There are a few neighborhoods you should watch out for though. The closest area to Mountain View would be the 95051. With homes in the Cupertino School districts on the south end of town and a heftier price tag to go along with. I've got a listing coming up soon in the $500k range right on the border of Sunnyvale and Mountain View you might be interested in.
Check out these homes as well:
Address City Bed/Bth Sq.Ft. List Price
1739 Laine Av Santa Clara 4 2 1,336 $501,900
2581 Patricia Dr Santa Clara 4 3 1,835 $499,000
2977 Kearney Av Santa Clara 3 2 1,278 $485,000
2140 Monterey Av Santa Clara 3 2 1,078 $480,000
2108 Hoover Dr Santa Clara 6+ 4+ 1,288 $450,000
3020 Mark Av Santa Clara 3 2 1,170 $434,600
3231 Humbolt Av Santa Clara 3 1 1,384 $429, 000
I used to commute from Oceanside to work in Vista, CA years ago. Welcome to Santa Clara County. When we relocated back to Santa Clara County in 1990 we moved to Cambrian because of the school district, location to commute routes, proximately to Los Gatos, and the affordability factor - we could get more house for our dollars. There are two zip codes for Cambrian 95118 and 95124. Zip 95124 is nearer to Los Gatos and more schools have higher ratings. You'll find the prices higher there. Zip 95118 has been catching up to 95124.
If the schools are important to you there is a pocket serviced by Guadalupe Elementary with scores comparable to Los Gatos and Saratoga.
If schools are not important, there are several new home commuties in Santa Clara County offering great Buyer incentives along with the government money make these excellent opportunities.
I've also had buyers who work in Mountain View buy in Milpitas.
I hope you find this valuable.
What you need to look at is parts of Santa Clara,Campbell,Cambrian, Blossom Valley, North San Jose, Milpitas these areas will give you the nicest homes in your price range and with 3 bedrooms. Since I work mainly as a buyers agent and in your price range you'll be looking at mainly Bank Owned and Short Sale properties, which I have a lot of experience in helping buyers purchase. If you like you can log onto my web site and put in search with your criteria or just email me and I will put the search in for you.
Hope that helps.
I agree with James (below) that Santa Clara is a lovely town to consider. Parts of Santa Clara share the Cupertino School District, which is desired because of its academic excellence, and these areas will be a bit pricier than your budget currently allows, but there are excellent places in Santa Clara where homes are affordable and share good Santa Clara School District schools. I've blogged about both Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, so please check out my blogs at my website below for more information about the towns.
There are also homes in West San Jose (Zip code 95129) that share Cupertino Schools, where prices are in the $500K range. To check out homes and any other available properties up here in Santa Clara County, you can use the MLS's public portal by going to http://www.mlslistings.com. Then work with a qualified real estate professional up here to determine which areas would be best for you, and--equally as important--which areas to avoid. Your best best would be to look for housing in the following zip codes: 94086, 94087 (both in Sunnyvale), 95014 (Cupertino), 95129 (San Jose at the Cupertino border), 95051 and 95050 (Santa Clara) and 94041, 94043 (Mountain View). If you're willing to travel a little farther, you might also consider the following sections of San Jose (zips 95117, 95124) and Campbell (95008). Unfortunately, the farther up the Peninsula you travel (toward San Francisco), the pricier the homes become, so homes in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Woodside and Redwood City will likely be beyond the $500K price. Similarly, homes in the southern portion of Santa Clara near the mountains (such as Los Gatos and Saratoga) will also have elevated pricing.
Good luck, and if you should need any additional assistance, please feel free to ask!
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
Tel (408) 426-1616
Congrats on moving here! Santa Clara also has some nice homes under 500K. Personally I like Cambrian better, but driving north on 85 in the mornng commute time is horrendous!!! Santa Clara works well commute wise because you can generally take Central Expressway, which is much easier to deal with. You might also think about downtown San Jose, if you like condos and city living. It is an easier commute as well, than along 85.
Welcome to the Bay Area. I have lived here since elementary school, and I just love it.
And we have never had this level of affordability that we do now, so your timing is perfect.
San Jose is the largest city in the South Bay, and it has many distinct neighborhoods.
There are still many neighborhoods that are available in this price range with good schools. I have a listing in Blossom Valley that is a 3bedroom/2 bath home for $525k and the schools there are outstanding!!
My recommendation is to sit down with your agent and discuss all of your wants and needs. It might be that a townhouse is the best fit for you, too.
There is just too much to cover in this kind of forum.
If you would like more info, or would like to speak to me, I would be happy to help you. My phone number is 408.712.3432 or my email is LBaker@apr.com.
Happy House Hunting!
Alain Pinel Realtors
We can help a little more if you let us know more about your preferences. For instance, You will get a larger and newer Town House in this price range. Is that an option?