It depends on where you live in Mountain View (its a big city with many nooks and crannies) and what you like to do. Each neighborhood has its pros and cons. I like the downtown area for food and historic homes with character. I like Cuesta park and Shoreline as a good places to hang out with kids. But for the most part, west of El Camino is great (and safe).
Mountain View is nestled between Los Altos to the North and Sunnyvale to the South. The residents are mostly professional and the best places to live are in areas where the school is Los Altos School district elementary and middle schools--usually a litte further north and on the west side of El Camino Real. The population of Mountain View is mostly professional with residents working for Sun Micro, Apple, Google, and other high profile companies in the area. In fact, when Google went public, housing prices in Mountain View shot up over 10 percent in about one month.
The residents of Mountain View love their downtown area, and their City Hall is famous as a backdrop in a movie staring John Lithgow. John's pictures grace many of the walls inside the City. They have one of the best planning departments to work with, and the City government is both cooperative and responsive. The newer library is wonderful. Restaurants line the downtown Castro street, and you'll find many neighbors walking around in the summer enjoying the evening.
Because Mountain View and Los Altos share a high school and overlapping school districts, many Mountain View residents can be enjoy the sights and art of Los Altos, including the Hillview Community Center and theaters in both Mountain View and Los Altos. Mountain View has the Shoreline Ampitheatre and residents from Mountain View can often get preferred tickets for concert events there. The best celebration is the Fourth of July at Shoreline Theatre and fireworks can be seen from many parts of the city. Shoreline Ampitheatre is located in the wetlands near the bay's edge in Mountain View and you'll find plenty of residents, biking, hiking and taking in the lovely sights and animal life at this preserve.
Mountain View has convenient access to both 85 (to go south) and 101 (to go north). Housing prices are a bit higher in Mountain View than at points further south, and there are definitely better sections of town than others. For more information about Mountain View, please contact your real estate professional. Good luck and happy house hunting!!
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty