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Old 07-22-2020, 03:06 PM
47 posts, read 23,797 times
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East side Petaluma has lovely areas, the entire Sonoma Mountain Parkway has beautiful neighborhoods built in 90’s and later, along with one of the best if not the best park in Petaluma, and amazing trails. Historically, Petaluma has always had a West vs East side thing with everyone having a different opinion on where the boundary line is. Is it the freeway, the train station, Petaluma Blvd., a particular landmark, etc..
The only thing Petaluma doesn’t have that neighboring cities do is a Costco which is not a deal breaker for most. Petaluma has multiple shopping centers including Target, huge hardware store, multiple grocery stores, gyms, banks, and lots of great restaurants.

Originally Posted by davdaven View Post
Both towns should match your criteria, except for commute time. I recommend Walnut Creek over Petaluma. Petaluma is a nice town, but you really want to stay on the west side of the freeway. The east side of 101 is either bland or ugly, depending on which part. The west side is very charming. Walnut Creek is suburban but has more shops and restaurants than Petaluma, and there is more stuff in general nearby. Petaluma is by itself, with things you can't find in town requiring a drive all the way to Novato or Rohnert Park.

The drive across the GGB is better than the drive across the Bay Bridge, but the Novato Narrows is more taxing than the Caldecott Tunnel. Once you are in SF in the morning, the drive to Lake Merced is a little faster from Walnut Creek. In the afternoon/evening, it is easier/faster to get onto the GGB than the Bay Bridge. But overall, the drive from Walnut Creek will be a little faster during rush hour, maybe a little over an hour. Closer to an hour and a half from Petaluma.

All that being said, I encourage you to consider Alameda. I think it's a good match for your criteria, it's closer to work, and it's way more central to everything without feeling like you are in the middle of a big city. It's a good marriage of the charm of West Petaluma and the daily conveniences of Walnut Creek.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:13 PM
47 posts, read 23,797 times
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Have you considered Novato? I have many friends in Petaluma who take an express bus into SF, which makes the commute more relaxing. I mention Novato, because the several mile strip known as Novato Narrows between Novato and Petaluma is horrible, and has been for as long as I can remember. It can take 30 minutes to get through, and this sometimes starts as early as 2:30p. It’s quite brutal.
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:04 PM
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
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Originally Posted by TheStat View Post
Yeah there's not really that much difference between Northgate and Acalanes, either school will be superb for your kids.
Do you mean Las Lomas High, which is in Walnut Creek? Acalanes High is in Lafayette. They're both part of the Acalanes Union High School District.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mamabutterfly View Post
Looking for opinions on community vibe and SF driving commute for Petaluma vs Walnut Creek.

For the kind of house we want and our budget of $1–1.2m, we will be priced out of our top choices—La/Mo/rinda, Berkeley, and Marin County.
What makes you think you can't be in lamorinda for 1.2m? I guess depends on what you are looking for - but you could get a 1.5-2k sq foot 3/2 for 1.2m in Lafayette. Smaller lots and houses in a lot of areas, but definitely doable, depending on what you are looking for.
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