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Old 06-10-2008, 12:32 PM
13 posts, read 120,955 times
Reputation: 21


My husband and I looking to buy a large home in a safe neighborhood of the East Bay.

We've recently refocused our search to include Antioch because of the real estate bargains in the area, due largely to bank owned foreclosures.

During the past seven months we've been in the Bay area, we had not visited Antioch because we were under the impression it was WAY too far for our commute. My husband works in Oakland and I'm in San Francisco. Because of this we never even considered it or visited it until this weekend.

We were pleasantly surprised the drive from Oakland to Antioch was about 30 minutes without traffic. I’ve heard the drive takes much longer in rush hour – I’d love to get a perspective from someone who drives it regularly. I’m not too concerned about the traffic because we'll probably commute primarily via BART, but there will be days when we need to drive in.

After driving around and visiting some impressive homes in developments like this... Black Diamond from Discovery Homes - Building New Homes in Contra Costa County, the Entire East Bay, and Throughout Northern California (http://www.discoverybuilders.com/nbds/bdestates/index.html - broken link) we're trying to decide it the drive is worth it for the fantastic price.

I know it's dryer and hotter than other areas, but for the type of home we're able to buy there (we want to spend less than 500k) it seems worth considering. We looked at the Empire model in the link above and were blown away by how amazing it was. More than 4,000k sq. feet! We wouldn't buy anything retail from the developer, but some of the homes we looked at had older models that had become REO's for much less.

The biggest negative for us is the commute -- but I'm ok with about an hour commute door to door to get to work. I see the BART trip takes about 45 minutes from Pittsburg to SF at Embarcadero. How is the parking situation at Pittsburg? Is there a high rate of vehicle thefts?

We've seen amazing houses in many areas of Antioch, but I'm concerned going too far in may add at least 20 minutes to the commute – more in traffic. Is that true?

Should we refine our search to only areas near the Pittsburg/Antioch border in 94509 so that we're closer to the BART station?

I'd love to get feedback and point out that we're not necessarily looking at this purchase as an investment, but rather a home we can afford now and grow into.

I know it will take the Antioch area a long time to recover from the foreclosure crisis but if we’re able to buy our "dream" house at a bargain price – it makes sense for us. Who knows when prices will be this low again…

One of our biggest considerations is that we fortuitously happened to move to the Bay area at a time when prices are lower than they've been in a long time... and I realize they may go down for a while longer. We really want to take advantage of the affordable pricing and buy the biggest, nicest house we can in this buyer's market because once we have enough kids to warrant moving to something bigger, prices may be way too high.

I've read the other postings regarding various subjects relating to Antioch and I would love to hear from people who currently live in Antioch or have lived there in the past. I’ve lived in a growing neighborhood with an undeserved bad reputation that was actually a great place to live in.

What are the best neighborhoods to be in -- especially considering a commute to the city?

What are some of the best options for commuting? Is BART the best/fastest or is anyone happy with Casual Carpool, Vanpools, Bus, etc.?

What are the schools like?

Do you think Antioch houses will decline MUCH much further in value before the area recovers?

What are some of the biggest positives about Antioch?

What are some of the biggest negatives about Antioch?

Anything else about Antioch you’d like to share…

Also open to real estate tips on specific properties in Antioch that might fit what we’re looking for.

Thanks to anyone who can share any insight about this area! Cheers!

Last edited by mediamaven808; 06-10-2008 at 12:33 PM.. Reason: Formatting errors
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:58 PM
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 29,156,794 times
Reputation: 3631
Why the heck do you need a 4,000 square foot house? My parents have a 3,500 sf split level and they almost went broke just trying to furnish the damn thing, to say nothing of the heating/cooling costs.

If anything, it's the monstrous houses in newly developed areas that are suffering the most. They're like SUVs - big, excessive, gaudy, and high maintenance. They may look incredible, but you have to look under the surface, because in real estate, the location is much more important than the structure. The climate, the commute, the bad reputation of the town and surrounding towns, and the bad to mediocre schools are all reasons why Antioch may not be a good investment.

The schools are the real killer. The best in Antioch underperform the worst in Brentwood.


Antioch Middle: 637
Black Diamond Middle: 707
Dallas Ranch: 741
Park Middle: 727


Adams Middle: 817
William Bristow: 763
Edna Hill: 770
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:05 PM
Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
36,659 posts, read 67,539,821 times
Reputation: 21244
I say go for it.

These rock bottom prices arent going to last forever.
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:19 PM
13 posts, read 120,955 times
Reputation: 21
Thank you both for the replies!

We aren't looking to buy this as a real estate investment property -- we already have our investment property and will acquire more as we slowly grow our real estate portfolio.

For our home, we just want a safe area with a good sense of community where we can raise a family. We enjoy the pride of home ownership, and like to spend time on home improvement projects. We plan to employ green tactics to cut back on our heating/cooling costs and minimize our impact on the environment. I also telecommute to work occasionally.

I'm not very worried about the schools because I won't rely solely on any school system to educate my children. I think it’s a parent’s responsibility to prepare, guide, monitor, and supplement a child's education. I've had a wonderful educational experience throughout life and I understand how important it is for a parent to be involved and committed to their child's education during the PK-12 years.

We don't have kids yet, but we're planning to start a family soon… at least 3 kids... such the reason for the large house. We also have lots of extended family from Southern California and out of state and want room for everyone on the holidays.

We aren't sure about Antioch yet having only visited once, but I have to agree with 18Montclair that the low prices certainly won't last forever.

Has anyone lived in Antioch or spend a good amount of time there?

Before visiting I had my own misguided preconceived notions about how the area would look, so I was impressed to see the quality of homes and well taken neighborhoods in the new communities. Even the 15-30 year old areas we visited aged very well, lawns seemed up kept (except for the REO’s), and there was a general sense of family life.

I’d still love to hear more about the commute, infrastructure, community, and anything else – especially from anyone who has experienced Antioch firsthand.

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Old 06-10-2008, 02:44 PM
253 posts, read 1,332,552 times
Reputation: 139
Originally Posted by mediamaven808 View Post
My husband and I looking to buy a large home in a safe neighborhood of the East Bay.
That isn't Antioch. My co-worker lives there and comes in to work with hair-raising tales about increasing local crime - it has grown exponentially in the last five years. He is sorry he didn't move out a couple of years ago when he had the chance - now he is stuck.

A decade ago, Antioch was popular with residents of Oakland and Richmond who wanted to move away from the gang violence in those areas - unfortunately, they brought their kids along and the gangs came with them.

Offset your inexpensive house against the annual cost of private school, because that's where your kids are going to end up if you value their safety.

I suggest you visit Antioch again, and stop by some of the local strip malls or shopping centers in the evening. That will give you a much better picture of what it's like to live there.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:27 AM
10 posts, read 59,339 times
Reputation: 15
I live in Brentwood, and have recently noticed that A LOT of crime has occurred recently in Antioch, and it's only getting worse. The movie theater there now is a hotspot for crimes - just a couple months ago, two teenage girls were held at gunpoint to give up their cell phones of all things.

The schools I'm not so sure of in Antioch. I used to live in Antioch and moved to Brentwood 4 years ago when the town started going downhill. I'm glad I did.

Perhaps consider Brentwood - the prices are slightly higher but I believe there is less crime. They are completing the HWY4 Bypass that will make the commute a bit better...

Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:45 PM
Location: Nor Cal
25 posts, read 139,838 times
Reputation: 26
Ditto Brentwood. It's much more upscale, better community feel and lower crime. It's not that much further and the deals are just as good. I've lived in the area for 20+ years and there is no way I'd ever live in Antioch.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:36 AM
Location: SF Bay Area
7,345 posts, read 3,819,045 times
Reputation: 5319
Brentwood is a better choice. I've lived in Northern Contra Costa for 28 years and have watched Antioch turn from a not-so-great redneck town into an even worse ghetto town. There are 1500 Section 8 housing units in Antioch. The people who bought those homes for investment purposes put them on the Section 8 list because they could not lease them or sell them. Antioch built a shiny new high school that was the pride of the town, but now has issues with gang violence. The principal, city council, etc., all have their heads in the sand and refuse to admit there is a problem. They will not go to bat for the homeowners. The local PD are vilified by community activists and the NAACP for trying to deal with crime. Low home prices are the Siren Song of Antioch.

As far as commute, during rush hour the commute from Antioch to Walnut Creek can be an hour. Add another 30-45 just to get through the Caldecott Tunnel. End result is 1 hour min, 1.25 more likely. If your job is near a BART station, BART is probably a better idea than driving. Parking at BART can be a nightmare.

There are no bargains in the Bay Area. In the long run, you would do better in the south part of Martinez, Pleasant Hill, or Walnut Creek. A shack in Lafayette has more resale value than a mansion in Antioch. And the schools are on an entirely different level.
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Old 06-15-2008, 01:07 AM
5 posts, read 104,750 times
Reputation: 13
Default No

antioch is boring, and ****ty. its like if oklahoma was packing heat. not only is it boring and suburban but its got extreme problems with norteno and sureno gangs
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:17 AM
Location: CA
95 posts, read 310,874 times
Reputation: 50
Antioch is not a good place to live, my father teaches at a school there and it has major gang problems. Sometimes he calls me with stories of gang shootings across the street from his school. Pretty much school violence is pretty bad as well as drug problems, test scores are extremely low too. Antioch unified school district is not a good place for your kids to go to and i would highly recommend not moving there.
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