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Old 11-13-2013, 11:12 PM
 
184 posts, read 314,249 times
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I am considering a job that is located in the San Francisco Financial District but I'm very unsure due to the high cost of living in the area. Making the move would be myself, my husband and my 2 yr old son. We're trying to find a relatively affordable place to live because our income won't be very high, probably in the mid 90s, and a place that has a decent school system. I don't see how we could possibly afford more than 2K a month, and that would be pushing it. (For reference, our salary in the Twin Cities runs around 75-80K, and for $1300/month we have a 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,000 sq foot house. So I'm definitely having a heart attack over the housing prices in San Francisco).

Several people have mentioned Castro Valley, El Cerrito or Walnut Creek to me as possibilities. Castro Valley appears to have a decent school system and we might possibly be able to afford a rental here. the Bart site claims its a 35 min commute between the two stops. Does this seem accurate during rush hour, or is it widely different?

Also, if anyone can chime in on other "affordable" safe places to live, I'd love to hear it. I've been researching the last couple of weeks and just getting exhausted. I don't understand how anyone can afford to live out there.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:40 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
21,087 posts, read 21,081,970 times
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Castro Valley is indeed a pretty nice area, with good schools. 35 minutes via CV BART to Embacadero Station (Financial District area) is correct. BART is pretty consistent on and off rush hour. The commute, by car from CV to the Financial District would be awful during rush hour (you would have to cross the Bay Bridge, which is a point of traffic congestion during rush hour). Walnut Creek is another nice area and the only drawback is that it can get warm in the summer there. El Cerrito is also fine, but I don't know about the schools.

For me, I would pick Walnut Creek, then Castro Valley, then El Cerrito.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
40,512 posts, read 72,334,864 times
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Be careful about where in Castro Valley. The Baywood area, south of the freeway/Norbridge is more affordable because it is in the Hayward school district, one of the worst in the area. Before signing a lease verify with the Castro Valley School District that it's within their boundaries.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:30 PM
 
184 posts, read 314,249 times
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Good to know about the school district, thank you. I can definitely handle a 35 min commute by BART. I have a 30 min commute now by car, and it would be kind of nice to trade the driving.
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