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Old 01-30-2008, 01:55 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,423 times
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My husband and I moved to the bay area 4 months ago from the midwest. We were renting all this time, but are seriously considering buying a house because
a. we would rather pay mortgage every month than rent
b. this is a good time to buy
c. we both love our jobs.

Only problem is that his job is in the peninsula near Redwood City, while mine is far out in Walnut Creek. We are willing to commute up to an hour or less, bart or drive. Any recommendations on what places to consider? We'd prefer east bay because housing costs are more affordable. I'd rather spend my money in buying a house on the east bay, than pay a fortune for a small condo in the peninsula. Don't have kids, but will be planning to have within a year.

I would really appreciate your advice. This is just the beginning of my search and if I can narrow down a couple of places and am convinced with it, I'd start looking for houses.
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA
35,543 posts, read 62,667,693 times
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and am convinced with it, I'd start looking for houses.[/quote]

Is your job near the WC BART?

If so then I say check out Fremont. Its safe, on the wealthier side, has nice weather and is a relatively easy drive to Redwood City. You can catch BART to WC.

Otherwise, why not live on the Peninsula around Millbrae or South SF. That way you can still take BART and your husband is still within a reasonable drive to RC.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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Thanks for the response. Yes, my job at Walnut Creek is a couple of blocks away from Bart. So I can just walk down. One potential place I am considering on the peninsula side is San Bruno. Alameda and Fremont look good on East Bay side (based on couple of previous threads here). Any thoughts on San Bruno? I just find foggy/cloudy summers very depressing!
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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San Bruno is foggy. It is also in the flight path so if noise is an issue with you, I would not recommend San Bruno.

Fremont is a great place to live. But you may have to transfer at MacArthur or Downtown Oakland to get the Pittsburg train to WC. Taking BART to Fremont will add about 20-30 mins to your commute one way.

You may want to consider towns near or around the Caldecott Tunnel. Oakland (Rockridge area), Orida, Moraga, Lafayette etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonia24 View Post
Thanks for the response. Yes, my job at Walnut Creek is a couple of blocks away from Bart. So I can just walk down. One potential place I am considering on the peninsula side is San Bruno. Alameda and Fremont look good on East Bay side (based on couple of previous threads here). Any thoughts on San Bruno? I just find foggy/cloudy summers very depressing!
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:42 AM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
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The thing that realtors will often recommend in this situation is to live really close to one of the two job sites. That way you are only putting serious wear and tear on one car instead of two, which cuts down on expenses significantly. I didn't think that being ten minutes from my work in Burlingame was such a big deal until I was displaced by a fire, and had to endure a longer commute. My fuel bill quadrupled, and I was taking my car in for service constantly for tires, oil, new wiper blades, suspension issues from the horrible road surface on 101, etc.

So my advice is: live in Walnut Creek.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:53 AM
 
Location: NC close to the MTs and near the lakes.
2,766 posts, read 5,327,413 times
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You could also choose Pleasanton or Dublin. The Bart station is right there also. We lived in Pleasanton for many years and hubby worked also in Redwood city. His commute was about an hour but he would plan leaving a little bit later or a bit earlier to head off the traffic. When he did that he cut off 15 -20 min travel time.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:58 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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If you plan on having kids and using public schools, I'd avoid San Bruno. I think the elementery level is ok (not great, ok). Middle school is very rough, and their "home district" high school is Capuchino. However, if you chose a catholic school, St. Roberts in San Bruno is an excellent school.

Millbrae has excellent safe public schools from elementry through high school. Same with Burlingame.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:25 AM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 27,908,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twins4lynn View Post
If you plan on having kids and using public schools, I'd avoid San Bruno. I think the elementery level is ok (not great, ok). Middle school is very rough, and their "home district" high school is Capuchino. However, if you chose a catholic school, St. Roberts in San Bruno is an excellent school.

Millbrae has excellent safe public schools from elementry through high school. Same with Burlingame.
All other things being the same, you'll spend an extra 50% for a house in Millbrae or Burlingame compared with Walnut Creek, and the quality of schools is similar.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:20 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,423 times
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Thank you so much folks for your responses. This is definitely helping me out. Keep pouring more mails in.

So seems like Millbrae is a good choice on the peninsula side - good public schools, no fog, would make one of us have a long commute. On the east bay side, Fremont, Dublin/Pleasanton, Walnut Creek are good options. I would end up spending 50% more on my home by going with Millbrae as opposed to East Bay options.

What do you think of Alameda? I heard some nice things about the place on other threads. This would get me a half hour commute and 1 hr commute to Redwood city.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:54 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 27,908,944 times
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It's worth mentioning at this point that the commute from Millbrae to Redwood City is deadly miserable. It's not as bad as crossing the Bay Bridge, but it can take 15 minutes to get from El Camino to 101 on Millbrae Avenue, and then traffic will be crawling the whole way. If I was going to go with the peninsula, I'd be thinking about something closer to 92 - Belmont, San Mateo, or Foster City which is a nice bayfront town.
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