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Parisangel Jan 10th 2016 3:57 pm

Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
Hey there

We have spent the last three years in Houston (Pearland ) but my husband has been approached about a job in San Francisco. It's an exciting opportunity but I'm aware the cost of living and property prices will be vastly different to here.

What would you say is a reasonable salary to live on if we live in the east bay area around Walnut Creek or similar (any other suggestions for safe, nice family friendly areas would be appreciated). Hubs will be commuting into the city.

Thanks for any advice!!

AnnieBelle Jan 11th 2016 6:04 am

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
Hi there!
We live in Walnut Creek and really love it, it is an expensive area though but I do not know how it compares to Houston at all. Will it just be the two of you? IMO a reasonable salary to live on in this area for two people with a good amount of disposable income would be around $130k+. As they say your rent should be about a third of your income. My husband and I scraped by on A LOT lower than this when we first moved here though.

Good areas for Families I think are Orinda, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill, Danville, Livermore, Moraga. If your husband is working in SF you will want to make sure you are on a BART line so Moraga and Danville would not be so great but they are a quick drive to a station.

Hope that helps!
Annie

Parisangel Jan 11th 2016 5:07 pm

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
Thanks for the reply! It would be myself, hubs and our 3 children (9, 7 and 2 months) so good schools are v important. Am thinking we will need to spend around $4000 on rent per month, is that realistic?

Can I ask you another question? I'm kinda freaking out about the whole earthquake issue....how do you cope with it?? :confused::ohmy:

Helen :thumbsup:

AnnieBelle Jan 12th 2016 5:55 am

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
I think $4000 a month is a realistic amount. How many bedrooms are you hoping for?

You can ask as many questions as you like! Since we have lived here (2.5 yrs) I have felt 3 or 4 small earthquakes. One was the napa one which actually scared the shit out of me, well tbh they all did. they only lasted a really really short time though. You kinda try not to think about it but it is always a looming thought since we are waiting for the 'big one' and its like that for everybody and I think that is how you cope as everyone is in the same boat. You just hope and pray that when it happens you are in a good place. I would much rather live here though than in tornado alley but thats just me!

Parisangel Jan 12th 2016 2:57 pm

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
Hi Annie!

I think I agree about tornado alley, we are in a hurricane zone but at least you know when they are coming!!! I'm not a hysterical kind of person, but "the big one" does worry me.

So you have any experience of the schools?

We definitely need 4 bedrooms. I imagine the house will be smaller than here though (everything is bigger in Texas!).

Pulaski Jan 12th 2016 5:48 pm

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
In a timber frame single family home, or other 1-2 story timber framed building, you have very little to worry about from a earthquake, except some broken crockery. A secondary impact could be burst water pipes or gas pipes, which would be a fire risk, but there is virtually no risk of a timber-framed home collapsing. You could pick a home up by the roof and shake it and it wouldn't come apart.

Tornadoes are much more scary IMO, and a Cat 5 hurricane could rip a house apart, but an earthquake is no threat to low rise timber-framed buildings, other than you might have a lot of cracked walls and damaged plumbing.

Parisangel Jan 12th 2016 6:24 pm

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11835299)
In a timber frame single family home, or other 1-2 story timber framed building, you have very little to worry about from a earthquake, except some broken crockery. A secondary impact could be burst water pipes or gas pipes, which would be a fire risk, but there is virtually no risk of a timber-framed home collapsing. You could pick a home up by the roof and shake it and it wouldn't come apart.

Tornadoes are much more scary IMO, and a Cat 5 hurricane could rip a house apart, but an earthquake is no threat to low rise timber-framed buildings, other than you might have a lot if cracked walls and damaged plumbing.

Is that true? Even The Big One? That's reassuring although there's always the possibility of being on a bridge / elevated highway etc :eek: ...yes, I am a mongerer of doom!! Thank you though, that is good to know! ;)

Pulaski Jan 12th 2016 6:33 pm

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 

Originally Posted by Parisangel (Post 11835335)
Is that true? Even The Big One? That's reassuring although there's always the possibility of being on a bridge / elevated highway etc. .... ...yes, I am a mongerer of doom!! Thank you though, that is good to know! ....

I haven't lived through a major earthquake, but I have demolished a few timber-framed buildings and removed walls, and I can assure you it is tough to pull the framing apart using a crowbar, and nearly impossible if it still has the plasterboard still attached, flimsy though the pasterboard is. Most earthquakes only last seconds, even a minute is unusual - I can't imagine any earthquake shaking a timber frame apart in such a short time. ..... I agree that bridges and elevated roads are best avoided if you're worried about earthquakes! :eek:

Conversely, the sustained force of a Cat 5 hurricane over several hours can be like a bulldozer, putting substantial force on the structure, and a tornado hits more like a speeding truck.

Parisangel Jan 12th 2016 6:40 pm

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
Yes, we are lucky that in our three years in Houston we have had no major weather events like hurricanes or tornadoes....best get out while the going is good!! :)

AnnieBelle Jan 12th 2016 9:18 pm

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 

Originally Posted by Parisangel (Post 11835155)
Hi Annie!

So you have any experience of the schools?

We definitely need 4 bedrooms. I imagine the house will be smaller than here though (everything is bigger in Texas!).

I don't have any experience with the schools so I am afraid I can't help there. I have heard that they are good though :)

I would imagine the houses are smaller here as like you said everything is bigger in Texas (I have never been, want to go!) but from what I see in this area most of the houses are a good size especially comparing to British houses and the neighbourhoods look really nice, nice streets, lots of cul de sacs.

roberth1970 Jan 12th 2016 11:27 pm

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
We moved from Walnut Creek in August (to Seattle - missing the weather). for a couple with three kids I'd back up Annie's recommendation - actually I'd say you really want a little more. Rent of $4000 is a reasonable estimate - maybe $4500.

Schools are great in the WC area - but watch the boundaries as you get out towards Concord.

Parisangel Jan 13th 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
Thanks for the info, hope you're enjoying Seattle! Is Concord a no go then?

Additionally, what's the best place to look for houses to rent? I heard that you don't go through a realtor necessarily like we would here....is there a good website which will have all the listings? (For example the Houston HAR real estate website had all listings for our area).

roberth1970 Jan 13th 2016 4:16 pm

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
Hi,

Check out greatshcools.org for the schools - in the Walnut Creek area you want to either be in the Walnut Creek school district or if you are in the Mount Diablo district check carefully that you will be in the Northgate HS zone. Other high schools in the MDUSD have a less good reputation.

The other East Bay areas all seem to have excellent schools, but if you need to get into downtown SF then WC is an excellent choice. If you need to get down into the South Bay / San Jose then somewhere like Pleasanton would work well.

All you need for rentals is craigslist around there.

Hope this helps.

Wintersong Jan 14th 2016 5:56 am

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
Hi Parisangel,

I live in Martinez, just a stone's throw from Walnut Creek. I have 2 girls in Elementary school so would be happy to answer any questions you have about schooling (Martinez is a different school district but I have friends with kids in WC and Mt Diablo districts). My girls are 9 and 6 (4th and 1st grade). In general the schools in this area are pretty good, but there are some bad apples! My husband also commutes into SF on BART - it's around an hour and a quarter door to door.

I've lived on the peninsula side of the Bay Area, in the South Bay and also in Fremont and I can honestly say that where we are now in the East Bay is by far the best if you're looking for a true community, friendly neighbours etc. I really love it here. Around $4K/month is about right for a decent 4 bed in WC. Pleasant Hill and Martinez are slightly cheaper.

Let me know if you'd like to get together if/when you move here - I'd be more than happy to show you the "sights"!

Parisangel Jan 15th 2016 12:52 am

Re: Moving from Houston to San Francisco?
 
Thanks for all the information, it is much appreciated!

Hi Wintersong, I'd love that, thanks! I also have a 9 year old girl, and a 7 year old boy and 2 month old girl! Does elementary go through 4th grade in Cali? My daughter would be moving to middle school for 5th grade if we stayed here.

Very good to hear you like it so much. We are coming for a couple of days at the end of the month, looking forward to seeing the east bay area.


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