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Old 05-17-2009, 04:35 PM
4 posts, read 17,131 times
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Hi Guys,
I am 25, single working professional, recently relocated to San Francisco for my new job and have been put up in temporary housing (downtown) by the company. Downtown's fantastic but I don't know if I can deal with all the parking madness and traffic, so ideally I would like to find a place just outside the city where I can commute to work(work is accessible by Caltrain).

Can anybody recommend any particular areas? Looking for something safe of course and someplace I can drive to nearby shopping centers, groceries and a Caltrain station. Commute preferably less than 1 hour. Is this realistic at all with a max $1500 budget for 1-BR monthly rent?

Thanks in advance for the assistance!
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:30 PM
Location: Northern California
3,719 posts, read 14,673,062 times
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Try the Hillsdale area in southern part of San Mateo. Hillsdale Garden Apartments in San Mateo, CA - San Mateo, California Apartment Rentals | Essex Property Trust are within walking distance of the Hillsdale Caltrain station and next to the Hillsdale mall Hillsdale Shopping Center

Another possibility is San Carlos which has many apts in the downtown area and within walking distance of the Caltrain station. It's about 45 min by train from San Carlos to SF. The downtown area (Laurel St) has many shops, restaurants, banks, a Trader Joes, etc.

Both areas are nice and safe and the peninsula has a lot less fog and wind than you will find in SF.
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:19 PM
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You could also live near a BART station. For example, North Berkeley, or, Albany near El Cerrito Plaza.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:56 PM
Location: San Jose, CA
1,318 posts, read 3,543,688 times
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During rush hour the following times are expected to 4th and King (SF Caltrain station)
Redwood City to SF: 32-34 mins
San Carlos to SF: 34 mins
Belmont to SF: 50 mins is the best you can do
Hillsdale to SF: 26 - 29 mins
San Mateo to SF: 23-25 mins
Burlingame to SF: 22 mins
Millbrae to SF: 17-18 mins

San Mateo, Burlingame, San Carlos, and Redwood City all have downtowns near the stations, Burlingame being more upscale, and Redwood City less so. All these places have 1 bd to rent for less than $1500/mo, of varying quality. In terms of safety some parts of San Mateo east of the railroad tracks, and parts of Redwood City may be a bit less safe, but overall the peninsula is pretty safe around those towns, Redwood City does have some bad parts south of downtown, south of Woodside Rd, not that unsafe, but probably not what you want. If you decide to live in Belmont, where I live, I suggest driving to Hillsdale, I live the area near Carlmont Village, but it will be almost 15 minutes to drive to Hillsdale. Add another 5 minutes buffer, and you're talking 45-50 minutes commute. You might prefer downtown San Mateo, or downtown Burlingame, certainly it would be a short drive to the station, or a short walk. If you live near Hillsdale you get a good combination of times to take the train, and short commute, the 3 trains stop there per hour (in rush hour), and all take 26-29 minutes to SF.

Millbrae has the advantage that all baby bullets stop there, and there is also BART, so if you want to go to the city (or get back from it) during non-rush you can take BART.

I have left out Redwood Shores and Foster City, which you can afford on your budget, but you will have to drive with the rush hour traffic to get to the station (until you pass the 101), so it may pass your time constraints to choose either of those areas, they are nice, and newer places as well, but more expensive, and you have the traffic issues to deal with. I haven't timed it, so I don't know how long it would take probably 15 minutes.

Any way it seems that most of those towns are open to you, note that there is more fog and cooler weather the further north you go, the towns I listed are listed from south to north.

I know I haven't narrowed it down, but you would need to tell us more about what you're looking for, and what you prioritize, cost, travel time to the city, travel time to restaurants/shopping, quality of apartments (60s/70s buildings, or newer perhaps), apartments with spacious grounds, or okay to have buildings next to other building, and so on.
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