coloradoluck, Renter in Mountain House, CA

Question to rent vs buy and where to live

Asked by coloradoluck, Mountain House, CA Wed Jun 13, 2012

We are a (military) family of 7. We have 5 kids (3 of them w/ special needs). My husband will be working in the Belmont/San Mateo area for the next 2, possibly 3 years. We have looked for homes with at least 2500 sq ft (we are currently in a 3200/4br) and the space is nice but we need an extra bedroom now. I am not sure how commuting to the area would be (even with taking back roads/short cuts) from Mountain House. We have been looking all over the peninsula too. We need a home with adequate space, safe neighborhood/low crime, and good schools. It is becoming harder and harder to find all this with out a huge commute or big rent payment. Our only other option is to live on Moffett air field in a 2400 sq ft town home with 4 bedrooms. Any advice on this and whether rent vs buying would be better (or if you foresee the market going up and us being able to sell and make a little cash in 2-3 years)?

Help the community by answering this question:


To rent or buy, is really all about costs and lifestyle. Costs—financing v. moving-in, mortgage v. rent, repairs v. upkeep. Lifestyle—stability v. mobility, predictability v. flexibility, equity v. freedom from debt. It used to be all about equity. Now, there are other variables to consider in the balancing of the buy/rent equation; you decide.... For school information see links below.
When it comes to any safety/crime related issues, it's always best to contact the local police department with all your questions, hear all there is to hear firsthand. If unfamiliar with the area(s) do revisit more than once and at different times of day, possibly chat with locals/neighbors. Real estate professionals are prohibited from steering, enticing a buyer to purchase/rent, or not, in specific neighborhoods.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 13, 2012
Dont take this as a local realtor trying to steer you towards buying :)

But... Mountain House has seen an increase in prices of roughly 10% in just the first half of this year and homes are selling fast for asking price or above in most cases, unless the home needs a lot of work or is a short sale. Inventory is extremely limited in our small town and will likely always be smaller than the demand to live here since our Master Plan stops at close to 10,000 homes and our schools are the best public schools in San Joaquin County. I dont expect prices to continue skyrocketing like they have so far this year, but I also dont expect them to be going backwards again at this point.

Our high school was just started and will be complete by the start of the 2014 school year. Builders are raising prices right now. The commute is supposed to get easier over the next several years as BART gets extended and more carpool lanes are added, etc. I'd be shocked if within 3 years we didnt have a Safeway or hadn't at least started building one. There is also a rumor going around that a University could be built in Livermore next to the LLNL and Sandia Labs, 'the only two labs of their kind without University affiliation nationwide' I've been told.

Plus, after living here 3 years, you're not going to want to leave so you'll be happy you bought a home when you moved here :)

The commute will be rough though. My wife commuted to South San Francisco for a few years and it would take 1-1.5 hours to get to work and 1.5-2 hours to get home depending on traffic. Hopefully your husband would be able to carpool with others heading that way or take advantage of Ace and BART. You'll definitely need to consider the trade offs carefully as they apply to your family. Big house with lots of space, low crime, and great schools... but less dad time?

I wish you and your family the best with whatever choice you make.

Drew Jacobsen
Broker, Realtor, SFR
209-855-1308 Direct
209-229-1018 Fax
DRE # 01416016

Mountain House
Real Estate Group
DRE # 01885423
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 13, 2012
I have to agree with Drew, having lived here for 4 years myself. I constantly here residents of Mountain house say the same thing,"Mountain house is so safe and so beautiful, we just wish the shops were here." with the shops in talks now, the highschool being built and the word of the extremely high api's getting out, we are seeing a radical influx of people who want the best for their family.

Shaun Zamrykut
Klemm Real Estate
(510) 917-2307 cell
(209) 879-0160 fax

DRE# 01896658
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 13, 2012
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