Author Topic: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)  (Read 3645 times)

Sirius, with a Dash of Humor

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Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« on: November 30, 2015, 09:42:35 PM »
Hi Mustaschios!

I've been living in LA and have had enough. I'm moving back to the East Bay, Oakland specifically (lived there for 13 years, wish I never left, arrgh!). Anyway, I need ideas for how to not pay way too much and actually live well in this area. By living well I specifically mean...

1. Safe, quiet neighborhood.

2. A space of my own (open to interpretation)

3. $500 or lower month to month rent/ pick up and go anytime situation

That about does it. Please help me stretch my brain!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2015, 09:46:10 PM »
Are you talking family, couple, young single guy? I know there was at least one forum member around here who did a pretty long stint living out of his car in the bay area. Maybe someone else will be able to find that thread, I don't remember enough to help more on that.

Britan

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 08:30:21 AM »
No ideas, but replying to follow cause I'm interested too. The only way I figured I could do it would be sharing a house with friends, but I'd love to know if there's anything I'm not thinking of.

Bearded Man

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2015, 08:59:41 AM »
From what I've heard, housing in the general area there is ridiculous. Box truck? Camper Van? Box truck gives you the most space bust is less stealthy, unless it is marked as some kind of construction vehicle.

jengod

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2015, 09:14:13 AM »
Maybe you can get into Containerville?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfqunEuw61k

Have you seen this map of SFBay rent map arranged by BART stop? (FWIW, my brother lives in El Cerrito and it works.)

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3039164/infographic-of-the-day/the-bay-areas-insane-rents-mapped


cats

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2015, 12:38:22 PM »
If you can do it, please post the details, as I'll be very impressed!  If you want to live in an actual structure (as opposed to a vehicle), you may need to be open to sharing a bedroom.  One thing that did occur to me is a roommate who travels a lot--perhaps someone who works for an airline and is based out of the Oakland airport, or someone who is often gone/traveling during the week?

Another possibility is some sort of caretaking/maintenance for rent arrangement, but that may not be compatible with your desire to get up and go (if the caretaking involves a person as well as a property).

Or, if you can find a multi-person place and set yourself up as the master tenant, you can perhaps shift some of the rent off to roommates in exchange for handling communication with landlord.

Final suggestion is to be more flexible than average in your definition of what is "close" to public transit, if proximity to transit will be important for things like getting to work.  For example, that map linked above looks at rents within a half mile of a BART station.  The weather is really nice and mild here something like 350 days of the year, so if you're in good health there is no reason why you can't live a mile or more from transit.  We've always lived about a mile from major transit and find it seems to be a nice sweet spot in terms of still providing good access for daily commuting, but also resulting in a noticeable decrease in rent (for example, that map above shows a 1-br rent "near" my BART stop going for about $250/month more than what my husband and I currently pay for a 2-br a mile away). 

Sirius, with a Dash of Humor

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2015, 06:24:53 PM »
Thanks guys,

My situation is I'm a single guy, very flexible with what situation I can get into. BUT... really tired of dealing with other people in living situations. So, I'm ready to try something really unconventional to have more space to myself, and be able to travel at the drop of a hat. I'll think over what you've shared.


Bearded Man

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2015, 07:00:39 PM »
Thanks guys,

My situation is I'm a single guy, very flexible with what situation I can get into. BUT... really tired of dealing with other people in living situations. So, I'm ready to try something really unconventional to have more space to myself, and be able to travel at the drop of a hat. I'll think over what you've shared.

OK, single, no pets, and easy to sell the box truck if you buy right (in case it doesn't work out). The box truck setup can be converted to have an off grid kitchen, bed, closet, sofa, etc. I'd try it bare bones with a mattress and a camp stove first, and if it works out, or it's not too bad/worth the savings, keep doing it. When you tire of it you can get your money out of it and go back to stick built structures.

Dicey

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2015, 12:12:13 PM »
Start here:

http://tosimplifyold.blogspot.com/2009/06/my-van.html

I live in the East Bay. If I was a single guy, this is exactly what I'd do. He's on his third incarnation, but this link will take you to the very beginning. Great writing.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2015, 03:50:26 PM »
Here are some related threads:
Alternative living in San Francisco/Silicon Valley
How to live cheaply in San Francisco / bay area?
I hate paying rent! Any suggestions?

Can I ask: What are the things you don't like about LA, and what are the reasons you want to move to the East Bay and think it will be a better fit? (If those aren't personal reasons)

Sirius, with a Dash of Humor

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2015, 07:59:59 PM »
Just wanted to say thanks again for the info. I'm getting some advice from a great guy who lived in an RV for a long time

biodieselhauling.blogspot.com

I'm leaving LA because the Bay Area is a way better fit for me: Lifestyle, relaxed attitude & atmosphere, weather, business opportunities, community support. I could go on and on.

Dicey

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Re: Cheap Living in the SF Bay Area (Oakland really)
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2015, 06:01:45 PM »
I'm getting some advice from a great guy who lived in an RV for a long time

biodieselhauling.blogspot.com
Okay, is this a dash of humor? Isn't this our very own bakari? 1431 posts and counting?

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/profile/?u=412