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Old 02-11-2009, 09:08 AM
 
2 posts, read 5,087 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi -

We are contemplating a move from Chicago to San Fran. My husband will likely be downtown San Franwith a once per week commute to Sunnyvale.

We have lived one block north of Wrigley Field in Chicago for the past 12 years, with three kids aged 5, 6, and 9. City living in Chicago has many great benefits, but challenges with schools and at this point, we are likely looking for a yard and some small outdoor space that I'm not sure we could find downtownSan Fran.

I have spent no time in the Bay area, I am specifically looking for a city/suburb that is:

- Hasn't been run over by tract housing, architecturally interesting (i.e. 1900 - 1940)
- Walkable downtown area with good restaurants, shops, schools
- Good grade school and high schools

Our budget, if we are purchasing, we hope to attempt to find a house (ideally 4 bedrooms) for $2MM. We will likely rent for the first year with a rental budget of $5K/month.

Any suggestions? Anyone actually make a move from Chicago to the Bay Area and can advise what is comparable to Oak Park or Evanston?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
1,196 posts, read 4,632,771 times
Reputation: 615
I think that Alameda would be a great fit for you. It has beautiful old victorians, a great downtown area, as well as good schools. It is also a fairly easy commute to SF, you can take either BART from one of the nearby Oakland stations or there is even a ferry or bus.

If you want to be in SF itself look into Sunset/Richmond and places like Noe Valley and Bernal Heights.

Here are some photos of Alameda:


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Old 02-11-2009, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,708 posts, read 14,226,091 times
Reputation: 1921
I'll go with Burlingame and San Mateo (San Mateo Park, Baywood and Aragon areas of San Mateo). Schools are very good in both towns. Both towns (and Sunnyvale) are on the Caltain commuter line between San Francisco and San Jose. There are many homes in this area that date from the 1920's to present day - many that are revival style Tudor, Spanish and Colonial, as well as Craftsman style homes.

Both Burlingame and San Mateo have interesting downtowns.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:02 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 28,151,402 times
Reputation: 3617
In Burlingame you'll find architectural interest, great schools, and a decent downtown strip around Burlingame Ave, but you should also consider Noe Valley in SF proper, which is as good if not better in all those categories. The good thing about SF is that at least you get a yard - it's not like NYC where you have nothing but high-rises as far as the eye can see.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,708 posts, read 14,226,091 times
Reputation: 1921
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonarrat View Post
...but you should also consider Noe Valley in SF proper, which is as good if not better in all those categories. The good thing about SF is that at least you get a yard - it's not like NYC where you have nothing but high-rises as far as the eye can see.
Don't they still have the lottery system in San Francisco for the schools where students can be bused across town to a school that might be in a sketchy neighborhood? You may not be able to send your kids to a neighborhood school close to home. Over all, SF schools aren't all that great from what I hear.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:34 PM
E14
 
Location: Cardboard Box, CA
147 posts, read 532,368 times
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Alameda seems like a perfect fit for you as it has nice old victorians, friendly people, and reasonable prices. Another place you might look at is the Oakland hills, but you would get less for your money than with Alameda.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:19 PM
 
370 posts, read 827,828 times
Reputation: 231
I think Alameda is a nice area, but to me, its not similar to either Oak Park or Evanston.

I think a better comp is burlingame and palo alto, Burlingame is more like Oak Park and Palo Alto is more like Evanston. If you are commuting to SF and to Sunnyvale, you do not really want to live in the East Bay, especially for the commute to Sunnyvale.

Alameda is much cheaper than either Burlingame or Palo Alto, but its also more of a suburb of Oakland than SF. The North Shore of Chicago is more like the Peninsula of the Bay area (which includes Burlingame and Palo Alto).

The Southern part of Chicago (including the suburbs) is more like the East Bay, although parts of the East Bay are very nice. Alameda will be significantly cheaper, but not as tony. You can find houses in your budget, though Palo Alto may be a stretch.

Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:41 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 28,151,402 times
Reputation: 3617
Quote:
Originally Posted by humboldtrat View Post
Don't they still have the lottery system in San Francisco for the schools where students can be bused across town to a school that might be in a sketchy neighborhood? You may not be able to send your kids to a neighborhood school close to home. Over all, SF schools aren't all that great from what I hear.
I know two families who live in San Francisco - one in Noe Valley and one in Forest Hill. Both of them are satisfied with the quality of their schools, and the one in FH told me the issue of the lottery problem is overblown unless you absolutely must get into Clarendon Elementary and nothing else will do, and you live all the way on the other side of the city. It may be an unnecessary source of stress, but at least it keeps real estate from getting crazier than it already is.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:49 AM
 
Location: .
440 posts, read 1,641,212 times
Reputation: 443
And this country is hurting???? Sad the rich get richer the poor get poorer and the middle class is gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!If you have that much money to buy a 2 million dollar home.. why not help some homeless??
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
1,196 posts, read 4,632,771 times
Reputation: 615
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Because they earned that money. Many homeless people want to be homeless, it is a lifestyle choice. I still can't understand why people say we have no middle class. It seems that our country is richer than it has ever been, and even the poor live like the extremely wealthy in many countries.

What if Obama instead of spending 800 billion on random things, helped the homeless.
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