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Old 01-05-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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Hello everyone,

My wife and I, no kids, will be moving to San Francisco in April. We are in our mid to late 20's. We will both be working in or around downtown SF.

We've set our budget to between 1300-1600 / month for an apartment. We do have a car and ideally would like to live in an area where parking is not too bad of a problem. I understand many parts of SF are horrendous in terms of parking. We would like to live in a safe area and don't mind diversity. It doesn't have to be bursting with life, but don't want it to be too dead either. We don't mind living just outside of SF like Oakland or south of SF. We are just clueless to the neighboorhoods out there and what will fit with what we're looking for, generally. The area should have public transportation to the downtown area available.

Or, whats an area where you can get the most for your money? In terms of space, parking, decent area, close to city with public transportation, etc.

Any recomendations? Feel free to ask me anything! We will be in the Bay area next week checking out neighboorhoods.

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it!
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:30 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,569,877 times
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You can get a very basic 1 bedroom in a nice part of SF for about $1400-1600. It will probably be on the small side and might or might not be in bad shape though. In SF I would check out Noe Valley, the Mission (stay west of Mission Street to avoid crime and grime), though you'll have to battle for on-street parking. Parking is a bit easier in the Inner Richmond and Inner Sunset but those areas are usually cloudy or foggy or at least windy compared with more eastern parts of SF. Glen Park I think is a bit better for parking but it can be windy/foggy. Bernal Hill is good for parking but it's not great for getting to downtown and it's up a hill so it's not really easy to walk around.

Outside of SF, I would look at the East Bay because it lets you get to downtown SF very easily on BART. I would definitely look at Rockridge in Oakland which is a walkable and safe area and is 20 minutes from downtown SF on BART. Lots of restaurants and shops on College Ave. A 1 br is about $1000-1200 and you can get 2br's there for $1200 or more. There aren't a ton of apartments in Rockridge though, the housing is mainly houses, so it may take a little while to find a place. I think Rockridge would be a good fit for you, it's convenient to SF, it's sunnier and a bit warmer in summer than SF, it's relatively easy to park especially if you aren't parking on a busy commercial street like College, and it's cheaper than SF.

BART is expensive though, it's $3.50 each way from Rockridge to downtown SF which adds up to around $140 a month for one person if you get the measly $4 discount they give you each time you buy $60 in tickets, so that eats into quite a bit of the rent savings you get from living in Oakland instead of SF. But what I do is use Casual Carpool, which is where you show up at a pickup spot in Oakland and drivers pick up two people so they can go through the carpool lane over the Bay Bridge, then they drop you off in downtown SF. I offer a dollar for the toll but a lot of drivers refuse it, so I ride for either $1 or for free, instead of paying $3.50 on BART. I take BART home in the evening though.

There are other parts of Oakland like Lake Merritt which could be good but Rockridge's BART station is really convenient whereas in Lake Merritt the nice areas are kind of a hike to BART. Other nice parts of Oakland can be far from BART stations.

You should also look at the Piedmont Avenue area of Oakland which is over a small hill from Rockridge and has a ton of restaurants and so on as well. From there you could take a Transbay bus I think or you can hike down to Macarthur BART and ride that into SF.

Downtown Berkeley is neat and has a lot of great cheap restaurants but is flooded with college students. North Berkeley is more suburban and less walkable but could work for you. Albany is further North and is similar. The further north you go the longer and more expensive your BART ride will be though.

Go on 511.org and you can use a trip planner which tells you where to catch BART and Transbay buses.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:37 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Also here are some pics someone here took in Adams Point in the Lake Merritt area.

//www.city-data.com/forum/san-f...ams-point.html

I posted some pics I took of Rockridge here:

//www.city-data.com/forum/san-f...d-pics-42.html
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Balt / DC / ATL / SF / Seattle
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Where exactly "in or around" downtown will you be working? That could make a difference on where you could be looking.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCoriander View Post
Where exactly "in or around" downtown will you be working? That could make a difference on where you could be looking.
I will be in downtown SF, however, my wife still hasn't decided where exactly- she has some choices either downtown SF, just south of downtown SF, or Oakland.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:57 PM
 
5 posts, read 6,461 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
You can get a very basic 1 bedroom in a nice part of SF for about $1400-1600. It will probably be on the small side and might or might not be in bad shape though. In SF I would check out Noe Valley, the Mission (stay west of Mission Street to avoid crime and grime), though you'll have to battle for on-street parking. Parking is a bit easier in the Inner Richmond and Inner Sunset but those areas are usually cloudy or foggy or at least windy compared with more eastern parts of SF. Glen Park I think is a bit better for parking but it can be windy/foggy. Bernal Hill is good for parking but it's not great for getting to downtown and it's up a hill so it's not really easy to walk around.

Outside of SF, I would look at the East Bay because it lets you get to downtown SF very easily on BART. I would definitely look at Rockridge in Oakland which is a walkable and safe area and is 20 minutes from downtown SF on BART. Lots of restaurants and shops on College Ave. A 1 br is about $1000-1200 and you can get 2br's there for $1200 or more. There aren't a ton of apartments in Rockridge though, the housing is mainly houses, so it may take a little while to find a place. I think Rockridge would be a good fit for you, it's convenient to SF, it's sunnier and a bit warmer in summer than SF, it's relatively easy to park especially if you aren't parking on a busy commercial street like College, and it's cheaper than SF.

BART is expensive though, it's $3.50 each way from Rockridge to downtown SF which adds up to around $140 a month for one person if you get the measly $4 discount they give you each time you buy $60 in tickets, so that eats into quite a bit of the rent savings you get from living in Oakland instead of SF. But what I do is use Casual Carpool, which is where you show up at a pickup spot in Oakland and drivers pick up two people so they can go through the carpool lane over the Bay Bridge, then they drop you off in downtown SF. I offer a dollar for the toll but a lot of drivers refuse it, so I ride for either $1 or for free, instead of paying $3.50 on BART. I take BART home in the evening though.

There are other parts of Oakland like Lake Merritt which could be good but Rockridge's BART station is really convenient whereas in Lake Merritt the nice areas are kind of a hike to BART. Other nice parts of Oakland can be far from BART stations.

You should also look at the Piedmont Avenue area of Oakland which is over a small hill from Rockridge and has a ton of restaurants and so on as well. From there you could take a Transbay bus I think or you can hike down to Macarthur BART and ride that into SF.

Downtown Berkeley is neat and has a lot of great cheap restaurants but is flooded with college students. North Berkeley is more suburban and less walkable but could work for you. Albany is further North and is similar. The further north you go the longer and more expensive your BART ride will be though.

Go on 511.org and you can use a trip planner which tells you where to catch BART and Transbay buses.

Thanks Mayor, appreciate the input.

Can anyone give me a general opinion about these areas? Some were already mentioned above. Type of area, is it nice?, hows parking? hows rent? hows public transport? etc....

THANK YOU !!!!!!


[SIZE=2]Pacific Heights [/SIZE][SIZE=2]Hayes Valley[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Russian Hill[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Lower Haight[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Duboce triangle[/SIZE][SIZE=2]East Bay[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Rockridge, Oakland[/SIZE]Richmond[SIZE=2]Sunset[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Forest hill[/SIZE][SIZE=2]West Portal[/SIZE]Marina[SIZE=2]Noe Valley[/SIZE]
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:16 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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The prices I listed are pretty typical everywhere in SF--unlike other cities like Chicago, prices don't really differ much across SF, you're just more likely to get a bigger apartment for the same price the further you go from downtown. Prices are cheaper though in some crappy areas like the Tenderloin.

Russian Hill and Pacific Heights can be really expensive though. Nob Hill is next to Russian Hill and while still pricy it should be more modest. Lower Pacific Heights is a bit more apartments and less mansions than Pacific Heights proper but it's still a nice area and I've seen listings there for 1 bedrooms for $1600.

On-street parking is going to be hard in any of those parts of SF though, especially areas in the northeastern part of the city like around Nob Hill. You can pay like $200 a month to rent a parking space off the street though. The Sunset and Richmond Districts are generally easier to park in but it can take a long time to get to downtown SF, like 45-60 minutes on a bus or light rail--compare that with a 20 minute ride on BART from Rockridge.

In terms of public transit, SF definitely has the best coverage with Muni, but it can be really flaky and frustrating. The closer you get to downtown the more lines there are, out at the beach in the Sunset there's not much coverage compared with in the Mission District. The buses on Geary, Van Ness, Mission and some other locations are pretty reliable, but a lot of lines don't come as frequently as they could. Muni Metro is the light rail and it's pretty good if you take it when it runs underground from Castro St. to the Embarcadero because it moves quickly and there are several lines running through the tunnels so you get a higher frequency of trains, but it often gets stuck in the tunnel due to breakdowns which is annoying. Outside of the underground tunnel it's really pokey and often you have to wait a long time between trains.

There's also BART in SF which is a lot more reliable and very fast and frequent compared with Muni Metro. Probably the best public transit you can get in SF is to ride to downtown from around the Mission or Glen Park.

BART outside of SF runs less frequently especially when there's just one line running through a station, so it's more of a commuter service whereas within SF it's like an urban subway.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
527 posts, read 1,530,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tirk14 View Post
Thanks Mayor, appreciate the input.

Can anyone give me a general opinion about these areas? Some were already mentioned above. Type of area, is it nice?, hows parking? hows rent? hows public transport? etc....

THANK YOU !!!!!!

San Francisco
Pacific Heights
Hayes Valley
Russian Hill
Lower Haight
Duboce triangle
Sunset
Richmond
Forest hill
Marina
West Portal

East Bay
Rockridge, Oakland
Berkeley
Alameda
Your formatting went a little wonky there, so I re-formatted and re-associated, adding a couple of ideas in - Berkeley, since it has a few BART stations, and Alameda, because it has a ferry into SF. Since your request covers a lot of territory, I'd recommend you search back through the forums to see what others have posted.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 34,793,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmk1707 View Post
Your formatting went a little wonky there, so I re-formatted and re-associated, adding a couple of ideas in - Berkeley, since it has a few BART stations, and Alameda, because it has a ferry into SF. Since your request covers a lot of territory, I'd recommend you search back through the forums to see what others have posted.
The Ferry is a crappy commute. It is really expensive and never runs (it is fun, just not convinient). For the inland east bay suburbs, BART, casual carpool or transbay buses are the best bet. Alameda has a few transbay buses and casual carpool. It takes around 20-25 minutes from Alameda to get to SF depending on what part of the island you are in.

FYI: in SF the neighborhoods with the most parking have the foggiest weather. If you want to avoid the fog come to the east bay.

As for parking:
Berkeley is mostly street parking and a few buildings have parking
Alameda: single family homes and large apartment complexes with dedicated spaces
Oakland: it depends where you are, Rockridge is street mostly. Piedmont Ave/Grand Lake are a mix of street and secured.

I'd recommend living in Adams Point/Piedmont Ave/ Grand Lake areas of Oakland as a number one choice. They are close to everything, safe, have short commutes to SF, and have good neighborhood amenities.

Oakland option 2 is Temescal. It is up and coming but almost done. I guess maybe like Lincoln Park? A few years ago? Lots of young people/hipsters and close to the important stuff. Mostly houses there though, but the part that is closer to Piedmont Ave is closer to BART and has a lot of cute turn of the century buildings. It is a tiny bit sketchier than areas like Rockridge and Piedmont Ave. But not dangerous by any stretch of the imagination. Although the west border is "West Oakland" it is more like "North Oakland" and pretty free of serious stuff. The line is about MLK or the freeway these days.

The best bet to live in Berkeley is North Berkeley everything else is either overpriced, too close to students or sketchy or a combo of all 3!
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:23 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,569,877 times
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Rockridge is definitely a lot like Oak Park or Evanston in terms of the mix of commercial stuff and residential housing, though the apartments around Lake Merritt look more Chicagoan.

Lincoln Park today (well when I lived in Chicago in 2004) has really nice and fancy apartment housing and is very expensive...I guess kind of like Pacific Hts or Lower Pac Hts. Supposedly it was a ghetto like 40-50 years ago though.

Also OP don't mix up the city of Richmond which is north of Berkeley and has quite a bit of crime with the Richmond District which is in the NW corner of SF.
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