Where Should I Move To In The Bay Area?
February 24, 2010 8:43 PM Subscribe
Where should I live when I move to the Bay Area?
Here are the facts:
Later this year, I'm moving to the Bay Area for work. I will know very few people outside of work when I get to town. I'm moving by myself. I have a reasonable budget (around $2k / month, maybe a touch more) and don't need much space. Would love to spend less, but willing to spend that much for the right situation.
Work will be in Palo Alto, at a location that is just about right off of I-280 and the Page Mill Road exit.
My inclination is to live in San Francisco, because I want to live in a city. That said, the commute worries me a little ... I'd have to drive (train's won't work with my unpredictable schedule), and I wonder if I'll be unhappy. I also don't know what neighborhoods/etc. in SF are best for this kind of commute. I'd likely be commuting around 7 or 7:30 am, sometimes earlier, sometimes a bit later; coming home no earlier than 6, likely later in many cases).
Another option would be downtown Mountain View or Palo Alto (near Castro St. or University Ave.) Both of these seem okay, but I worry that I'll be less likely to go out and/or meet people with either of these options. I also worry I'll never make it to San Francisco, despite the idea that "you can always go into the city on the weekends."
A third thing I'm thinking about is San Jose. The thought is that it's somewhat urban/city living, but the commute would be shorter and the rent would be cheaper. Wondering if it'd be the best of both worlds. Have a feeling the cheaper rent is indicative of how bad an idea this might be.
Whatever I choose, I don't know much about neighborhoods, etc. If I decide on San Francisco, I want to be close to the freeway, and would prefer to live in a place where I could get garage parking, but that's not totally necessary.
I'm also open to other towns closer to Palo Alto, but I don't know much about them.
I'm asking now because I'm going to be in the area in the next few weeks, and I want to check out some buildings/neighborhoods/etc., in case I have to make a rental decision before I actually move.
I realize this is a fairly open ended question. I'm hoping to get advice from people who have been in a similar situation, or have thoughts on the commute and the pros and cons of city living when work is that far away.