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Old 08-10-2007, 05:53 PM
 
24 posts, read 111,439 times
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My husband and I are considering a move up north from LA. His job has an office in Oakland, I believe. I am looking at applying for a job with the county of Contra Costa. I was looking at the Martinez-Pleasant Hill-Concord area. The housing doesn't seem to be too crazy, but if the bay area market is anything like LA, it might just be too good to be true. Could anyone tell me how safe and family friendly these places are? We have 2 young kids. Also, what is the commute like to Oakland or SF? Any other areas to consider?

Thanks,

Betty
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:57 PM
 
Location: san francisco bay area
300 posts, read 1,390,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shecali View Post
My husband and I are considering a move up north from LA. His job has an office in Oakland, I believe. I am looking at applying for a job with the county of Contra Costa. I was looking at the Martinez-Pleasant Hill-Concord area. The housing doesn't seem to be too crazy, but if the bay area market is anything like LA, it might just be too good to be true. Could anyone tell me how safe and family friendly these places are? We have 2 young kids. Also, what is the commute like to Oakland or SF? Any other areas to consider?
Thanks,
Betty
Martinez and Pleasant Hill have smaller populations than Concord, which is larger and more urban. Pleasant Hill is considered more upscale than Martinez, parts of which have a small town feel and appeal. Martinez is also the county seat of Contra Costa County. There are other communities--Walnut Creek, for example, but these communities are more expensive than the three you mentioned. Another community to consider is Hercules. The three communities-- Pleasant Hill, Concord and Martinez have BART stations, which would enable a person to take public transportation either to SF or Oakland. Commuting by car will be taxing unless traveling during non-commute hours.
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Old 08-11-2007, 07:28 AM
 
24 posts, read 111,439 times
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thank you for the info. It sounds like Pleasant Hill could be a good match. I like the small town feel but close to an urban setting. I will also look into Hercules. You've been a great help

Betty
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Old 08-11-2007, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
331 posts, read 893,633 times
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Betty, I live in Pleasant Hill and love it here, but its expensive. Send me a private message if you have any specific questions.
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Old 08-12-2007, 09:56 PM
 
2 posts, read 21,609 times
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Concord can be expensive too, especially the 94521 zip code. I have lived in Concord for 15 years. It is a fabulous place to live! We have plenty of parks, tennis, golf, bocce ball, and even a dog park at Newhall Community Park. Our streets are cleaned twice a month by the city. I do not have any children, but apparently Joe Montana chose to to send his children to DeLaSalle High School in Concord. It is very easy to travel through Concord, Walnut Creek, and Pleasant Hill for shopping, dining, and outdoor activities without even getting on the freeway, especially during non-commute hours. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong in choosing Contra Costa County. Be prepared to spend at least $600,000-$700,000 for a decent home in Concord. Many homes in Concord have in-ground swimming pools in their backyards. If you buy a home on the border of Concord/Walnut Creek, you can save at least $50,000 or more by living on the Concord side. We also have excellent hospitals and doctors....John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek and Concord Campuses. 45-minute commute to S.F. via BART; easy commute to Oakland. Driving during commute hours can be tedious.
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Old 08-13-2007, 01:17 AM
 
Location: san francisco bay area
300 posts, read 1,390,627 times
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Originally Posted by SunnyCalifornia View Post
I do not have any children, but apparently Joe Montana chose to to send his children to DeLaSalle High School in Concord.
DeLaSalle High School is a private Catholic school for boys.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:43 PM
 
13 posts, read 64,707 times
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shecali...I've lived in contra costa county for about 6 years now...Martinez/concord area is sort of a rural area...Martinez is the county seat...which includes all the courts, jails, county departments, has one of the largest powerplants/macheinery in the US, kind of industrial like,..a little bit is that with Pleasant Hill, but not too bad...Cities you probably don't want to live in (within contra costa county) are Richmond (the worst), El Cerrito, most of Berkeley )Alameda County), Pittsburg, Antioch...basically the northern part of contra costa county...Cities that are more family oriented and safe: Danville (includes, Diablo & Blackhawk...Best city in the county, and even considered one of the best suburbs cities in the nation...a few famous people live in Blackhawk), Alamo (excellent city) San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Orinda, Brentwood (much further from Oakland/SF than the rest of the cities I've listed). I would try to find a home in the better areas I listed first (Hopefully the price range is okay, but are more expensive than the northern part of the county)...I'm not sure if you've looked into Alameda county (south of Contra costa) but there are some good areas out there too that border right next to contra costa (a little longer to get to Oakland, SF but not much)...a few cities are Dublin/Pleasanton...but I dont really know alameda county to well, just those 2 cities...anyway, good luck (btw the 3 cities u mentioned earlier, I'd say Martinez is the worst)...as far as Joe Montana's kid's going to DeLaSalle HS...the reason why he choose that HS is because they haven't lost a single football game in about 15 years...that school is crazy with football.

Orinda is the closet (within Contra Costa County) and a pretty good city to Oakland/SF (from Orinda to Oakland - 10mins w/o traffic, to SF - like 20mins w/o traffic). In fact, I'd REALLY recommend Orinda because there are a few mountains right next to the city that divide the residential and industrial areas. Oakland is basically on the other side of that mountain...it is a big difference crossing through the tunnel to Oakland (Hwy 24, which is what you would take to Oakland/SF)...It really keeps Orinda, that part of the county isolated...good area (alot closer than Pleasant Hill/Concord/Martinez). Also, BART, runs right through there as well...Walnut Creek is the main area for mall shopping (10mins away from Orinda)...Orinda has several trees, which makes it look really pretty. Also, Orinda borders Berkeley which have AMAZING views of SF Bay area...just live in Orinda haha ...you really can't go wrong with that city...not too mention, good school system out here

Last edited by danking27; 08-15-2007 at 04:10 PM..
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:31 PM
 
Location: san francisco bay area
300 posts, read 1,390,627 times
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I've lived in Contra Costa County for 16 years. Orinda is a great community, but it is very expensive even more expensive than Walnut Creek. Because Martinez is the county seat, it the home of the court house and the county jail. There is also a part of Martinez that has the Shell Refinery. But Martinez is not a terrible town. There are some very nice parts of Martinez, particularly the part that is south of Route 4 (the highway that divides Martinez) and borders on Pleasant Hill. It all depends on what you need. If the cost of housing is not an issue, then Orinda is a great choice. If on the other hand, cost is an issue, you should not rule out Martinez as there are some great houses in this town..
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Old 08-17-2007, 06:20 PM
 
48 posts, read 297,878 times
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If you have 2 kids, you may want to look at The Ca Dept of Education and see the test scores of the local schools. You can compare APIs of schools in a city or district. For the areas that you are referring to, the elementary schools test scorea are a pretty good indicator of cost-of-living.

California Department of Education

You will notice that Concord schools are not doing well compared to neighboring WC and PH. Personally, I think Pleasant Hill is really nice, especially between Gregory Lane and the WC/Lafayette border. It is a nice neighborhood without too much new development.
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Old 09-05-2007, 02:41 PM
 
2 posts, read 8,833 times
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Hi there!
I also live in Pleasant Hill and I really like it here. It's not too small, has a great downtown area with relatively new shopping, movie theater, bookstore, restaraunts, Saturday farmer's market. Compared with Concord and Martinez, schools in Pleasant Hill seem to be doing a little better, but I can't really speak from experience since my daughter is not in a public school system. Overall it is a really nice town, I personally like the feel of it, but what will eventually drive me out of Bay Area is, sadly, the cost of living and the cost of real estate.
Good luck to you!
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