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Old 12-20-2010, 03:59 PM
 
11 posts, read 40,097 times
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Hi
We have just moved to the area from Europe and I'm trying to figure out where to live! If anyone can suggest some nice areas, I would be really grateful.

We want somewhere kid friendly (we have a 2 year old) with classes etc, ideally with shops that I could walk to, commute via public transport as short as possible.


Our budget is $5000 max and we are looking for at least a 3 bed.

So far my searches have all been directed towards the city, but I am finding the townhouses to be really dark. Are there any areas in the Bay that would better suit us?

Hope you can help

Laura
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:31 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,646,276 times
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$5000 a month is a pretty high budget for an apartment, in some places you might be able to get a house for that.

It kind of depends on whether you want to send your kids to public school or private school. The most urban areas closest to downtown SF are SF and Oakland and they don't have good public schools for post-elementary school. If you are sending them to private school, I would look at somewhere like Rockridge in Oakland, it is walkable and has a lot of shops and restaurants on College, but the residential streets are very quiet and would be a good place to raise a kid I think. There's a BART station which takes you to downtown SF in 20 minutes. I posted some pics here of Rockridge:

//www.city-data.com/forum/san-f...d-pics-42.html

If you are doing public school, check out Albany and Piedmont. Albany I think is a little more urban and walkable, it's definitely flatter in any case. You can take BART to SF from North Berkeley or El Cerrito. Piedmont is up on the hillsides so it's less walkable but it's a very nice area, it's expensive though but doable on your budget and has good schools. There's no BART but it's not far from some BART stations and I would guess there are transbay buses you can take in the area or carpooling. Alameda could also work, it's sort of a mix of urban and suburban and you can take BART from Fruitvale or some Transbay buses. The towns east of Oakland like Walnut Creek and Lafayette are more suburban but you might want to take a look.

You could also take a look at the Peninsula which has a lot of nice towns, but BART only goes down as far as Millbrae. You can take Caltrain but it drops you off in SF about a 15-20 minute walk from downtown SF which is annoying, also Caltrain doesn't run as frequently as BART.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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Actually, schooling isn't an issue, as we are moving again in a couple of years. Its mostly a focus on activities for toddlers at the moment.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:52 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Ok. I would definitely look at Rockridge then, lots of parents with young kids there, and the BART ride is pretty quick.
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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East Bay suburbs have the best commute options to FiDi.

Try the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland. There are 3 options to commute into SF: bus, casual carpool and BART. If you live close enough to College (and the Bart station), you'll be in walking distance to everything you need. You can also try the Elmwood neighborhood in Berkeley (it is north of Rockridge) but it is further from BART. The closest option to SF is the transbay bus that runs up Claremont. Amenities in Rockridge are slightly better, but you just need to walk a little bit more to the amenities in Oakland. It'll take 20-30 minutes to get to SF via all methods.

You can add Piedmont Ave in Oakland and Piedmont the city to the list. The Piedmont Ave neighborhood is better in terms of transit options and walkable options to SF than Piedmont the city does. But if you are willing to walk a bit further or drive, Piedmont is a nice place to live for families. It is 100% residential, the neighboring commercial districts are Piedmont Ave, GrandLake/Lakeshore and Montclair. Time to SF is about 20-30 mintues on transit.

Last Oakland neighborhood is Montclair. Residential, and has a really cute commercial area. There is only a bus option to SF or you could drive to BART at Macarthur and/or Rockridge. The bus ride is around 35 minutes on transit.

Albany and North Berkeley/Solano area are also good walkable choices as well. Your distance to BART/bus options will vary All of these neighborhoods are pretty similar in terms of amenities. It will take about 30 minutes to get the Financial District in SF on transit.

Walnut Creek is decently walkable in come parts, but the BART ride is about 40-45 minutes to FiDi.

Good luck.

I don't know much about Peninsula options, but the only commuter option is Caltrain. And that only runs during commute hours, and it is a pain to get from the train to Fidi. Peninsula suburbs with BART access would be better. Not sure about walkability though.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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thanks for the suggestions - one more question (which may sound stupid) but can you get good take-out in these areas?

We lived in suburbia in Spain in our last posting and we couldn't get anything other than pizza!
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 35,108,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauras231279 View Post
thanks for the suggestions - one more question (which may sound stupid) but can you get good take-out in these areas?

We lived in suburbia in Spain in our last posting and we couldn't get anything other than pizza!
Take out is plentiful, delivery less so in the east bay. In Berkeley and Oakland (and Albany) you'll find virtually any cuisine you want.

And the indie/gourmet markets have lots of great options. I like the Pasta Shop in Oakland (Rockridge), Summer Kitchen, Noodle Theory and Whole Foods for take out. But there are tons of Thai, some Korean and Vietnames, plenty of Chinese, some Japanese, decent amounts of Mediterranean, and lots of "california."
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:27 PM
 
10,629 posts, read 25,712,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauras231279 View Post
Hi
We have just moved to the area from Europe and I'm trying to figure out where to live! If anyone can suggest some nice areas, I would be really grateful.

We want somewhere kid friendly (we have a 2 year old) with classes etc, ideally with shops that I could walk to, commute via public transport as short as possible.


Our budget is $5000 max and we are looking for at least a 3 bed.

So far my searches have all been directed towards the city, but I am finding the townhouses to be really dark. Are there any areas in the Bay that would better suit us?

Hope you can help

Laura
If you haven't already, check out the Richmond District in the city of San Francisco (NOT Richmond the city); it's an easy, direct commute to the financial district via express bus, it's extremely family-friendly, very walkable, tons of shops. It's also within walking distance of Golden Gate Park as well as the Presidio. The eating options are fantastic.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 35,108,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
If you haven't already, check out the Richmond District in the city of San Francisco (NOT Richmond the city); it's an easy, direct commute to the financial district via express bus, it's extremely family-friendly, very walkable, tons of shops. It's also within walking distance of Golden Gate Park as well as the Presidio. The eating options are fantastic.
FYI: it is typically faster to get to FiDi from many Oakland neighborhoods than the Richmond. It is also never sunny there, that is fog central.

The bus traverses the city streets. (East By buses to SF actually hop on the freeway)
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:47 AM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,646,276 times
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Yeah, it's 20 minutes on BART from Rockridge to Montgomery St. in downtown SF, and can be 45 to 60 minutes on a packed bus from pretty much anywhere in the Richmond. There are express buses that are faster but they have only a few stops so if you're not near one you have to take a slower more local bus.
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