U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Francisco - Oakland
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 01-05-2013, 10:45 PM
1 posts, read 1,022 times
Reputation: 10


Hey Guys,

First time poster-- long time lurker. Appreciate any insight you guys can give into the East Bay real estate market and the cities/ neighborhoods below.

My SO and I are in our early 30s with 1 kid (elementary school age) renting a small house in North Berkeley area. We have more or less outgrown our place, looking to grow our family and settle down somewhere for a longer term. I also got a new job in San Mateo, so overnight my commute has turned to crap. MY SO, works in Walnut Creek so we are really looking at places where both us have ~45 minute drive or less during peak hours.

We are brainstorming the idea of buying a house. Our budget is 600K and currently do not have more than a 10% down payment. However, I am eligible for a VA loan.

Our "must have's" are as follows:

- Safe
- Excellent public schools
- At least 3 bedroom + 1.5 Baths
- 1500+ Square Feet

Two areas that are popping at the top of our list are Alameda and Castro Valley. I wanted to know your guys' opinions of this area and the pro cons of each if anyone has lived in both!

Thanks in advance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 01-06-2013, 01:27 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
27,087 posts, read 47,390,427 times
Reputation: 25966
We lived in Castro Valley for 16 years, and had a relative in Alameda. The Castro Valley School District is great, and home prices reasonable for the bay area, but watch out. If you buy below 580/Norbridge the home may be in the Hayward District and it is not good. The school district has a huge impact on the property values even if you didn't have kids. Look off of Center Street above Heyer, near Vannoy School, and pretty close to Canyon Middle School, with reasonably priced older homes.

Your spouse can take Crow Canyon and you can take the San Mateo Bridge. Both nasty commutes but very much in the middle. From Alameda that commute to Walnut Creek would be horrendous.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2013, 02:16 PM
Location: Newark, CA
2,104 posts, read 4,290,611 times
Reputation: 3105
I agree with the above post. It's got great information. While reading the OP, the first place that popped in my head was Castro Valley. It may be the best compromise of affordability/commute distance/schools.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2013, 05:25 PM
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
31,375 posts, read 51,501,486 times
Reputation: 14268
Alameda is an excellent choice and your commutes shouldnt be too bad.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2013, 09:15 PM
Location: Northern California
159 posts, read 362,426 times
Reputation: 82
I was in Albany the other day and I quite liked it. It is north of Berkeley, and is a very small town of 20,000 people. It has a nice downtown, off Solano Ave. I think it seems perfect to raise a family and felt community oriented, but I'm not too familiar with it, but it definitely felt like a nice, middle-class town where raising a family would be very comfortable doing in. Due to its proximity to SF, Berkeley, and other places, it feels that it could be a place where exciting and educational activities would be in easy access to as well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > San Francisco - Oakland
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:30 PM.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top