California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

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LiveSimple
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California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

If you are aware of the area, please suggest some good places to live for husband and wife, no kids.

Rent can be from $4000 - $6000
ohai
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by ohai »

Hmm. You have to be more specific than that. There are dozens of places you could choose. What are the sort of neighborhoods that you like, and where have you considered so far?
18_bank_accounts
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by 18_bank_accounts »

What are you looking for in a location?

Oakland itself is good for night life, restaurants and culture. Berkeley is good for organic groceries, wellness and health focused folks. Alameda is great for families, if you plan to have kids.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

Sure, Kids are all launched, so just husband and wife.

Please share your thoughts on what to look for...just easy going semi retirement, weather and walk around....
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by ClaycordJCA »

Where in Oakland is the job? If commuting by BART is an is an option and I wanted lots of nightlife, I’d consider a reverse commute from San Francisco. East Bay hills (Montclair, Berkeley, El Cerrito) are very nice but you will be very car dependent. I think my top choice for a walkable neighborhood would be the Rockridge area in Oakland. If you like warmer weather (inner east bay can be cool in the summer with the fog), head to Walnut Creek.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

ClaycordJCA wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:29 pm Where in Oakland is the job? If commuting by BART is an is an option and I wanted lots of nightlife, I’d consider a reverse commute from San Francisco. East Bay hills (Montclair, Berkeley, El Cerrito) are very nice but you will be very car dependent. I think my top choice for a walkable neighborhood would be the Rockridge area in Oakland. If you like warmer weather (inner east bay can be cool in the summer with the fog), head to Walnut Creek.
Thanks, do want warm weather, not to be car dependent, BART is fine.walkable neighborhood and night life may be a plus.
Last edited by LiveSimple on Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
18_bank_accounts
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by 18_bank_accounts »

Oakland itself would work for walkability, night life. Rockridge and Piedmont are adjacent and nice neighborhoods. The weather in all three will be between 50 and 75 all year, with some seasons with a high of 58.

If that is not warm enough, the mission in San Francisco would be good. Even warmer would be Concord or Walnut Creek. But your commute will be longer. The later two don’t have the night life either.
rage_phish
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by rage_phish »

Lived in the east bay my entire life
Personally I love Walnut Creek. Great down town, restaurants and wine bars and shopping.
Easy Bart to oakland
decapod10
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by decapod10 »

Walnut Creek within walking distance of the BART station on Ygnacio Valley might fit the bill. It's just on the north edge of downtown Walnut Creek, so it's walkable to shopping and restaurants. There's also a free shuttle that goes from the BART station to downtown. And of course you can take the BART to wherever you need to go.

Lafayette is really nice also, smaller than WCR but the small downtown area still has nice restaurants. And there is a BART in Lafayette as well, though I don't know exactly where it is.

Orinda is nice too, but I think if I didn't have kids, I would prefer Lafayette or Walnut Creek.

SF of course if you like city life.

You could also live along the blue BART line in Dublin and Pleasanton, especially if you like more Asian cuisine. The Asian population is heavier there, they have a lot of good Asian restaurants there.

WC/Lafayette/Orinda/Dublin/Pleasanton are all pretty safe areas for the most part.

You could also live in Oakland but probably would want to be more careful about which neighborhood you choose, but it's a pretty cool place also IMO.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Barsoom »

Depending on how far from Oakland you want to go...

To the north on I-80 is Emeryville/Berkeley/El Cerrito/Richmond/Hercules. Emeryville is on the bay, and caters to the boating community. Berkeley is Berkeley, the university in a bubble. The Claremont area is where the Berkeley money lives. Heading towards El Cerrito and Richmond, you will start to enter the industrial zone where the refineries and ports are. The area is beautiful, but industrial. The Richmond/San Rafael Bridge is here, which connects the East Bay with Marin County, or Richmond with San Quentin. Richmond is probably the least desirable area you would want to live in the East Bay.

Following Hwy 24 east is Orinda/Moraga, just on the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel. It is expensive, but also nestled in the backside of the Oakland hills.

Lafayette/Pleasant Hill is further along Hwy 24, and just outside of Walnut Creek. It's also nice, but a little remote, relatively speaking, from everything else around it. It' still only a few minutes from the regional lifestyle center, but just has fewer access roads into it.

Walnut Creek has the BART station into Oakland. It also has the regional stage theater, nice restaurants, upscale auto dealerships, etc.

Anywhere between Walnut Creek/Alamo/Danville/Blackhawk/San Ramon is the "bedroom communities." It depends on what you want. Danville has the "small town" feel, but with nice boutique restaurants. Alamo is nestled in the hills of Mt. Diablo, and tends to be where the sports elite and media live. Blackhawk started out as "pre-fab million dollar homes," and is where the C-level executives live. San Ramon is where the corporate middle management and workers live.

To the north of Walnut Creek is Concord and Martinez. Concord has the outdoor amphitheater, which is the major concert facility in the East Bay. It is really accessible via Walnut Creek. The closer to the San Pablo Bay you get, the more industrial it becomes because of the refineries (this is east of Hercules). Housing costs go down, living conditions become more dense. To the north is the Benicia Bridge, which will take you to Napa Valley, Sacramento, and Lake Tahoe. If you go east from here on Hwy 4, you go to Antioch, Brentwood and Discovery Bay. Living is more upscale the more east you go. Discovery Bay is where the yachting/boating people live, if they're away from the San Francisco Bay lifestyle. However, commuting to Oakland is a nightmare from here.

Back to San Ramon, south of here is the Tri-Valley: Dublin/Pleasanton/Livermore. This is the major intersection of the two interstates in the East Bay, I-680 and I-580. The other BART station is in Pleasanton an will also commute you to Oakland. Dublin borders on San Ramon and is very similar, but smaller. Pleasanton has a nice "old town," kind of like Danville in feel. Livermore is furthest east, just before the Altamont Pass the separates the East Bay from the Central Valley. Livermore has the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories, so there is a lot of federal money in this area. Also, Livermore is the second "Napa Valley," a great wine enthusiast area of the East Bay. Wente Wineries is probably the Crown Jewel of the area, and sponsors a wonderful summer concert series every year.

Following I-580 west and north back towards Oakland, you will find Hayward, Castro Valley, and San Leandro. These are the southern suburbs of Oakland. They are back on the west side of the Oakland hills, but south of Oakland. They are also served by BART (on the Pleasanton line), but are also lower-income communities.

Finally, there is Alameda. This is an island to the west of Oakland, which makes it somewhat exclusive. There used to be the Alameda Naval Air Station, so there is legacy military there.

I hope this helps. I probably left some things out.

-B
Bill McNeal
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Bill McNeal »

I second Piedmont, it’s as close to Oakland without being in Oakland as you can get.

Downside is that it is car dependent, but it has a Mayberry like small town charm absent from other area cities.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

18_bank_accounts wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:57 pm Oakland itself would work for walkability, night life. Rockridge and Piedmont are adjacent and nice neighborhoods. The weather in all three will be between 50 and 75 all year, with some seasons with a high of 58.

If that is not warm enough, the mission in San Francisco would be good. Even warmer would be Concord or Walnut Creek. But your commute will be longer. The later two don’t have the night life either.
Thanks a lot, really helpful for me to take action.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

decapod10 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:40 pm
You could also live in Oakland but probably would want to be more careful about which neighborhood you choose, but it's a pretty cool place also IMO.
Prefer Oakland as well, as the commute to office may be walkable as well, not even a need to use BART. But overall the news or the impression is a question of which area ? May be a trip will resolve to see the vibe of each areas.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

decapod10 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:40 pm
You could also live in Oakland but probably would want to be more careful about which neighborhood you choose, but it's a pretty cool place also IMO.
Prefer Oakland as well, as the commute to office may be walkable as well, not even a need to use BART. But overall the news or the impression is a question of which area ? May be a trip will resolve to see the vibe of each areas.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Goal33 »

Barsoom wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:49 pm Depending on how far from Oakland you want to go...

To the north on I-80 is Emeryville/Berkeley/El Cerrito/Richmond/Hercules. Emeryville is on the bay, and caters to the boating community. Berkeley is Berkeley, the university in a bubble. The Claremont area is where the Berkeley money lives. Heading towards El Cerrito and Richmond, you will start to enter the industrial zone where the refineries and ports are. The area is beautiful, but industrial. The Richmond/San Rafael Bridge is here, which connects the East Bay with Marin County, or Richmond with San Quentin. Richmond is probably the least desirable area you would want to live in the East Bay.

Following Hwy 24 east is Orinda/Moraga, just on the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel. It is expensive, but also nestled in the backside of the Oakland hills.

Lafayette/Pleasant Hill is further along Hwy 24, and just outside of Walnut Creek. It's also nice, but a little remote, relatively speaking, from everything else around it. It' still only a few minutes from the regional lifestyle center, but just has fewer access roads into it.

Walnut Creek has the BART station into Oakland. It also has the regional stage theater, nice restaurants, upscale auto dealerships, etc.

Anywhere between Walnut Creek/Alamo/Danville/Blackhawk/San Ramon is the "bedroom communities." It depends on what you want. Danville has the "small town" feel, but with nice boutique restaurants. Alamo is nestled in the hills of Mt. Diablo, and tends to be where the sports elite and media live. Blackhawk started out as "pre-fab million dollar homes," and is where the C-level executives live. San Ramon is where the corporate middle management and workers live.

To the north of Walnut Creek is Concord and Martinez. Concord has the outdoor amphitheater, which is the major concert facility in the East Bay. It is really accessible via Walnut Creek. The closer to the San Pablo Bay you get, the more industrial it becomes because of the refineries (this is east of Hercules). Housing costs go down, living conditions become more dense. To the north is the Benicia Bridge, which will take you to Napa Valley, Sacramento, and Lake Tahoe. If you go east from here on Hwy 4, you go to Antioch, Brentwood and Discovery Bay. Living is more upscale the more east you go. Discovery Bay is where the yachting/boating people live, if they're away from the San Francisco Bay lifestyle. However, commuting to Oakland is a nightmare from here.

Back to San Ramon, south of here is the Tri-Valley: Dublin/Pleasanton/Livermore. This is the major intersection of the two interstates in the East Bay, I-680 and I-580. The other BART station is in Pleasanton an will also commute you to Oakland. Dublin borders on San Ramon and is very similar, but smaller. Pleasanton has a nice "old town," kind of like Danville in feel. Livermore is furthest east, just before the Altamont Pass the separates the East Bay from the Central Valley. Livermore has the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories, so there is a lot of federal money in this area. Also, Livermore is the second "Napa Valley," a great wine enthusiast area of the East Bay. Wente Wineries is probably the Crown Jewel of the area, and sponsors a wonderful summer concert series every year.

Following I-580 west and north back towards Oakland, you will find Hayward, Castro Valley, and San Leandro. These are the southern suburbs of Oakland. They are back on the west side of the Oakland hills, but south of Oakland. They are also served by BART (on the Pleasanton line), but are also lower-income communities.

Finally, there is Alameda. This is an island to the west of Oakland, which makes it somewhat exclusive. There used to be the Alameda Naval Air Station, so there is legacy military there.

I hope this helps. I probably left some things out.

-B
Wow what a great summary. Only thing I’d add is Livermore has a great downtown and community old town feel. I think it would be too far from Oakland though.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

Barsoom wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:49 pm Depending on how far from Oakland you want to go...

To the north on I-80 is Emeryville/Berkeley/El Cerrito/Richmond/Hercules. Emeryville is on the bay, and caters to the boating community. Berkeley is Berkeley, the university in a bubble. The Claremont area is where the Berkeley money lives. Heading towards El Cerrito and Richmond, you will start to enter the industrial zone where the refineries and ports are. The area is beautiful, but industrial. The Richmond/San Rafael Bridge is here, which connects the East Bay with Marin County, or Richmond with San Quentin. Richmond is probably the least desirable area you would want to live in the East Bay.

Following Hwy 24 east is Orinda/Moraga, just on the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel. It is expensive, but also nestled in the backside of the Oakland hills.

Lafayette/Pleasant Hill is further along Hwy 24, and just outside of Walnut Creek. It's also nice, but a little remote, relatively speaking, from everything else around it. It' still only a few minutes from the regional lifestyle center, but just has fewer access roads into it.

Walnut Creek has the BART station into Oakland. It also has the regional stage theater, nice restaurants, upscale auto dealerships, etc.

Anywhere between Walnut Creek/Alamo/Danville/Blackhawk/San Ramon is the "bedroom communities." It depends on what you want. Danville has the "small town" feel, but with nice boutique restaurants. Alamo is nestled in the hills of Mt. Diablo, and tends to be where the sports elite and media live. Blackhawk started out as "pre-fab million dollar homes," and is where the C-level executives live. San Ramon is where the corporate middle management and workers live.

To the north of Walnut Creek is Concord and Martinez. Concord has the outdoor amphitheater, which is the major concert facility in the East Bay. It is really accessible via Walnut Creek. The closer to the San Pablo Bay you get, the more industrial it becomes because of the refineries (this is east of Hercules). Housing costs go down, living conditions become more dense. To the north is the Benicia Bridge, which will take you to Napa Valley, Sacramento, and Lake Tahoe. If you go east from here on Hwy 4, you go to Antioch, Brentwood and Discovery Bay. Living is more upscale the more east you go. Discovery Bay is where the yachting/boating people live, if they're away from the San Francisco Bay lifestyle. However, commuting to Oakland is a nightmare from here.

Back to San Ramon, south of here is the Tri-Valley: Dublin/Pleasanton/Livermore. This is the major intersection of the two interstates in the East Bay, I-680 and I-580. The other BART station is in Pleasanton an will also commute you to Oakland. Dublin borders on San Ramon and is very similar, but smaller. Pleasanton has a nice "old town," kind of like Danville in feel. Livermore is furthest east, just before the Altamont Pass the separates the East Bay from the Central Valley. Livermore has the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories, so there is a lot of federal money in this area. Also, Livermore is the second "Napa Valley," a great wine enthusiast area of the East Bay. Wente Wineries is probably the Crown Jewel of the area, and sponsors a wonderful summer concert series every year.

Following I-580 west and north back towards Oakland, you will find Hayward, Castro Valley, and San Leandro. These are the southern suburbs of Oakland. They are back on the west side of the Oakland hills, but south of Oakland. They are also served by BART (on the Pleasanton line), but are also lower-income communities.

Finally, there is Alameda. This is an island to the west of Oakland, which makes it somewhat exclusive. There used to be the Alameda Naval Air Station, so there is legacy military there.

I hope this helps. I probably left some things out.

-B
Beautiful with lots of notes, thanks...
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LiveSimple
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

Bill McNeal wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:51 pm I second Piedmont, it’s as close to Oakland without being in Oakland as you can get.

Downside is that it is car dependent, but it has a Mayberry like small town charm absent from other area cities.
Thanks will research Piedmont.
elvisimprsntr
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by elvisimprsntr »

LiveSimple wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:58 pm
My sister and BnL lived in Montclair many moons ago. Their house was nestled in the woods off Skyline. Visited there many times. Charming town. Seemed like a hidden gem.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montclair ... California
nanciT
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by nanciT »

Danville Raised my kids here, great community. We have lived all over Danville the last 30 years, schools are a real plus. Great downtown
Interesting, my son went to college in San Francisco and said he would not return to suburbia . Well he now has a wife and they are currently looking for a home in Danville. Both work across the bay but feel the commute is worth it.
A great place to look into.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by lostinjersey »

I skimmed but didn’t see Alameda. It’s on an island (peninsula??) so has some separation, but is right next door to Oakland, self-contained, lovely Victorian homes, nice sized downtown with lots of mom and pop stores. Leans right-er than the other parts of the Bay due to the Coast Guard presence. Another ‘Mayberry’ option.
GuineaPig
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by GuineaPig »

You give little sense of your preferences: more urban vs more suburban, wealthier vs mixed income, more public transit/walking vs more driving, frequency of commute and length of commute you can tolerate, ability to handle seeing homeless people, etc.

Even with the ridiculous rents here, your budget is high enough to afford an apartment anywhere. Why not rent a place in Oakland for a couple of weeks on AirBNB, rent a car, and check things out a bit?

All of the places people have mentioned have their positives and negatives. Best for you to make the call.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Kompass »

lostinjersey wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:30 am I skimmed but didn’t see Alameda. It’s on an island (peninsula??) so has some separation, but is right next door to Oakland, self-contained, lovely Victorian homes, nice sized downtown with lots of mom and pop stores. Leans right-er than the other parts of the Bay due to the Coast Guard presence. Another ‘Mayberry’ option.
I lived in Alameda for a decade and absolutely loved it 2004-2014. Mayberry is a good analogy, also a good public beach on the bay. The city has 2 halves one is the peninsula which contains Oakland airport. The other half is the “island“ portion where I lived this is where you’ll find the shops, restaurants, beach, and other amenities. There are also two ferry docks that go across to the peninsula for day tripping in San Francisco. I’ve been gone for five years and don’t know what may have changed, probably a lot, but I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that experience.

Definitely spend a few days checking the area, the East Bay has a lot of variety, some of it fantastic and some of it you’d want to avoid like the plague.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Big Dog »

Kompass wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:57 am
lostinjersey wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:30 am I skimmed but didn’t see Alameda. It’s on an island (peninsula??) so has some separation, but is right next door to Oakland, self-contained, lovely Victorian homes, nice sized downtown with lots of mom and pop stores. Leans right-er than the other parts of the Bay due to the Coast Guard presence. Another ‘Mayberry’ option.
I lived in Alameda for a decade and absolutely loved it 2004-2014. Mayberry is a good analogy, also a good public beach on the bay. The city has 2 halves one is the peninsula which contains Oakland airport. The other half is the “island“ portion where I lived this is where you’ll find the shops, restaurants, beach, and other amenities. There are also two ferry docks that go across to the peninsula for day tripping in San Francisco. I’ve been gone for five years and don’t know what may have changed, probably a lot, but I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that experience.

Definitely spend a few days checking the area, the East Bay has a lot of variety, some of it fantastic and some of it you’d want to avoid like the plague.
Grew up in Alameda and that was my first thought. But make no mistake, right-leaning it is not; plenty of progressives, as in the surrounding areas. (Coast Guard is pretty self-contained and few service folks can afford to live in the City.)
rage_phish
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by rage_phish »

When’s the east bay meetup?
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by rterickson »

Obligatory Bogelheads Recommendation: Rent for $1500 in Stockton and invest the rest in low cost index funds.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by fareastwarriors »

Big Dog wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:02 pm
Kompass wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:57 am
lostinjersey wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:30 am I skimmed but didn’t see Alameda. It’s on an island (peninsula??) so has some separation, but is right next door to Oakland, self-contained, lovely Victorian homes, nice sized downtown with lots of mom and pop stores. Leans right-er than the other parts of the Bay due to the Coast Guard presence. Another ‘Mayberry’ option.
I lived in Alameda for a decade and absolutely loved it 2004-2014. Mayberry is a good analogy, also a good public beach on the bay. The city has 2 halves one is the peninsula which contains Oakland airport. The other half is the “island“ portion where I lived this is where you’ll find the shops, restaurants, beach, and other amenities. There are also two ferry docks that go across to the peninsula for day tripping in San Francisco. I’ve been gone for five years and don’t know what may have changed, probably a lot, but I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that experience.

Definitely spend a few days checking the area, the East Bay has a lot of variety, some of it fantastic and some of it you’d want to avoid like the plague.
Grew up in Alameda and that was my first thought. But make no mistake, right-leaning it is not; plenty of progressives, as in the surrounding areas. (Coast Guard is pretty self-contained and few service folks can afford to live in the City.)
Fellow Alamedian! Small world. :sharebeer
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LiveSimple
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

Kompass wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:57 am some of it you’d want to avoid like the plague.
Please can you help some of the things to avoid. so I am well prepared.
Want to be care on these than what I may get...
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LiveSimple
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

rterickson wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:43 pm Obligatory Bogelheads Recommendation: Rent for $1500 in Stockton and invest the rest in low cost index funds.
For sure a yes, but how about the commute daily from Stockton to Oakland, it takes a couple of hours each way...
May be when we retire an no need to commute for work.
Kompass
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Kompass »

LiveSimple wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:20 pm
Kompass wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:57 am some of it you’d want to avoid like the plague.
Please can you help some of the things to avoid. so I am well prepared.
Want to be care on these than what I may get...
This is what I mean about get on the ground. The areas to avoid are pretty apparent visually. Example: in Oakland there was a homeless encampment near the High Street BART station manageable and not too bad to pass through. I have heard anecdotally that it has quadrupled in size since I left. On the other hand I would drive through that area in order to get to the best grocery shopping experience ever. I had a fabulous spot to go to for an outdoor pool getting there entailed driving through a neighborhood with high iron fences, bars on all the doors and windows, and lounging pit bulls in the yard. Not too hard to figure out these are not the places you want to be but it’s block by block. Some of the other neighborhoods close in in Oakland that were a bit sketch before I understand are now gentrified and highly desirable (Google and Apple effect). A lot can change in that kind of place in the five years I’ve been gone so I can only say get on the ground and drive around. Sometimes you’ll want to get out and walk around, sometimes you’ll want to lock the doors and drive faster. What I liked about Alameda Island is it while it was right next-door to Oakland it was also a completely different vibe, much more small town than urban city. It’s very possible that you would prefer some of the close to but not directly adjacent to areas that others have mentioned upstream in the thread. If you are working in Oakland just remember that traffic is a bear and if you are planning on using the transit options ride the route first to try it on for size.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.
decapod10
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by decapod10 »

LiveSimple wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:23 am
decapod10 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:40 pm
You could also live in Oakland but probably would want to be more careful about which neighborhood you choose, but it's a pretty cool place also IMO.
Prefer Oakland as well, as the commute to office may be walkable as well, not even a need to use BART. But overall the news or the impression is a question of which area ? May be a trip will resolve to see the vibe of each areas.
If you're thinking about living in Oakland, yes definitely take a weekend and look around, or even better a weekday and see what the commute is like. Though I go to Oakland all the time, I'm not as familiar with where people live. But a couple of considerations:

1. Commute - Is your work accessible by BART? If it is, it opens up a lot of options. Generally speaking in the morning, the traffic flows from Walnut Creek/Layfayette/Orinda west on Highway 24 into Oakland, and continues west across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. If you are driving, you want to be going in the opposite direction in the morning ( i.e. going east from SF to Oakland in the morning, and east from Oakland to Walnut Creek). There are hills on the east side of Oakland, between Oakland and Orinda, and a tunnel that goes through them called the Caldecott Tunnel. If your work is only accessible by car, then you will want to live on the West side of the Caldecott, which would potentially eliminate places like Orinda, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek. However, San Francisco would be viable because going East on the Bay Bridge in the morning is against traffic.

If your work is easily accessible by BART, your options open up a bit. East of the Caldecott is now in play because you can take the BART from Orinda/Lafayette/WC to Oakland.

2. Do you want to live in an urban area, suburban area, or in between? Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants and shopping, or do you want to drive everywhere?

Many of the "trendy" neighborhoods in the bay area have a lot of diversity in terms of ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Some people are comfortable with this or find this desirable, others do not. The diversity of these sorts of neighborhoods give them a sort of vibrance that people may like, but it requires rubbing shoulders with people "who are not their own" so to speak. Some people see a homeless person and are afraid to leave their house and assume it's crime-ridden. So I think it heavily depends on what your desire and comfort levels are.

If you prefer something that someone would traditionally call "nice", Piedmont would be the default answer. Usually families with kids who want to live in Oakland usually end up there if they can afford it. It's got a semi suburban feel almost. Mostly single family homes. But you would still need to drive to get to most places you would want to go, and parking in Oakland can be horrendous at times. I wouldn't call Piedmont trendy by any means. It's safe, it's nice, and it's close to Oakland. Though if you work close to a BART station, and you want a place like that, I might rather live near a BART station farther away. For example, according to Google Maps, it takes 10 minutes without traffic to drive from Piedmont to the 12th St BART station. The train from Walnut Creek to that same station takes 24 minutes. The train from Orinda is 15 minutes. If you're going during rush hour, it is possible it would be faster / easier to commute from Walnut Creek by BART than Piedmont by car. However, if you know you will have to drive to your work, then Piedmont will be better than anywhere east of the Caldecott.

Rockridge is brought up a lot also. I'm not too familiar with that area, but it has a BART station which is a plus. From it's description it sounds like a hipper place than Piedmont, but I don't recall being there recently.

I think it is probably unlikely that there will be someplace that you will want to live within walking distance of your work in Oakland, but I can't say for sure of course.

Piedmont is the easy answer to give to random internet stranger because it is safe and clean, but it's not necessarily the right answer for everyone. If you want to be able to walk to restaurants and such, Piedmont is not where you want to be. It wouldn't be my choice specifically if I were married with no kids and a $4k-$6k budget, but maybe it's a safe place to start, with the plans to move after a year (or not) once you get to know the lay of the land.
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LiveSimple
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

The work place is easily accessible with a BART station
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by ray.james »

lafayette

If a little farther is ok, Walnut Creek is very nice.

edit: in general lamorinda location is quite easy, great community activities etc.,
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Jebediah »

Lake Merritt (Adams Point/Lakeshore) > Rockridge > Piedmont
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by decapod10 »

LiveSimple wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:45 pm The work place is easily accessible with a BART station
That's good, I would definitely take advantage of the BART as opening up your living options. My impression is that commute is important to you, so If you ever have time to visit, I would probably look at (in no particular order):

1. Area walking distance from your work
2. Rockridge
3. Orinda
4. Lafayette
5. Walnut Creek
6. Berkeley
7. San Francisco - The BART runs along Market Street here, so you would be looking around there. Financial District, SoMa (South of Market), etc. Pricey of course.

All these places have a BART station and are reasonable places to live in my opinion. You can also see how close Piedmont is to your workplace.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

decapod10 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:17 pm
LiveSimple wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:45 pm The work place is easily accessible with a BART station
That's good, I would definitely take advantage of the BART as opening up your living options. My impression is that commute is important to you, so If you ever have time to visit, I would probably look at (in no particular order):

1. Area walking distance from your work
2. Rockridge
3. Orinda
4. Lafayette
5. Walnut Creek
6. Berkeley
7. San Francisco - The BART runs along Market Street here, so you would be looking around there. Financial District, SoMa (South of Market), etc. Pricey of course.

All these places have a BART station and are reasonable places to live in my opinion. You can also see how close Piedmont is to your workplace.
Thanks a lot, very informative / actionable input...
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by One Ping »

LiveSimple wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:58 pm California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

If you are aware of the area, please suggest some good places to live for husband and wife, no kids.

Rent can be from $4000 - $6000
You might consider PM'ing boglehead member "Jazztonight". He has mentioned lives in the Lake Merritt area and might be able to give you a 'boots on the ground' viewpoint or advice.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

I'm in the East Bay and would recommend checking out Walnut Creek as some others have suggested. It offers nice restaurants, warm weather, a BART Station, hospitals, and lots of shopping. Wine Country is 50 miles away and you can get to San Francisco & Downtown Oakland easily (don't need to switch trains if taking BART). Compared to a typical suburb, it offers a lot of possibilities in terms of activities.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by SC Anteater »

Kompass wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:57 am
lostinjersey wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:30 am I skimmed but didn’t see Alameda. It’s on an island (peninsula??) so has some separation, but is right next door to Oakland, self-contained, lovely Victorian homes, nice sized downtown with lots of mom and pop stores. Leans right-er than the other parts of the Bay due to the Coast Guard presence. Another ‘Mayberry’ option.
I lived in Alameda for a decade and absolutely loved it 2004-2014. Mayberry is a good analogy, also a good public beach on the bay. The city has 2 halves one is the peninsula which contains Oakland airport. The other half is the “island“ portion where I lived this is where you’ll find the shops, restaurants, beach, and other amenities. There are also two ferry docks that go across to the peninsula for day tripping in San Francisco. I’ve been gone for five years and don’t know what may have changed, probably a lot, but I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that experience.

Definitely spend a few days checking the area, the East Bay has a lot of variety, some of it fantastic and some of it you’d want to avoid like the plague.
I lived in Alameda for one year in 1996 when I first moved to the Bay area and hated it, but I think they've added more amenities since them. Having to get on BART at Fruitvale was the absolute worst though. I'm now in central Contra Costa and like it a lot. I live in a highly walkable, bikable area, probably wouldn't like it if I didn't.
Last edited by SC Anteater on Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by PaulF »

I once lived on the Berkeley/Oakland border, in "the last house in Oakland." (We lived in Oakland, but all of our neighbors, in every direction save one, were in Berkeley.) This is the Rockridge/Claremont area, and it was lovely.

However, if I could afford it, I would opt for the northern part of Berkeley or Albany, say, near the Solano Ave. area.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by bayview »

If not in Oakland, look at Point Richmond.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by ScoobyDoo »

Jebediah wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:15 pm Lake Merritt (Adams Point/Lakeshore) > Rockridge > Piedmont
I grew up in East Oakland (closer to san leandro) and am surprised no one brought up Lake merrit area. Granted I left the east bay almost 20 years ago! And even then I lived in Hayward, was car dependent, and worked in silicon valley.

I guess things have changed :-shrugged. If i could afford it I would move back to Oakland proper and buy a condo in the Lake Merrit area! close enough to berkley, SFO for entertainment purposes and right in the thick of cultural/diverse settings.

But then again, maybe things have changed in 20 years.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by RRA »

Another area that hasn't been mentioned is Jack London Square in Oakland. May apts/condos in the area to rent/buy with parking garages. Flat, non-hilly, very walkable. Lots of restaurants, bars, etc. It is right by the water, next to the marina. Lots of events are held year round during the weekends in the main square. Transportation is great. It is walking distance to 2 BART stations (Lake Merritt and 12th street/Broadway). There's a free shuttle bus during the week to take you up Broadway. If driving, easy highway/freeway assess to 880N/S and 24. Plus there is a nice Ferry you can take to SF embarcadero. It has some of the best weather in the Bay Area, not too hot/not too cold. The one drawback is it is near the Amtrak station, so there is train noise. But JLS may check off alot of your boxes. I would definitely check out. I also second the Lake Merritt area.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Jebediah »

PaulF wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:05 pm I once lived on the Berkeley/Oakland border, in "the last house in Oakland." (We lived in Oakland, but all of our neighbors, in every direction save one, were in Berkeley.) This is the Rockridge/Claremont area, and it was lovely.

However, if I could afford it, I would opt for the northern part of Berkeley or Albany, say, near the Solano Ave. area.
Albany/Solano is a good suggestion
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

decapod10 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:17 pm
7. San Francisco - The BART runs along Market Street here, so you would be looking around there. Financial District, SoMa (South of Market), etc. Pricey of course.
Quite Interesting thought let me ponder on SFO as a place of living. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by decapod10 »

LiveSimple wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:05 am
decapod10 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:17 pm
7. San Francisco - The BART runs along Market Street here, so you would be looking around there. Financial District, SoMa (South of Market), etc. Pricey of course.
Quite Interesting thought let me ponder on SFO as a place of living. Thanks for the suggestion.
Sure. It will cost most of your budget to live in a 2 bedroom apartment though, and if you have a car, parking will often cost several hundred dollars per month on top of your rent, but I personally like SF a lot. I would like to live there if I didn't have kids and I could afford it. An example of prices would be this apartment building in the Financial District, which is very close to Embarcadero (the street that runs along the water on the east side of the city). I know nothing about this particular building, just saw it when looking at a map of SF, so I have an idea of where it is.

The Gateway https://www.thegateway.com/ $2500 per month for a studio up to $6000 for a 3 bed/2 bath 1500 sqft townhouse.


One advantage to SF in your circumstance is that if the BART breaks down and you need to drive, you would be doing a reverse commute, so traffic won't be too bad from SF to Oakland in the morning, unlike Walnut Creek for example.

(edit: just thought of this while looking at this building since it's close to the Ferry Building, another potentially interesting option would be taking a Ferry from the Ferry building in SF to Jack London Square in Oakland, but I suspect the BART would probably be more efficient)

There are probably 4 BART stations you would be looking at trying to access, which again all run along Market Street (from east to west): Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell, and Civic Center. You could also live in the Mission District which are the next BART stations to the West as it veers of Market (I have friends who live there and like it a lot), but it may or may not be your cup of tea. The farther East you get (closer to the water), in general the more expensive it gets.

It's generally recommended to avoid the Tenderloin District. If you look at Google Maps, it is labeled on there, or you can search for San Francisco neighborhood map and lots of realtors have neighborhood maps of SF.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by LiveSimple »

Thanks a lot
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by coastalhiker »

Jebediah wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:16 pm
PaulF wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:05 pm I once lived on the Berkeley/Oakland border, in "the last house in Oakland." (We lived in Oakland, but all of our neighbors, in every direction save one, were in Berkeley.) This is the Rockridge/Claremont area, and it was lovely.

However, if I could afford it, I would opt for the northern part of Berkeley or Albany, say, near the Solano Ave. area.
Albany/Solano is a good suggestion
Third vote for this. I live on the Berkeley/Albany border (far from the campus, so not very "bubble"-like), and i can walk <15 minutes in every direction to get to good food (Solano, 4th street, Monterey Market), my gym, BART, and other life essentials. Super-diverse and friendly community.

Other posters aren't lying about the homeless encampments. We are seeing this a lot throughout Berkeley and Oakland. I don't think you can escape it anywhere in the Bay Area.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Sandi_k »

LiveSimple wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:45 pm The work place is easily accessible with a BART station
Which line? The transfer stations in Oakland are sketchy. I would not want a commute that required me to change trains at MacArthur station, for example.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

Walnut Creek is good for retirees and has a large population of retirees, e.g., Rossmore. Try Berkeley. It is better to be where young people are as you get old.

EDIT: approximately one-fourth of the population is age 65 or older (2017)
Last edited by MathIsMyWayr on Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

Post by Sandi_k »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:58 pm Walnut Creek is good for retirees and has a large population of retirees, e.g., Rossmore. Try Berkeley. It is better to be where young people are as you get old.
No way would I live in Berkeley. Too much asphalt, too many students driving up rental costs, and the homeless encampments near University or Gilman are jaw-dropping.
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