SA Housing in SF

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
hyakku
Posts: 604
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:35 pm

SA Housing in SF

Postby hyakku » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:37 pm

I know it's pretty early, but I've looked around different sites and searched past threads to see how difficult finding SF housing generally is, and it seems like it's going to be even more difficult than I realized.

I've got some friends that will hopefully pull through, but does anyone have any leads on some of the local schools that might sublet to students like NYU does in NYC? I can't find any housing/sublet contact information for schools in the city like Hastings, GGU, USF, etc. and don't know anyone at most of these schools to ask them to put out an email on no list serv. Alternatively if anyone is looking to sublet you can shoot me a PM. If I need to I'll obviously live in SV (which doesn't seem like it's going to be easy either) but I'm hoping if I look early I can find something in the city.

User avatar
brotherdarkness
Posts: 3254
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby brotherdarkness » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:20 pm

.
Last edited by brotherdarkness on Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Jsa725
Posts: 2003
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:20 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby Jsa725 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:03 pm

.
Last edited by Jsa725 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
hyakku
Posts: 604
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby hyakku » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:37 pm

Jsa725 wrote:
brotherdarkness wrote:One of my friends here is a transfer from Hastings and said that the school rents out housing over the summer months for precisely this purpose. Give Hastings a call this week and see what's what. I can also ask around at Berkeley if you'd like, but that'd mean you'd be living in the East Bay (a 15 min BART ride from the financial district).

umm, TTTenderloin is fucking disgusting… unless you like needles, trash, and hairy bums.


Lol funnily enough that's where one of my friends is looking for me. I know Tenderloin isn't awesome but I'm not sure how easy it's going to be to find something decent that's not like a 3k a month studio. Again, hoping by starting to look this early that I give myself some time.


Thanks for the offer in east bay brother, but I'm actually going to be in SV. The only reason I'm not defaulting to there first is that I know I wouldn't mind living in most of the valley cities/burbs if I'm fortunate enough to get a permanent offer, but I've also gotten used to living in big cities and I'd like to use the summer to see if my preference for being in the city is outweighed by the toll of commuting (I've done hour+ commutes and don't mind but it would be good to have a good sense).

Mista Bojangles
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:33 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby Mista Bojangles » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:13 pm

If you're working in SV but want to live in the city for the sake of living in the city, Tenderloin kind of defeats that purpose IMO since it's so gross.

I'm also gonna SA in SF this summer, it's a little early to be looking though I think. Since SF has such obscenely high housing turnover (or whatever the term is for the average number of days a property/rental stays on the market before being taken), it actually kind of counterintuitively means you need to be looking much closer to the time you plan to move in. Keep an eye on craigslist/padmapper, also join the fbook group "Bay Area Rooms and Apartments."

Or obv if you know someone personally who can set you up with a sublet, that's best of all

User avatar
hyakku
Posts: 604
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby hyakku » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:55 pm

Mista Bojangles wrote:If you're working in SV but want to live in the city for the sake of living in the city, Tenderloin kind of defeats that purpose IMO since it's so gross.

I'm also gonna SA in SF this summer, it's a little early to be looking though I think. Since SF has such obscenely high housing turnover (or whatever the term is for the average number of days a property/rental stays on the market before being taken), it actually kind of counterintuitively means you need to be looking much closer to the time you plan to move in. Keep an eye on craigslist/padmapper, also join the fbook group "Bay Area Rooms and Apartments."

Or obv if you know someone personally who can set you up with a sublet, that's best of all


I've been told this, but I'm a little hesitant about waiting so long because I'm on the east coast. I'm not sure how the market is out there, but if people are going to want me to come in person or something, I wanna make sure I have enough time. If I don't end up subletting from a school, I don't know how likely me having to come out to the city is going to be.

echooo23
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:29 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby echooo23 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:16 pm

hyakku wrote:
Mista Bojangles wrote:If you're working in SV but want to live in the city for the sake of living in the city, Tenderloin kind of defeats that purpose IMO since it's so gross.

I'm also gonna SA in SF this summer, it's a little early to be looking though I think. Since SF has such obscenely high housing turnover (or whatever the term is for the average number of days a property/rental stays on the market before being taken), it actually kind of counterintuitively means you need to be looking much closer to the time you plan to move in. Keep an eye on craigslist/padmapper, also join the fbook group "Bay Area Rooms and Apartments."

Or obv if you know someone personally who can set you up with a sublet, that's best of all


I've been told this, but I'm a little hesitant about waiting so long because I'm on the east coast. I'm not sure how the market is out there, but if people are going to want me to come in person or something, I wanna make sure I have enough time. If I don't end up subletting from a school, I don't know how likely me having to come out to the city is going to be.


Mista is right. It's too early to be looking.

Turnover rate in SF is low because of rent control, so when rentals go on the market they get snatched up fast. Also, generally only 30 days notice is required, so looking now is too early for something in May/June.

User avatar
OneMoreLawHopeful
Posts: 1191
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:21 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:25 pm

hyakku wrote:Thanks for the offer in east bay brother, but I'm actually going to be in SV. The only reason I'm not defaulting to there first is that I know I wouldn't mind living in most of the valley cities/burbs if I'm fortunate enough to get a permanent offer, but I've also gotten used to living in big cities and I'd like to use the summer to see if my preference for being in the city is outweighed by the toll of commuting (I've done hour+ commutes and don't mind but it would be good to have a good sense).

Speaking from experience, the commute needs to be your overriding consideration.

If you're planning to take Caltrain, then you need to be near a Caltrain stop (there are only 2 in SF), otherwise your commute gets much worse. As an example, during rush hour it's not unusual for the N line to take 25 minutes to get from Civic Center (the Hastings stop) to Caltrain, and then Caltrain itself will take an hour to get you to SV.

Alternatively, if you will have a car, you want to be near one of the freeways (101 or 280), and you want to be sure you have a parking spot - street parking is a total flame in most of SF.

I commuted from SF to SV this past summer for my SA, and I think it's totally worth the commute to live in SF, but you really need to be cognizant about where in SF you live.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273139
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:01 pm

If working in SV, rent in SV.

(1) You won't feel like going out most evenings anyway; more likely than not, the only time you will really want to go out is on weekends, and you can take the Caltrain or BART up (depending on where you live). This leads to..

(2) Rent in most parts of SV is cheaper than in SF. Rents in San Francisco have risen 40%+ over the past 3 years due to the tech boom. As you noted, a studio in any place you'd actually want to live is around $2,200 to $2,700. A 1 bedroom is $3,000 to $3,500. Unlike in Manhattan, these are not prices for luxury towers with doormen and whatnot. Rents in SV, excepting Palo Alto and the posh areas around it, will be half as much — even less if you have a car and live in Santa Clara, Newark, San Jose, etc.. You can probably find a room in Mountain View, for example, for $1,000 to $1,200.

(3) The only exception to this is if you work for a company that has a shuttle running to SF that can save you the stress and misery of commuting using public transit or, god forbid, driving: Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.

lawdawg09
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:45 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby lawdawg09 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:51 pm

Pro Tip:

When you show up at a open house for an apartment in SF, have a packet ready with the following items:

SA offer letter with amount you are making
Resume
Bank Statements
A filled out general rental application
A list of references
A blank check

It is a bit like a property MBE - first in time, first in right.

Getting a place in SF is crazy, you have to be fast and aggressive. You will learn how it works by your 8th open house.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273139
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:52 am

I'm a midlevel associate in SV who lives in SF (not only in SF, but not in SOMA/Noe/Mission/east SF commuter 'hoods), and I totally disagree with the advice to rent in SV if you work in SV IF you are truly drawn to SF.

(Obligatory disclaimer: I summered in SV and I rented in SV - a teeny, tiny cottage for a few hundred dollars a month at the time that allowed me to put much more towards my student loans. There is something to be said for that. However, I spent the summer regretting my decision to rent in SV and driving up to SF 4-5 times/week.)

Look, by the time you are a 1L/2L, you know if you are a city person or a suburban person. If you're a city person who is moving to the Bay Area but considering a SV current/future job offer, then what you need to figure out is, (1) can you deal with the SF-SV commute, and (2) is there something about your SV firm that outweighs the convenience of working for a SF firm while living in SF. The 2L summer is the perfect time to figure this out.

Beyond this:

- It is painfully difficult to work BigLaw hours, drive to and from the City, and THEN come back to the City and go out on a weeknight. I typically go out with friends once per week Mon-Thurs in SF at most, but even this definitely adds to my QOL. I also tend to get in on some of the City ambiance 1-2 more days/week in a more low key way, even if just swinging by a neighborhood restaurant for a late (sometimes very late) dinner.

- This doesn't necessarily apply to your SA, but as an associate, there will be days when on top of the (to be expected) hating your life/firm/biglaw in general, you will reflect on the total and complete degree of masochist you have got to be to add two hours on 101/280 (probably 280) to your life on top of the 14/16/18+ hours you just worked. (And I do mean 101/280. Bear in mind that when you are leaving work at 1:30 AM, CalTrain is not an option. Be sure to make/maintain friendships with Peninsula people that will facilitate crashing down there as necessary, if you decide to do the live in SF work in SV gig as an associate.) The SA is a good time to figure out whether there is something about living in SF that you think makes these moments of occasional but extreme pain worth it.

- Agree that rent is cheaper in SV than SF. Again, the summer is a good time to explore and decide whether you see something about SF worth not only the commute but the higher cost of living. If you don't, much better to know this after a ten week sublet (particularly if you can sublet from someone who has a good rent-controlled deal who passes along those savings to you) than to sign a one year lease in SF at market rate to figure this out as a first-year associate.

- I - and most of my friends in all fields commuting from SF to San Mateo-Mountain View (and all cities in between) - find driving, as horrible as it is, to be better than Caltrain UNLESS you live right on top of Caltrain (e.g. AT 4th and King in SF) AND work right next to Caltrain (e.g. Fenwick). Otherwise, between transit/walking to and from Caltrain coupled with the fact that you will not be taking a bullet train back at night as an associate, the amount of time you spend using the train is much, much worse than just driving.

- To give you some concrete examples, I live in the center of SF, 10-15 minutes from a 280 on-ramp. I work in Palo Alto. I leave my coffee shop with coffee in hand at 8 AM and am in my firm's parking lot between 9-9:05 AM. In the evenings, I arrive back in SF itself 35-40 minutes after I leave my firm's parking lot and (if going straight home) am home in 45 minutes. Moving to east SF would shave 8-10 minutes off all those numbers each way, but because I have a rent-controlled apartment, I can't justify the massive (~ $1.5K/month) increase in rent that would result. (EDIT: another factor to keep in mind...on nights when you are slow at work, you are not going to be able to leave and jet back to the City for an early evening unless you are willing to waste 80-90 minutes in traffic. I had one slow night last week and would have liked nothing better to be in SF at 6 PM, but I sat in my office working and watching Google Maps while I waited for the traffic patterns to shift from red to yellow to green so I could drive home at a reasonable pace.)

Is it worth it? For me, yes, as a San Franciscan who lived and worked in the City for years before taking the SV job and who literally cannot imagine living in any other city (let alone a suburb) for any reason, ever. But unless your preference for city > suburb or SF > SV is overwhelming - i.e., if you are one of those people who could be happy anywhere, then for heaven's sake, save yourself the 40 hours/month plus ~ 1K+ per month and live down in MP or MV. Hope this was helpful. Happy to answer more questions about the commute if needed.

As for when to look, I agree with the advice that this is too soon to be looking. But I also agree with your instinct that you might need to fly out here to handle things yourself in person. I've tried twice to nail down Bay Area sublets from out East and have had a very difficult time - you will lose out to people who are able to meet with the primary tenants in person.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:13 am, edited 5 times in total.

pcthenls
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:25 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby pcthenls » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:59 am

Have you considered a sublet from a UC Berkeley student in Berkeley or Oakland and taking a Bart ride into the city? I had no problem finding a summer sublet last year and the commute to the financial district is probably about 30 minutes being conservative. Just a suggestion.

fish52
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby fish52 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:15 am

lawdawg09 wrote:Pro Tip:

When you show up at a open house for an apartment in SF, have a packet ready with the following items:

SA offer letter with amount you are making
Resume
Bank Statements
A filled out general rental application
A list of references
A blank check

It is a bit like a property MBE - first in time, first in right.

Getting a place in SF is crazy, you have to be fast and aggressive. You will learn how it works by your 8th open house.

This could not be any more true. Don't be surprised to be one of 50++ people applying for an apartment. The rental market is insane. Your greatest asset is your offer letter/bank statement.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273139
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:22 am

I'm the midlevel anon above. I agree with the description of the rental market in SF, but some of what's being described in this thread applies to the search for permanent housing (if you are applying for a good apartment in a good neighborhood - ESPECIALLY one of the commute-friendly 'hoods, you will be one of 20-30 serious applicants, minimum. Do not hesitate to include your resume, and even consider writing a cover letter explaining why you love and want the apartment and why you are The Perfect Tenant (tm).) But the summer sublet market can be a bit different/better and you can end up communicating directly with a fellow law student at Hastings, USF, etc., rather than going through the demeaning beauty pageant of trying to impress the landlord/property manager more than the couple who just brought fresh homemade cookies and offered $300/month above asking.

User avatar
hyakku
Posts: 604
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby hyakku » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:10 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
hyakku wrote:Thanks for the offer in east bay brother, but I'm actually going to be in SV. The only reason I'm not defaulting to there first is that I know I wouldn't mind living in most of the valley cities/burbs if I'm fortunate enough to get a permanent offer, but I've also gotten used to living in big cities and I'd like to use the summer to see if my preference for being in the city is outweighed by the toll of commuting (I've done hour+ commutes and don't mind but it would be good to have a good sense).

Speaking from experience, the commute needs to be your overriding consideration.

If you're planning to take Caltrain, then you need to be near a Caltrain stop (there are only 2 in SF), otherwise your commute gets much worse. As an example, during rush hour it's not unusual for the N line to take 25 minutes to get from Civic Center (the Hastings stop) to Caltrain, and then Caltrain itself will take an hour to get you to SV.

Alternatively, if you will have a car, you want to be near one of the freeways (101 or 280), and you want to be sure you have a parking spot - street parking is a total flame in most of SF.

I commuted from SF to SV this past summer for my SA, and I think it's totally worth the commute to live in SF, but you really need to be cognizant about where in SF you live.


That's what I've been told and as I'm looking I'm trying to ensure that I'm near Caltrain or one of the freeways. Thanks for the feedback though, particularly about the Hastings stop, that gives me a better idea of what I'm going to be dealing with if I'm in McAllister. I've been asking my friends about commute times from various neighborhoods and other associates I've met, so hopefully they will be of some help as well. I'm looking at Portero Hill / Mission since I think I'll bring my car, but i'm also not opposed to staying by a Caltrain. The only problem I'm having is figuring out the practical knowledge like you just kind of dropped about the Hastings stop, because a lot of my friends in the city that work in Palo Alto do work for companies with shuttles or drive in, so they don't know as much about Caltrain locations.

To the midlevel anon, thanks so much, all of that info was exactly what I was looking for. With regards to some people telling me to stay in SV, I appreciate the advice, but I'm aware of the drawbacks and for now if I can lock something down in the city I'm willing to deal with them for many of the reasons the midlevel anon has already listed, and because of the fact that while many of my friends and my network work in SV, more of them are active in the city.

I'm really hoping to avoid having to fly out, especially if I fly out and then don't land a sublet, but I have a feeling that might happen. Alternatively, I may just ask one of my friends to do the walk through for me if possible. Thanks lawdawg for all the protips, appreciate it.

hiima3L
Posts: 837
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:26 pm

Re: SA Housing in SF

Postby hiima3L » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:09 pm

Hastings. I lived in their housing ("the Tower") as a 1L and there are always openings for summer. It's also a few BART stops/20-30 min walk away from the FiDi, where I assume you'll be working.

Edit to promote the Tenderloin: if you're a dude, the TL is fine. In fact, I loved living there during law school. I fully understand not wanting to live there as a girl (you will get hollered at incessantly), but it's really not THAT bad. Yes, there are streets that are THAT bad, but there are plenty of places that are fine. Just avoid the blocks between Leavenworth and Larkin from GG to Geary and there's nothing to worry about aside from panhandling and human shit (which I successfully avoided ever stepping on for 3 years).

If you really need to, you can just walk a block or two the opposite direction anywhere in the TL and avoid the rough areas. I did not once fear for my safety, even walking through the bad parts in the middle of the night. You can always use the Hastings shuttle too (free rides within about a mile radius of the campus).

Edit to promote Berkeley: North Berkeley seems to be a well kept secret. I lived there for 2 years in UG and would move back there in a second. (I'd pick it over SF in a heartbeat too, but I am probably in the minority here.) If you can live near the BART, getting into SF is a breeze. It's often times faster to get from the East Bay to downtown SF than getting to downtown from certain parts of SF too.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.