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Old 11-04-2013, 03:26 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,308 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi all!

I'm a 22 year old white woman born and raised in rural PA. I now live in Central PA, a town with a population of about 40,000, where I live cheaply and telecommute to work. I'm considering relocating to Redwood City, CA or a surrounding neighborhood should I be offered a job for which I've been interviewing.

Before I ask questions, a little background to factor into your responses:

I've never travelled much, have only been on a plane for one trip, and I'm pretty excited yet nervous about the prospect of moving so far. I have both an identical twin sister and a boyfriend I'd be leaving behind, but I need a change from my current job/PA's harsh winters, and there's a possibility they'd join me. The new job offers telecommuting once I'm no longer a new hire, so that may be an option after a year or so if I don't find the SF area agreeable or affordable. I have about $11,000 in savings to cover moving costs and my PA rent if I can't find a sublet.

I don't know many people in the SF area, so if anyone could offer insight, I'd be forever grateful!

1. What salary range would I need to live comfortably in or near Redwood City? I was looking into San Carlos and found a few places for $700/month, utilities included, which is double what I pay in Central PA but still not too bad.

2. What are food prices like? I.E., what should I expect to spend for a week or a month's worth of groceries?

3. Is there affordable and safe public transportation in the Redwood City area, or if I choose to commute from a surrounding neighborhood? What should I expect to pay to access it, and how long is the average commute?

4. In that same vein, how easy/common is it to get around without a car? I have one in PA and love the convenience, but I don't think I'd be able to take it cross-country.

5. What are energy costs like? In PA we have hot summers and cold winters, but I'm honestly unsure of how extreme SF temperatures get.

6. Are there any neighborhoods to avoid when apartment hunting? What are good neighborhoods to look into?

7. Have any of you prone to anxiety/depression made a big, solo move? I love change and new environments, and this job seems like a dream, a company I could stay with for years. Because they offer telecommuting once I'm no longer a new hire, I *could* potentially move back East if I'm uncomfortable. But I'm slightly worried about how such a big move will be on my mental state.

Thanks so much for your time!
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
1,790 posts, read 2,925,355 times
Reputation: 1277
So you haven't ever been here? I'd say that $700 certainly is only a room rental. A whole apartment is about double that price.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:33 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,308 times
Reputation: 10
Right, never been there. It did say it was a one bedroom. Here's the listing actually: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/El...10333248_zpid/
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,980 posts, read 8,985,793 times
Reputation: 4728
I don't know where you found a place for 700$ a month but that CAN'T be correct unless it's someone renting out a bedroom in their home?

I can't give you a specific as to how much you need to make to have a decent life here because there are a lot of factors, but do realize that the San Francisco/Bay Area is one of the priciest regions in America. You may be in for a serious shock if you're used to paying 3-400$ for a rental!!! I paid 700$ rent back in the late 80's for a studio for example.

I would suggest that you look for rental prices on Craigslist.org for more accurate rental costs...for a start.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
1,790 posts, read 2,925,355 times
Reputation: 1277
I'd say something is screwy with that listing. Most people look on Craigslist for housing. The market is insane though. You'll have to be here to find something.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:45 PM
 
3,243 posts, read 6,296,095 times
Reputation: 4923
Quote:
Originally Posted by jam891011 View Post
1. What salary range would I need to live comfortably in or near Redwood City? I was looking into San Carlos and found a few places for $700/month, utilities included, which is double what I pay in Central PA but still not too bad.
There is nothing for rent for $700 that is an legitimate offer for a 1 bedroom apartment. More like $1800/month minimum in San Carlos for a 1br and over $2,000/month for nice apartments.

Examples:

Private Unit, Walk to Laurel Shopping Area

Upstairs, with a large LOFT!!

Using 3 times rent for annual income as a guideline, one would need a salary of $64,800 to rent an apartment for $1,800 per month.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Alameda, CA
578 posts, read 1,294,475 times
Reputation: 348
I agree that $700 HAS to be a room. It sounds like either an in-law unit, a room or an out of date listing. It's going to be around $1300 - $1500 for a studio or one bedroom.

As someone of the same age, I'd suggest San Mateo. Close enough to Redwood City and it has a lot of restaurants.

On groceries, it depends on how you eat.

For moving with anxiety/depression: get things planned out before you come down. It makes it much less anxious than having to rush at the last minute. And make sure to secure that job, first thing you do.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:40 PM
 
243 posts, read 467,283 times
Reputation: 160
1. 50.000+
2. Food is cheap.
4. You will need a car to live "full life".
6. Yes there are. It will take a while to learn which are better neighborhoods and which are worse, however, in general expensive areas are good.
7. Many people have moved to Bay Area from across the world and are doing Ok. United States itself is a country of "movers", it is normal here to change places several times during the lifetime so you'll be fine.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:19 AM
 
486 posts, read 1,255,563 times
Reputation: 770
Quote:
Originally Posted by jam891011 View Post
Hi all!

I'm a 22 year old white woman born and raised in rural PA. I now live in Central PA, a town with a population of about 40,000, where I live cheaply and telecommute to work. I'm considering relocating to Redwood City, CA or a surrounding neighborhood should I be offered a job for which I've been interviewing.

Before I ask questions, a little background to factor into your responses:

I've never travelled much, have only been on a plane for one trip, and I'm pretty excited yet nervous about the prospect of moving so far. I have both an identical twin sister and a boyfriend I'd be leaving behind, but I need a change from my current job/PA's harsh winters, and there's a possibility they'd join me. The new job offers telecommuting once I'm no longer a new hire, so that may be an option after a year or so if I don't find the SF area agreeable or affordable. I have about $11,000 in savings to cover moving costs and my PA rent if I can't find a sublet.

I don't know many people in the SF area, so if anyone could offer insight, I'd be forever grateful!

1. What salary range would I need to live comfortably in or near Redwood City? I was looking into San Carlos and found a few places for $700/month, utilities included, which is double what I pay in Central PA but still not too bad.
I'd say 70-80k if living alone, maybe closer to 40k if willing to live with roommates
2. What are food prices like? I.E., what should I expect to spend for a week or a month's worth of groceries?
My wife and I spend about 500/month on groceries for 2 people. If I was alone I'd probably budget $350. We do 70% of our shopping at Safeway, 20% at Costco, and 10% at Whole Foods.

3. Is there affordable and safe public transportation in the Redwood City area, or if I choose to commute from a surrounding neighborhood? What should I expect to pay to access it, and how long is the average commute?
I drive so no clue.

4. In that same vein, how easy/common is it to get around without a car? I have one in PA and love the convenience, but I don't think I'd be able to take it cross-country.
On the Peninsula not very easy imo, you'll probably want to get a car.

5. What are energy costs like? In PA we have hot summers and cold winters, but I'm honestly unsure of how extreme SF temperatures get.
My electric/gas bill is about $70/month on average throughout the year, for a 1br Apt.

6. Are there any neighborhoods to avoid when apartment hunting? What are good neighborhoods to look into?
The parts of Redwood City where you'd find apartments are all pretty shady imo. Not outright dangerous or crime ridden, but nothing I'd consider a "good" neighborhood. There are some new apartments being built in that area though, but probably won't be done for a year or so. I'd look at San Carlos and Belmont instead.
7. Have any of you prone to anxiety/depression made a big, solo move? I love change and new environments, and this job seems like a dream, a company I could stay with for years. Because they offer telecommuting once I'm no longer a new hire, I *could* potentially move back East if I'm uncomfortable. But I'm slightly worried about how such a big move will be on my mental state.
No.

Thanks so much for your time!
Good luck!
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:46 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,520 posts, read 22,120,439 times
Reputation: 20235
Quote:
Originally Posted by jam891011 View Post
Right, never been there. It did say it was a one bedroom. Here's the listing actually: Elendy Dr, San Carlos, CA 94070 - Zillow

That's not an ad for a rental. You should be looking on craigslist, not Zillow.
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