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Top Five Bay Area Towns for Young Couples

By Tiffany Raiford

The Bay Area is one of the most desirable areas to live on the West Coast. The eclectic and elegant vibe in the Bay Area is perfect for professionals, young couples, and families. Young couples especially love this area of California because it provides the perfect opportunity for you to live it up close to fabulous restaurants, a Starbucks on every corner to help with those early mornings following those late nights and it's trendy. As a young couple, there is no drawback to living in the Bay Area, and these five towns will leave you feeling good about your house hunting prospects.

San Francisco

Perhaps the most well-known and desirable city in the Bay Area, San Fran is the perfect area for young couples. With a variety of restaurants, nightlife, shopping and entertainment to choose from, you'll never want to leave home. There's excitement on every corner, and the views are nothing short of breathtaking. Living in the heart of the city is a bit more expensive than living in a nearby suburb, but the sheer availability of public transit, hotspots, and that San Fran zip code make it worth it for young couples. After all, there's plenty of time to have kids and a picket fence in the 'burbs a little later in life.

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a young couple can live comfortably in San Francisco for approximately $84,000 per year. If you can afford to live here, it's a great place to get started as a young couple. The crime rate in San Fran is a bit high, however. On a national scale, the city has an annual crime rate of 48 percent, making it safer than only ten percent of other cities in the country.

Palo Alto

Palo Alto is a great neighborhood for young couples looking to live the luxurious life. It is headquarter to a few companies you might have heard of, such as Facebook and PayPal, and it contains a portion of the Stanford University campus. Palo Alto is a city on the bay perfect for couples looking for an upscale lifestyle. Life here is all about waterfront dining, green living and a historic feel that makes living that much more elegant. Your days will be spent picnicking along the bay, shopping in the city, and meeting friends for coffee in the adorable historic neighborhoods.

Now that you are bound a determined to make one of the spacious, historic homes in Palo Alto your own, you should know what life here is like. You might think life in the suburbs is less expensive than life in the city, but you'd be wrong. The cost of living here is 39.7 percent higher than the average California cost of living, and 83.3 percent higher than the cost of living anywhere else in the country. The silver lining is that this area is too expensive for criminals, because Palo Alto has a very low crime rate. It is the safest Bay Area city with only 66 crimes reported in the last year, none of which included death.

Berkeley

Berkeley is another beautiful city on the Bay. With some of the most amazing views of the San Francisco Bay you will ever experience, this town is perfect for the hippie in you. Home to the oldest university system in the state, the University of California, Berkeley, you have plenty of options when it comes to employment, housing, and furthering your education. The people here are a little funky, a lot of fun and somewhat quirky. You're more apt to find people meeting for tea than coffee and hanging out in the park than at the trendiest restaurant in town. It's a breath of fresh air for many young couples.

If you want to live close to San Fran, but want to save a bit of money, Berkeley is a great choice. The cost of living is among the lowest in California, and only 52.9 percent higher than anywhere else in the country. It's one of the most affordable areas in the Bay Area. The crime rate, however, is higher in Berkeley than it is in San Francisco. Your chances of being the victim of a crime in Berkeley are 1 in 214.

Santa Clara

If you're the kind of young couple interested in technology and breaking into the industry, Santa Clara is the perfect Bay Area city for you. It is here, south of San Fran and in the heart of the Silicon Valley that you will find the headquarters for some of the world's biggest technology companies, including Intel. Asides from the tech aspect of living here, finding a home or apartment is a dream come true in this lovely area. You'll find gorgeous neighborhoods, high-end shopping and restaurants and plenty of entertainment to keep you busy when you aren't working.

It's significantly less expensive to reside in Santa Clara than in the heart of San Francisco, but it's a little more expensive than living in Berkeley. The average home price in Santa Clara is approximately $660,000. The crime rate is relatively low. It's one of the safest communities in California, with an average crime rate of only 26 percent.

Albany

As a young couple, you might someday consider having children. If so, life in Albany is the place for you. This East Bay city has one of the best school districts in the country, with an exceptional 96 percent of high school grads going on to attend and graduate college. The city offers sweeping views of San Francisco and the Bay, but without the hustle and bustle of city living. Life here is a little slower. It's a little more suburban and a little more relaxed.

Albany's cost of living is a little less than some of the other Bay Area cities, with the average price of a new home at only $620,000. If you prefer to rent, the average rental price is just over $1,300 per month. The average household in Albany earns approximately $72,000. The crime rate is not bad, coming in a 28 percent. All in all, it's a city that feels more like a small town in the midst of the Bay Area.

Living in the Bay Area is a great opportunity for many young couples. You have ample opportunities to advance your career, to enjoy yourself, and to eventually raise a family. Depending on your personality and your preferences, one of these amazing cities is perfect for you.

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