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Old 09-03-2012, 06:35 PM
4 posts, read 9,091 times
Reputation: 16


Ok first background: Single, early 30s, working in Menlo Park, I commute off peak hours (<=30min commutes are fine), originally from the mid-west, housing budget ~600-650k, looking for 3bdrm (master + office + guest room). Preferred lifestyle is laid back, I enjoy the outdoors, do-it-yourselfing, traveling and going to SF on occasion to hang out (though wouldn't want to live there).

I've been living in the bay are about 1.5 years now, and I'm finally getting serious and looking to buy a house. After looking in the South Bay for a while (where I live currently) I stumbled across Castro Valley (5 Canyons & Palomares Hills specifically). Here's how I'd summarize the pro/cons of this (let me know if I'm on track here):

Pros: Nice weather, generous home sizes w/ "normal" backyards, good commute time (25-30min off peak to my work), "shake intensity" maps show it's a bit safer on average, very scenic area, 30 min to SF vs 45 from the South Bay.

Cons: Toll bridge to work (~$100/month), it's not too far but not exactly close to anything (15-20min drive to get to anything beyond a strip mall), further from coast, zero night life.

The South Bay/Peninsula housing alternatives (in my price range) all seem to come with either no backyard (townhomes galore), huge commute times (e.g. Morgan Hill, Gilroy, SC), cold/foggy weather (Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, South San Fran), tiny square footage, and/or 1950s-1980s vintage homes which I'm not a big fan of.

Have I missed anything? Am I insane to consider this move? What do you folks think?
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:13 PM
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
15,465 posts, read 16,800,395 times
Reputation: 14758
Castro Valley is generally a nice area. If you can continue to commute off hours, it would not be a bad commute. During rush hours, it would be pretty tough. I believe that your observations are generally correct.
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