There is nothing "wrong" with the Lakes and Birds area per se. It is not an issue of crime rate. Although there are a number of variations between the neighborhoods you mentioned, the primary issue is the differences in the API scores for the various elementary schools. They are as follows: Forest Park (957), Ardenwood (917), Leitch (926), Warm Springs (933) and Warwick (866). Many people prefer the higher scoring schools.
However, there is also a fundamental secondary reason as well â€“ the style of homes. About 50% of the homes in the Lakes and Birds neighborhood are â€œpatio styleâ€ homes â€“ although they are classified as single family homes, they are â€œattachedâ€ by common walls on each side and the rear. In other words, there are no side yards unless you happen to be at the end of a row of houses or at the end of a street. The homes are joined by a fire barrier of concrete cinderblocks and, in most cases, there is no direct access to the rear yards except though the house. In some homes there are internal â€œpatiosâ€ or â€œatriumsâ€ that provide light into the home and egress in case of a fire or similar emergency. Itâ€™s an older example of a westernized version of the â€œbrownstonesâ€ you see in eastern cities. They are different from townhouses in that they do not have any HOA fees and are free of many of the types of restrictions you would see in a normal planned unit development (PUD).
Due to the fact that these homes have very small lots and are quite unusual compared to most of he homes in Fremont, their values typically are less than comparably sized homes elsewhere in the city. Although there are other neighborhoods in the Tri-cities that have â€œpatio-styledâ€ homes, they all have at least one side yard whereas the â€œpatio-styleâ€ homes in the Lakes and Birds neighborhoods do not.