Moving from San Francisco to Portland can bring about a massive change for some people, as the cities have big differences.

While SF is home to Silicon Valley and tech start-ups, Portland is more well-known as the home of the headquarters of sports and athletic leisurewear.

They’re both thriving cities with trendy food scenes. These similarities may help you to adapt to life in Portland much faster, but the quality of life in Oregon differs from the quality of life in California. But if you feel like you can’t stand the price of San Francisco any longer, Portland is a great city to relocate to.

So if you’re planning on trading in the Bay Area for The City of Roses, the following guide will share tips on making your relocation as stress-free as possible.

The Moving Process From San Francisco to Portland

How Far is Portland from San Francisco?

The distance between San Francisco and Portland is 634 miles. The driving time of this journey is approximately 10 hours by car depending on traffic.

So whether you’re planning on doing a DIY move and driving the journey yourself with all your belongings packed into a rental truck. Or maybe you’re planning to hire a professional moving company and drive your car yourself, it’s worth noting that it’s a long drive.

The flight time is roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes long, so if the idea of driving for 10 hours in your car doesn’t excite you, maybe you should fly there instead.

What is the Average Cost to Move From San Francisco to Portland?

The average cost to move from San Francisco to Portland is between $3,000-$8,500. So the average cost is around $5,750.

But you must remember that many variables determine the exact cost of a move from San Francisco to Portland. These would include the number of items being moved, whether you’ll want packing and unpacking services included, the dates of the move, and whether you plan to do it yourself or hire professional moving services to do it for you.

Should I Move From San Francisco to Portland?

As we previously mentioned, this move might be a massive change for some people, but there are some great benefits to relocating to Oregon. Huge rental decreases and a less hectic pace of life are two of the biggest benefits. If this sounds good to you, then you should move from San Francisco to Portland.

How San Francisco Compares to Portland

Living Costs Compared

The first thing one will notice after moving from San Francisco is that things cost significantly less in Portland.

It’s a well-known fact that these days San Francisco is becoming one of the most expensive places to rent and buy property in the US, due to inflation. So you’re in for a nice surprise in Portland because rental and property prices will be a staggering 94% cheaper than in SF.

The median rent in San Francisco is a whopping $4,128. In Portland, you can expect to pay $2,679 for a 2 bedroom apartment.

If you’re planning to buy a house in Portland you’ll be delighted to hear that buying an apartment in Portland is around 2.3 times cheaper. In San Francisco, the median sale price for a home is a whopping $1,263,813. The median sale price of a house in Portland is only $615,500.

Healthcare, entertainment, transport, and food costs are all cheaper in Portland so expect to have an overall general lower cost of living.

Public Transportation

TriMet is Portland’s public transport system which serves downtown and the surrounding suburbs. It’s comprised of MAX Light Rail, streetcars, buses and a commuter rail.

Just like San Francisco, Portland is a very walkable city so if you live downtown you can expect to be able to walk everywhere. Portland is also considered a very bike-friendly city so it’s a great city to cycle in too.

In San Francisco, a monthly Muni card costs $98 and a One-Way ticket costs $3.00. In Portland, a monthly Hop Fast Pass costs $100 and a one way ticket costs $2.50.


Portland has hotter summers than San Francisco, so if you love hotter days in the summer months you’re in luck. The summers in Portland hit average highs of around 81℉. San Francisco’s summers are milder, with the average highs staying in the 70s.

San Francisco gets no snow throughout the year but Portland gets around 3 inches, so there are opportunities for skiing and snowboarding nearby.

Since in San Fran the coldest average monthly temperature is only 46℉, you should anticipate a colder climate. In Portland, that coldest average monthly temperature drops to around 36℉.

Moving From San Francisco to Portland DMV

If you are planning to move from San Francisco to Portland, you will have to get a new driver’s license.

Within 30 days of becoming a resident in Oregon, you must get a new Oregon driver’s license and you must also and register your vehicle.

You must visit the DMV in person to obtain an Oregon driver’s license. More information about what you will need to complete the process it can be found here.

Buying a home in Portland

As we have previously mentioned, buying a home in Portland is significantly cheaper than buying a home in San Francisco. So if you are looking to purchase a home in Portland, here are the best neighborhoods to consider.

Northwest Heights

Northwest Heights was named as the best neighborhood to buy a home in Portland on Niche. This is a perfect neighborhood for families, and the public schools in the area are highly regarded.

Do you want to buy a home in a neighborhood with a high instance rate of homeownership? Well, Northwest Heights is the place for you because 83% of homes here are owner-occupied. This neighborhood will make it easy for you and your family to establish a sense of community in.


Are you looking for a neighborhood with tree-lined streets and lush landscaping? Then Eastmoreland is the Portland neighborhood for you. The houses in the area are unique, as most were built in the early twentieth century, the housing stock mainly consists of 3 and 4 bedroom houses.

The area is rated as a safe neighborhood to live in by residents. While access to public transportation is rated highly also. It will appeal to those who love spending time outdoors, as there are so many public green spaces nearby.

Pearl District

Are you a young professional searching for a chic neighborhood to purchase a loft or apartment in? The Pearl District might be the neighborhood for you! The housing stock in the neighborhood is made up of mostly high-rise condos and warehouse-to-loft conversions, but it also contains a few townhouses.

The area has been well known for its urban renewal. The neighborhood contains world-class art galleries, boutiques, trendy restaurants, and microbreweries. So if you’re a trendy millennial, this neighborhood might be right up your alley.

Selling Your Property in San Francisco

If you have decided to sell your property in San Francisco, the first step is finding the right realtor for you.

Once you have found the right realtor, it’s time to decide when the right time is to sell your property. According to housing transaction data in SF, the best month of the year to list your home is March.

It usually takes around 3 months to close on a sale in San Francisco, so the best month to sell is June.

Before you list your house, you must figure out what your property is worth if you want to ensure a profitable sale. Your realtor will help you to gauge the area’s market value, so you can then confidently price your home.

An experienced and knowledgeable realtor will advise you through the process. Which will relieve some of the stresses you may have about selling your home in San Francisco.

Finding a Job in Portland Before You Move There

The job market in SF can be extremely promising for some people within the tech industry, but moving to Portland can be just as promising if you are apart of the sportswear and design industry. Nike, Adidas, Colombia Sportswear, and LaCrosse Footwear all have their headquarters in the Portland area. The following places may help you in the quest for a job;

The City of Portland, Oregon: Career Center

If you are looking for a job within the City of Portland or other Government entities, this Career Center is a great place to start the job search.


No matter where you are based in the country Indeed is always a great place to start the job searching process. You can also use the tools to filter your search to certain areas in Portland and there are new job listings posted daily.

To see the current job listings available in Portland, click here

Word of Mouth

Do you know anyone living in Portland? You could try and ask them if they know anyone that’s looking to hire.

Moving From San Francisco to Portland Checklist

The following checklist can be used to check all the things that need to be done before moving from the Bay Area to the City of Roses.

At Least 4 to 6 Weeks Before the Move

– Organize a professional moving company.

– Let your health care physician, dentist, and other service providers know that you are moving.

– Order moving supplies or ask your moving company to provide them as an additional service

– It is a great idea to sell or donate your unwanted items. You can sell on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Or you can donate them to the Salvation Army and they will pick items up at no charge.

– Begin packing; clearly mark boxes with a marker indicating which room they will be going into at delivery.

– You will need to make your change of address known to several different places, such as wherever you do your banking, the DMV, your workplace, any other financial institutions (such as credit card providers), the post office, your utility provider, and, saving the most important for last, your friends and family.

– Sort plane tickets if you’re planning to fly.

2 Weeks Prior to the Move

– It is imperative to clean and/or make needed repairs on your old home before moving out, since leaving your place an absolute mess may leave your security deposit in jeopardy.

– Because of the abundance of fragile items in your kitchen, you’ll want to pack these items away long in advance, with protective bubble wrap to ensure nothing gets broken in transit.

– You will also want to begin packing your things from bedrooms and bathrooms, except for your essential items that you will be using until you move.

– If necessary, you will want to arrange a babysitter for your kids and/or pets for parts of the move that you need to be able to focus and get things done.

A Couple of Days Before Your Move

– Clean up your home completely, double checking any cracks and crevices that may have your stuff hidden away.

– Unless your movers will do it for you, dissassemble your furniture to make your move a smoother process, and ensure to keep any screws, brackets, or other small items that are needed for reassembly. Pro tip: tape these smaller items in a bag to the bottom of the furniture.

– Print out the floor plan of your new home and have enough for the movers as well.

– You may want to hit the ATM before moving day, as you’ll need to have enough cash to tip your movers. Generally speaking, you’ll want to tip $20-$30 per mover.

– Make sure that you confirm with your movers the details of your move. The last thing that you want is to have moving day come around, and you and your movers aren’t on the same page.

– Get in touch with the landlord or current homeowner of your new place, and ensure that you’ll be able to get the keys to your new place when you arrive.

– Document the condition of your old place through pictures and videos, to ensure that you have proof of its state. This will come in handy if your landlord tries to keep your deposit, based on incorrect facts.

Moving Day

– Hand over your old home’s keys to the necessary people, such as landlord or building management.

– Do a quick run-through of your home to ensure that nothing gets left behind, whether it’s just a smaller item, or an entire box of stuff.

– Ensure that everything you packed up is in your new home before unpacking everything.

– If the moving company you are working with is going to assemble your furniture, make sure that they reassemble it in the correct room to avoid unnecessary work.

– Be sure to thank everyone helping you move, and leave them a tip!

You did it! Congrats and enjoy your new home!


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