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Old 08-19-2009, 08:26 AM
 
21 posts, read 96,755 times
Reputation: 15

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Hello,
my husband and I and our soon to be born baby are moving to the Bay Area. We are in our mid-thirties. We are looking at houses in Berkeley and found a beautiful old house in South Berkely, close to the Asby and Harper intersection. The house itself is lovely, however, we are wondering if the area is a nice one to live in? We understand by the prices that it is not North Berkeley or the poshest place in the area, but is it nice enough?

We like walking, being outside in the yard barbecuing, playing tennis (there looks like there are some courts in the Grove Recreation center). Also we want restaurants, grocery stores, cafes etc not too far away.

So my question is: is South Berkeley safe, quiet, pleasant and would you recommend it? If not please tell me why and other better areas around that still have 'more reasonable' housing prices?

Thank you!
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:44 PM
 
902 posts, read 2,664,909 times
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South Berkeley is the ghetto.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
56 posts, read 242,009 times
Reputation: 21
Frankly, the previous poster is correct and without being specific you should stay away. This is a complex decision in the inner bay area, as there's many options. I would suggest Point Richmond, Albany, Rockridge, and then if you continue further to areas like Concord or even Walnut Creek the prices are dramatically lower and they all tend to be nice areas.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:14 PM
 
12,823 posts, read 22,917,623 times
Reputation: 10997
I think calling that part of Berkeley "ghetto" is over the top.

It's certainly not yupped out like North Berkeley, the Hills, College Ave, et al.

But it's what I would consider lower middle to middle class.

Also, it seems to me that in Berkeley in general, the commercial areas have a much more gritty feel than the residential areas. Things can be really nice a block away from borderline grit. The only real way to tell is spending a bit of time in the hood you are interested in.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:38 PM
 
Location: 38°14′45″N 122°37′53″W
4,151 posts, read 10,628,007 times
Reputation: 3432
South Berkeley is not ideal...that's for sure. Ashby is super busy and can get very sketchy, especially as you get to the further Southern end of the BArt station...

Is this the house you are planning on raising your child in? because as cool as the old house may be, you need to consider how lousy the Berkeley School System is.
it's the biggest reason we moved out of Berkeley after 7 years.
We were south of the North Berkeley BART station by about 4 blocks or so.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:08 PM
 
35 posts, read 155,964 times
Reputation: 15
I grew up in South Berkeley, and I can't say I have very fond memories of it. I remember getting harrassed quite a bit as a female high schooler when walking home, and also sketchy things happening in the neighborhood such as drug deals, bomb threats at the old Safeway (which I believe is now Berkeley Bowl?) as well. Of course it may have changed, as that was 20 years ago.

Here is more info, and more perspectives on the area:

Berkeley Parents Network: Living in South Berkeley
South Berkeley, Berkeley, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:26 PM
 
12,823 posts, read 22,917,623 times
Reputation: 10997
Did a quick scan of both articles. Both seemed to miss one of the major pluses of that area, namely the Thai Temple. Specifically on Sundays.

Mmmmm ... mmmmm ... mmmmm ... mmmmm ... mmmmmm
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:55 PM
 
251 posts, read 1,003,286 times
Reputation: 79
There are some nice homes on certain streets....my Aunt used to live in South Berkeley--but we
are talking back in the 50's.....

I guess back then all neighborhoods were a lot different.....
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:24 PM
 
Location: San Francisco/Haarlem, NL
39 posts, read 137,561 times
Reputation: 27
It's a decent area. Like previous posters said, it's definitely not North Berkeley. There is a lot of drug dealing nearby. Once you go west of Sacramento St on Ashby it generally gets worse. There are still nice pockets throughout South Berkeley. I used to live at Ashby and Shattuck and know of quite a few businesses in my immediate area that were robbed at gunpoint. You really need to check out the specific street; that area varies block to block.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:32 PM
 
Location: San Francisco/Haarlem, NL
39 posts, read 137,561 times
Reputation: 27
I just re-read your og post and noticed that you asked about restaurants, shops, etc. - The area near the Berkeley Bowl is very walkable and really has some great places. Berkeley of course is great, there is an out of this world desert shop near the bowl, a really good african restaurant on Shattuck south of Ashby. As well loads of other places. The proximity to BART is also nice. Just know that there is a fair amount of crime.
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