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need an apartment...in the Bay Area (San Francisco)

fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as HellCharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
laugh as much as you want at this thread, i realize how difficult it is right now.

i just accepted a job in San Francisco, and i need to find an apartment there really quickly.

i'm moving with my fiancee and small dog (18 lbs bo-dach mix). we'd be ok with a managed apartment-type place. we'd also be ok with Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Daly City, or South San Fran.

i guess our main difficulties are 1) finding a place that doesn't have sucky management, 2) finding a place that is safe, and 3) finding a place that has decent access to the Bart or other public transportation that can get us downtown.

HALP!

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Posts

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Maybe try a short-term sublet until you know the area well enough to commit to a place?

  • HeraldSHeraldS Registered User regular
    Also talk to your employer. They might be able to offer some good advice or guidance if it's a decent company. When I moved to New York for work my new coworkers were invaluable in that regard.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    I've PM'd you on some of these, but here's my extended take:
    1. Safety - The whole bay area is safe-ish, but they really don't work THAT hard to deter crime. My fiance got mugged in one of the nicest areas in SF (Duboce Park on the waller side). Everywhere in the cities CAN be sketchy, some more than others. I didn't find Oakland that bad, but being too far out after midnight always seemed like a bad idea. This doesn't change by area, as my friend who lived in Berkeley heard 2 separate shootings on the same block as his apt.
    Most areas are decent, but there is a LOT of crime in the bay area, and the criminals are quite mobile.
    2. What are you looking to do? If you go out a lot, cross everywhere but SF and Oakland off your list, as they're mostly commuter areas.
    3. Seriously, you have to be there in person to rent in the bay area. My last round of housing search, we got turned down from 6 different places we liked due to random BS reasons (note that we're two professionals in our 30's with 800+ credit, solid incomes and no pets). One we're quite sure the landlord was bribed, another signed a 2 year lease, another we weren't "old enough" for the building (mostly long-term older people in Berk).
    4. Pets may make it problematic. I know a bunch of my friends have had hard times finding good places that even accept cats.

    kaliyamaZilla360Inquisitor77
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    I don't know anything about price or availability as I'm not an SF native, but when I was in San Bruno (south, near the airport), I noticed plenty of newish/niceish apartments right across the street from the mall there which is home to a BART station, it's roughly a 15-20 minute ride into downtown from there, and not more than a 10 minute walk from the mall.

    It wasn't the single most fantastic neighborhood in the world, but certainly livable.

  • SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    The only neighborhoods off the top of my head that are kind of sketchy in terms of crime are Bayview/Hunters Point, Sunnydale, Visitacion Valley (possibly Excelsior, not sure if it's gotten better or worse). The Mission district is hit or miss, parts of it have been gentrifying in the last couple of years (especially around Valencia). If you're set on living in SF proper, look at a map of the MUNI light rail system as well, that'll give you a better idea of what's near good transit.

    mts wrote: »
    heres how i see it being a total win situation for you
    1. stay with your wife while she dog sits. this wins husband points since she knows its out of your comfort zone
    2. have sex all over her friends house so that the next time you see her friend look at you condescendingly, you can wink back knowing you did the freaky deaky where she eats her cheerios.
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Tenderloin is pretty crappy too, as is the whole Civic Center area, as well as parts of SOMA. Mission can be sketchy as fuck, I don't care what the hipsters say.

  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    Just be aware that in San Bruno they have city run cable internet and don't allow competition. I've got a friend who lives in San Bruno and his internet is real shitty compared to Comcast.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    laugh as much as you want at this thread, i realize how difficult it is right now.

    i just accepted a job in San Francisco, and i need to find an apartment there really quickly.

    i'm moving with my fiancee and small dog (18 lbs bo-dach mix). we'd be ok with a managed apartment-type place. we'd also be ok with Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Daly City, or South San Fran.

    i guess our main difficulties are 1) finding a place that doesn't have sucky management, 2) finding a place that is safe, and 3) finding a place that has decent access to the Bart or other public transportation that can get us downtown.

    HALP!

    a) congrats on finding a legal job
    b) Your job is in the financial district or soma or what?
    c) what will your combined income be?

    fwKS7.png?1
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    kaliyama wrote: »
    laugh as much as you want at this thread, i realize how difficult it is right now.

    i just accepted a job in San Francisco, and i need to find an apartment there really quickly.

    i'm moving with my fiancee and small dog (18 lbs bo-dach mix). we'd be ok with a managed apartment-type place. we'd also be ok with Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Daly City, or South San Fran.

    i guess our main difficulties are 1) finding a place that doesn't have sucky management, 2) finding a place that is safe, and 3) finding a place that has decent access to the Bart or other public transportation that can get us downtown.

    HALP!

    a) congrats on finding a legal job
    b) Your job is in the financial district or soma or what?
    c) what will your combined income be?

    1) thanks :)
    2) financial district
    3) er, not comfortable sharing that on the interwebs. let's just say our budget allows for a max rent of $2400, and that's pushing it.

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  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    kaliyama wrote: »
    laugh as much as you want at this thread, i realize how difficult it is right now.

    i just accepted a job in San Francisco, and i need to find an apartment there really quickly.

    i'm moving with my fiancee and small dog (18 lbs bo-dach mix). we'd be ok with a managed apartment-type place. we'd also be ok with Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Daly City, or South San Fran.

    i guess our main difficulties are 1) finding a place that doesn't have sucky management, 2) finding a place that is safe, and 3) finding a place that has decent access to the Bart or other public transportation that can get us downtown.

    HALP!

    a) congrats on finding a legal job
    b) Your job is in the financial district or soma or what?
    c) what will your combined income be?

    1) thanks :)
    2) financial district
    3) er, not comfortable sharing that on the interwebs. let's just say our budget allows for a max rent of $2400, and that's pushing it.

    SF is out then - it will actually take you longer to get anywhere from the outer richmond or sunset than Oakland near Lake Merritt, DT, and Macarthur. You can def. get something in Oakland well under $2400. I'd look at:

    Temescal (tho macarthur bart itself can be plenty sketch late);
    Lake Merritt near the Whole Foods;
    Downtown Oakland;
    Jack London square (not super convenient to BART, but you can ferry if it makes sense for you).

    I like http://www.laphamcompany.com/

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    Giggles_FunsworthInquisitor77
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    kaliyama wrote: »
    SF is out then - it will actually take you longer to get anywhere from the outer richmond or sunset than Oakland near Lake Merritt, DT, and Macarthur. You can def. get something in Oakland well under $2400. I'd look at:

    Temescal (tho macarthur bart itself can be plenty sketch late);
    Lake Merritt near the Whole Foods;
    Downtown Oakland;
    Jack London square (not super convenient to BART, but you can ferry if it makes sense for you).

    I like http://www.laphamcompany.com/
    i've been looking hard at the Jack London area. just had no sense of how livable it is. i suppose it's fine as a foot in the door, and we can then look more carefully for better spots.

    i was wondering how ok the MacArthur area was generally. i don't think we're going to be out late a bunch, but are things ok enough to walk a dog around 10pm?

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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Eh, I don't think you'd be wanting to walk a dog around there that much, somewhat sketch and very concrete (IMO).

  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    anyone heard of or have opinions about Merritt on 3rd?

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  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2014
    anyone heard of or have opinions about Merritt on 3rd?

    Doesn't look like it from pictures, but sketchy area.

    I would hella live here: http://www.laphamcompany.com/properties/propertyDetailRent.asp?editid1=596

    Edit: this other one looks alright too: http://www.laphamcompany.com/properties/propertyDetailRent.asp?editid1=141

    Double edit: oops, I totally missed that you have a dog. That's going to make things a little harder.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    anyone heard of or have opinions about Merritt on 3rd?

    Doesn't look like it from pictures, but sketchy area.

    I would hella live here: http://www.laphamcompany.com/properties/propertyDetailRent.asp?editid1=596

    Edit: this other one looks alright too: http://www.laphamcompany.com/properties/propertyDetailRent.asp?editid1=141

    i would too, but they don't allow dogs.

    wtf. cats are much more damaging to property. dogs are incredibly clean in comparison. ugh.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Dogs can be noisy.

  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    Dogs can be noisy.

    yeah i guessssss

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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    I think @kaliyama lives around there. It's decent-ish from what I've seen, but more towards the sketchy parts of Oakland. That said, one of my favorite spots - Portal, is right there. Also, they've poured a crazy amount of money into rehabbing all of lake merritt, so it's likely fine.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    schuss wrote: »
    I think @kaliyama lives around there. It's decent-ish from what I've seen, but more towards the sketchy parts of Oakland. That said, one of my favorite spots - Portal, is right there. Also, they've poured a crazy amount of money into rehabbing all of lake merritt, so it's likely fine.

    Yay portal! Lake Merritt is great. I live on the north end of it, though, not by there. It's a nice building and walking distance to BART, though its immediate environs are sketch. I'd live there over temescal if you had a dog. That building is on the southeastern edge of where i'd feel comfortable walking around at night, but you'd be fine walking from BART to home to lake and from lake to grocery stores.

    fwKS7.png?1
    schuss
  • FFFF Once Upon a Time In OaklandRegistered User regular
    kaliyama wrote: »
    schuss wrote: »
    I think @kaliyama lives around there. It's decent-ish from what I've seen, but more towards the sketchy parts of Oakland. That said, one of my favorite spots - Portal, is right there. Also, they've poured a crazy amount of money into rehabbing all of lake merritt, so it's likely fine.

    Yay portal! Lake Merritt is great. I live on the north end of it, though, not by there. It's a nice building and walking distance to BART, though its immediate environs are sketch. I'd live there over temescal if you had a dog. That building is on the southeastern edge of where i'd feel comfortable walking around at night, but you'd be fine walking from BART to home to lake and from lake to grocery stores.

    Rockin' Crawfish is about 4 blocks away from there as well. :D

    Nothing to see here. move along...
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    anyone know how the area is around this one?: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/4303600835.html

    i know it's near the Tenderloin, but it looks far away enough...

    while i'm on the subject, anyone know how the area around Van Ness is generally?

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  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Paranoiac Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    That's not a bad spot and it's close to a sushi joint with $2 Sapporos.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    what was the cross street (listing is deleted)? Van ness can be be super-sketchy. Only north of California st. would be in my idea of a "decent" area, but it's a little hit or miss depending on which side you're on, as some parts of japantown on the western side are great.

    Skeith
  • ASimPersonASimPerson And they will tremble again at the sound of our silence!Registered User regular
    Don't forget PadMapper, especially for here
    http://www.padmapper.com

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  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Just going to echo that you're going to have a really hard time getting a place unless you are physically here. You may be better off simply going to an Extended Stay or something until you can find a more permanent solution. It really depends on how much you're willing to risk moving into a place that doesn't work out and having to deal with toughing out the lease while finding a new place.

    Based on your criteria, I'd write off San Francisco.

    Generally speaking, based on your need to commute into San Francisco (a.k.a. "the city"), everything outside of San Francisco and Oakland is basically a suburb. Parts of Oakland can be sketchy (some very sketchy) but the areas outlined before are gentrified or quickly becoming gentrified. San Jose is technically a big city, but it's so sprawled out you can basically call it a giant suburb. Honestly, you can find sketchy parts in pretty much every city here, but some are worse than others.

    The reality is that the whole of the Bay Area is a commuter town, so having a car is pretty much mandatory if you want to do anything besides go to work. Which should go without saying - having a private parking space is also a good idea, as parking on the street is a difficult/impossible proposition in many places.

    A good way to orient yourself is to figure out how you're going to get to work on a daily basis. Most people take BART, so living near a BART station (or being willing to get up at the crack of dawn to get a parking space) is pretty much a requirement. Beyond BART, there are ferries that run from some parts of the North/East Bay into SF and commuter buses that go straight from a pickup point into downtown. If you live in the South Bay (e.g., San Jose) you can take Caltrain. Notice that I'm not mentioning driving into the city. The reason is: a) you can't afford/find parking unless you are rich, and b) the traffic is horrendous.

    Do not discount the time savings and convenience of ready access to a commute into the city. As mentioned before, the whole region pretty much mandates that you have a car to do anything, so you aren't going to avoid driving to get anywhere on your free time. However, having the option to just walk to BART or switch over to the ferry or the peace of mind of knowing you have a seat on an express bus without having to get up at 5:00am or drive an extra 20-30 minutes and fight it out for a parking space is actually a big stress reliever and a tremendous improvement on your day-to-day quality of life.

    Just as a final note, real estate prices here are ridiculous, and that has carried over into the rental market. Be prepared for sticker shock - I don't know of a single person who has moved out here who hasn't freaked out at how much people pay just to live in the area.

    a.k.a. Antaeus or Nubmonger

    -A digital receiver in an analog world.
    ASimPerson
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    thanks for the commuter tips. i would've thought living in San Diego prepared me a bit for high rents and property values, but the real estate bubble going on in SF is absolutely nuts.

    at this point i'm considering getting a place in either The Uptown or Domain Oakland and using that as a foot in the door to find a better place in a year. i know these places are not too well reviewed on Yelp, but i'm chalking that up to LOL INTERNET and have been finding positive things discussed on city-data.com and other places.

    any reason i should be really avoiding these locations?

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  • FFFF Once Upon a Time In OaklandRegistered User regular
    A good way to orient yourself is to figure out how you're going to get to work on a daily basis. Most people take BART, so living near a BART station (or being willing to get up at the crack of dawn to get a parking space) is pretty much a requirement. Beyond BART, there are ferries that run from some parts of the North/East Bay into SF and commuter buses that go straight from a pickup point into downtown. If you live in the South Bay (e.g., San Jose) you can take Caltrain. Notice that I'm not mentioning driving into the city. The reason is: a) you can't afford/find parking unless you are rich, and b) the traffic is horrendous.

    There's also AC Transit. They'll run what they call Transbay busses. Mostly from the cities immediately near the bay bridge. So, Oakland, Emeryville, Alameda, Berkeley, San Leandro, etc. You can check www.actransit.org for the various lines they run. Pretty much all Transbay busses have a letter designation instead of a number. I say this because I hate BART and I live a couple blocks from one of the Transbay lines.

    thanks for the commuter tips. i would've thought living in San Diego prepared me a bit for high rents and property values, but the real estate bubble going on in SF is absolutely nuts.

    at this point i'm considering getting a place in either The Uptown or Domain Oakland and using that as a foot in the door to find a better place in a year. i know these places are not too well reviewed on Yelp, but i'm chalking that up to LOL INTERNET and have been finding positive things discussed on city-data.com and other places.

    any reason i should be really avoiding these locations?

    If I had to choose between the two I'd pick The Uptown location. It's nice and close to the 19th St. BART station, The Uptown Nightclub is there (favorite place of mine), The Fox Theater too. So is Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, Make Westing, and a ton of other great places. The Art Murmer also takes place a quick walk from there. (From around W. Grand & Telegraph, up Telegraph.)

    Personally, I've never had a problem in that area.

    Nothing to see here. move along...
  • DivebommahDivebommah Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Hi. A year ago I moved back to SF from Portland, OR and had a devil of a time. Actually, when I first lived in the Bay Area I lived in Oakland and was unable to find an apartment in the city. I had two cats, so that didn't help. Moving back here, I still had two cats and no job. When I'm unemployed I freelance, but to landlords it's one and the same. I also don't have a car.

    So I bit the bullet and hired a rental agent. Her fee was the first month of rent, but she pulled together a schedule and arranged for me to meet building managers/landlords for two days (she drove me around everywhere -- it was VERY fast paced). She coached me on how to prepare the paperwork, what info she needed, and she also did a great job singing my praises to landlords, asking tough questions etc.

    I saw earlier in the thread someone warned you away from the Tenderloin. Rents are pretty much lower here than anywhere in the city, and the area IS improving -- I myself ended up at Leavenworth & Geary, which is arguably the "Tendernob". If you want Tenderloin apartment prices without pushing a crackhead out of the way to get our your door in the morning, try not to look for an apartment in that red area in the map below. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, but for the most part (in my opinion) that area is not savory, let alone safe, to be in when night falls. My area merely makes me uneasy.

    xOgvIYh.jpg

    Divebommah on
  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Paranoiac Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    FF wrote: »
    A good way to orient yourself is to figure out how you're going to get to work on a daily basis. Most people take BART, so living near a BART station (or being willing to get up at the crack of dawn to get a parking space) is pretty much a requirement. Beyond BART, there are ferries that run from some parts of the North/East Bay into SF and commuter buses that go straight from a pickup point into downtown. If you live in the South Bay (e.g., San Jose) you can take Caltrain. Notice that I'm not mentioning driving into the city. The reason is: a) you can't afford/find parking unless you are rich, and b) the traffic is horrendous.

    There's also AC Transit. They'll run what they call Transbay busses. Mostly from the cities immediately near the bay bridge. So, Oakland, Emeryville, Alameda, Berkeley, San Leandro, etc. You can check www.actransit.org for the various lines they run. Pretty much all Transbay busses have a letter designation instead of a number. I say this because I hate BART and I live a couple blocks from one of the Transbay lines.

    thanks for the commuter tips. i would've thought living in San Diego prepared me a bit for high rents and property values, but the real estate bubble going on in SF is absolutely nuts.

    at this point i'm considering getting a place in either The Uptown or Domain Oakland and using that as a foot in the door to find a better place in a year. i know these places are not too well reviewed on Yelp, but i'm chalking that up to LOL INTERNET and have been finding positive things discussed on city-data.com and other places.

    any reason i should be really avoiding these locations?

    If I had to choose between the two I'd pick The Uptown location. It's nice and close to the 19th St. BART station, The Uptown Nightclub is there (favorite place of mine), The Fox Theater too. So is Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, Make Westing, and a ton of other great places. The Art Murmer also takes place a quick walk from there. (From around W. Grand & Telegraph, up Telegraph.)

    Personally, I've never had a problem in that area.

    I can't agree with this guy enough. I had a friend that lived at The Uptown and his place was incredibly nice.

  • ASimPersonASimPerson And they will tremble again at the sound of our silence!Registered User regular
    Yeah, apartment reviews are almost nearly worthless. No one ever does one unless they had a bad experience. And even the ones who do mystify me a bit. I see a lot about the managers and for instance, but I never interacted with them unless there was a problem or I was playing my rent, not trying to be their best friend.

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