Berkeley : California

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What Berkeley is like for active adults
Retirees will find a style of life in Berkeley, California, that is as fine as anywhere in the world. This university town (University of California, known as Cal) is set on the slopes of a mountain rolling away to the east from San Francisco Bay. On most days the Golden Gate and the City are a constant view below. City life, culture, and some of the best restaurants in the world in its “Gourmet Ghetto” (e.g.; Chez Panisse) are located here. Cal’s campus is set in a beautiful area that mixes old and new buildings amidst a redwood grove. Quiet streets with lush gardens of tropical plantings greet the eye and nose. Meanwhile the climate is close to perfect most of the year, rarely too hot, almost never too cool. The University of California, founded in 1868 and one of the world’s great universities, is a big draw for many retirees with its array of cultural and other activities.

Berkeley is located in Alameda County. For a list of profiles of over 600 cities and towns go to retirement community reviews, - and here is more information on taxes and what it is like to retire in California.
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Where to Live & Real Estate Values

The main drawback to living in Berkeley is the expensive housing. The median sales price in the third quarter of 2013 was about $635,000 according to City-Data.com.  Zillow.com lists the median sale price to be higher at $688,800 for the same period.  Fortunately, there are apartments that can be had for less, either as condos or as rentals. Surrounding areas, such as the nicer parts of Oakland, tend to be slightly less expensive. it does not have any active communities although there are some east of Berkeley near Walnut Creek.

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What is special about this retirement community

Perfect Climate. Intellectual atmosphere. Views of San Francisco. Beautiful homes and gardens. Proximity to Bart. The Campanile belltower (Sather Tower) on the UC Campus. Berkeley has a Very high Walk Score number of 81.6 from walkscore.com.

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What is not special about this retirement community

Aging hippies and homeless people on Telegraph St.;  traffic near the campus; Leftist atmosphere

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What kinds of people like retiring here
People live here who like being in a vibrant city with an active cultural scene. Berkeley could be the most liberal and cosmopolitan city in California, which says something!
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Local economy is driven by
Education, retail, Software, high tech, tourism, real estate,
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Climate and Physical Environment

Berkeley rises up from the San Francisco harbor, culminating in a very high ridge that runs north and south. It tends to be rainy in winter and has a Mediterranean climate (warm and dry summers and cool, wet winters). The Hayward Fault runs through the region, in fact in goes through the middle of Cal's Memorial Stadium.

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Restaurants & Cultural Scene
Berkeley is a cultural feast. One of the finest restaurants in the world, Chez Panisse is located here. It is credited with starting the new wave of cooking with fresh ingredients movement. The University is the engine, with many museums, theatres, performance spaces. Bookstores in the area are very good. The Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Berkeley Community Theater, and the Hearst Greek Theatre are important cultural beacons for the community.
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Crime

Crime in Berkeley is above the national average.

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Medical facilities
Alta Bates Medical Center. Oakland has many hospitals.
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Transportation

Berkeley has a very high Walk Score number of 81.6 from walkscore.com. Oakland International Airport is 12 miles. San Francisco International Airport is 19 miles. BART has stations in Berkeley connecting to San Francisco Amtrak

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Valuable Links
Berkeley on Wikipedia
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What people are saying about Berkeley

Berkeley is beatiful and crazy and expensive
Berkeley would be a dream to live in if you can afford it. The climate is magnificent just about all year round and almost anything will grow. You have the University and a lot of highly interesting people around to keep you on your toes. The views of the Golden Gate from the beautiful homes are great. Only drawback, traffic can get pretty tied up, and you need a lot of cash to buy a nice home.
Posted by classof70 on February 16, 2009

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Facts about BERKELEY
  • State: CA
  • Environment: College Town,Coastal,Small-mid Sized City,
  • City Population: 100,001+
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $500,001+
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 111-120 (high)
  • Cost of Living Index: 121+ (very high)
  • Culture Index: 121+ (very high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide:

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

Berkeley retirement communities
Vote on the Ratings for Berkeley
Update Your Ratings
1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 3.8/5 ( 5 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 4.7/5 ( 3 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 3.7/5 ( 3 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 5.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)

5.Recreation:
None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 3 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 4.5/5 ( 2 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 4 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 5.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 4.5/5 ( 2 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 5.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)