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Old 09-02-2012, 09:06 PM
 
4 posts, read 8,206 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi all,

I'm moving to the bay area from Sydney, Australia with the same firm I've been working with, for the last 8 years (L1, not a H1-B visa, so please don't hate on me!)

Some of you may think I'm mad to leave Sydney, but it's a move I needed to make while I'm still young and foolish

I'm after opinions and advice on places to live… My girlfriend/Director of War and Finance will be joining me early next year.. So some of the items on this list are hers

Family-orientated/safe neighbourhood, safe enough where the Mrs can go running or for walks by herself in the day/afternoon without fear of unsavoury types.
Daily commute to Campbell, CA for me in about an hour or so (It currently takes me 55 minutes for a 9.1 mile commute!)
Parks for a puppy to run around in
Reasonable amount of things to do, shopping, new restaurants, theatres/cinemas, things to explore etc - We want to be able to get out as much as possible when we can on weekends/days off
If there's medical schools/hospitals or places nearby where the Mrs can get hours/work to benefit PA school applications, this is a MAJOR plus

Farmers markets or stores like Whole Foods where good, fresh/clean produce are also big plus

My budget is approx ~$2000/mo for a 2 bedroom apartment. I understand a lot of places have utilities on top of this, which I'm budgeting for.

So far, Campbell looks ok, but from Google Maps it seems to be a bit of an industrial area. I've seen some references to Willow Glen on here, which looks like it fits the bill (and looks a lot greener when zooming out!) but I can't find out much about the quality of life there, or if it matches up with the list.


If anyone else has opinions, advice, feedback, criticism, or other input, please feel free to throw it up here! All comments are welcomed.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:25 AM
 
30,142 posts, read 33,362,791 times
Reputation: 32661
Honestly, I think you should look for a place right in Campbell. It isn't really industrial at all. It has a cute shopping center (Pruneyard) and a Farmer's Market, and has a cute downtown as well. It's safe. I'm not sure about the parks aspect, but I'm sure it must have some.

Willow Glen is nice, but overpriced for what you're getting. Willow Glen has some beautiful homes, but a lot of the apartments there are blah/dumpy. You can visit Willow Glen on weekends if you want. I don't think it would add much to you quality of life to live there. It's the same or more expansive than Campbell, plus you'd have to commute (although not far).
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:04 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
18,867 posts, read 19,490,316 times
Reputation: 18190
Campbell would be my choice. $2,000 a month for a 2 bedroom apartment is going to be pretty tough to come by in Santa Clara County, unless you sacrifice commuting distance, safety, or school quality (or a little of all three).
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:02 AM
 
4 posts, read 8,206 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you both! I really appreciate your replies

Campbell sounds like a go, I'm looking at the Avalon Campbell apartments which don't seem too shabby.. I guess I'll find out when I land in a few weeks!
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:56 PM
 
264 posts, read 795,082 times
Reputation: 182
You are right, campbell is more industrial-like and will be more crowded feeling...willow glen definitely has its appeal too, but maybe slightly sketchier in areas than Campbell, but both are safe areas. If you are looking for more greenery, check out Saratoga near the Village area. Very safe area and great for walking or running. Cute downtown too. Also keep in mind you aren't restricted to apartment complexes...there are also detatched cottages or inlaw units that may fit into your price range that are often listed on Craigslist.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:59 PM
 
4 posts, read 8,206 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you, StandingRoomOnly... Much appreciated

Do you guys, or anyone else, have any opinions of Redwood City or San Mateo vs Willow Glen? Or know of any areas comparable to Willow Glen a little further up on this side of the bay from San Jose, heading towards SF?
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:58 AM
 
30,142 posts, read 33,362,791 times
Reputation: 32661
Quote:
Originally Posted by StandingRoomOnly View Post
You are right, campbell is more industrial-like and will be more crowded feeling...willow glen definitely has its appeal too, but maybe slightly sketchier in areas than Campbell, but both are safe areas. If you are looking for more greenery, check out Saratoga near the Village area. Very safe area and great for walking or running. Cute downtown too. Also keep in mind you aren't restricted to apartment complexes...there are also detatched cottages or inlaw units that may fit into your price range that are often listed on Craigslist.
Saratoga is great. We all wish we could live there. Problem is it isn't affordable and there probably aren't too many places to rent there at any price level.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Discovery Bay
47 posts, read 82,726 times
Reputation: 50
Pretty much everything in the S.F.Bay Area is a lousy value for housing. If you're willing to be stupid with money then any of the areas mentioned are nice. Campbell has a unique identity, despite it being pretty much buried in San Jose.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:42 PM
 
1,263 posts, read 3,791,660 times
Reputation: 632
I live in the Cali Mill Plaza area of Cupertino and I love it here. It's true Cupertino doesn't have a downtown but I don't find the teeny tiny downtowns of other South Bay cities appealing either. I mean you just can't get rid of your car with those tiny downtowns. They are just one street, 5 or 6 blocks. If you get everything from there, you are missing out BIG TIME.

I am within walking distance to the Cupertino Memorial Park, Whole Foods, Target, Starbucks, Home Goods, Marina Food (a Chinese food supermarket), Cupertino Public Library, several restaurants, a 5 minute drive away from AMC Cupertino, Safeway, Cupertino Village. A 10 minute drive from Valley Fair and Santana Row for serious shopping. I get everything I need easily. Granted it is no SF but can't complain. I am single so I didn't even factor in the excellent schools Cupertino has to offer.

It will exceed your budget a little bit but if you rent a condo unit from an owner which usually covers water and garbage it wouldn't exceed it by a whole lot. Give it a consideration too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverTwizt View Post
Hi all,

I'm moving to the bay area from Sydney, Australia with the same firm I've been working with, for the last 8 years (L1, not a H1-B visa, so please don't hate on me!)

Some of you may think I'm mad to leave Sydney, but it's a move I needed to make while I'm still young and foolish

I'm after opinions and advice on places to live… My girlfriend/Director of War and Finance will be joining me early next year.. So some of the items on this list are hers

Family-orientated/safe neighbourhood, safe enough where the Mrs can go running or for walks by herself in the day/afternoon without fear of unsavoury types.
Daily commute to Campbell, CA for me in about an hour or so (It currently takes me 55 minutes for a 9.1 mile commute!)
Parks for a puppy to run around in
Reasonable amount of things to do, shopping, new restaurants, theatres/cinemas, things to explore etc - We want to be able to get out as much as possible when we can on weekends/days off
If there's medical schools/hospitals or places nearby where the Mrs can get hours/work to benefit PA school applications, this is a MAJOR plus

Farmers markets or stores like Whole Foods where good, fresh/clean produce are also big plus

My budget is approx ~$2000/mo for a 2 bedroom apartment. I understand a lot of places have utilities on top of this, which I'm budgeting for.

So far, Campbell looks ok, but from Google Maps it seems to be a bit of an industrial area. I've seen some references to Willow Glen on here, which looks like it fits the bill (and looks a lot greener when zooming out!) but I can't find out much about the quality of life there, or if it matches up with the list.


If anyone else has opinions, advice, feedback, criticism, or other input, please feel free to throw it up here! All comments are welcomed.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2012, 04:48 PM
 
6 posts, read 10,301 times
Reputation: 13
You are fine anywhere in San Jose honestly, except East San Jose is over populated and the commute from East San Jose is really really bad. Rule of thumb is to look for a place to live that is not near a ton of apartment complexes. Pricey: Willow Glen, Almaden Valley. More affordable but still completely safe and nice is Cambrian and South San Jose although stay away from anywhere near Monterey Hwy. lots of crime.
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