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Old 04-21-2014, 05:40 AM
 
255 posts, read 654,459 times
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I've moved this post from San Fran / Oakland forum to San Jose, per request:

Greetings. I've been transferred from NJ to San Jose. House in NJ will close in Late July. We have 4 kids. My wife is seeking employment at the moment (she is an Optometrist) whereas I am remaining with my company but have been relocated. My salary is around $140,000--I won't get a bump though upon relo. So my borrowing power as we will put down around 30%, will be around 800,000--maximum.

SO--the housing prices (we do not want to RENT) are insane! Kids ages are 9,8,4, and 3. Two kids are September bdays, and the other 2 are May bdays.

Questions we have are as follows:

1) when is school cut-off date for entering Kindergarten?

2) does the winter months differ dramatically in respect to temperature?

3) Or in location? (San Jose compared to Morgan Hill, for example?)

location (3 of us have bad asthma (due to COLD air), and very strong allergies to dust mites, trees (oak/birch/maple), weeds, mice, cat/dog/hamster, and especially--pollen!

4) As my wife is looking for a job, still...I am going to work from home for the most part, but will be required to go to the office 1 day a week (in San Jose). I HATE commuting more than 30 minutes in any direction. And this is where we are stalled. Simply put, we need at least 4 bedrooms due to 6 people.

In terms of amenities, we are not beach people, we are not outdoorsy people, we dont need to have a bar down the street, etc. We are used to suburbia, and prefer that lifestyle. We also do not like the country either. Just plain TRUMAN SHOW style.

Please, if you have any recommendations as what town to live in, send them along.

We have looked on the Internet at FREMONT (but have read that there are REALLY BAD areas)
and also looked at Morgan Hill (but the commute looks FAR)
at Sunnyvale / Mountain View / Palo Alto -- these prices are IMPOSSIBLE
at Santa Clara -- nothing really in our price range

what about San Jose, proper? We googled "Gardenia Drive" as I've read about this "location" as a friend used to live on that road--but the prices are above what I can afford. That is Southern San Jose as well -- so I am not sure about the school system.

Please advise--many thanks
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:43 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
1,528 posts, read 2,610,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meameame12 View Post
1) when is school cut-off date for entering Kindergarten?
Kindergarten cut off is 5 by September 1st, however there is transitional kindergarten and for school year 2014/2015 the age range is turning 5 between September 2 and December 2.

The cut-off dates are state-wide. Here is a link to info on kindy/transitional kindy. Transitional Kindergarten FAQs - Elementary (CA Dept of Education)
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:46 AM
 
1,696 posts, read 2,442,285 times
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OP, where in San Jose will you be working, ie, roughly which neighborhood is your company located at? San Jose proper is a rather large place...

At $800,000 maximum, there are MANY areas that should fit your bill in San Jose. Take a look at Redfin.com for San Jose and take your pick.

Avoid east San Jose (zip codes 95127, 95116). Avoid certain pockets of Edenvale (95111, you'll know which pockets to avoid as the bad ones are generally priced under $550k for large homes, and anything around Seven Trees road). Avoid the area immediately south of Downtown (from Reed Street southward to Curtner Ave).
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Newark, CA
2,301 posts, read 5,132,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meameame12 View Post

We have looked on the Internet at FREMONT (but have read that there are REALLY BAD areas)
and also looked at Morgan Hill (but the commute looks FAR)
at Sunnyvale / Mountain View / Palo Alto -- these prices are IMPOSSIBLE
at Santa Clara -- nothing really in our price range
I'm not sure where you heard that Fremont has REALLY BAD areas. That information is completely inaccurate. There are a few sketchy neighborhoods, but it's hardly Oakland or Richmond. Fremont is primarily middle class to upper middle class suburbia. Fremont's Mission San Jose district also happens to be one of the most expensive places to live in CA. Based on your price range, Fremont may actually be a good choice for you. Consider areas like the Glenmoor neighborhood and and the Niles district. They are a couple of very nice parts of Fremont that should have homes in your price range. Consider the city of Newark as well, but I'd only recommend the Lake Area or Rosemont neighborhoods.

Yes, Morgan Hill is a bit of a commute into San Jose. You also mentioned you that you don't like the country. Even though Morgan Hill is mostly suburban, it also has a very rural and bucolic feel to it.

Yes, Sunnyvale/Mountain View/Palo Alto prices will be out of your reach, probably Santa Clara as well...sorry.

San Jose is very big and should have neighborhoods that could work in your price range, although they may not be in the best school districts. I'd avoid zip codes 95111, 95116, 95122 and most of 95127 as a starting point. The best parts of San Jose as far as crime/asthetics/etc. go are Almaden Valley, most of Evergreen, most of West San Jose, Willow Glen, most of Cambrian Park and Rose Garden/Shasta-Hanchett. Of these recommendations, Almaden Valley and West San Jose have the best schools and also have high real estate prices to match.

Unfortunately, I think no matter where you choose to live, you will most likely be looking at a commute that's longer than 30 minutes. That's just the reality for most people living in the Bay Area.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Doesn't South San Jose have nice homes in the $700k range?
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:32 PM
 
255 posts, read 654,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twins4lynn View Post
Kindergarten cut off is 5 by September 1st, however there is transitional kindergarten and for school year 2014/2015 the age range is turning 5 between September 2 and December 2.

The cut-off dates are state-wide. Here is a link to info on kindy/transitional kindy. Transitional Kindergarten FAQs - Elementary (CA Dept of Education)
Awesome--thanks much!!
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:33 PM
 
255 posts, read 654,459 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby_guz_man View Post
OP, where in San Jose will you be working, ie, roughly which neighborhood is your company located at? San Jose proper is a rather large place...

At $800,000 maximum, there are MANY areas that should fit your bill in San Jose. Take a look at Redfin.com for San Jose and take your pick.

Avoid east San Jose (zip codes 95127, 95116). Avoid certain pockets of Edenvale (95111, you'll know which pockets to avoid as the bad ones are generally priced under $550k for large homes, and anything around Seven Trees road). Avoid the area immediately south of Downtown (from Reed Street southward to Curtner Ave).
I will be working at West Tasman Drive

So are you saying, West San Jose? Any zip codes you can recommend?
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:36 PM
 
255 posts, read 654,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstnghu2 View Post
The best parts of San Jose as far as crime/asthetics/etc. go are Almaden Valley, most of Evergreen, most of West San Jose, Willow Glen, most of Cambrian Park and Rose Garden/Shasta-Hanchett. Of these recommendations, Almaden Valley and West San Jose have the best schools and also have high real estate prices to match.
Ill start to target these areas.

From what we have heard here in New Jersey, the schools in California leave much to be desired.

I truly hope this is not the case
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:53 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
1,528 posts, read 2,610,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meameame12 View Post
From what we have heard here in New Jersey, the schools in California leave much to be desired.

I truly hope this is not the case
Like every other state, California has its high ranking excellent schools, mid-range schools, and very low achieving schools.

Here is a list of API scores for 2013 for Santa Clara County. A score of 800+ is a considered a good score (which all schools attempt to achieve).

http://www.usaglobalrealty.com/doc/S...a%20County.pdf

Edited to add - The link provided above is accurate, but it looks like they omitted lower ranking schools! Here is another link with all schools in Santa Clara County http://api.cde.ca.gov/Acnt2013/2013G...43,SANTA,CLARA

Last edited by twins4lynn; 04-21-2014 at 06:09 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Newark, CA
2,301 posts, read 5,132,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meameame12 View Post
Ill start to target these areas.

From what we have heard here in New Jersey, the schools in California leave much to be desired.

I truly hope this is not the case
The San Jose area has many good to excellent schools. The problem is that the neighborhoods they serve tend to be prohibitively expensive for most people. Some people are willing to spend exorbitant amounts of money here to live in good school districts and they drive the housing costs up for everybody.

My mom graduated from Leland High School in San Jose (Almaden Valley) and it's one of the best schools in San Jose. Her parents paid $27k brand new for their house in 1964! Times have changed and 95120 is one of the most expensive zip codes in San Jose now.

I had also mentioned Fremont in my earlier post. Mission San Jose High School is one of the top rated in the state. The Mission San Jose district zip code is 94539 and your $800k won't get you much if anything at all there. Fremont schools are pretty well regarded throughout the city though and $800k could get you something there. I recommended the Glenmoor neighborhood previously and think you may want to explore that area. It's an older established neighborhood that primarily consists of large single family ranch homes that were mostly built in the 60's. The neighborhood is kept up very well and you can tell that the residents take pride in the area.

Milpitas is another option. Schools are good and real estate prices tend to be lower than other South Bay locations. The location is also very close to North San Jose where you'd be working. Stick to neighborhoods further east of I-880 since the nearby landfill smells tend to stick closer to the freeway.
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