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Old 01-17-2012, 07:38 PM
 
6 posts, read 14,411 times
Reputation: 11

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Hey guys, I already posted about possibly moving to Oakland/Berkeley from Austin, TX.

I had some more questions:

1. My roommate is wondering how much pell grants usually give out to students (estimate for community colleges in SF or Oakland/Berkeley)?

2. Our budget is at most $2000 for ideally 2bd/2ba but if we had to, we could live in a 1bd/1ba and convert the living room into a makeshift bedroom/living space.

3. We were planning on moving at the beginning of May and were thinking about visiting and hopefully signing a lease by mid March but so far haven't found much on craigslist. Are there any good sites you guys would recommend? I've also used padmapper.com

4. If we were to live in Oakland/Berkeley and wanted to commute to SF for acupuncture school which is in Potrero Hill neighborhood, how long would that take via Bart/bus?

5. What neighborhoods in Oakland/Berkeley are safe and dog-friendly for renters? So far a lot of apartments don't seem to allow dogs, which is very frustrating since I have two small dogs a pug and a pug mix and want to bring them both with.

6. We're all (3 people) in our 22-30's range and would be interested in living near a grocery cooperative or near a farmer's market and are really into sustainable living/conservation so any neighborhood that has a local co-op nearby would be awesome.

7. So far, I've explored West Oakland which some have said isn't that safe/pleasing to live in, Emeryville which some have said also isn't really "living" friendly since it's away from some shops, Piedmont/temescal not a ton of listings via craigslist, Chinatown/Downtown of Oakland which might be good???

Ideally some advice would be nice, since this will be my first major move out of college into a different state.

We've also looked at possibly living in Santa Cruz and even Santa Fe New Mexico since it seems a lot cheaper and cool for us, very metaphysical but we would REALLY REALLY like to get to California since it just seems SOOOO amazing and culturally diverse there.

The biggest thing we're worried about is crime, I know crime is everywhere in all places around the US, but it'd be nice to live in areas within Oakland/Berkeley and not have to worry about it as much.

Thanks a bunch!!!
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
10,757 posts, read 8,294,195 times
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#5, there is no real answer. It's tough to find a place which will allow dogs, let alone two. I'd try the Lake Merritt area, given the sheer number of apartment buildings & housing...the neighborhoods between downtown on the north side of the Lake all the way over to E.18th are safe (the E.18th/5th Ave hoods are a bit seedy). For Berkeley, any area except for the parts around the Ashby BART station (unless north of Ashby, east of MLK) or west of San Pablo, east of 6th Street, are fine...but Berkeley is also tougher to rent with dogs, because the students will ensure a Berkeley apt is always renter (for the same reason, they tend to be crummier).
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
24,995 posts, read 24,797,743 times
Reputation: 22750
Quote:
Originally Posted by An3mu5c0r9u5 View Post
Hey guys, I already posted about possibly moving to Oakland/Berkeley from Austin, TX.

I had some more questions:

1. My roommate is wondering how much pell grants usually give out to students (estimate for community colleges in SF or Oakland/Berkeley)?
I got I think $500 via Pell Grants (graduated 10+ years ago). The max is pretty low.

Quote:
2. Our budget is at most $2000 for ideally 2bd/2ba but if we had to, we could live in a 1bd/1ba and convert the living room into a makeshift bedroom/living space.
Your budget is reasonable for a 2 bedroom in many areas.

Quote:
4. If we were to live in Oakland/Berkeley and wanted to commute to SF for acupuncture school which is in Potrero Hill neighborhood, how long would that take via Bart/bus?
Potrero Hill is a bit of a pain to get to. Virtually anywhere in Oakland or Berkeley is a 20-30 minute bus or BART ride. Potrero Hill is about a 10-15 minute bus ride from any BART station or the transbay terminal. It is about 1.5 miles from BART.

Quote:
5. What neighborhoods in Oakland/Berkeley are safe and dog-friendly for renters? So far a lot of apartments don't seem to allow dogs, which is very frustrating since I have two small dogs a pug and a pug mix and want to bring them both with.
You might want to look for house rentals instead of an apartment. That is much harder. Most areas are fairly dog friendly. If you up your budget, and don't mind living somewhere warehouse-y, you might be able to live at the Bond or Aqua Via in Jack London Square. Fancy lofts, but one of them actually has a dog run in the building. Not really a walkable area though for basic amenities.

Quote:
6. We're all (3 people) in our 22-30's range and would be interested in living near a grocery cooperative or near a farmer's market and are really into sustainable living/conservation so any neighborhood that has a local co-op nearby would be awesome.
Can't think of many local coops. There is one near the Cal campus. There are farmers markets all over the place year round. This will be very easy to find. Oakland has 6 year round ones within a 3 mile radius of my place. Berkeley has 3 year round ones. Emeryville just started a farmers market. There are lots of indie grocery stores and CSAs are pretty popular here. There are at least a dozen options.

Quote:
7. So far, I've explored West Oakland which some have said isn't that safe/pleasing to live in, Emeryville which some have said also isn't really "living" friendly since it's away from some shops, Piedmont/temescal not a ton of listings via craigslist, Chinatown/Downtown of Oakland which might be good???
Wouldn't recommend West Oakland to a newbie. You are looking really early. Landlords are generally on a 30 day timeline and things come up all the time. You should look at houses. You might find more options.

Quote:
The biggest thing we're worried about is crime, I know crime is everywhere in all places around the US, but it'd be nice to live in areas within Oakland/Berkeley and not have to worry about it as much.
The areas mentioned are all pretty good. In Berkeley, you generally want to skip South Berkeley (south of Russell or so) and West Berkeley (west of Sacramento). There is a lot of crime, especially at night around Ashby BART. I'd skip that area even though it looks super cheap.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:39 PM
 
6 posts, read 14,411 times
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Has anyone heard of the IRONHORSE apartments in West Oakland? They seem pretty cool as they are green apartments with bamboo flooring and solar panels. Is it in a decent neighborhood to live in? They seem pretty affordable as well.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
24,995 posts, read 24,797,743 times
Reputation: 22750
Quote:
Originally Posted by An3mu5c0r9u5 View Post
Has anyone heard of the IRONHORSE apartments in West Oakland? They seem pretty cool as they are green apartments with bamboo flooring and solar panels. Is it in a decent neighborhood to live in? They seem pretty affordable as well.
Crappy area. You are between a rough section of West Oakland, abaondoned warehouse and the freeway. If you lived there you would need to drive everywhere. The building is pretty cool, but you need to be waiting for the 20 year development plan of that neighborhood. There are zero amenities. You do get to see the old train station, that is a current redevelopment project. But with the elimination of the redevelopment agencies, you probably need the 40 year plan for that area. I think even the closest liquor store is 8 blocks away.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:46 PM
 
Location: The Bay
6,920 posts, read 10,905,298 times
Reputation: 3018
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Crappy area. You are between a rough section of West Oakland, abaondoned warehouse and the freeway. If you lived there you would need to drive everywhere. The building is pretty cool, but you need to be waiting for the 20 year development plan of that neighborhood. There are zero amenities. You do get to see the old train station, that is a current redevelopment project. But with the elimination of the redevelopment agencies, you probably need the 40 year plan for that area. I think even the closest liquor store is 8 blocks away.
Willow Market on 9th & Willow and Sharif Market on 11th & Willow are close-by, although Willow Market is across the street from some of West Oakland's roughest projects (Campbell Village) and Sharif Market is on a rough block. There are some decent restaurants nearby (namely Pretty Lady) but other than that I'd have to agree with Jade... it's a pretty depressed part of town.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: California and Texas
5,855 posts, read 9,877,653 times
Reputation: 4028
The only safe neighborhood in South Berkeley is Elmwood.. which is south of Derby and east of Telegraph.. other than in the immediate area south of UC Berkeley.

There are other "nice" areas in South Berkeley but they're too close to the run-down areas for my taste..
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
24,995 posts, read 24,797,743 times
Reputation: 22750
Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
The only safe neighborhood in South Berkeley is Elmwood.. which is south of Derby and east of Telegraph.. other than in the immediate area south of UC Berkeley.

There are other "nice" areas in South Berkeley but they're too close to the run-down areas for my taste..
Yup! I wouldn't live anywhere in South Berkeley other than Elmwood or that neighborhood off Claremont with the zillion dollar estates.

Amazingly I have met plenty of clueless people that are under the impression the living near Ashby BART is better than living anywhere in Oakland. You couldn't pay me to live over there. Way too sketchy, and overpriced.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
10,757 posts, read 8,294,195 times
Reputation: 9478
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Yup! I wouldn't live anywhere in South Berkeley other than Elmwood or that neighborhood off Claremont with the zillion dollar estates.

Amazingly I have met plenty of clueless people that are under the impression the living near Ashby BART is better than living anywhere in Oakland. You couldn't pay me to live over there. Way too sketchy, and overpriced.
+1. I lived on Prince & King across from a drug house. Got robbed walking home a couple different times; never been robbed once in Oakland.
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