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Old 05-07-2011, 10:27 AM
2 posts, read 4,027 times
Reputation: 10


Looking for an affordable suburb (house <2500/mo) without being too far from the city. Any recommendations for neighborhoods?
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:59 AM
Location: ABQ
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Two important questions:

1. Will you be utilizing the public schools?

2. What kind of home are you looking to rent?

a. A modest 3/2, early 1960s build?

b. A modern, well-appointed town-house of early 1990s build?

c. A new-construction, 2000s build with 3-4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths?

If you're open to any and all styles of construction and not utilizing public schools, you can rent for a lot less than $2500/mo in the East Bay.

If so, I'll refine my advice, but in renting a home, call me a cheap skate, but I'd rent in the nicest, safest area where you feel comfortable, but you're not also not also renting the public school system or the 'name value' - you can either get more for your money or you can save more money.

East Bay cities that I find rentals for all the time = Oakland, Hayward, Castro Valley, Hercules, Pinole, El Sobrante, and Concord.

You can find a 3 bedroom, 1/2 bath with a small yard in a decent neighborhood in all of the above in the $1500-$1900 range. In Hercules and El Sobrante, you can find a very well appointed 2/2 condominium/townhouse in El Sobrante and Hercules with a view but lacking a dedicated yard for $1600.

The problem for some of those cities is that the areas where you can find a decent rental home in a decent area can also have some rather unsavory public schools, so let us know the school situation - elementary, middle, etc - and I'll refine some of my advice.

Drive time into SF is anywhere between 20 minutes to 45 minutes. If you're looking for peninsula rentals south of SF for shorter drive or shorter BART times, there are a few areas where you'll have some luck, but in general, it is more difficult and more expensive to rent a SFH than in the East Bay.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:21 AM
Location: West Contra Costa County, CA
24 posts, read 75,870 times
Reputation: 32
I second Rhinoceros, places like El Sobrante, Pinole, El Cerrito, Albany, Crockett, Hercules, Richmond Hills, and Rodeo are all decent places to rent, depending on whether or not you plan on sending your kids to public schools. Even if you do, some public school districts are tolerable (like Crockett and Hercules), some even good like Albany,...but if you live in the Richmond hills/annex or El Sobrante, plan on private schools by the 6th or 7th grade, maybe earlier depending on where you stay. I lived in this area my whole life and am a property manager, so I know what rental prices are pretty well in these neighborhoods. Like Rhinoceros, i'm also a cheapskate, I look for the cheapest best area. Please check out Crockett too, a little jem of a city across the way from Vallejo with million dollar views at a fraction of the price. Hard to find many properties since the city itself is so small, but if you do you'll find yourself in paradise. Places like Pleasant Hill, Concord, and Walnut Creek have lots of rentals but are generally more expensive and farther east, away from the city. If I were you the first place i'd look is El Sobrante, El Cerrito, Albany, Hercules and Pinole, they're nice areas closer to the bridge and the best cities from the ones I mentioned. Try to avoid Berkeley and Oakland because they are very expensive (I manage apartments in the area and 2 bedrooms by the UC can go for what your looking for in a house). I like El Cerrito the most. The E.C. hills cannot be beat, and I bet you can find a nice 3/2 or a 3/1 somewhere for around 2500 with a decent lot, privacy, and maybe even a view, about 30 minutes from the city with no traffic. Good luck! Check out craigslist for rentals, they'll give you a good idea of what you can and can't afford.

Last edited by BayAreaGuy87; 05-11-2011 at 01:33 AM..
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