The Ultimate Guide to Moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles: Your Step-by-Step Handbook

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Author: Vlad Kandybovich

Meet Vlad Kandybovich, your friendly moving expert with over 10 years in the game! As the heart and soul behind QShark Moving Company, he has been a part of more than 50,000 moving journeys, helping individuals like you make smooth and stress-free transitions. Vlad is not just about the business; he genuinely cares about making each move a happy memory. So, when you are looking for advice or a tip on your next move, know that Vlads wisdom comes with a big dose of care and friendship. Happy moving!

The Ultimate Guide to Moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles: Your Step-by-Step Handbook

Guide to Moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles


Moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles is a significant life event that requires careful planning and consideration. From understanding the nuances of both cities to choosing the right moving company, there’s a lot to navigate. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through each step of your journey, utilizing our 8+ years of experience and 50,000 completed moves to provide expert advice. If you consider trading the Golden Gate City for the Los Angeles Area, this article is your go-to resource.

How Much It Cost To Move From San Francisco to Los Angeles

Number of BedroomsCash RateCard RateDelivery Spread
1 Bedroom$3,250$3,6501-2 Business Days
2 Bedrooms$3,550$3,9501-2 Business Days
3 Bedrooms$4,150$4,5501-3 Business Days
4 Bedrooms$4,500 – $7,000$4,900 – $7,4001-4 Business Days

* These are average costs and actual prices may vary.


Welcome to your ultimate guide to moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles, brought to you by Qshark Moving Company, a trusted name with over eight years of experience and over 50,000 satisfied customers. We understand that moving, especially between two massive cities, can be challenging. However, this guide aims to make that task much easier.

Why Move?

Both San Francisco and Los Angeles are icons of the West Coast but offer very different lifestyles. Whether it’s the allure of Hollywood, the exciting nightlife, or the more Mediterranean climate of Southern California, Los Angeles has a unique appeal that attracts thousands each year.

Why Choose a Reputable Moving Company?

When relocating, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is choosing the right moving company. You’ll need professional movers with a solid track record to ensure a smooth transition. How to Choose Movers is an invaluable resource in making that decision. As a highly experienced Los Angeles moving company, Qshark offers a range of services that can cater to the needs of anyone moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into what you need to know about relocating from the Bay Area to the sprawling landscape of Los Angeles County.

a picture of los angeles when moving from san francisco to los angeles

Why Los Angeles?

The allure of Los Angeles goes beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Whether you’re chasing job opportunities or drawn by the promise of a different lifestyle, there’s something for everyone in this massive city. Here’s what you need to know:

Job Opportunities

  • Entertainment Industry: From Hollywood studios to independent filmmakers, LA is the global hub for movie-making.

  • Tech Sector: While not Silicon Valley, Los Angeles has a growing tech sector that offers ample opportunities.

  • Healthcare: The healthcare sector is booming, with numerous hospitals and research centers.

For more details on job opportunities in Los Angeles, check out our FAQ section.

Cost of Living

While LA is generally warmer than the Bay Area, it tends to be lighter on your wallet. Here are a few financial aspects to consider:

  • Housing Prices: More space for less money; you’ll find affordable housing easier to come by.

  • Transportation: The high cost of public transportation in San Francisco can be a relief to leave behind.

Looking for ways to avoid common financial pitfalls? Have a look at Financial Mistakes to Avoid When Moving.


  • Mediterranean Climate: If you’re tired of San Francisco’s fog, you’ll love the sunny skies in LA.

  • Great Weather: The climate is more stable, offering warm summers and mild winters.

Lifestyle and Culture

  • Outdoor Activities: From sandy beaches to hiking trails, the city offers numerous ways to enjoy its great weather.

  • Vibrant Nightlife: Whether you’re into clubs, bars, or art walks, LA has an eclectic range of nighttime activities.

For a deep dive into the lifestyle and culture of Los Angeles, check out our blog post on life in the City of Angels.

Neighborhoods: Finding Your New Home Base

What Los Angeles Has to Offer

Los Angeles County has many neighborhoods, each with its unique flair. From the beach vibes of Santa Monica to the bustling streets of Downtown LA, you’ll find a wide range of living experiences.

  • Santa Monica: This area is great for families and is known for the Santa Monica Pier and excellent public schools.

  • Hollywood: Perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in the entertainment industry or enjoy a vibrant nightlife.

  • Downtown: An increasingly popular area for young professionals and couples, offering a more urban environment.

The Search for Affordable Housing

The search for affordable housing in Los Angeles can be a daunting task. However, various online platforms and real estate agents specialize in finding affordable options in good neighborhoods.

Comparison Between the Two Cities


San Francisco and Los Angeles offer vibrant lifestyles but differ in many aspects.

  • San Francisco: Known for its tech-driven economy, San Francisco offers a fast-paced life focusing on innovation.

  • Los Angeles: Famous for its entertainment industry, LA offers a laid-back lifestyle and vibrant nightlife.

Real Estate Market

  • San Francisco: The market in San Francisco is one of the most expensive in the country.

  • Los Angeles: While also expensive, LA offers more variety and generally more square footage for the price.


  • San Francisco: Known for its foggy weather, the Bay Area offers a more moderate climate.

  • Los Angeles: Southern California is known for its sunny weather year-round.

job market difference in los angeles and bay area

The LA Job Market vs The Bay Area

Industries and Opportunities

While San Francisco is largely associated with the tech industry, Los Angeles offers a more diversified job market, from the entertainment business to healthcare and manufacturing.

  • Entertainment: Los Angeles is the world’s entertainment capital, providing numerous opportunities in film, television, music, and even video games.

  • Tech: While not as dominant as in San Francisco, the tech scene in LA is growing with companies in aerospace, software, and biotech.

Lifestyle Differences: San Francisco vs. Los Angeles

If you’re moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the lifestyle change can be both exciting and a bit of a culture shock. Let’s explore how life in these two cities differs:

  • Weather: Los Angeles enjoys a Mediterranean climate, generally warmer than the cooler, foggy weather you might be used to in San Francisco.

  • Outdoor Activities: San Francisco and Los Angeles offer numerous outdoor activities, but the types may differ. From sandy beaches to hiking spots, LA has different outdoor joys to explore.

  • Nightlife: Both cities boast exciting nightlife, but LA’s scene tends to be more Hollywood-glam than the tech-casual scene in San Francisco.

Cost Of Living between San Francisco and Los Angeles

Expense CategoryLos AngelesSan Francisco
Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment$2,000$3,500
Public Transportation$100$120

* These are average costs and actual expenses may vary.

Planning Your Move

Once you decide to move, you’ll need a detailed plan to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here’s how to go about it:

When to Start Planning

  • Timing: Consider the best time of the year to move. Different seasons can have a significant impact on your moving process and cost.

If you’re unsure about the timing, you can read more about the best time of year to move.

Setting a Budget

  • Average Linehaul Moving Cost: Knowing the average price of a long-distance move can help you set a realistic budget.

  • Additional Packing Supplies: Don’t forget to budget for boxes, tape, and other packing supplies.

Creating a Moving Checklist

  • A checklist ensures that you don’t overlook any steps in the moving process.

You can download our customizable Moving Checklist here.

Choosing the Right Moving Company

  • Track Record: Always choose a company with a proven track record, like Qshark, your trustworthy Los Angeles movers.

  • Additional Services: Find out what additional services, such as packing or storage, are offered and at what cost.

You might find our guide on How to Choose Movers useful for this step.

a picture of san francisco when moving to los angeles

Moving Services San Francisco: What to Consider

Since you’re contemplating a move from San Francisco to Los Angeles, there are special considerations to keep in mind:

  • Inventory Check: Ensure you have a complete list of items that will be moved. This is crucial for long-distance moves to avoid any loss or damage.

  • Timing: For long-distance moves, timing can be everything. Read our guide on the best time of year to move to optimize your experience.

  • Insurance: Given the LA moving cost, investing in comprehensive insurance is wise.

Understanding the Moving Costs: San Francisco to Los Angeles

When planning a move, budgeting is one of the most crucial steps. Here’s how you can break down the moving costs.

Average Linehaul Moving Cost

The average linehaul moving cost can vary based on numerous factors. For instance, moving a two-bedroom apartment from San Francisco to Los Angeles might cost between $3550 to $4000, depending on the weight and volume of your items.

Packing and Unpacking Services

Some people prefer to pack themselves to save money. However, professional packing services can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your belongings. Read our guide on how to prepare for movers to pack to make the most of this service.

  • Basic Packing: Covering just the large furniture and delicate items.

  • Full-Service Packing: Including every single item in your home.

Additional Services and Fees

  • Long Distance Fees: Moving between Northern California and Southern California may incur long distance fees.

  • Double Drive Time: In California, it’s important to consider what is double drive time and how it affects your total moving costs.

  • Heavy Item Fees: Check out our heavy item movers service if you have special items like pianos or safes.

Truck Rental: The DIY Approach

Opting for a rental? Here’s what you should consider:

  • Truck Size: This will depend on the volume of your belongings. Be mindful that a larger truck is more challenging to maneuver.

  • Insurance: Don’t forget to add the rental insurance cost to your budget.

  • Additional Equipment: You may need to rent or buy equipment, from dollies to moving blankets. Check our guide on how to use moving straps for some useful tips.

Storage Services

Sometimes, the move-in and move-out dates don’t align perfectly. In such cases, short-term storage services are a lifesaver. At Qshark, we offer storage solutions that cater to different needs.

Getting an Accurate Quote

It’s vital to get an accurate quote from your chosen moving company. Always insist on an in-home estimate to get the most accurate price. With Qshark, you can expect an exact price, complete transparency, no hidden fees, and customized services to suit your needs.

what to consider about moving cost from san francisco to los angeles

A Closer Look at Moving Costs

Rental vs Professional Movers

  • Rental Trucks: This option may seem cost-effective, but consider additional expenses like fuel and tolls.

  • Professional Movers: Opting for a moving company San Francisco can streamline the process and may save you money and time in the long run.

Exact Costs and Hidden Fees

  • Average Costs: The exact cost will vary depending on various factors, including distance, the number of items, and any extra services you opt for.

  • Additional Fees: Beware of hidden costs like long-distance fees and parking permits that can inflate your budget unexpectedly.

Logistics: Making the Move

Preparing for the Move

The weeks leading up to your move will be hectic. Here’s how to prepare:

Day of the Move

  • Early Start: Aim to start early to jump on the day.

  • Moving Equipment: Ensure all moving equipment is available and in good condition.

  • Last-Minute Checks: Perform a final walkthrough of your home to ensure nothing is forgotten.

Arrival in Los Angeles

  • Initial Accommodation: Consider temporary accommodation options if your new place isn’t ready.

  • Local Orientation: Take a couple of days to get acquainted with your new city before diving into work or other commitments.


  • Unpacking: This can be just as tedious as packing, but it can be done efficiently with the right strategy.

  • Utilities: Setting up utilities is one of the first things you should do after the move.

  • Community Engagement: There are various ways to get involved in your new community, from joining local groups to subscribing to community newsletters.

Choosing the Right Moving Company in San Francisco

When leaving San Francisco, selecting a reliable moving company is crucial. Here are some tips on how to choose:

  • Look for Experience: You want a moving company with a strong track record in Los Angeles Moving. At Qshark, we have over eight years of experience, making us a reliable choice.

  • Moving Services: Choose a company offering various moving services to meet your needs. With Qshark, you can find various moving services tailored for San Francisco residents.

Why Choose Qshark for Your Move from San Francisco to Los Angeles

  • Experts in Long Distance Relocation: With extensive experience in moving services from San Francisco to Los Angeles, you can trust us to make the process as smooth as possible.

  • Professional Los Angeles Movers: Our Los Angeles movers are trained to handle all items with utmost care.

  • We also operate in San Diego and San Jose.

Why Choose Qshark for Your Move

Pro Tips from Qshark Moving Company

Hidden Costs

  • Double Drive Time: Understand what double drive time is and how it could affect your moving budget.

  • Per Hour Charges: Knowing what most movers charge per hour can help you get an accurate quote.

Additional Services

Planning the Move: Bay Area to LA Los Angeles

Moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles is a big task that requires detailed planning. Here’s a sample month-by-month guide to ensure a smooth transition.

  • 3 Months Before the Move: This is the time to start getting quotes from San Francisco movers and researching LA neighborhoods.

  • 2 Months Before: Begin the process of decluttering your home. Consider donating unwanted items to Qshark’s Donation Center.

  • 1 Month Before: Confirm your booking with your chosen moving company in San Francisco. Now is the time to start packing non-essential items.

  • 2 Weeks Before: Start notifying service providers and changing your mailing address.

  • 1 Week Before: This is crunch time for packing. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies. Our guide on how many moving blankets you need can be useful here.

  • Day of the Move: Make sure to have a ‘Day of the Move’ box with essentials you’ll need as soon as you arrive at your new home.

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