Home Buying in Pleasanton>Question Details

Farah, Home Buyer in Princeton, NJ

Moving to Bay area, Which is the best neighborhood in the east bay with good schools and relatively new houses for sale(<10 yrs)?

Asked by Farah, Princeton, NJ Thu Jul 1, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Arbit23,

Pleasanton is a wonderfull city with great schools quant downtown nice reastarants. Our home prices tend to be a little higher. Schools are nice.
Now depends on what your looking for. I definately suggest the first thing you do is get pre approved. This way when your out looking at homes and you find something you love you could write an offer.

San Ramon is a nice city as well with some fantastic schools. They have more homes that may actually fit your criteria and Dublin as well.

Dublin has a lot of homes that are newer and in a relativly lower price range.

I suggest you come and take a couple of days to look at Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon and Livermore.
Maybe even route out the driving route from your job to each area.

Schools I would say would most likely be best in Pleasanton, San Ramon, then the newer area of Dublin then Livermore. You can get these stats and schools test scores.

You will need to drive neighborhoods your self. Currently you can get fantastic values with short sales and reo's. I suggest using a realtor who has experience in these areas and knows how to negotiate these types of sales.

If you have any questions please contact me.

JoAnna Jensen
Realtor / Legal Assistant
Legal Realty Volo Law Group

925 699 5041
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
Hi again Arbit23,

The scenario you envision for your move is quite doable. I know many people who live in Pleasanton and commute to either SF or Silicon Valley. Both areas are accessible via public transportation, using either BART http://www.bart.gov/ to SF or the ACE train http://www.acerail.com/Home.aspx to the south bay. The Dublin/Pleasanton Bart station is located at Hacienda Dr. & Hwy 580, and the ACE station is next to the fairgrounds in Pleasanton, at the southern end of town.

Dublin or Pleasanton are your best bets for younger homes. Both cities offer many neighborhoods with a variety of home styles, from condos to multi-million dollar properties. As many here have said, your location will depend on the price you are willing to pay.

For Pleasanton school ratings, please visit: http://trivalleyrealty.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/school-ranki…

I'd be happy to send you a list of available homes for these areas.

Julie Lauer. CA DRE: 01418971
Web Reference: http://www.JulieLauer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 7, 2010
Hello Arbit,

There are many many wonderful areas for you to look at. As far as schools go, you can check out this website to help you further. Have you narrowed down your search as to which part of the Bay Area you are looking at? or price range? If so, I can start sendin you a list of homes available to help you get started.
Good luck :)

Kamal Randhawa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 7, 2010
Web Reference: http://www.soreal.biz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010

If by "Valley" you mean Silicon Valley, then you will have a long, difficult commute, most likely by car. It's a VERY crowded commute most days and there is really no effective way to get through other means. Some take the Altamont Commuter Express, but it may not end up close to where you want to work. BART is planning an extension to Fremont, but it won’t be ready for a number of years.

If this truly is your scenario, you might want to seriously look at Fremont (BART) or San Jose, Sunnyvale or Santa Clara (Catrain).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010

San Ramon is gettting a bit distant as far as commute to SF but it is a wonderful area if you can deal with the drive. That said San Ramon and Danville best fits what you stated. Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill are a full half hour closer. It really depends on what youa re comfortable with.
Web Reference: http://bob2sell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Bart from Walnut Creek is the most direct route and the shortest commute so then Danville might be easier, though Danville's only newer homes are on the east side off Camino Tassajara and Crow Canyon. There is Dublin Bart, so Pleasanton and San Ramon both have good access to it, but depending upon where in SF he will work, it will take about an hour (you can go online to Bay Area Rapid Transit District website, and check out a schedule).

What you will find when you get out here is that while a commute is part of the equation, what will be a bigger factor is how the neighborhood feels to you. People buy homes by neighborhood, and then make adjustments for the other factors. It is my opinion that you have narrowed it down about as much as you can without actually being here. I take my relocation clients out and do a grand tour of all the neighborhoods that fit in their price range, and they narrow down the area after about 1 day. Then we focus on finding the right house in the ngibhrobood that they like. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
Thank you all for your help. I am contemplating between Pleasanton, San Ramon and Danville. My husband has to commute to SF the Bart, while I might end up commuting to the valley. Any idea about these areas in terms of the commute. thanks once again.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010

There are no shortage of great schools and awesome neighborhoods in the East Bay:

Central County: Castro Valley
Tri-Cities: Fremont
Tri-Valley: San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton

There are also some great private schools here that provide a number of other options for you.

However, there are some more fundamental questions that need to be asked first:

(1) Where are you going to work? Commutes here can be absolutely awful and you don’t want to end up in a great neighborhood but have a lousy commute. As an example, if you plan on working in the Central County area but live in the Tri-Valley area, there are only a few ways to get through the hills – and they are TOTALLY clogged during commute hours.

(2) What is your budget? I just took a couple from New York through various East Bay neighborhoods and they were APPALLED at Bay Area home prices and DEPRESSED by what they could not get for their budget.

(3) What is your lifestyle? California neighborhoods are drastically different than northern east coast communities – style of homes, amenities, customs, etc. The couple I just finished driving around were amazed at the differences in the style and functionality of malls, schools, freeways, office buildings and so on. It’s a different world out here.

You really might want to consider renting here for a few months before you decide on an area in which to live. Quality of life is a critical component to healthy living and you don’t want to spend a big chunk of your life behind your steering wheel just to get a nice home you never get to fully enjoy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
You should go to greatschools.net to compare Pleasanton, Castro Valley, San Ramon VAlley Unified School District, and Dublin School District. Lafayette also has great schools, but most of the homes are older unless your price point is about $1.0 million.
Castro Valley Palomares and 5 Canyons are very near the 10-year old mark, or are older.
Dublin has newer than 10-year old homes on the east side of town, and the elementary and middle schools are Fallon, John Green, and Dougherty Elementary. Pleasanton is just over the freeway from Dublin, but most of the homes are older than 10 years, again, unless you are in the over $1.0 million range for the most part. Danville has mostly homes older than 10 years, except in the area off of Tassajara in the east side of town, and San Ramon has a lot of homes newer than 10 years, primarily in the communities of the Bridges, Gail Ranch, and Windemere. The community of Windemere has a tax rate of about 1.7% though, compared with a property tax rate of about 1.2% for the rest of the area, so your monthly outgo will be significantly higher for the same priced home as in the other areas. Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Good schools and young homes, means either San Ramon or Dublin. If the commute won't work for these two cities you need to consider Pleasanton or Fremont.

Let us know if we can help you.

Sunil Sethi / Steven Fong
Web Reference: http://www.sunilsethi.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Hi Arbit23,

I have lived in the East Bay my entire life and love all it has to offer. Every city in the East Bay has newer homes and the schools are pretty solid. There are some that are definitely rated higher than others however.



One of the great things about the East Bay is its diversity. Entertainment, wildlife, dining, commute/transportation, home values, weather and more.

What price range are you comfortable with? What size home?
The East Bay ranges from less than 300k to several million!

Is a pool important to you? Does climate matter?
With its proximity to the San Francisco Bay there can be a 15 degree difference from Livermore to say Castro Valley on the same day!

Is Privacy a factor?
Some of the newer homes are pushed closer together and have many more two story floor plans than homes built 20 yrs ago. This limits backyard privacy.

Where will you be working?
The direction you travel can make a huge difference with regards to commute time. If you have to take the freeways, heading East or South in the morning is the best. This puts you on a reverse commute. In addition, our mass transit system (BART) is great if you happen to be near it and work where it goes. It is not extremely extensive but works well and is clean. It is a great way to go see The Oakland A’s or San Francisco Giants play.




How do you and your family like to spend your weekends?
Danville and Pleasanton have some amazing dining.



Livermore has wineries galore and wonderful Parks such as Del Valle and Sycamore Grove. Lafayette and Walnut Creek also offer some great open spaces with Mt. Diablo.





The overall feel of each city is varied as well. Orinda and Moraga are secluded and have a quiet atmosphere compared to say Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton and Dublin.

All of this in an area you can get to one end of to the other in 30min!

I could go on forever. I included some websites that will be of interest to you. You can also go to my website to review individual cities and schools. If you would like to go into detail with regards to your wants and needs send me an email direct or call me. I love talking about the East Bay.

Congratulations on your move. I hope you find California and the East Bay as wonderful as I do.

Best Regards,

Eric Soderlund
Web Reference: http://www.ESoderlund.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Hi Arbit,

There are many great schools in the Tri-Valley area of the East Bay. As a Pleasanton native I'm biased towards my hometown and yet I can truthfully say that all the schools are excellent here. Pleasanton has a unique downtown, many recreational opportunities and cultural events. It's a great place to live.

Best, Julie
Web Reference: http://www.JulieLauer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Hi Arbit,

There are many areas with excellent schools in the East Bay. It depends on your price range as well. It is very possible to get newer homes (10 years or less) in most of the areas I am mentioning below:

Castro Valley - Five Canyons and Palomares Hills. Both these neighborhoods belong to a very good school district.
Pleasanton - all areas have very good schools.
Fremont - Some areas have excellent schools and some are just O.K. I can go over these different areas with you in detail if you want to call me.
San Ramon - Most areas are very good for schools.

As I mentioned, if you want details about these cities and neighborhoods, call me at 925-425-9491 and we can discuss the neighborhoods and school scores, etc.

Meena Gujral
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Dear Home Buyer,

The East Bay is a very diverse area. You may want to check out Lamorinda (Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda)and Walnut Creek (the Las Lomas High School area) for top ranked schools and fabulous neighborhoods, downtowns and less than 10 year old homes scattered through out (in fill properties) and some new developments. These communities offer a mix of custom homes with a few gated communities. The grammar and middle schools are top ranked too! I have had three children in these schools, one just graduated from UCSB, one is at UC Berkeley, and one is in high school...If you like sports these areas also offer wonderful sporting activities with a lot of parent support. Hope this helps!!

Of course, please feel free to contact me...I am happy to provide you with more specific information about neighborhoods et al.


Ann Sullivan
Coldwell Banker
5 Moraga Way
Orinda, CA 94563
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Hi Arbit,
There are many great neighborhoods in the Bay Area. I would recommend an area based upon your lifestyle, wants and needs. That being said: Pleasanton is the first to come to mind with great schools, a wonderful quaint downtown, easy freeway access and a great sense of community. Each city in this area has it's positives. I'd be happy to send you schools scores and share with you my personl experience in the East Bay. I am a Bay Area native!
Jill Denton
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Hello Arbit23,

The top pick seems to center in San Ramon Valley School District with a focus on the Dougherty Valley High School area. That means San Ramon, specifically Windemere, Gale Ranch or Bridges. There is a deep archive of monthly market updates for each neighborhood at http://www.VickieSellsHomes.com You don't have to sign up, just click on the neighborhood name in the left column.

Vickie Nagy
CA DRE#10363932, Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
P L E A S A N T O N is a wonderful community. I'm sure their are great neighborhoods all over the Bay Area, but having lived here and raised my kids through the school system all the way from Pre-School through High School, I speak of what I know. Give me a call and we can discuss what else, besides schools, <10 ten years, etc are important to you. I need more information. Please feel free to email my at rhonda@rhondafee.com. I am an Accredited Buyers Representative. You can learn about my style by visiting my website, http://www.rhondafee.com. What's important to you is important to me. Let me understand your situation!
Web Reference: http://www.rhondafee.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
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