple garbage collection providers in San Francisco’s surrounding counties, but city residents are serviced by Recology and their subsidiaries.

Golden Gate Disposal & Recycling

Sunset Scavenger Co.

Telephone Providers

Telephone providers in the area include:

Residential 800-310-2355
Business 800-750-2355


China Unicom Americas



TelePacific Communications

Time Warner Telecom


Cable Providers

Cable providers in the area include:




Renting & Leasing

San Francisco offers a variety of housing options. From renting a flat or apartment to leasing a loft or contemporary condominium to buying a Victorian home, many resources are available to help newcomers make the housing choice that is right for them.

Real Estate

Sixty-five percent of San Francisco residents rent rather than own. Apartment rentals range from $1,100 for a studio to upwards of $3,500 for multiple bedrooms. Houses command higher prices, averaging from $2,000 to $6,500 per month depending on amenities and location. Rental resources include:

*Azari Property Management

Apartment Guide





*Trinity Corporate Living

Those seeking to buy a home in the Bay Area will want to begin the process by making an appointment with a local realtor. A few of the Bay Area realtor associations include:

*Azari Property Management

San Francisco Association of Realtors

Bay East Association of Realtors

Contra Costa Association of Realtors

San Mateo County of Association of Realtors

Santa Clara County Association of Realtors

Marin Association of Realtors

North Bay Association of Realtors

Silicon Valley Association of Realtors

For a comprehensive guide to realtors in the Bay Area, visit the Business Directory on the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce website at www.sfchamber.com.

For those that desire an urban lifestyle, vertical living may be a choice worth considering. Many new high-rise developments are changing the San Francisco skyline and providing new housing options for active, view-oriented residents who prefer to live close to transportation, restaurants and city attractions.

Candlestick Cove

Millennium Tower

One Rincon Hill

Symphony Towers

The Infinity

Financing & Mortgages


After meeting with a realtor, it is time to consider your method of payment. There are several different types of home loans to choose from that allow Americans from all walks of life to secure housing in the best city in the U.S. You may decide to take out a conventional loan with a traditional 15-to-30 year plan. This is the typical route, but there are several other options. For example, veterans may be interested in contacting the Veterans Administration, www.va.gov, which recently expanded its qualifying criteria. Special home loans are also available through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (www.hud.gov/local) for qualifying teachers, policemen, firemen, seniors, the disabled, first-time homeowners and certain religious groups. There are also other helpful home loans that aim to make housing affordable. Some of these include:

Alliance Housing Assistance Program



The Nehemiah Program


Insurance is a necessity and the Bay Area is prepared to have you covered. Whether you’re in need of auto, health, dental, homeowners or even earthquake insurance, there is an agent in San Francisco ready to assist you.

Residential property insurers are required to offer earthquake coverage under California Insurance Code (CIC) Section 10081. Residents have 30 days from the date of mailing to accept earthquake insurance; a lack of response is considered declination of the offer. Earthquake coverage must provide adequate coverage for your dwelling, personal property and for any additional living expenses (ALE) accrued to cover the cost of living elsewhere while your home is being restored.

Get in touch with a San Francisco insurance agent today to ensure that your insurance needs are satisfied. A few of the insurance companies that reside in the Bay Area include:

*Barbary Insurance Brokerage

Brown & Brown of Northern California

*The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies

*State Farm


*Marsh Risk & Insurance Services

For a more comprehensive guide to insurance agents and brokers in the Bay Area, visit the Business Directory on the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce website at www.sfchamber.com. For more information from the California Department of Insurance (CDI), which regulates rates and practices of insurance agents and brokers in California, visit www.insurance.ca.gov.

Commuting & Transportation


Nearly one-third of residents rely on public transit in San Francisco. Many city residents rely on standard bus and train service provided by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni). Cable cars provide another transportation method for some residents, while other commuters depend on City Carshare and Zipcar programs, which allow residents to rent cars by the hour. Additionally, the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART), an underwater rail system devoted to high-speed electric trains, serves San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and other surrounding areas. Bay Area transit systems include:

AC Transit



Golden Gate Transit

Golden Gate Ferry

East Bay Ferries



Santa Clara County Transit (VTA)

Health & Wellness

A large concentration of hospitals and clinics serve Bay Area residents. One of the largest medical providers in the Bay Area is Kaiser Permanente, which operates several centers throughout San Francisco. Other San Francisco area hospitals include: California Pacific Medical Center; University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); Chinese Hospital; Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and San Francisco General Hospital.

Several Bay Area hospitals placed in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2010 America’s Best Hospitals survey. The University of California, San Francisco Medical Center ranked fourth in diabetes and endocrinology; fifth in neurology & neurosurgery and urology; eighth in cancer, gynecology and kidney disorders; and also made the list for ear, nose & throat; geriatrics; orthopedics; pulmonology; heart & heart surgery; and several others. In nearby Palo Alto, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford ranked fifth in pediatric heart & heart surgery and kidney disorders, and Stanford Hospital and Clinics ranked eleventh in cancer and twelfth in gynecology. San Francisco Bay Area physicians and hospitals excel at providing residents with only the best and most comprehensive care.


Job Hunting

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of moving is securing financial stability and landing a new job. The following job-search resources may prove to be helpful in your search for employment in your new San Francisco home:

Bay Area Career Center (BACC)

EDD Workforce Services

*E.A. Search, LLC

*Jewish Vocational Services

*Russell Reynolds Associates


Media Alliance

*Nelson Staffing

*The Job Forum



For a more comprehensive guide to executive search consultants, employment agencies and services, visit the Business Directory on the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce website at www.sfchamber.com.


San Francisco Unified School District

San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) consists of 104 traditional K-12 school sites, 37 State-funded preschools and nine charter schools. More than 53,000 students are enrolled in the district, which currently stands as the eighth-largest in the state.

The district offers an array of exceptional academic and social programming, including early education options, English Language Learners, special education instruction for those with disabilities, career technical education for high schoolers, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college preparatory program, a great athletics program at the middle school and high school levels, along with ExCEL after-school programs and visual and performing arts offerings.

SFUSD is the top-performing large urban school district in California and one of the top-performing urban districts in the country. Students regularly score at or above the state average on standardized tests, and, uniquely, hundreds of high school students graduate each year with biliterate distinction, which shows students’ proficiency in English and one or more other languages at the time of graduation.

Learn more by visiting SFUSD online at www.sfusd.edu.

Charter Schools

Nearly a dozen charter schools are available in San Francisco. While these State-funded, independently-operated institutions are still part of the public school arena, they offer a different choice for students and parents looking for a unique alternative. SFUSD currently oversees nine active charter schools. Other options include Edison Charter Academy (K-8) and the newest addition to the area’s public charter school directory, San Francisco Flex Academy (SF Flex). SF Flex is recognized as one of the state’s first full-time hybrid school for grades 9-12. It opened its doors for the first time in fall 2011.

Private Schools

Private schools in the area provide an alternative to the public school system. More than 90 private institutions are available to students throughout the San Francisco area. A few of these include Adda Clevenger Junior Preparatory, Big City Montessori School, Drew School, French American International School, San Francisco University High School, Stuart High School and Zion Lutheran Church & School. A complete listing of schools, complete with contact information, is accessible via www.baprivateschools.com.

Higher Learning


The Bay Area is home to more than 35 colleges and universities, including several world-famous institutions such as UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley and Stanford University. San Francisco boasts a wide-variety of public and private four-year institutions for students and adult learners. San Francisco City College alone includes 10 campuses offering a wide range of associate’s degrees, vocational certificates, as well as non-credit educational experiences to more than 100,000 students each year. The region also hosts multiple private and religious universities and colleges, including the California College of the Arts, the Art Institute of California-San Francisco and Golden Gate University.

Bay Area educational institutions have a reputation of attracting the best faculty among a wide variety of fields, which in turn draws a highly competitive group of students from all across the world to the region. The region’s education and research institutions are clearly a major economic engine driving the economy.


Top Attractions


The list of attractions discovered in the San Francisco Bay Area is exhaustive and includes historic sites, a waterfront aquarium, conservatories and gardens, theatres and event venues, casinos, a beautiful zoo, national parks and more. The city is best known for its many landmarks, which draw visitors from around the world. Some of the most recognized landmarks include: the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Angel Island, the Palace of Fine Arts, Coit Tower, Lombard Street (the crookedest street in America) and many others. A complete listing of landmarks and activities can be found on the San Francisco Convention & Visitor’s Bureau website at www.sanfrancisco.travel.

Parks & Open Spaces

San Francisco residents are active and frequently walk to their destinations rather than drive or take public transit. It’s a decision that has earned San Francisco the title of most “walkable” U.S. city by WalkScore.com. Most recently, the city scored a 92 out of 100, beating out many larger cities across the country.


Fortunately for those with an active lifestyle, San Francisco has a variety of parks to support sporting and leisure activities. Golden Gate Park is one of the most frequented spots, covering more than 1,000 acres in downtown San Francisco. The park is home to the California Academy of Sciences, the Japanese Tea Gardens, the National AIDS Memorial Grove and the oldest glass and wood Victorian greenhouse in this hemisphere.

City Life

Presidio National Park invites guests to take advantage of more than 25 miles of hiking trails, 14 miles of paved roads ideal for cyclists, a first-class board-sailing area, several athletic facilities, a golf course and plenty of opportunities for fishing and crabbing. The park, which served as an army post for three nations for more than 200 years, also features a number of historic and architecturally significant sites, museums and nature areas.

Other notable parks include Candlestick Park State Recreation Area, Washington Square Park and Buena Vista Park. There are also several parks outside of the city scattered throughout the remainder of the Bay Area as well as numerous beaches to choose from. Wherever you turn, an open space perfect for walking, bicycling or simply enjoying the scenery awaits you.

Arts & Entertainment


San Francisco is a city teeming with art. The emphasis on art manifests in the numerous art museums, the creative specialty boutiques and even the city-wide presence of murals. The population is arguably one of the most creative and artistic in the country, with one in 11 jobs in San Francisco immediately related to the arts through such fields as graphic design, architecture, advertising, publishing, broadcast and film.

San Francisco is home to several world-renowned art and science museums. The Asian Art Museum is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted solely to Asian art. The Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) houses twentieth century and contemporary works of art. The Palace of the Legion of Honor holds primarily European antiquities.


Two of the city’s main art and science attractions are located in Golden Gate Park. The M.H. de Young Memorial Museum – which was damaged in 1989 by the Loma Prieta earthquake and rebuilt in 2005 – features permanent exhibits including African Art, Art of the Americas and Oceanic Art. Across from the de Young is the California Academy of Sciences, one of the largest museums of natural history in the world. Completely rebuilt in 2008, the building is an example of sustainable architecture and one of the newest natural history museums in the country. It is also the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and a four-story rainforest all under one living roof.

Art can be seen everywhere in San Francisco. The city features more than 600 murals. Some of its most famous can be found in the Mission district on Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley. The San Francisco Arts Commission is working to bring public art throughout the city with its Civic Art Collection, which contains over 3,500 objects including monuments and statuary in the parks, murals in public buildings, paintings, sculptures, installations and other media.

Annual Events/Festivals

Thousands of events are held in San Francisco throughout the year. From concerts, athletic events and food & wine festivals to historical and holiday celebrations, there is always something happening here. Among the many popular annual events include the San Francisco Sports & Boat Show (the longest-running sports event in the Western U.S., held in January), the San Francisco International Film Festival (one of the oldest film festivals in the country, held in March), the Bay to Breakers race in May, Fourth of July Celebrations (which include a million-dollar fireworks display over Pier 39), the San Francisco Marathon (one of the largest in the world, held in July), the San Francisco Fair in September, the three-day Blues Festival (the largest outdoor blues music festival on the West Coast, held in September) and many more. Residents and visitors also relish in a number of street fairs, parades and farmers’ markets. See what’s happening now on the San Francisco Travel website at www.sanfrancisco.travel.

Bay Area Sports Teams

The Bay Area has a wide range of sports teams, both pro and semi-pro, for a variety of sports. A few of the Bay Area professional teams include:


San Francisco 49ers

Oakland Raiders


San Francisco Giants

Oakland A’s


San Jose Earthquakes


Golden State Warriors


San Jose Sharks (NHL)

San Francisco Bulls


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