For 350k you can get a two bedroom in Campbell which is part of San Jose. I think Campbell is your best bet because it has its own unique downtown that has a great nightlife. The location is great because you have all the big city needs of being in San Jose while still being part of a smaller community. Also, you are within 5 minutes of downtown San Jose and Santana Row, which is a trendy European style shopping and dining area.
Personally, I used to live in New York City and would compare this area to the Midtown, Murray Hill, and possibly upper east side areas of the city.
If you have any questions about bay area neighborhoods please feel free to shoot me an email.
and the list goes on....
I would be happy to answer any questions about Oakland, drop me a line! Best of luck to you~Jessica
Here in the SF Peninsula, there are plenty of good buying opportunities for people with good credit.
You can get started with a Condominium....!
As I write this response, I am lookiing at the results I got out of a quick search with your price range.
The lowest priced CONDO in the San Francisco Mid-Peninsula is located in San Mateo, Ca.
Go to http://www.mlislistings.com and search it by MLS (Multiple Listing Service) number using #766110.
It has several photos that show you what you can get for that amount. It is priced at $199K.
Night life from this Condo is 20-30 minutes away (SF) or less (Downtown Redwood City, Palo Alto).
The second lowest priced CONDO is located in Mountain View priced at $270K and the MLS number is 774305. Find the listings and map them on http://www.google.com.
On top of that, if you are a first-time home buyer you may qualify for a California Home Financing Assistance Program to get a low interest rate loan.
Go to http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/ for more information.
You do need to contact a lender who is knowledgeable about the program.
There are a couple I know who can help you with that..
Good luck with your search!
Palo Alto has the Stanford theatre, Stanford Junior Art Museum and great eats - Osteria was our favorite right in downtown
247 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Los Gatos has a great down town with the best french pastry!
Then you can a drive down to Santa Cruz, Monterey and Carmel or Half Moon Bay.
Santana Row is a great place too..and it's close to Cupertino
Best of luck
You may check out the various neighborhoods at my website.