It certainly makes sense to want to be closer to work, however, many people who work in The City commute from as far away as San Jose, CA., Antioch, Benecia, Vallejo, etc. for the simple reason that people don't necessarily want to live in The City, rather like the income they can get from their work to live comfortable wherever (within reason, of course). That said, if you want to be nearer, you can achieve this without moving into The City, unless, of course, you truly want to be in it for whatever reason. Living on the outskirts of San Francisco leaves you close enough to take BART into work (option), or utilize any other means of public transportation saving on your commute. As for where in San Francisco you may want to look, as for neighborhoods, etc., The City is brimming with great areas, but be prepared to pay dearly for that. Outlying areas, e.g., East Bay, have some nice amenities, but you will have to explore these for yourself and find things you may like in their respective communities. One thing is certain though, your purchasing power goes further outside of San Francisco, and the competition for good housing is a little more sensible in these areas too.