Miami vs. San Francisco – living costs compared

Relocating can be a mind-boggling prospect, even though you were the one to decide to move. There are many things to consider once you’ve agreed to move, and probably many rapid-fire decisions you will take. However, you don’t want to decide easily where you choose to relocate.  Making an essential decision like this one is not an easy task. The choice you make will probably set your life’s course for the following couple of years at least. When thinking about whether to move to Miami or San Francisco, some of the crucial things to do beforehand are checking out the lists of living costs compared between the two cities and choosing the right moving company to handle your possessions with care.

Key factors to help you decide the best place to live

Naturally, decision-making involves a lot of considerations. Some of the following factors might seem obvious, while others might not. So before we jump into comparing the cost of living between the two cities, we want to make sure you keep these aspects in mind when deciding between the two. So here’s a list of things to consider when choosing where to relocate which will impact your quality of life in the long run:

  • Affordability – This might be the crucial factor to consider, as we all want more money to spend and save.
  • Taxes – Moving to the right place can help drastically trim down your tax burden.
  • Chances of employment – This might be the most decisive factor if you aren’t a location-independent employee.
  • Real estate value – The cost of real estate is important even though you are not planning to buy a property at the moment. You will still need to prepare for your monthly rent, and researching thoroughly about renting prices, will help you avoid the city you can’t afford.
  • Public transport and commute time – Long commutes can be stressful, so this might be a thing to watch out for.
  • Health care facilities – Everyone should have access to affordable and high-quality health care. This is a significant factor for families with children, people approaching retirement, and folks with certain health conditions.
  • Crime rates -Although there are no utopian cities, no one wants to live in a high-crime town either.
  • Climate – For many people, the weather is a critical consideration to take, especially when having your health and quality of life in mind.
  • Food options – Many of us cannot grow a home vegetable garden due to numerous reasons. Therefore having access to fresh produce is a significant factor to consider.

Living costs compared between Miami and San Francisco

Even if you have moved before or this is your first time, you know that even cross-town moves can be logistically complicated and stressful, let alone moving across the state lines. Interstate moving is a genuinely heroic endeavor! One silver lining is that it gets a whole lot easier once you put your trust in a reputable moving company and know everything will be safely delivered.

And because moving happens early on and really sets the tone for how things will go later, choosing the right place to move to is one of the most critical parts of the process.

  • health care
  • taxes
  • utilities
  • transportation
  • restaurants
  • child care
  • rent and median home cost
  • salaries

Health care costs

Miami coastline with white sand, blue sea and tall, white buildings
If Miami has been calling your name, the good thing to know is that the benefits of living here outweigh the risks.

The average monthly health care bill for a Miami resident is around 393$ with a 4328$ deductible. Luckily, getting affordable health insurance in Florida is possible, especially if you go for alternatives such as short-term health insurance, catastrophic coverage, or packaged medical insurance.

San Francisco offers various health insurance plans with prices ranging from 257$ for Chinese Community Bronze 60 HMO to 643$ if you choose Health Net Platinum 90 HMO.


Even though the cost of living is high in Miami, low taxes help to balance your expenses. There is no state income tax in Floria, but you will still have to pay Federal income taxes. Sales tax in Miami is 7%, which is somewhat less compared to the rest of the country. Additionally, you can receive a discount on property taxes if you pay your monthly bills in advance.

The total state, country, and city sales tax rates are 8,63%. If we break this number down, it’s nice to see that the California sales tax rate is currently 6%. The County sales tax rate is 0.25%. The San Francisco sales tax rate is 0%.


Miami’s monthly utilities for essential bills such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage are 142,12$. However, the average monthly price for the Internet, including cable, is a bit less than 67$.

When it comes to San Francisco, prices are slightly higher, with the monthly utility average bill being 175,80$. However, the monthly Internet price for unlimited data and cable is 63,99$, which is cheaper than Miami. So we’ve narrowed down most of the essential living cost considerations you should keep in mind before you start packing. This way, you will have much less to worry about once the time comes to relocate.


One-way ticket via local transport in Miami is 2,50$, while the monthly pass price is 112,50$. The starting price for taxies in Miami is 3$ while driving in a taxi for one hour will cost you around 24$. If you own a car, you might be interested in the gasoline price, which is 0,68$ per liter.

Busy streets of San Francisco with trains, cars, zebra crossings and trees
The best and cheapest ways to get around San Francisco are by foot or using public transport.

In San Francisco, individual bus and rail cost 2,50$, and the price for the cable car is 7$ with discounts for children and senior citizens.

Rent and median home cost

Prices widely differ when it comes to location. If you want to live in the Miami city center, then the price for a one-bedroom apartment would be around 1900$ every month, and 1300$ if your apartment is outside the center. The price for a three-bedroom apartment in the city center is 3670$ and 2558$ outside the city center.

San Franciso has significantly higher prices in this aspect. For example, the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around 3000$ and 7500$ for a three-bedroom flat. Monthly rent for apartments outside the city center ranges from 2500$ to 4600$.

According to local moving experts from Pro Movers Miami, the average median home cost is 402,203$, which is 9% than last year. On the other hand, the typical home value in San Francisco is 1,463,979$ but bear in mind that prices can be adjusted.


Food might be the most common aspect people are interested in regarding living costs compared to the cities you have in mind.

Although food prices in Miami can vary, an average meal costs around 16$ per person in an inexpensive restaurant, while the price goes up to 40$ per person at more costly places.

Prices in San Francisco are only slightly higher. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant is around 20$ per person and about 43$ in more upscale places.

Miami palm trees, sea and tall, white buildings
Miami is well known for its various restaurants with international cuisine.


The monthly price for a private preschool or kindergarten in Miami is 880,59$, and 2,508,97$ in San Franciso. The price for international primary school was around 22,000$ in Miami and around 35,000$ in San Francisco.


When it comes to salaries, the prices are following the way of living. For example, the average monthly net salary after taxes in Miami is 3524$ and 7595$ in San Francisco.

Last thoughts

If you look at the living costs compared between these two cities, it will give you an image of what to expect if you decide to move to either of these places. When searching for the right place to start over, the decision depends entirely on you, your family’s current needs, and financial stability. Once you have chosen the one, it’s time to carefully prepare for your long-distance move and make the relocation day way less stressful by having a to-do list. Good luck!

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