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Old 01-21-2013, 10:07 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,202 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi all.

I am planning to relocate from Orange County to the bay area for a job. My background - I am in mid 30s, work in the financial industry, and married (no kids). Wife is in the tech industry and she is planning to take some time off before looking for a job out there. The new job is located in SF's financial district.
Based on everything we've heard and read so far, SF is very expensive and the houses/apartments are not very spacious. We prefer staying in a location with adequately spacious apartments/houses and a manageable commute (~1 hour, one-way) to the financial district.

My questions:
1. Can someone please recommend surrounding cities to live - decent neighborhood, housing not too expensive, and more spacious than SF?
2. How is the public transportation from surrounding cities to the financial district?
3. Any tips in general for someone moving from the OC to the bay area?

Thanks in advance,
Jay
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:25 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,245 posts, read 6,936,306 times
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Your budget would help, "expensive" means different things to different people.

Housing outside of SF is generally quite a bit cheaper, or at least you get bigger apartments and houses for your money. If you want OC-style cookie-cutter flat beige suburbia, then Dublin and Pleasanton would work. Walnut Creek is similar but nestled in a hilly area. Lafayette and Orinda are more rustic but more expensive. If you want funkier and more urban then check out Alameda and Albany, and maybe Berkeley or North Oakland (Rockridge, Montclair etc).

As for commuting, BART is very easy, takes you right into the FiDi under Market with several stations. AC Transbay buses are another option if you live in the inner East Bay (Alameda, Oakland etc) but they drop you off at the Transbay Terminal which is a couple blocks south of Market, so it might not be as convenient as BART if you work north of Market.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:33 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
33,943 posts, read 19,710,685 times
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Actually, it sounds like with the dual income, you could afford to live in San Fran, if you wanted to. But assuming you've decided against that (yes, I got the part about the 2nd income won't kick in for awhile after you move), look at Berkeley, North Oakland, and Kensington (on Berkeley's northern border. There's a BART station there). You'll have a shorter commute than if you lived farther out, cooler weather (or maybe you don't want that?), more amenities, and a great view of the Bay, potentially. And San Fran would be more easily accessible for occasional evening events. You could also consider South San Francisco and Pacifica, if you want to be by the ocean.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:59 PM
 
202 posts, read 191,329 times
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I'd say Dublin/Pleasanton/San Ramon and take BART. But your budget and what you're looking for would help... Do you want to rent or buy? Weather up here is a lot cooler than in So Cal as long as you don't go too far inland. It seems like for the last few years we lost our seasons though.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:19 PM
 
1,795 posts, read 1,280,976 times
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Like mayorhaggar said, affordable and spacious means differently to differently people.

Anyway to answer your questions:

1. You're a young couple, no kids, good income; my suggestion to you guys: Stay in the city, it'll be more fun. The suburbs can wait. Check out the nice part of Oakland (north of 580 and around Lake Merritt, generally) if SF is too expensive for you.

2. BART is your best friend. You'll probably get a much better idea after studying up the BART map and schedule. Also, the ferry from Alameda and Marin County.

3. See #1.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:46 PM
 
1,424 posts, read 2,484,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPaul1 View Post
Hi all.

I am planning to relocate from Orange County to the bay area for a job. My background - I am in mid 30s, work in the financial industry, and married (no kids). Wife is in the tech industry and she is planning to take some time off before looking for a job out there. The new job is located in SF's financial district.
Based on everything we've heard and read so far, SF is very expensive and the houses/apartments are not very spacious.
I suggest looking in South San Francisco,San Bruno,Burlingame or Millbrae.

1)The Bart commute to the Financial district from SSF,San Bruno or Millbrae won't be as crowded as the east bay Bart commute.

2)Since your wife is in the tech industry she might end up doing a commute down the 101 to Silicon Valley. An east bay location would make this commute much more difficult.

3)The apartments in these locations are definitely more spacious and less expensive than the city.

Caveat:some of these locations are subject to airport noise.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
1,074 posts, read 1,695,097 times
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A lot of people think Palo Alto is like Orange County. I kind of agree, plus it has sunnier weather than SF. You can have a swimming pool in your backyard, clean, spacious, with good schools. But be prepared to fork out $$$.

Coming from OC, I think the peninsula in general will be more to your taste, that and just the East Bay cities around Dublin/Pleasanton and Walnut Creek. Also look into Marin County.

I think you won't like almost any part of Oakland even Lake Merritt. You might possibly like Rockridge, but that is a risk. That is a nice area surrounded by bad areas. It might be a shock to someone coming from OC.

I know what OC is like- used to live there and my sister lives there now. Where we live can affect our perceptions and expectations of things. Some people think Oakland is nice and that the good areas are worth looking into, but I'd only recommend that for people who like more funky, ethnic, and urban (unless you want that sort of thing). For an OC person, you might think it is dirty, run down, crumbling infrastructure, and homes that aren't well kept and dangerous.

I was just at Lake Merritt this weekend by the way. I didn't think it was that nice... but they do have the best Vietnamese sandwiches in Oakland.

Typical Oakland houses:

mod cut

Last edited by Sam I Am; 01-22-2013 at 03:24 PM.. Reason: I'm sorry, your photos violate copyright per the photostock website
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:58 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
Your budget would help, "expensive" means different things to different people.
Thanks for the responses so far. It has been very helpful.
To clarify, I am planning to rent in the short term till wife finds a job. I am hoping to find a 2 bedroom (in-laws will be visiting in couple of months) apartment for around $1500-$1700. Is that a reasonable range?
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Newark, California
2,250 posts, read 801,459 times
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Yeah, that's reasonable. You certainly won't find anything in SF for that price but in the outlying areas you should be able to find some decent apartment complexes with 2 bedroom places going for $1500-$1700. May not be the most upscale and luxurious places but nothing to groan about.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:11 PM
 
1,795 posts, read 1,280,976 times
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For that price range, look in the East Bay. I suggest Oakland (Lake Merritt, Temescal, Rockridge, etc), Berkeley, Castro Valley, Alameda, Walnut Creek, just to name a few.

Padmapper.com is a good tool to browse rentals but watch out for scams. If a place is too cheap, it's a scam.
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