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Old 03-28-2012, 11:21 PM
 
4 posts, read 5,435 times
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I just accepted a position in San Mateo and will be relocating in mid-April from Irvine, CA with my wife and two young kids. I've done quite a bit of research (including on this great forum) and asked around, but can't seem to get a good understanding of the various neighborhoods in cities we're targeting.

First a little about us and what i'm looking for.

-We have two infants, so need access to a park walking-distance. We don't care about school as we'll very likely relocate by the time the kids are ready for school.
-A new or recently renovated 3bed town-home or a single family home.
-Budget can stretch up to $4k, but want to keep it between $3k-$3.5k.
-Would like the commute to remain under 30 minutes one way.
-Safety is important (something along the lines of Irvine would be great)

We've focused our search in San Mateo, Foster City, Redwood Shores, Burlingame, Belmont and Brisbane. Should I consider other areas (i.e., San Carlos, Fremont, etc.)? Also, should I try to avoid certain neighborhoods within the cities mentioned above?

We're making a house-hunting trip the weekend of 4/6. Anything else I should keep in mind? TIA!
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,520 posts, read 22,128,778 times
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With your budget, I don't think you'll need to look at Fremont or Brisbane but do include San Carlos. Among the cities you listed, there are no terrible areas to avoid but if you might find areas west of the 101 freeway more appealing -- with the exception of Foster City and Redwood Shores which are east of the 101.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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I concur with the towns mentioned in your post. Another areas that you may also want to check out are Milbrae and parts of South San Francisco. Rental in San Mateo and surrounding area is very competitive right now. There was recently a radio program about this: Rents on the Rise: Forum | KQED Public Media for Northern CA

Keep in mind that 280 is a much better commute than 101.

.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:30 PM
 
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Coming from Irvine, Foster City will appeal to you the most. However, there are some differences. Foster City was built on filled land, and therefore could experience extreme shaking and or liquifaction during a major seismic event (I found some fissures and liquifaction "sand volcanoes" on an empty lot there after the '89 shaker). So in that respect it is more like Newport than Irvine. The other difference is the demographic, however, with the Asiaficiation of OC that is less and less of a factor.

If you are willing to part with the tightly planned, all new look, you will find the San Carlos, Belmont, etc locations noted above to be quite nice.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Pacifica, CA
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I'd skip Brisbane, its a cute little town, but there's not much there, it doesn't even have a grocery store. Fremont is nice, but if you can avoid that commute, you'd be much happier, it will be brutal.

Definitely include San Carlos and Millbrae in your search.

As far as neighborhoods, most of these towns are too small to have differing neighborhoods, San Mateo being the exception. In San Mateo I'd avoid the areas east of 101 (its not necessarily dangerous, but kind of run down), also for the most part anywhere east of Delaware ave. is a little run down (block by block some areas are nicer then others).
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
Coming from Irvine, Foster City will appeal to you the most. However, there are some differences. Foster City was built on filled land, and therefore could experience extreme shaking and or liquifaction during a major seismic event (I found some fissures and liquifaction "sand volcanoes" on an empty lot there after the '89 shaker). So in that respect it is more like Newport than Irvine. The other difference is the demographic, however, with the Asiaficiation of OC that is less and less of a factor.

If you are willing to part with the tightly planned, all new look, you will find the San Carlos, Belmont, etc locations noted above to be quite nice.
That's a little scary re: Foster City. I'll have to research that more because so far Foster City seemed to appeal to us the most based on secondary research.

We're fine with not-so-tightly planned communities as long as the place we find meets our criteria.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:27 PM
 
4 posts, read 5,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecooler View Post
I'd skip Brisbane, its a cute little town, but there's not much there, it doesn't even have a grocery store. Fremont is nice, but if you can avoid that commute, you'd be much happier, it will be brutal.

Definitely include San Carlos and Millbrae in your search.

As far as neighborhoods, most of these towns are too small to have differing neighborhoods, San Mateo being the exception. In San Mateo I'd avoid the areas east of 101 (its not necessarily dangerous, but kind of run down), also for the most part anywhere east of Delaware ave. is a little run down (block by block some areas are nicer then others).
Roughly how long would the commute be from Fremont during and after rush-hour? I'll add San Carlos and Millbrae to the list. Good info on the San Mateo areas.

By the way, one thing I forgot to mention is that we prefer a quiet place, so any places that attract partiers and young singles, I'd like to avoid.
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