One of the first concerns when moving from Europe to the US is the accommodation: where am I going to live? Many people expect to find a permanent place even before leaving Europe. WRONG. To find an apartment/house in Silicon Valley, you need to physically be in your new home city. Besides no landlord on this earth will lease you a place without meeting you in person.
As a consequence you need to accept that for the first weeks you will need to be in a temporary accommodation, while you look for that permanent place and your ship container arrives from Europe.
Temporary accommodation in Silicon Valley only means two things: HOTEL or CORPORATE APARTMENT.
HOTEL: to stay in a hotel only makes sense if your stay is short. The average hotel night in the area is approx. $100, which means that in a month you’ll have spent a minimum of $3100 only in accommodation. For that amount, you can easily rent a nice furbished and full equipped studio/one-bedroom apartment anywhere in Silicon Valley. This will save you money by eliminating the extra costs of eating out every day and the weekly dry cleaning/laundry.
In any case, if you still prefer a hotel let me give you a few examples of nice hotels in Silicon Valley:
In our case we didn’t want a hotel. Our container is in a ship sailing the Pacific Ocean heading to California. It won’t arrive in San Francisco until mid-December. And then it will have to clear customs, which as far as I understand, it can take anything from two weeks to months. So we didn’t want to be put up in a hotel, we wanted a furbished and full-equipped apartment.
We were lucky and the company helped us with our first accommodation. In most cases when you are relocating from Europe to the US is because of your company or because you have a job offer from a local company in the USA. In most cases the company usually provides assistance with the first accommodation.
But even though, you might want to search or compare on your own. In that case let me tell you that the company that helped us find our temporary accommodation was Synergy. They were efficient and understanding with our needs. We are usually pretty easy and we don’t have strong demands, but when it comes to houses, I don’t want a carpet. Now this is not an issue (at all) in Europe (aside from the UK) but in the USA carpet is the standard and hardwood floors are the exception.
The first property that we were offered had carpet (as most of the available properties do in Silicon Valley). But since carpet was not an option, Synergy kept looking and they finally found a place that wasn’t perfect but it was good to be accepted.
If you are sitting in Europe, planning your move to Silicon Valley, you like me, want to know which are your options. Unfortunately most property management companies won’t give you options. Why? they claim that the real state market moves fast… this is just an excuse. Do you want know if you are being offered the best option for your family? go online and compare. Don’t let them put you in an apartment that has not been recently renovated, or that is not well connected to bus/train; or that is in area where safety is an issue.. I am listing below a number of corporate apartments in Silicon Valley that I came to learn while searching for my temporary accommodation in Silicon Valley and that are desirable.
In Palo Alto: OAK CREEK APARTMENTS: this was the first offer that Synergy made to us. When you visit their site you think that the place looks great. Then you go and check the online reviews and you change your mind completely. I don’t know if the online feedback is true, but if it is Oak Creek should definitely hire someone to do some damage control and marketing to counteract.
SHARON GREEN in Menlo Park, which is a desirable area to live in the valley.
In Mountain View: CARMEL THE VILLAGE: is a very good option because the units have been renovated like in now (October-November 2013); the staff is friendly and helpful; the location is very convenient: two minute walk to Safeway; Walmart; Citi and Starbucks; 10 mins to Caltrain; VTA buses outside the complex and if you work for Google: 20 mins walking to G Bus; etc.
In Sunnyvale: CHERRY ORCHARD , LAWRENCE STATION APARTMENTS and VIA re also good options to consider. We did not because their apartments have carpet and they are located further to San Francisco than Carmel the Village.
Have you recently relocated to Silicon Valley? Do you have any experience with hotels or corporate apartments in the area?