Where Should I Live in the Bay Area?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2013 7:16 PM GMT
    Hey Jocks,

    I was wondering if you could help me. There's a good chance I am moving to the Bay Area this week. It's important to me that I have access to the outdoors (mountain biking, cycling, and hiking), but live in an urban, trendy space that has a gay community. What neighborhoods should I look into?

    I understand some of you want to know more specifics, so here goes...

    Setting: city-life outside of SF
    Crime: low to non-existant
    Demographic: younger (20-40), trendy, active, gay-friendly
    Commute: yes, under 1 hour
    Price-point: Under $1000
    Roommate: yes
    Weather: warm
    Interests: mountain biking, cycling, hiking, coffee shops, culture, metropolitan lifestyle, travel, trees, convenience
    Work: Near the Presidio
    Occupation: Teacher
    Owns car: Yes

    Update: Here is the search boolean I am now using for craiglist thanks to your help.

    "west berkeley" | piedmont | grand | adam's | "inner richmond" | "richmond district" | "outer richmond" | seacliff | temescal | rockridge | "old oakland" | montclair | merritt

    Update: New question. How do I make myself stand out when replying to a craigslist ad? What should I put into the subject heading to persuade a landlord to read the email?

    Thanks!
    Adam
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    Aug 20, 2013 7:32 PM GMT
    San Francisco. You'll never leave.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2013 7:49 PM GMT
    To elaborate my on response; the Bay Area isn't like SoCal where there's no real central spot. San Francisco is the epicenter where everything is. Especially everything gay. All other areas pale in comparison and are compromises.
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    Aug 20, 2013 7:59 PM GMT
    Hi,

    There's not a lot of things to do in San Jose. Yes, of course San Francisco for culture, diversity, things to do, gay community and all. Santa Cruz is beautiful and smaller...more peaceful and laid back, near the ocean and big redwood trees and hiking paths, and all the good-looking surfer boys... ^^
  • mascmuscle35

    Posts: 79

    Aug 20, 2013 8:02 PM GMT
    Where are you working? This will dictate where your options to live are.

    Another factor is cost, SF is super expensive. Ive been here 18 months.

    http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/

    You may want to sublet a place and figure out which area is best suited for you.
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    Aug 20, 2013 8:04 PM GMT
    So many variables, you need to be more specific on what you want or better yet what you don't. Want a commute? Cheap housing? Warm weather? Close to work or school? City life? Suburb life? Gay? Str8? Diversity? Crime?

    So many different things to consider in the bay area. It's just not that easy to say I want outdoors and close to urban gay living. Even in the City itself, there are pockets that are more urban than others and some that are more gay than others.
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3516

    Aug 20, 2013 8:08 PM GMT
    probably easier to ask "what is your budget" that will determine the choices. If it is less than 3000$ per month for instance...good luck with that, the answer is "your car"
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    Aug 20, 2013 8:32 PM GMT
    Apparition saidprobably easier to ask "what is your budget" that will determine the choices. If it is less than 3000$ per month for instance...good luck with that, the answer is "your car"

    Well some cars are actually nice than the apartments available! LOL However, you can find plenty of apartments for under $3K, even in SF but if you're talking about a place for under $1000 or even $1500 a month, then you might want to consider the burbs or beyond.
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    Aug 20, 2013 8:56 PM GMT
    eb925guy said... you might want to consider the burbs or beyond.

    Raises hand. Heh; when I bought my place it was the end of the Concord BART line.

    Along with what the others have said, if your new job is close to BART and you can't afford SF, then try and restrict your search to places along/near the BART lines.

    Unlike SoCal, in the Bay Area it's possible to have a life without spending half of it in a car commuting. Although you could spend 2 hours a day (1 hour each way) like I did on BART.

    And good luck with the new job; hope you get it! You'll be glad to trade SF for SD. I moved from SD back in the late 80s and am endlessly glad that I did.
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    Aug 20, 2013 9:10 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal saidSan Francisco. You'll never leave.


    This. Living IN The City gives you central location, regional and global access, and a diverse choice of neighborhoods and lifestyles.

    I suggest that you do some kind of short term "AirBnb" rental while you research and explore what San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Marin County and the rest of the Bay Area have to offer.

    Also, I hope that you will join our RJ SF Bay Area Sports and Social Group

    Welcome to Northern California!

    Aloha and Be Well!
    Alan
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    Aug 20, 2013 9:22 PM GMT
    Thanks for all of the feedback. icon_smile.gif

    It's official that I am moving this weekend. I have a place to stay in Berkeley while I adjust and search. My interests lie outside of San Francisco because I have a car and need to mountain bike. That's right I said, "NEED".

    My job is up by the Presidio. I expect commuting will be a hassle, but I can manage if that means I live closer to single track.

    I understand some of you want to know more specifics, so here goes...

    Setting: city-life outside of SF
    Crime: low to non-existant
    Demographic: younger (20-40), trendy, active, gay-friendly
    Commute: yes, under 1 hour
    Price-point: Under $1000
    Roommate: yes
    Weather: warm
    Interests: mountain biking, cycling, hiking, coffee shops, culture, metropolitan lifestyle, travel, trees, convenience
    Work: Near the Presidio
    Occupation: Teacher
    Owns car: Yes
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    Aug 20, 2013 9:35 PM GMT
    Berkeley might not be a bad place to start with, or end with. I worked at UC Berkeley. The Berkeley hills are right there for your bicycling. Definitely a younger crowd with the UC Berkeley students all around. You could go a bit north and avoid some of the students. Berkeley has excellent weather.

    Investigate how to get to the Presidio by public transportation; BART to SF, then perhaps bus to the Presidio. Driving over the bridge into SF won't be pleasant. You can't take a bicycle on BART during the commute crush into SF in the mornings, likewise you can't take it out of SF during the commute crush in the late afternoon. But otherwise you can; check http://www.bart.gov/ for specifics.
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    Aug 20, 2013 9:37 PM GMT
    Thank you, Lumpy. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2013 9:37 PM GMT
    Also, crime in the Bay Area is probably higher than you're used to in San Diego. You'll definitely want a hefty U lock for your bicycle; don't even think of using a cable lock.
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    Aug 20, 2013 9:54 PM GMT
    OK, so you don't want to live IN The City (SF) so here's what a friend of mine does: He lives in Marin and rides his bike across the Golden Gate Bridge on nice days - commutes by car the other days. He has also taken the Larkspur Ferry - but that is not close to the Presidio, where you'll be working.

    So - you could live in Marin (Kentfield is where my friend lives) and you could bike or carpool to the Presidio area. Sharing a place in Marin would be essential, financially. Also - there is a good life there with the things you want to do "mountain biking, cycling, hiking, coffee shops, culture, metropolitan lifestyle, travel, trees, convenience" with guys in your age group. This is what I would do if I wanted to work in the Presidio area, and live outside The City - with all the things you just mentioned nearby.
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    Aug 20, 2013 10:05 PM GMT
    Thank you, Mr. Bod!
  • mascmuscle35

    Posts: 79

    Aug 20, 2013 11:51 PM GMT
    I love Berkeley. Check out tilden park. I always hike in the east bay. Congrats on your move
  • JBinSFO

    Posts: 90

    Aug 20, 2013 11:59 PM GMT
    Welcome to SF, and congrats on the new job. Is it with LucasFilm? (just curious).

    It is very tough to spend under $1k for a quality place near transportation in the Bay area, even as a share. Most people in the Bay Area are used to spending 40-60% of their income on rent or mortgage.

    Having said that, Lake Merritt is a great location for outdoorsy people. Very beautiful, liberal location, very close to BART, onto which you can take your bike.

    Marin too, but public tranport into the city is problematic and cost is normally prohibitive except in the (few) dicy neighborhoods.

    One thing to keep in mind is the weather. It varies a ton from neighborhood to neighboorhood. I'd recommend the peninusla south of the city, but the weather can be horrendous. If you like not seeing sunshine for a month at a time, live there or in the Sunset district. Rents are lower because of it.
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    Aug 21, 2013 12:06 AM GMT
    Your best bet is the East Bay (Berkeley, Emeryville, even Oakland Hills) this will be warm. Younger crowd definitely -Berkeley/Emeryville since you have UC Berkley along with Tilden Park and other parks. You want to be in University Avenue this connects to all the trendy shops, restaurants, breweries, pastry shops, etc. Lots of young crowds, hipsters, and close to the BART station-to go into SFO.

    If you hate the cold then San Francisco will NOT be a place you want to reside since the temperature varies considerably and cooler. However, the city has a lot to offer but not as tree shaded or greenery there are some areas but not as much as the East Bay, it just depends what your looking for, but for $1,000 even with shared you will not find this, prices have sky rocketed even with roommates.

    Hope all wells with the move and welcome if it happens.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 21, 2013 12:11 AM GMT
    Sausilito. My brother has a house there, on the water, view of the GG bridge, great cycling area.
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    Aug 21, 2013 12:31 AM GMT
    uombroca saidYour best bet is the East Bay (Berkeley, Emeryville, even Oakland Hills) this will be warm. Younger crowd definitely -Berkeley/Emeryville since you have UC Berkley along with Tilden Park and other parks. You want to be in University Avenue this connects to all the trendy shops, restaurants, breweries, pastry shops, etc. Lots of young crowds, hipsters, and close to the BART station-to go into SFO.

    If you hate the cold then San Francisco will NOT be a place you want to reside since the temperature varies considerably and cooler. However, the city has a lot to offer but not as tree shaded or greenery there are some areas but not as much as the East Bay, it just depends what your looking for, but for $1,000 even with shared you will not find this, prices have sky rocketed even with roommates.

    Hope all wells with the move and welcome if it happens.icon_biggrin.gif

    This is good advice. Given what you're looking for, Berkeley might be your best bet. Tilden Park is great for biking and you're not too far from Mt Diablo or Briones regional park. I've done a lot of mt biking there.

    Don't sign any long term leases when you find a place. Go with short term until you've been here awhile so you're not stuck for a year but can relocate if the commute doesn't work out. Berkeley also has a younger crowd then you'll find further east.

    Good luck.
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    Aug 21, 2013 12:41 AM GMT
    Keep Jockbod48's advice in mind. The Fall semester at Cal starts this Thursday, 22 August, so the kids have arrived and most of the rentals have been taken. Also look further north, Albany, El Cerrito, etc. Richmond used to have more crime; I don't know if it still does.
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    Aug 21, 2013 6:21 AM GMT
    smartmoney saidSausilito. My brother has a house there, on the water, view of the GG bridge, great cycling area.


    SF frowns on freeways so the Presidio is cut off from the south and east. So its Sausiltion since the Marina area is not exactly warm or sunny. $1000 will probably buy a spot on a couch .
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    Aug 21, 2013 6:40 AM GMT
    Here are some places I found already with your help.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/roo/3955876474.html
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/roo/4002474898.html
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/roo/3955876474.html
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    Aug 21, 2013 6:42 AM GMT
    And a couple more...

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/apa/4013279898.html
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/apa/4009835671.html