Looking for a single family house in south bay - school district not a requirement

Asked by SK, Santa Clara, CA Thu Sep 12, 2013

Hey guys,

I am looking at buying a single family home somewhere in the south bay to stay close to work. Areas I am looking at are: Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose, Campbell and nearby areas.

We are planning on using private schools for our kids education so a good school district is not a requirement. However, we'd still like to ensure that the neighborhood is good.

Does anyone here have recommendations of areas that are not neccesarily good school districts but still good neighborhoods to buy in?


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SK, Home Buyer, Santa Clara, CA
Mon Sep 16, 2013
I think in general our requirement for a good neighborhood is:
#1 Safety. Can't live in a high crime area or an area with gang activity.
#2 Friendly neighbors..preferably all professionals (doctors, lawyer, engineers)
#3 Proximity to freeways, groceries, parks.

How is the Willow Glen area?
1 vote
Juliana Lee…, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Sun Sep 15, 2013
A big factor in what makes an area have good schools is the people living there. Generally people in areas with good schools have high expectations for their children and the economic means to give their children advantages. The difference is most definitely not just the teachers or the school.

Without knowing what you want from your neighborhood it is very hard to make a recommendation. A good starting point is to look at how much time you would spend commuting from different neighborhoods. If you spend less time commuting you will have more time to spend with your family and on your profession.

Santa Clara home values at http://julianalee.com/santa-clara/santa-clara-statistics.htm
Just sold Santa Clara home information at http://julianalee.com/santa-clara/santa-clara-home-sales.htm

There are many areas in each of those cities my clients are happy with and I would be happy to live in.

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty, the nations largest
Cell 650.857.1000

Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County
Web Reference:  http://julianalee.com
1 vote
SK, Home Buyer, Santa Clara, CA
Thu Sep 12, 2013
Thanks for all the responses. I work in Santa Clara and my budget is around 800K.
1 vote
Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Sep 12, 2013
Hi Sk!

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.

Good luck!
Grace Morioka
Allison James Estates & Homes
Tel (408) 426-1616
Rebates to Buyers of 50% of the Commission offered to Agent & Low Cost Listings to Sellers
1 vote
Vinicius Bra…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Sep 12, 2013
I would give Santa Clara a lot of consideration. Its typically more affordable than Sunnyvale and more convenient than Campbell or god areas of San Jose. It also has a number of good private schools within the city and because of its central location it you are very close to some of the top rated private schools like Harker Academy, Kings Academy, and for high schools you can take you pick between the top private schools Archbishop Mitty, Bellarmine (All Boys School) and Saint Francis.

Santa Clara has a lot to offer in terms of housing, such as plenty of parks, a newly built library, an Olympic caliber swim center, a world class university, and close proximity to the number one shopping center in the South Bay Santana Row. Its also convenient to most jobs located in the northern part of the valley. The city is currently being revitalized with the new NFL stadium and is attracting a number of national retailers to invest in the city.

Also typical commute time in Santa Clara will be 10 to 15 minutes, where commuters coming from San Jose and Campbell which are located farther south have to deal with more traffic.

For information about what types of homes you could afford in Santa Clara send me an email with your price range and I will send you some listings and neighborhood information.

Vinicius Brasil 408-582-3272
The Santa Clara Real Estate Guy
1 vote
sivalaxmi.ve…, Home Owner, Santa Clara, CA
Sun Sep 22, 2013

Santa Clara CA 95051 is good place to live,if u find any house Cabrillo or Benton are really

good to live these streets are next Lawrence express way.
0 votes
Nina Daruwal…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Sep 12, 2013
Hello SK,
Please do get in touch with me, this is a full on discussion and so may questions needing clarifications to better help you meet your RE needs.
I serve the Sth Bay area, and can surely help you. Be well and safe, regards,
Nina Daruwalla
Web Reference:  http://www.ninadaruwalla.com
0 votes
David Allen…, Agent, Sunnyvale, CA
Thu Sep 12, 2013
OMG buy a book to find a local agent? There are better ways. If they don't answer the phone and don't call you back in 10 minutes move on to the next agent. Have you been pre approved for a home loan? This is the first step. This will tell you where to look.
Best wishes.
0 votes
, ,
Thu Sep 12, 2013
Looks like you got a really good answer below.

Let me know if you need a purchase loan for the property or want to get pre-approved (this will increase the chances of your loan being accepted) because I can certainly help you out there. You can call me at 408-352-5147 or email me at AGreer@themortgageoutlet.com. You can check us out at http://www.TheMortgageOutlet.com. I will look at your situation and present you with some options.

Alex Greer
NMLS #1056079
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Thu Sep 12, 2013
I would love to make some suggestions. I need to know your budget. Also, where is work? When you say not good school district, I'm assuming lower scoring API is your point of reference.
0 votes
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