17 Reasons Not to Move to San Francisco, California (Voted by the locals!)

Although you might think San Francisco is the place to be, there are many reasons why you should not move to the city. From a local’s perspective, the city is very crowded and overpopulated. It looks great from the outside, but there are some things that nobody tells you.

If you are thinking about moving to the city, take a step back and read some of the reasons why you should not make the move.

1: The City is Crowded

If you ever walk the streets of San Francisco, one of the first things you will probably notice is how crowded the city is. The city of San Francisco is surrounded by water, leaving little space for homes. If you look around, you will see that the city is also surrounded by hills. Stores are constantly overcrowded with people and the population will only continue to grow.

There is limited room to walk on the streets and there are tiny roads. If you live in a neighborhood, there will always be people outside your house or on the streets. The neighborhoods are never quiet, and there are a lot of venues with events taking place.

2: Tourism is Out of Hand

San Francisco is home to thousands of people. When tourists are constantly in town, it makes the number of people double. It is hard to enjoy the city when people are constantly crowding the streets. As you step outside, a bright yellow taxi cannot go unnoticed. Tourists are constantly riding trollies and taking pictures. China Town is a touristy spot with a lot of stores to visit. When my family and I visited China Town a few years back, there were overcrowded streets and lots of trash amongst the crowds. There were also narrow alleyways and run-down buildings.

3: Many Homeless People

The homeless population is beginning to overcrowd the entire city of San Francisco. Many homeless people live in RV’s, tents, or sleep in cars. They sleep at the beach, under highways, or at parks. When you turn a corner, it is likely that you will see a homeless person. They are on every corner and there is not enough housing for these people. The homeless population fills up a lot of the landscape of the city.

4: Too Much Traffic

Traffic is a common problem for people in the Bay Area. Due to commuters, it can often take hours to get from place to place. There are so many houses that cause narrow roads. When people visit the city, there is no doubt they will get stuck in hours of traffic. Getting around the city is difficult because of the one-way roads and routes always getting shut down. People often have road rage and someone is always honking. Driving in the city is like no other area. It is hard to get on the freeways and people always cut you off. The intersections are crowded and there are so many stoplights. People in the city do not have sympathy and they are aggressive drivers.

5: Parking is Hard to Find

Parking is unaffordable, limited, and hard to find in the city. If you need to get anywhere, it is important to set aside a few hours of your time to get from one place to the next. Every time I have driven into the city, I have had trouble finding parking. There are limited parking spaces and you may go in circles for hours. If you do find parking, it is so unaffordable. The city charges so much extra and there is not a lot of space for locals to park anywhere. If locals invite guests over to their house, there is no parking on the streets. Parking is so limited that it is easier to take Bart into the city.

6: The Cost of Living is not Affordable

There is no doubt that California is expensive, especially in the city. San Francisco’s prices keep increasing in housing, food, and fuel. The city has become more expensive than New York City. As things get more expensive, gas prices keep rising as well. It is overpopulated and crowded. In order to live in San Francisco, you need to make a lot of money. You may even have to work two jobs. Working this amount leaves no time for seeing family and friends. In my opinion, it is better to live somewhere that you can make money, and not have to worry about the cost of living.

7: Rent is Expensive

For a one-bedroom apartment, rent costs a lot more than most places. Rent is so expensive, and houses are tiny. If you ever look at the city, you will notice that most houses are slammed right next to each other. There are no big houses for a family to live in. The walls are thin, and there is no backyard space. People pay way more than they would to live somewhere else for just a one-bedroom apartment. If you moved there with a family, you would most likely be squeezing them into a tiny apartment with shared walls. When you go outside, you are right next door to your neighbor.

A family friend of mine owns a packing business and often has to work with clients in the city. Recently she worked with a client in a tiny apartment. The apartment she worked in had little room and there was no space for storage. The houses were so tiny and there was no space to have a lot of guests over.

8: The City is not Clean

If someone were to take a look around the town, they would see a lot of run-down buildings. Most places around the city are old and not fixed up. So many people visit the city, causing the parks to be filthy. If someone tries to clean up, the streets will get dirty very quickly. The city is so overpopulated, and oftentimes things do not get cleaned up very well. I have seen trash on the ground and at parks. The city itself looks very run down and there is a lot of graffiti. The alleyways are dirty and you may find plenty of trash on the floor.

9: Transportation is not Efficient

Transportation is not convenient in San Francisco. In most places, it is ideal to have a car. San Francisco has lots of traffic and it takes a lifetime to get from place to place. Transportation is not ideal because Bart takes forever to get somewhere. Bart takes people from place to place, but it is not quick or convenient. Bart trains are never on time, and they are never clean. They are often crowded and do not cover a lot of the area. Bart will not take you to every destination in the city and it is likely that you will have to walk to get somewhere.

A local friend of mine from just outside the city used to commute to the city every day for her job. She had to wake up just before 7:00 AM to commute and wouldn’t get home until after 5:00 PM. From her experience, commuting with traffic was long and her days were hard. She had no time to spend with family and friends.

10: Weather is not Ideal

San Francisco is known for being breezy and foggy. From my experience, I have never walked outside without fog in the air. Although the city isn’t freezing, San Francisco never gets super warm. Water surrounds the city, and the sun is rarely out. You can’t go to the city without being bundled up and having the wind in your face.

11: High Crime Rate

Although the city looks pretty in pictures, it is not the safest place to live. It is not uncommon for many gunshots and gang violence in the area. There is a large crime rate and burglaries are very common. If you cannot afford rent in San Francisco, you will most likely be living in one of the areas with high crime rates. San Francisco has over 30,000 burglaries that are reported each year. Not many people own cars, but the who have cars may get their windows smashed. It is hard to have a nice car because there are so many break-ins that occur. There are crimes and gang activity that often happens on Bart. Apartments also have burglar bars so Burglars cannot break in as easily.

12: Internet Connectivity is Slow

Although the city is filled with great business and technology, the internet connection is so slow. There is not a great internet connection in the area, especially close to freeways. The slow internet connection is due to how crowded the area is. It is difficult to get faster internet because it costs so much to hire someone.

13: Known for Earthquakes

The San Andreas Fault is a huge fault line that runs through San Francisco. It is a dangerous fault line and the city is overdue for an earthquake. Some of the biggest earthquakes have taken place in this city. The last big earthquake happened in 1989 and caused over five million in damages. If another huge earthquake hits, it may cost millions and wipe out the entire city. People will not be able to afford anything and damages will cost a lot of money.

14: Not kid-friendly

The city is known for lots of people who live in their early 20’s and 30’s. As you walk the streets, you will not see many kids. There is a lot of college kids and young adults working in town. There is not a lot of room for big families to live. In addition, San Francisco does not have family-friendly neighborhoods. There is no backyard for kids to play in and not a lot of room for pets.

It is difficult for kids to grow up living a normal life and playing with other children their age. There are not a lot of parks or places for big families to spend time together. Children cannot play outside or ride bikes in the neighborhood. Neighborhoods are one-way roads and there are cars that are going by constantly. The parks are filled with tourists and people who are homeless. If parents take their kids to a park, they have to keep an eye on them constantly.

15: Lots of hills

Every time I go to the city, all I can see are hills. People live on steep hills and roads that are difficult to walk on. Houses are slanted and there is no room for people to park their cars. Many roads are so steep they are known for being famous. For example, Lombard street is known as the most crooked street in the world. People come from all over just to look at the street. If you have a car in San Francisco, you will go up and down multiple steep hills to get somewhere. San Francisco is fun to visit, but it is a lot different from a normal lifestyle. If you are an active person, it is hard to just go for a casual walk or run.

16: Political Beliefs Are Really Strong

If you are thinking about moving to the city, really take a look at the political beliefs in San Francisco. Although the city is accepting, people have very strong beliefs. Many people are into politics and they may be one-sided about what they believe. They are not open to learning about others and what they believe. Neighborhoods are filled with a lot of protesting.

17: People Are Not Friendly

If you are trying to make friends or meet people, the city is not the place to go. Stores are not welcoming and people are constantly in a hurry. People are more money-focused and worried about their careers. Most people will not smile or look at you. If you take Bart, people are on their laptops or looking down at their phones. People are not often open to meeting new people because they already have their groups of friends. In addition, a lot of people are focused on their social status and making money for their future.

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Barrett Harmer

Hello! I grew up in Boise, Idaho, but have lived in various places around the country. I enjoy being with friends and my favorite food is southern style BBQ.

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