Coming back to CA from Princeton NJ, and planning to live on the peninsula (husband's office in San Mateo). Best location for families/schools?

Asked by Princeton Mama, Palo Alto, CA Mon Oct 11, 2010


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Marcy Moyer’s answer
Marcy Moyer, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Tue Oct 12, 2010
Princeton Mama,
There are lots of choices but here are a few highlights:
1. Palo Alto for great schools, lots of family oriented activities like the Children's Library, Children's Theatre, Junior Museum, farmer's market, University AVe shopping, and of course the proximity to Stanford.

2. Los Altos: Great schools, great library, nice downtown area, big lots

3. Menlo Park: Burgess Park has a public pool, great gymnastic program and athletic fields, and great downtown

4. Emeral Hills for a more rural feel and fun community lake

5. San Carlos with its renovated down town, great schools, and more reasonably priced homes

6. Redwood Shores with its newer homes, amazing recreation activities on the bay, great schools, nice parks including a big dog park
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David Tapper, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Welcome back, PM. Burlingame has great schools from start to finish. San Mateo has one of the best Elementary Schools with Baywood Elementary in the entire Peninsula. Foster City, Belmont and San Carlos also have excellent schools.

How old are your Children? That would help and how far away is your husband willing to drive?

You might want to visit



Cashin Company
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Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Hello Princeton and Welcome Back Home!!

Your answer, of course, depends greatly on three key factors: 1) Price; 2) Building Configuration and 3) Desired Commute times. A north to south commute in the morning and a south to north commute in the evening is considered slightly "reverse" commute on 101 and 280 although both freeways are pretty crowded during peak commute hours.

If your husband is commuting to San Mateo from the south, the commute times get a bit longer, but are still not bad. The "bottle-necks" are at Mountain View and Palo Alto along 101 and Palo Alto at Page Mill on 280, where both exits feed large technology companies. From Sunnyvale to San Mateo at 7:30 in the morning, the commute is approximately 40 minutes, so if this time is amenable to you, you might consider housing in areas as far south as Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Altos and Palo Alto, which all have great schools, and API scores in the high 800 to high 900 range. Further up the Peninsula, parts of Menlo Park, Redwood City and Foster City are all very much desired by families seeking both a great commute to San Francisco and San Mateo as well as a varied terrain for living. Both Redwood City and Menlo Park have "bay side" housing, and Foster City is well known for its lagoons and waterways. The City of Redwood City can also boast homes with great views from the nearby hills, so there's plenty of variety along the Peninsula.

As Andrea pointed out, for more information, look at to get a sense of the types of schools in any area where you might be interested in looking.

In the meantime, if you need help finding a home, you can begin your search now at, the public site for the MLS here in Santa Clara County. This will give you a sense of what's available as well as the approximate cost. When you get here, if you need additional help, feel free to contact me, and I'll be happy to help you locate a home.

Good luck!

Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
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Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Mon Oct 11, 2010
That is such an open ended question as price, house and lot size, commute, lifestyle all play such a big part in the answer. You can find school scores on my website, along with area market stats, and you can search for active real time homes, also has some good resources on their website.

Welcome back to California.
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Andrea Wince…, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Hello Mama, congratulations on your return to California. Many locations in the Bay Area are good for families and schools. Where did you live before in Calif. and were you happy with that area? If you want to check out the latest information on schools, this is one good resource:

You can check API Scores, teacher credentials, etc. I can also email you some property listings. If you would like to send me your search criteria; budget, number of beds/baths, etc., you can contact me through my Trulia profile or website below.

Kind regards.
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