Disclaimer: I haven’t lived in the East Bay for about 6 years (lived in Napa/Vallejo the last few years I was there), but I’m a Bay Area native (born in Oakland :D) and lived there my whole life until 2007.
Oakland as a city has always been a mixed bag. On the one hand, it has areas like Montclair and Piedmont (actually its own city, but completely surrounded by Oakland) which are typical Bay Area affluent areas and on the other hand it also contains West Oakland (down towards the bay) which is crime and gang ridden and dangerous.
I also understand Oakland’s not doing too well under Ron Dellums’ tender care, but Temescal/Rockridge generally is (and historically has been) a very nice area. A good mix of neighborhood (pretty family friendly) and quirky shops like you’d get in Berkeley without the Berkeley nuttiness. Also, being close to BART is great. I guess I’m saying if I liked the apartment, I’d take it in a heartbeat:thumbsup:.
About crime: I now live in Washington, DC, and while this may not be true of the Bay Area now, when I lived there if you avoided the bad areas, you were pretty well safe.
Whereas, in DC, criminals seem to be a lot more predatory-- most of the crime in my neighborhood is centered around muggers (and worse, unfortunately) who prey on people who ride the train and then have to walk home.
Lastly-- yeah, Orinda, San Ramon and Walnut Creek are nice (if a bit yuppified.) They’re all also horrendously expensive and you really need to own a car if you live in any of those three towns.
Actually, I’m shocked your daughter and SIL are able to find a one-bedroom for $1000 in Rockridge… prices were half again that when I left. I guess the housing market decline is also affecting rentals.