U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
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 12-23-2011, 06:26 PM
 
52 posts, read 179,933 times
Reputation: 27

Advertisements

Hello,

So I am thinking about moving to San Francisco for the long haul. Me and my wife went on vacation there a few years back, and we just loved the area. Is there a neighborhood that you would recommend for a couple who are planning to start a family soon? It doesn't have to be in the city, but somewhere close where there are good schools and somewhat urban living will be great. Suburbia is fine as well as long as it's somewhat close to the city. We looked into the Sunset area, but I'm not sure about the quality of the public schools there. As for a budget, our price range is probably around 500k...

Any help is much appreciated!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-23-2011, 07:48 PM
 
6 posts, read 41,183 times
Reputation: 14
what is 500K? Is that to purchase a home?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2011, 08:35 PM
 
52 posts, read 179,933 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettiepinup View Post
what is 500K? Is that to purchase a home?
Yeah, to purchase a home. Maybe we can push it up a little to get the house we want. I'm currently looking at Berkeley as well as it seems like that fits the bill and is not that far from San Francisco.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2011, 09:08 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 10,470,829 times
Reputation: 2915
A house even in the Sunset would be like $800,000 and up. For 500k you're probably mainly looking at condos in SF. Also I'd look into how you get placed into schools in SF, they used to have a lottery but changed it a bit but I think basically you still can't depend on getting into a good school even if the best high school in the city is a block from your home.

Berkeley might be too expensive for your budget too. There's tons of topics here about where the best schools are. Good schools pretty much always drive up the price of a town. Probably your best bets are places like Walnut Creek or Pleasanton where houses are $600,000 and up, and they're very suburban areas. Maybe see what you can find in Albany, Pacifica and Alameda, but you might be only looking at condos there too.

Really the Bay Area just sucks for raising kids if you're not a zillionaire, if you want a single family house in an area within an hour of SF with good schools and low crime. Which is what most people want. Maybe consider living somewhere more affordable and come here on vacation when you can.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-24-2011, 01:01 AM
 
52 posts, read 179,933 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
A house even in the Sunset would be like $800,000 and up. For 500k you're probably mainly looking at condos in SF. Also I'd look into how you get placed into schools in SF, they used to have a lottery but changed it a bit but I think basically you still can't depend on getting into a good school even if the best high school in the city is a block from your home.

Berkeley might be too expensive for your budget too. There's tons of topics here about where the best schools are. Good schools pretty much always drive up the price of a town. Probably your best bets are places like Walnut Creek or Pleasanton where houses are $600,000 and up, and they're very suburban areas. Maybe see what you can find in Albany, Pacifica and Alameda, but you might be only looking at condos there too.

Really the Bay Area just sucks for raising kids if you're not a zillionaire, if you want a single family house in an area within an hour of SF with good schools and low crime. Which is what most people want. Maybe consider living somewhere more affordable and come here on vacation when you can.
Thanks for the reply! I do see some older homes for sale in the Sunset district for around $500k... if the schools were any good, I'd be happy to snatch one of them up. But I've heard about the lottery system before so I am really not liking the idea of having no control of which school my kids will end up going. As for Berkeley, I again did see some $500k homes in the western side of the city. I'm guessing that area isn't any good?

Also, this might be a stupid question, but do people in San Francisco regularly raise a family in a condo? It's pretty common in other countries or New York City, but I'm not sure if I really want to do that...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-24-2011, 03:51 AM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 10,470,829 times
Reputation: 2915
The SW area of Berkeley is the only really crappy part, basically the area west of the Ashby BART station. The NW section is little dingy looking but ok from what I've seen.

Yeah, people raise kids in apartments all the time here, it's not ideal but you do what you can. I think a lot of people have a kid, stay in an apartment until the kid is ready for kindergarten, then move to the burbs and rent or buy a house in an area with good schools. This is pretty typical in most US cities. I'd say actually buying a condo as opposed to renting an apartment is more for people with no kids who want to stay in SF for a long time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-24-2011, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,764 posts, read 6,933,267 times
Reputation: 3976
I don't think you mentioned where you'll be working. This is typically an important consideration when choosing to relocate. Seems like you might be putting the cart before the horse a little in planning on purchasing a house straight off the bat without renting first to get a better feel for what living in the Bay Area is like.

Also, raising a kid in a condo or any apartment can be really hard. Why? Because other people tend to be not so patient or understanding when there's a baby crying and waking them up in the middle of the night, stroller in the way in the hallway or a toddler running across the floor at 5am for everyone to hear. Parking is a huge problem unless you have a space (few people do) and walking several blocks carrying a sleeping baby and four bags of groceries can be frustrating. (I have personal experience with this as I had two kids in the City).

500k for purchasing in the City isn't really feasible unless you're willing to live in a shroud of cold fog for a lot of the year, or you're willing to live in a not so nice part of the City.

The East Bay would be your best bet but again, you need to tell us what city you'll likely be employed in because the East Bay might not make sense in this respect.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-24-2011, 07:33 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 10,470,829 times
Reputation: 2915
Yeah definitely figure out where you're working first and base your city choice on having a good commute. You don't want to buy a place in North Berkeley then get your dream job in southern San Jose and have to commute 2 hours each way every day or whatever. And I'd definitely also recommend renting for a year before you buy, just so you get a good sense of the lay of the land and have time to check out different towns. I think this is good general advice for anyone wanting to move here, I think people put too much importance in owning property when they haven't lived here yet. If you can afford it and you know you want to live here for 10+ years then yes it's a good idea, but especially in or near San Francisco you aren't saving much if you buy compared to renting a similar place, unlike most of the rest of the US--in fact SF is one of the few places in the US where you can end up paying more to buy a house or condo compared with if you were renting the exact same place. So I think it really pays to have at least a year to get a sense of what prices are like here and to explore all the different towns and to experience first hand what commutes are like here.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-24-2011, 08:07 PM
 
Location: USA
14,026 posts, read 13,421,721 times
Reputation: 9947
Decide where you are working, most opportunities right now are from San Francisco to San Jose. East Bay is still facing tough times. If you want to start a family, check out San Mateo.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-25-2011, 11:00 AM
 
52 posts, read 179,933 times
Reputation: 27
Thanks everyone for the replies. As for where we will be working, I definitely don't know that yet. Right now, we're just throwing out the idea of moving to San Francisco from the DC area. Clearly, we'll have to search for a position first, but we're just not sure whether we're priced out already in all decent areas and shouldn't even bother looking in the first place.

As for raising kids in a condo, I had to ask Having grown up outside the US, it was the norm to not have a house. I always wondered whether there's anywhere in the US that's like that. To be honest, I miss it sometimes... I don't always enjoy the stress of owning a house.
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:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2013 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

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - 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 - Top