Sandy, Home Buyer in San Jose, CA

Hi, I am focusing on Almaden Valley for my house hunting right now due to many reasons which are well known:

Asked by Sandy, San Jose, CA Wed Jun 11, 2008

great schools, beautiful mountains...One thing that I am a little worried and so far still do not have an answer for is the traffic. How bad is the traffic from Almaden to Sunnyvale and Santa Clara where most jobs are located?

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Mary Pope-Ha…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Wed Mar 2, 2011
Lots of great info here, but I just want to add one more comment: Almaden Valley is long and narrows at the southern point. A lot of your commute can be just working your way up Almaden Expressway or Camden Avenue if you are in the far south, near "New Almaden".

The commute may be a lot shorter if you're in Montevideo or Oak Canyon or any of the areas on the northern end vs those on the south. I ran a couple of streets through Google traffic, as SJ Downtown suggested. It's about 18 minutes from Bertram Road to Oak Canyon Drive alone - and both are "in" Almaden Valley.

Some home buyers only want to be near Williams Elementary (API scores about 972) but that means 10-20 minutes more, at least, of a commute than if you are up near Coleman Road at the northern end of Almaden.
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Klee224, Both Buyer And Seller, San Jose, CA
Wed Mar 2, 2011
Hi Sandy,

I saw this question and wanted to know if you ended up moving to Almaden Valley? I am also looking at Almaden and concerned about traffic to Sunnyvale every day.. Did you end up moving there? If so, how do you like it? If not, can I ask you where you ended up and why? Thanks!
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Rebekah Owen,…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Feb 16, 2010

It's much better with Hwy85 but it's still a long trek in the morning. Many of my clients have the ability to work from home some days. I have a client that works in Palo Alto and she goes in at 10 and it still takes half and hour to 45 minutes.

On the other hand - she has a big gorgeous house along the foothills by the countryclub and something comparable in Palo Alto would be twice as much as the home she's in. It's all a trade off.

Can you work around the commuting issue?

Rebekah Owen, MBA
Managing Broker
0 votes, Landlord, Milpitas, CA
Thu Jun 12, 2008
It depends on which route you have to take. Hwy 87 doesn't have many lanes and is the worst especially around Hwy 280. Hwy 85 is slightly better but still a lot of traffic. I use to work in Sunnyvale and lived near Capitol Auto Mall area. (I've also lived in Blossom Hill area and also went to school down in Almaden Valley when Hwy 87 was built.) For work, I did the Hwy 87 to 101 then switched to Hwy 85 to Hwy 237 (very congested intersection as well). My company started offering free VTA passes so then I took lightrail to work. It would take me about 1.5 hrs to get to work on light rail because there's a transfer point in the middle. Personally I didn't like the commute. I have a friend with a similar commute now and he's considering buying a condo to be closer to work and renting out his house.
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SJ DT, , El Ranchero Estates, Plano, TX
Thu Jun 12, 2008

There's a better way other than physically driving through that route, since traffic condition are different at different time and day. eg. Monday is usually worse in the morning.

You can use google traffic...try this link...…

We all know provides "live traffic", you can try the link above or simply go to, type in your zipcode then click on the "traffic", but seldom knows that it can also allow you to check the "Average traffic" on any weekday any times, after you click on the "traffic" then click on "change" to check traffic at different timing. According to that, traffic is okay after 9:30am, and 7:00pm; I personally love this gorgeous valley ..commute time is just a little thing comparing to living quality (spacious house), rich neighborhood (>150k median annual household income) and great school districts (10/10 from K1 to 12) and green Mt. extended from Los Altos/Gatos that ordinary family cannot afford - you spent maybe 20 more mins per day (or 1 more gallon) but you gain huge from it
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Davis Loya, , Willow Glen, San Jose, CA
Wed Jun 11, 2008
Hi Sandy,
One thing I always advise my clients to do is to actually drive the route that they will be taking. Try to do this both in the morning (to work) and the evening (from work), during your regular commute time. That way, you can have a real feel for what the traffic is like. Good luck!
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Mario Pinedo,…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Wed Jun 11, 2008
The traffic is going to be a big issue for you if you are forced to drive during the peak hours. Almaden Valley has always had this issue, even before the 85 solution became a reality - little did it do to make things better. The offset to the traffic issue is definitely the strength of the schools, the better cost of the housing and the wonderful weekends you will have there.
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Linda Baker, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Wed Jun 11, 2008
Hi Sandy,
I live in Almaden, as well as sell homes in the area. To answer your question about traffic is difficult, because so much depends on the time of day you are traveling. In general, it can take 30 to 45 minutes to get to the average destination. I have travelled Hwy 85 at rush hour from Sunnyvale coming home, and it has never taken me more than 45 minutes, and usually closer to 30.
And I can honestly say that once you see the green hills, it doesn't matter, because the destination is worth it!
Happy house hunting. We have some great listings coming up!
Let me know if you are looking for an area expert to help you with the process.
Linda Baker
Alain Pinel Realtors
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