I have also sold several to investors; renters like it for the same reasons1
Hoewver, there are some things you need to look out for! These were built around 1984 by D&M Construction and, although they have many great design features, there are some area that continue to show up on inspection reports. They are easily corrected, but you need to know about them.
Also, there are several other developments in Pleasnt Hill and Walnut Creek that may fit your needs as well.
Email me and we can discuss your options - bob@RobertLilley.com
Those are all good questions for your Realtor (if you don't have one, I'd like to apply). I live about a mile north of there, just off PH road and Johnny's right, there is some traffic noise. We just take that as part of living in the city. It certainly never keeps me up at night.
It may help you to know that 172 Western Hills (2/2 - 1234 SqFt) sold last October for $487,000, after 105 days on market. It was not a short sale and 176 is. Also the MLS listing for 176 shows 1458 SqFt, so you might want to check your 1700 SqFt description. My guess is it could be bought for something in the $470-480 range
Neighborhood-wise, I'd say that's as good as most any neighborhood in Pleasant Hill. We've lived her for four years (moved from WC) and are quite happy. It seems to have many of what I like about "small town" living (where else can you get a personal call from the Chief of Police about a noise complaint?) with all the access you already know about.
As for a short sale, if you don't have any familiarity with that issue, it usually takes a long time (60-90 days) to get an answer on an offer, which of course may be "no" and you start over.
To your "would this be a good investment (7 year plan)?", questions, our plan was seven years four years ago and we may have to stretch that a year, but you're certainly on a sound plan.
Any other questions? DaveSutton@Windermere.com