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Old 08-16-2014, 09:42 PM
 
3 posts, read 8,259 times
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Hi All,

My mother is trying to move the Bay Area to be closer to her work's headquarters near the San Francisco Int'l Airport. She only needs to be there a couple times (at most) a week. Therefore, close proximity to the city is not that important. I'm trying to help her find a place. She wants to buy a small house (with a yard) in a safe and affordable city/town. We were originally thinking about Antioch or Oakley, but we heard that both cities have above average crime. Her price range is under $400,000 for a house.

We are looking into cities north of SF such as Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Petaluma

Can you all please suggest some safe and affordable cities/towns that are within an hour and half drive to SF?

Thank you,


-Rolandhya
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:13 AM
 
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The commute will take a toll on most people... especially if there are bridges involved...

People do make it work... I know a few that live in Mountain House and Tracy... they love their homes and detest their commute!

Maybe she could look for something closer to BART?
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:06 AM
 
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First of all, SF Int' Airport is about 10 miles south of SF.

Second, whatever commute time Google map tells you, multiply by 2 or even 3 and that's the actual commute time in rush hour. (Here, I'm assuming your mom goes to work at the same time as everyone else.)

Third, you have to take into account the bottleneck that comes with crossing bridges or tunnels.

I think Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, and other towns out there are way too far. You have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and then deal with the heavily congested 19th Ave/Hwy 1.

Since you've already looked at Antioch, may as well go one exit further and look in Brentwood - it's a much safer town. Brentwood will get a BART station sometime in the future but for now, your Mom's commute should be to drive to the Pittsburg station and take BART to SF Int' (assuming her office is really that close to the airport). Driving from Brentwood to SFO would probably take closer to 2 hrs.

Other towns I suggest is Martinez, Concord (the area that just borders Walnut Creek), El Cerrito, and El Sabrante.

Of course, don't forget Oakland. Look in the area north of 580 and east of 24, or around Lake Merritt.

Also, if your Mom's income is below $70k/year, she may qualify for BMR (below market rate) housing.

.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
19,163 posts, read 21,189,509 times
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Most of the Peninsula is affordable at that budget. Forget the house though, ain't happening. That's 1bd apartment money ($2,000 mo) in the Bay Area.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,987 posts, read 8,589,390 times
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Your mom could also look into Concord (much closer and with a BART station to SFO) Pittsburg (much safer than Antioch), or as someone else mentioned, Martinez.
She'd definitely be able to find something in her price range.

Even nicer yet would be Pleasant Hill (but she'd have to look into a condo or cottage rather than a house, however).

Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Sonoma may possibly be out of her price range (with the exception of Santa Rosa) but they're very far away, from the Bay Area, imo.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Richmond, CA
1,366 posts, read 1,208,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clongirl View Post
Your mom could also look into Concord (much closer and with a BART station to SFO) Pittsburg (much safer than Antioch), or as someone else mentioned, Martinez.
She'd definitely be able to find something in her price range.

Even nicer yet would be Pleasant Hill (but she'd have to look into a condo or cottage rather than a house, however).

Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Sonoma may possibly be out of her price range (with the exception of Santa Rosa) but they're very far away, from the Bay Area, imo.
I am in general agreement with this. I would qualify the last statement by saying that Sonoma County is most definitely part of the Bay Area; however, it's about as far away from SFO as one can get in this region.

Not mentioned yet is Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and some parts of San Jose. Caltrain runs from these towns to Millbrae, San Bruno, or whichever station is closest to your mother's workplace. There will be only a handful of single-family homes available in the $400K range, but it would be relatively easy to find a condo or mobile home in this price range.

FYI, the Caltrain schedule is far more limited than the BART schedule, so I recommend a neighborhood on a BART line if possible, preferably on one of the two lines that runs to San Mateo County. I would not recommend a car commute to the SFO area, as traffic is bad coming from almost all directions.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,815 posts, read 29,762,834 times
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I agree that Concord would be a great choice. It's much safer than Antioch or Pittsburg. It's just a blue collar suburb. My cousins grew up there. My daughter was just looking for a home there a couple years ago, but she chose to buy in Oakland instead - more to do for a young person in Oakland.

Lots of options for a house with a yard in Concord in your Mom's price range:

http://www.redfin.com/city/4150/CA/C...t=sanfrancisco

And there is a BART station in Concord. She could go to downtown Walnut Creek for upscale shopping, and it's right next to Concord. Concord has the big box stores and tons of strip malls, etc. Not fancy, but pretty safe and has a lot of nice older neighborhoods.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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BTW, I can give you the name of a great realtor - the one who helped my daughter find her home in the East Bay. DM me if you want her name and contact info. She's really nice and energetic and knows the area - grew up in Oakland, lives in Lamorinda now. Great lady.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
78 posts, read 146,244 times
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What about Daly City? I never see it mentioned here. I've never been there but it seems relatively safe and affordable (at least rent prices are)
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,815 posts, read 29,762,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrOctagon View Post
What about Daly City? I never see it mentioned here. I've never been there but it seems relatively safe and affordable (at least rent prices are)
Just searched on Redfin, and there's only one condo that is a studio listed for $400,000 and under. It's the only listing. Has a deck but no yard. Looks like Daly City is out.

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Daly-City/3...8/home/1933194
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