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Old 03-24-2011, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida
3 posts, read 6,207 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi

I'm possibly going to be relocating to Oakland (from Tampa Bay) later this year. There are 4 of us, with the 2 kids still in school (7 yo in elementary, 10 yo going into middle).
I'm looking for some advice on neighbourhoods/cities to look at that will be:
- safe
- good public schools
- reasonable commute into Oakland center (upto 45 mins)
- 3/4 br home rental of up to $3,500/mo

Those really are our main priorities. Coming from flat Florida, the idea of living in the hills is also appealing. We are outdoors people, so parks and/or countryside are really more important than bars, restaurants, etc.

My companys office is very close to a BART stop in Oakland so I'm thinking that living somewhere near a BART station may be my best bet re the commute?

Thank you for any advice you can offer!
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 34,699,953 times
Reputation: 28475
What part of Oakland is your office in? Downtown? Coliseum?

Try Albany or Alameda. These areas are really cute, walkable and family friendly. No hills in Alameda. Piedmont would also be a good option. It is a very Connecticut feeling suburb (in the Oakland Hills and surrounded by Oakland on all sides. In case you are in the camp that "Oakland is scary" the surrounding neighborhoods are also upper middle class +). All 3 of these areas are fairly easy commutes to Oakland. Alameda and Piedmont are the fastest commutes to downtown Oakland. Neither one has BART, but you could take AC transit or drive. From Alameda it would be about 15 minutes to drive to downtown Oakland, and about the same for Piedmont depending on what part of the city you are in (it could be much shorter, like 7 or 8 minutes if you live near Oakland Ave. or you work closer to the 980 off ramp)

Albany will be a bit longer, because of the bottleneck heading towards the Bay Bridge. You could easily take city streets for most of the ride.

If you want a longer commute try Lafayette, Orinda or Moraga. These places are much more suburban than the first 3 recommendations. You could also go further out into Walnut Creek. There is a big bottle neck called the Caldecott Tunnel and it will take about 45 minutes in the AM from any place on that side of the tunnel. (The BART rides are more like 15-25 minutes to Downtown Oakland)

The easiest suburban commute would be from Castro Valley, Dublin or Pleasanton and it is a mostly traffic free commute until you get closer to the Bay Bridge. If you work in downtown Oakland, the last 7 miles of the AM commute will be the most heavily trafficked. You could easily hop off the freeway at Grand or LAkeshore and take the streets and avoid the traffic if it is a really crowded day. The BART ride would be annoying because it would require a transfer.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:32 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,549,711 times
Reputation: 2954
I'll add on a bit to what Jade says:

If you are looking for denser and older suburbs with cooler weather and more of an urban vibe, definitely check out Albany and Alameda. Alameda would be a short bus ride, from Albany you could take BART from either North Berkeley or El Cerrito Plaza.

If you are ok with warmer weather and want a more suburban area, check out Orinda, Lafayette and Moraga which are up in the hills just east of Oakland. Orinda and Lafayette have BART stations which you can park to then hop on a train. Walnut Creek is further East and I think is a bit cheaper but has a really crazy group of shops and outdoor malls in its downtown which might be a draw for you, it would be a cool place to hang out as a family.

Pleasanton and Dublin are also pretty suburban but have a reputation for being pretty affordable and having newer houses.

Also transfers on BART are easy, just hop off a train at a transfer station and they have it timed so that the train you transfer to is right there. It is easier to just stay on one train though.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA
35,660 posts, read 62,958,800 times
Reputation: 19739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaznbels View Post
- safe
- good public schools
- reasonable commute into Oakland center (upto 45 mins)
- 3/4 br home rental of up to $3,500/mo

We are outdoors people, so parks and/or countryside are really more important than bars, restaurants, etc.

My companys office is very close to a BART stop in Oakland so I'm thinking that living somewhere near a BART station may be my best bet re the commute?
Mayorhaggar and Jade408 already made the great suggestions but I just want to chime in with another vote for the area below...

This trio of towns sounds perfect for you...If you can find something in your budget there I think you'll be very happy.

http://www.lamorindarealestateblog.c...orinda_map.gif

Orinda and Lafayette both have BART stations and Orinda is just on the other side of the hill from Oakland so BART to downtown Oakland from Orinda takes about 10-15 minutes no problem.

All 3 are top shelf bedroom communities that are heavily wooded, very hilly,exude an almost rural feel but are very close to the urban core of the Bay Area-those reasons along with their top schools and very low crime rates have made them very desirable.
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