When to start looking for apartment close to menlo park?

Jun 8 25 Comments

Hello,

I am originally from EU and won the h1b lottery. I did not yet get the visa, but hopefully there will not be any trouble. I am starting early October.

When is not too early to look for apartments to rent? And when is it way too late? Or will 1month-ish be enough to find and sign the contract for rent? Since employer provides housing for 1 month.

Another question as well: Where should I look for apartments? I am currently looking at zillow and craiglist.

If it matters, I have never been to US so all advice is appreciated, especially housing. I am a bit anxious since I am moving with no furniture or anything, just clothes and I don't know anyone there.

While we are at it, what's reasonable rent to pay there since prices on Zillow vary a lot. With/without roommate?

TC: 115k salary, 150k stocks over 4 years, 65k bonus (newgrad)

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TOP 25 Comments
  • Netflix / Product Thats_It
    Many tech companies will provide you with a service that will help you navigate neighborhoods and rentals based on what you need/are looking for.

    I’d ask your recruiter what is included in your relocation package as that will help determine what you need to figure out.

    And, depending on what you can afford, Times and locations will vary. If you have 5k/mo to spend, it can be quick and easy. If you have $1,500 it will be very difficult and take a long time. And you location choices limited.
    Jun 8 6
    • Netflix / Product Thats_It
      I think it’s possible but you probably won’t be in Menlo Park. I’d look at San Jose, Santa Clara... your commute would be maybe 30ish minutes (other people, keep me honest here).

      If you are open to a roommate, that might be a good way for you not only to find a better place but also give you an immediate companion to explore the area. The Bay Area can be lonely at times. Being someone new, it can be especially isolating. A roommate may not be what you picture for yourself for the long term, but I do think it will be pivotal in your mental health and overall success for the personal side of your life.
      Jun 8
    • Thank you, I will look into those!
      Also, is it 30 minute by car? I don't have a driving license, so I was looking into biking/walking or living close to some bus stop
      Jun 8
    • Netflix / Product Thats_It
      Train or car. Biking or walking means living within a few miles of work to me... which keeps you in Menlo Park. But if you have a roommate, that might be doable.
      Jun 8
    • Intel sooooooo
      OP if you're working at FB then they also have shuttles and also reimburse Lyft rides to work (at least they used to?). You can expand your search to Sunnyvale, Mountain View, San Jose, Cupertino..etc
      Jun 8
    • @sooooooo
      I knew about the shuttles but no idea about Lyft. Thanks for recommendations!
      Jun 8
  • Microsoft / Eng
    zzxcva

    Microsoft Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    zzxcvamore
    @maybeimmigrant Facebook has daily shuttles picking up and dropping people. You could look along the shuttle route. I do not work for Facebook but know a friend who uses the shuttle service. Good luck with your apartment search.
    Jun 8 5
    • Microsoft / Eng
      zzxcva

      Microsoft Eng

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      Microsoft
      zzxcvamore
      There are also a couple of Facebook pages you can check out. One of them is “Bay area Rooms and Apartments”.
      Jun 8
    • Will join the group, thanks a lot!
      Any idea when the last shuttle go? I couldn't find any info, since I prefer to come in and leave later.
      Jun 8
    • Microsoft / Eng
      zzxcva

      Microsoft Eng

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      Microsoft
      zzxcvamore
      From what I know they run every half hour or every hour. That should not be a problem at all :)
      Jun 8
    • Microsoft / Eng
      zzxcva

      Microsoft Eng

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      Microsoft
      zzxcvamore
      If it’s of some help, I moved recently to the Bay Area too from another part of the US. Getting an apartment would be really easy. The 30 days package which Facebook provides would be really good for you to come down and actually see how things work here and what’s convenient than trying to find from there. It’s my opinion though but please hear people out and what they have to say.
      Jun 8
    • Absolutely, thank you for advice! I am for sure less anxious after reading the replies in here.
      Jun 8
  • Facebook / Strategy miikescott
    Quite obvious, you’re joining Facebook, so welcome!

    Try Housing@ support / benefit provided to you. They’re quite helpful.

    Locations- Palo Alto, Mountain View and Sunnyvale (in increasing order of distance/commute time - add 10 mins each time; in decreasing order of rent).

    Shuttles are pretty good at Fb, so you wouldn’t have to spend on commute unless you live way too off the route
    Jun 8 1
    • Thank you!
      Will check it out once I have access to WP.
      Jun 8
  • Apple / Eng kGUv48
    The more time and effort you put into looking for a place, the more likely you will be to find a better one. Unfortunately the ratio of people to places to live in this area means it is difficult to find an amazing place to live compared to some other areas in the world.

    I rent a bedroom in a house in that area and I love it. I live with three other people. I personally prefer it to living alone in an apartment.
    Jun 8 1
    • I wouldn't mind renting a bedroom in a house either. Was it furnished already or no?
      Also, how did you find it? Craiglist?
      Jun 8
  • American Express vista133
    OP, where are you from?
    Jun 8 4
    • To not give out too much info, from one of the Nordic countries.
      Jun 8
    • American Express vista133
      I think you are French
      Jun 8
    • Not really, any reason why?
      It is one of the Scandinavian countries
      Jun 8
    • American Express vista133
      Your tone
      Jun 8
  • Facebook / Eng
    ouHU60

    Facebook Eng

    PRE
    PEAK6 Investments, Slalom Consulting, CME Group
    ouHU60more
    Are u single? Find a home that’s being rented out that’s shared with others. Rent is muchhhhh lower. Save your $.
    Jun 8 2
    • Single male in mid 20s.
      Any advice where to look for roommates besides craiglist and the "Bay Area Rooms and Apartments"-group on FB?
      Jun 8
    • Facebook / Eng
      ouHU60

      Facebook Eng

      PRE
      PEAK6 Investments, Slalom Consulting, CME Group
      ouHU60more
      Not sure what’s the best way today but those are good options. Rental companies may also be a good idea. It might help to live in temp housing for a couple of weeks while you figure this out.
      Jun 8