Moving to San Francisco, A Love Hate Story

We didn't really think about living in San Francisco until we were already living in Palo Alto. We'd looked at places on Craigslist and joked about living in the city, but that's as it had gotten. Once we had been living in Palo Alto for a couple months, a few things became apparent: we hated our current apartment, we were not going up to San Francisco on the weekends as much as we'd initially thought we would, and we were already tired of paying city rent prices to live in the suburbs (thank you, Silicon Valley).

So when we started looking at places to live, San Francisco was now a serious idea. Everyone knows how beautiful and interesting San Francisco is. Sadly, it also has several issues. One, a lot of the city is not so safe. Two, a lot of the city is really dirty. Three, almost the entire city is very expensive. Finding an affordable place to live that was in a clean and safe area started to look impossible. Over the last month, Natalie and I have seen a dozen apartments in San Francisco, plus another half dozen around where we currently live. This meant lots of last minute drives up to the city just to walk through a tiny apartment with sometimes 30 other people. Talk about discouraging! One of the first places we looked at was an artists' colony of sorts, literally. Two artists were the current tenants, and I kinda liked the place. Natalie was quick to point out the disgusting bathroom, graffitted exterior, and congested street outside. Clearly, the dream of living in the city had already made me a little irrational. The next day, we looked at and actually considered renting a very modern and sleek (think polished concrete floors, industrial doors, stainless steel everything) 400 square foot apartment. Yes, 400. If you live in a modest size home, just look at your living room which is roughly 20x20. That's 400 square feet. That same night, we also saw a lovely unit that sat right on top of a liquor store. Once again, Natalie pulled me back into reality to explain that there was no way that she was going to live in a closet with me and the dog or above a liquor store.

The 400 square foot closet loft

The unit above the liquor store

Our hopes were pretty dim and Natalie started looking at places around us in the suburbs. I had to work all Saturday, so we needed to spend Sunday making one last effort at finding a place in the city. We almost didn't even do a tour of the complex we will soon call home, because it seemed like it would be out of our price range (an easy feat). Instead, the tour was the first time that Natalie was excited about any place we had looked at in SF, and it seemed like they geared the entire place just to her: very secure building, swimming pool, nice fitness center with free yoga classes, and a tanning bed. Yes, a tanning bed. She swears she's gonna steer clear of the last perk. The apartment is actually 100 square feet bigger than our current place, inside our teeny budget, and right in the middle of the city. There's a website called walkscore.com and our address has a walkscore of 100 out of 100. Needless to say, we're pretty stoked.

The pool that won Natalie's heart

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