Impressive credit check and references are key to renting locally. Local properties are among the most expensive and desirable in SF so you had better be able to impress the landlord. Prices vary greatly, depending on what type of house rentals. Do your research before attending viewings and try renting an apartment with all utilities paid to make sure you don't sweat it out when the bills start coming in. Other than a credit check and references, be sure to have money saved up to plop down the deposit when you find a place you love.
Western Addition is one of the most colorful districts in San Francisco. It incorporates a few smaller areas with very different flavors and offers a variety of rental homes.
Lower Pacific Heights: You can find lots of dining, shopping and entertainment offers in this tiny neighborhood filled with beautiful architecture. The best thing, however, is its proximity within walking distance from downtown and the Financial district.
Japantown: An area that offers the biggest variety of Japanese food this side of the Pacific. Japantown is also home to a stunning Japanese Center fashioned after traditional architecture with malls luring you in for a shopping spree. The Sundance Kabuki 8 Theater hosts the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival every year.
Anza Vista: This neighborhood perched atop a hill offers sweeping views of the city and steep rents. It is a mixture of modern homes and offices that stand out from the period housing dominating the rest of the area. The excellent hospital and the local mall are the major draws.
Painted Ladies: The Painted Ladies are a row of Victorian houses, spared by the great earthquake-cum-fire of 1906, which are often displayed on San Francisco posters, postcards and other memorabilia. You can marvel at them from the slopes of Alamo Square Park, which is a great spot for admiring the city skyline while lazing on the grass.
In a city notorious for its lack of parking spaces, Western Addition is a breath of fresh air. You can actually find a vacant spot in less than 10 minutes. Also, several bus routes head straight downtown so, if you feel like getting around by the MUNI, you have it made.
The dining scene in Western Addition offers anything from cheap eats and fusion places to gourmet restaurants. There are loads of authentic Japanese places in Japantown, plenty of diners and restaurants that have become institutions firmly established here for decades and numerous cafes with great atmosphere where the local community hangs out. You can also find spots where you can sample French wines, European craft beers or whatever else suits your taste.
Once upon a time, the area had a vibrant jazz scene. Today there are only a couple of places where you can listen to live tunes. Boom Boom Room is one of them; the other is Yoshi's Jazz Club. At the latter you can also spend your weekly salary on a dinner.