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Moving to San Francisco

Moving to San Francisco

Old Apr 8th 2008, 8:17 am
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Default Moving to San Francisco

Hello

OK, we plan on moving out to SF, initially we had a time frame of July, but that may now change. I think my husband was confused with the visas, he is meeting with a US immigration lawyer today. I get the impression these things take longer than he imagined!!
Anyway, we have two dogs which we will be bringing with us, and Im just wondering how easy people felt it was finding property to rent out there. I guess it will be harder for us having two dogs, as yet we dont know where in SF - yes i know its a big place!
Also my husband has just set up a US company, so he will be looking for offices out there too.
Ive never been to SF yet, but am hoping to come out for a week on a house/office hunting trip with hubbie in the next few months.
If anyone has any good advice on estate agents etc i would be most grateful. Also tips on the different areas would be helpful too.
Not sure what visa I will be getting yet, should know today depending on the outcome of hubbies meeting and his visa possibilities. So not sure if I will be able to work, but the company I currently work for has big offices in Santa Clara, so this maybe a possibility for me to transfer (havent told my current job our plans yet)
Thanks in advance x
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Old Apr 8th 2008, 9:07 am
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

San Francisco itself isn't that big, but the Bay Area is. Santa Clara is about an hour south of the City (San Francisco is commonly referred to as the City). Your choices of where to live are numerous to say the least.
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Old Apr 8th 2008, 11:29 am
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

It sounds like you are going to have a bit of a sticky wicket with visas to get going. I suspect it will take quite a long time to get that sorted out, so you don't necessarily have to be house hunting just yet (unless you want to).

My first bit of advice is to grab a map, such as maps.google.com and take a look at San Francisco, and the area down to San Jose. Between San Fran and San Jose is Silicon Valley. Palo Alto is about 1/2 way between the two and is kind of right in the heart of it all, but you also have towns like Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Altos, and a half a dozen more. Somewhat suburban living in this area, but a considerable number of technology jobs to say the least.

Unfortunately, you are looking at some of the most expensive homes in the US in this area. And expensive in the sense 'you don't get a lot for your money'. A slightly rundown small three bedroom house built in the 1960s can easily run you well over $1 million in many parts of Silicon Valley. San Francisco is not much better.

I'd suggest http://www.realtor.com just to get some idea on prices (plenty of photos, etc). Of course renting is a must the first six months to get the 'lay of the land' and also just in case you decide this isn't for you.

Assuming the lawyer says things are ok, would it be possible for you to do a recon trip? The next month or so has lower airfares than say June, so if you came out in 3-5 weeks you might be able to save some cash. You'll need to rent a car and drive around pretty much all the areas you can find.

http://www.city-data.com/ also has some good statistics and information about various cities. Kind of unwieldy at first, but once you start comparing cities to other cities you'll see what to look for. wikipedia.com can also provide you some basic info on some towns as well.

Good luck.
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Old Apr 8th 2008, 1:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

Looking for pet friendly rentals use Craigslist.com initially at least.
You can filter by city area and also add a flag for cats and/or dogs!

Good Luck
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Old Apr 8th 2008, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

Originally Posted by mayhemuk View Post
Looking for pet friendly rentals use Craigslist.com initially at least.
You can filter by city area and also add a flag for cats and/or dogs!

Good Luck
And in SF, at least, relatively few places will accept pets, particularly dogs. When I did this exercise a couple of years ago, I reckoned only one in twelve advertised apartments would take pets. Another factor the consider is that the places that did tended to be crappier than those that didn't. The bottom line is that the rental market in SF is really strong, and landlords typically don't need to accept people with pets. Things may be easier in other parts of the Bay Area.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Apr 8th 2008 at 3:42 pm.
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Old Apr 8th 2008, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

Find out what the visa is first otherwise it's a wasted exercise.... if it's an H1, no point in looking for a place for a while as it wont' happen for a while.

The wiki has some good info, even on San Fran I think and there's been past threads that are worth searching for.

The dogs might be an issue, especially if they are large dogs, but there's plenty of threads on how to bring them over, though bringing them over might depend on the time of the year as some airports won't do animals during the summer because of the heat.
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Old Apr 8th 2008, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Find out what the visa is first otherwise it's a wasted exercise.... if it's an H1, no point in looking for a place for a while as it wont' happen for a while.

The wiki has some good info, even on San Fran I think and there's been past threads that are worth searching for.

The dogs might be an issue, especially if they are large dogs, but there's plenty of threads on how to bring them over, though bringing them over might depend on the time of the year as some airports won't do animals during the summer because of the heat.
Summer heat isn't an issue in SF.
Renting an apartment with dogs or children could be, better to rent a house.
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Old Apr 8th 2008, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

Originally Posted by surly View Post
Summer heat isn't an issue in SF.
Renting an apartment with dogs or children could be, better to rent a house.

It can be (voice of experience speaking). There are a few days every Summer when the airlines won't fly animals into SFO because the forecast temperature is too high.
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 12:40 am
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

Originally Posted by Philgr View Post
It can be (voice of experience speaking). There are a few days every Summer when the airlines won't fly animals into SFO because the forecast temperature is too high.
aye, it's more to do with temp on the runway and loading area...I think Virgin? They have a climate controlled bay for animals, could be another airline. The thing with animals is to be flexible if flying to a hot part of the country or time of year, or better to have a company deal with it.
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 12:41 am
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

As others have suggested, I would recommend that you look at the entire San Francisco Bay Area and not just the city unless you have some strong reason why you must be in San Francisco itself.

You mention that your husband is in the process of setting up a business and will be looking for office space. He should consider the location carefully as well, depending on what kind of business it is. Does the physical location matter because customers or clients will actually have to visit the offices? Is he going to be hiring employees to work there? In most cases it will be somewhat less expensive to be outside of the city, but if he is a high powered lawyer or financial adviser he probably doesn't want to be operating out of a strip mall somewhere in Redwood City ...

Unless you are already familiar with the area I would suggest that (assuming that your immigration attorney says it is OK) you plan a reconnaissance visit as soon as possible *before* you even get to the house hunting stage just to give you a better idea of what your options are.
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 2:09 am
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

One great thing about the Bay Area is food shopping. Two of my favourite supermarkets in the South Bay are Ranch 99 (it's an Asian extravaganza) and Supermercado Chavez on Fair Oaks in Sunnyvale. Supermercado Chavez has a pretty good butcher's as well as an excellent taqueria in the back of the store.
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 2:23 am
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

San Fran is great for a few days but I would not want to live there always pleased when I leave, much prefare Walnut Creek, San Ramon, San Mateo...oh speaking of which off topic but gas was $4.45 reg unleaded on Friday at a gas station in San mateo
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 2:55 am
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

San Francisco has it's pluses and minuses just like anywhere, I've thought of moving out to Danville where my sister lives, or Pleasanton is nice, but it's really too quiet, no excitement no buzz like SF.
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 3:06 am
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

I second the suggestion about Craigslist for renting. You will most likely have to pay an extra deposit for your pets, and possibly rent too. An average sided 2 bedroom place with no yard in a decent neighborhood will set you back roughly $2500 - $3000 per month (try rent-sf for average prices). Office property is in further demand.

Another word for the wise, don't refer to the city as Frisco or San Fran, you will be shot (at least with dirty looks).

There are very few places I would live in the states, unfortunately they are all incredibly expensive.
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 6:13 am
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Default Re: Moving to San Francisco

What about trader joe's?

Originally Posted by happynz View Post
One great thing about the Bay Area is food shopping. Two of my favourite supermarkets in the South Bay are Ranch 99 (it's an Asian extravaganza) and Supermercado Chavez on Fair Oaks in Sunnyvale. Supermercado Chavez has a pretty good butcher's as well as an excellent taqueria in the back of the store.
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