I have just immigrated to CA, I want to buy a house in the Bay Area with good schools location. Can you give me some suggestions. Thanks a lot!

Asked by Biddysteven, Alameda, CA Sat Jun 4, 2011

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Judy Swaby’s answer
Judy Swaby, Agent, Oakland, CA
Sun Jun 24, 2012
Hi Biddy,

Good schools in the Bay Area. That seems to be the big demand right now. Great school districts all the way through high school are Piedmont, Albany, Berkeley, Alameda, Orinda, Lafayette, and Fremont just to name a few. These are the closest to SF for those SF commuters. There are very good schools in Oakland to 5 grade and on occasion 8th grade. While these are all public schools of course there are many great private schools in the Bay area.

If you need more detailed information or an experienced realtor to help with your search I'd be happy to help.

You can reach me at 510.253.6931 or visit my website at ww.judyswabyhomes.com.


0 votes
Laurie Brown, Renter, San Leandro, CA
Wed Dec 5, 2012
Benicia and Castro Valley also have great schools.
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Meena Gujral, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
Hi Biddysteven,

There are many areas in the East Bay that have excellent schools. How far are you willing to commute and what is your price range?

Some areas of excellent schools are Fremont, Castro Valley, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek. It also depends on what you consider good schools. Some parents are satisfied with over 800 API scores and some parents want to be over 950. The cities I have mentioned above have high API scores in most of the schools.

Are you working with an agent yet? That should be your first step along with getting yourself pre-approved.

If I can be of further help, you can reach me at 925-425-9491.

Meena Gujral

Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty
0 votes
Trish Moore, Agent, Alameda, CA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
I moved to Alameda for the schools and would do it again. The homes cost more however, my daughter is able to bike or walk to school, feel safe and be in a top rated school. I have never regretted my decision.
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Sun Jun 5, 2011

I believe the best way to meet your goal of buying a home with a good school is to take these steps:

1) Obtain a True Pre-Approval - see: http://www.Steven-Anthony.com/GettingStarted

Be aware there is a “night & day” difference between a Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval. Unfortunately, many people in the industry use both terms to mean the same thing (especially Retail banks like Wells, BofA, and Chase). They are NOT the same! Even if the top of the page says “Pre-Approval” it may not be. Don't move forward with an offer unless you have this as you could not only waste your money spent on inspections, you can also risk you good faith deposit! I can provide a trusted referral if you like.

2) Research APIs

Find out where the "good schools" are in the Bay Area using the State's information for school performance, the Academic Performance Index (API) score. For example, here are the API scores for all schools in Alameda County: http://api.cde.ca.gov/Acnt2011/2010Base_Co.aspx?cYear=&c… Certainly, this step would be much easier if you narrowed down the possible candidate cities you are interested in first, but it's is always a great resource you can return to. As you move forward you will recognize a correlation between school API score and the listing price of homes.

3) Find a Realtor®

I'm sure you can find a professional Realtor® here on Trulia by reviewing their Profiles and answers. The Real Estate Company selected is not as important as what the individual you choose to work with brings to the table. Ask to sit down for an initial consultation and Q&A session.

Once you have found the Realtor® you want to work have them construct geo-bounded MLS searches to concentrate on the attendance areas you end up selecting. This way you will automatically be notified via email when any property meeting your search criteria gets listed. If you are just getting started I can help you with this.

Assuming you do not currently have a Realtor® but want to “see what’s out there” you should use http://www.Realtor.com which is the official National Association of Realtors® listing site. You can read why I suggest this in the blog post below:

MLS Data Accuracy – Where to search if you’re “without Realtor®”

Best, Steve
0 votes
John-Michael…, Agent, Berkeley, CA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
Start with a lender. Once you know what your purchasing power is interview no less than three agents and go look at homes with them. Also, once you find a home that you are interested call the school district and see what the admission requirements are.
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John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
I certainly could give you some good suggestions. Sit tight. The best is yet to come.
0 votes
Kamal Randha…, Agent, El Sobrante, CA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
Hello Biddysteven,

Bay Area is one a wonderful area to live ..I have lived here all my life and I love it. Have you given consideration as to which parts of the Bay Area are you looking in? What features you need in a home? What your budget is? Do you have a lender you are working with?

We are all here to assist you with your real estate needs ..please feel free to call or email me if I can be of further assistance.
0 votes
Jean Powers, Agent, Castro Valley, CA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
Good Evening,
I grew up on Bay Farm Island. It is a very nice older area. Harbor Bay Isle is the newer development. It is located on filled land. Bay Farm is not fill.
The first thing you need to do is find a good Real Estate Broker with experience and knowledge. There is a difference between a Broker and a Salesperson. Also make sure the agent is a REALTOR. You can google to see the difference.
*Once you find the REALTOR you feel comfortable with, they will educate you on the process.
*You must first be pre-approved with a lender to find out your price range.
*Then your agent will start showing you properties that meet your criteria.
*Your agent should make sure you are on email notification where new listings will automatically be sent to your email.

You can go to my website and sign yourself up for email notification. You choose your areas, price range and type of property that you want sent to your email. I would love to be your REALTOR of choice.

Good luck and have a great weeken.
Web Reference:  http://www.jeanpowers.com
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Jun 4, 2011
For school information see link, http://www.greatschools.org/ As for areas, much will depend on your budget, wants, needs, etc., therefore consider working with an agent of your own....
0 votes
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