As the tech boom continues, apartments in San Francisco—either to rent or to buy, are becoming a hot commodity. Bidding wars are common and landlords routinely tell you that you are number 2 or 3 on their waiting list. To score an apartment, you have to go see it as soon as it is listed, work out your budget, and have all of your paperwork and that of your potential apartment-mates ready to go (including proof of employment and salary, bank account details, credit scores, etc).
Finding the Apartment: Any San Francisco apartment search begins on two fantastically useful mash-up sites: PadMapper and HotPads. SF Apartments and Lovely are also popular rental portals. Craigslist, too, has its share of deals, and is often a better bet for summer sublets or short-term housing.
Be aware that many apartments offer only limited viewing periods, so make sure to arrive within scheduled hours if you want a shot.
Those looking for more temporary options can check out the Harcourt Hotel, which offers weekly and monthly rates. Particularly college-friendly options can often be found on the San Francisco State University-specific page of ULoop.
Prices: Though pricing in San Francisco varies greatly by neighborhood, for the most part it isn’t cheap. A 2015 study put the average rent for a studio apartment at $2,722 (though rents higher of late). Sharing apartments is common, and there is no shortage of potential San Francisco roommates. It sometimes works out cheaper to have three or more people share the cost of a three-bedroom apartment than to have two people sharing a two bedroom place.
Working Outside the City: For employees of the many firms located outside of San Francisco itself—Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Genentech being the most famous— company-specific transportation is a relevant consideration. Google, for instance, offers a bus service to and from its Mountain View headquarters, while other companies have followed suit with increasingly comfortable, efficient, and Wi-Fi enabled buses (Twitter will be running a bus within the city). The convenience of living near these bus stops, especially for those who do their laundry at firm headquarters, results in rising prices surrounding them.