Safe neighborhoods - East Bay San Francisco?


My daughter and SIL will be moving to the East Bay area for his post-doc at Berkeley. They have headed out there for apartment-hunting. Can any of you suggest safe and affordable neighborhoods? Their budget runs about $1000/month, and they are looking at one-bedroom apartments.

Currently, they’ve found a couple places they like in the Temescal/North Oakland area (Oakland scares the life out of me, based on what I’ve heard from area natives.) The closet BART station to their front-runner is Rockridge. Any and all input is welcome. Thanks to all.


Orinda, San Ramon and Walnut Creek are nice.


I’d skip San Ramon and go with Orinda or Walnut Creek…I’d go with the latter…

But at 1000 for a one bedroom good luck!!! theyre best bet is going personally, apt to apt, and probably smaller complexes…

I live in SJ and the average rent out here for a 1 bedroom, of decent quality is easily 1300 and up…


Fremont??? Fremonts nice…and they just got a 4 million dollar grant for police services…the biggest one out of all the counties…


lmbo…and EVERYONE shoud be afraid of oakland…lol…I wont go there…


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.


Thanks to all of you.

I believe it’s Temescal where they seem to have found a few - quite nice, from the photos they sent - one bedroom places. I had been warned about the MacArthur BART station, which is why they informed me that Rockridge BART was closer to where they were looking. The cheapest one bedroom I’d seen listed in Rockridge was about $1300.

They will have a car, but will prefer not to use it most of the time due to parking issues.

This is all MOST helpful, as I’ve never been there (helping them drive out there from Austin the end of the month though…should be quite an adventure!)


Also, I would personally not want to commute from anywhere in San Ramon (it’s pretty sprawling) to the UC Berkeley campus. Too much traffic on the roads, and public transit in Contra Costa County, while not terrible, is not great.


Gah, Bay Area realtors (like all realtors) name places in such a way as to try and make them attractive.

I’m guessing the place they found must be a bit farther north than the Rockridge station and closer to Lake Temescal… but I’d call that whole darn area "Rockridge."
It’s still quite nice, as far as I know.

They’re wise not to want to drive. Parking in Berkeley and Oakland is difficult and in San Francisco it’s a nightmare. Plus, the traffic in that area is terrible because the freeways are all too close to the bridges.


Well, they’ve found an apartment they like, that they feel is safe, and they can afford. It’s on Shattuck Ave., at 56th St. in Oakland (northern part, near the Temescal area, not the lake.) There are largely single family homes nearby, and it’s close enough for SIL to bike up to his office at U.C. Berkeley.

Anyone familiar with the area? The fact that it is anywhere in Oakland still freaks me out, but they were shown around by an acquaintance who knows the area and was fine with it.

Can I stop worrying now? (Nah, that will never happen…)


I lived on the Concord side of the line that divides Concord and Walnut Creek (over by De La Salle High School) and paid $850/month for a big one bedroom (in 2005). I made the commute to Berkeley in my car for work, but my two best friend who lived next door biked to BART and enjoyed the exercise. The people who lived around me were mostly working class families and I felt safe living by myself there.


I lived in Crockett for a year while my husband commuted to SF.
Awesome little town of about 3K people. So clean, safe and very friendly.
There are only 3 churches in the town; 1 baptist, 1 episcopal & 1 wonderful Catholic church.
One stop light, one grocery, one gas station…you get the picture.


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