Home Buying in Fremont>Question Details

Sonia, Home Buyer in Fremont, CA

buying a home in Fremont or in Pleasanton( 5k to 6k) nice elem. & mid. school Biotech and IT fields away from warth quake zone.

Asked by Sonia, Fremont, CA Tue May 3, 2011

We are actively looking for buying a home in Fremont or in Pleasanton. Our price range is from 5k to 6k or a bit more. We are really concern about hayward fault zone and looking fro something atleast 1.5 miles away. Our kid goes to 1st grade and lil one is arriving soon so we are looking for nice elementary and middle schools for now. I am in Biotech and hubby is in IT field. Pleasanton and Fremont has their own charms but we both are not sure which place should we pick?

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18
Gregorio Denny’s answer
Sorry, but 1.5 miles away from a fault line isn't going to make a difference; that's like being 3 steps further away from a bullet being shot. If you are trying to be away from the Hayward fault, Fremont is not the place since it runs right through it. Pleasanton is in close proximity to the Calaveras fault which has the same potential as the Hayward fault. If you don't want to be in an earthquake zone you need to eliminate the entire bay area from consideration.
Web Reference: http://WeFixRates.Com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Please consider working with a local agent or Realtor, we can't comment on schools or which area is "better" but we can provide links such as crime rates, school tests and etc. Or you can Google these things yourself, best of luck.
Spirit
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 17, 2011
I'm assuming that you mean $500K and $600K not $5K or $6K, right? Besides the price point, you received very good advice from the other professionals. I suggest you interview a couple local agents from each community, get a tour, collect their knowledge, then make a list of your top must have in home and community. With that you should be able to pick one of those agents to help you find your next home in the community you choose.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 13, 2011
Sonia:


You state: “We are really concern about hayward fault zone and looking fro something at least 1.5 miles away.”

I have a couple of comments:

(1) If you remember the Loma Prieta quake of 1989 - the epicenter of the quake was in Forest of Nisene Marks State Park in Santa Cruz County, an unpopulated area in the Santa Cruz Mountains approximately 2–3 miles (3–5 km) north of unincorporated Aptos and approximately 10 mi (16 km) northeast of Santa Cruz.

That’s approximately 70 miles away from the most serious damage in the Bay Area – the Marina area of San Francisco and the Cypress Freeway Viaduct section of I-880 in Oakland.

Here’s the bottom line: if there is a significant quake on the Hayward fault – which runs from Fremont northeast up through Richmond and into the bay, you can guarantee it will seriously affect property for at least 70 miles away. If you draw a circle on a map using the center of the fault as the center of the circle (San Leandro), and go out a radius of 70 miles … it will impact THE ENTIRE BAY AREA, not just Fremont.

Worrying about being over 1.5 miles away is, in my opinion, a moot point.

(2) There is a fault in Pleasanton as well – it runs parallel to I-680. Click below for more information:
http://www.pleasantonweekly.com/morgue/2005/2005_09_02.quake…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleasanton_Fault
.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 9, 2011
Hi Sonia, some very thoughtful comments below that I will only partially reiterate in addition to adding some points not covered:

1) Commute:
You have not shared where both of you will be working. Do not underestimate the importance of commute time in regards to your everyday life, especially considering the time demands children will place upon you as parents. If you believe commute times may be a concern run a few "what if" scenarios using Google Map's statistical feature. Here's how:

Under Google Maps select your start/end locations. Once the map populates click on the "Traffic" button you to get real-time traffic; then, at the bottom left hand of the map click on the "change" link right next to where it says "Live Traffic." Next, change the setting to "Traffic at day and time" in order to set the time and day of the week you want to check for your likely commute time based and historical traffic data! Next, click "done" and "Get Directions" for an update on time.

2) Access to Job Centers:
I believe Fremont has an advantage in this area. The commute to the 580/680 is a reverse commute with light traffic. 680/880 provides access to the Milpitas/San Jose/Santa Clara/Sunnyvale job centers. The Dumbarton Bridge opens up access to the peninsula. Furthermore, Fremont will “soon” have a second BART station (Irvington) allowing convenient access down to San Jose/Santa Clara and up to Oakland/San Francisco job centers.

3) Rates:
I believe you should also base your decision on where to live considering current interest rates. I would take full advantage of the historically low rates and purchase a home I would be happy with for decades. Remember, when you sell you will not only be subject to the current market rates when doing so, you will relinquish the property tax savings provided by Prop 13, which you can read about here: http://www.trulia.com/blog/steve_ornellas_mba_re_mastersgri/…

4) Ownership timeline:
Consider your term of ownership. For example, is this a "5-year home, or a 30+ year home? This will influence both the location you choose and the financing you may use.

Best, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 5, 2011
Hi Sonia,
Where do you currently live? (for reference)

Regardless of the numbers and statistics, it generally comes down to how you 'feel' about a community. You just got to get your hands dirty and experience those communities! :)

General rule of thumb: the higher the school API scores, the higher the price of homes in the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 4, 2011
Hi Sonia,
Congrats on your decision to purchase a house! To answer your question, it really boils down to what is of most importance to you and your family. Fremont is ranked #3 in the entire state for having the best schools. My wife is heavily involved with various school districts up and down the state and she will not send our child anywhere else. People literally fight there way into some Fremont schools as they are extremely desired. Pleasanton is not a bad choice either. Their schools are ranked high as well. As far as schools are concerned, you can't really go wrong either way.

Consider things like:
Where will you be spending most of your time? Do you spend a lot of time with friends that live across the Bay or do you spend a lot of time in San Francisco? With the price of gas getting higher, these are just some things to consider.

What about the distance from the office to home? What's the easier route, 680 or 880? I'll tell you one thing, spending lengths of time on the road gets old quick. It doesn't matter how nice the home/neighborhood is. There are great homes and neighborhoods in both Fremont AND Pleasanton.

I don't think you can go wrong either way. Both areas are beautiful. When you decide upon an agent, have them take you to a few homes in both areas. Just to: give you a feel for what your money can buy in each city, get a feel for the neighborhoods, etc.

I hope this helps. Good luck in your search!
Best Regards,
Bryan Van Heusen
Intero Real Estate
(510) 557-5952
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 4, 2011
Hi-
I have lived in Fremont and would not ever want to move back there - in my opinion it is too large, too run down, too unsafe to raise children. I have never lived in Pleasanton, but I did spend a lot of time there when I lived in Livermore. In my opinion, Pleasanton is wayyyy better than Fremont- no doubt about it. Nicer areas, better schools, shopping, lower crime rate. There really is no "dumpy" part of town in Pleasanton - Fremont has plenty of them! Also, Livermore and San Ramon are great too. I wish I could afford to live in any 1 of those 3 towns! I just know if you choose Pleasanton you would not regret it later - but I cannot say the same thing for Fremont. Good luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Hi Sonia, both communities are great places to live. I live in one and have many friends in the other. I think you should decide which city is in the best location for your family, by considering commute, and which place you and your family feel most comfortable in. Both cities have many things to be pointed out in their favor. As for the schools I went to greatschools.com to check. Considering the areas with homes in the 500 to 600K range Fremont has Irvington high which has a rating of 9 washington and American have ratings of 6 and kennedy has a rating of 5 the middle schools are Horner 9, thornton 8, centerville 7 and walters 6.
In Plesanton you have Amador high and foothill high both have a 9 village has a 3. The middle schools are harvest park and Pleasanton middle school with scores of 9 and Thomas hart with a 8. I also checked into the elementary schools and both cities have many elementaries that have scores of 8, 9, and 10. You can go and check for yourself at http://www.greatschools.com ........or you can find yourself a Realtor and let them do the work for you. The home seller pays both realtors and so you get the benefit of a professional realtor working on your behalf at no cost to you!......Good luck and happy house hunting!.....Dawn
Web Reference: http://www.greatschools.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Sonia,

The two cities are completely different in my opinion. Fremont is much larger both in actual size and population. Fremont had a population of roughly 219,000 as of January 2010 while Pleasanton had roughly 67,000. The two cities have a completely different pace and feel. Again, my opinion. I have lived in both cities for a number of years.

Pleasanton has an amazing downtown that truly has a small town feel whereas Fremont is spread out and segmented into districts. While each have there own feel, none of them have a true downtown. Pleasanton also has Stoneridge Mall. One of my personal favorite places to shop. (And I don’t even like shopping). To be fair, Fremont has The Hub. It has a nice buzz about it.

Depending on where you work, Pleasanton may have the rougher commute. But if you can land a job at Hacienda Business Park or Bishop Ranch, you will have no commute to speak of. Fremont will definitely be closer to more job opportunities. If you are working anywhere in the South Bay, living in Pleasanton will add 30 minutes to your commute if you are driving during commute hours. Getting to other areas in the Bay Area is also generally easier from Fremont.

When it comes to schools and sports for children, I’m bias. I lived in Pleasanton during my High School years so I will just let you visit the sites below.

Unless you are looking at the Mission District of Fremont, you will get more house for your money in Fremont. Fremont currently has 88 Single family homes with 3 bedrooms or more ranging between 500k - 650k. Pleasanton has 36 in that same range.

The question of “which is right for you” can’t come from me or anyone else on this forum. You need to spend time in both cities and see what they offer in the way of your families needs and wants. I think if you do this on your own and have a Realtor show you homes that will work for you, you will find your answer. The cities are so different in my opinion that one will shine over the other.

Below are some links that I think you will find of value. Of course contact me if I may be of further service.

Money Magazine:
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2010/snapshot…
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2010/top100/

City Sites:
http://www.fremont.gov/
http://www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us/

Shopping:
http://www.thefremonthub.com/
http://www.simon.com/mall/default.aspx?ID=1242 (horrible website)

Schools API Scores:
http://school-ratings.com/cities/Pleasanton.html
http://school-ratings.com/cities/Fremont.html

Business parks:
http://www.hacienda.org/main/home.html
http://www.bishopranch.com/
http://www.fremontbusinesspark.net/
Web Reference: http://www.esoderlund.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
If you would like more information on bay area quake zones, consult this website: http://quake.abag.ca.gov/shaking/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Hi Sonia,

The two cities you are considering are both good and you are making the right decision in buying a home right now since there are some really good deals out there.

Not all schools in Fremont are good, but almost all schools in Pleasanton are excellent. If the elementary schools in Fremont are good, then the middle and high schools are just okay unless youi buy in the Mission San Jose area which is very steep in price. But if you move to Pleasanton, you will find very good elemenatry, middle and high schools.

You may also want to consider San Ramon depending on how much commute you can deal with. That is another area that many buyers are considering because you can find homes in a reasonable price range and get excellent schools.

If I can help you with your search for the right home that best meets your price range and criteria, please call me at 925-425-9491 or 510-279-9580.

Meena Gujral
http://www.helpusellachievers.com
925-425-9491
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Hi Sonia,

First of all congratulation that you have decided to buy a home! Welcome to Fremont and Pleasanton Real Estate Market. It’s great time to buy a home… you have inventory to choose from and mortgage rates are historically low.

Now you are confused as to where to buy, Pleasanton or Fremont?
Here are some questions for you that may help you decide…
• In what city do you currently live?
• How far is your office and his office from where you are now?
• Would you rather commute and live in a bigger/better home? Or you rather live in a smaller and older
home close to work?
• Are your friends in Fremont or Pleasanton?
• When you both are at work would be leaving your kids with nanny or grandparents? Which city will your kids will have to stay longer with baby sitter/nanny?

As far as I know, many homes in Fremont are not in fault zone… of course when you get the Natural Hazard Disclosure on a given/chosen property you will have precise info. If you find a home that meets your 75-80% of your criteria, elementary and junior high together with its price range, check and see which city offers you more for your comfort of commute and convenience to your kids and looking at overall scenario make a decision in the best interest for your kids, you will not go wrong.

Good luck on your search and decision,

Charo Bhatt
510-381-2105
http://www.HomesByCharo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Sonia:

Picking a community to live in is a very personal decision. Do you have friends or co-workers you can talk to about how they feel about Pleasanton or Fremont? Do you live near either of these towns now? Both Fremont and Pleasanton have schools with high test scores. You might also want to look into day care options for the little one too. As for your professions -- where you work may also play into your decision about where you want to live. If you can work from home, carpool, have flexible hours, can all contribute to your decision.

As for earthquakes, if you are really concerned about them, you should probably leave the SF Bay Area, and not consider southern California either! While no one can accurately predict when / where / and how big the next earthquake will be, it is probably fairly likely that there will be an earthquake in the Bay Area sometime.

Please contact me so we can discuss the pros and cons of both communities. Or perhaps in our discussion, you will discover another city you want to explore! I've been in the Tri-Valley for over 17 years, and have lived all over the Bay Area. It is a wonderful area, with many things to offer. And Fremont and Pleasanton are both great communities.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Web Reference: http://www.apr.com/sblaze
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Sonia - Fremont and Pleasanton both offer great schools for your children. I believe you will get a little more house for your money in Fremont but could find a few compareable homes in Pleasanton. It is probably best if you explore both cities and explore the neighborhoods and see what areas you feel the most comfortable in. I can assist you in both areas. Feel free to touch base.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Hi Jeo!

Can you tell me why or how?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
This is very difficult place to decide.I like both cities as well.But if commute is not problem, I would prefer Pleasonton.Both have really good school.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
ok if we eliminate the earth quake issue, still we are confused in Fremont vs Pleasanton.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
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