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Old 06-03-2011, 12:42 PM
 
49 posts, read 77,660 times
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What about Gal, Wash, Lincoln and Wallenburg? Growing up, Wallenburg was a great school, and I've heard Gal, Wash and Lincoln have become excellent schools, which was shocking because we used to make fun of Lincoln. One year the football team vandalized our locker room by spray painting Licoln #1! And a Lincoln yearbook was misspelt Linclon one year.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:23 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
140 posts, read 224,713 times
Reputation: 133
Default Go ahead & plant yourself outside SF

We finally gave up on SF because of the inability to get into schools. Actually my son got into one public school so bad, it was a horror story - gun shots, etc, code blue lock-downs, test scores abysmal. The school district said couldn't do any better. Know those horrible DMV lines? - well, that is SFUSD all over again. Wasted thousands of dollars getting on waiting lists for preschools also, couldn't get in anywhere as so few preschools for the SF population - had to drive to South San Francisco in San Mateo County for preschool for kids. Then moved to Burlingame, got kids into great preschools right away, but kept our home in city too (expensive - 2 homes in bay area).

Now we moved over to Pacifica, all good schools too, but houses cost about half so that's one of reasons chose Pacifica over Burlingame. It's easy drive into city (much easier than using Hwy 101 to get around). Husband drives & parks at Caltrain Station to get to SF or to Palo Alto.

I would skip east bay - I used to live Emeryville, Berkeley, Piedmont Av areas, etc., owned property there, but can't believe the bridge tolls and back-ups now. Just drove over yesterday to go to a great paper shredding facility to shred all my old property management files, and mid-day on Thursday (non-commute hours), it's $4 mid-day and late evening, and $6 to cross now at most other times of day! You know what they say about bridges & tunnels. We still go over for all the recreation offered in east bay, but usually drive only early mornings on weekends, and late afternoons for return.

Stick with Peninsula - Burlingame has great inventory of rental homes, all good schools, great preschools with openings available. Burlingame has the best to offer, although the public schools are overcrowded now, and they are having to add-on. Your husband can drive to Millbrae BART just few minutes from Burlingame, park car, ride BART on into downtown SF. The train ride is fast, but more importantly, if the tunnels or bridges are down for any reason (natural disaster, electirical, etc), his chances of getting home to his family are much better on peninsula I think than getting back to the East Bay. I do love the east bay, but that bridge back-up situation and having to depend on that BART tube way underneath the bay is not reassuring. As the tube ages, more & more maintenance and delays will occur. Just checked, sure enough read this:
Transbay Tube work to slow BART travel time on weekends | Staff report | Local | San Francisco Examiner

Then join the Burlingame Mothers Club & make some new friends.
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:30 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,245 posts, read 6,876,496 times
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The East Bay does have advantages over the Peninsula, the main ones are cost of housing and BART being a convenient way to get to downtown SF, and I think you'll have to decide which place is better. 4K+ a month is a pretty good budget for housing but the Peninsula can be really expensive and you'll get more housing for your money in somewhere like Walnut Creek than most places on the Peninsula that are about as nice. Houses can go for $900,000 in the Peninsula that would go for $450,000 in parts of the East Bay.

As for BART, it is very convenient for getting to downtown SF because the lines run right under Market Street which is near where most offices are, and the East Bay has a lot more BART lines than the Peninsula. The BART line from Millbrae takes I think about 30 minutes to downtown SF which isn't much faster than going from Walnut Creek. Caltrain is fast and almost always on time (except when it hits someone/something) but the terminus station in SF is stupidly put several blocks south of Market which means you either walk 20 minutes or you have to ride on the unreliable and pokey Muni trains which add more money to your commute costs. You can take Caltrain to Millbrae and transfer to BART but that is just inconvenient and adds time to the commute compared to riding on one BART train. And very few people drive to work in downtown SF, parking is hideously expensive.

So those are just things to consider. The East Bay isn't for everyone but I certainly wouldn't write it off, I really think the Peninsula is overpriced for what you get.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,159 posts, read 4,625,250 times
Reputation: 2929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasmine658 View Post
We finally gave up on SF because of the inability to get into schools. Actually my son got into one public school so bad, it was a horror story - gun shots, etc, code blue lock-downs, test scores abysmal. The school district said couldn't do any better. Know those horrible DMV lines? - well, that is SFUSD all over again. Wasted thousands of dollars getting on waiting lists for preschools also, couldn't get in anywhere as so few preschools for the SF population - had to drive to South San Francisco in San Mateo County for preschool for kids. Then moved to Burlingame, got kids into great preschools right away, but kept our home in city too (expensive - 2 homes in bay area).

Now we moved over to Pacifica, all good schools too, but houses cost about half so that's one of reasons chose Pacifica over Burlingame. It's easy drive into city (much easier than using Hwy 101 to get around). Husband drives & parks at Caltrain Station to get to SF or to Palo Alto.

I would skip east bay - I used to live Emeryville, Berkeley, Piedmont Av areas, etc., owned property there, but can't believe the bridge tolls and back-ups now. Just drove over yesterday to go to a great paper shredding facility to shred all my old property management files, and mid-day on Thursday (non-commute hours), it's $4 mid-day and late evening, and $6 to cross now at most other times of day! You know what they say about bridges & tunnels. We still go over for all the recreation offered in east bay, but usually drive only early mornings on weekends, and late afternoons for return.

Stick with Peninsula - Burlingame has great inventory of rental homes, all good schools, great preschools with openings available. Burlingame has the best to offer, although the public schools are overcrowded now, and they are having to add-on. Your husband can drive to Millbrae BART just few minutes from Burlingame, park car, ride BART on into downtown SF. The train ride is fast, but more importantly, if the tunnels or bridges are down for any reason (natural disaster, electirical, etc), his chances of getting home to his family are much better on peninsula I think than getting back to the East Bay. I do love the east bay, but that bridge back-up situation and having to depend on that BART tube way underneath the bay is not reassuring. As the tube ages, more & more maintenance and delays will occur. Just checked, sure enough read this:
Transbay Tube work to slow BART travel time on weekends | Staff report | Local | San Francisco Examiner

Then join the Burlingame Mothers Club & make some new friends.
Oh please...you own homes all over the place. You haven't failed to mention that in every single one of your posts... Barf.

At least if the OP decides to move to the East Bay, she'll be around other native San Franciscans with kids that are more down to Earth and less snobby, self congratulatory, and know it all sounding.

PS--my kids went to preschool in San Francisco and we didn't spend a dime on trying to get them in. "Thousands on waiting lists"...yeah, right.
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:49 AM
 
800 posts, read 1,262,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clongirl View Post
Oh please...you own homes all over the place. You haven't failed to mention that in every single one of your posts... Barf.

At least if the OP decides to move to the East Bay, she'll be around other native San Franciscans with kids that are more down to Earth and less snobby, self congratulatory, and know it all sounding.

PS--my kids went to preschool in San Francisco and we didn't spend a dime on trying to get them in. "Thousands on waiting lists"...yeah, right.
Aw, there are nice down to earth people on the peninsula, too!

You're lucky you didn't have application fees when applying to preschools. All schools I looked at did have a fee, usually around $100 or $150 per child, just to submit an application. With two kids, that's $200-$300 just to apply to one preschool, so a parent could easily spend $1K if they have more than one child and apply to several preschools.

The OP is fortunate there are many places in the SF Bay Area which she can look at.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:07 AM
 
6,945 posts, read 5,106,638 times
Reputation: 3023
If dad's job/commute is the priority SF is a great place. if mom's and kids take priority go peninsula. any place else dad will be MIA with commute times etc. I myself would choose SF. We were just there and tons of mom's out walking chatting it up with others. Good areas are the Marina and Pacific Heights but get out your check cards. They will be busy.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
140 posts, read 224,713 times
Reputation: 133
Default Ideas if stay in SF

In SF, my favorite commute to downtown is from West Portal using MUNI - my kids love this particular train ride, and the schools are good there - the West Port Elementary School is right on top of the Train Station! Now that things are changing and residents can now choose their neighborhood schools instead of the lottery, perhaps SFUSD can get you in, but we couldn't get in when applied last 3 years. Other neighborhoods that are really nice are: Westwood Highlands, Balboa Terrace, and St. Francis Woods.

Since I'm in the real estate business, and tour homes and buildings almost daily, these are favorites for both SFH's and quality of schools, although think maybe very favorite area of SF is right next to Tank Hill Park.

On Peninsula, there are many charming homes now selling for $499K & less, such as Pacifica, SSF & San Bruno areas. It's 20 minute drive to downtown. I do it every day.

Keep in mind it's a 40 minute BART ride Montgomery BART to Walnut Creek, then door to door, probably an hour each way - BUT you can read novels! Many people do it. Since finding a SFH in good condition, and well maintained can be a challenge to find as rentals, you may have to look at a number or areas anyway, not focusing on just one.

Yes, I kept all my cancelled checks for the Preschools we applied to in SF, and shocked that the cost for the waiting lists went over $1000, and we didn't get into a single one!
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
25,291 posts, read 33,010,189 times
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Since your not going to be here for that long, and your kids are going to be elementary school age, based on your budget and need to be close to the City, I would recommend the Oakland Hills or Noe Valley in San Francisco. The Oakland Hills has some of the best elementary schools in the state, you get incredible views, beautiful weather, a sense of community, lots of education-minded parents and I love the unpretentiousness.

Crocker Highlands is a superb family neighborhood, Montclair as well. Rockridge(technically not the hills, but extremely nice and very popular) has a BART station which gets you into the City very quickly. Also, your husband will have the option of casual carpooling, where he can ride for free into the City for work.

Also, Noe Valley in San Francisco itself is definitely a neighborhood worth considering. It is rather known for being family friendly(especially for parents with younger children). It is very charming, has nicer weather than many other parts of the City and even though your in the City, like much of SF, there is a strong sense of neighborhood.

For someone in your situation, places like Noe Valley and the Oakland Hills in essence, lets you have your cake and eat it too because you can give your kids a great environment to live in and these areas are great playgrounds for adults too(food, nightlife, entertainment--all close).

My 2 cents.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:59 AM
 
415 posts, read 348,803 times
Reputation: 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
Since your not going to be here for that long, and your kids are going to be elementary school age, based on your budget and need to be close to the City, I would recommend the Oakland Hills or Noe Valley in San Francisco. The Oakland Hills has some of the best elementary schools in the state, you get incredible views, beautiful weather, a sense of community, lots of education-minded parents and I love the unpretentiousness.

Crocker Highlands is a superb family neighborhood, Montclair as well. Rockridge(technically not the hills, but extremely nice and very popular) has a BART station which gets you into the City very quickly. Also, your husband will have the option of casual carpooling, where he can ride for free into the City for work.

Also, Noe Valley in San Francisco itself is definitely a neighborhood worth considering. It is rather known for being family friendly(especially for parents with younger children). It is very charming, has nicer weather than many other parts of the City and even though your in the City, like much of SF, there is a strong sense of neighborhood.

For someone in your situation, places like Noe Valley and the Oakland Hills in essence, lets you have your cake and eat it too because you can give your kids a great environment to live in and these areas are great playgrounds for adults too(food, nightlife, entertainment--all close).

My 2 cents.
Agreed. I will also add Pacific Heights as a family friendly place. My apartment building of 4 units had two families with two kids each. I also see a lot of families around the Lafayette and Alta Vista parks in Pacific Heights.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:32 AM
 
14,572 posts, read 12,503,672 times
Reputation: 10539
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
The East Bay does have advantages over the Peninsula, the main ones are cost of housing and BART being a convenient way to get to downtown SF, and I think you'll have to decide which place is better. 4K+ a month is a pretty good budget for housing but the Peninsula can be really expensive and you'll get more housing for your money in somewhere like Walnut Creek than most places on the Peninsula that are about as nice. Houses can go for $900,000 in the Peninsula that would go for $450,000 in parts of the East Bay.

As for BART, it is very convenient for getting to downtown SF because the lines run right under Market Street which is near where most offices are, and the East Bay has a lot more BART lines than the Peninsula. The BART line from Millbrae takes I think about 30 minutes to downtown SF which isn't much faster than going from Walnut Creek. Caltrain is fast and almost always on time (except when it hits someone/something) but the terminus station in SF is stupidly put several blocks south of Market which means you either walk 20 minutes or you have to ride on the unreliable and pokey Muni trains which add more money to your commute costs. You can take Caltrain to Millbrae and transfer to BART but that is just inconvenient and adds time to the commute compared to riding on one BART train. And very few people drive to work in downtown SF, parking is hideously expensive.

So those are just things to consider. The East Bay isn't for everyone but I certainly wouldn't write it off, I really think the Peninsula is overpriced for what you get.
I agree with everything said here. One other thing to mention, there is always talk of reducing or eliminating CalTrain service on the Peninsula (in addition to the inconveniently located CalTrain station in downtown SF). As it is, CalTrain doesn't run as frequently. BART up the Peninsula is also a ridiculously slow and convoluted route.
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