Off campus housing for families?

Hi all,

I’ve been admitted for Fall 18’ as a transfer (non-traditional, re-entry student). Since I have a child in elementary school and a cat, the options for families listed in the housing website don’t seem a good fit for me as they don’t seem to accept pets. I’m thinking about renting a house in Lafayette, Walnut Creek or Moraga since I’ve been told that these neighborhoods have great elementary schools. But I’m concerned about the commuting time. If I take the BART it’s less than 30 minutes, but then I’d have to walk, so it’d take me at least one hour. I know the traffic is awful in that area, so I’d probably spend the same time commuting if I drove to campus everyday, right?

Another option is renting a house in Albany, which is closer, but the options are so limited in that neighborhood that I’m losing hope of finding something suitable for me and my family.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

Not sure how family friendly an option this is, but I own a condo in the Marina Bay part of Richmond. Beautiful area, about a 20 minute drive to the campus (30 min between 7-9am); 30 minute commute to SF via ferry.

Downtown Berkeley BART station is about 0.87 miles from the furthest classroom buildings (but some are closer, like 0.4 or so miles), although it is uphill. It should take less than 30 minutes to walk that.

Lifetime Berkeley resident here. My girlfriend is a rising Berkeley senior.

Lafayette, Moraga, and Walnut Creek are all solid options but you are looking at about a one hour commute each way. From DT Berkeley stop it is walkable to anywhere and you’ll get the AC transit pass. But there’s lots of hills so be warned. Still better than driving at least in the beginning, in my opinion. Parking is horrible and I don’t like driving in Berkeley. Not sure where you’re located right now. If you’re used to traffic and spending some time look’ing for decent parking you probably won’t be annoyed like I am.

Albany is so nice with great elementary, middle, and high school options but it limited. Kensington even more so.

Out of all your options Moraga is my favorite. Nice, quiet town. I know people who are very happy there.

Congratulations on Berkeley. The Bay Area is awful for housing but you have enough options so I’m sure something will work out!

@smsk Hi! I am also having the same issue. Also a non-trad with a young child. It seems like Albany is the best bet without a commute that is too much of a hassle.

Thanks all for your answers, I’ll keep all your advice in mind and I’ll let you know how’s the search going!

@transfer201831 I’ll be attending the Golden Bear Reception next Saturday, and I’m sure I will be joining the nontraditional/re-entry groups on Campus, so I’ll be looking forward to meeting you there! Maybe we can carpool if we’re neighbors and have a similar schedule :slight_smile:

APPLY ASAP to the University Village in Albany. It’s family housing for the UC. It’s a great small community, has a school nearby (2-5 minute walk), an AC Transit bus goes through it to campus, and is affordable. I have a 2 bedroom townhouse and pay $1890 for rent and that includes utilities (water, garbage, electricity, cable, internet), parking, etc.

The more flexible you are in terms of your move in date, the more likely you’ll be to get a spot. There’s a lot of demand for these units but it’s the best place you can be. And the price cannot be beaten.

Yeah, University Village of Albany seems like a great option indeed. But they don’t take pets, as stated in the Family Housing Guide:

I suppose I could register my cat as an emotional support animal because I will certainly need a therapist given the huge list of stuff I will need to arrange in order to attend Cal by Fall! :stuck_out_tongue:

Everyone has pets. You fill out a form and they let you have pets. Like the majority of people here have dogs of all types and sizes.

Hi all, so my family and I found a house today in Kensington (Near North Berkeley area), close to Tilden park and UC Regents Botanical garden.

It’s been really hard to find a house below $4000 that is near Cal, with at least 2 rooms, parking space, and a little backyard for the kid to play in. University Village of Albany looked like a great option, but we preferred a single family home over a townhouse.

One of the cons of Kensington seems to be that public transportation is not as good as in Albany or El Cerrito, but I’ll try going to Cal by bus (65 or 67) to see if I can rely on them during peak hours. And if not, I guess I’ll have to learn to drive a vespa or something like that since I don’t think I can ride my bike uphill during my way back.

I didn’t think living off-campus near Berkeley could be that expensive (so little options for so many prospective tenants!) :confused:

Yeah, there are lots of places, but they really do cater to the single student vs. someone in your situation. You will figure this out - don’t let logistics deter you from getting a great education!

@briank82 you just made my day. My husband and I are both applying for transfer this fall and our cat has been causing us sleepless nights because University Village is our only option as an immigrant non-trad transfer family with a kid. THANK YOU!