I have no idea which Brentwood the Corte Madera agent thinks has a soft market but the Brentwood in Northern California, next to Antioch CA, is very strong, rentals priced at market rates are rented under a month. I would not purchase in Brentwood in hopes of e-Bart coming any time soon. Antioch also has a strong rental market. As to which one is better there is not a clear winner, each has pros and cons. Brentwood has traditionally had strong appreciation and strong rentals desirability but you will pay more for the house and therefore have a lower rate of return based on rents received. Antioch was hit harder by the foreclosure crisis and therefore has a greater potential for appreciation when the market rebounds. The rental market is strong in Antioch as well and there is no reason to believe that will change in the future especially factoring in the widening of route 4, in progress, and the eventuality of BART.