Buybuybuy, Home Buyer in Fremont, CA

Lakes and Bird neighborhood, Ardenwood school district--why the price so low compared to other ardenwood school district?

Asked by Buybuybuy, Fremont, CA Fri Aug 6, 2010

Alvarado by my agent. The pandarosa houses look great, and it is generally much bigger compared to other houses in Ardenwood School District or Forest Park school district. However, I noticed the housing price is significantly lower compared to other Ardenwood houses. After more digging, I noticed it's called Lakes and Birds neighborhood... I don't quite get it, I mean, people typically pay more attention to school district, right? And it's also in Ardenwood elementary school. Why would the price be so low?? Is it just because it's close to Union City? Is it really such a big factor?

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The Lakes & Birds areas have historically mistakenly been lumped together – in reality, the Lakes area is very different from the Birds area. The Birds area is in Ardenwood school district, the Lakes area is in Warwick. The style of homes, the builders and many other factors are VERY different.

American HS District Boundary map:
http://www.fmtusd.org/1681101031102044977/lib/16811010311020…

The fact that these two neighborhoods are lumped together like this may be part of the problem. It also might be the Birds area proximity to the railroad tracks. The tracks run very high behind the development – you can actually see eye-to-eye with train personnel from the second story bedroom windows of homes that back to the tracks. The fact that it is next to Union City is not a factor.

There are currently 10 homes for sale in the Birds area and only one sale this past year. It was an REO that sold for $288 sq/ft. The average list price per sq. ft it is currently $315.

As for the Ardenwood area proper, although Forest Park is actually a part of Ardenwood, you have to keep in mind that the Forest Park area is technically separated out when doing comparative comps for the area. Home prices in the Forest Park area are higher than the remainder of Ardenwood.

Ardenwood Elementary school also services the part of Ardenwood that includes homes on the west side of the railroad tracks (over by Karl Nordvik Park).

As such, Ardenwood is a much larger area than the Birds area and has newer and more diverse homes.

Ardenwood (not including Forest Park) currently has 15 active listings, 12 pending and 66 sold in the past 12 months. The average list price per sq/ft is $389 and the sold average per sq/ft is $376.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 9, 2010
As you mentioned, schools are very important to most people that buy a home in Fremont so they are willing to pay a higher price than where schools are not as good. Although Warwick school is very good, Ardenwood Elementary and Forest Park Elementary scholls are the best in that area.

As per the information on greatschools.org, Warwick school is 9 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best. Ardenwood and Forest Park schools are both a number 10. So you can see that people that want a good school want the best.

Are you working with a realtor? Your realtor should be able to guide you through this process. If I can be of any help, you can reach me at 510-279-9580.

Meena Gujral
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty http://www.helpusellachievers.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 6, 2010
Hi Sunil and Brian, Thanks a lot for your answer. I have called the school district and I am sure it's in Ardenwood School District. As a matter of fact, I think the Lake and Birds are divided into two parts, separated by Alvarado Blvd. The west part is the one I am looking at, the triangular area bounded by Lowry, the railway, and Alvarado blvd, this is confirmed to be Ardenwood School District. The east part is less attractive, bounded by the "river/creek", HWY880, the community park in the north, and the Alvarado Blvd. It's in Warwick school district.

As a matter of fact, the $/sqft in the Lake and Birds, regardless of the school districts, are the same in different years. This is quite troubling, as I would assume the triangular region should have higher housing price since it's a nicer neighborhood, pandrosa house, and nicer school district....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 6, 2010
I was looking for a house in Ardenwood School District. I was driven around and found this triangular area bounded by Lowry Rd, the railway, and the alvarado blvd. The pandarosa houses look great, and it is generally much bigger compared to other houses in Ardenwood School District or Forest Park school district. However, I noticed the housing price ($/sqft) is significantly lower compared to other Ardenwood houses by 10-20%. After more digging, I noticed it's called Lakes and Birds neighborhood... I don't quite get it, I mean, people typically pay more attention to school district, right? And it's also in Ardenwood elementary school. Why would the price be so low?? Is it just because it's close to Union City? Is it really such a big factor?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 6, 2010
Check the boundary maps again, or call the school district. My understanding is that the Lakes and Birds area is associated with Warwick Elementary. It's a a great school as well, but Ardenwood and Forest Park have higher API scores.

Sunil Sethi
Web Reference: http://www.sunilsethi.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 6, 2010
The homes in the "Lakes & Birds" neighborhood do not go to Ardenwood Elem., they go to Warwick Elem. Also the homes in the "Gentry" tract are smaller, older, and attached to one another. The homes in the Ponderosa tract are nicer and bigger than Gentry. Then there are the "Northpointe" homes near the larger park on Lake Arrowhead, these are nice homes and a nice neighorhood, this area has several builders including Citation & William Lyon. Several different neighorhoods and different styles of homes. But they all go to Warwick Elem. Only the Ardenwood homes go to Ardenwood & Forest Park.

Hope this helps,
Brian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 6, 2010
BTW, when I say the price of the region is cheaper, I mean in terms of $/sqft. It's always about 10-20% cheaper compared to Ardenwood/Forestpark houses... The absolute price is close, but the living area is typically much larger compared to Ardenwood/Forestpark houses....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 6, 2010
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