If you find homes in the Almaden area appealing, then look farther eastward in what is known as the Evergreen Hills (roughly the neighborhoods along and east of San Filipe Rd.) where home prices easily rise of the million dollar mark.
Schools in both areas rate similarly in STAR results and it is those high scores that keep both areas desirable. For commuting, roadways in the Evergreen area can be congested but several trunk routes including Capital Expressway, Highway 101 allow relatively quick access to and away from the area. Roads may be less traveled in Almaden but depending on locations deep within the valley, commute times can long.
Also Evergreen seems to have greater price volatility than Almaden Valley.
As long as you get the property at Fair Market Value and avoid overpirced property I consider either one to be a good investment.
I recommend that you go with your personal preference and make certain that the property that you get is not overpriced.
Almade +v's : Good schools, low crime , nice nieghbourhood. -ve : older community and older homes.
95135 +v' s : Good schools , newer homes, much youger , vibrant community and school district keeps getting better every year. Will be a sought after area in future -ve : Need to cross not so great areas to reach 95135 ( even though 95135 area is great)
Using a 4% range would only make my opinion lean more heavily toward Almaden.
A 1.5 million dollar home in Almaden in 2006 has held it's value better than Evergreen 95135. What is most interesting and a great indicator of desirability is the Townhome price stability. Almaden would be off the charts using this data point.
The only real downside I would consider would be the age of the properties. A nicely remodeled, or remodel potential, home in Almaden Valley could outweigh the newer amenities and construction of similiar priced homes in 95135.
Agents like me can give you many opinions and show you trends in value, but it really only matters what home and neighborhood you believe is the best fit for your family.
My best advice to you is to spend some time in the neighborhoods, such as the nearby parks and grocery stores-do you feel comfortable there or out of place? Are people friendly, oblivious or hostile?
Evergreen and Almaden are both lovely and have appealing schools and neighborhoods. Re-visit your priorities with your buyer agent to discern which home is the best choice for you.
Almaden is lushly landscaped, with the majority of homes built in the 1960's & 1970's.
Many people buy where they have friends, or how they will have to commute to work.
I have had other clients decide where they want to live based on their children's after-school activities.
There is no right or wrong answer. Take a drive around each neighborhood and see what feels best to you.
PS - I think I answered that very middle of the road, considering that I love living in Almaden! The parks are awesome, lots are large, and the people are solid. Now there is my bias!
All the best,
Alain Pinel Realtors