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We have lived in north Berkeley for years, but my husband works in the Internet world and there is a good chance that his next job will be on the peninsula. From north Berkeley, that commute is tough. We are committed to staying in the east bay, but we are considering a move to Oakland if it would make his commute easier. I would love to hear people's opinions about where we might look - if you commute to the south bay, do you like your neighborhood, and what's your commute like? Oh, a neighborhood with lots of kids would be great. Thanks for the suggestions! M in Berkeley
At best, my current drive to Mountain View is 50 minutes, but that's at very early or late times of day (leaving well before 6:30 a.m. and after 7:30 p.m.). Otherwise it's anywhere from 60 - 120 minutes, but most frequently about 85-90 minutes to get home. I try to leave work by 4:15 most days to avoid the worst of it and finish up my work at home. The most congested portion is 880 South in the morning, North in the evening.
Frankly, I'm sick of the drive and would love to find a job in SF or the East Bay. But some people do it for years and don't mind it. I'd consider a very fuel-efficient car if you're going to knowingly sign up for a commute like this, unless you like filling your tank a lot. I estimate it costs me about $20 a day in gas and tolls to commute with a Subaru Forester. Or join a car pool, or get a job for a company that provides shuttles to work (Google and Genentech both have this). But know that the shuttle doesn't always save time; you can work on the bus which is nice, but you're still sitting on the highway in traffic for about 3 hours a day, and usually have to drive to the shuttle pick-up spots.
Commute aside, I love living in Montclair, and to me it's worth it to stay somewhere with nature and a farmer's market rather than moving further south to the more 'suburban' towns. You could also think about Alameda, but I'm not sure it'd improve the East Bay portion of the commute that much. The schools there are great though.
Aiming for a company in the peninsula (Belmont, Redwood City, San Mateo) rather than further south (Mtn View, Menlo Park, Cupertino, etc) -- with easy access to 101 -- might shave a nice chunk of time off. Or consider some of the tech companies in Fremont. Good luck! worn-out ultra commuter
Crocker Highlands is a wonderful neighborhood conveniently located right off of 580 (Lakeshore exit). There are stores, restaurants, a Traders Joes, etc. within walking distance. We also have a weekly farmer's market that the entire family enjoys. Lastly, the elementary school is rated one of the best in Oakland. However, I would caution anyone looking into buying a home in the area the impact the recent school closures (specifically Lakeview elementary) may have on Crocker Elementary. As Oakland is looking to expand school boundaries, there is a small chance that the school may not be able to accommodate all the children in the neighborhood, similar to what happened in Hillcrest.
Hope this is helpful. happy crocker family
I know this question has been asked a million times, and I
have combed the archives, but I'm hoping a few people will
be able to give some suggestions on my specific criteria. My
husband and I have a 2-year-old, and jobs in Oakland and
Richmond. Our top criteria are:
1. Good public schools
2. Short commutes (30 minutes or less)
3. Proximity/easy access to regional parks
4. Family friendly neighborhood
5. Prefer peace & quiet & nature over urban setting
6. We'd like a 3-, or preferably, 4-bedroom house
The final kicker is that my family, which helps out with the toddler sometimes, is in the South Bay, and we'd really like to be below the maze for that reason. I lived in El Cerrito for a couple of years, and while it's a great town, it made it very difficult to get down to the South Bay at times. However, if our (pipe?) dream neighborhood is above the maze, so be it. Any thoughts? happy to be househunting
I dearly miss living in Oakland, but we found it was simply not a viable option with the South Bay commute. As for driving north, I can't recall which city you wanted to commute to, but in zero traffic it takes me 15 minutes to get to Emeryville; if you add in a drive north of the maze, well, I expect you're looking at a 25-30 minute drive in zero traffic and a 35-45 minute commute in traffic. To even out the commute you might consider living further south in San Leandro near where the 580 and the 238 meet. There aren't really any 'neighborhoods' down that way, though, just general suburban sprawl.
Your other option is to find a place along the 880 corridor. For this, I'd like to second the recommendations for Alameda. My husband and I would move there in a hot second if we weren't committed to keeping our son in the local school district for a couple more years. I'm not actually sure how long it would take to get to the South Bay from Alameda (though I'd suggest living in the Southwest quadrant of the island, and driving the back way past the airport before hopping on 880), but I suspect the commute would be similar to our San Leandro one. If you were looking to keep both commutes truly equidistant, your best bet would probably be Southwest San Leandro or San Lorenzo, but again those are not areas that appeal to me. My personal preference would be for Alameda, just because it's such a lovely place with great restaurants, stores, coffeehouses, and people. - Alameda fan
Ask for your suggestions and opinions! I work at Richmond
and my husband works at Sunnyvale. We both like our jobs and
we have a kid! Now I have to make a decision where we should
live and this really cause me a headache!! I want to buy a
house or a townhouse and live there for at least 5 years as
I've moved too many times and I really hate it. I just
moved from other states so I don't know much about bay area.
Here is something in my mind:
1) the place is better within 30 min driving from Marina Bay,Richmond (where I work).
2) Safe area, family and kids friendly and public elementary school is fine--may be not a great school but at least is a good school.
3) better to have some Asian families in that area. (I am a Chinese)
4) the house is better within 30 years old but could be within 50 years
5) our budget is $800,000
Is there a place like what I described or I am just dreaming? thank you! Eve
- Very close to Richmond (far from Sunnyvale, though) - Safe area, family and kid-friendly, great public schools - Plenty of Asian families (and mixed families, too) - Plenty of houses for $800,000 or under (nothing huge, but plenty of room for a family of 3)The only thing that would be tough to find in Albany is a newer house... many of the houses are older, but many of them have also been partially or totally remodeled in recent decades. Good luck with your search! Happy Albany Resident
We are moving up from Los Angeles. I will be working in Oakland and my husband might be working in Hillsborough. Our daughter will most likely go to daycare near my job. We would like to take BART. Ideally, we want to be in or close to San Francisco but we are open to suggestions. We don't have high incomes, so a lot of SF is out of our range. Pam
Public schools are very good, some of them excellent. The High School is world class. There are also many private schools in the area. I know there are many good public schools in Oakland but you have to get comfortable with every school in your child's path. Skyline High I believe is considered the ''best'' public high school in Oalkand.
Figure out what the catchment area is for that High School and what the elementaries are that feed into it. Pick your favorite elementary among them and check out housing in that school's area. On the other side of the Bay, I am not very familiar. I am sure there are quite a few districts/communities with good schools, but housing prices can be very high. I used to live in an SF neighborhood called ''Dolores Heights''. It's above the Mission, below Noe Vally. I have NO IDEA about the schools, but it's cheaper than some areas around it, has the BEST weather in SF (protected to the West by big hills that block the fog) and has all the best SF can offer - great food, views, a very diverse community, and an urban vibe without an edge. Good luck. Happy in Berkeley
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