Moving from San Francisco to Phoenix: Cost and Tips

Relocating from San Francisco to Phoenix involves many factors. When the move occurs, how much you’re moving, and the method you choose to move all impact your moving budget. Use this guide to compare costs.

So many people are moving out of San Francisco.

At the same time, so many people are moving to Pheonix.

Wondering why, how, and how much?

We’ll get into that.

Let’s start with how much.

Quick Answer: The average cost to move from San Francisco to Phoenix is $2,500-$4,000 depending on the size, route, and timing of the move. Hiring a professional moving company will be on the more expensive side. Renting a truck or using a moving container will save you money but also require a lot more work.

Get an even better idea of your particular moving cost using them moving cost estimator.

Ready to get a full grasp on the factors that affect the cost of your move?

Let’s dive right in.

How Much Does It Cost to Move from San Francisco to Phoenix?

Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company Truck Rental*
Studio/1 bedroom $1,630-$2,100 $1,510-$2,039 $1,330-$1,890 $887-$1,197
2-3 bedroom $2,650-$4,100 $2,258-$3,048 $1,853-$2,633 $1,045-$1,411
4+ bedroom $3,100-$7,150 $2,805-$3,787 $1,995-$2,835 $2,235-$1,667

*Estimates for truck rentals include fuel costs only. Other costs may include lodging, tolls, or parking.

Why Do the Prices Vary So Much?

The difference in what you pay depends on the method of your move. Professional movers are always more expensive, but they do all the work for you.

You can save by renting a moving truck and moving yourself. But you will incur all the stress and strain of loading and unloading the truck and making a long, interstate drive on your own.

You can find a middle ground in price with moving container companies and freight companies. You still have to load and unload the containers yourself, but the companies do all the long-distance driving. It cost a lot less than professional movers, but you also have less stress than driving the truck yourself.

Inbound vs. Outbound State Demands Impacts Price

Some states and cities are losing population, others are gaining. Moving out of San Francisco and moving to Phoenix can actually save you money if others are also relocating to the same city.

Right now 90% of moving searches involving the San Francisco-Bay Area are people looking to leave.

Arizona on the other hand is gaining popularity as an inbound destination. Phoenix specifically ranked 9th for the best city to start a business, which is driving its economy and encouraging inbound moves.

How do you save by relocating to a popular city? With so many making the same relocation choice, professional movers, moving container companies and freight companies may reduce their price if you are willing to share the move with other like-minded souls heading to Phoenix from San Francisco.

Offseason vs Peak Moving Season Impacts Price

Along with the popularity of your inbound location when you move also matters. You will pay more if you move during peak moving season.

If you can, plan your move during the offseason. That’s the fall and winter months. The demand is reduced for the moving industry and companies are ready to make a deal.

See for yourself the difference in price. Compare the costs of a peak moving season move (late spring and summer) to an offseason move in March.

  • July 1: A five+ bedroom house with professional movers: $5,350-$9,500
  • March 1: A five+ bedroom house with professional movers: $ $3,100-$7,150

You can see why doing your homework can save you a lot. Use the moving cost calculator to get an estimate based on your moving dates and the size of your move.

Why Are People Moving from San Francisco to Phoenix?

While San Francisco is a great city, it can get costly to live there. Those who could afford the cost of living were workers for tech companies, which recently conducted mass layoffs. Many of these workers are leaving and looking for less expensive places to settle and work.

Arizona continues to be a thriving destination. The weather is warm and the real estate costs and cost of living fairly reasonable. Phoenix is quickly becoming the new location for many small businesses to build, which is driving their local economy.

Great weather, more jobs, lower tax rates, and overall affordability are the perfect combination for San Francisco techs looking to migrate.

Best Places to Move in Phoenix

Where you move in Phoenix depends on your situation.

Are you a young professional looking for a low cost of living?
Are you starting or have a family and are relocating for work?
Are you a retiree?

Here are the main options in Phoenix proper, although you should also consider other towns in the Phoenix metro area such as Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Saguaro, and Mesa.

Phoenix Locations for Young Professionals

Camelback East

Here is a reasonably priced community that’s close to the vibe of downtown Phoenix. The best part is that when you want to escape the hustle of a big city, this neighborhood is also a quiet refuge.

Affordable condos and apartments make this location ideal for young professionals. Lots of hiking and other outdoor activities are available, along with a world-class zoo and botanical garden, plus lots of trendy eateries.

Why is this place specific to young singles? Consider the cool adult events like Roars & Pours. This event combines the zoo backdrop with ice cold beers. There’s also the Bar, a great hangout, and a happy hour hotspot with distinctive cocktails.


Encanto

Here is a great location if you are single and looking for a really nice home at an affordable price. $186,183 median purchase price and $784 median monthly rent are impressive attractions for those who want to save their money for entertainment.

The city is also home to many of the major employers from healthcare to manufacturing, so you are not far from your job. A quick commute to Phoenix puts you in the center of nightlife, sports, and cultural activities.


Downtown Phoenix

For those who want to be at the center of the action, downtown Phoenix offers modern apartments and condos and walking distance to the city’s hot spots. Phoenix has been ranked as the fourth on the list of best places for young professionals in The United States. The median salary for college grads with 0 to 5 years’ experience: $58,500.

Arts and culture abound in downtown Phoenix along with posh cafes and restaurants. While downtown is slightly more expensive than outlying suburbs, the cost may be worth it for a young professional who wants to be at the center of nightlife, dining, and culture.

Phoenix Locations for Families

Arcadia/Biltmore

In this quaint suburb of Phoenix, you can find great restaurants, short commutes to downtown and spacious homes. For families, the Arcadia/Biltmore area offers easy access to local family-friendly activities such as the zoo and shopping.

While a little costlier than other neighborhoods in Phoenix, you get great deals are big homes. The median closing price in Arcadia is $550,000.


Ahwatukee

Ahwatukee is an excellent location for families primarily for its top-ranked public school system, boasting unique learning experiences and top-tier test scores.

Family-friendly, Ahwatukee offers shopping, dining, and outdoor recreation with a kid ready appeal. Think horseback riding and camping adventures with the kids.

The best part is that you can find an affordable, spacious home here, so no forcing the kids to share a bedroom.


Coronado

For those who still want to feel like adults while raising a family properly, Coronado is the ideal location. Just a heartbeat away from the pulse of downtown Phoenix, the city also boasts 25% higher school test scores than the Phoenix average.

Lots of outdoor activities keep the family busy and there is also the art district and Arizona Diamondbacks games just a flyball away.

Phoenix Locations for Retirees

Sun City West

For those retirees who want to shake off the damp cold of San Francisco for the warmth of Arizona, Sun City West is ideal. This town ranks as of the top 25 places to retire nationwide. More medical centers, a low tax burden and lots of senior-friendly recreations make this an ideal location for those in their sunset years.


Green Valley

This retirement-focused city is not far from the Mexican border, so a quick vacation is always easy with an hour’s drive. It’s also just an hour from Tucson (home of Saguaro National Park) where retirees can enjoy plenty of cultural and entertainment options.
75.20% of the population is made up of seniors, so those looking to find others their own age will find a kindship in Green Valley.


Sun City

Sun City maintains a primarily senior population of 74.40%, one of the third-highest percentages in the state of Arizona. Sun City delivers for its residents with golf courses, bowling, and social clubs along with lots of retail and restaurants.

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