Moving in Piedmont>Question Details

Beth, Home Buyer in Piedmont, CA

We are relocating from Colorado to SOMEWHERE!!!! in Northern California. I would have to say good schools #1 priority...Safety #2, recreation#3

Asked by Beth, Piedmont, CA Fri Jan 1, 2010

are a family of 5 with 3 kids ages 5, 7 & 10 we are Caucasian. We are looking at most $450??? and obviously need space. Where would be the best place for us to be looking?? We do not want to end up in the middle of nowhere! and also don`t want to be anywhere that the heat is stifling in the summer. We have looked a little in Sonoma and Napa but seems very pricey for anything decent. One of my kids is BIG into Gymnastics....are there any good gymnastics centers located in, near or around Piedmont?

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Help the community by answering this question:


I am a Mortgage Broker and I work the entire bay area. My sense is that for $450,000 Brentwood should be considered. It is a way out, hot but windy in the summer, safe, good access to recreation, especially water.
I don't know about the schools. If you need help, please e-mail me.
Alameda is a fine place, but $450,000 won't get you much.
Concord/Pleasant Hill and Martinez would be another option.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 16, 2010
Since this was asked 2 months ago this reply may be to late.

Wherever you choose to buy ask about mello roos. Those are not property taxes as such but act like them. They can be horridly expensive and make a house unaffordable by their extra cost.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 5, 2010
Beth, check out El Sobrante, El Cerrito and Albany. Remeber also we have some great private schools here in the bay area. I am a bay area native and know of several area's that would work with your needs and budget. Feel free to contact me.

Mike Rowland
Windermere Rowland Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 5, 2010
Hi Beth,

Your price point is going to be challenging for a house for 5 with all the other requirements you listed. The town I live in "Castro Valley" would be your best choice. Or you are have to move out to a city like Brentwood. The heat is not stifling but it is warm.

I hope this helps!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 5, 2010
Hi Beth:

Before you decide on a particular area, I would suggest you find a very good real estate agent who really knows the larger area in which you are looking and who can guide you to the areas where you will get what you want for the money you can spend. referrals from people you know who live in the area can help. A tactic that worked for me when I needed to refer a client was to read a lot of the Trulia answers to see which people seemed the most knowledgeable and concerned about the needs of their clients. If these ideas do not work, you can check with a local (Colorado) agent who can make a few calls and do some research for you. If you do not know a Colorado agent willing to help you, you can call me at 303.473.1926.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 5, 2010
Hi Beth,

I am a Realtor in the East Bay and would recommend Alameda, Castro Valley, and some neighborhoods in Oakland, such as, Redwood Heights as good places to start your search.

As for gymnastics, my children attend the program at the University of Berkeley. They really enjoy it.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 5, 2010

With a budget of $450,000 for a family of five, you more than likely will not end up in Piedmont. It’s a great area with good schools, but, as already mentioned, it’s a very pricey area.

I’d recommend you locate a good Realtor from the East Bay, then work with them to narrow down your search. Your price range is more than likely going to locate you somewhere in the 880 corridor or San Jose. Since the Bay Area is such a large place, it would be helpful to know where you plan on working, hours of work, thoughts about commuting and so on.

There are many good school districts here and lots of options for extra-curricular activities. As an example, there is a great gym in Fremont and BART may be an option for your commute. You can also pretty much guarantee that the better the schools, the safer the neighborhoods. The East Bay is also cooler than the outlying valleys.

Let me know if you’d like any additional information.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 1, 2010
You have set up some good search parameters:
- good school district
- not in the middle of nowhere (so you'd like to have access to amenities
- not too hot

Factor in affordability, commute, access to public transportation

Since you identify yourself as a Piedmont buyer, then you already know that Piedmont has one of the best school districts around, and also have higher-priced homes than the surrounding areas. There are certainly some alternatives to Piedmont.

Let's start with checking ot the academic performance index in Alameda County:…

Because you mentioned not wanting to be in the middle of nowhere, presumably you'd want to be able to avail of certain amenities that specific locations like San Francisco offers. So proximty to the City may be a consderation.

And since you don't want to endure stifling summer heat, that's another. already know that Piedmont is higher priced than some locations, but there are others worth looking into.

Gee...that sounds like you'd want to be as close to the Bay as possible.

Hence...check out Alameda!
Other parts of Oakland, like Rockridge, is also a good option.
Berkeley is teeming with amenities

So many choices.

Any one of us realtors should be able to help you. Interview a few, check out the services we provide, the qualify of our work. You'll be glad you did.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 1, 2010
Start by doing some homework of your own--maybe even consider a very short term rental--visit a neighborhood several times and at different times of day to get a sense of “belonging”. Check out area statistics; real estate professionals are prohibited from “steering”—enticing a buyer to purchase, or not, in specific neighborhoods; so, you should check out demographics on your own to assure your comfort level can be reached. Call or visit school districts directly, ask for test scores, special programs, etc.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 1, 2010
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