Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apt For Rent In San Francisco

April 10, 2012

Sandy asks…

Considering moving to Sacramento, is it an overall nice place to live?

My husband and I are looking to move for a change of pace and he saw a job available in the Sacramento area. I’ve done some looking around on the forums about the area and it seems that a lot of people are complaining about the city becoming too crowded, and the crime rates being high, is this something to really be concerned about? I’ve heard that Midtown and Downtown are great places to be, would I feel unsafe if we lived in these areas and I was home alone? How much is a 1-2 bedroom apt for rent in the midtown/downtown area? Is public transit in the area pretty good? How late does the public transit stay going? We tend to be night owls and would like to use the public transit a good amount of the time. How is the culture and diversity in the City? Anything you have to say about Sacramento please feel free to share! We aren’t sure if we will get a chance to come and visit the city before we make the move, we’ve been to Southern California and San Francisco (which we love!) but never been to Sacramento. So we want to know from the people that are living there if it’s a fun place to live for a young couple.

Administrator answers:

I lived in the City of Sacramento from 1971 to 1979, and in the environs since then. I worked downtown until 2000. The worst crime that ever happened is having my car stereo ripped off while the car was parked (this was before car and stereo alarms.) Yes, Sacramento has high-crime areas, but there is no need to go there. The crime is mostly gang-related and if you don’t do gangs or drugs, you have no need to be involved.

Except in the ’70′s, when the “South Area Rapist” was getting a lot of publicity, I never felt uncomfortable being home alone or walking downtown in the early evening.

Sacramento is very diverse, in its own Pacific Rim way. There are a lot of Japanese and a fair number of Vietnamese and Hmong (southeast Asian tribal people). The city council has long been integrated and the State Government (I don’t know if you know that California is the State Capitol) is also.

There is lots to do here if you like nature, history, and education. People who say Sacramento is boring usually mean it doesn’t have glitzy places where stars hang out, or really high-class expensive restaurants. I don’t miss those. I prefer a lower-key existence. (The other side of the coin is that people say the area is getting “too crowded.” I have to admit the freeways are too crowded, but I don’t think the area is.)

Public transportation is decent, with a useful light rail system and pretty regular buses. If you live downtown or midtown, you get transportation discounts for short trips.

Definitely, Sacramento is not SF or LA. It is smaller, lower-key, quieter, with fewer amenities. But I consider it a very nice place to live.

Susan asks…

Do you honestly think raising corporate tax and minimum wage will increase your standard of living?

I’ve spent the last two years living in San Francisco, California.

San Francisco has the highest minimum wage in the country $9.36 per hour. San Francisco is the most “green” city in the country. San Francisco has the most protected unions in the country. They have the most civil rights in the country. San Francisco is the most liberal city in the country.

Now for some facts:

1. San Francisco has the 2nd highest cost of living in this country.

2. The average house price is $846,000. (2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms)

3. San Francisco has the largest homeless population in this country.

4. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apt is $2100 per month.

Now you tell me…is $2 more in minimum wage and public transportation really worth not being able to afford rent and will it make your chances on ever buying a house impossible?
ADD 1:

If businesses have to pay their employees more, they increase their prices. Many restaurants in San Francisco charge a 4% health tax onto your bill because they passed a law that mandates businesses with more than 15 employees must provide health insurance.

ADD 2:

It is not just location, have you ever been to Mendocino, CA or Eureka, CA they are almost equally as expensive and are really s&*& holes!
ADD 3:

You know how many reports come out each year ranking countries. It’s like the people who rank best beaches in the United States and choose some unkown beach in Oregon as being the best beach, better than Waikiki etc, who the hell are they to say who has the better standard of living without having lived in that country!

It’s all relative, if you are a poor person you will have a higher living standard in France, but if you are middle class or wealthy, America is one of the best countries to live in because it allows you to do what you want with your own money.
Are you saying that the average price being $846,000 is bullshit, or it’s bullshit to have to pay that much.

I’m not exagerating at all on that price, that is the official average price for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house/condo in San Francisco in 2007.

Unions were the one behind mandating health insurance for businesses with 15+ employees.

“Green” San Francisco has banned plastic bags which are cheaper than paper bags. Many grocery stores now charge between $0.50-$1.00 if you want a bag now!

Civil Rights: Has nothing to do with the increase in cost of living, I’m just pointing out that San Francisco is a true Democratic Liberal ran city.

The rise in homeless is exactly my point. If you make it unbearable for businesses, they will eventually pack up and move, whether it is to another city, another state, or even another country. San Francisco has made it unbearable for many large companies. Why do you think there isn’t a single Wal-mart or Target in San Francisco? Why do you think the population growth rate is NEGATIVE, why do you the future job growth is NEGATIVE?

The rise in homeless is exactly my point. If you make it unbearable for businesses, they will eventually pack up and move, whether it is to another city, another state, or even another country. San Francisco has made it unbearable for many large companies. Why do you think there isn’t a single Wal-mart or Target in San Francisco? Why do you think the population growth rate is NEGATIVE, why do you the future job growth is NEGATIVE?

Administrator answers:

Minimum wage was always meant as a “starting” wage, you were never supposed to “live” off of it. This is just another liberal tactic of “sticking it to the rich” If it wasn’t for people taking chances and developing more jobs so people can get off of minimum wage, we’d all be on the government dole. Pull yourself up liberals and realize that the rest of the country isn’t going to take care of you. It’s all up to you!!!

Linda asks…

Nice residential area near Boston, for a single 32-year-old woman? Nightlife in Boston?

I’m thinking of relocating to the Boston are. I’m hoping to rent a two-bedroom apt. for 1300 or less a month. I’ve seen Craigslist ads for such in Newton, Medford, and Belmont, but I don’t know these towns.
Can anyone recommend quiet and safe towns that are within commuting distance of Boston (say 1 hour or less commute time)? Preferably, I’d like something with a cute, walkable downtonwn area.
PS: What is the culture and nightlife in Boston like, for single thirty-somethings? I grew up near NYC, and I’ve lived in San Francisco, so I’m used to exciting nightlife. I understand that Boston is more lowkey, but I’m wondering if some residents could give me their opinions.
Thanks for all of your responses. They are very helpful so far.
For Hank, rather than cute, perhaps I should say pleasant with interesting stores and cafes, in a North Berkeley, Alameda or Mill Valley sort of way.
I would definately be commuting by mass transit.
The research I’ve done gave me the impression that finding a pleasant town about an hour outside of Boston is realistic, even within my price range. You sound dubious, so I hope I’m not wrong.
Thanks again for all of your answers! Now I can make an informed decision. Enjoy the holidays, everyone.

Administrator answers:

Within 1 hr of central Boston?? Quiet? Safe? And what do you mean “cute” downtowns? Gosh, that could be hundreds of places!!

If you care to tell me which places near to San Fran and N.Y.C. (I know those areas well) would qualify then I could better advise (after all, Berkeley, Layfayette, Castro Valley and Palo Alto can all be described as safe and cute but they are otherwise very different places!)

Also, you should state whether the 1 hr commute is by car or train.

Of the 3 places you mention Belmont is the cutest, in a New England sort of way. But for $ 1300/month you by far would be able to rent the most for your money in Medford or, even more, in next-door Malden or next-next door Melrose, the latter of which also has a rather vibrant and attractive downtown area (and excellent public transportation connections).

It is true that Boston does not have nightlife quite the equivalent of S.F. Or N.Y.C. – for one thing the city closes up early (by the way instead of thinking “Boston” you should think “Boston-Cambridge”, or even “Boston-Cambridge-Somerville”). But if you do most of your clubbing and partying before 1 AM you should be quite satisfied.

PS: One Day Later

Dear Brenda:

I hope you check back your answers; you do not allow emails.

Anyway, now that you have defined you prefer an Alameda or North Berkeley sort of place…

As another Answerer suggests: Jamaica Plain.

As other Answerers suggest: The Davis Square area of Somerville and the Porter Square section of Cambridge.

In fact, almost anywhere in Cambridge EXCEPT close in to Harvard Square (compared to Alameda and even North Berkeley it is a bit too effete).

The Union Square area of Somerville.

The Beacon Street corridor and the Brookline Village areas of Brookline.

To a smaller extent:

The Fenway and South End-Tremont Street districts (but homes in each are all brick apartment buildings, most 3 storys and architecturally attractive and cohesive to be sure but not detached wood frame buildings like Alameda and Berkeley).

The Moody Street area near downtown Waltham.

And to an even smaller extent but definitely of what you describe:

The downtown Melrose area I mentioned yesterday.

(Increasingly): South Boston near the Broadway/Dorchester Street junction.

(Increasingly): the Roslindale Square area

Every one of the above neighborhoods has better public transportation and quicker connections to the center city than has Alameda (if one considers the center city there to be San Fran and not Oakland).

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