Cheap but safe neighborhood in San Francisco ??

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by fab5freddy, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. fab5freddy macrumors 65816

    fab5freddy

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    Heaven or Hell
    #1
    I am looking for an apartment to rent in San Francisco
    but want to find something cheap, but still fairly safe.

    Can anyone recommend some areas that are cheap,
    but still not too dangerous ?

    thanks alot !
     
  2. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #2
    Cheap? San Francisco?

    [​IMG]

    If you want to find a cheap place in a sane neighborhood, look outside of San Francisco itself. Look for a place that's along the BART lines, and you will be golden.
     
  3. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #3
    There are some who may be from tougher areas (like Boston, DC, Detroit, NYC) and think just because the districts in SF like the Mission, Tenderloin, or Hunter's Point is not as tough as their city, then they are safe. Safer than those cities, yes, but by any reasonable standard, not "safe". It's just not a word that comes to my mind when thinking about those lower rent areas in SF.

    Like Raven said, live outside the city and use BART.
     
  4. fab5freddy thread starter macrumors 65816

    fab5freddy

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    #4
    I'm a guy moving from NYC, so i can handle a bit.......
     
  5. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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  6. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #6
    My wife is from Washington Heights, NYC, so I don't think you will find anything you see in SF scary. However, by California standards, some SF neighborhoods are not safe per se. But of course, Washington Heights makes Oakland or Hunter's Point or South Central look like paradise.

    God forbid if the bad neighborhoods in San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles become as run down as the tough neighborhoods in DC, Boston, and NYC. Every New Yorker and Bostonian, about a dozen in my family alone, and most in my wife's family, and many friends, all agree that nothing they have seen in the Bay Area and LA are that bad compared to east coast. Brother lives in DC and some say that's the worst on the east coast, if not the entire USA. The story about rats eating babies in NYC, that's largely a myth, but it has been recorded by a Scandinavian photojournalist in DC, with the Capital building in the background. At least the US Census Bureau looks at crime in every west coast neighborhood, but has long since stopped reporting the bad areas on the east coast, giving a casual viewer of statistics a very inaccurate view of just how bad the east coast crime is. East coast crime looks bad enough with what "is" reported, but if the census guys darned body armour and did go door to door in the South Bronx, then we could get some real stats, but I am not volunteering, mind you. Our murders out west get reported and we don't have rivers where bodies get discovered like y'all in the Big Rotten Apple. And our baseball stadiums have landfill under them, not missing mobsters! :)

    It's when there is a homicide anywhere in California, and it's gang related, it makes page one that California city, sometimes statewide believe it or not.

    In the West Coast NY Times, which we get even in small towns out west, a similar killing in NYC is nowhere near page 1 if it is not multiple and in the boroughs. I have to read some pages into the New York Times to see anything about homicides so that gives me some scale as to what is going on back where you are.

    Anywhere in SF will both look cheap and safe if you have ever seen South Bronx, Brooklyn, etc.

    As for SF being cheap, that's relative. Statistical Abstract of the United States of America puts SF at just over twice the national average in cost of living taking into account rent, food, transportation, clothing, etc. NYC is 4.4 times the national average.
     
  7. fab5freddy thread starter macrumors 65816

    fab5freddy

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    #7
    Thanks 63dot ! very informative relply.

    I have now been in SF for a few days and
    am amazed that things are generally cheaper
    and it is just easier to do things here.
    Everything is a mission in NYC to do anything.
     
  8. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #8
    Those issues were common required reading for MBA school, statistics and quantitative analysis and rendering charts for cost of living and cost-benefit analysis. And the crime stuff was a lot of what I learned in law school in appeals cases. Not a lot of spectacular shoot em up stuff in the Western casebooks, but a whole lot of violent crime, homicide, and gun related offenses when looking at cases in the major east coast cities that made California look quite tame. Believe me, this stuff is not anything I would EVER choose to study or read on my own. I hate high crime areas, I don't own a gun, and I avoid super high rent. :)

    You will find anywhere in SF absolutely gorgeous as far as a city goes. I personally don't like the SOMA where I went to school and thought the neighborhood was dirty and kind of smelled like urine on hot days. I am convinced you will find SOMA paradise, enjoy the Sony outlet store, the good restaurants, Moscone Center, the SF MOMA, and the park there. The crazy nightclubs and bars are also there, too. :)
     
  9. brax.j macrumors regular

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    #9
    I'm renting out the basement of my house in Palo but I think rent might be a little high.
     
  10. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #10
    SOMA ain't bad at all. A few rough alleys here and there, but it's not bad.

    Even the Mission is not bad, either. A little rough, but nothing I've not seen before. Good Mexican food to be found there!

    Those areas are nowhere as bad as the Tenderloin where I live.

    And I'll have to disagree with you about NYC - the Tenderloin is comparable to the more rough areas of NYC. I've been to the Bronx and Brooklyn many times, and they're similar. Of course, the worse part of the Tenderloin is much smaller and more tame, violence-wise, than the worse parts of NYC, but then again, NYC has a much larger "good" areas too. And less homeless people, even in the worse parts.

    And I smelt less urine, too. The subways notwithstanding, of course :)

    I grew up in NYC, so I'm probably biased, though.

    I also lived in northwest DC for a while, and for DC, I won't argue with you at all - NW DC is bad, and that's still nothing compared to the SE. The black people there (call me racist if you want, but it's 100% true) are just... bad. The way they dress, the way they act, they're just scary. Of course, there are very nice areas in DC, like Georgetown and Cleveland, so I'm not saying DC is a absolute blight, but it's pretty bad.
     
  11. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #11
    Ive heard people are moving out of cali by the droves (some places have as high as 25% unemployment) so you may be in luck if you wait a while.
     
  12. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #12
    Thank you for my daily laugh. :)
     
  13. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

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    #13
    Rents are a trailing economic indicator, and our rent control laws further dampens wild fluctuations downwards. That said, between 2001 and 2005 the rents in SF dropped pretty dramatically, so really good bargains may still be a year or two out.

    We're considering leaving the city even though my work is still going strong, but if we do stay I think we'll be able to trade up to some nicer digs within the next few months. From my own casual browsing of rental listings, it feels like rents are dropping much faster in NYC than they are in SF.

    If you want safe and quiet and somewhat affordable, look to the Richmond or the Sunset. Noe Valley is also lovely, but definitely more expensive. I wouldn't mind living in West Portal: cute little neighborhood kind of off most people's radar but well-served by public transit so you can get downtown pretty quickly unless the MUNI Metro melts down.

    You might also consider Berkeley if you don't mind taking the BART into town.
     
  14. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #14
    Really? When was the last time you were actually there? The NYC of the 80's and 90's is very different from the NYC of the 2000's.

    And the Tenderloin has gotten much worse from what I hear from friends between the 80's and the 2000's.
     
  15. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #15
    What happened then in the Tenderloin? I have not seen it for years, so I am curious. I thought the SFPD got some sort of lid on crime, however brutal as some locals suggest. And though I know it's always been among the less desirable SF neighborhoods, how cheap is the rent?

    People mention Nob Hill, Castro, Richmond, and Sunset when talking about safer places and I hope they have stayed safe.
     
  16. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #16
    There are always homeless people sleeping around, right on the sidewalk. You'll always find signs of drug use (springes, etc) littered around corners. You would also find them all over the floor in the postal office on Golden Gate - the staff stay behind a protective area.

    Since I was here, three students from Hastings has been beaten on McAllister and Golden Gate, and even one was stabbed in the UN Plaza.

    Want to park there? Forgetaboutit. You're just about guaranteed to have your car peed on, and a high chance of having it be broken into. Hell, I even saw a car break-in, and that was in broad sunlight!

    Unlike NYC, where people generally leave you alone if you don't look stupid or like a victim, here some homeless people would just come up and grab your shoulder, even when you're walking straight to where you're going, not drunk, etc. Happened to me three times since I moved here. I didn't react and just continued walking, so nothing happened to me beyond that. That only happened once to me in DC, and I lived there longer. The DC experience was much more dangerous though, the guy had a huge knife. Yikes.

    I'll give you that things seemed to have improved somewhat this year, there are almost always a police car parked, with the lights flashing, in UN Plaza and driving around Eddy and O'Farrell.

    I never see so many homeless people lying around, even when I went to the Bronx. Yes, it is very run-down, more so than the Tenderloin I think, but there are less "loitering" people, if you know what I mean. I don't generally see people huddled together at a corner like I do here.

    Here's an article talking about the fall of crime rates in NYC.

    Rising crime in San Francisco

    I'm sure there's better articles out there.

    As for the other areas you mentioned, Nob Hill is amazing still. The Castro is the place to be for bars and cheap eats, still. Sunset is still nice, Richmond is kind of eh, but better than the Mission or SOMA, and I didn't think the Mission and SOMA are bad at all (SOMA is going through a lot of cleaning up recently).
     

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