Twitter hashtag: #movetoSF
Since December, I’ve been perusing the ads of Craigslist to get an idea of what I could expect once I made the decision to move to San Francisco.
I’ve truly enjoyed working with Zendesk doing the webinars and since they’re in San Francisco, it’s a good move for me to make. Not only do I love the product, I’ve found the folks who work at Zendesk to be quite awesome! I never imagined the cloud would whisk me out of Minnesota so…here…we…go.
I saw Adam Jackson wrote a post on his recent move. If you don’t know Adam, he’s on Twitter as @adamjackson and made news in 2008 with his webcam that recorded all sorts of drama outside his apartment window in the Tenderloin district in San Francisco.
photo credit: adamjackson
When I first got on Twitter, I followed about 5 people and then data mined people who they followed and who followed them. Who you follow is sort of an unspoken approval. I somehow came across Adam when I saw a tweet about his friend who was in the hospital and was going to lose her radio show (or something like that). I was intrigued by his seemingly constant tweeting.
In my early days on Twitter (I joined March 31st, 2008 due to @WomenWhoTech Conference), I was a total lurker (someone who watches but who doesn’t participate). I was afraid to tweet as I wasn’t really sure what to share, if anyone was listening or what to say. Actually, most of my time on the internet since 1998 was in lurker mode. On forums, I was that person who PM’d (Private Message) instead of posting a public reply. In fact, back in the early days of Lifehacker, you had to apply to be allowed commenting rights. I don’t think Gina wanted a bunch of empty minded folks leaving useless comments. I applied and got permission to comment. Did I? Nope! Too uncomfortable. Not sure what to say except, “I agree”. LOL!
Twitter helped me get over this fear of public expression. I enjoyed reading Adam’s dramatic tweets about life, work, his girlfriend, his apartment, food, travel and everything in between. I now tweet freely so I have people like Adam to thank for that. Another person I enjoyed following was @chuckumentary who always had a “pants status” update (I had no idea why his pants had to update us via Twitter but the updates were funny!)
Ok, back to apartments in San Francisco.
This map of San Francisco was drawn by Michael Wood for me at the Creamery coffee shop, December 2009 while I was in town for the Zendesk holiday party. Thank you Mike and Val for reaching out via my blog to provide your advice and knowledge of the San Francisco landscape over a cup of coffee! They both have technology careers. Val had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and Mike for 3 so it was great to hear about what they liked, how they spent their free time and what neighborhoods they thought I would like based on my being a single technology geek. Thank you! It meant SO MUCH to me!
Zendesk is located in SOMA (South Of Market) so I’ve been looking at apartments in the following neighborhoods:
- Mission district
- Potrero Hill
- Noe Valley
- East Bay Area (based on @outdoorafro and @Surfinbrotha‘s recommendation)
- Pacific Heights
- Cow Hollow
I see on Twitter that @surfinbrotha says I should consider the East Bay. He’s not the only one but my goal is to be within 30 minutes of Zendesk so, drop your ideas in the comments for sure because…that’s how I got into this whole “Moving to San Francisco” thing…asking others! (more on that later)
My goal is to find an apartment with hardwood, floor to ceiling windows, not on the first floor that will accept my well behaved pets.
I have a 4lb, 10 year old Chihuahua named Bluey and I’ve had her since 2003
(Well behaved means potty trained, non barking, non destructive)
and my awesome 15 year old cat named Turtle
(Also well behaved meaning non destructive, uses her litter box 100% and doesn’t do weird cat stuff like attacking strangers)
Past that, there are nice things like having an office space, a garden space and storage.
In Minneapolis, you can pay anywhere from $480 for a studio to $1,200 for a really nice 1 bedroom. In fact, you can get many 2 bedroom units in the Twin Cities starting at $900.
The cost of living is higher in San Francisco. Everyone keeps telling me that.
Based on my research through Cragslist, a studio (not in the Tenderloin) will cost you $1,200 and many 1 bedrooms go for $1,700 and up.
Right now, I pay about $650 for my 1 bedroom apartment in Minneapolis. I’ve lived here 3 years. Last year, they jacked up the rent considerably when they put in new kitchens (that is a WHOLE OTHER post unto itself).
Crazy People On Craigslist
Now in terms of how I’ve gone about finding potential apartments, I’ve mainly used Craigslist. I have a couple of saved RSS feeds and when I go through them for keywords, pets allowed, rental price, etc, I sometimes come up with “gems”. These are ads that somehow made it onto the Interwebz but have no chance of getting any sort of response from a sane person since it seems someone a “little off” wrote it.
This photo looks like there was a nuclear fall out in San Francisco
I even found one today that graciously offered the use of their cell phone for the very affordable price of just $0.10 per minute. I’ll continue to collect the “special postings” over on Flickr.
Housing For Next Month
For right now, I am going to be moving into a temporary place for 4-6 weeks. This will give me time to get a bit familiar with San Francisco but most importantly, allow me to go to apartment showings. Ever bought a car over the Internet? I have. Twice. First time was a bit shady. Second time went much better but you’re still buying based on faith even if you have an independent auto mechanic check it out. Same goes for apartments. I’m better off looking while I’m in the city.
I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all the wonderful folks who have reached out on the blog to offer advice, recommendations and connect me to people in their network concerning my move! Thank you as well to all the folks on Twitter.
I personally find this life event to be terrifying but in the face of fear, you find courage. I’ve faced scary, horrible things in my life and each time, I’ve come away better for it. I think this is what drives me on where others say, “I’m not going to risk it”. The unknown has actually been more rewarding to me than the known.
I still need your help so feel free to reach out and contact me if you think you have an idea, resource or tip that would make my relocation to San Francisco easier. People have shared their stories of moving to San Francisco, their thoughts about one day moving and also what to watch out for. I love it all!