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Old 02-04-2007, 04:42 PM
 
426 posts, read 1,731,877 times
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I know this board is FULL of "Tell me about _____" and "Moving to _______" threads, so I'd appreciate any input, and I'm sorry for yet another thread asking about cities and whatnot.

A user recently told me about Walnut Creek and how affordable it was. I don't know much about it, but I looked on Google and other places and it seems like a wonderful little city. It definitely is beautiful, the temperatures are amazing (63 in walnut creek right now, -25 where I am with wind chill) and what's even better is that it's very affordable for some workforce fledgling moving to the Bay Area armed with only a college degree and varied and unspectacular work experience. However, I have a few worries.


1 - The median age is 45.1. This is awfully high. Is this a geriatric community full of elderly communities or something? The median age is significantly higher than even Fort Lauderdale. This worries me, and makes me think it would be an awful place for a single 22-year-old male (although it is in the Bay Area, and there are always plenty of singles there).

2 - Is it realistic to work in San Francisco/Oakland and live in Walnut Creek? I wouldn't mind a 30 minute train ride to work every day (heh, most people have to drive that long in a car anyway). I'd want great access to San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, etc.

3 - Would I be able to get by without a car for awhile, do you think?

Thanks; I appreciate any help! Feel free to add anything at all.
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Old 02-04-2007, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Dayton OH
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I lived in Walnut Creek for most of the 1980s and 1990s. My view, it is one of the best suburban cities in the Bay Area. If I were working in or near Walnut Creek, I'd love to live there again (except it has gotten too expensive for me).

I'll comment on a few things you mentioned.
1. Median age is statistically pushed up because there is a large senior retirement community called Rossmore Leisure World within city limits. It occupies it's own valley on the west side of town. Rest of town seems like a mix of twentysomething singles and lots of families with school age kids. Other than the area near Rossmore, the town is not "geriatric".
2. A large percentage of the workforce in and around Walnut Creek commutes to San Francisco or Oakland to work. That's why the traffic in the area can be very bad (to put it mild). BART train to SF takes 45+ minutes each way, depending which station you get off at in SF.
3. If you live in Walnut Creek without a car, you will need to rent an apartment within a mile or so of the BART station. You can find apartments in Walnut Creek in the center part of the city, not too far from BART that are also walking distance to almost any shopping or entertainment that is needed. Living in Walnut Creek is not cheap or "affordable", compared to 99 percent of the zip codes in America.
4. For open space, trails, hiking, biking, Walnut Creek is hard to beat. Few places in the country have more miles of trails that are in or adjacent to the city.
Good Luck. Go for a visit and check things out before making any big decision.
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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Looking at apartments, it seems VERY reasonable to get a roomy 1-bedroom for under a grand a month. 45 minutes is pushing it with commute time, which is disappointing... but if I could get a job around Walnut Creek or before SF it would better. Do you think the job market for a recent college grad (History major) with a good GPA is decent?

Last edited by ComfortablyNumb; 02-04-2007 at 07:33 PM..
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:39 PM
 
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Could someone tell me about Albany or El Cerrito, too? They seem to be a lot closer. I hear Walnut Creek is a lot more conservative, OC-ish in it's attitudes (everyone needs a nice car, fence, etc). How are El Cerrito and Albany?
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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Apparently I can't edit! I thought I was able to before; In fact, I'm positive I was. Anyway: How long is a BART ride from Albany/El Cerrito to San Francisco?
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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I currently live in Walnut Creek and have lived in both El Cerrito and Albany. Albany is a great little town between El Cerrito and Berkeley, very family oriented, with great schools and restauants, but older housing. There is no BART station in Albany. The nearest BART stations are in El Cerrito and Berkeley. I would never live in El Cerrito again. Maybe someone else can sing it's praises, but not me.
Except for the traffic (especially during commute hours) and the summer heat, I really like living in Walnut Creek.
There is a good mix of ages and income levels. Not everyone here is rich. The downtown is very upscale with lots of restauants and shops. The schools are good, the crime rate is low, and the amount of open space is amazing. However, last summer was hotter than normal for the entire Bay Area. A few days were over 110 degrees in Walnut Creek. Hopefully, that was an anomaly.
Generally, we will have a few really hot days, then it will cool down due to the marine layer penetrating into the bay. This pattern will repeat itself throughout the summer.
San Francisco is always tolerable in the summer, so one can hop on BART and get away from the heat for the day.
I agree with everything "recycled" said about Walnut Creek. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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"it would be an awful place for a single 22-year-old male"

I would recommend living in SF even if that means you have to find roomates. The single "scene" in WC is mostly limited to older divorcees. WC is a great town for a family, but I wouldn't recommend it to ANYONE under the age of 30.

"(although it is in the Bay Area, and there are always plenty of singles there)."

Think of the Bay Area as a state. With traffic, distances and the cultural differences in areas WC and SF are much further away than mere geography.


"2 - Is it realistic to work in San Francisco/Oakland and live in Walnut Creek?"

Yes, but again- at 22 you don't want to live there. Get roomates.

"I'd want great access to San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, etc."

You could access SF via Bart but getting from Bart to Golden Gate Park, ect. would involve additional transportation.


"3 - Would I be able to get by without a car for awhile, do you think? "

Yes, but the entire East Bay is more of a car place. You can definitely live in SF w/o a car.

"Feel free to add anything at all."

Ok, I'm probably going to offend some people here, but I'm trying to help you out. You will meet ON AVERAGE more attractive women in SF, better educated women in SF, and younger women in SF. Also your group of friends will be better educated, younger, etc. if you live in SF. People who live in SF who are 22-28 will probably think you are a little strange for living in WC as a single male. If you are new to the Bay Area I'd strongly recommend SF at age 22. WC is mostly older couples, families, elderly and a "rougher" and less educated crowd for the below 25 crowd (mostly b/c many are living w/ their parents-just kidding, but not really). WC is a nice suburban area. Look in craigslist for roomates in SF- you will make more friends that way and have a much better experience. You are only 22 once- don't spend it in suburbia.
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Old 02-05-2007, 03:00 PM
 
426 posts, read 1,731,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeDog View Post

Ok, I'm probably going to offend some people here, but I'm trying to help you out. You will meet ON AVERAGE more attractive women in SF, better educated women in SF, and younger women in SF. Also your group of friends will be better educated, younger, etc. if you live in SF. People who live in SF who are 22-28 will probably think you are a little strange for living in WC as a single male. If you are new to the Bay Area I'd strongly recommend SF at age 22. WC is mostly older couples, families, elderly and a "rougher" and less educated crowd for the below 25 crowd (mostly b/c many are living w/ their parents-just kidding, but not really). WC is a nice suburban area. Look in craigslist for roomates in SF- you will make more friends that way and have a much better experience. You are only 22 once- don't spend it in suburbia.
I understand your point, and I think it's pretty good. WC definitely did seem (like I said) more like Orange County in it's population. It seemed much less like a place where young people chilled, and much more like a family-oriented place and suburbia. You are right too, if I want to make friends, living in Walnut Creek would probably be an AWFUL idea. Moving in with other people my age who are also just moving to San Francisco would probably be a better idea.
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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Man, looking at people looking for roommates... it could be stressful. Everyone is really ***ing serious, and they are all in their 30's and 40's. I was thinking I'd find two other 22-ish year old straight guys who I'd chill with whatnot... but craigslist makes it seem otherwise
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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Hello,

I grew up in Walnut Creek and I would love to give you info on my experience living there.
1) I personally think that Walnut Creek would be a great place for a 22 year old male. My brother is a 23 year old male living in Walnut Creek and he LOVES it there. There is a lot to do in W.C., alot of people from the sourrounding towns come to W.C. for entertainment.

2)As for your second question, that is what a huge amount of people do. In W.C. there is the BART train and you can commute on that or drive. Traffic is pretty bad around the Bay Area, but it is a really desirable place to live so I guess that is worth it. I am not sure how long it would take to get to SF/Oakland in traffic, but without trafic it is about 20-30 minutes.

3)For your third question, yes. My brother has never owned a car. W.C. has the County Connection for bus transportation and then BART to get elsewhere. I dont recall seeing taxi cabs very often, but I know they are in W.C.

Walnut Creek has a lot of great qualities to it. There are a lot of places to go out to eat and there are unique restaurants to eat at. If you want anything more than what you have in W.C. you can travel to San Francisco and have just about anything you want. The weather is always great. The only complaint I have is how expensive it has gotten to live there, but if you see prices that you feel are reasonable then maybe I am just hoping for dirt cheap rent.
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