My husband and I are (both of us early 30s working professionals) interested in moving from congested NYC to

Asked by Chewy, 10019 Tue Feb 17, 2009

the Bay Area to purchase a home – could anyone recommend a young professional oriented safe neighborhood? Briefly, my desires are, good school district (or private school options available), good day care options, convenient to shopping (Saks? Bloomingdales? Nordstrom?Trader Joes or Wholefoods) and near but not too close to the freeways. My husband is in management consulting so ideally 20-30min drive to the SF international airport would be good. So far on my list are San Jose, santa clara, sunnyvale, mountain view, palo alto, san mateo? but I have no clue what east san jose versus west san jose is like. Ideally, min 3 bedroom, 2 bath - newer the home better, perhaps a gated townhouse community to start with. So far we like Toll Brothers (our parents have 2 homes built by them) but am not familiar with any other reputable builders out in the west so if you have any recommendations let me know! thank you!

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Vinicius Bra…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Tue Feb 17, 2009
Hi Chewy,

Where should I start.

Toll Brothers is currently building in Sunnyvale. They have two townhome developments I believe that are still selling Verona and City Park. As far as Sunnyvale is concerned it is a wonderful community. It has a Trader Joes, good school district in some areas. Depending on where you live you in Sunnyvale can visit the largest Whole Foods in California in Cupertino or if its more convenient the Mountain View location. Sunnyvale also features a small downtown. Shopping you will have to drive 30 minutes to Standford shopping in Palo Alto or 25 mintues to Westfield Shopping or Santana Row in San Jose. About a 25 minute dirve to SJ Airport and 45 Minute to SF Airport.
For a list of active Sunnyvale Homes…

Santa Clara is nice as well. It is centally located in the south bay. The nearest Trader Joes is in Sunnyvale about 15 minutes, Whole Foods is in Cupertino 20 minutes, and in some areas features good schools. It generally is more affordable than Sunnyvale. Its about 10 minutes from Santana Row and Westfield Shopping. About a 20 minute dirve to SJ Airport and 45 Minute to SF Airport
For a list of Santa Clara Homes:…

Mountain View is great. Good schools in most parts. Although its a bit more pricey than Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, but features a Whole Foods, Trader Joes, a nice downtown with restuarants, 24 hour Fitness Super Sport, 20 minutes away from Stanford Shopping in Palo Alto. About a 35 minute drive to San Jose and San Franciso Airports.
For a list of Moutain View Homes:…

Palo Alto is a great place to live. Much more expensive than Mountain View, a lot more expensive than Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. It has a Whole Foods, no Trader Joes, but the Moutain View/Los Altos location is close by 10-15 minutes. All the schools are top notch. I great downtown with restuarants, cafe's, and also has Stanford Shopping. About a 30 minute dirve to SJ Airport and 30 Minute to SF Airport.
For a list of Palo Alto Homes:…

Cupertino is also another community that is well known for good schools. It is a nice community it has a Trader Joes, Whole Foods and is about 15 minutes from Santana Row and Westfield Shopping. San Jose Airport is about 25 mintues away.
for a list of Cupertino Homes:…

The only area in San Jose or around San Jose that I would recommend based on your criteria would be West San Jose or Campbell. There is a whole Foods and a Trader Joes, and a quaint downtown area in Campbell, and also decent schools. San Jose airport is about 15 minutes away and San Francisco about 50 Minutes. Its about as affordable as Santa Clara.
For a list of Cambell Homes:…

As far as day care, all the areas have various options. You will probably not want to go any farther east than Campbell based on what you are looking for. Also feel free to visit my website more information or give me a call. I would be happy to answer any of your questions.

Also if you are thinking of taking a trip out to the Bay area I would be happy to take you around to some of these areas and show you homes in their various markets.
1 vote
Nina Daruwal…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Tue Feb 17, 2009
Hello Chewy,
What a cool screen name! Out of your list I would suggest Palo Alto, Los Altos & Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and Cupertino - as south as you can get which is 40 mins from SFO. Start with these cities.
These Cities are excellent for everything that you have asked for. Great schools, shopping, parks, good day care options, great Public Schools, so that you can put your money into your home, or save it for College!
I have 3 kids, work as a full time Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Cupertino- we have Nationally acclaimed schools here! am on 2 school PTA's and am a Public Safety Commissioner with the City of Cupertino. I cater to the Bay area, mostly work by "Referral" - its a good way! and also am on the Re-Location team for my company!
I have re-located 5 countries myself, and understand the entire process a family goes through- physically, financially, emotionally and mentally! Trust you folks will get some corporate housing?? DO contact me, I will take exceptional care of you an your family! Check out my website, and references.....
Meanwhile, be well and travelsafe,
0 votes
Sheeba Sharma, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Feb 17, 2009
Hi there!

I'm located in teh Silver Creek Valley Country CLub. It meets most of your criteria above,other than 20-30 minutes from SFO. It is about 20 minutes to San Jose airport, but about 50 minutes to SFO. Other than that, just about all your criteria are met. I've lived here for over 11 years, have kids who have gone through the schools, etc. The schools are award winning (Silver Oak Elementary), the neighborhood is very active and friendly with all sorts of clubs and activities for ALL age groups. Just a short list includes: golf (children and adults), tennis, swimming, karate, ballet, kids programs, and just so much more. Take a look at I work for the local real estate brokerage Windermere. We have the most presence in this community and because I also live here, I either know the answers or have a wealth of resources to turn to. In addition, there are not many communities in the Bay Area that are gated. SCVCC is gated. Please take a look at the website and give me a call (408-529-3940) or email should you have further questions! BTW, I grew up in NJ and though this is not NYC, NYC is near and dear to my heart!

I look forward to hearing from you!
0 votes
Chewy, Home Buyer, 10019
Tue Feb 17, 2009
Okay - so thank you for the inputs! like Mr. McCord said we may be Palo Alto people but our budget may push us out - so to narrow this down. Quoting my dear husband this is our "starter" home - hence he does not want to spend more than 500K but I think I can push him a little bit beyond that (maybe). Neither of us have had any debt in our lives, husband has perfect credit score mine is a decent 740, probably going to take out a 400-450K loan - we should be fine covering the mortage. We did some preliminary shopping in NYC/NJ so that I think they quoted us $2500 month rate but don't remember. and we plan on renting and checking things out for 3-6months but the reason i'm posting is we are flying out to SF in March to take a look at homes to see if we like the towns and picture ourselves living there.

3 bedrooms, 2 baths. newer homes (townhouses most likely) the better as we do not want to update/modernize the kitchen, bath, and floors. so far the single family homes at a 500K price range look very old and outdated - hence i'm leaning towards a townhouse. I did see some new construction for KB homes and Summerhill? (sp) homes and some Toll Brother town houses where it's slightly over 500k but have no clue if the neighborhoods are nice or what not - so if someone could point out to me which areas I can afford and which areas are undesirable (not safe, etc.) that I should avoid altogether, that would be a good starting point for me. Thank you!!
0 votes
Bill Mccord, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Feb 17, 2009
Good morning,
You've already selected some possible areas but to get more complete and useful input you might wirh to provide some other important parameters i.e. price range, size, number of bed and bath rooms, age of property issues. A major factor out here is the huge price differences between cities within close proximity to each other so while you sound like Palo Alto people you might have a Redwood City budget.
0 votes
Andrea Wince…, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Tue Feb 17, 2009
Hello Chewy, All of the areas you mentioned are good, however, there are some not so desirable areas in every city. If you would like to open up a private dialogue with me to help you with your search criteria, you can email me from my website below. To check out our schools, you can do research at
The price range you are preapproved for your loan/purchase will determine what areas you should shop. Kind regards, - Andrea.
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Tue Feb 17, 2009
Hi Chewy, it would be easy to start shooting you various neighborhoods to consider; however, you may just consider this: Rent a place for 6 mos to get to know the various areas and then think about buying. I don't believe we will be seeing a housing recovery in 2009 and HR1 (which President Obama will likely sign today) really doesn’t have any components that immediately stoke the economy.

One thing I can do for you today is a rough Pre-Approval and then set up an automated Search Agent for you just so you start to get the "look and feel" of some areas.

If you are interested in this conservative approach please contact via email and we'll get started today.

Best, Steve

Steven A. Ornellas, MBA, GRI, ABR, e-PRO, CMPS, RE Masters
REALTOR® / Mortgage Banker-Broker / Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more