Jami, Both Buyer and Seller in Columbus, OH

Clever way to Commute to Palo Alto

Asked by Jami, Columbus, OH Sat Jan 26, 2008

The more we research the Discovery Bay ,CA area the more we love it. It seems perfect for us to buy a home in. However the commute seems to be torture. we are hearing that its a bear. We are coming from working close to home to maybe having to drive 2 hours to work. That seems insane. We are looking at all the options for commuters and we are overwhelmed with the different buses and train systems. Does anyone have any clever ideas to help us get from Discovery Bay to Palo Alto without having to catch a bus at 4:15am and leave work at 2:00pm? Even if we have to hop a few different systems.... the routes are confusing, the times are confusing... we are just plain CONFUSED! Thanks!

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Fred Kohler’s answer
You should rent in the Palo Alto area until have some time to check this out. After you live in the Palo Alto area for a while, you may find that living in Discovery Bay is less appealing. You have 2 years to make a decision where to buy. In the meantime, you will find some rental housing options that would be less than your mortgage payment and the resale market will be soft this year. Don't feel pressured to buy in a remote location quickly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 1, 2008
What if my husband got on the ACE train in Tracy at 6:07am and got off at the ACE station in Great America at 7:30 then took the CALtrain or some other shuttle up to Palo Alto? Would that be an option that would be less then 2 hours? Or not realistic?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2008
So taking the trains will take longer? I just never assumed that to be so. We just dont know what to do.
We havent found any areas that we think can provide us with the same housing options as Discovery Bay. Even though my husband will be making a salary over 150K a year, the thought of buying a house over 450K sounds outrageous to us. We just dont come from that kind of real estate. The home we have now is almost 2000 sq feet with 3 bedrooms in a nice area and we paid 180K. Its just such a change for us.
If we wernt moving CA we wanted to upgrade to a large home when the market got better.
Any other areas that you could suggest where we could like in a nice home, close to PA and not fear for our lives!?!?!?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2008
HI! If you live in Discovery Bay, you will be in for a long commute.

You will probably need to drive to the Pittsburg/BayPoint BART and park your car there.
You take BART through to San Francisco, where you can then switch to a CalTrain that will take you down to Palo Alto.

If you are walking distance to work from the CalTrain station, you should be OK. If not, I would get an old, used car (something that is worth less than $5000) and park it at Palo Alto Cal Train station overnight so you can drive to and from work from that station. Buses and waiting for buses is a waste of time.

I just ran the trip planner on 511.org. If you take the 6:30am BART train out of Pittsburg/Bay Point, you will probably get into Palo Alto CalTrain station by 8:30am. It still sounds like a long commute, but at least you don't have to sit in morning commute traffic, and maybe, you could do work on your laptop on the way to work. For example, in the morning, it can take you over an hour to just get from Walnut Creek to San Francisco by car. Personally, I don't think it is the best place for you to live if you are working in Palo Alto, but if you love it and don't mind spending so much time on your commute... fine. You will probably spend more than 5 hours a day commuting. Can you work from a laptop while on the trains (2 hrs on the way in, 2 hours on the way out, and 4-5 hours in the office to make up a 8-9 hr work day)? Personally, I wouldn't be able to do it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2008
Jami -

I would love to live in Discovery Bay. I spend most of my time in the summer on the water up there. With that said, there is a reason I don't live there. Our mass transit system, although getting better, is not as connected as we would like. Many times it takes so much longer to take mass transit that we Bay Area folk would rather sit in our car in traffic.

Every morning the local news talks about traffic in the Bay Area and I think I'm right when I say HWY 4 coming out of Antioch is always the slowest at commute time. The average speed runs about 4 mph.
I know Discovery Bay is a great place, but you will have to decide is it really the best for your family? If your spouse is away from the home 12 hrs a day - (4 hrs to commute 8 hrs to work).

I'll be interested to see if TRULIA VOICES come up with some better commute ideas. I am always looking for a way to live there as well.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2008
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