Author Topic: Calling all San Francisco Mustachians...  (Read 2754 times)

andystkilda

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Calling all San Francisco Mustachians...
« on: March 08, 2015, 10:36:13 PM »
Hi Everyone,

We are planning to move to the San Francisco area (i.e. within 45 of San Francisco city) in a year or two. We plan to live there for around 2 years to keep working toward FIRE and also enjoy a change of lifestyle and new adventure.

Some notes:
- I'm currently 26, my wife is 28
- We will have 3 young kids when we move to San Francisco (all under 5) - i.e we'll need a 3-bedroom place
- I work in Finance and plan to find a good full-time role somewhere near where we live, but I don't mind a longish commute
- We will be renting for the 2 years
- My wife is U.S. born and a citizen, as are all the kids. I will be on a Green card (I'm an Aussie)

I'm looking for any advice on areas that might suit us, so I can start to slowly plan things and get an idea of costs/jobs/apartments etc. for when we move.
Also any general advice for our situation and things to start thinking about before the move will be greatly appreciated.

p.s. Unfortunately, choosing a more 'Mustachian' location other than San Francisco is not up for discussion :-)

ClaycordJCA

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Re: Calling all San Francisco Mustachians...
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 01:00:17 AM »
Housing and rents are crazy in SF and the surrounding area. Best bet in terms of rental costs is probably the East Bay.  Generally, the further you are from SF the less you will pay but the more suburban the lifestyle. Your post is too general to recommend specific areas.   What's your anticipated budget?  What sort of lifestyle are you looking for where you will live?  What is your weather preference - foggy and cool, warm or hot - we are known for our microclimates?  Where do you want to work - SF, Silicon Valley, Oakland?  What do you mean by a longish commute?  I'm 35 miles from SF, it is a 45 minute train ride from Concord BART to downtown SF, plus getting to the station, parking, walking from the lot - figure a one-way commute of an hour and 15 minutes at best.  Once we have a better idea of what you are looking for,  we can come up with more concrete suggestions.  You may also want to come out for a week or two to explore the areas outside of SF.

andystkilda

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Re: Calling all San Francisco Mustachians...
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 03:15:11 AM »
Housing and rents are crazy in SF and the surrounding area. Best bet in terms of rental costs is probably the East Bay.  Generally, the further you are from SF the less you will pay but the more suburban the lifestyle. Your post is too general to recommend specific areas.   What's your anticipated budget?  What sort of lifestyle are you looking for where you will live?  What is your weather preference - foggy and cool, warm or hot - we are known for our microclimates?  Where do you want to work - SF, Silicon Valley, Oakland?  What do you mean by a longish commute?  I'm 35 miles from SF, it is a 45 minute train ride from Concord BART to downtown SF, plus getting to the station, parking, walking from the lot - figure a one-way commute of an hour and 15 minutes at best.  Once we have a better idea of what you are looking for,  we can come up with more concrete suggestions.  You may also want to come out for a week or two to explore the areas outside of SF.

Preferences:
- Budget: no real limit - just something reasonable and as Mustachian as possible to maximise all the factors (lifestyle, 3+ bedrooms, commute etc.)
- Lifestyle: with the kids mostly we can only do things that they can enjoy - best is outdoor activites (beach, park, forest etc.)
- I don't really care where I work but I assume I'll have to find something somewhere on the East Bay to keep the commute reasonable and keep our rent costs reasonable at the same time. My professional field is quite common and easy to find work (every bank/finance company needs at least a few of me), so I don't think I'll have too much trouble finding a suitable job somewhere outside of SF itself

ysette9

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Re: Calling all San Francisco Mustachians...
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2015, 09:14:43 AM »
An early welcome to the Bay Area (as we call this place). I am a native Californian and adore the Bay Area. The weather is practically perfect year-round and there are a million and one free (or close to it) things to do for kids and people of all ages because you have so many fabulous micro-environments (oak forest, redwood forest, rolling hills, warm, cool, ocean, etc.).

As the previous poster said, it is really hard to help you out with so little information. Do you have any idea where you would work? If your kids are going to be school-aged then it is very important to end up in a place with good public schools. The quality various tremendously with the good schools being in more expensive areas due to our lousy way of funding schools here. Generally, the city itself is great but very expensive. Your best bet at not having to use a car is there. Avoid the northern tip of the east bay at all costs (Richmond and surrounding areas) Berkeley is nice but crowded and expensive. The rest of the east bay (San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, etc.) is far more affordable, some areas have good schools, but it boring as heck. If you can live close to BART then you can get good public transportation to take you to the city. Unfortunately BART doesn't go all round the bay though so you are limited there.

San Jose is huge, sprawling, and has decent parts (Willow Glen, some areas near downtown, Japan town, etc.) but also has a lot of ugly sprawl, bad traffic, and areas you do not want to go. San Jose is generally more affordable. From there, things get more expensive and nicer the higher up the peninsula you go. Places like Campbell, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park are known for great schools and ridiculous housing prices. East Palo Alto is an island of affordability in an ocean of ridiculous prices but I personally wouldn't live there and definitely would not want to take kids there. Further north places like San Carlos, Belmont, and San Mateo have good schools and are slightly more moderately priced. On the Peninsula you have CalTrain running up to the city which can provide public transportation depending on where you end up working. A lot of commuters use it, but I personally don't like the train since it is loud, slow, and diesel.

Good luck and when you have more details, let us know and we can provide better information to you.

RapmasterD

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Re: Calling all San Francisco Mustachians...
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 11:38:21 AM »
Data point: We live about 28 miles south of SF in the Peninsula. Going rents for a 3BR/2BR range from $4,000 for a hovel...to $5,500 and on up for more luxurious accomodations.

We look forward to welcoming your family and your tax revenues. Giddy on up!!