U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Francisco - Oakland
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-18-2011, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Michigan
6 posts, read 18,840 times
Reputation: 11

Advertisements

Hi there! I'm a pharmacy student and I will be finishing school in May. I may have a job opportunity in San Francisco or a surrounding area like Santa Cruz, Salinas, Monterey, Napa, San Rafael, Novato, Santa Rosa, San Jose, or Sacramento.

I've been to San Francisco as a tourist and loved it. I have thought for a long time that I would like to live there. I am open to the other areas I've listed above, too, but I don't know much about them. If you can help me learn more about these areas, would you be so kind as to share what you know?

I would love to live in the city. I don't need much space and it doesn't need to be fancy, but I do want to feel safe and comfortable. I would like my own place, but I'm willing to share. A one bedroom apartment for myself is sufficient. Is it possible to find something for under $1,000/mo? If not, what should I expect to spend for housing?

What is public transportation like in these areas?

I want to live somewhat near a yoga studio (Iyengar preferrably). I also want to get involved in community theater. I like running. I'll probably want to join a gym (though not a requirement). I like night life (dancing, live music) but truly go out only occasionally. I'm in my early 30's and I'm single. I would like for a coffee shop or two to be near where I live. And a library nearby would be grand.

Can I find a place to live like this in any of these areas where I can walk and/or use public transportation for the most part? I'm not opposed to relying on my own vehicle. Just not entirely sure what life is like in these areas.

Also - I don't know anyone in the area. Is it easy to meet new people and make friends in these areas? I've made friends fairly easily in my life thus far.

Forgive me for my lack of knowledge about the Bay Area. I'm just starting my search. I'm really excited about the possibility of living in a sweet place like San Francisco!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-18-2011, 04:41 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 11,894,235 times
Reputation: 2947
A 1br in a nice part of SF is like $1600 or more for something small and very basic. A studio is usually around $1200 but you see a few rare ones for less than that. Living in SF for under $1000 without roommates is pretty impossible. If you do live with roommates you can rent for around $650-900 a month. Oakland is 20 minutes from downtown SF on BART and is cheaper, you can get a 1br for around $800-1200 and a studio for maybe $700-900, and yes there are nice parts of Oakland. Berkeley is more expensive than Oakland but not as pricey as SF.

Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco are the three main parts of Northern California you can get by without a car. SF has an extensive local public transit system with Muni and BART, Muni can be flaky but it has buses that run everywhere and some bus lines are pretty reliable and very frequent. Oakland and Berkeley have BART which is pretty fast and reliable but the trains don't run that often at night. The local bus system is AC Transit which is ok but the buses don't run often enough. Oakland and Berkeley aren't as dense as SF but if you're near a major commercial street it's very walkable. If you're in the flat areas it's very easy to bike everywhere.

Other than that, I'd say Monterey is pretty expensive because it's a rich little town, if you worked there you might end up living somewhere cheaper like Salinas (which is kinda dumpy from what I saw the one time I went there). San Jose can be expensive depending on where you are. Santa Cruz is a nice place but there aren't many jobs. The bus system there is actually pretty decent because it's a college town.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2011, 07:08 PM
 
954 posts, read 1,171,452 times
Reputation: 382
Monterey is a pretty awesome town, and you could probably swing living in Seaside in a 1 bedroom for around 1,000 a month.

Everywhere you mention is pretty distinctive - do you want a big city, a sleepy suburb, a tiny town? Do you prefer hot and dry, or foggy and misty?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2011, 10:35 PM
 
Location: West Coast
1,190 posts, read 2,292,333 times
Reputation: 2100
A nice one bdrm under $1000 is easy in Sac, plus there is a theatre scene there as well. Anywhere in SF is going to be $1200 minimum. San Jose is as expensive as SF, minus the fun factor. It's just downright boring there.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2011, 10:50 PM
 
954 posts, read 1,171,452 times
Reputation: 382
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy74 View Post
A nice one bdrm under $1000 is easy in Sac, plus there is a theatre scene there as well. Anywhere in SF is going to be $1200 minimum. San Jose is as expensive as SF, minus the fun factor. It's just downright boring there.
Not as expensive at all, not really that boring, either.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2011, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA/São Paulo, Brazil
33,667 posts, read 58,043,924 times
Reputation: 16922
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy74 View Post
A nice one bdrm under $1000 is easy in Sac, plus there is a theatre scene there as well. .
Yeah, I was gonna say.

Sac is the most realistic place to meet that housing price point.

Midtown Sacramento offers a lot of the other amenities the OP is looking for.

Otehrwise, Pharmacists in the Bay Area get very good wages, so do Pharmacy techs and aides relative to their counterparts in other parts of the country so you should be okay rentwise.

Last edited by 18Montclair; 09-18-2011 at 11:14 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2011, 11:25 PM
 
112 posts, read 220,462 times
Reputation: 107
I would choose Monterey. It is on the coast and you could rent within your budget. Yoga is available. Nightlife is limited but here. Running on the coastal trail (share with bikes but no cars) would do fine, plus we have the Big Sur Marathon along with many other runs. We have lots of local hiking trails. I would stay in Monterey or Pacific Grove. I would not want to be as far away as Marina or Salinas (this is a personal preference from living here). Good luck whatever you decide!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-18-2011, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
15,754 posts, read 17,709,375 times
Reputation: 14155
San Jose isn't all that bad, certainly not any more boring than Sacramento which isn't that bad either, but neither is Los Angeles or San Francisco. Monterrey isn't anymore expensive than the rest of the Bay Area. You could find a 1bd for $1200 or so in Monterey or Pacific Grove (PG). It's similar to Santa Cruz in that the job market isn't real hot. Honestly, I have no idea who these people are that think Monterey or Santa Cruz are all that affluent, especially Monterey. Neither are anything like San Francisco or the Silicon Valley as far as affluence goes. Not even close. They're both very middle-class with most of the people living there putting a big chunk of their income towards housing costs. Monterey in particular is a touristy/resort town that does pull in a lot of tourist dollars, but that's money from out of the area and most of it is in Pebble Beach and Carmel. What there is in the way of nightlife definitely caters to the older crowd. There's Hippodrome and Luxe. Hippo is all right, Luxe is just straight-up trashy nightclub. Not much in the way of live music. The community theater is pretty active from what I know.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-19-2011, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,093 posts, read 31,789,406 times
Reputation: 28132
Places it is possible to be transit only (or mostly transit only):
San Francisco (and neighboring Oakland and Berkeley)
Sacramento (if you live and work downtown/midtown)

Transit/walking to errands; drive to work:
Santa Cruz
San Jose (Downtown or Willow Glen neighborhoods)
Santa Rosa (I think there are walkable neighborhoods)
San Rafael (I think there are walkable neighborhoods)

You need a car for everything
Salinas
Monterey
Napa
Novato

FYI: Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Salinas, and Monterey are not part of the Bay Area metro. They are pretty far don't really connect to our job centers so much.

One pharmacy I'd recommend to you is Pharmaca (if you haven't applied already). It looks like it would be in-line with your interests as an "integrative health pharmacy." They prescribe drugs, vitamins and tea! (and have all kinds of "natural stuff"). There are several in the Bay Area: SF, Oakland, Berkeley, Novato, Mill Valley, Sonoma, Napa, Menlo Park: Pharmaca Store Locations and Events

Nightlife options are limited outside of Sacramento, SF (Oakland, Berkeley), San Jose.
Community Theater is plentiful in most Bay Area cities. Or a neighboring place. Yoga is also easy to find in most places in California. You can generally find several studios with all kinds of yoga anywhere. I like in Oakland. Within 1 mile of my apartment I can name about 8 studios large and small.

Other than price, all of your needs are pretty easily covered in most areas -- especially with a car. Finding a nice apartment in SF for $1000 is tricky. As well as in San Jose (those pesky Silicon Valley engineers jack up the prices). If you end up working in SF, the east bay maybe a perfect option for you. You should see a pretty healthy wage as a pharmacist, so you might be able to bump up your rent ceiling if you don't have a ton of other expenses.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-19-2011, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,190 posts, read 6,205,313 times
Reputation: 2053
If you love to live in the city and you love San Francisco, live there!
San Francisco is wonderful imo.
If i was into living in a city again, i'd be there in a heartbeat.

You may like Santa Cruz county as well.
There's an urban vibe in much of Santa Cruz proper.
It's a small city in a county with lots of different way to live .... urban-ish, sub-urban, semi-rural and rural.
The bus system is excellent, there are many yoga studios and classes, lots of places to hike and mountain bike.
It's redwoods and ocean.
It's a young area, liberal and a place where everyone is free to be themselves.
It's also expensive but you should be able to find a place especially if you are open to living with roommates.

I'm not a fan of San Jose.

You most likely do not want to live in Salinas.
Although there are some nice parts, it has a crime and gang reputation.

I really don't like Sacramento.
I know that there are nice areas but it's in the central valley, it's hot, hot, hot in the summer and the air quality is terrible and, if you appreciate beauty (natural and otherwise) ... well, you won't find it there (subjective i realize).

Monterey county (especially Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel) is really nice ... a bit more stayed than Santa Cruz ... not as "happening" but less chaotic / frenetic which can be a good thing.
Both are on beautiful Monterey Bay.

So, in conclusion, San Francisco, Santa Cruz county or Monterey county.
If you're heart is pointing to S.F., follow your heart.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Francisco - Oakland
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top