I'm also available to work with you and your family in finding the right home and interim rental until that time. Please visit my website which gives you lots of information on the area, ie, schools, links to information and testimonials from my wonderful clients.
Suzanne Looker, http://www.suzannelooker.com
We've only lived here for a few months (were in SF for a few years, then in the Central Valley for a year), but have found lots of family-friendly activities so far. There's great shopping and food downtown, about a 10 minute drive - and most restaurants downtown are pretty stroller-friendly during the day. (Think we must have passed about 100 strollers in Broadway Plaza this afternoon!)
I second the recommendation for checking out the Berkeley Parent's Network. It's been a great resource for me!
All that said, don't think we'll buy here. We both work in SF, and despite being about a mile from the Pleasant Hill Bart, want to be a bit closer to the city. And while we've heard good things about a lot of the schools here, think we ultimately want to be in other districts. We've discovered the market to buy in parts of the Easy Bay is pretty competitive, so we'll see where we end up! :-)
Good luck with your search!
The rentals in Walnut Creek range from $1,250 to $10,000 per month right now, but I would be happy to send you some listings so you could look them over for yourself. How soon will you be coming our way? .
You will find many of your questions answered at http://www.jackiegiffin.com, but give me a call so you can see if we might be a good fit. I'm happy to help with whatever you need. I've been able to find some pretty remarkable people/companies to help solve a lot of those problems that you can't seem to avoid. I even got my own house in Michigan ready for sale from California. It's all about finding the right resources. Then the problems become manageable.
I hope I'll have the opportunity to meet you.
This web site contains thousands of pages of recommendations and advice contributed by members of the Berkeley Parents Network, a parent-to-parent email network for the community of parents in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1993, the BPN is run by a group of volunteer parents in their "spare" time. They send out 10 email newsletters each week to 30,463 local parents. Many busy parents have taken the time to enlighten and inform others with their suggestions, their wisdom, and their experience, archived here for all who need it.
I was born in Washington DC and many of my family members lives in the DC metro area, so I visit often. If you have an questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I have been in California since 1984, and have been raising my children here as well, in the Bay Area. I love the west coast. I work and live in Walnut Creek now, but the bay area offers much diversity within the 9 counties that make it up. If you want my help, let me know!
It will hopefully give you a high level overview of what the city has to offer.
Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, there are a number of different neighborhoods that you'll want to consider ... without knowing more about your interests, though, it's tough for me to give a recommendation right now.
I'd be happy to help you with both the rental and purchase - I live in Walnut Creek and know it very well. 925-817-8428.