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Old 07-23-2020, 05:04 PM
 
17 posts, read 5,338 times
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Thanks! The last one is out, as it's a townhome (with an ENORMOUS HOA!), but the two houses I've seen in my searches. Both have separate issues for us, but I will keep an eye on Benicia, as maybe something perfect will pop up! I really love the town and could sacrifice house size for living there.
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:10 PM
 
17 posts, read 5,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capoeira View Post
Those homes might inspire the op to just look at Fairfield, especially the first one.

This one has a nice yard.

https://www.trulia.com/p/ca/fairfiel...33--2083356227

This one is brand new but over 550k and sort of in the middle of nowhere.

https://www.trulia.com/builder-commu...ate/4079017012

American Canyon is just south of Napa and might be an option too.

https://www.trulia.com/p/ca/american...03--2083195074
Thanks! That first one in Fairfield is on my saved list on Redfin. I love that yard and the price is so good! I just wasn't sure I felt great about Fairfield. Where I am leaving in Concord is safe and has lots of mature trees and a great park. I am honestly second-guessing moving for a yard right now, and am really trying to find an affordable community that feels as safe for my kids. To be fair, there are a few other issues with where I live, including a very annoying HOA. I will look at American Canyon!
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:15 PM
 
17 posts, read 5,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
What about North Concord? Fair amount of homes around that price range.

I'd look in Vacaville instead of Fairfield too if you don't really need to commute that much.
North Concord is not off our list at all, but it's definitely not an upgrade from our current neighborhood, so I am hesitant. Add in that your money doesn't go as far regarding house and yard, and it just isn't a top choice. I'm still checking Concord every day, too! Thank you!
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:19 PM
 
17 posts, read 5,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
American Canyon is worth watching. There doesn't seem to be much available there right now.

I didn't post anything from the Vallejo area, because Vallejo is tricky in terms of location. OP would need guidance on that, but it's full of bargains. OP, parts of Vallejo are high crime, other parts--not. East Vallejo, and anything closer to Benicia, are good. Others here could give you more guidance, if you decide you're interested, but I would suggest you look first on the other side of the Carquinez Strait, so you won't have to cross a bridge to get to BART.

Here's something in Vallejo, just FYI:
https://www.trulia.com/p/ca/vallejo/...0#lil-mediaTab

There's transit from Vallejo to El Cerrito BART.
My husband asked about Vallejo last night, actually. I am hesitant because I have not been impressed when I drive through. I see adorable houses on Redfin, but the streets just never seem to actually feel very safe to me. Maybe that's unfair of me. I'm open to learn more if you have any specific areas to recommend!

I check Crockett, Port Costa, Martinez, Hercules, Rodeo, parts of Pinole. Everything is just pretty pricey for us.
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:24 PM
 
17 posts, read 5,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
The extra 15 min is worth it imo.

I personally would not live in that area of Concord either. Too close to Monument.
I have two friends who have both told me Vacaville is pretty racist. I fully trust that they have experienced it, but am not sure how prevalent it is. We are very liberal and hope to find a community that we feel comfortable expressing our views with our neighbors, and I'm nervous when I'm warned about racists. I actually worry about that a lot when I look at houses.

I agree with you that that area of Concord, near Monument, is not ideal. But WOW, I love that house and lot! <3 <3 <3
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:30 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
16,106 posts, read 26,917,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wepplo View Post
I have two friends who have both told me Vacaville is pretty racist. I fully trust that they have experienced it, but am not sure how prevalent it is. We are very liberal and hope to find a community that we feel comfortable expressing our views with our neighbors, and I'm nervous when I'm warned about racists. I actually worry about that a lot when I look at houses.

I agree with you that that area of Concord, near Monument, is not ideal. But WOW, I love that house and lot! <3 <3 <3
I've never heard that, I have a fair amount of coworkers and some family who live in Vacaville including several minorities. It is more conservative for the Bay Area though.
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Richmond, CA
880 posts, read 703,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wepplo View Post
I honestly am not sure I could be comfortable in Richmond. I've been here in the Bay my whole life and I have never enjoyed Richmond. BUT, to be fair, I haven't been anywhere in Richmond in the last 5 years or so. I will check it out on Redfin and see what's out there. Thanks again!
I understand. There are certain neighborhoods that are much better now than they were a few years ago. Some have always been nice, and some still have a long way to go. I recommend keeping tabs on Laurel Park, East Richmond, and North & East Richmond. You're priced out of Richmond Annex, Marina Bay, and Point Richmond. I'm not sure what about the Monument area of Concord people don't like (have I missed the bad blocks?!), but if that isn't your cup of tea, probably best to skip my 'hood (Park Plaza).
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:13 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
85,930 posts, read 79,112,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wepplo View Post
I agree with you that that area of Concord, near Monument, is not ideal. But WOW, I love that house and lot! <3 <3 <3
Yeah, me too! I almost posted earlier, "I think I'm in love!" lol I wonder to what extent Concord might be gentrifying. It's bound to happen, I imagine, so maybe that area will improve in the not-too-distant future. You could be one of the families, whose presence starts the trend.
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:28 AM
 
2,565 posts, read 4,182,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wepplo View Post
My husband asked about Vallejo last night, actually. I am hesitant because I have not been impressed when I drive through. I see adorable houses on Redfin, but the streets just never seem to actually feel very safe to me. Maybe that's unfair of me. I'm open to learn more if you have any specific areas to recommend!

I check Crockett, Port Costa, Martinez, Hercules, Rodeo, parts of Pinole. Everything is just pretty pricey for us.
I agree with you regarding Vallejo. I think that's one of the problems with being within a reasonable distance from the central Bay Area. You are either going to find the areas being 1 - extremely pricey or 2 - not very nice or safe looking/feeling. Unfortunately, there really aren't a lot of opportunities for "value". Perhaps 5 years ago, but with people being priced out elsewhere its also bumped up the prices in the periphery.

You mentioned looking at Brentwood. That is far out in the exurbs but is a decent community and you can still get some value. If your husband only has to commute 2x per week and if he can be flexible in his hours of commute, this seems very doable.
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:24 PM
 
Location: NW Nevada
416 posts, read 128,305 times
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We lived in a 3 bed/2 bath rental in a nice neighborhood in Martinez, off Alhambra near Hwy 4. We liked it a lot, the property backed up to the John Muir NHS and had easy trail access to the Regional Shoreline parklands on the hills above us. On many weekends we'd leave early in the morning to take the Richmond Bridge or Hwy 37 through Vallejo over to Marin County to enjoy Point Reyes or some of the other areas over there, though coming back could be a real soul-killer in traffic. Easier drives would be enjoying some of the areas in the hills above Berkeley/Oakland or out in the San Joaquin Delta.

We spent a year looking to buy around us or in areas that we thought we might like in the same general vicinity, like northern Pleasant Hill, Port Costa, Crockett, and even Benicia and Rodeo/Hercules/Pinole. We never found anything we loved in our price range - as my wife chose to not work with our youngest not yet being in school our price range was about the same as yours. Like many buyers we'd find the asking price was just a starting point and properties would often be bid $30k-100k higher pretty fast - and I subsequently took a job transfer out of California, but what I found was Crockett and Port Costa are very niche (plus further away from BART for me) and though cute from an outsiders perspective we questioned living there as a commuter. Pleasant Hill was just too "suburb" for us and that portion was pretty pricey. Too hard of a commute to SanFran from areas further west like Pinole and I'll confess I was scared away by school reviews...

We settled on the Alhambra side of Martinez or Benicia south of the freeway, and I'm sure we would have found something under $600k eventually if we hadn't had to move for other reasons (though we might have been inclined to stay had we landed in a house we loved.) We tried to convince our property owner to sell to us but it was in a trust situation and not an option. My neighbor next door kept hinting he was going to sell his house and move which would have been perfect for us but he kept dragging his feet. Zillow estimates its value today as $697k for 1900 square feet and a garage and a nice fenced yard with small pool and an urban chicken coop

Last edited by alaskaflyer; 08-03-2020 at 12:45 PM..
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