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Old 09-28-2008, 06:48 AM
 
18 posts, read 68,420 times
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Hello! We need your help. we are planning to move from Boston to SF bay area next year. We have no idea where to live....
My husband is going to work in Napa, and my work is going to be in SF- very close to BART station.

We have 2 kids (1 and 4) so school district as well as convenience to my work (not his work) are important. I need to drop off/pick up kids from daycare every day. He can take long commute as long as traffic is not bad.

We are planning to rent for the first 1 or 2 years- our budget is about $2000/month for rent including parking.

We used to live in Park Slope, Brooklyn. We are looking for the same kind of feeling. A friend of mine who knows the area recommended Marin County but I prefer commuting by BART.

Also, we prefer international/liberal environment- our kids are half Asian half white, vegetarian, and trilingual- we prefer to live in area with like minded neighbors.

Which area/city/town are the best fit for us? Please let us know your thoughts.
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,722 posts, read 14,720,909 times
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Walnut Creek, Concord or Pleasant Hill, which have BART stations is about equal distance between Napa and SF. Walnut Creek is more upscale than Concord, therefore rent might higher there than in Concord or Pleasant Hill. These towns are on I-680 for getting to Napa. BART Station Locator

The commute to Napa won't be that great since much of it is on 2 or 4 lane highway with traffic lights as you get near Napa.
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:53 PM
 
18 posts, read 68,420 times
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Hello Humboldtrat
thank you so much for your information! We will look into those areas you mentioned.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:41 PM
 
655 posts, read 1,983,189 times
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The commute to Napa makes it tough. In terms of the type of area you're looking for (Park Slope-y with international/liberal bunch) I'm inclined to say Rockridge in Oakland, which is a great match (plus has a couple of immersion language schools if that's your style, etc.) It's a good BART commute into the city, but the Napa commute would be painful in rush hour. If your husband's hours won't be standard, you might consider it---it's just under an hour on a good day versus 45ish from WC or Concord, but potentially longer if you sit in traffic. There are really no good transit options to Napa.

Concord and WC have the upper hand on commute time to Napa but are long commutes to SF even though they're on BART. If your benchmark is Park Slope, both are much more suburban than that (more like parts of Westchester). So is most of Marin, for that matter. One thing to consider is where your kids will be in daycare. It can be really tricky if both parents are an hour+ away....something to think about. Other East Bay areas to look at closer to SF might be Albany (near El Cerrito Plaza BART station) or parts of Berkeley, but both have the same challenges with respect to the Napa commute. That's a tough one---good luck!
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, Ca
2,039 posts, read 3,279,007 times
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I live in Marin. There are buses you can take, but it is doubtful BART will ever make it here. There is also the ferry which is nice, and you can get your coffee on the way and have a drink, beer or glass of wine on the way home, if thats your thing. The commute to SF from here is a slow one, but the drive to Napa is absolutely wonderful, I roll the Jeep out that way from time to time just because it is so nice. Marin is the most expensive county in the Bay Area, IIRC but, personally, I think well worth it. It is an amazing place to live. I work at one of the local high schools and the kids here are great, smart, involved and pretty well behaved, for kids. I wouldn't discount it soley on the reason of BART.






can you tell I like where I live?
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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Balancing lifestyle and commute time to Napa, I'd say Albany, CA appears to be the best fit.

If you live near the I80 freeway (as most of Albany is), it would be about 45 minutes to the town of Napa.

And most Albany residents would be fairly close (in politics at least) to the Park Slope crowd. There are MANY ex-New Yorkers in the Berkeley-Albany area.
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:32 AM
 
31 posts, read 122,786 times
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You need to look into LAMORINDA in the east bay. Closer to SF, has bart station and an easy drive to Napa. YOu would also be in the best school system in the state. Orinda and Lafayette are quaint community oriented affluent towns who value education and family. It is expensive to own in the area but u can find rentals. Oh...and everyone is liberal in the bay area...especially people who have kids in your age group.
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:07 PM
 
18 posts, read 68,420 times
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Thank you everybody! We will look into all the areas you guys mentioned.
And you are right Artemis78, I did not think too much about day care but either one of the parents needs to be close enough to work.... especially, it seems like all day cares close around 6 pm!
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Northern California
358 posts, read 1,037,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YasminD View Post
Hello! We need your help. we are planning to move from Boston to SF bay area next year. We have no idea where to live....
My husband is going to work in Napa, and my work is going to be in SF- very close to BART station.

We have 2 kids (1 and 4) so school district as well as convenience to my work (not his work) are important. I need to drop off/pick up kids from daycare every day. He can take long commute as long as traffic is not bad.

We are planning to rent for the first 1 or 2 years- our budget is about $2000/month for rent including parking.

We used to live in Park Slope, Brooklyn. We are looking for the same kind of feeling. A friend of mine who knows the area recommended Marin County but I prefer commuting by BART.

Also, we prefer international/liberal environment- our kids are half Asian half white, vegetarian, and trilingual- we prefer to live in area with like minded neighbors.

Which area/city/town are the best fit for us? Please let us know your thoughts.
Napa is tough in terms of mass transit for commuting. Your husband will likely have to drive to and from work each day.

Additionally, since you are looking for something like Park Slope (I used to live in JC, NJ), you will not be very happy in Marin, Orinda, Moraga, or Walnut Creek. To me, these are very much the "burbs" and while they may have some downtown shopping strips, its nothing like Park Slope. Now before anyone blasts back stating that its not the burbs, understand that that is MY perception based on MY experiences and frame of reference.

I would look into the East Bay. Specifically, I would look at places like Berkeley, Kensington, Albany, El Cerrito, and certain neighborhoods in Oakland (like Rockridge). There is quite a youthful energey to these places (particularly Berkeley), great small family owned shops and restaurants (you'll have a hard time finding an Applebee's or TGI Friday's) and you'll have all sorts of cultural activities to keep you and your kids busy. Berkeley is probably the most walkable of the ones I mentioned, but they are all clustered right in the same area. My wife and I love taking our 2-year old into Berkeley for some food shopping and time at one of the many great neighborhood parks.

You will have easy access to BART to get into the city and your husband will be able to jump onto the Fwy and make the reverse commute to Napa. Also, your proximity to SF will be very much similar to your current proximity to Manhattan, i.e. just across the Bay.

Best of luck to you and welcome to the Bay Area!
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Alamo, CA
6 posts, read 33,113 times
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This is tricky... Marin makes the most sense by far, but BART doesn't venture into that picturesque county. One of you will have to compromise.
The pricier, even-more-picturesque towns of Marin are Kentfield, Ross (paradise), Belvedere, Tiburon.
Sausalito is the first town you come to after driving across the Golden Gate, and is a charming town on the water - a "fishing village", as some refer to it.
Novato and San Rafael are to the north, closer to Napa, and are less expensive (BUT NOT CHEAP BY ANY MEANS).
Petaluma is in Sonoma County and is slightly more rural and less-Bay Area, but is a nice town and is closer to Napa.
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