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Old 06-29-2013, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
8 posts, read 23,976 times
Reputation: 11

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I'm going to be moving from Melbourne Australia to work for Facebook in Menlo Park. I was curious as to which areas I should be looking at living in (and areas I should avoid). It's just me living by myself - No partner or family. I don't drive, so an area with good walkability and close to transit (including the Caltrain and/or Facebook shuttles) would be best. I've been looking at Mountain View which seems like a nice area.

(I hear it's weird to not have a drivers license in America, but I've always used public transport here in Australia and never had a reason to learn. I'll definitely learn one day though)
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:43 PM
 
Location: A bit further north than before
1,583 posts, read 3,161,694 times
Reputation: 1291
Whats your budget, and what are your thoughts on roommates?
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:37 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
8 posts, read 23,976 times
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I'll be on a $106K salary. For comparison I'm on a $60K salary in Melbourne at the moment, and as far as I'm aware, the cost of living is higher here. At the moment I'm paying $280 per week ($1217 per month) rent for a 2-bedroom unit and spend about 50 minutes each way commuting.

I'd definitely prefer living by myself, but I think I could live with roommates if it was necessary.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:50 PM
 
1,614 posts, read 1,743,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel15 View Post
I'll be on a $106K salary. For comparison I'm on a $60K salary in Melbourne at the moment, and as far as I'm aware, the cost of living is higher here. At the moment I'm paying $280 per week ($1217 per month) rent for a 2-bedroom unit and spend about 50 minutes each way commuting.

I'd definitely prefer living by myself, but I think I could live with roommates if it was necessary.
I can't think of anywhere in the silicon valley you could rent a 2 bedroom for 1217 a month. Average for a 2 bedroom in San Jose is 2,300, and that is way cheaper than Menlo Park.

However, you could afford a modest 1 bedroom on your salary in Menlo Park / Palo Alto - very nice area, good amenities, Palo Alto has a decent downtown. Besides, if you're serious about no car, you'll save quite a bit of money on being car free, which will offset the expensive housing.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
8 posts, read 23,976 times
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Yeah, 1 bedroom is fine for me. I'm only in a 2 bedroom unit at the moment since it was nicer than 1 bedroom units in the price range I was looking in.

Any suggestions on sites to use to search for apartments? It seems like Craigslist is very common in the USA whereas here I would only ever use real estate websites.

Quote:
if you're serious about no car
I don't have a choice at the moment - I don't have a license or time to learn. I'll probably buy a bike once I move to the US.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:39 PM
 
1,614 posts, read 1,743,506 times
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Zillow.com also has rental listings. There are also large companies that operate lots of rental developments. Avalon is one of them, they have developments scattered all over the bay area (they are generally above average in quality).

You may just want to search on google, too, the larger complexes have their own websites.

As an aside, how long would it take to get your license in Australia? You can then get your International Driver's Permit, which will let you drive in the U.S with your Australian license.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
8 posts, read 23,976 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
As an aside, how long would it take to get your license in Australia?
Too long unfortunately. It's actually quite involved to get one here in Australia (or at least in Melbourne). You need 120 hours of practice with a licensed driver before you can do the driving test and apply for a probationary license. I don't think it's possible to do in a short period of time.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:06 AM
 
9,565 posts, read 5,904,199 times
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As a general rule, Menlo Park east of 101 (Menlo spans both sides of 101) and East Palo Alto is dangerous and ghetto (but has pockets of nice areas). West of 101 and east of Middlefield Rd. has some nice, some not so nice neighborhoods. West of Middlefield Rd. is all very nice and of course more expensive. So basically, as long as you avoid area east of 101 you should be fine.

Facebook doesn't release their shuttle route, so no clue which area to recommend that's near a shuttle.

Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park are usually the most expensive area to live in and rental market the tightest.

Check out PadMapper.com. They take the craigslist listings and plot them on a map. Craigslist is pretty much the only game in town though.

Also, you may get more ping if you post this in the San Jose forum.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
8 posts, read 23,976 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
As a general rule, Menlo Park east of 101 (Menlo spans both sides of 101) and East Palo Alto is dangerous and ghetto (but has pockets of nice areas). West of 101 and east of Middlefield Rd. has some nice, some not so nice neighborhoods. West of Middlefield Rd. is all very nice and of course more expensive. So basically, as long as you avoid area east of 101 you should be fine.
Thanks, definitely good to know. I've only heard bad things about East Palo Alto so I'll definitely avoid it.

Quote:
Check out PadMapper.com. They take the craigslist listings and plot them on a map.
I've been playing with PadMapper, it's a fantastic site. Will take a better look closer to when I'll be moving (not for another two or three months). Just gathering info for now

Quote:
Also, you may get more ping if you post this in the San Jose forum.
What's the rules on this forum for reposting? Can I just post the same topic in a different forum?
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:32 PM
 
9,565 posts, read 5,904,199 times
Reputation: 6472
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel15 View Post
What's the rules on this forum for reposting? Can I just post the same topic in a different forum?

Sure, plenty of people have done the same.

.
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