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San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Old Dec 20th 2007, 2:12 pm
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Default San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

We are planning a move to the San Francisco area for next Aug/Sept 2008.

My husband will be working in San Mateo and needs access to the Airport too and I hope to get a job in Burlingame.

We're originally from London and have been in PA for 2.5 years, so we thought we'd try the West Coast just for the hell of it (maybe 2 years or more) before we eventually go back to dear old blighty....which we WILL do, much as we love the US - the UK is our home and always will be. Where we live in PA is very clean and safe (apart from some of the Drivers) with decent schools and we would want to have something similar in CA. Here are a bunch of random questions and would be pleased with any advice that anyone can give...:

Am I right in thinking that most of the areas around San Mateo would be generally quite nice to live in?

What is the traffic like around San Mateo?

We know that housing is generally expensive and we will be renting - are there any rental communities in the local area that could be rec'd for a family with two boys 6 & 11?

Do you think a 'house swap' with our house in West London is possible or too risky???

Can someone remind me of the direct flight time from SFO to LHR?

We don't particularly want to live in a totally all white, middle class, ultra posh area as we are none of those things, but the area HAS to be clean and safe with decent schools..where would you reccommend?

The last question is something that is nagging me at the back of my brain.....but is there a website that I can go to, to find out some objective information on earthquakes??? I know people keep talking about the 'big one', but I'd like to know some more facts...just the idea is very scary....
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

I spent a little bit of time around San Mateo and found it generally to be a nice place. I only worked in the area a few times, so didn't spend too much time checking out the residential areas so can't really comment on what it is like to live there. The only thing I will say is that it is likely to be very expensive, given how close it is to San Francisco!
Direct flight time between SFO and Heathrow is about 11 hours. I have taken the Virgin flight a few times and found it to be very good. I got upgraded to first class on one occasion and if I can afford it in the future will definitely be using it again!
As for the earthquake issues, if you are going to live anywhere around that area, it is pretty much a risk that you have to live with. There is a lot of information online about it, although at the end of the day, if it happens - it happens
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Originally Posted by joyceygreen View Post
We are planning a move to the San Francisco area for next Aug/Sept 2008.

My husband will be working in San Mateo and needs access to the Airport too and I hope to get a job in Burlingame.

We're originally from London and have been in PA for 2.5 years, so we thought we'd try the West Coast just for the hell of it (maybe 2 years or more) before we eventually go back to dear old blighty....which we WILL do, much as we love the US - the UK is our home and always will be. Where we live in PA is very clean and safe (apart from some of the Drivers) with decent schools and we would want to have something similar in CA. Here are a bunch of random questions and would be pleased with any advice that anyone can give...:

Am I right in thinking that most of the areas around San Mateo would be generally quite nice to live in?

What is the traffic like around San Mateo?

We know that housing is generally expensive and we will be renting - are there any rental communities in the local area that could be rec'd for a family with two boys 6 & 11?

Do you think a 'house swap' with our house in West London is possible or too risky???

Can someone remind me of the direct flight time from SFO to LHR?

We don't particularly want to live in a totally all white, middle class, ultra posh area as we are none of those things, but the area HAS to be clean and safe with decent schools..where would you reccommend?

The last question is something that is nagging me at the back of my brain.....but is there a website that I can go to, to find out some objective information on earthquakes??? I know people keep talking about the 'big one', but I'd like to know some more facts...just the idea is very scary....
San Mateo county, is very very safe, just avoid some parts of redwood city and even there it is not as bad as East Palo alto (VERY BAD) Palo alto (VERY GOOD)

Since this county, is one of the expensive counties in comparison to the other counties such as Santa Clara, rent and property is bit more pricey.

Traffic, can be bad on highway 101 but nothing close to London traffic.

Earthquakes lol, please I have only felt one and it was so mild, SF, has more of a greater risk of one than SM county, to be safe stay away from the major fault zones if you are really concerned about Earthquakes.

Renting and other things go to www.craigslist.org,
then click on SF bay area......
PM, me if you need more info.

Last edited by veryfunny; Dec 20th 2007 at 6:12 pm.
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Originally Posted by veryfunny View Post
Earthquakes lol, please I have only felt one and it was so mild, SF, has more of a greater risk of one than SM county, to be safe stay away from the major fault zones if you are really concerned about Earthquakes.
Very dangerous sentiments. The whole of the Bay Area is at significant risk of a large earthquake. In addition to the San Andreas fault, there are others such as the Hayward and Calaveras that are also capable of producing a 7+ quake. San Mateo county, btw, is just as close to the San Andreas as is San Francisco and has just as many landfill areas subject to liquefaction. Additionally, remember that the last significant quake around here - Loma Prieta, 7.3, in '89 - had its epicentre to the southeast of Santa Cruz, about 70 miles away from SF and yet still did significant damage in the Bay Area as a whole.

Here's a good link for a map of the major faults and a discussion of earthquake probabilities:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/wg02/

Last edited by Giantaxe; Dec 20th 2007 at 6:51 pm.
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Try Colma. It's fairly quiet (snrk snrk). It's not far from the City (people in the Bay Area often refer to San Francisco as the City) and the airport.



http://www.colma.ca.gov/profile.html
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

I live five minutes away from San Mateo, stay away from the Delaware Street area. I also work in Burlingame. PM me if you need help.
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Originally Posted by happynz View Post
Try Colma. It's fairly quiet (snrk snrk). It's not far from the City (people in the Bay Area often refer to San Francisco as the City) and the airport.



http://www.colma.ca.gov/profile.html
Yeah - must be bleedin quiet with all those dead people as neighbours...thanks for the laugh..!
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Jocey, change your PM's, it says your not accepting any!
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Can't comment on the places to live in/near San Mateo but I'm in Silicon Valley on business at least once a year, so I know the area a bit.

There's quite a lot of traffic on both 101 and 280, and IME getting anywhere during rush hour takes patience or a second person in the car as the 'high occupancy' lane is usually pretty clear.

My wife used to live a bit further south and rents there tend to be quite high, something you may want to factor in.

Flight times from SFO to LHR, as already mentioned, are around 11 hours. From memory, you get Virgin, United and (I think) BA flying direct. I've mostly used Virgin, which I was pretty happy with.
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Originally Posted by LeedsGirl View Post
Jocey, change your PM's, it says your not accepting any!
Whoops - Think I sorted it out, but here is the PM that I sent you originally...

****************

We have been in PA for 2.5 years and are getting bored with it, it's beautiful and nice where we live, but I guess we need a change of scenery. We've always found it a little too quiet, having come here from London.

The house rental prices are a bit crazy in CA, we currently pay $2000 a month for a 3 bed town house, so that's going to go up by atleast $600-$800 per month. So, looks like I'm going to have to get my arse back to work! I don't mind though, a bit of work never hurt anyone.

I worked for British Airways for 20 in a variety of roles, including Cust Service and Internal Communications, so am hoping to get with another airline in some capacity - any ideas??

Thanks for your email, I think we are going to do a super quick trip to check out the area and see if we can find the right place for us....
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

I can email you the links for the jobs at the airport. I have some friends that work there so I'll ask them. What kind of job are you looking for?

Keep in touch with me and let me know when you plan your trip, I'll give you the best areas to look at.
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Old Dec 21st 2007, 7:02 am
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Originally Posted by LeedsGirl View Post
I live five minutes away from San Mateo, stay away from the Delaware Street area. I also work in Burlingame. PM me if you need help.
Delaware street bad, well I never had a problem there but then again, I just drive past never stop. What about the circuit city store area?
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Old Dec 21st 2007, 7:08 am
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Very dangerous sentiments. The whole of the Bay Area is at significant risk of a large earthquake. In addition to the San Andreas fault, there are others such as the Hayward and Calaveras that are also capable of producing a 7+ quake. San Mateo county, btw, is just as close to the San Andreas as is San Francisco and has just as many landfill areas subject to liquefaction. Additionally, remember that the last significant quake around here - Loma Prieta, 7.3, in '89 - had its epicentre to the southeast of Santa Cruz, about 70 miles away from SF and yet still did significant damage in the Bay Area as a whole.

Here's a good link for a map of the major faults and a discussion of earthquake probabilities:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/wg02/
I think this depends on your point of view. I feel quite safe where I live and I live in the San Mateo county, If I lived in SF, then I would be more worried. Just like all things in life you weigh your options..........
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Old Dec 21st 2007, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: San Mateo, CA - Best Places to Live....?

Originally Posted by joyceygreen View Post
Yeah - must be bleedin quiet with all those dead people as neighbours...thanks for the laugh..!
Yeah, true. However there's a couple of pubs that do a roarin' trade, especially after plantin' an Irishman.

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