Quality of Life in 95126>Question Details

Tigerhc, Renter in Cupertino, CA

Which neighborhood is nicer? Willow Glen in San Jose or Hillcrest in Milpitas?

Asked by Tigerhc, Cupertino, CA Mon Oct 31, 2011

We recently moved here from LA and found two beautiful homes in respective neighborhoods. My husband works in Cupertino, Willow Glen seems closer but the crime rate is higher compare to Milpitas. 16 miles vs 9 miles of traffic is not a big deal for us, especially when it compares to what we used to do in LA. We have a 1 year old and expecting another, therefore, we are more concerned about the neighborhood and safety. Any advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Grace Morioka’s answer
Hi Tiger and thanks for your question!

To be frank, there are attributes to both areas and I can summarize these as follows:

1. You will get more home in Milpitas than you will in Willow Glen as the cost per square foot is much higher in Willow Glen.
2. Homes are significantly younger in Milpitas than in Willow Glen, and the interior layout is better--especially for new families--since they will incorporate more modern designs. Average age of Milpitas homes is about 20 yes old and the average of homes in Willow Glen is over 50 hrs old.
3. Unless you work in the East Bay or near Milpitas, the commute to Santa Clara from Milpitas is quite long. However, I'll admit that I have done the LA commute for a week there is absolutely no comparison to the commute from Milpitas to ANYWHERE in the Bay Area. I can't imagine a 2 hour commute on a regular basis. Even in the worst conditions from Milpitas to Mountain View, it should not take more than 45 minutes one way during peak commute hours.
4. The performance of schools are just a little better in parts of Milpitas than in Willow Glen. Check API scores on the State of California's website to make a comparison between schools.
5. Milpitas is truly a "bedroom" community of homes skirting portions of industrial areas. Willow Glen is an older, more established community nestled amonst kitschy, independent shopping areas and restaurants.
6. San Jose's city government is a huge, large, cumbersome contraption that can be difficult to work with, and will be expensive to get permits from if you decide to build or add to the home. Milpitas, by comparison, has a small government office, and is far less difficult or expensive to work with in making changes to the home.

To answer your questions about "which is better?" I'd have to answer that I like both communities for different reasons and visit each frequently during the month to work with clients and visit friends. However, considering YOU and YOUR situation only, I think you might find Milpitas to be a better fit for a growing family. The most important thing is that you work with an experienced Realtor to assist you. Whoever you choose should be able to provide this same summary of attributes for each community plus many more!

Good luck!!

Grace Morioka
Area Pro Realty-People's Choice
Tel (408) 426-1616
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 3, 2011
Hi Tigerhc, Welcome to the Bay Area! A truly amazing place to live.

I had to laugh when you mentioned commutes. I always find my trips South to be invigorating to say the least.:)

Commuting from Milpitas to Cupertino can be a test of anyone's patience as there are 3-4 freeways with major choke points to navigate depending on where one must go. Milpitas has experienced a rapid growth in traffic in the last 15 years with McCarthy Ranch, The Great Mall and the employment centers near the Cisco campus area. Willow Glen being a much older 'community' had less expansion over that same period.

May I suggest that you take the neighborhood schools into serious consideration? Your one year old and bun in the oven will be going to one before you know it. The condition of the local real estate market being as it is an upside equity strategy will not be realized for 5-8 years. When you are considering buying consider selling first. Schools are number one in the mind of nearly every buyer I meet. Both communities have their gems in that respect. Here is a chamber of commerce quality video review of Willow Glen...

Willow Glen may be perceived to have more crime due, in part, to the proximity to some unfavorable San Jose areas. I would suggest that you do a preliminary crime search at http://crimereports.com for specific neighborhoods you are considering. You can then make visits at different times of the day to get a sense of their true nature. Another Chamber video for Cupertino.... http://www.youtube.com/user/RealtyWorldNorCal#p/search/0/-t5… and so you don't miss anything! http://losgatoshomesandrealestateblog.com/idx/city/cupertino/

If I can be of further assistance you are welcome to contact me. Again, welcome to the Bay Area. I have enjoyed the area my entire life and love to share the best it has to offer.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 1, 2011
The choice between Willow Glen and Milpitas is more a matter of choice and personal taste. They are both very nice communities.

Personally I prefer Willow Glen over Milpitas, but they are both very nice communities.

They are both very safe neighborhoods as well.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 31, 2011
It's been nearly 3 years, did you eventually buy a home? If so where and do tell what your deciding factor was.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2014
By now I'm sure you've made your choice but thought I would post for future buyers with the same question.

Both communities offer very different 'feels' and amenities. My suggestion would be to spend some time in each and see which appeals to you more. If the commute isn't an issue, which house do you like best? It sounds like you plan to stay awhile so look into the schools and determine which you'd prefer for your children to attend. Do you prefer an established community or a newer neighborhood? What amenities are nearby that you'd frequent? How about freeway access? All things to consider.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 23, 2014
Welcome to San Jose area/Silicon Valley. In my opinion, as a Broker for 39 years in this area, feel that there is no comparison between Willow Glen and Milpitas. Willow Glen is a well established neighborhood suited for family living. It is close to major freeways, downtown and transportation, shops, I especially love the streets with covered mature trees and unique styled homes, and cute downtown with variety of restaurants that make you feel at home and has a lot to offer that you don't see in Milpitas.

I don't know where the crime statistics came from, but in my experience the crime is pretty equal in both neighborhoods. Milpitas is less of a neighborhood and more of an industrial type area, that may be why the statistics are skewed. If you like to get more information, please feel free to contact my cell at 408-529-4098
(Ali Shahidi), Broker-Owner, True-Vision Network Real Estate. Best Regards,
Web Reference: http://www.true-vision.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Hi Tigerhc

You have chosen two great areas in the Valley.
However, if you were to live close to Down town Willow Glen, you will enjoy a fine
elementary school, library, as well as quality of life along with neighborhood parks.

Hillcrest in Milpitas is also just fine.

However, you should visit them during the weekdays and weekends to see what
area fits your life style.

Good luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 1, 2011
Great answers already.

You are sort of asking us do we like oranges or apples better. I suggest that you talk with people who live in the neighborhood you are considering. Find out what they like and don't like about where they live. Where to they commute to? What is their opinion of the schools? Why?

I would pick Willow Glen because it is close to where I work and currently live. It has a real downtown area with downtown activities to bring people together, including restaurants and shopping. Mature trees line the streets and older charming homes . My children are grown so schools are not a factor in my decision.

This same question to someone who prefers Milpitas will give you another perspective. Then you will decide which community fits you.

If you are working with a Real Estate agent they can help you through a decision.

All the best to you.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 1, 2011
Hello Tigerhc~

Thank you for your post and inquiry. Willow Glen is a wonderful community along with Milpitas and if not to far Fremont is an ok commute if you go over the bridge it may be a better option. They all have wonderful schools some will vary in API scores. But here is a website you can check out for the crime rate. https://www.crimereports.com/

If you are working with an agent have them go over this with you. Also it will be a little difficult to really make any judgment without your criteria and price range so a bit tough to make a educated call for you. If you are not working with an agent feel free do contact me I can start sending you possible homes in your criteria, along with viewing and narrowing down some of these communities with you.

Denise A. Szyszlo Realtor
DRE 01441160
Office:: (408) 369-2000 x319
Mobile: (408) 768-7097
Fax: (888) 334-0888
Email: denise.szyszlo@century21.com
CENTURY 21-Alpha
419 E. Hamilton Ave, Campbell, CA 95008
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 31, 2011
Congrats on your move to the bay area. I think you will love the area and all that it has to offer. I have lived in the Willow Glen area for a very long time and we really enjoy living here. The Hillcrest area is also very nice. In my opinion you should work closely with the Realtor you decide on to help you and together you will come up with the answers you are looking for. Picking your home is a big decision and their is always lots of factors to look at when making your final choice. It is difficult to answer all your potential questions in this way. A good agent will be able to help you a lot and give you sound advice. Good Luck.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 31, 2011
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