All of the areas that you mentioned have great neighborhoods within which to purchase a new home. As to whether or not a neighborhood is "good", that decision will rely almost wholly on you and your requirements for a community. We, as Realtors, as barred by law from giving you directions toward any specific areas as this is considered steering. Similarly, we cannot describe neighborhoods nor recommend neighborhoods based on race, family status, age or profession.
What I can tell you is this:
1. Get a Realtor to help you find a home. While I know it seems it may be "too soon" in your search to hire a Realtor, a good one will not "push" you to finding a home now, but will work with you on YOUR time table to find a great home. This can mean working with you for months or, as I've done with one or two of my clients, years to find a great home.
2. Neighborhoods with the highest buyer demand are also those neighborhoods that have some of the best performing schools in the area. While I can appreciate that you don't need a good school district for your family members (since they are attending private school), you will find that highly desired neighborhoods also overlap with great schools.
3. Do a little research. Go to http://www.crimereports.com
to view local crimes in an area. All areas--even those with the highest home values--will have some crime, but if there is a proliferation of reported crime in an area, you might need to determine if that is a risk you are able to tolerate.
4. Talk with the neighbors around any home where you want to buy. This is one the best ways to gather information about a neighborhood. Surprisingly, neighbors have no "agenda" to make any home in the area look "better" or "worse" to a buyer who is interested in buying another house. If you spend even a few minute with any neighbor, you'll get the "straight deal" almost every time regarding what happens in the neighborhood.
Most importantly, SK, hire a Realtor. Aside from knowing all of the areas that you've mentioned, a good Realtor will use other information--including your price range, location of your job, and your personal requirements for a home to locate a great home for you. Doing this alone can be pretty frustrating, so get someone to work with you to ease the difficulty in locating a great home.
Allison James Estates & Homes
Tel (408) 426-1616
Rebates to Buyers of 50% of the Commission offered to Agent & Low Cost Listings to Sellers