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Old 10-09-2008, 10:17 AM
2 posts, read 8,247 times
Reputation: 10


hi all!

Have to move to San Francisco within the next several weeks and am still trying to decide where to live. I've been able to narrow my search between Oakland Hills, San Ramon and the Walnut Creek area.

I'm looking for a reasonably priced, safe neighborhood with good schools. I don't know much about the Oakland area but I'm pleasantly surprised to find a lot of nice homes for rent in the Oakland Hills area, anyone have any thoughts about Oakland Hills, Piedmont and Monclair?

Much appreciated!
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:40 AM
Location: SF Bay Area
18,982 posts, read 32,656,174 times
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Those are all very nice areas. I grew up in Walnut Creek and spent a lot of time in San Ramon too. I like WC much better than San Ramon b/c it has a lot more character, more to do, more varied housing stock, and isn't as bland and boring as SR. San Ramon doesn't have any type of downtown or center, they are trying to build one but it still won't be a true downtown like WC has. Plus WC has a lot more amenities and easier access to the rest of the Bay Area being as its along a BART line and at the intersection of two major freeways. The schools are great in both areas and crime is low.

I'm not too familiar with living in the Oakland Hills but other posters on here will probably be able to help you out with that.
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:43 AM
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These areas are each quite different, and have different strengths/weaknesses. One big question is how old your children are, if you're looking at schools---San Ramon, Piedmont, and WC have more comprehensive options for older students, though the Oakland neighborhoods you identified have excellent elementary schools.

Oakland hills: This is a big area, but it sounds as if you're talking about the Montclair area and surrounds. Elementary schools here are great, but middle/high school vary. Pay attention to which elementary school you're districted to and make sure you like it, as it's hard to transfer into other hills schools since they're in demand. Hillcrest, a very popular one, is K-8; others are K-5. Montclair Village has lots of local shops and restaurants; small-scale, wooded feel, but you don't have to go far to get to more urban areas (can be plus or minus depending on what you like!) Very family-oriented. Express bus into downtown SF, or go to Rockridge BART depending on where you live. (Buses are great if you're headed to the Financial District of SF, but BART is better if your job is near Civic Center or the Mission, etc.---something to bear in mind. BART will also get you to the Financial District.)

Piedmont: This is actually a separate city surrounded by Oakland, and has really excellent schools and services across the board. It shares a zip code with Oakland neighborhoods, though, so be sure the place you're looking at is really in Piedmont and not just the other side of the border, or the school options change significantly. (Note that some mapping tools even list Piedmont as the city when it's really Oakland---confirm by checking school assignment websites.) Close to Oakland's Grand Lake and Piedmont Avenue districts, which offer lots of shopping and restaurants. Piedmont has a little of this itself, too, but not a lot. Express bus into downtown SF.

WC: This is a more suburban area; it has a BART station but is a longer commute than Oakland. Has a growing town center area with many destination chain stores and restaurants (so a very different feel from Montclair, but also more stores, etc. available). Has stellar schools all the way through. Also very family-oriented. WC BART into the city.

I don't know much about San Ramon neighborhoods, so will leave that to others....but broadly, it is much less urbanized, which can be a good or bad thing depending on what you're looking for.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:05 PM
Location: yeah
5,717 posts, read 16,350,211 times
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So are you moving to San Francisco or one of those other cities you listed?
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:14 PM
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Where will you be working and how much time are you willing to spend on your commute?
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:33 AM
Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
36,659 posts, read 67,526,972 times
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Originally Posted by JCPTNH08 View Post
Where will you be working and how much time are you willing to spend on your commute?
These are extremely important factors.

All three are nice areas with lots of pluses. I think it all depends on what you are looking for.
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