Possibly moving to the bay area?
February 5, 2012 9:24 PM   Subscribe

Help an older couple move to the bay area-My parents are interested in moving to the bay area and are visiting this week to check out some possibilities. Do you have recommendations for areas/communities that might be a good fit for them? They are in their 60's and like quiet, peaceful places, natural beauty, the ocean, slower pace, and they don't have a lot of money. They are spiritual and into alternative medicine, holistic health and gardening. Thank you!
posted by tessalations999 to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Santa Cruz isn't quite Bay Area but has what your parents would like. It can be expensive, but worth a day or two of their time to check-out I think. If they need to commute to the BA, forget it; commutes are not good from here. I live near downtown Santa Cruz, so email if you want.
posted by anadem at 9:29 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have no idea whatsoever about cost, but Half Moon Bay and Pacifica are both snazzy and probably have some farther-back areas that are slower pace and etc. They're also both stunningly beautiful.
posted by nat at 9:35 PM on February 5, 2012

In general, you can find neighborhoods of this type throughout the bay area. Is there a particular reason they are moving to the bay? Job? Commute constraints? To be closer to family? This can help us provide more useful answers.

If finances are an issue, check out the north bay. Petaluma, Cotati, Santa Rosa-- all are affordable and offer options with more of a hippie vibe. They're about an hour north of SF.
posted by samthemander at 9:38 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

They are moving to be closer to family. Thanks!
posted by tessalations999 at 9:40 PM on February 5, 2012

Make sure they are aware of the cold and fog where they are going. We've been having a weirdly warm and sunny winter and this can be a shock to people when the real weather arrives.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 9:55 PM on February 5, 2012

Where in the bay area, though? Gilroy is 2 hours from Santa Rosa, but they're both considered "Bay Area." How close would they like to be? :)
posted by samthemander at 9:58 PM on February 5, 2012

This screams west Marin to me, but I have no idea how much it costs to live there.
posted by mollymayhem at 10:14 PM on February 5, 2012

They might want to check out Fairfax, in Marin. It's one of the more affordable towns in Marin, and there is easy access to incredibly beautiful nature. It does have a big hippie vibe, though, so they should definitely be ok with that if they want to consider Fairfax. It's mostly hippies of their age.
posted by imalaowai at 10:17 PM on February 5, 2012

This screams west Marin to me, but I have no idea how much it costs to live there.

Yeah, ideally what you want is Bolinas/Stinson Beach, but -- like much of the Bay Area, particularly the scenic parts -- it is not cheap. Are they looking to rent or buy?
posted by eugenen at 10:18 PM on February 5, 2012

If family are in the North Bay then the less fashionable parts of West Sonoma County- out by Jenner, Bodega Bay or along the Russian River are very peaceful and cheaper than Marin. Renting there makes more sense than buying imho, even long term. You can rent a place for about a third to a quarter of what the mortgage would be, or you could when I last checked a few years ago.
posted by fshgrl at 10:38 PM on February 5, 2012

Crockett!!! This quaint town has plenty of affordable houses with views of the Carquinez Strait and San Pablo Bay and it's only about a 30 minute drive away from SF. It is also mostly crime-free. I love Crockett and hope to live there one day.
posted by wherever, whatever at 11:32 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

My mother lives in the Rossmor community in Walnut Creek.

Most all the other suggestions are beautiful areas that are also very expensive.

Rossmor is a senior (50 and over) community close to BART the weather is warmer. Fairly liberal and very active.

Two bedroom condos are less than a 100,000.00.
posted by pianomover at 7:30 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Agreed on the affordability of Rossmoor. My mom just bought a place there and it's super affordable. It's definitely lacking on the hippie vibe but I've been really impressed with all the activity there and it really is pretty.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:51 AM on February 6, 2012

Rossmoor is kind of amazing, in it's own way. It's not like an apartment complex senior community, it's like a 20,000 person town, with all types of housing and community centers and resources, so whatever they're looking for in terms of social situation they can probably find. It was also great for my grandparents because as they moved from being completely independent to needing more and more care, all of that was available in the community they were already familiar with.
posted by brainmouse at 9:02 AM on February 6, 2012

Cazadero in Sonoma County is fairly cheap, but may not be desirable if they don't want to live on a hillside, especially in the potential torrential rains. Sebastopol is hippie haven but you do need a certain income to survive there. If they want to live anywhere in Marin County, they're going to need a good income stream to survive and oh yes, reliable transportation. Rohnert Park, not that far from the ocean, close to shopping, affordable housing here and there. I wish them luck!
posted by Lynsey at 10:13 AM on February 6, 2012

I don't know what you mean about them not having "a lot of money," because I've heard people making six figures say they don't have a lot of money, but the first thing that popped into my head when reading this question was the Sea Ranch. The cheapest houses sell in the $400-500K range. Some might be available for rental, though most I imagine are for rent as pricey vacation homes.

My parents just moved (from central Connecticut) to Petaluma to be closer to me and my partner (we live in San Francisco), and they adore it. They call me almost every day to tell me about the newest awesome thing they're doing. They're both retired, but their interests and activities skew way younger than their actual age, so what they're telling me about is the Occupy Petaluma camp and the cool coffee shop and the great bookstore downtown and the volunteer work they're doing with the local homeless shelter. Oh, and the community garden plot they're growing veggies in. They're more active and social than I am.

Petaluma is a really great town. *Definite* liberal vibe, adorable downtown area, not a long drive to Bodega Bay/the Sonoma coast, not a long drive into the city, just over the hill from wine country, pretty affordable. Stuff still within city limits is quite rural, with lots of people who have chicken coops and goats and pigs in their yards, if your parents are into that kind of thing.
posted by jesourie at 1:31 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Buying? Renting? how much is "not a lot" of money? The Bay Area in general is one of the most expensive parts of the country, but as people have pointed out, it is big and encompasses many different places at different price points.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:27 PM on February 6, 2012

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