Updated on June 10, 2020
Given most people will argue why NYC is better than SF since there are 10X more people in NYC, I’ll happily take the other side as a multi-year resident of both cities. I’m sure I’ll get flamed by NYC residents, but that’s the fun of it!
NYC is the best city in America for six months a year because it’s sweltering hot for three months and frigidly cold for another three months.
SF is the best city in America for about 10 months a year because for two months it rains during the winter. But at least when it rains in SF, it’s snowing in Lake Tahoe, a 2.5 – 4 hours away with world class mountains likewith a ~10,000 foot high peak.
Therefore, SF is the better city because you can spend more of your life living while having the same professional opportunities instead of being trapped indoors feeling sad and depressed.
The more you are living, the healthier and happier you will be. There’s a reason why NYC has a reputation for having overly stressed and rude people.
Other Benefits Of SF Over NYC:
- Easier to have a balanced life
- Rent and property is cheaper than Manhattan on average (not comparing 49 sq miles to 305 sq miles of all of NYC)
- Easier to fly to Hawaii aka paradise
- Easier to fly to Asia
- is as good if not better at lower price points
- Play sports and do outdoor activities all-year around
- More championship teams of late: SF Giants and Golden State Warriors
- Center of tech innovation
- Center of VC money
- A more beautiful city
- Less people who flash status or wealth – casual clothes and riding a bike over Gucci and driving a card you don’t need
- Perhaps you’ll have higher self-esteem – not sure why a city with 10x more people is trying to compare itself to SF
- Less dense, which is more desirable during the time of COVID-19
Don’t get me wrong. I love NYC, just for only half the year. I lived there for two years while working on Wall Street and I’ve gone back almost every year since 2001 to visit my family.
The energy in NYC is amazing and so are all the activities. As a tennis fan, the US Open is incredible as well. My biggest regret is not buying a 2/2, double balcony condo overlooking Madison Park and the Chrysler building in 2001 for $790,000!
The problem with SF is that there is a “Manhattanization of San Francisco” where SF has become one big grind. Population growth is exploding, tech is ubiquitous and soul crushing, and rents and property prices are inching closer to Manhattan property rents and prices.
We only need one New York City and it is a shame to lose all that is SF.
The best place to live and buy property in San Francisco is Golden Gate Heights, where you can buy single family homes with panoramic ocean views for $1,000/sqft, a discount compared to other prime areas trading at $1,500/sqft.
I know I’ll never win this argument due to being drastically outnumbered – this, is, Sparta! The only thing I ask is that you spend a good amount of time in San Francisco before making a proper comparison.
Once I came to SF in 2001 from 2 years in NYC and 8 years in Virginia, I didn’t want to leave. If you are miserable where you are currently living, explore our great country. There’s no need to be stuck!
You can always move around the less crowded areas in your city. Real estate is 20% – 40% cheaper if you decided to relocate within your city. Then you can relocate to lower cost areas of the country if you really want to save money. Just make sure your salary isn’t cut commensurately, otherwise, what’s the point?
To take advantage of the demographic trend towards lower cost areas of the country, consider investing in real estate crowdfunding through a platform like CrowdStreet or Fundrise. I’ve diversified $810,000 of capital towards the heartland because I think the work from home trend will do very well.
San Francisco: The Cheapest International City In The World (once you look at the price comparisons, you’ll agree).