Seattle vs. San Francisco – Affordability and Lifestyle

Seattle SkylineSan Francisco

Both San Francisco and Seattle have an abundance of tech jobs. Anyone in the tech industry casting a wide net in their job search could expect to find job opportunities in both cities. While both locations would provide career growth opportunities and an interesting lifestyle, where would you move and how would you make that choice.

San Francisco is a fabulous city and salaries in the Bay area can easily be 20% higher, or more, than the Seattle marketplace, but many tech workers are choosing Seattle over the Bay area and Silicon Valley’s higher paying jobs. No question the cost of living here is on the rise, but the Seattle area has a significantly lower cost of living when it comes to renting or purchasing housing, parking, dining out, entertainment, groceries, etc. Locating where the employment base is, and where living is more affordable, could explain why Google expanded its campus in Kirkland and Facebook, Twitter, Uber and Dropbox have located offices here.

Friends who recently left San Francisco and moved back to the Eastside were renting a small studio in downtown San Francisco for $3,000/month + $300/month for parking. While the opportunity to return to the Eastside was key in their relocation decision, the difference in living expenses was also attractive. Renting a luxury one bedroom condo on the Eastside at $2,000/month, parking included, definitely made up for any difference in salary. While home prices and rents have increased in Seattle and on the Eastside, our prices still pale in comparison to San Francisco.

A higher paying job is enticing, and San Francisco is definitely a desirable place to live, but when adding up the list of basic items that can be as much as 30 percent cheaper here than in San Francisco, maybe the city on the bay is better as a great place to spend a weekend.

 

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