Pros and cons of living in San Francisco, California

Are you thinking of relocating to San Francisco? This city, which is the home of Silicon Valley, is amazing, and I understand why you would want to live there. But before moving to a new city, you should know some things about it. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in San Francisco?

Wondering what attracts many people to this city? It’s qualities such as opportunities, diversity, transport options, outdoor activities, and great location. But it’s not all about attractions. There are cons too, such as cost of living, earthquakes, weather, traffic, homelessness, and crime rate.

Despite the negatives, San Francisco might still be an excellent place for you. However, you’ll need to look at its qualities and how they fit into your lifestyle. Here, I look at the pros and cons of San Francisco. 

Pros of Living in San Francisco

Here are the benefits of living in San Francisco.

Access to Opportunities

San Francisco is a city with plenty of opportunities, especially for those who work in the tech sector. The Bay Area is home to most big tech companies globally, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Tesla, Yahoo, Salesforce, etc. So, Silicon Valley is here, and as you can expect, it provides thousands of jobs that come with high wages. The city is ahead of every other city in the US when it comes to wage growth. 

Those not in tech still have access to many jobs in other sectors such as hospitality, healthcare, and many others. In addition, the city’s economy is booming, and it doesn’t look like that’ll stop anytime soon. But with the high wages also comes the high Californian taxes that are unavoidable.


This city is diverse in many areas. The population is ethnically diverse, with all races from Hispanics to Asians coexisting peacefully within the state. Its Chinatown is the oldest in North America.

When it comes to sexuality, the city is also progressive and diverse. It welcomes all members of the LGBTQ+ community, and there are even neighborhoods mostly populated by members of this community. Looking at its laws and how it has embraced progressiveness over the years, anyone moving into San Francisco can be sure they’ll find a place to call home.

Variety of Transport Options

This city is also blessed with plenty of public transport options which will save you the trouble of needing a car. There are options such as Muni, BART, cable cars, and vintage streetcars. Of course, I also have rideshare services like Lyft and Uber operating in the city. They both started there and have their headquarters in San Francisco.

If you’re not interested in taking a car, there are bikes and scooters available for rent. San Francisco has several bike lanes, and it’s one of the most bike-friendly places in the world. Rent all kinds of bikes and scooters from different operators in the city and find your way through the city in an energy-efficient manner.

However, if you rely on public transport, you shouldn’t use Google to get the schedule. Despite having its headquarters in the city, Google Maps rarely give the correct schedules.

Outdoor Activities

The city is quite outdoorsy with lots of places to go when not working or at home. You can bike and hike around the city, watch the Giants play, go to Dolores Park for a picnic, kayak on the Bay, and do lots of other fun activities.

If you have a dog, you’re in luck here because San Francisco is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the US. So take your dog for a walk in the dog parks and dog beaches in the city. You’ll even find dog hotels.

Proximity to amazing locations

Not only does the city itself has a lot of great places to visit, but it’s also right at the center of other amazing locations in California. From here, you can easily drive to Yosemite Park, go to LA and San Diego, hike the redwoods, drive to the beach or mountains.

Cons of Living in San Francisco 

Here are the challenges that come with living in San Francisco 

High Cost of Living

The cost of living here is very high, which means you’ll spend your high wages on expenses. It has a cost of living that is 105% higher than the national average. So, no matter what you’re getting, you’ll be paying a lot of here.

The housing prices are also outrageous, making it almost impossible for anyone to buy a house in the city. The average cost of a home in San Francisco is $1,502,029. This is more than five times the national average. So, if houses are expensive, you can guess rent too.


Living in San Francisco means living in fear of earthquakes. This is common in California, but San Francisco is near the fault lines, making it more prone to earthquakes. While there has not been an earthquake in recent years, there are occasional tremors. So, you should probably have an emergency kit ready.


The city is notorious for traffic too, and if you’re driving your own, you’ll spend lots of time in traffic. The city has one of traffic congestion not only in the country. As residents, you’ll have to get used to this.


San Francisco weather is unlike what is common to California. It’s not all sunny here. It’s common to have cold and strong winds at times, and on other days, you have the full sunshine. Therefore, predicting the weather here is difficult.

It’s also called Fog City because there’s an actual fog that is usually heavy on the city’s west side. Some people like the fog line, of course.

Homelessness and Crime Rate

While these two are not completely related, they exist side by side in San Francisco. While its homeless population is not higher than other cities, it is more visible due to its weather, smaller square footage, and several unsheltered homeless. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find homeless people’s encampments in streets and sidewalks.

Here, the crime rate is 148% higher than the national average, with property crime being 161% higher.

In Conclusion

San Francisco is home to most of the biggest tech companies in the world. It’s where many people come to achieve their dreams, and the city has lots of opportunities. But it also has issues which are blemishes on the high quality of living in the city. Regardless, it’s still one of the best cities in the US.