Family relocating from Los Angeles for a job in San Mateo. We're not sure if we should buy or rent. What neighborhoods should we consider?

Asked by Kremtown, Los Angeles, CA Sat Jul 28, 2012

Criteria: 1) great schools, 2) decent yard, 3) 3 Bd min-preferably 4, 4) $1.5-1.8, 5) commute no more than 40 min, 6) safe neighborhood

Nice-to-have: close proximity to town with a cool vibe (shops, farmers market, weekend family/adult activities), interesting home designs (mid-century modern, contemporary)

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


David Tapper, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Sat Jul 28, 2012
Welcome to the Bay Area. The cities the others have mentioned are all great, with very good schools.

If I were you, I think it would be wise to rent first and get an idea of the layout and areas you like best. You can always purchase later once you know more about each city. If you purchase first, it could cost you upwards of $100K if you find out later that you bought in the wrong area.

I usually don't do rentals, but if you need me to send out an email blast to hundreds of agents to see who might have a rental coming up in a nice area, I'm more than happy to do so.


0 votes
Michael Kapr…, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Sat Jul 28, 2012
Good Afternoon,

As far as your criteria is concerned;

1. Great schools; You really can't go wrong with the public school system within the cities of San Mateo, Burlingame, San Carlos or Belmont. With the price range you noted, this will keep you in the better areas of all the cities listed.

2. Decent Yard; This can change from area to area within each city. Some properties take advantage of their location and offer a view at the cost of a level yard. Once you start the viewing properties in these cities you'll be able to zero in this aspect.

3. 3 Bedrooms, preferably 4; This should not be a problem as long as you also don't want a fully remodeled or new 3,000 sq/ft home to go with those 4 bedrooms.

4. $1.5 to $1.8 Mil; Your are right in the numbers for what you are asking for.

5. 40 minute commute or less; This is easy with the cities that I've listed.

6. Safe Neighborhood; Born and raised on the Peninsula and living in San Mateo for the last 35 years I can assure you that safety has always been my concern when we raised our children. I would never want to put you anyplace I wouldn't put my own daughter.

Nice to Have List; These are the reasons why so many are moving to this area. What you list as "Nice to Have" is what I refer to as the "Peninsula Lifestyle" and I would love to show it to you.

As you may not be aware, Inventory is way down on the Peninsula (up to 46% in some areas)and because of the pricing it has even pushed buyers to look across the bay for better values. Multiple Offers are again a common occurrence with many properties selling for over the asking price.

Attached is a link to "MLS Listings" that has all the Active Listings in the cities listed above. View them at your convenience and feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

Click the following URL to see the listings:

0 votes
Diane Mollis…, Agent, San Mateo, CA
Sat Jul 28, 2012
There are several areas you could consider. There are several neighborhoods in San Mateo that would fit this bill, such as Hayward Park and Baywood. San Carlos has a quaint and popular downtown area and a fabulous Farmers Market! Belmont doesn't really have a 'town' per say...just a small strip mall. I personally live in Belmont and love it. It is right next to San Carlos and I frequent the downtown area there. Burlingame is another wonderful town with lots to do, great homes, good schools.
Our market here, at the moment, is fast paced. Homes are selling quickly and often with multiple offers. Rentals have also been a strong market and prices have really gone up in the last several months.
I have been selling and renting homes on the Peninsula for 25 years and would be happy to explore and advise on your options available.
Diane Mollison, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
0 votes
David Gowans, Agent, San Carlos, CA
Sat Jul 28, 2012
Sounds like Belmont or San Carlos would be most appropriate. They are immediately south of San Mateo. No more than 20 minute drive in the worst traffic. 5 minutes in good traffic. I'd be happy to help if you'd like to contact me through my profile.

Happy hunting!
Web Reference:
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more