U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Francisco - Oakland
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 09-09-2008, 11:33 AM
8 posts, read 22,797 times
Reputation: 10


I am planning to relocate from UK to SF at the start of next year with my wife and baby boy - I am being transferred to our office in SF - and am looking for some advice on areas to consider to live.

My office is based downtown so need to be able to commute easily. My wife will be staying at home to look after our boy and also work as a fashion designer (she used to live in LA so plans to work for her old company as a supplier - she has a green card) but also wants to be in a nice area so they can go out for walks around the local area and meet other moms so somwhere that has these types of groups/opportunities.

We would also like some outside space as we have a small dog so he needs the space outside.

Safety is important as I've read a lot on here about different places in SF with different crime rates so any advice on that is welcome.

Our budget will be anywhere between $2000 and $3000 per month and we would be looking for a 2 or 3 bedroom place.

Some of the areas we have looked at online are Bernal Heights, Glen Park, Western Portal, Sunset and Richmond districts but it's hard to get an idea of the positives/negatives of each area so any recommendations most welcome.

Thanks in advance
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 09-10-2008, 03:30 AM
169 posts, read 458,305 times
Reputation: 131
consider southern marin. the commute to th financial district is a snap. very family friendly, safe and tons of meeting moms opportunities.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 07:26 AM
8 posts, read 22,797 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks Doggz3 - we had not thought about Southern Marin as we were only looking at being closer to downtown. Will look into that.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the areas I mentioned in my original post though as still interested in those areas to.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2008, 05:33 PM
Location: Bay Area
3,982 posts, read 8,654,985 times
Reputation: 4723
Well, living is the City is always doable but I wouldn't really call SF family friendly anymore. My kids were born and raised in the City and it's definitely become more "yuppy" over the years. All my friends that have families talked us out of moving back because there aren't any families around anymore.

The dog thing is generally very hard to do in SF in terms of finding a rental that will even accept dogs. I would consider anywhere along the BART line (Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Orinda, Lafayette, etc. This would take about half an hour from these towns) or possibly Southern Marin (but I wouldn't think that commuting would in any way be a "breeze" like someone mentioned) to definitely be better for families and for 2,3, or 4 bedroom houses with a yard.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-12-2008, 05:59 PM
Location: Sacramento, CA
1,196 posts, read 4,638,314 times
Reputation: 615
I think Bernal Heights, Sunset, and Richmond would all be good, I don't know enough about the others. These areas tend to be cheaper, quieter and more family oriented.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2008, 02:21 AM
1 posts, read 4,221 times
Reputation: 10
Default West Portal (well kept secret)

What an exciting adventure...a new family member, a move, a career opportunity!

As someone who also has a little one, we have lived in the North Bay and San Francisco with our child, and my husband grew up in the East Bay. We currently live in Santa Cruz (which is amazing), but we are thinking seriously about moving back to the city to be closer to work opportunities and better schools (no kidding!).

You sound like you know that you want SF Urban living. If that's the case, then you should really look into West Portal...it's a gem of a neighborhood, protected by a funny set of streets that don't encourage people who are not from the neighborhood to cruise it. That being said, it is vibrant, always felt safe to me and has a great toy store as well as several delicious restaurants. Fuji for sushi, and I can't remember my favorite Italian one, but you'll find it if you look. I never had a problem finding parking, either. It feels like a small village. For your price range, if you keep an eye on craigslist.com, you will likely find a nice house or part of a house with all the period detail or a nice remodel. There are no apartments per se.

Also nice: the Inner Richmond, and the Richmond/Seacliff area. I did meet a couple who felt like the Seacliff area was too "far" out from "all the action" but I love the charm of the houses there.

The Sunset can be nice too. It is largely Asian, but still very family friendly, and very safe compared to places like the Mission (which I would not recommend for a family).

Both Seacliff/Richmond and the West Portal areas are near the beach (a great place for moms and babies) and relatively low on crime/parking issues, which is something I don't think Bernal Heights can say as easily.

Not sure what mom's groups to recommend, but you'll find them. Try the library!

I have spent a lot of time in the Burbs and I have to say I am not a fan of Marin...not that its really the burbs, but it is MUCH harder to meet people, and there are a lot of air quality issues.

Lastly, the Laurel Heights/Presidio area is very nice and accessible to Chrissy Field. It would probably one of the quickest straightest shots into the Financial District, too, while maintaining that family friendly vibe.

Good luck in your search!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2008, 04:30 AM
8 posts, read 22,797 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks adoorajar. You're right when you say we want to live in the urban-city area as that's the best way to get to know a city I think (I lived in London for the 8 years). In time we may consider a move further out but for now we want to be as close to the action as our budget/safety needs allow.

Western Portal and Richmond/Seacliff seem like the best options then. What is the commute like from there? I'll be using public transport as my wife will need to keep the car at home so i guess i'm looking at muni/bart/bus options here?

Thanks :-)
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2008, 05:58 PM
1,658 posts, read 3,408,907 times
Reputation: 1709
I'll second West Portal. The metro station is right there and you can hop on the K, L, or M lines to downtown. If you lived in Outer Richmond/Seacliff, you would have to take the 38 bus, which does run pretty often (and if you're working 9-5 they have express buses) but is not as reliable as the subway. Also, while Seacliff is a very safe area, it's also incredibly dull IMO and doesn't feel as neighborhood-ly.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-17-2008, 07:16 PM
226 posts, read 1,100,364 times
Reputation: 72
You could also try Alameda and take the ferry directly to the Downtown area. Bay Farm Island, a district of Alameda, has its own terminal and the region is very family oriented with top-notch schools. You can get to San Francisco in 25 minutes, without the stress of traffic.

You could also try Castro Valley, which is on the BART line. You could ride the BART to the financial district/downtown in about half an hour. There are a lot of single family homes with large yards. Schools are very good.

I also second the choice on Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, and Walnut Creek. Suburban communities not too far away from San Francisco. Walnut Creek has an upscale downtown in its own right, good for boutiques, etc.

I don't very much about communities on the Peninsula. I'm sure someone else can fill in on that, but I know that BART has stations on the peninsula.

Also, is your 2000-3000 dollar per month budget the portion set aside for housing, or is that your WHOLE budget. That makes a difference in what you can afford.

Marin County can be a easy commuting option ONLY if you are close to a ferry terminal.

Out of all of the options above, Castro Valley is the least expensive option to my knowledge.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-18-2008, 03:28 AM
8 posts, read 22,797 times
Reputation: 10
I looked at Walnut Creek area on craigslist and it looks like you get more for your money housing wise which makes it a strong candidate in our choice. I would need to factor in cost of commute which I assume would be higher the further out of the city you are.

I'll check out Alameda and Castro Valley today.

Our budget is $2-3,000 for housing alone (it's roughly what we pay now in ££s) so all utlility bills and commute costs would be on top of that. Does anyone have any idea on what we could expect to pay for both of these on an average month - this will help us determine if we need to reduce our housing budget.

Schools are not that important yet as our baby son is only 5 months old so a few years before we have to worry about that.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Francisco - Oakland
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2023, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top