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  • Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

    Hello all! I just got accepted to SFSU for the fall semester and am having a really hard time finding a reasonably priced one bedroom apartment in a decent community near the school. All of the on-campus housing is waitlisted and they only allow one pet and I have 2 rabbits so I'm reaching a bit of a road block here. If anybody has any good recommendations, I would appreciate it so much! Thanks guys


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  • #2
    Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

    If you're going to San Francisco, make sure to wear some flowers in your hair.


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    • #3
      Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

      That's not helpful!!


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      • #4
        Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

        From what I've heard is that San Fran is the most expensive city in the US to live in. So reasonably priced housing maybe out of the question.

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        • #5
          Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

          Originally posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
          That's not helpful!!
          Do you know the way to San Jose?

          You might find less expensive apartments down there?

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          • #6
            Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

            Originally posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
            Hello all! I just got accepted to SFSU for the fall semester and am having a really hard time finding a reasonably priced one bedroom apartment in a decent community near the school. All of the on-campus housing is waitlisted and they only allow one pet and I have 2 rabbits so I'm reaching a bit of a road block here. If anybody has any good recommendations, I would appreciate it so much! Thanks guys
            I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but... you are not going to find a reasonably priced one bedroom apartment anywhere near campus, let alone in the City. And by "reasonably priced," I'm assuming you mean less than $1500/month. Most one bedrooms in SF now are renting between $1500 and $3000, depending on the neighborhood. There are cheaper options in districts like Western Addition/Tenderloin, Bernal Heights, and Bayside/Hunter's Point, but I wouldn't recommend those areas because they're not safe, especially at night.

            Here's a bit of my background: I've been living in San Francisco for over twenty years. I first moved to the city to attend SFSU myself (M.A. in Education). I had to live with roommates, because I couldn't afford to live on my own. Even teeny tiny in-law studio apartments in the basements and garages of people's homes are insanely expensive now (typically $1200/month and more), and incredibly difficult to come by, in the "decent neighborhoods" that you would want to live in.

            Truth is, rents are going through the roof this year. We just received a $600/month rent raise for the unit we live in, and will be moving later this summer instead of renewing our lease. We've been looking for something else in SF at our current price, and we're having a terrible time. What we're finding is old and rundown, in outlying neighborhoods with disastrous parking (big problem in SF). Rents have always been high, but now... they're wack. I've never seen rents this high for SF, even during the dot com era when housing demand exceeded supply.


            What I would do is contact some of the better known roommate search services and see what you can find in way of shared housing. Otherwise, you'll be forced to look outside SF and commute to campus, which is precisely what the majority of SFSU students do. In fact, SFSU is one of the largest "commuter" colleges in the country, if not still the largest, in terms of percentage of students who do not live in San Francisco. It was when I attended in the eighties and nineties, and probably still is.


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            • #7
              Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

              Originally posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
              I have 2 rabbits so I'm reaching a bit of a road block here.
              Sorry, Izzy, I missed this part when I first replied.

              San Francisco and the Bay Area in general for rental property is very unfriendly to pets. At least 80% of rentals are "no pets" properties, which is why we're having difficulty finding new housing ourselves. We have a senior cat who's been with us for 17 years now, and one of the family. He's the main reason we're living where we are currently, because the building was pet friendly. But we're not about to pay $3800/month for a small 2 BD/2 BA apartment in downtown SF when we can rent an entire house in Berkeley Hills for the same amount. San Francisco is a great city, but it's simply not worth this much rent every month.


              I know what it's like to have the furry kids in your life, and how much richer life can be with them. But going to school in the Bay Area is challenging enough, because of the housing situation, which having pets only complicates ten fold. If you can arrange to live here without your rabbits, then do so. You will have a much easier time finding housing. And I wouldn't recommend trying to hide the rabbits from a "no pets" landlord. They can and will kick you out on a 3-day eviction notice for having them, if you fail to remove them from the property in 72 hours. SF landlords are a greedy nasty bunch for the most part, and would think nothing of kicking someone out for a minor violation such as rabbits, given how high demand is now for decent and affordable rental property.
              "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

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              • #8
                Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

                Thanks so much for the replies! Thank you especially BlueSky! That info was very valuable. I'm on financial aid so I'm looking for housing that will at least leave me within my budget for the semester. I have a list of places I need to call in Daly City as well as Pacifica. I'll have my car so if I absolutely cannot commute to school via public transportation, that's not the biggest deal. I knew I wouldn't be able to live directly in the area of the school. On campus apartments allow ONE pet and not 2 rabbits which is silly since rabbits are smaller pets. They also have a waiting list so that was out of the question. It will just be me, I'm not going through the room mate ordeal, at least not for my first semester. I'm stressed enough just finding a place and getting everything else squared away for my move. Thanks so much for the advice and tips!


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                • #9
                  Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

                  Originally posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
                  Thanks so much for the replies! Thank you especially BlueSky! That info was very valuable. I'm on financial aid so I'm looking for housing that will at least leave me within my budget for the semester. I have a list of places I need to call in Daly City as well as Pacifica. I'll have my car so if I absolutely cannot commute to school via public transportation, that's not the biggest deal. I knew I wouldn't be able to live directly in the area of the school. On campus apartments allow ONE pet and not 2 rabbits which is silly since rabbits are smaller pets. They also have a waiting list so that was out of the question. It will just be me, I'm not going through the room mate ordeal, at least not for my first semester. I'm stressed enough just finding a place and getting everything else squared away for my move. Thanks so much for the advice and tips!
                  I'm glad it was helpful.

                  One other point of consideration... take a look into Marin County. Rents can be as reasonable as the cities south of campus, but the weather is cooler with a less crowded, more "natural" environment. The commute across the bridge is only bad during the early morning rush and afternoon drive home, but that's true for any direction coming into/leaving SF. Depending upon when your classes are scheduled, it might be a better option for you, than living on the peninsula.

                  When I first started grad school at SFSU (actually began undergrad studies at SFSU but finished my B.A. at another university), I was living in Sonoma County. I attended school at night, so the "reverse commute" wasn't difficult at all. I've lived all over the Bay Area, including San Jose, and find the Marin region of North Bay and the Berkeley region of East Bay to be the better locales outside SF proper.

                  Good luck!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

                    AFAIK, many of the San Francisco rental properties are actually very welcoming to pets and such, at least around certain neighborhoods. My suggestion would be to check out the outlying areas: Daly City, South San Francisco, Pacifica, and if you're desperate, Millbrae or Burlingame. You've already said you've got a list in Daly City and Pacifica, so there you go. SFSU's a great school, and good luck with the impacted classes. I know it can be a headache, but good luck all the same. :]

                    Welcome to the Bay Area!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

                      The Bay Area is beautiful but why are you leaving Southern California and Disneyland? There are a lot of excellent public universities and colleges in SoCal.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

                        I agree with what BlueSky said. I went to USF for my undergrad, so I feel your pain. What IS your budget, exactly? If you're not really ready to pony up $1500 a month plus PG&E, cable, gas, rabbit food, and go to school full-time I'd really look into the roommate situation. Campus Living used to offer a service wherein people who needed roommates could get introduced to one another. Seriously, having a roommate can lower your living expenses significantly if you do it right.

                        That said, if you are dead-set on living in the City...the Richmond District might be the best option for you (especially the Outer Richmond). Even now the Sunset, Anza Vista, Laurel Heights are all really on the up and up rent-wise. The Mission? Forget about it. You *might* find a cheap(ish) place in the Panhandle if the fates align.

                        It's hard to really know what would suit you best without knowing how much you have to spend, but in my experience having a car was convenient only for trips to the grocery store (on the rare occasion I had enough cash to buy lots of groceries). Most places in the city it's really hard to find parking, and when you do you often end up walking a lot farther to get wherever you're going than it takes to walk to a bus stop. Plus, have you seen drivers in San Francisco? absolutely whackadoo crazy.

                        Congratulations on getting to SF State though!
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                        • #13
                          Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

                          Originally posted by indianajack View Post
                          The Bay Area is beautiful but why are you leaving Southern California and Disneyland? There are a lot of excellent public universities and colleges in SoCal.

                          I met more people from Southern CA living in the Bay, and vice versa...

                          Pros-
                          Excellent public transportation systems
                          In the major cities, no ugly suburban sprawl
                          One word: Humboldt.
                          People who are politically and socially conscious
                          There isn't the same progression of restaurants (Chili's...Bennigan's...CPK...P.F. Chang's...BWW...Chili's...Bennigan's...)
                          People who are politically and socially active
                          Muir Woods
                          Falling Leaf Lake
                          Yosemite
                          Boonville Beer Festival
                          In the major cities you're not married to your car
                          The Italian and Chinese food is actually cooked by Italians and Chinese people

                          Cons-
                          You can get an excellent pupusa, but can't find a decent burrito.
                          Last edited by Exprmnt626; 05-27-2011, 06:58 AM.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

                            Consider, when looking at housing in an outlying area, proximity to BART stations.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Moving to San Francisco and need housing recommendations!

                              Originally posted by Exprmnt626 View Post
                              I met more people from Southern CA living in the Bay, and vice versa...

                              Pros-
                              Excellent public transportation systems
                              In the major cities, no ugly suburban sprawl
                              One word: Humboldt.
                              People who are politically and socially conscious
                              There isn't the same progression of restaurants (Chili's...Bennigan's...CPK...P.F. Chang's...BWW...Chili's...Bennigan's...)
                              People who are politically and socially active
                              Muir Woods
                              Falling Leaf Lake
                              Yosemite
                              Boonville Beer Festival
                              In the major cities you're not married to your car
                              The Italian and Chinese food is actually cooked by Italians and Chinese people

                              Cons-
                              You can get an excellent pupusa, but can't find a decent burrito.
                              Public transportation in the Bay Area is much better than SoCal, I'll concede that right away. And San Francisco is a beautiful and splendid city, no doubt about it.
                              But while SoCal does have more of the boring chain restaurants, there are still plenty of places to get authentic ethnic food. Diamond Bar has plenty of Chinese restaurants owned by Chinese people. Great Vietnamese food in Tustin, and lots of Korean places in Garden Grove. And by going into LA itself, there's plenty more good Asian food options, plus the Latin ones as well. Generally, the further south you go from LA, the worse the food gets as you hit more of the bland chain restaurants.
                              SoCal has lots of natural beauty including Great Bear Lake and Joshua Tree. It's different from NorCal, but still very nice.
                              There are politically conscious people in SoCal too, just have to look a bit more for them.
                              I love both northern and southern California, but if you're a Disneyland fan... well, where would you rather live?
                              But for four years of university, I guess a change of pace is nice.
                              I'd go with Steamboatpete's advice for the Bay Area, and advise living near a BART station. Though that's going to more expensive, you'll save on car costs.

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