Reviews & Comments
Dublin, CAPerfect ... if ONLY.....
Here is a review of the entire Bay Area and breakin git down, and how Dublin/Pleasanton fits into that and why it is the best all-around choice for value, flexibility, weather, safety, education, etc.
The Bay Area is a wonderful and excellent place for anythnig you can imagine (as long as you are not a staunch conservatives... but we have those here too). The 2 things that make any Bay Area resident consider leaving this area multiple times while they are here are:
1. The Cost of Living is impossible here. Unless you are well into the 6-figured income, you'll always be playing catch-up, saving at every corner just to make ends meet, etc.
2. The traffic/commute situation is horrendous 24/7. Our Sunday off-traffic is probably worse then prime-time commute hours anywhere besudes say.. NYC. And that's with one of the most comprehensive mass transit systems in the country (not only a subway/monorail (BART), but also a city-wide Bus/Light Rail system (MUNI), a ferry commuter system, and a train system (CALTRAIN).
#2 is the same wherever you go simply b/c of the number of people working here and having to commute from long distances b/c #1 means most people can't live near their work. And if they somehow are able to, all it takes is an office move (due to costs of course) or a change of jobs and your commute just went from tolerable back to the unbearable.
You will be lucky to be able to get to work in less then 1 hr in most cases (unless you live right next to work). This review is true of ANY location in the Bay Area. Now for the differences.
The City (aka SF proper) and The Peninsula (also known as Silicone Valley - which coers the area between SF and San Jose). These are the prime locations because this is where all the jobs are and thus the locations which give you the most convenient commutes possible. Currently a frien dof a friend with a $1.2M budget for a house is "having problems finding anythnig reasonable" in these areas. So in other words, your ticket to these prime areas is agoing to be $1.2M if not more - and that doesnt get you any location advantage, updated structure advantage, and/or space advantage. For any upgrades in either of those 3 areas, price goes up quickly. SO. if you don't have $1.2M (probably more like $1.7M by end of this year), you will be relgated to the areas a bit more outwardly than that and htus a longer commute (unless you score one of the few good jobs outside these prime areas).
SOUTH BAY. The up-n-coming location and quickly picking up where Silicone Valley left off (the 49ers recently moved to South Bay out of SF, the Oakland Athletics are trying to do the same). These are where the people who work in Silicone Valley (the Googles, Facebooks, LinkedIn's of the world) who can't afford that area, are starting to move b/c it offers the next best commute possibility. Not too long ago the cheapest area in the Bay, its' quickly racing up to #3. Downtown is developing nicely and the SJ Airport is probably the nicest and quickest ones to get in and out of now in the BAy Area (we have 3 international airports within 20 miles of each other).
EAST BAY. usually referred to as Berkeley and Oakland and Alameda and that area. Very dense. Becoming expensive as people from The City are being priced out of downtown and havint to move eastwards (especially those without cars). BART services East Bay so it has now become the extension of The City (Ferries service it too). The problem? The stigma of being neighbors to Oakland and its crime levels. You have nice small neighborhoods neighboring traditioanlly crime-ridden ghettos seemingly alternating every few blocks. The reasonable commute via mass transit is what drives the prices up here. The crime/ghetto and therefore inconsistent schools is what you risk here.
That brings me to the FAR EAST BAY and where Dublin/Pleasanton comes in. Far East Bay is basically Silicone Valley but with a LONG commute (you are 40-50 miles away from work). And because of that, you have some good values out here residentially. Dublin/PLeasanton provides more convenience than some of the other neighborhoods (San Ramon, Danville,etc) b/c it has multiple BART stations, tons of shopping (literally any shop you can think of, there is 1 if not 2 of them in Dublin/Pleasanton), and better housing prices to add to the mix. The BART stations and proximity to South Bay and both bridges across the bay, make it the most flexible in being able to get to jobs in ANY of the major Bay Area locations - again.. at an affordable price with the option of mass transit if you want.
What it means is .. you will never have a super short commmute. But you will never have the worst commute either. You will ahve a pretty consistent commute and be able to take a job anywhere (same can not be said for the other outlier areas).
Bay Area is wonderful.. IF you can handle the finances and commute. Both are EXTREMELY expensive and challenging here. We'd all love to stay here, but there is a reason many of us choose to leave after a while....
The circular problem of needing those premium jobs (6 figures or more) just to feel like you can keep up with the cost of living here, but most likely having to spend 3-5 hrs per day to get to and from those premium jobs every day - is just too much time you're spending working... then living.
I read another review for another place i'm looking to move to. They claimed "i love that its so cheap to live here.. but life is not about reasonable living and bills.. it's about the excitement a city can provide you and the entertainment...."
Quite ironic to me. I see it the other way. What's the point of working ourselves to death and having to maintain premium jobs and premium pay (which carries permium stress) - if it's all going to just maintain your ability to stay without being able to save and enjoy it? If we can't put away a little something for something bigger down the road (a house, a car, a retirement, a vacation) - then what is the point?
You shouldn't have to feel like a decent full-time job is not enough to live You shoudn't have to make 6 figures and still feel like you have to cut corners to keep a roof - or have to be willing to spend 5-6 hrs a day travelling to/from work to keep that roof.
But.. that is the Bay Area. PERFECTION personified - if it weren't for the damned costs and commute times to earn a living to try and keep up with those costs.
re: Burlington, VT --Excellent, 5-stars! - 7/9/201
woudl love to pick your brain on relocating to VT (Burlington or Montpelier is where I'm thinking). Do you chat on anything else but yahoo? If so, I'd love to talk. Thank you!