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Old 01-11-2013, 04:54 PM
 
17 posts, read 10,756 times
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Hi all,

Just a little background: I and my wife have lived in bay area for about 6 month now. I work in Palo Alto, and we rent a 1BR in Sunnyvale.

We like our current place (Avalon at SV) wrt the amenities and actual apartment (it is big, lots of sun, good neighbors, great management). No complaints (rent is actually pretty high - $2.1K for 1br - but we can live with it) except the location of the complex. We cannot just go anywhere without having to drive, which sometimes is a bit annoying. Especially since we both prefer city-like atmosphere and enjoy walking and seeing other people on the streets.

Now things got even more complicated, we expect a baby in August (yay!). So we want to move to a place where my wife could have a better access to parks/gardens, groceries (preferably trader joe's, whole foods or farmer's market) and just walkable streets. And, of course, we got spoiled by the Avalon SV and have 'high expectations' in terms of the apartment complex. However, this is secondary now.

I am considering:
- downtown Sunnyvale (e.g., Cezanne Apartments): shopping and streets but not sure about parks.
- something near Rengstorff park (apartments?): nice park (not sure how safe at night though) and still close to MV downtown.
- buy a 1br condo in downtown SJ: I've read good reviews about some high-rises like Axis, 88 and etc, but have to wait for 6-7 months until I save enough money for the downpayment. I do understand that my commute would definitely get much worse and I am concerned about safety as well.
- Los Altos - looks like a good cozy area but do not know much about it.
- Am I missing other options?

I'll really appreciate your comments, suggestions (or perhaps corrections on my assumptions).

Just to clarify: I would be comfortable with $2000-$2500 price range for 1BR. The reason I said $2100 was expensive is that we signed a lease in mid June. Now similar apartment's rent is ~$1700.

Last edited by pacifist; 01-11-2013 at 05:43 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:17 PM
 
17 posts, read 14,468 times
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I would suggest Palo Alto - either close to Downtown (very walkable, Whole Foods, parks, etc).
Or around Mitchell park - a bit less walkable but still good. They built new grocery store Miki's not far from the Mitchell park), and the construction of new big Mitchell library is supposed to be completed in May.

Los Altos is more dormant and less walkable option IMHO.

MV downtown is OK too, they have excellent library and good park. But grocery stores are not exactly walkable from there, and that area is geared more towards young single adults.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:28 PM
 
1,030 posts, read 1,638,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANIM View Post
I would suggest Palo Alto - either close to Downtown (very walkable, Whole Foods, parks, etc).
Or around Mitchell park - a bit less walkable but still good. They built new grocery store Miki's not far from the Mitchell park), and the construction of new big Mitchell library is supposed to be completed in May.

Los Altos is more dormant and less walkable option IMHO.

MV downtown is OK too, they have excellent library and good park. But grocery stores are not exactly walkable from there, and that area is geared more towards young single adults.
Well, downtown Palo Alto isn't really affordable for them, if they're saying that $2,100 for a 1 bedroom in Sunnyvale is expensive. It probably is out of their price range. Same goes for Los Altos.

Mountain View is a bit cheaper, but still pricey if you want to be downtown. There actually is a neighborhood grocery store right on Castro Street, although to do most of our shopping, we drive to Whole Foods, Safeway or Nob Hill. I think most 1 bedroom apartments near downtown will be well over $2,100 (probably in the mid-high 2's for either Park Place or Madera). You can look at an older place, but it won't be as nice. Rengstorff would be cheaper, but its not such a great area.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:36 PM
 
17 posts, read 10,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadwarrior101 View Post
Well, downtown Palo Alto isn't really affordable for them, if they're saying that $2,100 for a 1 bedroom in Sunnyvale is expensive. It probably is out of their price range. Same goes for Los Altos.

Mountain View is a bit cheaper, but still pricey if you want to be downtown. There actually is a neighborhood grocery store right on Castro Street, although to do most of our shopping, we drive to Whole Foods, Safeway or Nob Hill. I think most 1 bedroom apartments near downtown will be well over $2,100 (probably in the mid-high 2's for either Park Place or Madera). You can look at an older place, but it won't be as nice. Rengstorff would be cheaper, but its not such a great area.
Yeah, that's exactly what I thought about downtown Palo Alto. It is indeed nice but does not seem affordable. Well, I am willing to pay up to $2500-2600 but I guess even for this money it's hard to get something nice.

We looked at Park Place and were not really impressed to be honest. Madera looks nice but too pricey (sigh). Avalon Towers in November were somewhat affordable (not anymore) but at that time we decided to stay at the old place.

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:27 PM
 
1,568 posts, read 1,093,512 times
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Do you think you might want to buy a 2 bedroom instead of 1??? Just that sometimes, but certainly not always, 1 baby leads to 2...

We had a 1bedroom when I had our first kid... it was fine except with dealing with different sleep schedules... we had a 2 bedroom when the 2nd arrived and it was immensely helpful... just putting it out there for consideration....
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:00 PM
 
17 posts, read 14,468 times
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1br for 2k/month is possible in walkable PA area, for example this one
Quiet, convenient, spacious condo

This is close to the parks, very walkable neighborhood close to Mitchell park, JCC fitness center, and grocery store is right across Middlefield (albeit quite pricey).

May be not as nice as Avalon though...
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:24 PM
 
17 posts, read 10,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingsaucermom View Post
Do you think you might want to buy a 2 bedroom instead of 1??? Just that sometimes, but certainly not always, 1 baby leads to 2...

We had a 1bedroom when I had our first kid... it was fine except with dealing with different sleep schedules... we had a 2 bedroom when the 2nd arrived and it was immensely helpful... just putting it out there for consideration....
Thanks for the suggestion. You're right, that 1br might be hard, but 2BR is def out of range for us at the moment. If we decide to buy, it would be a 1br for at least few years. In a couple of years we might consider an upgrade though.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:28 PM
 
17 posts, read 10,756 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ANIM View Post
1br for 2k/month is possible in walkable PA area, for example this one
Quiet, convenient, spacious condo

This is close to the parks, very walkable neighborhood close to Mitchell park, JCC fitness center, and grocery store is right across Middlefield (albeit quite pricey).

May be not as nice as Avalon though...
Thanks, great find! We'll take a closer look at this one.

I have been using different apartment-finder-web-services but it's a reminder I should check craigslist from time to time as well.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,901 posts, read 5,305,859 times
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Rengstorff area is perfectly fine.
Sunnyvale has plenty of parks, no matter where you live you can expect to be pretty close to at least one of them.
Isn't Los Altos much pricier than Sunnyvale?
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:10 AM
 
1,772 posts, read 1,158,860 times
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We rent in Renaissance apartments in Sunnyvale, $2500 for a 2/br. It's not the greatest area in the sense of downtown-atmosphere and also the residents outside the complex, schools, etc., but it's fine for a family with kids under school age. The complex itself is extremely nice and well-maintained, full of young families, and is right next to a small park (not the greatest but does the job if you want to take the kid out for a short walk without driving). The complex itself also has a nice little courtyard and playground inside. It's about a 15-minute walk away from the El Camino shopping centre where you have Safeway, TJ's, Sprouts market, Ross, some cafes, etc. Also to the other side of the complex is a couple of little plazas with ethnic produce/grocery markets that are good in a pinch if you run out of something. I generally drive for my shopping and further out for walks and parks with my son because I much prefer the Los Altos and Palo Alto areas, but these are accessible for a walk within a 20-minute drive, and you don't pay twice the rent. Other times, I'll grab the stroller and we'll walk over to the plaza for some Pinkberry or a visit to Toys R Us, and get a bit of walking and fresh air in on the way there and back. It's not the most exciting walk but whatever. Also, Target, Murphy Street, Sunnyvale community centre, library, and Gymboree are all very close, within a 5 min drive, so all in all I'm finding it very convenient with a toddler.
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