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10 Things You Need To Know If You’re New To The Bay Area

in Bay Area News, Your New Home by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Sf_skyline_from_bayI’ve been in the Bay Area only about five years and while I absolutely love it here, there were a lot of things that took me by surprise. If you are moving to the Bay Area, your movers can definitely be a great resource, but here are some things that you might forget to ask about:

1. The weather – The weather here shocked me. I knew that summers were rather cool (we’ll talk about that ‘Mark Twain’ quote in a bit) and that winters were warm, relative to most of the country, but I had absolutely no idea that it literally never rained in the Bay Area during the summer. Of course, most of my years here have been during a drought, so it’s hardly rained during the winter, but that’s another story.

2. The traffic – It’s bad. It’s bad during the week. It’s bad on weekends. It’s bad when it’s not rush hour. It’s miserable when it is rush hour. Leave early and listen to books or podcasts or some great music. Don’t talk on the cell phone, though, unless you have Bluetooth, because you will get a ticket.

3. The dress code – What dress code? Yoga pants and hoodies are almost workwear. As a comfort junkie, I do feel right at home, but on rare dressy occasions, I find myself having a difficult time putting a nice outfit together. Bottom line, have a few nice things in your wardrobe.

4. The nightlife – There are so many things to do in the Bay Area, you’ll never run out. There are world-class restaurants. There are museums and galleries. There are clubs. However, unlike New York, San Francisco does sleep. Last call is at 2:00 am. You might have trouble finding places to eat past 9:00.

5. Outdoors – There are few places in the country that match the sheer variety of Bay Area activities. There is a ton of hiking. There’s rowing and kayaking. There’s rock climbing. There are running races and triathlons pretty much every weekend. There’s cycling, but beware, there aren’t as many cycle friendly roads as non-Californians might imagine.

6. Politics – The rest of the country doesn’t know this, but not everyone in the Bay Area is a Prius driving (although there are a lot of those) Democrat. No matter your political beliefs, you will find a lot of like-minded company. But, people do take being environmentally responsible pretty seriously.

7. The history – The Bay Area loves to talk about its history, and for good reason. It’s one of the most culturally rich and diverse cities in the world. The Bay Area was home to greats such as Ansel Adams, Isadora Duncan, Natalie Woods, Bruce Lee, Tony Bennett, Robert Frost, Jack London, and Joe Dimaggio (trust me, the list is far to extensive to include everyone).

San Francisco was one of the few cities that was almost untouched by the Great Depression. One Bay Area city has more dead people than living. Entire neighborhoods are built on top of landfill.

The Beatles gave their last concert in San Francisco. Again, space limits me for all the interesting facts that one can learn about the Bay Area. However, one quote that you will hear a lot as a new transplant is, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco,” which is usually attributed to Mark Twain. He didn’t say it.

8. The cost – Everyone you’ve spoken to is right about this one. It’s expensive here. You can save some money by moving across the bay from San Francisco, but even there, it’s expensive.

9. Dogs – Not everyone has one, but they are everywhere. You might as well get one. And, the biggest off-leash dog park is in the East Bay. It’s Point Isabel, which is a gorgeous three (give or take) mile loop along the Bay. The dogs can go for a dip (beware muddy low tide) and they can be cleaned off at the dog wash or you can hose them off yourself. It even has a cafe for you and the pooches.

10. Nothing is as close as you think – Silicon Valley is actually pretty far from San Francisco. Plan on a 30 minutes to an hour or more to get anywhere, even just across the bridge.


San Francisco Is Nation’s Fastest Growing Moving Destination

in Bay Area News, Bay Area Real Estate by Ninja Movers 1 Comment



Does the Bay Area seem a bit more crowded lately? It’s not your imagination. Despite rising real estate prices, San Francisco is the fastest growing moving destination in the country, at least according to one survey.

While San Francisco is not the top moving destination – that designation almost perennially belongs to Atlanta – it’s moving up the ranks, showing an average increase of 6.9%. The data was pulled by Bloomberg from records from U-Haul.

Penske, a competitor to U-Haul, doesn’t even show San Francisco in the top 10 of overall moving destinations – yet. However, it San Francisco keeps moving up at the rate it is, it might creep onto the list soon.

What other cities are moving up quickly in moving ranks? Nashville is number two. Austin, TX is number three followed by Raleigh, NC, Louisville, KY, Dallas, TX, Tacoma, WA and Denver, CO. Denver is the only city to be both a top 10 moving destination and in the top 10 for growing destinations, although, Tacoma’s neighbor, Seattle, is a top 10 destination.

With the exception of Chicago and Jersey City, NJ, all of the fastest growing destinations are in the South or the West. The all-around top moving destinations show a similar trend, which doesn’t bode well for the Midwest’s or the Northeast’s housing markets.

Graphic of fastest growing moving destinations from Bloomberg.

Graphic of fastest growing moving destinations from Bloomberg.

San Francisco on its Way to Being Most Expensive Real Estate in U.S.

in Uncategorized by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Throughout the country, the economy is improving, but it seems that in many ways, the Bay Area is leading the country. According to reports, the real estate values in the Bay Area will be seeing double digit spikes over the next year.

A recent forecast from real estate analytics firm Veros predicts that residential real estate prices in the San Francisco and East Baymetropolitan areas will spike an average of 12.7 percent by June 2014. The company attributes the projected increase to the region’s low unemployment rate and scant housing supply.

Veros also forecasts robust growth for the Los Angeles and San Jose metropolitan areas, which placed second and third on the list with expected price gains of 11.6 percent and 11.1 percent respectively. The news comes less than two weeks after the California Association of Realtors announced that home-price gains in the state reached highs not seen since 1980.


According to reports, by this time next year, the Bay Area will have pretty much recovered from the real estate crash and may be on its way to property values above those at the peak of the bubble.

Part of the rise in housing prices might be due to an international influx. From 2005 – 2009, about 71,000 people moved to the Bay Area from other countries.

Some experts are concerned about the rapidly rising housing prices. The double digit rises in property value are reflective of the the early 2000s, before the crash. Credit requirements have tightened but mortgage derivatives (where mortgages are sold to investors in blocks) are still being sold with few or no regulations.

Still, it’s a great time to be a homeowner in the Bay Area. The job market is strong. We have one of the most highly educated population in the world and of course, the weather can’t be beat.

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