1. #1
    Brewmaster videotape's Avatar
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    Housing advice near San Jose / Mountain View area

    Hello! I am likely going to be taking a position at a company in the Mountain View, CA area in the very near future. It seems like a good idea to start looking for a place to live. I realize that property is pretty expensive in the immediate area, but I am looking to find a decent balance between commute distance and apartment cost. Super-cheap but very far is not desirable, and the highest-cost options are probably also unrealistic.

    I've done some cursory research of my own and come up shy of what I'd consider to be reliable information, so I'm asking around to see if anyone with more direct experience could give me some pointers. Where to look, rental rates, crime, and accessibility (public transportation, bike lanes, traffic etc.) would all be factors of interest.

    Any information at all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    I moved from that area a little over a year ago partly because the cost of living is so high...
    If your work is near the lightrail then public transportation would be viable, the buses take too long imo.
    If you are close enough to bike that would probably work too, most roads have a bike lane or "share the road" signs on them
    I would go with craigs list and adds in papers instead of normal apartments, better chance of getting a decent deal in a good neighborhood.
    Or try to find a roommate.
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  3. #3
    Hah, good luck with that.

    But seriously, the place is pretty bike-friendly, so if that's your thing, I wouldn't worry too much on that level.

    If you're looking for housing on the peninsula, and your place of work is near enough to a station, you can always try to look around the Caltrain stations. As far as public transportation goes, it's pretty nice. I used to take it every day for about a year, when I was living in Mountain View and commuting up the peninsula. I don't take it anymore, as I moved because the place I was living in wanted to jack my rent up by 15%, but it was nice while it lasted.

    But yeah, look around. There are some gems in the rough, if you look hard enough. Coworker of mine has a pretty nice place in Mountain View, just a couple blocks away from downtown, and is paying a lot less than the average for the area... and it's month-to-month. So such places do exist.

  4. #4
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by videotape View Post
    Hello! I am likely going to be taking a position at a company in the Mountain View, CA area in the very near future. It seems like a good idea to start looking for a place to live. I realize that property is pretty expensive in the immediate area, but I am looking to find a decent balance between commute distance and apartment cost. Super-cheap but very far is not desirable, and the highest-cost options are probably also unrealistic.

    I've done some cursory research of my own and come up shy of what I'd consider to be reliable information, so I'm asking around to see if anyone with more direct experience could give me some pointers. Where to look, rental rates, crime, and accessibility (public transportation, bike lanes, traffic etc.) would all be factors of interest.

    Any information at all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    I used to live in Campbell (relatively cheap apartments) and I worked in Sunnyvale, on the border with Mountain View, and it was about a 7 mile 20 minute commute each day. It wasn't too bad, really, but it depends on what part of Mountain View you're going to. I guess I never had to do the junction between 85 and 101, though, which I imagine would be pretty terrible in the mornings.

    I think if I were going to be working in Mountain View and wanted a cheap apartment, I'd consider living in Santa Clara and taking Central Expressway in to work in the mornings.
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  5. #5
    I know my friends that work in that area live far away. I would probably find something in the Scotts Valley area. A good friend of mine is in charge of a bunch of gas stations in the area and he lives in Stockton.

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    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodwrench View Post
    I know my friends that work in that area live far away. I would probably find something in the Scotts Valley area. A good friend of mine is in charge of a bunch of gas stations in the area and he lives in Stockton.
    Scott's Valley is really really far away, and you'd have to deal with the horrible commute over 17, one of the most dangerous roads in California.
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    Herald of the Titans inboundpaper's Avatar
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    Avoid East Palo Alto and you'll be ok.
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    Epic! Witterquik's Avatar
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    I was born in San Jose! My Dad lives there. If you see him, please kick him in the shins for me.

  9. #9
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    It's a fantastic city to live in if you can afford it.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by inboundpaper View Post
    Avoid East Palo Alto and you'll be ok.
    This. By all means, this.

  11. #11
    Brewmaster videotape's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot, everyone. I am am curious what real average rental rates look like in the area, if anyone knows. When people say it's expensive, do they mean on the order of, say, $2500/mo for a 1-bedroom rental unit? More? Less? I keep finding conflicting information everywhere I look.

    Is there a general area or set of areas in or around Mountain View where rent is between $1500/mo and $2000/mo for a nice (not necessarily large) single-bedroom apartment? Sorry in advance if this question sounds stupid.

  12. #12
    $1500-$2000/mo is probably about par for the course for most areas of Mountain View. Some places will try to charge more, some less.

    In fact, that's probably nearly par for most of the cities in the central peninsula. Sunnyvale might be a bit cheaper, but I'm not sure.

  13. #13
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by videotape View Post
    Thanks a lot, everyone. I am am curious what real average rental rates look like in the area, if anyone knows. When people say it's expensive, do they mean on the order of, say, $2500/mo for a 1-bedroom rental unit? More? Less? I keep finding conflicting information everywhere I look.

    Is there a general area or set of areas in or around Mountain View where rent is between $1500/mo and $2000/mo for a nice (not necessarily large) single-bedroom apartment? Sorry in advance if this question sounds stupid.
    I used to live in Campbell from 2002-2006, in a fairly old somewhat poorly maintained building where the rent was $1250/month for a 2 bedroom 1500 sqft apartment. I imagine you can find a reasonable 1 bedroom in a reasonably nice building in Santa Clara for around $1200/month these days, but I've also been out of the market for a while now.
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  14. #14
    Brewmaster videotape's Avatar
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    Cool beans. I think I've narrowed it down to Santa Clara and San Jose. Both areas look very nice in general, and I understand crime is pretty low in all but a few spots in SJ. This is a great starting point to set up an apartment hunting trip.

    Thanks again!

  15. #15
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by videotape View Post
    Cool beans. I think I've narrowed it down to Santa Clara and San Jose. Both areas look very nice in general, and I understand crime is pretty low in all but a few spots in SJ. This is a great starting point to set up an apartment hunting trip.

    Thanks again!
    No prob! And yeah, San Jose is one of the lowest crime urban-ish areas in the country. I used to always go out walking alone at night at like 2 AM and never felt even slightly concerned.
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    Not to do what I have done
    Go and spurn that house down in New Orleans
    They call the Rising Sun

  16. #16
    Bloodsail Admiral Talokami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by videotape View Post
    Cool beans. I think I've narrowed it down to Santa Clara and San Jose. Both areas look very nice in general, and I understand crime is pretty low in all but a few spots in SJ. This is a great starting point to set up an apartment hunting trip.

    Thanks again!
    Definitely stick to San Jose side of the Bay Area. The San Francisco/peninsula side is incredibly overinflated in price. >_< I've heard very nice things about Campbell though and its affordability so I hope it pans out for you!
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