Cheapest Neighborhoods to live in The Bay Area
Widgets Magazine

Address change



Top 5 Cheapest Neighborhoods to live in The Bay Area with the Best quality of life – 2023

Living in San Francisco also means being surrounded by gorgeous views from The Bay Area. The metropolitan area welcomes its residents with a choice of safe neighborhoods including great schools, shopping centers like the Alameda Landing Shopping Center and outdoor activities making the neighborhoods family friendly. 

While the large city of San Francisco is known to have a higher cost of living, to the North of California, The Bay Area has a variety of affordable cities surrounding the Golden State. This is why MovingWaldo has created a list of the top 5 cheapest places to live in The Bay Area with the best quality of line in 2023.


We based our ranking of the 5 cheapest neighborhoods to live in The Bay Area on the median cost of buying a property in 2023, the median cost of rent for a 1-bed apartment in 2023, and the quality of life. We collected the property and rental data from Rocket Homes Real Estate Housing Market Reports, Redfin and Zillow. To help you compare, the median home price in the Bay Area in May 2023 is $1.3 million and the median rent for a 1-bedroom is $3,195, as of August 2023.

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, environment (cleanliness), as well as availability of recreational facilities and parks.

Featured in this article

1. Japantown

Extremely walkable

Cheapest Neighborhoods in The Bay Area: Japantown
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,983.75
  • Median property buying cost: $937,000

Japantown, also known as Nihonmachi, is the 5th most walkable neighborhood in San Francisco with a Walk Score of 99. The neighborhood is full of restaurants serving Japanese cuisine (and some Korean and Chinese), supermarkets, indoor shopping centers, and hotels. Locals appreciate the area because it is quiet, full of interesting people, and has wonderful restaurants.

It is home to Mary Ellen Pleasant Memorial Park, a small park with a very fascinating history. Although Japantown does not have many parks, it is near Lafayette Park and Raymond Kimbell Playground, where locals can enjoy outdoor activities.

As of August 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,983.75 and the median cost of buying a property is $937, 000.

Rocket Homes (August 2023) & Zillow (August 2023)

Japantown, The Bay Area, CA

2. Telegraph Hill

Access to Golden Gate views

Best neighborhoods to live in The Bay Area: Telegraph Hill, CA
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $3,295.00
  • Median property buying cost: $877,500

Telegraph Hill is home to Coit Tower, a landmark that lures locals with its panoramic city and bay views from the observation deck, reached by elevator.

It is located in the city’s northeastern corner and showcases the Bay Bridge, downtown, and Golden Gate views. Locals have access to Pioneer Park, which provides ample green spaces too. Telegraph Hill’s beautiful scenery, along with its parks and open areas, makes it one of the reasons it is picked as one of the best neighborhoods to live in the Bay Area.

As of August 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $3,295.00 and the median cost of buying a property is $877,500, as of June 2023.

Rocket Homes (June 2023) & Zillow (August 2023)

Telegraph Hill, The Bay Area, CA


3. Haight-Ashbury

Diverse arts and culture

Best Neighborhoods to Live in The Bay Area: Haight-Ashbury
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $2,695.00
  • Median property buying cost: $1,449,000

Haight-Ashbury is a dynamic neighborhood featuring colorful Victorian architecture, trendy vintage shops, unique boutiques, and diverse bars and eateries. It’s an ideal spot to immerse yourself in San Francisco’s arts and culture.

Locals appreciate the neighborhood’s small size, which allows them to easily access essential services and get to know people in the community better. They also like the nearby parks like Buena Vista Park, Waller Street Skatepark, and Golden Gate Park Community Garden which provides outdoor activities and a sense of nature within the city.

As of August 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,695.00 and the median cost of buying a property is $1,449,000, as of July 2023. 

Rocket Homes (July 2023) & Zillow (August 2023)

Haight-Ashbury, The Bay Area, CA

4. Hayes Valley

Renowned for its high-end boutiques

Hayes Valley, San Francisco
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $3,136.00
  • Median property buying cost: $1,212,000

Hayes Valley is an attractive and delightful neighborhood that is renowned for its high-end boutiques. Its central location provides easy access to multiple amenities. The area is known for its beautiful parks, including Patricia’s Green and Hayes Valley Playground, which has an eco-friendly clubhouse.

This neighborhood is praised by locals for its vibrant atmosphere, convenient amenities like grocery stores, shopping centers, bookstores, and cafés, all of which perfectly fit their lifestyle.

As of August 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $3,136.00 and the median cost of buying a property is $1,212,000, as of July 2023. 

Rocket Homes (July 2023)Zillow (August 2023)

Hayes Valley, The Bay Area, CA

5. Fisherman's Wharf

Very walkable

Cheapest Neighborhoods in The Bay Area: Fisherman's Wharf
  • Median 1-bed apt rent: $3,000.00
  • Median property buying cost: $1,598,000

Fisherman’s Wharf offers great views of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island, and the renowned Golden Gate Bridge. Locals claim that because Fisherman’s Wharf is situated near Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, and the Maritime National Historical Park, living there is convenient and allows them to take advantage of outdoor activities.

Its proximity to the waterfront provides a range of outdoor activities, such as cycling and running along picturesque pathways. Fisherman’s Wharf is the 31st most walkable neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a Walk Score of 96, so locals can enjoy walking around the area without needing to use their car.

As of August 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $3,000.00 and the median cost of buying a property is $1,598,000, as of July 2023.

Rocket Homes (July 2023)Zillow (August 2023)

Fisherman's Wharf, The Bay Area, CA


Moving to The Bay Area can be a smooth transition with planning and dedication. The region offers a multitude of homes for anyone who is looking for a change of scenery with walkability. 

The Bay Area is home to some of the finest views, including the Golden Gate Bridge. It takes time to choose the ideal neighborhoods in The Bay Area for you and your family, so carefully consider this list before making your final decision. 

Are you planning on moving soon? Learn about the Best Bay Area movers!

The expert


Mathieu Paquette

The author of this article also acts as MovingWaldo’s booking agent. Matt, is an accomplished relocation specialist with over 6 years of experience in the industry. Matt has earned a CAM certification (Canadian Association Of Movers), Tariff Certification (Atlas Van Lines), and has an extensive business background. Before handing off everything you own, do your due diligence… or let Matt do it for you.

Provide Matt with your move criteria. He will calculate quotes from verified movers, using the same metrics. This will make it simple to compare and book your move.

Booking trustworthy movers starts here


verified and experienced professionals to choose from

MovingWaldo Instant Booking

Relevant for your move

Find a mover

Easily compare multiple quotes

Organize your move

Guided through a checklist

Internet packages

Get up to speed on the new deals

Address change

Update your address in a few clicks

Join the network

Become a trusted vendor in your service area

For agents and brokers

MovingWaldo is a one-stop-shop that simplifies tackling moving tasks

What is MovingWaldo?

We guide millions of families through each step of their moving process, helping them save time and money, and making sure nothing gets left behind.

Trouver un déménageur

Comparez plusieurs devis

Organisez votre déménagement

Guidé à travers une checklist

Changement d’adresse

Mettez à jour votre adresse en quelques clics

Forfaits internet

Soyez au courant des nouvelles offres internet à domicile

Rejoignez le réseau

Devenez un fournisseur de confiance pour desservir votre région

Professionnels de l’immobilier

Prolongez la relation avec vos clients grâce à votre propre plateforme de déménagement personnalisé

Qu'est-ce que MovingWaldo ?

MovingWaldo est un guichet unique qui simplifie la planification du déménagement

You are now leaving the MovingWaldo shop

Talk to our experts about your moving project.

Great ! Expect a call shortly. Our moving expert are available during business hours, Monday to Friday 9AM to 5PM EST.

Promo code

Enter your promo code and update your cart.

Get our printable change of address checklist directly in your inbox