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Old 03-14-2011, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Bay Area
2,406 posts, read 7,905,476 times
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Trying to weigh options when it comes to finding a rental in Oakland/Berkeley/Sausalito vs San Francisco.

If we have to drive/commute to Hayes Valley 5 days a week for school and (probably another side of town) work, with the time and price of gas and crossing the bridge...or the time/costs we spend on Bart...

Is it worth the differential for a less expensive 2 bed/2 bath rental in East/North Bay? Or is it really negligible because we end up spending more time and money on commuting?

Looking for a very safe neighborhood in either location and I feel Sunset/Richmond/Castro are safe so would likely stick to those areas in SF vs similarly recommended areas in East/North Bay.

Last edited by Davachka; 03-14-2011 at 08:17 AM..
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:19 AM
 
Location: South Korea
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If you are just looking at BART, then I would say that the East Bay can be cheaper depending on where you live just because places like Oakland and Berkeley and Walnut Creek can be several hundred less than similar places in SF. BART is expensive but for one person you're still saving money. If you're looking at 2 to 3 people riding BART every day for a month, then it might outweigh the savings. The Bay Bridge toll is $6 a month, that is $120 for 20 days of commuting. Remember that the carpool lane is $2.50, that is $50 a month, but you need 3 people in the car to use it. A lot of people do casual carpool so they can use the carpool lane.

As for the North Bay, Southern Marin is really expensive and I would imagine Sausalito is pretty similar in prices to SF. The GGT buses and the ferries are pretty much the only public transit to downtown SF--I think it can take an hour just to get to downtown from places like Mill Valley, compared with 20 minutes from Rockridge to Montgomery. If you drive I'm not sure if there's a carpool lane or any casual carpool to reduce costs and time.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post

As for the North Bay, Southern Marin is really expensive and I would imagine Sausalito is pretty similar in prices to SF. The GGT buses and the ferries are pretty much the only public transit to downtown SF--I think it can take an hour just to get to downtown from places like Mill Valley, compared with 20 minutes from Rockridge to Montgomery. If you drive I'm not sure if there's a carpool lane or any casual carpool to reduce costs and time.
North Bay transit is also focused on commuters and doesn't run frequently. It works ok if you have very set hours, but if you miss the last bus you are SOL. Areas with BART access are much better since there are lots of train/bus options home until at least midnight. If you are going to rely 100% on transit door to door, the larger more urban inner east bay cities have better connecting options: Oakland/Berkeley/San Leandro/El Cerrito/Albany. (Or it is a short and relatively cheap cab ride home from BART)
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Bay Area
2,406 posts, read 7,905,476 times
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Thanks Mayor and Jade....

We had noticed (mainly from the help of this board) that rental prices were lower and sq ft higher in East Bay, and sometimes North Bay...but then started considering the extra gas $ driving the 25-30 miles round trip, bridge tolls, time commuting (also with BART) for 2-3 people...it adds up to several hundred monthly..the lower prices started to seem irrelevant...though Sausolito (correct me if I'm wrong, seems very safe and definitely pretty)...
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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One thing to keep in mind, parking is nearly impossible in SF, and the outer neighborhoods (Richmond, Sunset) take forever on transit. Hayes Valley is more central to more of the city than downtown SF, but it is probably the same amount of time via transit from the center or Oakland, and the Richmond/Sunset to Hayes Valley. Transit is cheaper, but pretty slow. It is about a 30 minute ride from the inner Richmond to Hayes Valley. The BART ride from Oakland + the walk is pretty much the same, even though you need to go 15 miles.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:33 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Hayes Valley sucks for parking. There's seriously very few non-metered places to park on the street, since it's right next to City Hall, the civil courthouses, the opera, etc, so a lot of people park there during the day--city workers, opera goers, etc. You'd probably end up wanting to rent an off-street parking space and that's another $200 a month or so. The further West from Van Ness you get should be easier though.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
2,406 posts, read 7,905,476 times
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Hayes Valley is where our kids school is...I imagine high schoolers don't drive to school in SF since there is no where to park? She would have to get dropped off or take Bart, I suppose thats what the older kids do? We live in a very car dependent area right now so its a new way of thinking. Though putting off her driving for a few years is def a plus


Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
Hayes Valley sucks for parking. There's seriously very few non-metered places to park on the street, since it's right next to City Hall, the civil courthouses, the opera, etc, so a lot of people park there during the day--city workers, opera goers, etc. You'd probably end up wanting to rent an off-street parking space and that's another $200 a month or so. The further West from Van Ness you get should be easier though.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
2,406 posts, read 7,905,476 times
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Wow, that is pretty crazy that its the same amount of time. Thanks for bringing that up. We will be scouting some more next weekend and I think we're going to try the Oakland to Hayes Valley ride and compare it from central Sunset. I also like that area and its proximity to the park and restaurants. It seems so much further on the map, but if transit is faster and we're not driving than it doesn't matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
One thing to keep in mind, parking is nearly impossible in SF, and the outer neighborhoods (Richmond, Sunset) take forever on transit. Hayes Valley is more central to more of the city than downtown SF, but it is probably the same amount of time via transit from the center or Oakland, and the Richmond/Sunset to Hayes Valley. Transit is cheaper, but pretty slow. It is about a 30 minute ride from the inner Richmond to Hayes Valley. The BART ride from Oakland + the walk is pretty much the same, even though you need to go 15 miles.
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:10 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 13,082,250 times
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No, high schoolers usually won't drive to school in SF unless they're really rich maybe, it would be just too much of an expense and a hassle. It ain't the burbs. Lots of kids ride Muni starting in elementary school. Or mom drops them off and picks them up, or maybe they swap carpool duty with other parents--one day you take three kids to the school, then the next day another kid's mom does it while you stay home and sleep late. Also often you see groups of kids riding Muni to and from school, like three middle school age girls riding together--safety in numbers. Though certainly there are always sketchy people on Muni.

If you were planning on dropping the kid off at school every day then I think coming from the Inner Richmond would be easier and cheaper than from Oakland. Traffic is pretty much always heavy over the bridge, yes it only takes about 25 minutes at the most, it's usually around 20 for me from Rockridge, but sometimes it can take 30...other times only 15. Then you'd have to continue down to Hayes Valley--101 from the bridge to Octavia usually has really heavy traffic, so that could be another 10-20 minutes. From the Richmond District to Hayes Valley there's a lot of different streets you can take and traffic shouldn't really vary too much day to day--it will be heavy but predictable unlike the Bay Bridge. Lower Pacific Heights or the Dolores Park area are fairly nearby and would be a very quick drive.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:21 PM
 
3,247 posts, read 6,304,518 times
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Your best option for family friendly,safe,relatively affordable,a walkable neighborhood & transit to Hayes Valley is West Portal. There you have the K,L & M trains for a 12 minute ride to Van Ness station(when the trains are working properly). Van Ness station is about a block and a half walk to that school. This is the cheapest option too with the 17 and under Muni pass going for $20/month.

If she takes Bart she is walking from Civic Center station,this is homeless dweller central.

The K,L & M trains go underground at West Portal so they are much faster the the N train from Sunset which has the very slow stops at Cole Valley and Duboce Park. Since 3 train lines meet at West Portal,your wait time for a train is also less.

Other nice,safe and centrally located neighborhoods are Forest Hills,Forest Knolls,Midtown Terrace,Laguna Honda,Twin Peaks,Miraloma and Diamond Heights. The first four mentioned are walkable to Forest Hills Station(a 10 minute ride to Van Ness).
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