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Living in the Bay Area... Whats it like?

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#1
ChrisJB

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Right now I am working on a cost benefit analysis on relocating. Carson City/Reno/Sparks is an awesome area to live, but IT job opportunities are just about non-existent. So it makes it nearly impossible to move up the ladder and get promoted. There are opportunities in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle within my company that I am pursuing/investigating. I am originally from Los Angeles, but the thought of moving back gives be that sick queasy feeling like dealing with a bad case of food poisoning with no toilet around. So I am focusing my efforts on the bay area. Would a person making 45-50k a year be able to survive okay? The job that I am seeking is in SF, what are some good, cheap, safe, places to live outside of the city? I dont mind communting, I currently have a 50 mile 1hr commute (each way) but I hit little to no traffic. Most likely I would just rent a room and have a roomate untill i get settled in and develop a social circle. Living in Nevada with no state income tax and a low cost of living allows me to live comfortably. I understand I will be paying more for certain things but dont want to live paycheck to paycheck.

#2
Disco2Guy

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Are you looking to work in the city of SF? If so you can save a ton of money by taking Muni. It's not the best public transit system but $45 for a monthly pass, it sure beats the cost of gas and parking every month. Bay Area traffic can really suck. To get from the ballpark (Giants) to 19th and Judah takes about 45 minutes on Muni and about 30 minutes by car in the evenings. If there's a ballgame it's even worse. There are a lot of good neighborhoods in S.F. The Sunset is south of Golden gate Park and the Richmond is north of the park. These are two of the biggest and most popular areas to live as they are "out" of downtown, but still close to work. If you're planning on renting with a roommate, and take Muni you should not have too much to worry about living paycheck to paycheck. Check out this site, housingmaps.com. It's a combination of housing listed in Craigslist, using GoogleMaps to see the location. Feel free to call me sometime too Chris, I'll PM you my phone number. It might be easier than the forums to answer some of your questions. And just think of how much closer you'll be to the other Rovers out here in the Bay Area.

edit:
Here's some more info. The winter is called the rainy season for obvious reasons. It's kinda one big season out here, where it just gets a little cooler during the winter. I'm from the east coast, so I was used to 105* summers w/ 95% humidity and freezing cold temps during the winter. There's generally better weather any out of the city. Even the East Bay can be 5-10 degrees warmer. I've seen 60* leaving my house and 90* at my mom's in San Ramon, about 45 minutes East of S.F. The Sunsets get a ton of fog throughout the year. If you wanted to live in the East Bay (Berekely, Oakland) you need to cross the Bay Bridge ($5 toll) or you can use BART, which is a train/subway that goes to SFO and OAK airports too. Well, there's a shuttle from BART to the Oakland airport but it's like a 15 minute ride.

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#3
PCRover

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The Bay Area is a great place to live and I would take any opportunity to move here that you can work the numbers. If you are willing to have a room mate you can live comfortably on your salary. The commutes vary from mine which is a super easy 25miles to some that are truely hell. You need to pick your living location based on you work site and the resulting commute. If you want to live out of the city, then if you live near Bart or CalTrain your commute can be on public transport. Working off hours will also help with any commute. Living in the City will be quite a culture change from living in Nevada, be aware of this before you make any decisions.

Good luck with your decision and feel free to ask more questions!
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#4
ChrisJB

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Well thank you for the input!

So right now I am torn between Seattle and the Bay Area.

The position would be based out of the San Francisco VA (which I assume is the VA hospital). With this position they state about 80% travel which means I would need to bounce around different customer sites in the bay area during a typical work day. So taking public transportation wouldn't be an option. I am working with the recruiter and finding out if Dell would reimburst any bridge toll/parking fee's on top of the standard mileage traveling to/from customer sites. Right now I would be using Dell as a way to get me into the city and then start looking into other companies. Me being a gamer I would love to get in with Sony, ubisoft, EA, Cryptic Studios, LucasArts and so on. Being a techie, the bay area would be my garden of eden lol

Also I am keeping my eye on monster.com and dice for positions open in the area. Like with most companies, you get paid more coming in as an external hire. Any promotion or pay increase I would get from Dell would be very minimal if any as it would be a lateral move.

Moving from LA to carson City was a huge culture shock and sometimes I still feel like I dont fit in because I dont know how to play poker, dont carry a gun, and I never have been on a horse lol. Between LA and SF, they are completely 2 diff cities as most of you know. It def will be a huge change, but hopefully one for the better.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

A plus about the bay area would be for me is also if I get homesick (which i probably will), Carson City isnt very far so I would be able to vist the people I leave behind. When I moved to carson city from Los Angeles. I would drive to sac just for In-N-Out and Fairfield for Chik-fil-a.

Right now it's just dealing with how much is it going to cost me to live there and if i get a pay increase if I relocate there.

Def moving to SF would be a huge change and would take some time to adjust. Then again moving to Carson City from LA was a huge change for me. Sometimes I still dont feel like I fit in here and I have been here off and on since 1992. So hopefully it will be a change for the better if I do make out of here :)

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

#5
Disco12

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Well thank you for the input!

So right now I am torn between Seattle and the Bay Area.

The position would be based out of the San Francisco VA (which I assume is the VA hospital). With this position they state about 80% travel which means I would need to bounce around different customer sites in the bay area during a typical work day. So taking public transportation wouldn't be an option. I am working with the recruiter and finding out if Dell would reimburst any bridge toll/parking fee's on top of the standard mileage traveling to/from customer sites. Right now I would be using Dell as a way to get me into the city and then start looking into other companies. Me being a gamer I would love to get in with Sony, ubisoft, EA, Cryptic Studios, LucasArts and so on. Being a techie, the bay area would be my garden of eden lol

Also I am keeping my eye on monster.com and dice for positions open in the area. Like with most companies, you get paid more coming in as an external hire. Any promotion or pay increase I would get from Dell would be very minimal if any as it would be a lateral move.

Moving from LA to carson City was a huge culture shock and sometimes I still feel like I dont fit in because I dont know how to play poker, dont carry a gun, and I never have been on a horse lol. Between LA and SF, they are completely 2 diff cities as most of you know. It def will be a huge change, but hopefully one for the better.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

A plus about the bay area would be for me is also if I get homesick (which i probably will), Carson City isnt very far so I would be able to vist the people I leave behind. When I moved to carson city from Los Angeles. I would drive to sac just for In-N-Out and Fairfield for Chik-fil-a.

Right now it's just dealing with how much is it going to cost me to live there and if i get a pay increase if I relocate there.

Def moving to SF would be a huge change and would take some time to adjust. Then again moving to Carson City from LA was a huge change for me. Sometimes I still dont feel like I fit in here and I have been here off and on since 1992. So hopefully it will be a change for the better if I do make out of here :)

Nothing ventured, nothing gained



come to the Bay Area:)
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#6
Phil.

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Me being a gamer I would love to get in with Sony, ubisoft, EA, Cryptic Studios, LucasArts and so on. Being a techie, the bay area would be my garden of eden lol



um...i work at EA. let me know if anything catches your eye and i'd happily refer you - jobs.ea.com. i know someone at sony too.

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#7
MrVideo

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I guess I'm biased on this subject. I've been fortunate enough to have lived in the Bay Area all my life. When they say "timing is everything" they were obviously referring to my dad's experience. He landed here after the Korean war and was hired by HP right off the boat. He did rather well, which allowed me to seek out my own way.

That being said, there are endless opportunities in a variety of careers here. It really depends on your qualifications and skill level. On the subject of live-ability, that could fill up numerous pages of opinions and suggestions. Timing may be right now to look for housing, buying another Rover or picking up a much needed appliance at a rock bottom price (addition story for later).

We have the greatest variety of cultural diversity in the country. We also have some of the best weather and the ocean is less than an hour away and snow capped mountains 4 hours from here. If you don't mind a mild shaker and an occasional big jolt or difficult commute, then you may like it here.

Another thing to consider is the micro climates of the Bay Area. You like fog? prefer warmer temps? Are you interested in inner city living or is a smaller community more your style? You have multiple choices here.

My wife & I were talking about what do we do in 10 years when all the kids are off on their own. We decided that while we desire to visit many different placed before deciding where to move, we want to have a loft somewhere here in the Bay Area near a train station or major transportation center.

You have many options, hope you take advantage of them.

Cheers!

#8
ChrisJB

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um...i work at EA. let me know if anything catches your eye and i'd happily refer you - jobs.ea.com. i know someone at sony too.


Ill def be checking often to see if any opportunities come up. Thank you!!!

And thank you to everyone for their input. Right now it all depends on who wants to hire me. Job market has cooled down obviously but I keep checking everyday to see whats out there.

I think probably my next move is to actually visit the area and really explore it. I have been there a lot, but after thinking about it, I have only been to AT&T park and fishermans warf. I think I need to plan to make a couple of weekend visits.

A few questions that I came up with

What are the window tint laws for California?
In Nevada your allowed up to 22% on all windows except windshield. The neon has tint all the way around and I was planning on getting the rover tinted.

Required to have a front license plate?
In Nevada if your vehicle does not have a mount for a front plate, you dont need to have one. I dont have plates on the front of either of my vehicles.

I am creating a laundry list of things/costs that I can prepare for once things start falling into place.

#9
astateofmike

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In reality, no tint on w/s or front/passenger front windows. That being said, the wifes car is tinted all around and has never had an issue. I had mine all around and got the fix it ticket, just pulled it off. depends on where you live/how you drive.

Frt. lic plates are "required" My 2 cars have them, my Rover does not. No issues either way. IN SF, the story goes, they tix your car for no front plate. Seen it happen, never to me...so again, YES you have to have it.......but....

#10
Mudy_Ovl

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Mike is sooooo right. My wife has gotten more tickets in the last 6 months, since starting her new job in SF, than all her preceding driving years. Three were parking tickets and one was for no front plate. According to the CVC, the plate must be permantly mounted to the front of the vehicle and visible. So placing it in your front windshield may get you by, but it is not legal. Just be warned.

#11
HMBRover

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Here's a link I keep handy for just such occasions:

http://www.dmv.ca.go...vctop/vc/vc.htm

:D

Also if you have lights on a roof rack make sure you keep 'em covered.
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#12
ChrisJB

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Here's a link I keep handy for just such occasions:

http://www.dmv.ca.go...vctop/vc/vc.htm

:D

Also if you have lights on a roof rack make sure you keep 'em covered.




Thanks for the link!

Thankfully cost of vehicle registration isnt going to cost a whole lot more then what I am paying now. I am paying about $127 a year for the neon and $350 a year for the rover. The cost of car insurance is going to scare me. I pay about $160 a month now for both vehicles. Waiting to hear back from a state farm agent in SF on a quote.

#13
Phil.

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now that you've got the legal/illegal issue sorted out, i think it depends on the cop. mars got pulled over in college for front tint, but never in the bay area. we've gone thru multiple cars w/o front license plates. we won't get pulled over just for that, but if you get pulled over for something else like a moving violation, it'll get tacked on as a fix it if the cop notices. that's when having temporarily visually challenged cop friends who'll sign off on your fix it tickets really helps.

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#14
ChrisJB

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I am finally interviewing for a position in California. Job market isnt really hot right now understandably, so most likely ill just relocate to CA will Dell. I am interviewing for a position in San Jose. I don't know too much about the city as I have never been. I have been doing a lot of research online and I am reading a lot of disgruntled residents and hearing things from "your car will get broken into everynight" or "the police will kick your ass if your out past 10". I am finding that San Jose is a little bit cheaper then SF. I have found a decent amount of pet friendly rooms to rent. In SF I had a hard time finding a room to rent that will let me keep my dog. So any thoughts/advice on SJ?

#15
Phil.

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just like any city, there are good areas and bad areas. east san jose is one of the not so great areas and where i suspect you've read about those complaints. and if you go to south san jose, you're practically out of the bay area and traffic in/out is not fun. i think it really depends on where you're working and how close/far you want to be from work.

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#16
RON CT110

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I am interviewing for a position in San Jose. I don't know too much about the city as I have never been.


Very exciting Chris!

One positive thing about living in San Jose (from a 4x4 enthusiast standpoint), you are closer to Hollister vs living in SF.

But truly, if you want to be near high concentration of high-tech companies, you are in the right place. Adobe Systems, Cisco, Ebay, HP... among others.

Also if you need to further your education, you have San Jose State University.

As far as housing, rent a room (save money vs renting your own apt) since you're single; check out CL in the S. Bay for room for rent; and also learn about San Jose's neighborhoods: http://en.wikipedia....ods_of_San_Jose

I work in downtown San Jose once in awhile (my main office is in SF but sometimes I am in San Jose);I like the downtown area if you want convenience; walking distance to work; access to commuter rail; close to the airport for traveling, Tech Museum and eateries. Parking is a tough to come by and you have to be willing to pay for a garage for your extra car. North San Jose is nice: for example: http://sfbay.craigsl.../963597489.html

As far as crime, that's the downside of living in big cities; I would not leave my Land Rover with gadgets in the car e.g. GPS; your vehicle will get broken in for sure. I have to remind myself when I leave my suburb living and go on sales calls to the big cities e.g. San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland...

Good luck in the job; I hope you like Vietnamese noodles or sandwich (one of my favorite inexpensive eateries in the S. Bay).

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#17
astateofmike

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San Jose? Sure it can be tough with a LR and all the toys.....

And Hollister is nice. But what makes it best?

HOCKEY. nuff said.

#18
Phil.

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HOCKEY. nuff said.


ah the Sharks. best in the NHL. ya easily the best sports franchise in the bay area. fan base is crazy. not like in a raider nation kinda way, but this franchise was born here so everyone's rather attached to the sharks. sharks playoffs easily best experience. i've done 49ers playoffs, NBA All Star, but not much baseball playoffs. with the exception of the warriors knocking off dallas few years back, nothing compares.

it's pretty easy to walk up minutes after the opening faceoff and seeing all the scalpers just try to unload what they can. and you feel rather safe doing it. try doing that at the oakland coliseum at 8pm for a warriors game.

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#19
ChrisJB

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Well things didn't go as well as I would have liked. I turned down the position for the one in San Jose. The job was posted as servicing the San Jose "region", but after going through the interview, the job requires 95% travel and 90% of the locations I would be going to would be outside of california. Which means hop on a airplane monday and come back home friday night or saturday morning and do it again the next week. Not my idea of fun. I would have to give up my dog, my hobbies as I would probably be to tired on the weekends to do anything, and it would ruin what little social life I have. In cali all the places I have applied for, announced layoffs. So I am going to stick around Reno for a little while longer, nice no state income tax and cheaper cost of living, Reno.

#20
astateofmike

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I won't think of it as not gaining a Bay Area friend, I look at it as another exciting vacation destination...

You allow couch surfers?

Smart move Chris.....know what you want and don't compromise...life is too short.




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