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Old 07-21-2013, 08:56 AM
 
473 posts, read 359,251 times
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I have a chance to take a West Coast position and my company has offices in LA (south of LAX) and Mountain View. I can choose either one.

I'm wondering which area would offer the best quality of life for a family with young children. My priorities are living in a top rated school district and also being able to afford a house for under $1 million. And I'd want to keep my commute under 45 minutes.

My concern about LA is being priced out of places like Beverly Hills that have the best schools. And my concern about Mountain View is that I've never been there and the most appealing aspect seems to be proximity to San Francisco -- and it's not even that close, from what I can tell. Of course, I'd love to hear other redeeming features!

So what does the California board think? Should we go north or south? Any specific suggestions for school districts would be welcome too!
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:49 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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The Bay Area is known for being an education oriented and knowledge based culture and workplace. A million will not buy much here in the best neighborhoods though.
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:26 PM
 
Location: The Outer Limits
286 posts, read 500,520 times
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I vote for NorCal! I don't have kids, so can't make any recommendations on school districts. As far as driving distance from Mtn View to SF, it's about 45-60 min, depending on traffic.

I recommend posting in the San Jose forums for additional questions pertaining to Mountain View, and reviewing the information here: http://www.city-data.com/city/Mounta...alifornia.html
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:32 PM
 
Location: SGV, CA
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Here's a great resource for you when reasearching schools

School Performance Maps - LAX

School Performance Maps - Mountain View

As you can see both locations have good schools in nearby cities. 1 million isn't much but as long as you keep your expectations for house size in check you should be able to afford living in one of the top school districts. Then again your ID implies you're from NYC so maybe sticker shock won't be so bad.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:35 PM
 
Location: the illegal immigrant state
757 posts, read 1,468,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCtoBNA View Post
I have a chance to take a West Coast position and my company has offices in LA (south of LAX) and Mountain View. I can choose either one.
I'm commenting on MV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCtoBNA View Post
I'm wondering which area would offer the best quality of life for a family with young children. My priorities are living in a top rated school district and also being able to afford a house for under $1 million. And I'd want to keep my commute under 45 minutes.
That's a pretty stiff order.

I'd say to pick two as you can't/easily have all three.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCtoBNA View Post
My concern about LA is being priced out of places like Beverly Hills that have the best schools. And my concern about Mountain View is that I've never been there and the most appealing aspect seems to be proximity to San Francisco -- and it's not even that close, from what I can tell. Of course, I'd love to hear other redeeming features!
MV isn't very close to SF though Caltrain runs through MV so you can take it into SF within appx 45-70 minutes.

You can pour over Caltrain's timetables.

MV is otherwise a nice, solidly middle-middle-class suburban sprawl city.

MV has both middle-income college-educated English-speaking and low-income high school dropout non-English-speaking demographies whose children- I believe- are assigned to some of the same public schools. FYI. So you'll have to decide whose children you want yours to sit next to in class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCtoBNA View Post
So what does the California board think? Should we go north or south? Any specific suggestions for school districts would be welcome too!
If you're going to work in Mountain View and want to live farily close to there, I suggest trying to find 2 of 3 of your criteria or consider renting indefinitely to get your child into a really good public school.

As for good school districts, I won't speak to that but instead I'll speak to the cities that contain them and the racial majorities in the districts:
White- Los Gatos
Asian- Saratoga
Asian- Cupertino

Be very carerful with San Jose's public school districts as many of them are saturated with low-achievement students and low API scores.

Some of San Jose's public school districts including San Jose Unified School District have a bussing/desegregation program that may make it difficult for your child to go to either the school or your choice or one close to your home.

Generally, the wealthier cities are located along the southern & western foothills and have the better schools and the cities in the center of the (silicon) valley and closer to the bay have the inferior public schools. San Jose nearly as a whole has inferior public schools.

The Peninsula is similar, esp in places like Redwood City, but I'm not as familiar with it so I'll withhold comment.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:16 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,754 posts, read 70,607,687 times
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I'd vote for NorCal. More intellectual, better weather (unless you like the heat), better scenery, imo. The only hitch is real estate costs. Take a look at real estate listings in Mt. View, but also surrounding areas. Pacifica is more affordable (though foggier), you may have other options as well.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Earth
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If you have kids you don't want to be in SoCal....
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:08 AM
 
2,645 posts, read 4,824,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCtoBNA View Post
I have a chance to take a West Coast position and my company has offices in LA (south of LAX) and Mountain View. I can choose either one.

I'm wondering which area would offer the best quality of life for a family with young children. My priorities are living in a top rated school district and also being able to afford a house for under $1 million. And I'd want to keep my commute under 45 minutes.

My concern about LA is being priced out of places like Beverly Hills that have the best schools. And my concern about Mountain View is that I've never been there and the most appealing aspect seems to be proximity to San Francisco -- and it's not even that close, from what I can tell. Of course, I'd love to hear other redeeming features!

So what does the California board think? Should we go north or south? Any specific suggestions for school districts would be welcome too!
I have lived in both Northern and Southern California. I say this is an easy choice. Live in Southern California in a place like Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach or Torrance. These locations represent the best of the idylic Southern California lifestyle. These schools are ranked the same or higher than the ones in Beverly Hills. Also one would not want to make the commute from Beverly Hills to south of the airport on a daily basis if one can avoid it.

Here are links to California school ratings for counties of interest,filtered for 8 or above rankings. LA County is vast and covers many districts. In Northern CA there are 3 counties that may be considered.

California School Ratings, school profiles, test scores - Los Angeles County

California School Ratings, school profiles, test scores - Santa Clara County

California School Ratings, school profiles, test scores - San Mateo County

California School Ratings, school profiles, test scores - Alameda County

Here is a comparison from a previous post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by capoeira View Post
1)I have lived in both the LA area and San Diego. I am currently in SF. I think the traffic is much worse in LA. There are more cars and more people. However in the LA area the traffic is somewhat beatable by having extensive knowledge of all the alternate routes. For example the 210,10 and 60 run parallel. If you check the online traffic and listen to the radio reports on traffic you can keep moving. If you just drive the 5 or 405 and don't study the maps or learn all the alternate roads you will think the Southern CA traffic is a nightmare.

In contrast in SF there are not any alternative routes. For example if you are in Oakland you must take the Bay Bridge to get to San Francisco no matter how jammed it is. The alternative bridges will be out of your way. The SF area has good public transit with the Bart train but that may not be an option if you are in a sales position.

The advantages to Southern California are numerous.
a)Miles and miles of fantastic beaches,from Mailibu & Santa Monica down
to Huntington,Newport & Laguna in Orange County.
b)Perfectly sunny and beautiful weather almost everyday.
c)slightly less insane housing prices
d)the people seem much friendlier
e)You get access to San Diego-La Jolla Cove,Pacific Beach,Mission
Beach,Sea World,Balboa Park,surfing and the greatest weather in the
country.

A disadvantage to Southern California would be the poorer air quality in the
the inland areas. Get around this by living closer to the ocean.

I can't really think of any advantages to Northern California. There are
numerous high paying employment opportunites. Given an equal choice of
employment I greatly prefer Southern California. Public transit is definitely
better in Northern California but they need it considering the traffic
bottlenecks created by all the bridges.


Both areas have their seismic risk

The ShakeOut Scenario

Hayward fault a likely 'time bomb' Oakland Tribune

http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/2005/15/gip-15.pdf
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:26 AM
 
Location: SGV
24,838 posts, read 9,671,662 times
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If you do pick SoCal I suggest El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, South Redondo Beach, and the southwest/western parts of Torrance.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:33 AM
 
473 posts, read 359,251 times
Reputation: 1030
Thanks, everyone! A lot of good info here and you've given me a lot to think about.
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