Author Topic: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta  (Read 1006 times)

Fomerly known as something

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Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta
« on: April 11, 2021, 05:30:03 AM »
Iím likely moving to work in my employers San Francisco office in the fall.  Iím trying to drill down to neighborhoods to rent/buy in.  Iím a single younger Gen X person who likes to run and head to the hills to take a hike.   I love to be able to walk to things like the Grocery store and restaurants.  Iím going to be working in Telegraph hill and have a work provided car to get there, a shorter commute is important no more than 45 minutes on a ďnormalĒ day.  I will be flying a decent amount so easy routes to the airport is also a consideration.  Budget is somewhat of a factor but from my preliminary research I can afford most anywhere as long as Iím willing to go smaller.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2021, 01:55:15 PM by Fomerly known as something »

Sandi_k

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2021, 11:17:25 AM »
A 45 minute commute in Oakland or Berkeley to Telegraph Hill is unrealistic. If a short commute is a requirement, I think you'll need to live in the city. Living north of the city will not be a picnic in terms of crossing the GG Bridge.

Does the employer have a parking lot as part of the deal? If you have to park on your own, the cost for daily parking will be substantial in that area - it's close to North Beach. Which is not close to BART stations.

So that means probably a cable car, or a bus. Which means public transit, which isn't cheap either. Or Uber/Lyft.

Is there any way you can ask future workmates where they are living, within that commute radius?

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2021, 01:00:04 PM »
A 45 minute commute in Oakland or Berkeley to Telegraph Hill is unrealistic. If a short commute is a requirement, I think you'll need to live in the city. Living north of the city will not be a picnic in terms of crossing the GG Bridge.

Does the employer have a parking lot as part of the deal? If you have to park on your own, the cost for daily parking will be substantial in that area - it's close to North Beach. Which is not close to BART stations.

So that means probably a cable car, or a bus. Which means public transit, which isn't cheap either. Or Uber/Lyft.

Is there any way you can ask future workmates where they are living, within that commute radius?

Employer pays all vehicle expenses since it is their vehicle to include parking at work (not at home).  As for future workmates.  They say the commute is better from Oakland than much of the city proper due to the offices location in relation to the Oakland Bay Bridge.

cchrissyy

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2021, 01:12:11 PM »
i can see why you'd choose a car commute since the vehicle and its costs are provided

but the 45 minute range isn't happening if you live outside of SF itself unless you are working non-standard hours and haven't mentioned it

As far as time to the airport from berkeley, which is certainly a priority for me as well, without traffic I can be at OAK in less than 30 min or SFO in 45. allow a little extra if you're parking as opposed to being dropped off.

testing it on google maps from my previous home address in berkeley on a sunday afternoon, it says 25 min OAK, 50 min SFO, and telegraph hill SF is 47 min
« Last Edit: April 11, 2021, 01:17:14 PM by cchrissyy »

TFTF

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2021, 01:22:50 PM »
Welcome! I'm in a similar demographic. I used to live in SF and now live in the East Bay. Personally, you could not pay me any amount to commute by car to Telegraph Hill or anywhere else in SF, from either SF or the East Bay. The only way a commute from the East Bay will reliably be under 45 minutes is via BART. As others have noted, Telegraph Hill is a bit of a trek from BART, but you could do it e.g. via BART + bike share combo. Driving across the Bay Bridge in rush hour - forget it. (It is true that driving from distant parts of the city to Telegraph Hill can be just as bad as driving from Oakland/Berkeley, but at least there are multiple routes/options whereas from the East Bay you are completely at the mercy of the bridge.) If it were me, given that you're not too worried about budget, I'd look at walkable/bikeable neighborhoods in SF, and get an e-bike to manage the hills. The other outside-the-box option is North Bay + ferry. Ferry to Pier 41 will get you pretty close to the office and could be very pleasant. Haven't done it myself as a commute but it seems nice, and you'll be close to trails for running/hiking. That's bad for airport access, though.

Dicey

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2021, 01:46:20 PM »
I'd vote for walking distance to work, cost be damned.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2021, 01:52:29 PM »
i can see why you'd choose a car commute since the vehicle and its costs are provided

but the 45 minute range isn't happening if you live outside of SF itself unless you are working non-standard hours and haven't mentioned it

As far as time to the airport from berkeley, which is certainly a priority for me as well, without traffic I can be at OAK in less than 30 min or SFO in 45. allow a little extra if you're parking as opposed to being dropped off.

testing it on google maps from my previous home address in berkeley on a sunday afternoon, it says 25 min OAK, 50 min SFO, and telegraph hill SF is 47 min

Hours will be varied.  Sometime standard, sometimes not.  Itís complicated.  Sounds like itís back to looking more at SFO proper.

@Dicey if Iím close enough to walk or bike (I know hills) to work, the works car will stay parked at work instead of me being allowed to take it home.  Itís not totally out of the question the only issue that would pop up would be having to go to the office to pick up the car for an offsite start of the day/end of the day meeting.

Dicey

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2021, 09:07:34 PM »
i can see why you'd choose a car commute since the vehicle and its costs are provided

but the 45 minute range isn't happening if you live outside of SF itself unless you are working non-standard hours and haven't mentioned it

As far as time to the airport from berkeley, which is certainly a priority for me as well, without traffic I can be at OAK in less than 30 min or SFO in 45. allow a little extra if you're parking as opposed to being dropped off.

testing it on google maps from my previous home address in berkeley on a sunday afternoon, it says 25 min OAK, 50 min SFO, and telegraph hill SF is 47 min

Hours will be varied.  Sometime standard, sometimes not.  Itís complicated.  Sounds like itís back to looking more at SFO proper.

@Dicey if Iím close enough to walk or bike (I know hills) to work, the works car will stay parked at work instead of me being allowed to take it home.  Itís not totally out of the question the only issue that would pop up would be having to go to the office to pick up the car for an offsite start of the day/end of the day meeting.
I drove a company car for a good chunk of my career, and I'd take that option any day. A place without parking might cost less, too.

Dee_

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2021, 06:45:11 PM »
What about South San Francisco? BART up the peninsula and SFO nearby for the airport. You can always rent a car for your (presumably weekend) hikes.

Rylito

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2021, 10:56:02 PM »
Car commutes in the Bay Area in general have eased up.  I'm struck by how much less traffic there is on the roads compared to pre-pandemic days.  The big question is how much traffic will change once offices open up again; what percentage of former commuters will continue to work from home?  The formerly horrific Oakland/Berkeley to SF commute may indeed end up taking around 45 minutes, but it's hard to know.

Telegraph Hill is easily accessible by car from both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, so I'd recommend commutes either from Marin or the East Bay if you don't want to live in the city proper.  I've done both commutes and hands-down the GGB is much better during commute hours.  We actually moved to Sausalito from Oakland in part because of the easier commute to SF.  Pre-pandemic, Marin traffic on the 101 was problematic north of Mill Valley; if you have to drive in I'd suggest either living in Sausalito or Mill Valley, which both have access to amazing hiking.  In the current traffic environment, Sausalito to TH will take about 20-25 minutes, Mill Valley another 5-10 minutes more.  If it's an option, you can also bike to work in under an hour, or take nice commuter buses or ferries in under an hour.  Larkspur and Tiburon also offer ferries, as do Oakland and Alameda.  The Ferry Building is about a mile from Telegraph Hill so it's an option if you don't always need to drive.  Pier 41 ferries are tourist ferries that operate mid-day but not during commute hours.

The problem with driving up from the Peninsula is that you have to drive through most of SF on surface streets to get to TH, which can be a pain.  Brisbane and South San Francisco will be accessible within 45 minutes of TH, but you won't have the same access to hiking, however Pacifica has lots of open space and could be a good choice if you can handle the fog.   It is also close to SFO so if you're going to fly a lot that may be a location that will work well for you.

nalor511

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2021, 01:04:38 AM »
Car commutes in the Bay Area in general have eased up.  I'm struck by how much less traffic there is on the roads compared to pre-pandemic days.  The big question is how much traffic will change once offices open up again; what percentage of former commuters will continue to work from home?  The formerly horrific Oakland/Berkeley to SF commute may indeed end up taking around 45 minutes, but it's hard to know.

Telegraph Hill is easily accessible by car from both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, so I'd recommend commutes either from Marin or the East Bay if you don't want to live in the city proper.  I've done both commutes and hands-down the GGB is much better during commute hours.  We actually moved to Sausalito from Oakland in part because of the easier commute to SF.  Pre-pandemic, Marin traffic on the 101 was problematic north of Mill Valley; if you have to drive in I'd suggest either living in Sausalito or Mill Valley, which both have access to amazing hiking.  In the current traffic environment, Sausalito to TH will take about 20-25 minutes, Mill Valley another 5-10 minutes more.  If it's an option, you can also bike to work in under an hour, or take nice commuter buses or ferries in under an hour.  Larkspur and Tiburon also offer ferries, as do Oakland and Alameda.  The Ferry Building is about a mile from Telegraph Hill so it's an option if you don't always need to drive.  Pier 41 ferries are tourist ferries that operate mid-day but not during commute hours.

The problem with driving up from the Peninsula is that you have to drive through most of SF on surface streets to get to TH, which can be a pain.  Brisbane and South San Francisco will be accessible within 45 minutes of TH, but you won't have the same access to hiking, however Pacifica has lots of open space and could be a good choice if you can handle the fog.   It is also close to SFO so if you're going to fly a lot that may be a location that will work well for you.

Um, when the offices reopen the cars are coming back, ya know? Right back to gridlock, soon enough.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2021, 05:11:18 AM »
Hmm Mill Valley/Saulsilito.  Didnít mention them because I never checked for rentals which are in my price range (only houseboats are in the buy range).  Very intriguing but a long trip to the airport.  Although that is not a dealbreaker at all.

Dicey

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2021, 06:42:11 AM »
I always thought a houseboat in Sausalito would be an interesting housing hack, but I don't love cold and damp. If you're less temperature sensitive, it might be worth looking into, but I'd probably rent, not buy.

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2021, 06:57:07 AM »
Telegraph hill is tricky.  It's less accessible than it looks on a map.  I agree with others that you should look in SF proper.  It's worth avoiding the bridge commute if at all possible.

It's also one of those neighborhoods that doesn't have super convenient access to the rest of the city with public transit.  It's a little further than you'd want to walk from BART or the MUNI lines that run down market street.  You can do it, but you're adding a ~20 minute walk on each end of your commute.

Would you consider finding an AirBNB for a month while you explore and learn the neighborhoods? 

Telegraph Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods are some of the most beautiful in the country and can be wonderful jumping off points for longer walks to the presidio.  Seriously consider living walking distance to work if it's in your budget.

MoseyingAlong

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2021, 09:15:00 AM »
I always thought a houseboat in Sausalito would be an interesting housing hack, but I don't love cold and damp. If you're less temperature sensitive, it might be worth looking into, but I'd probably rent, not buy.

I knew some people who lived aboard in Alameda and took the ferry to SF then walked to their offices. Don't remember exactly where their offices were. Alameda seems like a neat place to live and it was super convenient to Oakland airport.
They seemed to enjoy their commute.

Dicey

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2021, 10:00:55 AM »
I always thought a houseboat in Sausalito would be an interesting housing hack, but I don't love cold and damp. If you're less temperature sensitive, it might be worth looking into, but I'd probably rent, not buy.

I knew some people who lived aboard in Alameda and took the ferry to SF then walked to their offices. Don't remember exactly where their offices were. Alameda seems like a neat place to live and it was super convenient to Oakland airport.
They seemed to enjoy their commute.
I only know Alameda from friends who live in houses there. It's a bit too congested for my comfort, but probably less so than anywhere else on the list. It's kind of an open secret that Alameda has a remarkably temperate micro climate, so I think that's a great suggestion!

NorCal

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Re: Oakland CA/Berkley/SFO neighborhood recommendations eta
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2021, 12:06:58 PM »
I ha
I always thought a houseboat in Sausalito would be an interesting housing hack, but I don't love cold and damp. If you're less temperature sensitive, it might be worth looking into, but I'd probably rent, not buy.

I knew some people who lived aboard in Alameda and took the ferry to SF then walked to their offices. Don't remember exactly where their offices were. Alameda seems like a neat place to live and it was super convenient to Oakland airport.
They seemed to enjoy their commute.
I only know Alameda from friends who live in houses there. It's a bit too congested for my comfort, but probably less so than anywhere else on the list. It's kind of an open secret that Alameda has a remarkably temperate micro climate, so I think that's a great suggestion!

I had a girlfriend that lived in Alameda.  It's a wonderful place to live if you're working in or near Oakland.  I would never recommend it to someone commuting into SF.  It's kid of hard to get in and out of, and not super convenient to BART.