South San Francisco

Pros and Cons of Living in South San Francisco

Thinking of relocating to South San Francisco? Like any city, South San Francisco has its positive and negative qualities, but it’s your job to determine if the pros outweigh the cons. Let’s dive into the top pros and cons of the Industrial City and see if it could be the right place for you!


Pro #1: The Climate.

South San Francisco is blessed with a Mediterranean climate and mild weather. Rarely will you experience extreme weather conditions or radically hot and cold days. On average, South San Francisco can reach highs into the 80º range, but almost never drops below 40º. With such mild weather you won’t experience a 4 season environment. 

Pro #2: Convenience and Proximity.

South San Francisco is right in the middle of the peninsula, making it a quick and easy drive to anything you may need. With San Francisco just north and Santa Clara down south, the city is bookended by other metropolitan areas, giving residents great access to almost anything they could want or need.

Pro #3: Affordability. 

Now you may be thinking, how could any Bay Area city possibly list affordability as a pro, but affordability is all relative! Compared to the rest of the peninsula, South San Francisco has a much lower barrier to entry per square foot with a single family home. This makes it one of the more affordable cities in the Bay Area.

Pro #4: Developments and Improvements.

South San Francisco, aptly nicknamed “The Industrial City”, puts a major focus on progressive developments and city improvements. The city is currently working on an extensive Caltrain station improvement project, as well as a new Community Civic Center Campus. In addition to these civic improvements, there is also a focus on commercial community projects. Currently, a third Safeway shopping center is being built in the south west corner of the city.


Now that we’ve covered a few of the pros, it's time to dive into some cons of living in South San Francisco.

Con #1: Overcast. 

While South San Francisco has a Mediterranean climate and mild weather throughout the year, it is not immune to the San Francisco fog. Approximately one third of the days per year will be cloudy or foggy, with January being the worst with the sky being overcast at least 53% of the time. While there isn’t any snow, “Carl the Fog” – as residents call it – is a common visitor during the winter months.

Con #2: Air-Traffic Noise.

Airports can be a catch-22. If you’re looking for easy access to an airport, South San Francisco is just minutes away from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), allowing for domestic and international travel with little hassle. Unfortunately, this proximity also comes with air traffic noise, since the city falls under an SFO flight path. If you’re sensitive to noise, South San Francisco may not be the city for you.

Con #3: Affordability.

Again, affordability is relative. When comparing South San Francisco to other cities in the U.S., it is one of the more expensive cities in the country with the median home price being 1.1 million dollars. When it comes to home cost, you aren’t able to get as much bang for your buck when compared to other U.S. cities, even though it is more affordable when compared to most of the Bay Area.

Con #4: Constant Change.

A city that is progressive with city development and improvements means quicker changes to the area which give existing residents who’ve grown accustomed to the way the city once was, a feeling of vertigo. While a focus on civic improvements is generally great, it does come with more overturn and more construction potentially leading to an increase in traffic and delays.


While South San Francisco may not be perfect, if you’re looking for a metropolitan area that is constantly growing and improving, with easy access to amenities and travel options, and you can afford the higher costs that come with the area, the city may be perfect for you. If you're looking for a deeper dive into South San Francisco, click here to check out our neighborhood guide series on Youtube!

If you’re looking to purchase a home in South San Francisco, reach out to us! We have a great team of seasoned real estate professionals who would be happy to help you find the perfect home for you. Connect with us on social media here, fill out the contact form on our website, or give us a call at (650) 852-1400 and we’ll get your process started!


We help our clients make the best decisions by focusing on their long-term goals. Our mission is to help our clients build wealth through real estate. Contact us today and we are happy to serve you.