Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheapest Apartments In San Francisco

June 12, 2012

Charles asks…

How do families make ends meet in San Francisco?

I looked for a job and for an apt. I found jobs that pay $60K to $75K but the cheapest apartments I found cost $2850 a month. If housing should be no more than one-third of household income, even a cheap apt. requires a $103K+ annual salary. How do families live in S.F. and how do I find cheaper digs?

Administrator answers:

You are assuming that the ends will meet.

1. Use Craigslist to find a house that you can share. Or a large apartment. That will help reduce what you pay.

2. Consider commuting from a lower cost area. Best if your job does not require you to be in the city M-F.

3. Earn more. Future raises, second job, change of job, etc.

4. 1/3 for housing is a broad average that clearly does not work well across all cities. In some cities you do not need to spend close to 1/3 to buy. Those cities are in the Midwest, Texas of NY. Other cities you will have to spend more than 1/3 and it could be a lot more. Not sustainable long term but if you want to work for a specific company for 1-2 years it could be manageable.

Jenny asks…

where can i find a cheap two apartment in are around san francisco for about 700to 800 a month?

Administrator answers:

Checkout – if you can live just outside of SF you may want to check out Daly City – and for that price you should check out Emeryville or Oakland.

Carol asks…

Does anyone have any cheap tips/hints for living in san francisco?

I’ll be moving there real soon. Like anything you can help with i guess.. cheap restaurants/groceries, affordable apartments, cheap or free entertainment, pretty well anything to save some dough.

Administrator answers:

As for restaurants, the cheapest places will be fast food, Chinese, Vietnamese, and maybe Mexican. It also depends on the neighborhood, but I think groceries and cooking for yourself most of the time is the better way to go. So when it comes to groceries, try Chinatown. There are small grocery stores in every neighborhood though, so you can shop around yourself when you get here to find out. (But for me it will always be Chinatown! =]) There are also a lot of farmer’s markets around the city that happen every week. The most expensive is in front of the Ferry Building, and the cheapest is on Alemany.

I hope that helps a little, and good luck!

Donna asks…

Where should I rent an apartment in San Francisco?

I plan on moving out there some time between June and September from Chicago. I am looking for relatively cheap (less than $600 per person), dog-friendly housing with parking near by. What are some neighborhoods to check out? Is this possible?
I don’t have to move to the city exactly. I am looking to work for a Vegan or veg restaurant within the city. So, I guess I am hoping to find somewhere to live with less than a 30 min commute.

Administrator answers:

I echo the responses that say you will have a hard time finding housing for $600 per month. You can do it but you will have to have roommates. A good way to get some idea of what to expect and even search for housing is the housing section of Craig’s list.

Nobody has really answered what neighborhoods so here is my shot.

SF for the most part is a very safe city. You can live almost anywhere safely with the exception of certain areas on the South East side of the city. Hunters point is notoriously violent.

I would not advise living in Chinatown simply because it is INCREDIBLY crowded.

The Tenderloin can be unsafe, but it is a neighborhood just like any other place. (There are a lot of families with kids [10,000 kids under the age of 10] in the “loin”.

The further you are away from the center of the city the more you will pay. And living and working in the Richmond or Sunset means on average a 1 hour + commute on public transportation.

The Western Addition, Mission, and the areas around Golden Gate Park’s Panhandle, and Bernal Heights, are a good compromise in terms of livability and expense. Since you have a dog the Panhandle area and western addition are particularly good, lots of park space for you and pup to play

Word of advice, get rid of your car [if you have one] parking is expensive, and the city is very easy to navigate via public transport or/in tandem with bicycle.

Mandy asks…

I need advice on a holiday apartment in San Francisco.?

I am a Brit looking for a 2 bed holiday apartment for a 7 day family(ish) holiday in San Francisco. We need three bedrooms or two bedrooms and sofa-bed.

I have been looking at these options..


We will probably go for one of the cheaper places but I would appreciate some advice on the location. Are all of these locations okay?

Are there other sources of good holiday apartment listings you can point me towards?

Thanks in advance,


Administrator answers:

Check VRBO….vacation rentals by owner and Redweek…time share short term rentals. San Francisco is a small city with lots of good neighborhoods. It is easy to get from one area to another by cable car, bus or often walking. Be sure to see Golden Gate Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, Coit Tower and the De Young Museum. Have fun.

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