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Family moving to San Francisco

Family moving to San Francisco

Old Feb 14th 2020, 3:39 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Family moving to San Francisco

Walnut Creek is hardly far by Bay Area commute standards! Neither would I confuse distance with time to destination which is more important. Thats why exactly where in the city the OP's husband is working is so important if she responds. It can take longer to cross the city than it does to come in on the BART from the East Bay if the husbands work is in walking distance from a station. And Walnut Creek is a perfectly wonderful place to raise a young family as the OP prefers suburbia, especially the schools. Neither is it a generic town but a safe and increasingly upscale regional center with real CA Mediterranean weather rather than chilly San Francisco. Sure it will never have the cachet of the city, but neither does it have its squalor, homelessness and crime, even more extreme expense and skewed social cross section. Well thats only my opinion of course.

I maintain that to even consider spending $8K/rent on a house ($96,000/year!) all without any tax benefits is stupidity. Unless the OP's Husband has been offered a vast salary and has money to burn, it makes much more sense to enjoy a perfectly good life a bit further out for half that and bank the difference to buy a house if they stay long enough. Craigs list will show houses in good East Bay locations at $4000/month or under. Even close in I see a number in Berkeley, El Cerritto, Albany and Alameda. San Francisco can be only 30 minutes away or less in those locations depending on time of day.

Chris

Last edited by aquatone; Feb 14th 2020 at 5:08 am.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 5:48 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: Family moving to San Francisco

Originally Posted by aquatone View Post
Walnut Creek is hardly far by Bay Area commute standards! Neither would I confuse distance with time to destination which is more important. Thats why exactly where in the city the OP's husband is working is so important if she responds. It can take longer to cross the city than it does to come in on the BART from the East Bay if the husbands work is in walking distance from a station. And Walnut Creek is a perfectly wonderful place to raise a young family as the OP prefers suburbia, especially the schools. Neither is it a generic town but a safe and increasingly upscale regional center with real CA Mediterranean weather rather than chilly San Francisco. Sure it will never have the cachet of the city, but neither does it have its squalor, homelessness and crime, even more extreme expense and skewed social cross section. Well thats only my opinion of course.

I maintain that to even consider spending $8K/rent on a house ($96,000/year!) all without any tax benefits is stupidity. Unless the OP's Husband has been offered a vast salary and has money to burn, it makes much more sense to enjoy a perfectly good life a bit further out for half that and bank the difference to buy a house if they stay long enough. Craigs list will show houses in good East Bay locations at $4000/month or under. Even close in I see a number in Berkeley, El Cerritto, Albany and Alameda. San Francisco can be only 30 minutes away or less in those locations depending on time of day.

Chris
I think you're missing my point. She said her husband wants to live in the city, and they're looking for somewhere big enough for their family, preferably a 3/4 bed house. In SF, this will very easily run you $8k a month at least. Whether you think this is a reasonable financial decision is irrelevant. On that point, perhaps you just don't know many people on a high income. If they're earning $400k+, which isn't that unusual in some sectors, then $8k isn't that outlandish at all. I know several people who pay around that much to rent in NYC and 2 people in SF, because they want city living but don't want to commit to buying. $8-10k per month is about what you'd pay in mortgage payments for a $2m property, which isn't particularly unusual in HCOL cities (albeit without the tax benefit). Spending that much is stupidity if you can't afford it. Some people would maintain that renting at all is stupidity. It's all in relation to HHI, which we don't know. 'Maintaining' that it's stupid to pay that much on rent is meaningless, for all we know he might be making $1m a year, and paying the premium to be in a major city rather than a suburb might be worth it to them. I'm simply making sure she understands the cost of entry for comfortable family living in SF, if her husband wants to live there.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 6:47 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: Family moving to San Francisco

I don't think so. You not reading the OP's post. She says nothing about her Husband wanting to live in the city and says she prefers to live in the suburbs . "Which area is best to raise a young family? My husband will be working in the city, but I would prefer to live in a suburb. We need access to good schools.". As someone who has actually bought up a family in the Bay Area, neither I or few others I know at the income levels you mention would bring up a family in the city. My personal perspective is that those actually know the area would argue that the family/schools and balanced community equation in parts of the East Bay (also Marin and parts of the Peninsula) are the best option from what the OP has said. Anyway as you say we don't know their preferences or circumstances, their income and where in the city the husband will work are key factors and she now has some perspectives if she returns. My main point is that it does not have to be astronomically expensive. (Just expensive) I would be happy to advise her offline.

Chris

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Old Feb 18th 2020, 4:16 am
  #19  
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Default Re: Family moving to San Francisco

Originally Posted by pejp View Post
Walnut Creek is pretty far though. One of my colleagues lives there and freely admits that while it's nice enough, it's just a fairly generic suburban town. Walnut Creek is where I realized we'd have to live to make it work, so we turned it down. My comment was in reference to the fact she mentioned her husband possibly wanting to live in the city. An apartment big enough for a family of 4 will easily run at least $5k a month in SF. All my colleagues are in the Bay Area. One of them paid $1.8m (i.e. close to 10k per month) for his 2 bed apartment in SF, and another $1.5m for a 1400 sq ft 'house' in Rockridge. I get that there are people that make it work, but there is no point giving them a false impression if they think they'll be living in a 3/4 bed house either in SF of close to it. If you're paying $3600 for a 1500 sq ft house in Walnut Creek, then $5k is a pretty conservative estimate for pretty much anywhere closer, and an actual 3/4 bed house (i.e. 1500 sq ft +) is easily going to be $8k+. It's like someone saying they want to live in London and then telling them it's really affordable because they can live in Essex.
I lived in SF (Sunset, Richmond, Castro/Noe districts) for over 10 years before moving to Walnut Creek. I wasn't thrilled by the prospect but my g/f was very much in favor so I went. I ended up absolutely loving Walnut Creek! It has a vibrant downtown with dozens and dozens of (non-chain) restaurants, and what is considered to be the second best shopping district after Palo Alto's Stanford Shopping Center. I know people who drive up from San Jose to shop in WC.

I commuted by BART into SF for years; the BART ride itself was only 35 minutes, and the station was a 5-minute walk from the office. My drive to the station was about 10 mins. Basically, I was able to be at my desk less than 1 hour after leaving home, which is way better than what you'll find in much of the Peninsula. The adjacent towns of Lafayette, Orinda, and Danville are smaller and 'cuter' (and pricier). If I could afford to live anywhere in the Bay Area I'd go for Palo Alto or Burlingame, but Walnut Creek would likely be a third choice (ruling out the ultra-expensive 'hoods like Atherton, Hillsborough, etc!). But if I had to commute into SF, then WC would be my first choice given the existence of BART.
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