Where to live in/around Berkeley?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
matrim
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby matrim » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:21 pm

What is everyones thoughts on the town of Berkeley? What about Orinda? Berkeley Hills? Albany? N. Oakland? And Lafayette? Anyone have experience with any of these places in regards to cost, feel of the area, length of commute w/ traf etc to UC B, etc? Thanks.

User avatar
ManOfTheMinute
Posts: 1562
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:54 am

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:25 pm

matrim wrote:What is everyones thoughts on the town of Berkeley? What about Orinda? Berkeley Hills? Albany? N. Oakland? And Lafayette? Anyone have experience with any of these places in regards to cost, feel of the area, length of commute w/ traf etc to UC B, etc? Thanks.


live in Berkeley... at least for the first year. Live on the south side, nearest the law school. there are a lot of apartments on the west/south side

matrim
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby matrim » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:44 pm

ManOfTheMinute wrote:
matrim wrote:What is everyones thoughts on the town of Berkeley? What about Orinda? Berkeley Hills? Albany? N. Oakland? And Lafayette? Anyone have experience with any of these places in regards to cost, feel of the area, length of commute w/ traf etc to UC B, etc? Thanks.


live in Berkeley... at least for the first year. Live on the south side, nearest the law school. there are a lot of apartments on the west/south side


Any reason in particular - just for convenience of being close? I heard south side has some crime issues (but maybe not nearest the law school). Thanks and Congrats on Stanford Btw.

sunshinegirl
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 2:19 am

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby sunshinegirl » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:58 am

I highly recommend that you live in Berkeley - all the other places that you mentioned are really far/inconvenient unless you have a car. If you don't mind biking to school, you may want to consider living in the Ashby (cheaper, but not as safe) or North Berkeley (safer, more expensive & more suburban) areas.

Southside does have some crime issues, but in the four years that I lived there, I never had a problem. There are rowdy students and homeless people around there though, so if you're not okay with that, I suggest you check out housing on Northside. Hope that helps and feel free to PM me if you want specifics about housing costs.

jasonbound
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:53 am

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby jasonbound » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:15 am

matrim wrote:What is everyones thoughts on the town of Berkeley? What about Orinda? Berkeley Hills? Albany? N. Oakland? And Lafayette? Anyone have experience with any of these places in regards to cost, feel of the area, length of commute w/ traf etc to UC B, etc? Thanks.


I've lived in the area for almost my entire life and went to Berkeley for my undergrad. I think that you should find a place near campus. Albany is a nice little town and a number of bus lines go to campus. You can also go to the El Cerrito Plaza BART station and go to downtown Berkeley. From there, it'll take 15 min or so to walk up to campus. Orinda and Lafayette have BART stations, but it will be a 30+ min commute. You can find a place on Ashby and take the bus or bike to campus, but I would strongly recommend living near campus your first year and you can take time to explore other areas of the Bay and to see if the Rockridge area or Albany and El Cerrito would be a better fit for you.

matrim
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby matrim » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:27 am

Thanks for the advice! As far as checking out these areas - do you just suggest online sites like Craigs L. Or does UC B. have a housing office/site - ( I need to spend more time on the admitted site still)?

matrim
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby matrim » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:34 am

sunshinegirl wrote:I highly recommend that you live in Berkeley - all the other places that you mentioned are really far/inconvenient unless you have a car. If you don't mind biking to school, you may want to consider living in the Ashby (cheaper, but not as safe) or North Berkeley (safer, more expensive & more suburban) areas.

Southside does have some crime issues, but in the four years that I lived there, I never had a problem. There are rowdy students and homeless people around there though, so if you're not okay with that, I suggest you check out housing on Northside. Hope that helps and feel free to PM me if you want specifics about housing costs.

When you say Northside - does that include Berk Hills? With a car, what would a commute to campus look like with normal traffic? Thanks.

hlsperson1111
Posts: 239
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:10 pm

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby hlsperson1111 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:37 am

Went to UCB for undergrad and know a fair bit about the area. I do not recommend driving to campus regularly. My advice would be to find places off the 51 bus line (is it still called the 51?), which runs regularly and goes very close to Boalt. I'd focus on places in Southside and Elmwood, but if you end up in West Berkeley or Oakland it's not a disaster.

matrim
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby matrim » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:42 am

hlsperson1111 wrote:Went to UCB for undergrad and know a fair bit about the area. I do not recommend driving to campus regularly. My advice would be to find places off the 51 bus line (is it still called the 51?), which runs regularly and goes very close to Boalt. I'd focus on places in Southside and Elmwood, but if you end up in West Berkeley or Oakland it's not a disaster.

I am a non-trad student in that I am older w/ big family - so I am wanting/willing to commute a little ways to campus....any recommendations in that regards? Thanks

WalkingPlato
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:51 pm

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby WalkingPlato » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:22 pm

Thanks for starting this thread!

What about the Manville studio apartments the website mentions? Are those any good?

And when you say "some crime," what do you guys mean? Is it more like a shop being robbed every so often or more like you get knifed walking down the street?

matrim
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby matrim » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:29 pm

WalkingPlato wrote:Thanks for starting this thread!

What about the Manville studio apartments the website mentions? Are those any good?

And when you say "some crime," what do you guys mean? Is it more like a shop being robbed every so often or more like you get knifed walking down the street?


By "the website" do you mean the admitted students site? Im glad you asked these questions!

WalkingPlato
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:51 pm

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby WalkingPlato » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:46 pm

matrim wrote:
WalkingPlato wrote:Thanks for starting this thread!

What about the Manville studio apartments the website mentions? Are those any good?

And when you say "some crime," what do you guys mean? Is it more like a shop being robbed every so often or more like you get knifed walking down the street?


By "the website" do you mean the admitted students site? Im glad you asked these questions!


Yea, the admitted student site. But I think you can find it on the general site too. The price for the studio is about $1000 and everything is included except electricity, which shouldn't cost too much I think. So it's not too bad. The 2+ rooms apartments starting at $1100 or so aren't bad either since everything is included, even electricity. I wouldn't mind finding a roommate and splitting the bill, though I really would prefer living alone.

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby tomwatts » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:34 am

WalkingPlato wrote:And when you say "some crime," what do you guys mean? Is it more like a shop being robbed every so often or more like you get knifed walking down the street?

More the former than the latter. I lived in Berkeley for 8 years (5 of those for undergrad) and lived on Telegraph for 5 of those years, and I rarely had any problems. The only crime problems I had involved my car, and those only when I parked on one or two particular streets (Haste right by Telegraph, within a couple of blocks of People's Park, is the worst), and even then it was only when I left the doors unlocked or openly left my backpack on the front seat.

Other than my car getting broken into a couple of times (again, in 8 years), I never had any other problems, and even my car problems were only when I parked on Haste, Dana, or Dwight right below Telegraph, and only when I did something stupid.

North Side is much more quiet and suburban, but it's a little bit of a hike (maybe 10-20 minutes, depending on where you are) from the law school. That side has the co-ops, but South Side above College has the frats. Neither are usually that bad unless you're living literally right next to them. Also, South Side past Dwight is pretty suburban, too; the streets are barriered off to through traffic, so you can walk freely but don't get a lot of cars driving through.

As far as commuting to campus, it kind of sucks. Traffic is bad in pretty much all directions pretty much all the time. Unless you can afford Piedmont or the Oakland HIlls, assume that your options are: public transit, awful traffic, or coming and going at completely non-peak hours (before 8 am, between 11 pm and 3 pm, or after 8 pm, more or less). I think the El Cerrito/Richmond direction is really the only exception, though it's possible that the Tunnel (east, Orinda/Lafayette/Moraga) isn't too bad if you hit it at the right times. Northbound on 80/580 from Berkeley is usually okay, but coming into Berkeley from that direction can be iffy at different parts of the day, though I usually found that it was worst in the evenings, not in the mornings when you'd be going to class.

If you'd really much rather not live in Berkeley and have kids, I'd recommend looking east first (Orinda, etc.).

Oh yeah, and parking in Berkeley is a disaster. You probably need a permit, and you probably can only get a permit if you live there. Any other kind of parking is either expensive or extremely hard to find (and lasts only 2 hours anyway).
Last edited by tomwatts on Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

matrim
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:21 pm

Re: Where to live in/around Berkeley?

Postby matrim » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:45 pm

Thanks tomwatts. That is REALLY helpful info to have as I start my search.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: toadymoldstool and 6 guests