What is best for you will depend on a number of factors. Where do you work?, for example. If you are commuting to Cupertino or even San Jose on a daily basis, the difference in distance may not seem much but who knows where the cost of gas is going? Another question is "How long do you plan to stay in the home you will buy?" Naturally you will want the best education for your son/daughter and San Ramon Valley School District as a whole gets the best marke by far but there are very good elementary schools in Dublin as well as in San Ramon, particularly on the east side.
Whereabouts in Dublin are you considering and whereabouts in San Ramon? Here again, your commute will be a factor. You can certainly get more home for your money in Dublin than in San Ramon. But like elsewhere, San Ramon home prices have come down in price over the past couple of years. Do you prefer older homes or newer ones? Historically, San Ramon has been a better real estate investment than Dublin (yes, it's the schools again). This is likely to continue to be the case. And don't overlook the positive impact that the new city/civic center is likely to have on home values. Everybody who lives in San Ramon may not be enthusiastic about this but personally, I can't wait to see it.
Personally, I would not consider buying a home in Dublin if I could afford an acceptable home in San Ramon. But that's easy for me to say as I don't commute anywhere. Certainly $700-750K will buy you a very nicely updated 1970s detached single family home in Twin Creeks for example. For that price, you should even get a nice yard. This is a great established neighborhood that is pretty convenient for everywhere. For the same price you can buy a more recently built single family home in Gale Ranch or Windemere (but look out for higher taxes in Windemere). Don't expect a large yard in Windemere or Gale Ranch though.
These are only a few of the possible areas in San Ramon. There are many more options. I specialize in helping people to buy and sell homes in San Ramon and around 80% of my business is there. If I can be of any help, please feel free to contact me.
Bernard Gibbons, Realtor, e-PRO Certified Internet Specialist
J. Rockcliff Realtors, 15 Railroad Avenue, Danville, CA 94526
Phone (925) 997-1585