SF liquefaction map

Bay Area Liquefaction, Landslide, and Seismic Zones – Mapped

Lots of talk in the news these days about landfill, liquefaction, and general stability of property in and around San Francisco’s waterfront, and entire city for that matter (see “SF’s landmark tower for rich and famous is sinking and tilting“that hit newsstands and internets today [SF Gate/Chronicle]).

Big news, no doubt, but what about the rest of us?

I did a post waaaay back in 2010, preceded by the post I did even further back in 2008, both of which get hundreds, sometimes thousands of views daily, so I know for sure this is a topic of interest when buying/selling property in San Francisco. And since I get so many questions about whether the property you want to buy is, or is not, in liquefaction, let me be clear, I AM NOT A SEISMOLOGIST, GEOLOGIST, SCIENTIST, OR ANY TYPE OF OTHER EXPERT IN THE FIELD OF EARTHQUAKES, LIQUEFACTION, LANDSLIDES, LANDFILL, MUD FILL, BEDROCK, SETTLING, SLOPING, SLIPPING, SLIDING, OR ANY OTHER FIELD OF INTEREST THAT HAS LED YOU TO THIS SITE FOR KNOWLEDGE ABOUT LIQUEFACTION. I AM A REALTOR, AND EXPERT AT MARKETING PROPERTY FOR SALE, AND HELPING BUYERS BUY. WHAT I AM SHARING HERE IS MEANT TO BE A RESOURCE FOR YOU TO MAKE YOUR OWN EDUCATED DECISIONS. DO NOT RELY ON THE INFORMATION POSTED HERE FOR YOUR PROPERTY PURCHASE OR SALE.

That said, I want to share a new App/site with you: Temblor…all things Seismic. You have to check it out. It’s awesome, and will hook you in for hours.

Check out this screenshot of the entire Bay Area…including liquefaction zones, fault lines, and recent quakes.
bay area liquefaction zones

Now zoom in to San Francisco…
SF liquefaction map

As I sit in my home office, which, according to Temblor, is built in an area of “moderate Liquefaction Susceptibility”, and a “Seismic Hazard rank of HIGH” (I challenge you to move the pin and find an area in SF that is not “High”), it’s left me wondering…does this change anything for me, and my decision to own property where I do? No. It doesn’t. It’s better than a map telling me I live in an area of High Tornado Susceptibility, where I roll the dice on a pair of glass slippers showing up on my doorstep.

So, there you go. Plug in your address, your mom’s address, your brother’s address, your employer’s address and see how you all stack up. This is yet another amazing resource, thanks to the Internet, available to everyone and anyone with even a remote interest in Earthquake activity (I’m guessing that’s everyone in California, at least). And I’m pleased to be sharing it with you.

Full disclosure, yes, I chatted with the founders of this service, no, they are not paying me for this post. I have downloaded the app, and refer to it constantly.

Happy Monday.

Previous Earthquake related posts on theFrontSteps:

SF neighborhoods prone to liquefaction and earthquake induced landslides, bedrock vs. landfill take two [theFrontSteps]
Ask Us, A map of bedrock vs landfill [theFrontSteps]
Liquefaction Zones of San Francisco’s Marina District [theFrontSteps]


New Renderedings of Above-Ground SF Flower Mart Revealed

The SoMa-based SF Flower Mart has been a bay city institution for almost 60 years, but when plans were unveiled in 2014 for the establishment to move underground, public outcry was fierce.

Finally, the project has been revamped and the renderings depict a much more appealing above-ground facility, dotted with coffee shops, open space and plenty of sunlight for SF’s floral proprietors. The updated plan follows news that development company Kilroy Realty Corp. had purchased an adjoining  1.75-acre property at 620 Brannan St. bringing the square footage of the entire project to 2.1 million and making it the second biggest commercial development in SF after the Embarcadero Center.

Project Breakdown (see details below)
Creative Office Space: 2 mil sqft
Flower Mart Warehouse: 115,000 sqft
Retail / Market Hall: 100,000 sqft
Public Open Space: 40,000 sqft
Delivery: ~2020

Mixed-use Retail

The San Francisco Flower Mart continues to witness the evolution of one of America’s greatest cities. What began almost 100 years ago as a loose arrangement of local growers selling their wares near Lotta’s Fountain soon grew into a physical marketplace at the corner of 5th and Howard. The market later became a formal institution at its current space at 6th and Brannan. This time, the market will remain in its current location in SoMa, but a major reshaping will make it the focal point of a dynamic, mixed-use space that offers a unique take on the urban lifestyle.

Revamped Warehouse

The Warehouse:
The new San Francisco Flower Mart will include a modern, 115,000 sqft street-level warehouse, large enough to accommodate all tenants of the existing flower market. The improved layout will include secured entry points, as well as direct access to loading and parking to better service both input and output activities. 24-foot-high ceilings and strategically placed skylights create a light and airy feel inside of the warehouse and provide enough space for a multipurpose mezzanine level along the perimeter of the market. Energy efficient refrigeration will be located adjacent to each individual vendor stall. The specific details of the new facility will be further developed over the next several months by Kilroy Realty Corporation, San Francisco Flower Mart LLC, and a committee of Flower Mart tenants to ensure that the new market functions efficiently and effectively for businesses and customers.

Public Plaza

Integrated Public Plaza:
A series of integrated stairs throughout the site connect the amenity levels above to an expansive public plaza at the street level. The plaza will be the focal point of the Central SoMa neighborhood, which is currently lacking in high quality, well-maintained public open space. Boasting several convenient access points, connecting through the Market Hall, and encouraging pedestrian activity from nearby public transit, the plaza will also act as a programmable space for events such as famers’ markets and floral exhibitions. Pedestrian connections woven through the site are designed to address the recommendation of the Central SoMa Plan to link the surrounding city blocks to create more of a neighborhood feel. Through integrated windows off of the plaza, visitors and tenants will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse into the world of the fast-paced flower business without disrupting the busy wholesale operation inside.​

Creative Office Space


Creative Office Space:
Rising above retail experience will be a series of LEED Platinum-certified creative office buildings connected by sky bridges, giving tenants the flexibility to enjoy either large or medium-sized floorplates. A mix of rustic and modern facades and a low-rise podium building above the Market Hall on Brannan Street celebrates the industrial history and creative future of the neighborhood. Amenity plazas located above the Flower Mart warehouse at 14 and 24 feet contribute to a healthy office environment by providing office tenants with a convenient connection to the outdoors, attractive seating zones, recreational areas, and kiosks. This amenity zone, activated by the adjacent market and dynamic landscaping, will also extend the visual and functional identity of the Flower Mart.

More like this:

San Francisco Takes Top Honors On Trulia’s Best Neighborhoods List

Living well means something different to everyone.  For some of us, it means indulging in all the luxuries life offers, and to others it means living a healthy, active  lifestyle. Luckily, and why we live here, San Francisco offers both.

Recently the folks over at Trulia shared their perspectives on living well in this Best Neighborhoods post, which coincided with the release of these super handy Live Well maps, and look at that…San Francisco takes top dog for Midsize City, specifically the Sunset District (Spoiler – Sunset is already more expensive than when Trulia wrote this, so get in before it goes more nuts out that way).


San Francisco actually has two of the top ten “Live Well” neighborhoods (that’d be Excelsior at #7) for mid-sized metropolitan areas (population 1,000,000 to 2,000,000) in the US.

Top Ten Neighborhoods for Living Well

Neighborhood U.S. Metro Live Well Index % Quiet Streets # Play-Centric Amenities Per Square Mile Miles of Trails/Footpaths Per Square Mile # of Care and Essential Amenities Per Square Mile
Outer Sunset San Francisco, CA 93.6 52.5% 2.5 5.0 13.0
West Riverside New Orleans, LA 88.7 55.1% 2.0 1.0 4.9
Crestview Austin, TX 86.3 48.6% 3.9 0.6 6.8
Driftwood Fort Lauderdale, FL 83.2 58.6% 2.2 4.2 1.1
Riverwest Milwaukee, WI 82.5 52.2% 0.7 6.2 2.2
Midtown San Jose, CA 81.4 41.9% 6.6 2.9 10.7
Excelsior San Francisco, CA 81.3 43.1% 4.4 2.2 7.1
Shady Lane Columbus, OH 80.2 50.3% 1.7 0.5 2.5
Roosevelt Redwood City, CA 79.9 58.0% 0.9 0.0 5.5
Emerald Hills Fort Lauderdale, FL 79.9 44.9% 2.3 1.1 4.5

The Outer Sunset, which scored 93.6 on Trulia’s index, is the best neighborhood overall for living well, beating out the large metro neighborhood Ocean Beach in San Diego, CA, which scored 96.0 (Is that OB v. OB?).  The Sunset District of San Francisco, is flanked by three great resources: Ocean Beach to the West, Golden Gate Park to the North, and the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center to the East.  Additionally, well over 50 percent of its streets are considered quiet (unless of course it’s festival season!).  The Outer Sunset offers the added bonus of being one of San Francisco’s more affordable places to buy with a median sales price of $981,000…and climbing.

Excelsior, San Francisco, CA also made the top ten list for mid-sized metros, ranking seventh with a live well score of 81.3 – offering 43.1 percent quiet streets.  Excelsior is nestled just south of Interstate 280 and is east of Outer Mission, Balboa Park, and Mission Terrace.  Its great play-centric amenities include the Louis Sutter Softball Field and Playground in addition to the Philosopher’s Way trail.  Scoring high for care and essentials, this neighborhood is conveniently located near Excelsior Health Services and a multitude of daycare facilities.  Excelsior is by far one of the most reasonably priced neighborhoods in San Francisco with a median sales price of $910,000…and climbing.

If peaceful, active living with great access to exceptional care is what you are looking for in a neighborhood then San Francisco metropolitan area has ample choices for you. If you’d like to learn more about San Francisco’s micro districts, click “Browse theFrontSteps” over there in the right hand column for things we’ve said about most areas of town. Additionally, way back when, I did a Tour de San Francisco, which you might find enlightening.

You could also pick up the phone (or email/text us) and we’d be happy to show you around and find a neighborhood that is right for you. We have many from which to choose, and they’re all pretty awesome.

As for whether Trulia’s statements are accurate, that might be a cause for a new Battle Royale, which we leave up to you to discuss among friends over some tasty California Wine, paired with locally sourced cheese, and possibly oysters…or maybe Dungeness Crab (since they finally lifted the ban.)

Viva San Francisco!

Reasons We Live Here [theFrontSteps]
San Francisco Neighborhoods [theFrontSteps]
Tour de San Francisco [theFrontSteps before theFrontSteps]
Battle Royale [theFrontSteps]


7 Hidden Gems in Golden Gate Park

For San Francisco residents, Golden Gate park is that place you’ve religiously taken out-of-towners and spent countless afternoons strolling around with your SO or kids. But there is probably more than one secret spot you’ve never stumbled across in one of your trips around the 1,017 acre public space. Below, we’ve pulled together a collection of the top overlooked attractions at our city’s crown jewel –  after all, Golden Gate Park was named one of the America’s best public parks just a couple of years ago. Let us know in the comments which ones you think are the best on the list!

    1. Stow Lake: Do you want to recreate a scene from The Notebook? Rent a rowboat or paddle boat and take a peaceful ride on the lake listening to birds chirping as the ducks swim past.
      *The only thing to watch out for here is a possible sighting of the The Ghost of Stow Lake, spotted in the area for more than a hundred years.
    2. San Francisco Botanical Gardens: Have you wanted to see plants from different regions of the world? Come visit the Botanical Gardens; plus, admission is free for all San Francisco residents.
    3. Carousel: Do you have kids or just want to pretend you are a kid again for a day? Hop on the merry go round and pick your favorite animal to go on a ride that is sure to put a smile on your face for the rest of the day.
    4. Bison Paddock: Yes, you read that right. There are bison walking in an area of the park. Stop and take it all in because how many people can say they can see bison in their local park?
    5. Tennis Courts: Grab your racket and hit the courts! Complete a match then take a break and have a picnic on the lawn area nearby.
    6. Conservatory of Flowers: Twist and turn your way through rooms filled with bright flowers set up in pots on the floor, tables, and ceiling. Depending on the month, you might find butterflies or venus fly traps among other special “guests.”
    7. Music Concourse: Located between the California Academy of Sciences and de Young Museum, a stage is set up for multiple different genres of live music. Some days you may stumble upon artists creating new pieces and displaying their available artwork.

Not sure where all these exciting places are located? No problem! Take a look at the map and start your exciting adventure.

[Editor’s Note: As part of my commitment to San Francisco and the greater good of all residents in this wonderful city, I have teamed up with some USF Journalism students to allow them to get their feet wet with writing/blogging/marketing on a larger scale. Written by Kianna Fernandez.]





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Mission To Millennium | SF’s Top 10 Underbids of the Week

The top underbid of the week goes to an Outer Mission single family home that (dare we say) needs a bit of work. Listed for $699,000 and sold for $575,000 after 62 days on the market. According to our data from last week, single family homes continue to take up the majority of the top 10 underbid slots: 50% single family homes, 30% multi-units, and 20% condo.

As we get into the winter months, we are seeing luxury homes cooling down but affordable homes remaining competitive. One other notable Underbid is this wonderful Millennium Tower residence with million dollar water and landmark views on both sides of the Bay. Listed at $4.588M and sold for $4.18M after 122 days. Still a win, IMO.

As for the rest, here you go:

Address BR/BA/Units List Price Sold Price Underbid
2220 Cayuga Avenue 1/1/1 $699,000 $575,000 -17.74 %
161-165 Cook Street 2-4 Units $2,395,000 $2,150,000 -10.23 %
2287 16th Avenue 4/2/2 $1,388,000 $1,250,000 -9.94 %
18 Kronquist Court 4/2/1 $1,899,000 $1,725,000 -9.16 %
301 Mission Street #49D 2/3/2 $4,588,000 $4,180,000 -8.89 %
78 Gladys Street 3/2/0 $1,195,000 $1,100,000 -7.95 %
1437 47th Avenue 1437A 2-4 Units $1,275,000 $1,175,000 -7.84 %
2829 Pierce Street 2831 2-4 Units $2,970,000 $2,750,000 -7.41 %
3260 Baker Street 3/2/2 $2,999,000 $2,800,000 -6.64 %
2040 Franklin Street #506 0/1/1 $575,000 $540,000 -6.09 %

As is always the case, if you have any questions about the market, your home, homes in your area, or real estate referrals around the world, I am here to help. Just give me a shout by choosing any of the “contact” options all over this site.

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$440,000 Under Asking | Personal Chapel Maybe Included, Wallpaper Definitely

It only took seven months, but in the end, it got there. SOLD for $440,000 UNDER asking!

You read that correctly, this 6-bedroom single family home in Mission Terrace at 100 Delano Avenue just closed $440,000 below the original (back in March) asking price of $1,600,000. After a price chop to $1.5, then $1.4, then again to $1.3, it appears the Lord finally took pity on this property and landed it on top of this week’s Top 10 Underbids. With plenty of extra space, awesome curtains, wow-tastic wallpaper, and your own “personal chapel” how could you not want to move right in!?

As for the other buyer scores, here you go:

Address BR/BA/Units List Price Sold Price Underbid
100 Delano Avenue 6/3/3 $1,300,000 $1,160,000 -10.77 %
355 Bryant Street 2/2/1 $2,345,000 $2,100,000 -10.45 %
18 Palm Avenue 4/3.5/2 $4,995,000 $4,525,000 -9.41 %
1264 Bush Street 1/1/0 $649,000 $590,000 -9.09 %
78 Gladys Street 3/2/0 $1,195,000 $1,100,000 -7.95 %
1437 47th Avenue 1437A 2 unit $1,275,000 $1,175,000 -7.84 %
601 4th Street #321 1/1/1 $1,499,000 $1,400,000 -6.60 %
2040 Franklin Street #506 0/1/1 $575,000 $540,000 -6.09 %
2730 Broderick Street 4/3.5/1 $5,850,000 $5,500,000 -5.98 %
301 Mission Street #51D 2/3/1 $4,495,000 $4,250,000 -5.45 %

You see…”deals” can still be had in San Francisco.

Gentrification Of San Francisco | One Perspective

I think it’s important everybody living in and around, moving to and moving from San Francisco watch, and listen to this one point of view as to what is going on in our city.

The implications of the insane real estate market that is upon us are real, on all levels. Everybody (not just the buyer and seller) is being impacted by the pros and cons of absurd real estate prices. Be kind, respect your neighbors, and consider everyone’s situation independently, not as a whole. Put yourselves in the shoes of the tenant, the buyer, the property owner, the developer, the parents, the children, the tech pioneers, and the city’s workers…This is a slippery slope, proceed with kindness, and a respect for human decency and all will not be lost.

1471 McAllister

Millennials – Listen Up – Go To College – Buy A House

A College Degree is Key for Millennial Homeownership in the San Francisco Bay Area, say my friends at Trulia. They just shared this with me (after a few edits to my liking), so I’m sharing it with you.

To go to college, or not? This is one question many millennials ask themselves. For households between 25 – 30 years of age who want to live in California’s major metros the answer is GO! A recent Trulia study found, it takes almost 20 years for degreed millennials to save the 20% down payment in San Jose, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. For millennials without a degree, they need to save for decades. In San Jose, the amount of time is 45 years.

The landscape in San Francisco is daunting even with a degree. It takes a whopping 29.5 years with a degree and without it is 50+ years.


Where Saving For a 20% Down Payment Takes Decades

With College Degree Without a College Degree
# U.S. Metro Years Needed to Save for Down Payment Required Down Payment at time of purchase U.S. Metro Years Needed to Save for Down Payment Required Down Payment at time of purchase
1 San Francisco, CA 29.4 $560,590 San Francisco, CA Not Possible N/A
2 Los Angeles, CA 18.8 $196,616 San Jose, CA 45.4 $665,508
3 Orange County, CA 18.5 $235,959 Los Angeles, CA 39.9 $353,270
4 San Diego, CA 17.7 $192,081 Orange County, CA 32.3 $347,842
5 San Jose, CA 17.7 $289,072 San Diego, CA 29.0 $262,589
6 Honolulu, HI 16.0 $165,588 Oakland, CA 27.3 $267,605
7 Oakland, CA 15.6 $193,453 Ventura County, CA 22.9 $230,929
8 Ventura County, CA 15.5 $189,325 New York, NY 20.2 $149,905
9 Denver, CO 14.3 $125,314 Fairfield County, CT 20.1 $185,494
10 Cape CoralFort Myers, FL 13.3 $74,130 Honolulu, HI 18.0 $173,574

In the study of 250 major metropolitan areas California swept the top 5 spots for number of years to save for a 20% down payment (Honolulu, HI was 6th, Oakland was 7th & Ventura County was 8th).

San Francisco tops the list, requiring 29.4 years with a college degree and 50+ years without it. Los Angeles comes in second, requiring 18.8 years with a college degree and 39.9 years without. San Jose and San Diego are not far behind, requiring 17.7 years with a college degree, but it takes much longer without a college degree for San Jose (45.4 years) than San Diego (29 years). The numbers for Orange County is 18.5 years with a college degree and 32.3 without.
Source: http://www.trulia.com/trends/2015/07/millennial-down-payment

What are Bay Area millennials to do? Consider a 10% down payment. Saving for the down payment can be done in less than half the time. How is this possible? Because price appreciation outpaces income growth for this group. Millennials without a college degree in San Francisco will actually be able to save a 10% down payment in 28.5 years, compared to not being able to save for a 20% down payment ever. San Francisco millennials with college degrees are able to attain a 10% down payment in 13.7 years, compared to 29.4 years for a 20% down payment.

In other Bay Area metros, the time to save for a down payment is significantly less as well. The time plummets from 45.4 years to just 15.4 years for San Jose millennials without a degree and with a degree it drops from 17.7 to 9.3 years. In Oakland, millennials without a degree the time needed to save goes from 27.3 to 11.3 years and with a degree it drops from 15.6 to 8.8 years.

In summary, a degree will get Bay Area millennials into a home by their forties if they opt for a 20% down payment. By choosing a 10% down payment both the degreed and non-degreed can enjoy the benefits of homeownership considerably sooner.

When you are ready to buy, browse Trulia all you want for the perfect home, but hire a professional, like me, to help you win.

1487 Chestnut Marina Views

Liquefaction Zones Of San Francisco’s Marina District

I have a great listing currently for sale at 1487 Chestnut Street (corner Gough & Chestnut) here in San Francisco, and of the 50 or so people I actually had the chance to speak with at yesterday’s Open House, all of them (not kidding) asked if this property is built on landfill, and thus in an area of liquefaction.

Since this is clearly an area of concern for many people, I did a little digging on some of the maps I’m able to access, as well as a few more, and was able to layer the MLS district map over the liquefaction map, capture the image, and I’m sharing it with you to satisfy your curiosity. As you’ll see, contrary to popular belief, the entire Marina District (in purple) is not all landfill/liquefaction.

Marina Liquefaction
[click image to enlarge]

There you have it. If I helped you win a bet, you’re welcome.

I’ve done a fair bit of research about earthquakes, liquefaction zones, and earthquake induced landslides areas in San Francisco and have shared it all over the years, the links which you can find below. As for the Marina District, now I gotcha covered there too.

Map of Bedrock Vs Landfill [theFrontSteps]
San Francisco Neighborhoods Prone To Liquefaction and Earthquake Induced Landslides [theFrontSteps]
Areas of Marina In Liquefaction Zone



Finding The Right Property To Complement Your New Job

Moving to a new city? Very exciting, but where will you live? The questions just multiply from there: Should I buy or rent? Should I pay more to avoid a commute? Should I live with a roommate or alone?

It takes time to get the feel of a new city, and the house hunting process should not be rushed. A home is the largest asset – or liability – that most people ever have, and real estate is notoriously illiquid and difficult to divest. Besides, maybe you’ll hate your new job and want to leave after three months. Get to know the area before making any long term commitments, possibly by working with a local expert.

As the search for rental housing begins, keep your unique needs firmly in mind. If you have a pet, remember that not all landlords accept pets, and ask about pet policies first when contacting property managers. If you own a car, how available or expensive is nearby parking? If you don’t own a car, start looking at maps of the city’s public transportation and car-share services like Zipcar. Consider a neighborhood’s’ “walkability”, or how accessible by foot amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment, nightlife, shopping and other conveniences are.

If at all possible, visit the city in person to scout neighborhoods for their feel, vibe, and atmosphere. Do you want a hip urban neighborhood brimming with coffee shops, craft beer-lined bars, and vinyl record stores? Maybe you’ve just graduated college and want to live among preppy young professionals, or maybe your children have just graduated college and you want a quieter neighborhood rife with art galleries and upscale restaurants.

Whatever you’re after, research is key and seeing the city for yourself is the best way to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. Of course, what you want from a home isn’t the only conern – your commute is going to play a big part as well.


Image source: Hobvias sudoneighm

I’m not a big fan of math, but a brief home economics lesson is in order when evaluating commutes. In 2014, the IRS allotted 56 cents per mile as the cost of driving an owned vehicle (this figure includes gas, depreciation and maintenance, but not the cost of buying or insuring a car).

Subtracting out the 10 federal holidays, there are 250 work days in a calendar year. If you live 15 miles from your job, that comes to 30 x $.56 = $16.80 per day in commuting costs, or $4,200/year. That annual $4,200 cost does not account for the rush hour traffic stress, the lost time with your family and friends, the environmental impact of emissions or the generally lower quality of life associated with commuting.

Consider living closer to work (in the city), and better yet walking or biking to save those headaches and dollars.

While we’re talking math, let’s address an elephant in the room: what you can afford. All neighborhoods, cities, and even states are not created equal on rents, or housing prices, so in your scouting remember your means. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) considers anyone spending more than 30% of their before-tax income on housing costs to be cost burdened, and most personal finance experts agree that 30% is a prudent cap on housing costs. If you have your heart set on that trendy neighborhood with all the organic vegan restaurants, but your rent accounts for 50% of your income, there is another option: living with others.

If you’re moving alone, roommates offer obvious financial savings on rent, but the benefits don’t stop there. The shared home will likely be partially furnished already, saving money on both furniture and moving costs. Utility accounts are likely already set up, and monthly utility bills will be split rather than all falling on you. Roommates can also be a lot of fun, if chosen wisely. Remember you’re moving to a new city where you don’t know many people if any at all, and roommates can come all-inclusive with a social life, local expertise and even a few jokes you’ve never heard.

There’s another oft-overlooked advantage to moving in with an established roommate: more flexible leasing terms. Whether you sign a sublease agreement with the roommate or sign a new rental agreement with the landlord/manager, there is a better chance you can negotiate for a month-to-month lease or a shorter lease term (e.g. six months instead of a full year).

This flexibility allows for unforeseen hiccups like the job being a bad fit, or disliking the neighborhood, or wanting to buy your own place after getting to know the city better. Either way, it’s always better to see the property, walk around the neighborhood both at day and night, and meet any potential roommates in person before signing a rental contract.

Moving to a new city can be intimidating, but the antidote to fear is knowledge. Research the city and its neighborhoods online, look up recent home sales by neighborhood, rents, crime, and cultural hotspots. Visit in person if at all possible before choosing a home and neighborhood, contact that friend you haven’t talked to in five years who lives there, and check Craigslist homes for rent and shared housing offered by roommates.

Most of all make it fun: start a list of all the restaurants you want to try, the neighborhoods you want to visit, and the irresistibly kitschy things you want to do. The transplant experience can either be scary or exciting, the choice is yours.

[This article was written by Ella Jameson. Learn more about Ella @JamesonElla. If you have something you want to share with our readers, just give us a shout.
Featured Image source: Michelle O’Riordan]