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Old 06-17-2014, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Houston
1 posts, read 1,080 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello,
I'm a 17 year old graduated, looking for some advice on moving from Houston to San Francisco alone. I'm kind of a sheltered child so I don't know much about the world that can't be researched. My parents are extremely against me moving out of state and are refusing to help me get my things together in hopes that it'll make me stay here. (so they're really not that helpful) So since junior year, I've been preparing to move out of state by myself by doing a lot of research about the city, etc.
And what I've gathered so far that I'd need when I get to sf is my Social Security, passport, medical records, birth certificate, a state id card(?), and at least three months worth of money in hand (I have about 20,000$ saved since I've been working since I was 16). I've also already done some over the phone interviews and landed a job there so I'm not that worried about employment.
But I'm still super worried since I know second hand that anything can happen when moving out of state (burglary, assault, etc.) and I'd be completely alone there.
In a month or so, I'll be boarding a plane to San Francisco, so I really need any type advice, like if I'm missing any documents I should be taking with me, or what type of neighborhoods I should avoid.

Thank you for any help.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:03 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
1,390 posts, read 2,315,626 times
Reputation: 1705
My son is away at college and for the first year he did not have his social security card, passport, medical records or birth certificate. He did have his drivers license, bank checkbook/atm, and medical insurance card. This summer he will be working on campus and will be bringing his social security card. He still has no need for his passport or birth certificate. If your parents are cooperative, leave the passport and birth certificate at home. They can always send it to you if necessary. If they aren't cooperative, get a lockbox for them (or bank safe deposit box).

Will you be living on campus or do you plan to find a room to share?
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:14 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
9,033 posts, read 8,371,897 times
Reputation: 5652
Your biggest challenge, especially at your age, will be finding housing. Most landlords and potential roommates will want you to provide previous rental references, but I assume you don't have any of those. In that case, you might use the "short-term" section of Craigslist to rent a place for 3-6 months, after which the person who rented you the room could vouch for you.

You'll also need proof of income. A lessor will typically require you to demonstrate monthly income of 3x the rent.

If your school can provide assistance finding housing, then ignore what I just said above and use their services.

Have you ever been to SF before? If not, then you need to be aware that unlike a typical sprawling Sunbelt city, the "good" and "bad" areas are very close together, and it's easy to wander from one into the other. Are there specific areas you're interested in? As a very general rule, the southern and southeastern areas (Ingleside, Visitacion Valley, Bayview) are considered less desirable, but there are exceptions within them, and there are also some *very* nasty slum-like areas elsewhere. In particular, be very wary of housing ads that refer to "Lower Nob Hill" or "Civic Center" - because many of those places are actually in the Tenderloin, which one of San Francisco's nastiest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods.

And finally, you needn't worry about having your passport here -- though it will come in handy when you fill out your I-9. SF doesn't require passports to move here. Yet.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:35 PM
 
568 posts, read 604,165 times
Reputation: 1130
pch1013 provided some sound advice above.

A couple other thoughts:
- The housing thing will indeed be a bear. Finding a room at aplce with rommates might help your dollar go farther and be easier to be accepted.
- Not a lawyer, but you may want to check into what ability you'll have as a minor to enter into contracts like leases.
- I assume from your post that you're going to attend college and work part-time? It's great that you've saved up some money, but part-time wages, when compared to the cost of living, aren't going to go far. Be prepared for a high burn rate through that savings.

I admire your courage, but based on what info you provided, I'd really think twice about moving this year. It sounds like you haven't spent much/any time here. Waiting one more year until you're 18, have saved even more money and taken a trip or two out here to get a feel for the place seems more prudent than just landing here.

A lot of people move here thinking it's going to be a nirvana where everyone is open-minded and it's easy to make friends, but for too many it doesn't quite work out that way.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:13 PM
 
379 posts, read 621,239 times
Reputation: 250
For housing and work, you need either a passport or a combination of a state ID / Drivers License to prove on your first day that you're able to work in the US. For what you need for school, that depends on your University, and I'd give them a call and ask. You'll also want a copy of your offer letter for your new job, including pay rate, as well as something official with your intent to enroll in school, to rent housing. You may not be asked for these documents if you're just renting a room with someone, but they're good to have just in case.

If your school has student housing, I'd start out living there if possible to be surrounded by peers. If that's not an option, I highly recommend finding a shared room in a neighborhood with a lot of students. The Stonestown area by SFSU, Ingleside by City College, and the area around USF North of the Panhandle are all good options for you. You should be able to find something with other students, and you can cut down on costs by sharing a bedroom or renting a living room. It may be harder to find something because you're a minor if your parents aren't willing to co-sign. In your position a roommate situation that doesn't require you to sign a lease or a sublet would be your best bet.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:27 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
72,659 posts, read 64,111,757 times
Reputation: 68406
It's not clear from your post whether you'll be a college student or not. It sounds like you're not...? Housing will be your main concern. It will be cheaper in Berkeley or Oakland than in SF. Where in SF is your job? In Berkeley and the surrounding area, you'll be able to get a room in a shared household, which will be affordable for you and will also place you in an environment where you'll have people your age who can help you get set up, and can answer your questions. It's important for someone in your position to have companionship, and not isolate himself in a studio apt., imo. At least not in the beginning. You probably won't have to sign a lease just for a room in a shared place.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:40 PM
 
2,489 posts, read 4,555,244 times
Reputation: 3104
Quote:
Originally Posted by idkwhatimdoing View Post
Hello,
I'm a 17 year old graduated, looking for some advice on moving from Houston to San Francisco alone. I'm kind of a sheltered child so I don't know much about the world that can't be researched. My parents are extremely against me moving out of state and are refusing to help me get my things together in hopes that it'll make me stay here. (so they're really not that helpful) So since junior year, I've been preparing to move out of state by myself by doing a lot of research about the city, etc.
And what I've gathered so far that I'd need when I get to sf is my Social Security, passport, medical records, birth certificate, a state id card(?), and at least three months worth of money in hand (I have about 20,000$ saved since I've been working since I was 16). I've also already done some over the phone interviews and landed a job there so I'm not that worried about employment.
Very bad plan. You parents are right! Your $20,000 will disappear very quickly if you pay out of state tuition for the first year. Also if you are working full time at a minimum wage job to pay for your living expenses your college work will suffer.

Good plan alternative - Get a your college degree where you are at and move to SF in style with a good job offer after college graduation.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Berkeley, S.F. Bay Area
374 posts, read 349,552 times
Reputation: 289
Terrible idea. Texas is cheap and inexpensive, don't move to California--especially San Francisco--without support of some kind. You're talking about the most expensive city in America to visit, and you're planning on living here? Not worth it. Either move to the East Bay and attend SF State (if that's where you're going) and find spare money quickly, or don't come at all. Moving to SF (that's not Hunter Points or Chinatown) with money like $20,000 dollars is a year's worth of Average American disposable income. Not even average San Franciscan, it's average American, in a country that makes average around $50,000 a year. And you intend to move to SF where the income average is $70,000, super-expensive, and massive gap in income equality?

Don't do it bro. SF is great, but it requires money to live here.

Your only chance is a Financial Plan with S.F. state, but you better find grants or go to Community College and cut down on costs. The real question is, are you willing to live off scraps?
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Alameda, CA
578 posts, read 1,065,487 times
Reputation: 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by capoeira View Post
Very bad plan. You parents are right! Your $20,000 will disappear very quickly if you pay out of state tuition for the first year. Also if you are working full time at a minimum wage job to pay for your living expenses your college work will suffer.

Good plan alternative - Get a your college degree where you are at and move to SF in style with a good job offer after college graduation.
As an out of state student, I went to a CSU ... that was $7,000 a semester, to $14,000 a year and that was about 3 years ago. Imagine now.

Attending a UC may be much, much more. Not worth it when you could possibly take from your parents for two years and transfer over, or possibly just attend a community college NOT in a higher COL area (not San Francisco).
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:35 AM
 
49 posts, read 55,729 times
Reputation: 37
It sounds like you have raised yourself to a degree and are making your own decisions. It is very expensive here, but it looks like you know how to live frugally and save your money. If you can get here, then find a place to live and find a job, then spend a year and get residency for in-state tuition. Take a trip here to see what you like about the area. Our community colleges are very good, very inexpensive, and you can transfer to a top flight UC school out of them. I think anyone who has saved 20k working by the time they are 17, can make good decisions. I am cheering you on.
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