Home Buying in Lafayette>Question Details

G.B., Home Seller in South Carolina

Quality of Life -

Asked by G.B., South Carolina Fri Nov 21, 2008

We have an opportunity to move to the San Fran area and are trying to narrow down the communities to visit in order to get a better perspective on the quality of life there vs. here in South Carolina. Any recommendations regarding which communities are best suited for a family with small children? We would prefer to buy in an area with good public schools to avoid private school and would like a town vs. city atmosphere. After reviewing home cost, we will be in the one million range but would love it if we could find something less expensive. Also, what would the commute be to Alameda? On the web, Walnut Creek and Lafayette look nice....any comments or other ideas? Thanks!
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Gregg De La Cruz’s answer
Hello Agb,

I'm yet another LAMORINDA agent and I so far concur with everyone else's posts. The elementary and high schools in the area are ranked top in the Nation. If you go to the new 2010 US News report http://www.usnews.com/listings/directories/high-schools you will see that 2 of the 3 high schools are ranked as Gold Medal schools and the third school is a Silver Medal school.

You should also note that there are other areas outside of LAMORINDA with some great schools. The one that is real closest to Alameda is Piedmont however I'm not sure if you'll get much for 1 million there.

I grew up in the area, moved away to the for college, after college lived throughout the Bay Area included SF and came back to LAMORINDA when I had kids. Many of my neighbors and friends have the same story. It's just a comfortable place to grow up.

If you have any questions about Lamorinda or any of the surrounding areas with great schools send me an email or give me a call. I didn't list the other great areas because of the focus of Alameda.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 14, 2010
I have been living in the Lamorinda for the past 6 years and have three small children in public schools. One of the best parts about Lamorinda is that we have great private schools all around as well. If the public school setting doesn't work for your kids (as has been the case for one of my three) you will have ample selection of private, parochial, academically based, or special needs based schools within minutes drive from your home. It is hard to say what will work out best for your children, especially when they are small. As they progress through the years you may find that they are more musically inclined; or do really well in Science. The school districts in Lamorinda are geared towards helping your child develop his/her natural talents and skills.

San Francisco is only about 20 minutes from Lafayette. Orinda and Moraga may add a few minutes to your commute as they are more mountainous and can take you quite a ways off the freeway. Many people love the feel of the mountains and the small town atmosphere that rural Lamorinda offers. But don't let the rural appearance fool you: the schools are very competetive and enriched by an active Arts and Science Foundation that funds theatre programs in the school as well as music instruction for all children from fourth grade up. It is a really unique setting and for this reason, the housing values have stayed pretty high even with the downturn of the market. You can not go wrong in Lamoreinda!

I currently have a listing at $699,000 in Orinda (a shortsale) and it is in move in condition!! It is a great price for a great home. Let me know if you area interested in hearing more about it! You can contact me at 510-847-1450 or go to my website, noted below! Good luck with your move and let me know if I can help you in any way!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 13, 2009
Agb,
Bob kind of alluded to it, but Lamorinda (Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda) are great areas to look. Depending on the size of the home, you can find some great homes located within great neighborhoods. The public schools are ranked top within the state. Based on your million dollar range, I would suggest checking out neighborhoods in Lafayette like Burton Valley, Lafayette Valley Estates, Lafayette Trails, and Silver Springs. Moraga neighborhoods, I would look at Camino Woods, Sanders Ranch, and Campolindo. And in Orinda, I would look at Ivy, Del Rey, and Glorietta. Most of those neighborhoods have housing priced in the $1,000,000 range. As far as commute goes, I think it would take you no more than 20 to 30 minutes to drive to Alameda (during normal rush hour traffic).

If you look in Walnut Creek, I would recommend neighborhoods such as Saranap, Northgate, and Rudgear Estates. The public schools in these neighborhoods are still pretty good. Saranap feeds into the Lafayette school system, even though they have WC address. Northgate HS has some pretty strong scores and Rudgear Estates falls on the line between Alamo and Walnut Creek. So depending on which area you live will dictate where your kids would go to school. However, I know the High school is Las Lomas which is part of the Acalanes High School District which is ranked top in the state.

Well, I hope this helps you out. If you want further insight on any of these neighborhoods, feel free to drop me a line. I grew up in Lafayette (parents still live there), graduated from Campolindo HS in Moraga, and now live in Walnut Creek. So I am happy to give you a local's opinion.

Good luck in your explorations!
Brian
Web Reference: http://www.tom-rochford.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Check out the "Lamorinda" area. I could go on for a while here, or I can direct you to my Blog where I have gone on for a while. Lamorindarealestateblog.com

Feel free to call anytime.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 21, 2008
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