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Old 11-16-2013, 04:51 PM
 
11 posts, read 46,531 times
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My husband and I currently rent on the Peninsula and my husband works in Redwood City. We have 4 small children (2 elementary school aged) and are looking at moving to the more affordable East Bay. We don't want him to have a long commute (30-40 minutes max each way) so we are looking at Fremont, Union City, or Newark. His office is technically in Redwood City, but is East of the 101, so he could cross the Dumbarton Bridge and avoid the 101 altogether.

We know NOTHING about these cities but would love some input from those who do know. We don't really care about having a downtown or shops or restaurants, etc. We just mostly want good schools (they don't have to be the best, but I don't want the worst) and a safe, family oriented neighborhood, along with keeping the commute at a minimum.

We have been looking around Ardenwood and the neighborhoods seem nice enough...any thoughts on the schools?

Also, what about the Centerville District? I keep reading very conflicting reviews about it. Is it safe, or is that the part of town to avoid?

How about Union City or Newark? I'm having a hard time finding much of anything about them.

Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:24 PM
 
Location: East Bay, San Francisco Bay Area, CA
23,190 posts, read 23,518,858 times
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Of the three cities you mentioned, Fremont is the best. Ardenwood is a great neighborhood, and has a great elementary school and good high school (American HS). Centerville is fine and schools are good. The side of Fremont to avoid is the NE side of the city, which borders Union City (anything west of 880 along Alvarado Blvd). It's not dangerous, but it borders UC, which is sketchy.

The best side of Fremont is the SE side (Mission San Jose) along Mission Blvd and 680 freeway. One of the best high schools in the Bay Area (Mission San Jose High) is there and the property prices reflect the demand for the area.

Most of Fremont is safe and family friendly and schools are good to excellent.

Generally speaking, the south side and east side (towards the hills) are the best areas of Fremont.

One thing that I have always loved about Fremont is that it is a low key place, but pretty convenient (BART, shopping, etc).
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Southern California
372 posts, read 572,390 times
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I have lived in the Centervile District of Fremont for 30 years. I think what ccm123 wrote above is pretty accurate.

I don't have children, but the ones from our neighborhood who went to high school attended Washington HS, which did have a good reputation and may still; I have heard from a local realtor that Irvington HS has done very well lately. Mission San Jose is still the top Fremont HS, though, from all I've heard.

In Centerville you will be very close to such grocery shopping as the new Whole Foods, the Sprouts Market, and other good stores; in the south of Fremont, off of Auto Mall, you will find other good places to shop.

The south of Fremont is generally more expensive than Centerville.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:33 AM
 
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Fremont is a nice city for the most part but it isn't as safe as some might believe. Crime in. Fremont its woefully unreported by the powers that be in an attempt to keep property values up. home burglaries are very bad in. Fremont like much of the bay area and the fact that the Fremont police have publicly started that they will not respond to burglar doesn't help. Violent crimes are pretty bad too but the murder rate is low for a city of its size.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:30 AM
 
11 posts, read 46,531 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccm123 View Post
Of the three cities you mentioned, Fremont is the best. Ardenwood is a great neighborhood, and has a great elementary school and good high school (American HS). Centerville is fine and schools are good. The side of Fremont to avoid is the NE side of the city, which borders Union City (anything west of 880 along Alvarado Blvd). It's not dangerous, but it borders UC, which is sketchy.
So even though Ardenwood borders UC it's still decent? We've driven around it and it looks like a nice, quiet neighborhood, but you can't tell everything from looks.

I highly doubt we'd be able to afford Mission San Jose. We've just been searching rentals on Craigslist and nothing in that area has come up on our searches. We want to stay around $2500/month for a 4 bed 2 bath house. Most things we find are in Ardenwood, Centerville, Sundale, and then UC and Newark. Again, we don't need the best of the best and we are totally okay with that. I just want to make sure that wherever we go we will be comfortable and safe and my kids will get a good education. Their school right now is not the best of the best...it's actually the lowest rated in our district because we have the highest percentage of English as a Second Language students. But in our 3 years there, we have had nothing but great experiences. The principle and teachers have been amazing and my kids have done really well. We are just your average middle class family looking for a good middle class place to raise our kids.

Thanks for all the input thus far!
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Southern California
372 posts, read 572,390 times
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Hey, SFarrell, I sent you a couple of PMs. Let me know if you want any more info, and good luck!
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:55 PM
 
Location: East Bay, San Francisco Bay Area, CA
23,190 posts, read 23,518,858 times
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Yes, Ardenwood is close to UC, but the Fremont neighborhood that closely borders UC is "Lakes and Birds" (off Alvarado) which I would be cautious of.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sfarrell View Post
So even though Ardenwood borders UC it's still decent? We've driven around it and it looks like a nice, quiet neighborhood, but you can't tell everything from looks.

I highly doubt we'd be able to afford Mission San Jose. We've just been searching rentals on Craigslist and nothing in that area has come up on our searches. We want to stay around $2500/month for a 4 bed 2 bath house. Most things we find are in Ardenwood, Centerville, Sundale, and then UC and Newark. Again, we don't need the best of the best and we are totally okay with that. I just want to make sure that wherever we go we will be comfortable and safe and my kids will get a good education. Their school right now is not the best of the best...it's actually the lowest rated in our district because we have the highest percentage of English as a Second Language students. But in our 3 years there, we have had nothing but great experiences. The principle and teachers have been amazing and my kids have done really well. We are just your average middle class family looking for a good middle class place to raise our kids.

Thanks for all the input thus far!
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:09 PM
 
11 posts, read 46,531 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccm123 View Post
Yes, Ardenwood is close to UC, but the Fremont neighborhood that closely borders UC is "Lakes and Birds" (off Alvarado) which I would be cautious of.
Got it! Thank you!

Goin Coastal- I messaged you. Thank you for all of your help. I really appreciate it!
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:19 AM
 
Location: East Bay, San Francisco Bay Area, CA
23,190 posts, read 23,518,858 times
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The only disadvantage that I can see for Ardenwood is that it is further from San Jose than the other Fremont neighborhoods. It doesn't sound like it would affect you, since you will be commuting west.

Also, most of your shopping is located in Central Fremont (Fremont Hub, etc) and the southern side of Fremont (Pacific Commons, etc), so it would take you a bit longer to get to those areas from Ardenwood. I think most folks in Ardenwood would shop in nearby Newark or Union City, which is closer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfarrell View Post
Got it! Thank you!

Goin Coastal- I messaged you. Thank you for all of your help. I really appreciate it!
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:45 AM
 
11 posts, read 46,531 times
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Yeah, I don't mind being far from San Jose. We live 30 minutes from there now and in the 6 years we've lived here I've only been there twice...I guess I'm not sure what's there that I can't find here.

Are the shopping centers you mentioned like shopping malls? Or will that be all of the groceries stores, target, etc also?
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