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Old 05-22-2017, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Near L.A.
4,114 posts, read 9,735,006 times
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Between the two options, Contra Costa, without contest. (I like Marin generally, but the overall vibe is generally "twee" and "precious," and the commute will kill you.)

/thread
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Old 05-22-2017, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Near L.A.
4,114 posts, read 9,735,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Since you are going to work in SSF, have you considered communities in San Mateo County? That would be much more convenient. Such as San Mateo, San Carlos, perhaps?

The big issue with Marin - yes it's beautiful, but the commute will be awful, and it will wear on you over time.
SM County might well be my favorite county in the Bay Area. Pretty much any town along the Caltrain line--working from north to south: Brisbane, SSF, San Bruno, Millbrae, Burlingame, San Mateo, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, Menlo Park--is perfectly fine. The farther south, the generally better, with the generally best stuff from Burlingame on south. Burlingame, San Carlos, and Menlo Park are the nicest towns on the line, IMO. Burlingame, San Mateo, and Redwood City have the most robust downtowns on the line, IMO.
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Old 05-22-2017, 12:43 PM
 
12,824 posts, read 21,536,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Since you are going to work in SSF, have you considered communities in San Mateo County? That would be much more convenient. Such as San Mateo, San Carlos, perhaps?

The big issue with Marin - yes it's beautiful, but the commute will be awful, and it will wear on you over time.
San Mateo County is more costly for comparable properties than either Contra Costa or Marin.

Also, it is not exactly pool country. We have them, albeit in smaller numbers than CC or Marin, but rare are days above 80F.
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Old 05-22-2017, 02:51 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,585 times
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Originally Posted by Rina120 View Post

Our take is this: Contra County seems to be best as its located in the center of a lot of hotspots (looking at Orinda). not too far from Piedmont, Oakland or Rockridge. Not too far from Walnut Creek which also have some good restaurants and bars. Also, it does have BART if we'd like to go into SF for a festival or concert or something and remember when we paid exorbitant amounts of money for rent...


Any comments are appreciated.

Thanks!
A vote for Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek to Pleasanton/Livermore corridor. Everything's here, or BART-able, and the weather is amazing. There are some fantastic micro-communities. Never felt very comfortable in the Orinda/Lafayette space though, a little too "old money" -- native California entitled, feeling to me. Danville area makes you car and freeway dependent to get in or out.

You should check out both Pleasanton/Livermore and Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill, ends of the corridor so to speak, and very different from each other and both very BART-able.
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Old 05-22-2017, 03:00 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Not sure I'd consider Livermore "BART-able" considering it lacks a BART station and is a decent distance away.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
San Mateo County is more costly for comparable properties than either Contra Costa or Marin.

Also, it is not exactly pool country. We have them, albeit in smaller numbers than CC or Marin, but rare are days above 80F.
True - the tradeoff is distance vs. square footage per dollar. It's up to the user to make that optimization.
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:42 PM
 
484 posts, read 736,640 times
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I would definitely choose CC over Marin being a frequent visitor to the former and a former resident of the latter (and a City resident otherwise). Marin tries to be both a suburb and a rural area and ends up sacrificing the benefits of either ... traffic is bad ... crappy public transit ... the entertainment options are limited ... isolated from the rest of the Bay Area ... people are a weird snob/hick combo. Contra Costa is a more straightforward suburb with the amenities that come with that and a fast rail connections to the City and other parts of the Bay Area as well as freeway options. I also prefer the warmer weather of CC.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:18 PM
 
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There have been so many great answers here that I don't know how much I can add, but I just read this, and I'm a Walnut Creek native, so I'll chime in! I loved growing up and living in CCC and still have family there. But I also think Marin County is even more beautiful in terms of scenery -- the redwoods, the beaches, the bay, the hills, whereas CCC is mostly just grass and oak (but also very beautiful). IMO, Orinda isn't my favorite place in CCC despite the great location, because it does catch that morning overcast from Berkeley straddling the Oakland Hills, and it's a good ten degrees cooler than Walnut Creek much of the time. You'll find sticking to the 680 corridor (as opposed to the 24 corridor) will give you balmy evenings for sitting by the pool, whereas Orinda and Lafayette almost always cool down in the evenings, which I'd say makes the climates similar to Marin. Plus, Walnut Creek and say, Pleasant Hill, are more affordable than Lamorinda, so you sort of get the best of both worlds while trading off a little more distance to the City. If you really want the outdoor/backyard swimming pool lifestyle, then you can't do better than CCC.

As people mentioned, 'conservative' is relative. The area WAS very, very Republican back in the 80s, but it's really changed. Walnut Creek is now mostly an affluent Democrat city. I believe Danville and Alamo are still extremely white and mostly conservative, though, and they are among the last holdouts of California's evolving demographic. Still, even those areas feel very welcoming and friendly. The area is also very very safe.

Let us know where you end up buying! Let me know if you have any questions about specific neighborhoods since it's my old stomping grounds!
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Palo Alto, CA
901 posts, read 969,303 times
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If I could live/work at home, Marin, hands-down, I'm an outdoors person. But that is not my life. I'm in Marin often, and this past weekend in the late *morning* I lost a sad hour of my life crawling around Mill Valley in regular ordinary traffic. It was shocking. It's not worth it. Rush hours are known to be bad, but Saturday at 10:30 am, with no special event in town?

Long term, with Bay Area traffic on the current awful trajectory, I'd prioritize a CC or Alameda county location within 15 minute local drive of BART. BART will improve, the money is allocated. Right now it's messy, though.

If one needs access to the Silicon Valley job market, no choice, it's either San mateo or Santa Clara counties, the two most expensive counties in the region. You have to suck it up.
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:10 PM
 
2,058 posts, read 2,460,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
But I also think Marin County is even more beautiful in terms of scenery -- the redwoods, the beaches, the bay, the hills, whereas CCC is mostly just grass and oak (but also very beautiful).
I find that the grass in CCC is much more gold due to the drier climate. Marin and San Mateo doesn't have that to the same degree. Also Mount Diablo feels much more rugged like a real Mountain then the Marin Headlands.
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