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Old 12-19-2012, 05:22 PM
 
16 posts, read 61,094 times
Reputation: 15
Default Help Needed Comparing/Contrasting 3 Neighborhoods

My family was recently relocated to the Silicon Valley area from the NYC metropolitan area. My wife works in Mountain View/Palo Alto, and we currently are in the midst of 2 months of corporate housing in Mountain View.

We will be renting in a very good school district, with the ability to be in a free-standing home, and a safe neighborhood (relatively speaking). Knowing (via this board as well as our own research) how expensive those three things in conjunction can be, we have narrowed our search down to three neighborhoods that compromise my wife's commute, but potentially give us everything else we're looking for.

So I was hoping people here could give me their own pros and cons for the following three areas:
  • Evergreen Valley (we love the amazing school systems, but someone mentioned potential gang trouble in East San Jose, which we'd have to travel through at night to get to restaurants, etc - I don't know how true this is)
  • Blossom Hill (Schools seem a tad below the other two, but it IS the closest to a potential Caltrain commute)
  • Milpitas (Crime data didn't look very encouraging despite some exceptional schools)


We are a family in our early 30s with 2 children (1 & 3), and a 3rd on the way in June.

Thanks in advance for any assistance!
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
4,957 posts, read 3,956,292 times
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Don't know about the 2 San Jose neighborhoods, but parts of Milpitas are close to a landfill/dump and the stench is pretty bad, especially when the wind conditions are just right. The areas close to I-880 and Dixon Landing Road seem to be the most affected.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Newark, Ca
1,281 posts, read 1,943,543 times
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The further south and east you head in Evergreen, the nicer it gets and the less you have to worry about crime and ghettoness. The biggest issue in the area is that it's somewhat far removed from major freeways and the city streets have some pretty terrible traffic. If you're concerned about dealing with "East Side" crime and ghettoness, you can easily head over Silver Creek Valley Rd. into Blossom Valley for shopping, errands etc. and avoid dealing with a crappy part of town. Overall Evergreen is a solid choice and is a nice part of town. Here is what a typical Evergreen streetscape looks like...

Evergreen



Blossom Valley is solidly middle class and is not as nice as most parts of Evergreen even though it's further from the East Side. Crime and gang issues seem to be on the rise compared to when I used to hang out in the area a lot back in high school. I also lived in the area from 2005-2009 and used to see gang graffiti pretty frequently in my neighborhood. I also experienced a fair amount of property crime issues while living there. It's not a bad choice at all and some neighborhoods are better than others. I think Evergreen has nicer neighborhoods to choose from. The further south toward the small mountain range that separates Blossom Valley from Almaden Valley, the nicer it gets. Blossom Valley is in a better location than Evergreen for commuting options and also shopping/dining etc. Here is a typical Blossom Valley neighborhood...

BlossomValley


Milpitas is the closest city to commute to Mountain View/Palo Alto and is overall a cheaper place to live than San Jose. As mentioned, Milpitas is near a dump on Dixon Landing Rd. and the closer you live to there, the more likely you will experience the intermittent stench. Some people exaggerate the smell though and how frequent it is. My parents have lived near Milpitas High School for 36 years and the smell is far more infrequent now than it used to be. The further east you head toward the hills, the less likely it will even be an issue. Milpitas does have some older rundown neighborhoods, but also some very nice neighborhoods as well. Milpitas doesn't quite have the same budget problems as San Jose and tends to maintain its parks, streets, landscaping etc. much better. I don't know where your crime data came from but Milpitas is actually very safe. Crime issues in my parents' neighborhood (and they live in an old dumpy looking part of town) are pretty much non-existent. Crime can happen anywhere, but crime is very low in Milpitas. In fact, if I see gang graffiti anywhere in Milpitas, I tend to do a double-take because it's so rare and unexpected. In SJ, it's much more common. You're right about schools being good in Milpitas and some are excellent. My oldest nephew attends Curtner Elementary School which has an API score of over 900. Here are typical Milpitas neighborhoods, from not so spectacular to nice to very nice to see that for being such a small city, there are actually quite the variety of neighborhoods to choose from...

Milpitas1


Milpitas2


Milpitas3

Have you also considered parts of San Jose like Cambrian Park or Almaden Valley? I'm not sure what your budget is and these are more expensive parts of SJ (Almaden being most expensive). Almaden Valley is pricey but has many great neighborhoods and has excellent schools. Crime in AV is also probably the lowest of any part of SJ. Cambrian Park is also a nice area and is a bit cheaper than AV. Both areas border the upscale town of Los Gatos.
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:50 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,700 posts, read 16,233,231 times
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Given your criteria, I'd target these areas before any of the ones you listed:

- Cambrian (near Hillsdale, Branham or Camden)
- Blossom Valley (near Blossom Hill, west of the Almaden Expwy)
- Westgate (near Saratoga)
- Campbell, south of Hamilton
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:22 PM
 
338 posts, read 315,675 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonarrat View Post
Given your criteria, I'd target these areas before any of the ones you listed:

- Cambrian (near Hillsdale, Branham or Camden)
- Blossom Valley (near Blossom Hill, west of the Almaden Expwy)
- Westgate (near Saratoga)
- Campbell, south of Hamilton
Highly recommend OP check out the area between San Tomas Expwy and San Tomas Aquino off Campbell ave. It's near Westgate, downtown Campbell, and Hamilton ave. They have a nice grocery store (Nob Hill) and a few other stores in the area. And Westgate is just up the road. Also a great Hawaiian food place that I love

Another good kinda hidden location of Campbell is off of Pollard road. It's where Campbell, Los Gatos, and Saratoga meet. Nice neighborhood near Rolling Hills Middle School and they have a Safeway, CVS, and a few other stores on that street. Make a right on Quito rd. and you're at the Westgate AMC Movie Theatre in minutes.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
757 posts, read 450,737 times
Reputation: 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Millennium View Post
Highly recommend OP check out the area between San Tomas Expwy and San Tomas Aquino off Campbell ave. It's near Westgate, downtown Campbell, and Hamilton ave. They have a nice grocery store (Nob Hill) and a few other stores in the area. And Westgate is just up the road. Also a great Hawaiian food place that I love

Another good kinda hidden location of Campbell is off of Pollard road. It's where Campbell, Los Gatos, and Saratoga meet. Nice neighborhood near Rolling Hills Middle School and they have a Safeway, CVS, and a few other stores on that street. Make a right on Quito rd. and you're at the Westgate AMC Movie Theatre in minutes.
Also, that area is close enough to both highways 17 and 85 to provide commuter choices (based on that morning's traffic). Best would be to buy a Nissan Leaf (or other vehicle that gets you in the commuter lane), or it shouldn't be too difficult to set up carpool buddies - that would cut the commute time in half, easily. Drive time to MtnView (Castro st., or the Train Station) OUTSIDE of rush hour traffic is about 20 minutes.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:21 PM
 
16 posts, read 61,094 times
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Wow, thanks for all the feedback, everyone. We've been adding the neighborhoods brought up in this thread to our search (Cambrian Park, the sections of Campbell that were mentioned, and Almaden Valley).

For clarification purposes, we're looking for a 3 BR/2 BA place in the $2,500 to $3,000 range. It's kind of tricky to find places based on a block or two designation, but we're certainly going to try.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:22 AM
 
122 posts, read 100,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snatch Catch View Post
Wow, thanks for all the feedback, everyone. We've been adding the neighborhoods brought up in this thread to our search (Cambrian Park, the sections of Campbell that were mentioned, and Almaden Valley).

For clarification purposes, we're looking for a 3 BR/2 BA place in the $2,500 to $3,000 range. It's kind of tricky to find places based on a block or two designation, but we're certainly going to try.
Please let us know the outcome of this search. I'm also interested in these three neighborhoods. It'd be useful to know what your final decision has been and why.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:15 PM
 
16 posts, read 61,094 times
Reputation: 15
Is Willow Glen not as desirable as Cambrian?
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
757 posts, read 450,737 times
Reputation: 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snatch Catch View Post
Is Willow Glen not as desirable as Cambrian?
Bang for the buck - Willow Glen is more expensive, and the houses are often older and smaller.
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