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Old 06-27-2009, 04:42 PM
10 posts, read 45,779 times
Reputation: 16


We have some hard constraints:

1) 3 bedroom apartment
2) $2,200 a month maximum rent
3) within 45 minute morning commute of Menlo Park
4) Great elementary school (two kids- 1st grade and pre-k)
- "Great" is defined as engaged parents, typical American demographics (not Cupertino), low crime, nice/all-american community.

We seem to be in a pickle with our bedroom/monthly rent/commute constraints to live in such a community.

I'd love to live in Los Altos, Los Gatos, Saratoga or Portolo Valley but we appear priced out.

Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara all seem a bit hit/miss (rough around the edges).

Cupertino sounds like living in a foreign country or Chinasuburb (as opposed to Chinatown), Pleasanton and Santa Cruz are too far.

And due to reasons i wont go into, moving north of Menlo (i.e. San Mateo, Burlingame) is not an option.

Is there a needle in my haystack? Can someone help me find and thread it? Are there other areas that will allow me to meet all of my critera?

And if i can't have everything i want in life, where should i live to get the closest approximation, given the available options within 45minutes and taking into account my bedroom/price constraints.

This is where i need the real expert advice! Thanks.
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:06 PM
2,144 posts, read 7,134,059 times
Reputation: 1540
Obviously a subjective value/lifestyle judgment call only you can make

Would closely re-examine your budget to differentiate true necessities vs luxuries

Would argue health, safety and education (and values of one's neighbors and their kids) are much higher priorities than an extra bedroom or a fancier place or luxury stuff like vacations or consumer electronics or pets, etc

Know many similarly financially constrained young parents in PA area (esp many Stanford grad students and junior faculty) who face similar tough financial choices (and I experienced them first-hand as a small kid growing up in PA; taught me priceless value of being around smart, upwardly mobile people from a young age)

Many underestimate the unique place that is PA area with its extraordinary density of high-IQ, high-achieving parents, many of whom are penniless at start of their career and live in rather shabby, small, crowded rentals early in their career
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