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Old 01-09-2012, 12:32 PM
18 posts, read 100,258 times
Reputation: 11


I searched the archives and have done a lot of research, but here's another "where should I live" question.

I am a 28-year-old single woman moving to SF for work (Financial District). I have a dog but not a car and would prefer living in the city (in some place that is safe and somewhat active, good for walking around and with other young people. My budget is $2200-$2300 at the max. ($90k income).

Where would you suggest I live? The neighborhoods I've been looking at at Hayes Valley, Nob Hill, Western Addition. Maybe Pacific Heights, the Marina or North Beach.

Is my budget realistic for a studio or one-bedroom? My dog (12 lbs., no breed restrictions) does seem to limit things.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:55 PM
7,937 posts, read 4,696,055 times
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For sure there are fancy nice 1 bed that can go around $3,000 but usually falls in the $2,000-$2,500 range. Studio usually tops out around $2,500 and typically under $2000; so I think your budget is realistic.

Marina, Nob Hill, Pac Heights, and North Beach are very nice; and some of the most expensive in the city. Typically anything north of California St. is considered top notch. Hayes Valley and Western Addition is block by block, there are public housing projects situated in the middle of the neighborhood. Reference SF crime map and http://www.benefitingbvhp.org/media/..._3_11_2008.pdf.

If you're considering Western Addition, I'd suggest you also look into neighboring hood like Alamo Square, North of Panhandle and Lower Pacific Heights; they are generally considered safer than WA.

Noe Valley, Castro (aka Eureky Valley), the western side of Mission District (west of Valencia), and the north slope of Potrero Hill are also populate with people that fit your demographic.

Modern condos/lofts tend to be dog friendlier than the classic Victorians/Edwardian flats that populate most of the neighborhoods on your list. Since you have a dog, I'd recommend you also look into condos/lofts that are usually found in neighborhoods like SOMA, South Beach, and Mission Bay.

Good luck and welcome to SF!
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:19 PM
Location: San Francisco
622 posts, read 880,872 times
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I'd say with a dog, you're going to want to be out near a park and areas where you can walk your dog. That doesn't have to be Golden Gate Park, but I'd focus my search around places that you can go and have fun with Rover.

I never had a dog in the city, so I can't comment on how to find a place though. I'm sure some others here can give you specific advice on that. Good luck and welcome.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:42 PM
Location: SF Bay Area
801 posts, read 1,965,360 times
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I think that Lower Pac Heights would be a good option for you (easy access to FiDi on MUNI 1, 2, or 3 lines, is quite safe, lots of shops and restaurants) as long as you can find an affordable place. I don't know of a lot of 1BR options in that price range (prices have been creeping up for a while in the neighborhood), so you might have to go with a studio. However, I'm not sure how many studios allow pets.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:51 PM
Location: Northern California
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Check out Glen Park which has a BART station for going downtown. There is also a park nearby for your dog.
Glen Park, San Francisco - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:48 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. My dog is small and pretty lazy (he behaves more like a cat), so he likes walks but doesn't necessarily need exercise.

Glen Park sounds ok - is it too isolated?

What about Outer/Inner Richmond? Or the sunset area?
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:26 PM
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 10,779,596 times
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Yeah having a dog will really limit your options, landlords in SF are very anti-pet. You might end up having to live in the East Bay where landlords aren't as uptight.

Glen Park is decent if you're near the BART station where there's a lot of little shops and restaurants. It's a cool little area but it is surrounded by kind of crappy/boring neighborhoods so you might feel a bit isolated without a car. Riding BART to downtown SF would be super easy though.

I would mainly suggest these areas for being safe and pretty easy to get to downtown SF from:

- Hayes Valley
- Noe Valley
- Duboce Park area
- Dolores Park area
- Cole Valley
- Lower Pacific Heights
- Nob Hill
- Marina
- Glen Park
- North Beach

The Sunset District and Richmond Districts are safe and generally slightly cheaper than areas that are further east but they are really foggy and chilly most of the year and your public transit options to downtown SF really kind of suck because you're so far out. You might end up having to live there because of the currently very competitive and anti-pet SF rental market, but you might find it would be quicker to get to work if you lived in Oakland or Berkeley and rode BART to work. From Rockridge in Oakland it's about 20 minutes to downtown SF, from the Inner Sunset or Inner Richmond it can easily be 45 minutes or more on Muni. Also rents are way lower in Oakland than SF so you'd get more apartment for your money. See what you can find in SF with a dog first though.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:16 PM
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The dog is going to be a problem. Landlords in San Francisco are really anti-pet, which is ironic given that San Francisco as a city is about the most dog-crazy city I've ever seen in this country! Just be ready to offer a pet security deposit and offer pet references, and at least he's small. That should help.

RE: the Richmond, we lived in the central Richmond and liked it very much. It's not trendy, but that's part of its appeal. As a rule of thumb, the farther out you get the quieter and the foggier it gets. If you work fairly typical office hours there are express buses that run down Geary to the Financial District, which makes it a fairly easy commute. Those routes shave a lot of time off the sometimes painfully slow route 38. A lot of people at my husband's company (he worked in that area, too) lived in the Richmond, in part, I assume, because it's a relatively affordable, safe part of the city. We loved it there, and hope to move back. Just be warned that if it turns out that most of your friends live somewhere like the Mission it can take forever to get there via bus from the Richmond.

Many of my husband's colleagues also live in Alameda and take the ferry to work (there are buses, too). Rents are lower there (well under your max), but your transportation costs could potentially be higher. It's another place to consider, though, if you are also keeping an open mind to points east.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:41 AM
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My rec would be South Beach area or North Potrero hill. South Beach you can walk to work and good location for the Enbarcadero, ballpark, Chinatown, North Beach. Potrero is more of a community and an easy bicycle ride to work. You will probably meet more dog people on Potrero.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:52 AM
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
31,264 posts, read 51,027,099 times
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I like Hayes Valley the most out of the neighborhoods mentioned in the first post. The central location is just great, the mood is relaxed but not boring and I like the accessibility. But then all of those neighborhoods are great to be honest.
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