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Old 08-25-2008, 01:46 PM
 
3 posts, read 2,876 times
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Red face Outdoorsy area to live? Rental vs. Buying

I am relocating from the East Coast (new jersey) to the Bay Area. I lived in Santa Barbara for 10 years and loved the fact that I was close to the mountains to hike and had plenty of easy routes to get to Mammoth for snowboarding. I would like to live some place that is an commutable to Oakland and is a solid area for outdoor stuff (I whitewater kayak, snowboard and hike), and would love to hear suggestions. I should also mention that I am single so I would prefer not be in the middle of nowhere. I also would like to know average rent for a two bedroom or cost of home in the area you suggest, if you know.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Northern California
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Well, there isn't much that's within easy commute of Oakland. But check out La Honda, Felton, Boulder Creek or Ben Lomand in the Santa Cruz Mtns. between San Francisco and Santa Cruz. These towns are very rural and surrounded by redwood forests. And the beaches are nearby. But the commute to Oakland will be terrible (maybe an hour - maybe less with no traffic - there are only windy 2 lane mountain roads to these areas). There's no whitewater kayak or snowboarding in the area. There are ski/snowboarding areas about 3 or 4 hours east of San Francisco in the Sierra Nevada Mtns.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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Thanks. This is helpful. I am familiar with that commute. I think I would rather not commute so far, but instead, live some place closer to Oakland that has an outlet to other areas to drive to do outdoor activities. I wouldn't mind the 3-4 hour drive to snowboard.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:33 PM
 
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What about the Montclair District of Oakland?

It's very woodsy, nice neighborhood and minutes from Montclair's shopping district.
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:21 AM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humboldtrat View Post
Well, there isn't much that's within easy commute of Oakland.
I'm a bit shocked you would say this - as knowledgeable as you are about Oakland, which has the best park system in the Bay Area. And that's to say nothing of Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga which are surrounded by natural majesty.
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:48 AM
 
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My personal opinion is that it doesn't make any sense to buy a place if you're single to start with. That and prices are still almost sky-high in any neighborhood that isn't shot-gun alley. The cost of rent versus own is still very heavily tilted towards renting because even with the burst going on, renting is still almost 50% less.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:38 AM
 
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What do you expect the price I would pay for a rental would be? In the oakland area? The reason I bring up buying is because I already own a place in DC and was thinking I would sell and roll over into a property on the west coast.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonarrat View Post
I'm a bit shocked you would say this - as knowledgeable as you are about Oakland, which has the best park system in the Bay Area. And that's to say nothing of Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga which are surrounded by natural majesty.
You're right Sonarrat . Maybe I didn't understand the OP's question. There are many places in the east bay that would be suitable such as Rockridge, Montclair, Concord, Walnut Creek, Orinda, Lafayette, etc. This would place the OP within a reasonable drive to go to the Sierra Nevada Mtns. where he could enjoy his snowboarding and kayaking and still be an easy commute to the Oakland job.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:03 PM
 
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What you get for your place in DC will giver you a better answer. To my understanding, the market is bad in DC too. So sell it, see what you can get, THEN think about looking to buy.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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What they said. Live in Oakland up in the hills, where you can walk to some pretty phenomenal hiking trails but there's also a bus that drops you off in downtown Oakland. Use the time and money you save to go on weekend adventures for rafting or snowboarding. (Some of the other 'burbs listed are also beautiful nature-wise but, I think, have less of a young singles scene....at least I think of them as more family-oriented, but I could be wrong.) That said the Oakland and Berkeley hills are family-oriented too, but I have several young single friends who live there nonetheless because they want the ability to hike or mountain bike in their backyards, so to speak, while still being close to the singles scene in Berkeley/Oakland. I would rent rather than buy for the simple reason that rentals are relatively inexpensive there (you can find an in-law unit or apartment for under $1500 easily) whereas houses are exorbitantly priced relatively because the schools are strong there (think mortgage payment of at least $3K!) There may be some condos for sale, though. That might still be worth looking into if you really do need to sell from a tax perspective--but that's assuming you'll have more than the 250K profit that the feds allow on the place you own now.

Also, while it's not as exotic as whitewater kayaking, there is also flat-water kayaking (and canoeing, sailing, and rowing) out of the city-run Lake Merritt Boathouse in Oakland. They have their own fleet of boats to rent, and it's actually one of the more amazing boating resources I've seen a city operate.
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