Bay Area is a beautiful region in Northern California spanning the city of San Francisco and other surrounding counties. It is a geographically diverse region and is home to over 7 million inhabitants. Bay Area is well-known for its classic lifestyle, liberal politics, and high-tech industry.
It is a small region of its own with no firm boundaries. This mainly includes the portion of nine counties, namely San Francisco, Napa, Marin, Solano, Sonoma, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra County. The Bay Area is also home to some of the world’s finest wine counties, Victorian Houses, and an iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
Are you making your mind about moving to the Bay Area but not sure where to start from? Here is the comprehensive guide that includes everything about relocation such as the cost of living in the Bay Area, pros and cons, moving costs, climate, renting, and housing prices. Take a virtual tour of this beautiful region before turning your moving plans into motion.
Should I move to Bay Area?
Yes, of course. Living in Bay Area gives you access to some of the best universities and transport systems in the world, which makes it a great choice for business relocation.
While the cost of living here is slightly high, you can easily get the cheaper houses outside the city.
Is it safe to live in Bay Area?
Sure. Bay Area is considered one of the safest places to live in. However, some parts are unsafe and one should take care of this before moving to Bay Area with family.
Moving to the Bay Area Best Guide
Relocation has always been a challenging task no matter how many times you have done this before. It is recommended to know about every single aspect of your destination country before planning a final move.
Here, we have given a detailed guide that incorporates all essential details that can ease out your moving process.
1. Quick Facts
There is so much about the Bay Area that makes it an exciting destination to live in.
- The glorious Golden Gate Park in San Francisco Bay Area is spread across 1017 acres of land and is about 20% larger than New York’s Central Park.
- This region is notorious for two things – steep rolling hills and fog. This fog is known as Karl in the local language.
- The Chinese fortune cookie was first created in the San Francisco Bay Area by a Japanese immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara.
- This place is home to the oldest Chinatown in North America. This city’s Chinatown was established in 1848 measuring one mile in length and half a mile wide. It is the second-largest Chinatown outside of Asia.
- The Bay Area has the second-most Fortune 500 companies in the USA. It is ranked second in the highest density of college graduates.
- It is the only region in California where the rate of people immigrating from other areas in the US is more than those of leaving the region.
2. Cost of Living in the Bay Area
The overall cost of living index in the Bay Area is about 269.3, way more than the country’s average.
|The average cost of living of family (without rent)||$4548|
|The average cost of living of a single person (without rent)||$1258|
|Average monthly net salary (after tax)||$7699.14|
|Local Transportation (one-way ticket)||$3|
|Mortgage Interest Rate (yearly)||3.42%|
|Pre-school monthly fee for one child||$2392.31|
How much do you need to comfortably live in the Bay Area?
The Bay Area is quite expensive than the rest part of the country and one should earn thrice the monthly rent of an apartment he is living in.
The pre-tax earnings of a person must be at least $10,101 per month to live comfortably in the Bay Area.
3. Moving Cost To The Bay Area
Moving to the Bay Area with family? Hiring professional movers might be the best and the easiest option.
However, it is advised to check the average cost to hire a moving company to get an approximate idea.
|Home Size||Number of movers||Base Cost (2 hours)||Hourly Rate||Number of hours||Average Total|
How much do movers cost in the Bay Area?
A majority of San Francisco moving companies charge the average moving cost around $120 – $130 per hour for two movers, $160 – $180 per hour for three movers, and $200 – $240 for four movers.
4. Renting & Housing Cost in The Bay Area
Bay Area cities are counted amongst the places with the most expensive real estate.
Check the renting and housing costs here before moving to the Bay Area.
|Median Housing Cost||$1,471,200|
|Price per square meter to buy an apartment outside the city center||$10,322.54|
|The rent of the 3-bedroom apartment in the city center||$7510.60|
|The rent of the 3-bedroom apartment in the city center||$4566|
|Price per square meter to buy an apartment in the city center||$14,136.05|
|The average cost of the one-bedroom apartment||$3367|
How expensive is rent in the Bay Area?
The average rent of an apartment in the Bay Area is $3,102. It has seen a 5% dip in the renting costs as compared to the previous year.
How much do houses cost in the Bay Area?
The average housing cost in the Bay Area is typically around $1.47 million. The home values have gone up 5.5% over the last 12 months.
5. Business Opportunity in The Bay Area
There are ample business opportunities available in the Bay Area. Manufacturing is the major source of income here and industries like aerospace and electronics are strong in the cities of the peninsula.
It has the nation’s third-largest urban economy and the highest GDP per capita in 2017. The Bay Area is home to three of the ten world’s largest companies by market capitalization.
Please be informed that the business environment in San Francisco Bay Area is not restricted to the tech industry only.
It supports various other small businesses from other industries too.
Some of the industries that are booming in the region are:
- Graphic Designing
San Francisco Bay Area has been constantly ranked amongst the Best Places to Live in the US. It is home to some of the most highly regarded businesses and thus attracts entrepreneurs from all around the world.
6. Conditions for DMV License in the Bay Area
Before moving to the Bay Area, one must know that the DMV license process is slightly complex. There are certain conditions that you must fulfill to obtain a DMV license, such as:
- The candidate must be 18 years or older. If you are 16 years old, then then you can only apply for the provisional license only after completing the driver education course.
- You must be either a California resident or California resident military personnel or non-resident military personnel stationed in California or an adult visiting California.
What do I need for a California’s driver license?
Requirements for California’s DMV License:
- Proof of Date of Birth
- Proof of social security number
- Proof of California residency
- Certificate of completion of DMV-approved drivers course
- A completed form of DL 44, signed by a parent or guardian
Can I still drive while waiting for a new license?
Yes. You can drive while your license application is being processed by DVLA. However, you need to carry some important documents and meet all conditions mentioned on your previous license.
7. Climate & Weather in the Bay Area
The Bay Area is known to have a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, rainy winters.
August, September, and October are the most pleasant months and January and December are the least comfortable months.
|Average High Temperature||67.2°|
|Average Low Temperature||45.5°|
Is the Bay Area dry or humid?
The Bay Area has a dry climate and doesn’t experience much humidity.
Air Quality in the Bay Area?
The quality of air in the Bay Area is relatively good as compared to the global locations. It has a moderate pollution level and the region’s air quality falls into the ‘good’ bracket of the US Air Quality Index (AQI).
8. Population in the Bay Area
According to the US Census 2020, the population in the Bay Area is growing at a much faster rate. It has outpaced California over the past decade with big gains for Latino, Asian, and Hispanic groups.
The Bay Area had recorded a total population of 7.77 million people last year. The Greater Bay Area including Santa Cruz and Monterey counties grew by 8.3%.
|Total Population, 2020||7.77 million|
9. Best Places To Move in the Bay Area
Thinking about where are Bay residents moving to? Here is the complete list of the best places in the Bay Area to live in.
- San Francisco (West)
The western part of San Francisco has a bit of everything that makes this city diverse and worth living in. It has a unique combination of neighborhoods that entails everything from a lake to a mountain.
- South Bay
The beautiful region of the South Bay stretches from the Southern shores of San Francisco to the wineries of Morgan Hill and the Garlic fields of Gilroy.
- San Francisco (East)
It is the densest region of the Bay Area and includes the cities and towns along the eastern shores of San Franciso Bay.
- Solano County
A northeastern county in the San Francisco Bay Area region, Solano County is a perfect location for those who love recreational activities.
It is a beautiful city on the east side of the San Francisco Bay Area and is famous for its history and art.
- Marin County
Located in northern California, Marin County is famous for its wonderful lifestyle, natural beauty, and cultural activities.
- Contra Costa County
It occupies the northern portion of the East region of the San Francisco Bay Area and is famous for its landmarks.
- Alameda County
It is the 7-most populous county in the state and is characterized by the rich density and culture.
- Napa and Sonoma Counties
Both Napa and Sonoma counties are valleys and towns. While Napa county features the northern edge of San Pablo Bay and Sonoma County is dotted with the Pacific Coastline.
This region separates the San Francisco Bay Area from the Pacific Ocean.
10. Market & Shopping in the Bay Area
Here is the guide to the best places to enjoy shopping in the Bay Area.
- Westfield Valley Fair Mall
Commonly known as Valley Fair, it is one of the prominent shopping malls in San Jose and is one of the largest malls in the United States.
- Santana Row Shopping Center, San Jose
This is a commercial district in West San Jose and features a vibrant mix of 50 shops, 30 restaurants, a movie theater, and a boutique hotel.
- Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto
It is an upscale open-air shopping center on the campus of Stanford University in the Palo Alto region.
- Westfield San Francisco Center
This 9-story mall features over 170 shops and restaurants, a multiplex, and a dome-covered atrium.
- Gilroy Premium Outlets
This shopping center is a shoppers’ paradise with 145 outlets ranging from antique stores, boutique stores to garlic shops, and more.
- Unique Square, San Francisco Shopping
It is a 2.6-acre public plaza bordered by Geary, Stockton Streets, and Powell Post in downtown San Francisco. This bustling square has everything from upscale department stores to discount houses.
11. Play Areas & Parks in the Bay Area
Check out the list of play areas and parks here before moving to Bay Aera with family.
- Dennis The Menace Playground
It is one of the spacious kids’ playgrounds and parks in the Bay Area that features activities like a maze and rock climbing walls.
- Golden Gate Park
Located in San Francisco, this is the city’s largest park and the third most visited park in the United States.
- Vasona Lake County Park
It is located in Los Gatos and features a 45-acres lawn which is generally used for enjoying various games like a saucer, frisbee tossing, etc.
- Oak Meadow Park
It is one of the beautiful parks in the Bay Area to visit with the family. It has a grassy field and playground which makes it an ideal picnic spot.
- Campbell Park
This is a relaxing neighborhood park with a basketball court, horseshoe pits, water feature, and trail access.
- Hellen Diller Civic Center Playgrounds, San Francisco
It is located just 2 minutes away from the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and offers one of the most unique playscape experiences.
- Rotary Playgarden, San Jose
It is an interactive children’s playground with climbing equipment, slides, and sitting areas.
- Magic Mountain Playground – Coyote Point, San Mateo
This park is located in Coyote Point in the Coyote Point Recreation Area and offers picnicking, swimming, windsurfing, and more.
- Sue Bierman Playground, San Francisco
Also known as Ferry Park, this beautiful park in San Francisco is spread across 5.3 acres of land and is named after the civic artist, Sue Bierman.
12. Wedding Venues in the Bay Area
Here is the checklist of the best wedding venues to check out in the Bay Area.
- Guglielmo Winery
This beautiful venue features vineyard settings and a mountain backdrop which makes it a perfect spot for hosting weddings, luncheons, and corporate meetings.
- The Garden at Heather Farm
It is located in Walnut Creek includes a 6-acre garden and offers sweeping views of Mount Diablo.
- The Faculty Club at UC Berkeley
This venue is nestled amongst redwoods, oaks, and maples, and offers an opportunity to tie a knot in the lap of Nature.
- Scott’s Seafood Jack London Square
This upscale eatery mainly focuses on fish-based dishes and serves them with wine and cocktails.
- The Clubhouse at Peacock Gap
Located in San Rafael, The Clubhouse at Peacock Gap is an ideal venue to host your dream wedding or to celebrate your baby shower.
- Auberge du Soleil
This venue is flanked by a 33-acre olive grove overlooking lush vineyards and distant mountains.
Forager is a spacious venue with good vibes and seating which makes it a perfect choice for meetings, weddings, and casual get-togethers.
- Stern Glove Clubhouse
This beautiful venue is nestled in the forested valley and is only reserved for weddings or receptions.
- MacArthur Place
This award-winning Sonoma hotel sets on the magnificent estate in the heart of the wine country and features 8000 square feet of modern event space.
- Rancho Nicasio
It is located in the countryside setting in Nicasio and is famous for offering live music, lush outdoor space, and delicious cuisines.
13. Food for Bay Area
Find out the list of the best restaurants here before moving to the Bay Area.
The historic Avery Hotel in California’s Sierra foothills features a bar, garden, and BBQ facilities. It is available for weddings and other special events.
This Mexican restaurant in San Francisco is famous for its luxe interiors, small-batch wines, and delicious food.
This spacious hotel is in Palo Alto tops with a soaring skylight and an expansive venue that serves craft cocktails and Cal-Indian fare.
- El Molino Central
This artfully prepared Mexican restaurant in Sonoma County is a perfect spot for enjoying Mexican classics and various tamale flavors.
- Juanita & Maude
It is a beautiful neighborhood outpost for enjoying wine, cocktails, and scrumptious American dishes with a seasonal focus.
14. Pros & Cons
It is important to figure out the pros and cons before moving to Bay Area with family to avoid any hassle later on.
- Job Opportunities: Bay Area is home to brand new startups, as well as the industry stalwarts, and thus offers ample job opportunities to the residents.
- Dog-friendly: The Bay Area is ranked the most dog-friendly region in the United States in 2016.
- Diversity: This region boasts an ethnically diverse population and holds progressive values.
- Excellent transport: There is no shortage of public transportation options to get around the Bay Area.
- High living cost: The cost of living index of the Bay Area is 269.3 which is way more than the US average.
- Traffic Congestion: In 2017, the Bay Area had the fifth-worst traffic congestion in the world.
Moving To The Bay Area FAQs
Where should I move to Bay Area?
This region includes nine counties and each one of them has its own charm. Some of them are known for their beautiful landscape while others are famous for education and job opportunities.
The best places to live in the Bay Area for families are San Francisco, Marin Bay, Napa Valley, Sonoma, Walnut Creek, San Jose, and Palo Alto.
How is life in the Bay Area?
Bay Area is known to offer a high standard of living as compared to other regions in the United States. However, this is one of the expensive places to live in the US and its cost of living is around 80% more than the country’s average.
Why is the Bay Area so crowded?
Bay Area is one of the crowded regions in the United States and there are many good reasons for that. Firstly, the total area is relatively small in proportion to its population. Secondly, it offers lots of job and business opportunities that attract people from all around the world.
What Should I know before moving to Bay Area?
Be sure to check out the below-mentioned things before relocating to the Bay Area.
- It is a foodie’s paradise.
- Do not forget to bring the checkbook.
- The rent is very high.
- This region is getting crowded day by day.
- It is ethnically diverse.
- This is one of the safest places to live in the US.
This is all about moving to the Bay Area. We hope our guide will help you in relocating to your dream destination without any hassle.
Bay Area is one of the beautiful regions in the United States to live in. It has a rich diversity of cultures and cityscapes to explore. This place is surrounded by nature that ranges from the lush redwood forests to rolling, grassy hills.
The soul of this region is San Francisco that is loaded with bustling streets and vibrant life. The Bay Area is one of the expensive in the country and everyone is competing to live here. Therefore, you need to do some hard work to find an affordable apartment and to maintain a reasonable cost of living.
This is one of the economically stable regions in the US due to the presence of many established tech companies. The unemployment rate in the Bay Area is just 5.9% and it offers lots of job opportunities to skillful people.