Living in Poets' Corner

Parent Q&A

  • Dear community,

    I am looking for a place to stay for my family next year since I will be one year in Berkeley for a sabbatical (yeah!). I have a son that will be 6, a daughter that will be 16 and a niece that will be 17 and a husband too! That means that I need a 3 bedrooms furnished home or apartment which is hard to find since I don't want to live in the hills (I want the girls to be able to go around by bike) and I don't have 5-6000 dollars to put in the rent... I have found an affordable 3 bedroom house in 1114 Chaucer Street, in poet's corner but since I don't know Berkeley at all I wonder: is the neighborhood sure? Even at night? By sure I mean: could my two teenagers girls go out for a movie and come back without being in danger? 

    Every other informations on the neighborhood is also welcome, especially about the primary school there that would be Rosa Park (I have looked on BPN but the opinions about Rosa Park Elementary are quite old) but also about how it is to leave there (parks, supermarkets etc.) 

    Thanks so much in advance. 


    I live in Poet's Corner and feel pretty safe at night. There are plenty of families with children that live in the neighborhood.

    I live nearby (Bancroft between Sacramento and San Pablo) and think the neighborhood is medium safe as far as Berkeley goes. I have lived here for 10+ years since I was 22 and not personally had any incidents walking between downtown Berkeley and my home, sometimes at night  There's practically nowhere you can be in Berkeley where you don't run a risk a non-negligible risk of getting mugged at night if you're out on foot, but bike is probably marginally safer. I have had friends who have been held up between Shattuck and Sacramento (without injuries), one as a pair of two women, one woman walking a dog. You'll probably just have to assess what you think the area is like for yourself, but I don't think you will get much safer for Berkeley unless you go up in the hills or perhaps the Elmwood or North Berkeley areas. FYI - at that address you will be within a block of a cannabis dispensary called Berkeley Patients Group, fwiw.

    Hi, isn’t 1114 Chaucer for sale?  It was, very recently, but we never saw a “ Sold” sign (we live very close by). Poet’s Corner is a great place to live. When our daughter was a teen, she walked (most of the time!) to Berkeley High. I don’t know that I’d recommend walking to downtown at night, but the bus is nearby, and of course everyone uses Uber. Many nearby restaurants, etc. - not super close to a grocery store, but with shopping for a family you’d likely be driving to grocery shop anyway. All of the elementary schools within are Zone are fine; you won’t necessarily be placed at Rosa Parks (it depends on a lottery). Best of luck with your move and transition. 

Parent Reviews

My wife and I moved from NYC (UWS) a year ago last June due to a similar work situation/opportunity. We are in Poet's Corner in Berkeley and it is filled with families and young ones. Strawberry Creek Park and Hidden Cafe are neighborhood favs. North Westbrae is also a great area as well as neighboring Albany.

There have been a lot of SF transplants into the East Bay and Alameda County due to the pandemic (three moved onto our street alone in the last nine months). Although we rent, we did attempt to dip our toe into buying but homes are being overbid $400k-$500k with all cash buyers from Silicon Valley. SF is the only place where sales and rentals have dramatically dropped (similar to Manhattan) and you can find good deals. But depending on where the work is located, do keep in mind traffic as it tends to be frustratingly bad. Public transportation is doable, but again due to the pandemic has gotten even worse than usual. If you do move to Berkeley or anywhere in the East Bay, a car is needed.

Rents in Berkeley did drop since last March, but now that UC Berkeley is going back into session come fall, rents are going back up. Also due to the school cycle, much doesn't come to market until May/June/July. We tried looking for rentals in March/April and found next to nothing. Luckily we were able to stay a bit longer in company housing until we landed on something.