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Old 01-23-2013, 12:44 PM
102 posts, read 133,824 times
Reputation: 99


Inner East Bay (Berkeley, Alameda, Albany, Piedmont, Oakland) has about the same weather as mid-Peninsula and you aren't going to get much for your money there either (nice houses in nice areas will cost you), so I think outer East Bay is a good choice if you want warmer weather and a bigger house. The Peninsula never feels isolated to me, but parts of the outer East Bay can feel that way, so I'd go with Walnut Creek, which has a very nice downtown, over Danville.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:27 AM
99 posts, read 464,960 times
Reputation: 120
First off, Danville is a nice, affluent town. There are nice folks there; there are jerks as well. However, individual cities do tend to have their own culture, to a far less exaggerated extent than stereotypes let on, though.

If you're looking for an upscale, suburban place in Contra Costa w/o the cheezy, nouveau riche pretense, you might consider Lafayette. It's west of Walnut Creek. Danville is south. Lafayette is similar in terms of income and price but is less pretentious, less nouveau riche. You'll find fewer McMansions & better a educated population in Layfayette. Lafayette has much more natural greenery. It has its own BART station. Quite a few Berkeley profs live there. So, it's hardly a 'bubble'. It's a pretty sophisticated place. Not as much of a show-off place like Danville. I'd venture to say you'll find more cosmetic surgery in a nouveau riche type place like Danville. Danville is also one of the more conservative cities in the Bay Area.

This might give you an idea of the area. When I as at Cal in the 80s, the grocery store in the Danville/Blackhawk area had a pianist playing a grand piano. Make of that what you will. Some find it classy, other may find it, as you say, tacky. Danville is like the Cadillacs of the 80s - fancy & showy. Lafayette is like an Audi. Walnut Creek is like a Volvo... in my humble opinion.

Lafayette has a lot of large, low-profile ranch homes, as well as mansions. Much of Danville is that tan, prefabricated tract home look w/a stamped out lawn. Even many of the custom homes look like tract homes in Danville. If you like the new, tract home look, then that's a plus for Danville. If you like more of a rural (but closer 'in') neighborhood with custom homes, Lafayette might be an option.

The schools in Lafayette, Moraga & Orinda best the schools in Danville.

Based on the fears you express in your posting, sounds like Lafayette might be a better fit. You might even like the Montclair district of Oakland. In spite of it being in Oakland, much of Montclair nearly looks like a forest. The shopping village is very quaint and it all sits above tony Piedmont.

Other than that, Walnut Creek seems like a much better fit than Danville, especially considering your age. You might like the better shopping and access to BART. Wanut Creek is also more affordable than Danville & Lafayette, but is considered a nice, affluent town.

Burlingame in San Mateo is a sophisticated town which a younger couple with kids would love, but what you get for your money is beyond offensive. It's criminal. Some of the million-dollar streets in Burlingame look downright lower class.

If you haven't figured it out, based on your concerns, I wouldn't recommend Danville, but it you chose it, I'm sure you'll find a lot to like.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:55 AM
162 posts, read 188,334 times
Reputation: 136
I never quite understand the perception of Central Contra Costa County as "isolated". If your frame of reference is Silicon Valley, then yes, it's a ways away, but then why would you be living there anyway? If you work in the area (or even in Oakland/S.F.), your commute is bearable and all the amenities you want are close by. There's really little reason to go through the Caldecott and virtually no reason to have to travel to the South Bay, Peninsula, or Marin regularly.
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