Rental prices are extremely high in the San Francisco Bay Area having been on the rise since the beginning of the technology boom in the early 90’s. Living in the Bay Area like most major metropolitan areas is a tradeoff of commute time / price and quality per square foot.
Understanding though how to live and commute in the Bay Area will greatly improve your chances of finding the perfect available rental property. To begin you have to understand the geography which causes a funnel effect for commuters forcing people through tunnels and over bridges. The Pacific Ocean feeds the San Francisco Bay which runs north of San Francisco down to San Jose. Due to this waterway separation there are a number of bridges in use connecting the San Francisco Peninsula to the East Bay. Connecting San Francisco and Marin is the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco and Oakland is the Bay Bridge, San Francisco and Hayward is the San Mateo Bridge, San Francisco and Fremont is the Dumbarton Bridge and finally San Francisco to San Jose is by way of only two highways the 101 and 280. Understanding all the forms of public transportation will greatly improve your chances of finding that perfect apartment. The Bay Area consists of 6 major types of public transportation. The first is the BART or the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. The BART has stations all the way from Pleasanton in the East Bay, through San Francisco on down to the San Francisco Airport located in South San Francisco / Millbrae. The second are the carpool lanes covering the entire Bay Area. Some car pool lanes require two passengers and some require 3 passengers. The third are the many train systems bringing in daily commuting workers all the way fromSan Jose and Sacramento. The fourth are the many ferry boats operated from the ports in Sausalito, Oakland, San Francisco along with a few other ports. The fifth would be the many bussing systems throughout the Bay Area. The six is the cable car system which is more for tourist commuting within the city of San Francisco. There are a few additional choices of commuting to help you navigate the Bay Area allowing options for living and commuting to work.
We have a number of clients who decide to downsize the quality and payments of their vehicles or even end up selling one or both of their cars and going with public transportation. When you realize the actual carrying cost of a vehicle in and around the city the payment itself may be the least of your fees. When a car is needed on the rare occasion you can rent one allowing additional funds to be allocated to quality of rental unit.