I thought I should follow up on this. Yes, indeed it is a subjective question, but that's why you ask subjective questions; to get people opinions. I ended up buying a house in Mountain View and have been there since November. And, as a result, I now have an opinion.
While there are some parts of Mountain View that needs a bit of cleaning up and some areas that have elements of crime, the neighbors have proven to be warm and welcoming people. I have made many new friends and feel fully welcomed to the community. Even if I am one of the only white people living there, everyone treats me like I've been there my whole life.
The community itself is showing signs of improvement as well. As soon as I moved in the streets were paved and a new community garden opened up right on the corner. Everyone you pass on the streets says a warm hello, something that I never had living in Ocean Beach (a community where you'd expect it).
I've looked into every hood in San Diego for a home that I could afford that also had all the fixings a home should. Plenty of room and large yard for dogs and kids with plenty of room to grow. The money I saved on purchasing this house I can put towards improvements to the land. Now when neighbors walk by all they can talk about is how much better the place looks. this, in turn, inspires them to make improvements to their places, or help to pick up a piece of trash in the community.
One neighbor asked me flat out, "why did you choose this neighborhood to live in?" I told him what I tell everyone, a neighborhood is what you make it. Simple as that. And mine is getting better every day.
This local real estate market is tough for those not making 6 figures. I would recommend to all to take a chance and step outside your comfort zone. You will be pleasantly surprised.