After months spent dreaming of crown molding, vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors, it’s official: I’m moving to San Francisco! Since I first started here at Cutline a short while back, I’ve been living just outside the city in suburbia, planning for the day when I’ll make the big move into the city. If not already evident to you loyal Cutline Speaks readers, I have been looking forward to living in this city for as long as I can remember. When livng in a place as incredible as the Bay Area, I think it’s important to fully immerse yourself in the culture. When living in San Diego, I lived steps from the beach, and now that I’ll be living in San Francisco, I want to live in an area that truly represents the city and its personality.
Sounds easy enough, right? I’ve been told that right now it’s a renter’s market, and that I shouldn’t have a problem finding the perfect San Francisco pad to suite my taste. After all, I have everything one would need to begin the search:
- Roommate? Check
- Squeaky clean renting history / credit check? Check
- Realistic expectations re: parking situations, rent prices? Check
After a few discouraging afternoons spent attending open houses and meeting with property mangers, it became apparent that we’d have to step up our game and become a bit more proactive in our screening process. Pictures can be misleading and neighborhood boundaries can be exaggerated. What appears to be a spacious 2 bedroom in Russian Hill can end up being a dingy converted one bedroom… not at all in Russian Hill. Yikes!
I’m happy to report that after discovering a few helpful online tools, my roommate and I found the perfect flat in the perfect neighborhood. I won’t disclose exact location, but let’s just say it’s near one of Erin’s favorite restaurants and has that intangible San Francisco charm. Here are some of the tools I recommend when searching for a place to live, in any city:
Google Maps: Listings can be misleading and neighborhood boundaries are not set in stone. Use Google Maps before visiting the house or apartment to get a virtual tour of the surrounding area. This will save you SO much time!
Yelp: For foodies (and foodies in training like me), it’s important to know what types of restaurants, cafes and wine bars are in the area. Use Yelp to scope out watering holes and restaurants is in the area. Whether it’s for Sunday Brunch, nights out with the girls or a fancy date night, you’ll know what’s within walking distance.
SFPD CrimeMAPS: Just about every city has statistics available that outline crime by offense and neighborhood. So be sure you check out the crime in your potential new ‘hood before moving in.
Craigslist: Good ‘ol Craigslist. No matter how many renting sites I looked at, Craigslist is the most comprehensive site for listings. The site’s newest feature allows you to search by price range and number of bedrooms within multiple selected neighborhoods. Super convenient.
Hope to see you all out and about in The City!