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Old 04-21-2010, 05:18 PM
 
24 posts, read 127,064 times
Reputation: 14

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My husband and I will be moving to San Francisco or Berkeley in June and are starting to look at various neighborhoods and craigslist postings to try to figure out where to live. I will be an intern at California Pacific Medical Center (in Pacific Heights) and he'll be a grad student at Berkeley. My hours will be much longer than his, so we're leaning a little more towards SF, but we've both lived in and love Berkeley.

Our criteria:
1. If we live in SF, I want his commute to Berkeley to be very easy (i.e. BART is really close), and vice versa.
2. We'll have an annual income of ~$65,000, which obviously limits the areas we can afford.
3. We have 2 small dogs.
4. We'll have one car, and while we don't expect to find an apartment with parking, it would be nice if there's a parking lot/garage or street parking nearby.
5. It needs to be a safe area. I will be leaving home early in the morning and coming back late at night some days (especially if we're in Berkeley), and want to be able to walk from public transportation to home without getting jumped. If we're in SF, I have the option to take overnight call from home, and just come in whenever needed, so it would be awesome to find a place safe enough for me to walk to wherever our car is parked in the middle of the night without fear.

All suggestions, advice, opinions, and other comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
111 posts, read 155,547 times
Reputation: 82
What size place are you looking for and what are you looking to spend for a place? Will you be an intern meaning post medical school training? If so I would try hard to find something in the city even if it's a studio.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:15 PM
 
24 posts, read 127,064 times
Reputation: 14
We're looking for a 1 bedroom, and are hoping to spend around $1500-1800/month on rent. A studio is kind of a last-ditch resort, as we're both serious night owls, but only one of us will actually be getting to keep those hours (in other words, he's going to be up, making noise, super late, and I'll have to wake up early). And yep, intern as in first-year resident.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:34 PM
 
7,704 posts, read 12,543,156 times
Reputation: 12300
I would choose Berkeley if I were in your shoes. Heard San Francisco proper is not exactly "what's popping" in regards to quality of life. It's very congested and newcomers to the area complain about the many poor living outside. They tend to pee and drink in the streets. Idk. I just wouldn't take the chance. Berkeley is a very attractive city and nicely tucked in the Bay Area.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:21 PM
 
157 posts, read 331,295 times
Reputation: 88
I think a 1 bedroom with modern amenities in a safe neighborhood will probably be around 2k. Especially the new ones in SOMA. But take a good look on CL, you might be able to find a great deal, just make sure you are ok with bums all over if you decide to live in SOMA, and be careful walking underneath the highways at night, they all sleep under there.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:47 PM
 
1,650 posts, read 3,507,302 times
Reputation: 1142
Quote:
Originally Posted by USCMed View Post
We're looking for a 1 bedroom, and are hoping to spend around $1500-1800/month on rent. A studio is kind of a last-ditch resort, as we're both serious night owls, but only one of us will actually be getting to keep those hours (in other words, he's going to be up, making noise, super late, and I'll have to wake up early). And yep, intern as in first-year resident.
I would recommend the inner richmond area. You can get a relatively large one bedroom for your price range. But parking in the area is bad and commute to Berkeley will be long. Anywhere close to BART and safe is either non-existent or too expensive.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:17 AM
 
Location: Northern California
358 posts, read 1,034,729 times
Reputation: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by USCMed View Post
My husband and I will be moving to San Francisco or Berkeley in June and are starting to look at various neighborhoods and craigslist postings to try to figure out where to live. I will be an intern at California Pacific Medical Center (in Pacific Heights) and he'll be a grad student at Berkeley. My hours will be much longer than his, so we're leaning a little more towards SF, but we've both lived in and love Berkeley.

Our criteria:
1. If we live in SF, I want his commute to Berkeley to be very easy (i.e. BART is really close), and vice versa.
2. We'll have an annual income of ~$65,000, which obviously limits the areas we can afford.
3. We have 2 small dogs.
4. We'll have one car, and while we don't expect to find an apartment with parking, it would be nice if there's a parking lot/garage or street parking nearby.
5. It needs to be a safe area. I will be leaving home early in the morning and coming back late at night some days (especially if we're in Berkeley), and want to be able to walk from public transportation to home without getting jumped. If we're in SF, I have the option to take overnight call from home, and just come in whenever needed, so it would be awesome to find a place safe enough for me to walk to wherever our car is parked in the middle of the night without fear.

All suggestions, advice, opinions, and other comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Based on your post, I would tend to think that Berkeley is a better choice for you. You can find a nice 1BR with parking (almost unheard of in SF proper) in a nice neighborhood for less than $1,600/month. Of course, things might be more expensive for a June move-in, but it will definitely be much cheaper and more spacious than in SF. If you live in Berkeley, your husband can ride his bike to school (Berkeley is incredibly bike-friendly and he'll be in good company on the road from other cyclists).

I live in South Berkeley and love it. If you want to live near Ashby BART (in South Berkeley), I would suggest looking in the area that is bounded by MLK to the west, Telegraph to the east, Dwight to the north and Alcatraz to the south. You'll be in a relatively nice and safe area and will be close enough to take a cheap cab ride if you ever feel uncomfortable walking. The farther you go west from MLK, the dicier it gets. Not that its bad, but I wouldn't recommend it for a woman walking alone at night.

You should be OK in most of the areas surrounding the Downtown BART. I don't know as much about the area around the North Berkeley BART.

SF is an exciting and enticing option, but based on your stated salary, I think you'll be much happier and more comfortable in Berkeley.
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
111 posts, read 155,547 times
Reputation: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by USCMed View Post
We're looking for a 1 bedroom, and are hoping to spend around $1500-1800/month on rent. A studio is kind of a last-ditch resort, as we're both serious night owls, but only one of us will actually be getting to keep those hours (in other words, he's going to be up, making noise, super late, and I'll have to wake up early). And yep, intern as in first-year resident.
You should be able to find something decent in the Richmond at 1 bedroom or jr. 1 bedroom for that price. The reason I recommended staying in SF is because I can't imagine you wanting to commute far after working 16+ hours. Intership is grueling. My wife just finished her Psychiatry residency and did her internship in Internal Med. It was ridiculous.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:55 PM
 
99 posts, read 193,279 times
Reputation: 104
the neighborhood where the medical center is located is inhumanely expensive. with that said, i would probably live somewhere along the n judah line or the duboce triangle area. the area is very close to market street, a transit hub, so picking a route on public transportation to filmore in pacific heights should be effortless. also being on a light rail line makes it easier for your husband to get to bart since all rail lines meet on market street and 4 bart stations as well which is nice to have to connect to the east bay. one problem would be parking but if you ask for the city you got it. the sunset in sf is a neighborhood that is transit friendly but it is not as difficult to find parking on the streets as other parts of the city.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:16 PM
 
24 posts, read 127,064 times
Reputation: 14
Well, it seems like Berkeley is the best place for us to go, since I'm not too fond of the idea of bums and pee on our doorstep.

The gourmet ghetto area of Berkeley was actually where we originally wanted to move, since we both love the area, but then we looked at how long my hours and commute would be, and thought SF might be better. I guess we'll still keep an eye out for good places in San Francisco, but focus more on Berkeley.

Thanks for the replies!
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