Moving for a job in the Financial District - need 45 min. commute or less
Hi - firstly thank you for this forum. Secondly - apologies for the long post but it's a bit of a brain dump after googling and website stalking for about a month.
I am a full time working mom to a 9 and a 6 year old and most likely going to accept a new position in SF. I'm originally from the Midwest and spent quite a bit of time on the East Coast but moved to London in 2001 and to the Middle East (where I am now) in 2008 - so it's been almost 17 years since I lived in the US and never on the West Coast.
My husband is British and a stay at home dad and our daughters are in a private British curriculum school with about 30 different nationalities - the 6 year old is a complete ham but the 9 year old is excruciatingly shy. My current commute is about a 15 minute drive and our school run is less than 5 minutes. Spoiled I know.
I'm really struggling to figure how about to go about deciding where to live. I've only been to SF a handful of times and only to the City itself so have no direct knowledge of the surrounding areas
The most important factors are school, commute time and comfort for my husband. If I accept the job the office will be in the Financial District. I will be working a lot. I'd like the girls to go to public school if possible. I'd also like the option of driving as well as public transport for my commute to work. I'd like my husband to not stick out like a sore thumb, as both a Brit and as a non-working dad (something very very uncommon in our current home).
i don't think I want to live in SF proper. I think I want to live in the East Bay - somewhere between Alameda and Walnut Creek? But should I also look at the Peninsula? If I want the commute to be 45 mins or less door to door how far out in the East Bay should I be looking - is Walnut Creek too far? Are there places like San Carlos or Hillingdon that I should also look at? Is public school realistic? Is public school starting in January possible? We are thinking we will initially rent given we know so little about anything - our budget is around $6500/7000 a month and we'd like at least 4 bedrooms. And I have a dog and 2 cats.
Any and all thoughts on any of the above would be greatly appreciated - but particularly ideas about how to narrow down our options of where to look for houses. Thank you in advance.