I recently accepted a techy job in downtown Palo Alto, and I don't know where to live. I've looked at craigslist, padmapper, et al, and it seems the apartments in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Mountain View are usually old and kinda dumpy looking. If not that, then their prices are comparable to what I could get in SOMA. I've also looked farther south toward Sunnyvale and Cupertino. There seems to be more newer, less expensive complexes there, but I don't know much about those areas or how long a commute would be.
I currently live in Manhattan, and I'm not sure living in a city is right for me. I used to live in suburban DC (Arlington) and liked it. Here in NYC, I miss having a car, having a washer/dryer in my apartment, playing on nice softball fields, and playing golf. I never really took advantage of living in the city, but that doesn't bother me. I'm a homebody who occasionally goes out with friends, so I like my place to be nice on the inside since I spend so much time there.
I'll have a Go Pass for free (I think most of my future coworkers come from SF), but I don't mind driving to work either. I'd like a max of a 30-45 minute commute, but I'm not sure how much that limits me. I don't want to live with roommates. I'd like to spend around around $2000 in rent. I can actually go up to around $3000, but I'm not sure I'll get much value from that.
I keep going between SOMA, close to PA, and farther south. I'm kind of paralyzed by all the options right now. Does any one have suggestions on a good place for me to live?
Thanks everyone. I've read the previous questions (incl. this one), but I'm not sure they apply well to me.