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Best places to live in SF Bay Area
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Having a job offer in San Jose (close to SJC airport).

Wondering where you folks say is a good place to live.
It is me with wife and 2 teenage children. Coming from a 4 bedroom suburban single family home now.
Ideally town with safe neighborhood, good schools, as short of a commute as possible (have 15 mins today).
Town with main street area (coffee shops, restaurants, etc) would be nice.
I realize that cost of living (housing) will go up (in NJ now) but what can I expect?

Any locals out there with some good tips?

TIA
Mick
Last edited by: BrickMick: Oct 6, 17 23:54
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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BrickMick wrote:
Having a job offer in San Jose (close to SJC airport).

Wondering where you folks say is a good place to live.
It is me with wife and 2 teenage children. Coming from a 4 bedroom suburban single family home now.
Ideally town with safe neighborhood, good schools, as short of a commute as possible (have 15 mins today).
Town with main street area (coffee shops, restaurants, etc) would be nice.
I realize that cost of living (housing) will go up (in NJ now) but what can I expect?

Any locals out there with some good tips?

TIA
Mick

You pretty much just described Los Gatos. I have two teenage kids and have been living in Los Gatos for 15 years now. Some of the best schools in the country, great downtown area with fantastic restaurants (including Michelin-star rated restaurants), within your commuting range, etc. Great jumping-off point for rides and runs. PM me if you want to meet up to have a look around.

-John

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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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Mountain View.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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Man, you're going to be in for a RUDE awakening when you see the housing prices here.

I would not be surprised if to get the equivalent footage of the 4-bdrm house you currently live in NJ, that you will have to pay north of 1.5 million dollars. I live within 20 mins of the airport driving and houses that big go for north of $2 million, no joke. It's nutzo. A 4 bdrm in Los Gatos is similarly if not even MORE expensive.

Make sure you have housing lined up before you take the plunge - as awesome as Norcal is for cycling (you can ride in shorts ALL year even in January!), triathlon, (not so much swimming though), and education and culture (you'll make some truly amazing and talented friends here), if you go in too deep on housing, you're gonna hate life.
Last edited by: lightheir: Oct 7, 17 8:58
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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A four bedroom house will be around $2.5M.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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How is Campbell?
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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BrickMick wrote:

How is Campbell?

Median home price in Campbell is $1.2mil right now and probably more for a big place. Bay Area median price was at $909k as of last month but that is averaged out by small condo that go for $500k.

_________________________________
Justin Green | Facebook | Twitter | USAT Level 1 Coach | BikeFit Certified Fitter
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [JustinNorCal] [ In reply to ]
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How is Campbell as a town?


JustinNorCal wrote:
BrickMick wrote:

How is Campbell?


Median home price in Campbell is $1.2mil right now and probably more for a big place. Bay Area median price was at $909k as of last month but that is averaged out by small condo that go for $500k.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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Menlo Park/Redwood City is pretty cool, got a good friend that lives there with his 3 teenage kids, well two are left now. But he says it was a great place to grow up for the kids. Of course anywhere in this area you are bidding against the dot com newby rich kids who work in Silicon Valley. Hope that new job is a good one...
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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I moved here 2yrs ago and Campbell was my pick. Its a bit "younger" and often referred to as what LG used to be.

Campbell, LG, and Saratoga are all great. They generally are in a linear rise in age and $$ in that order. All 3 offer what you are looking for so i think it will come down to purely which house you like/can afford in those 3.

I also really like the Almaden area south of 85.

Its tech central and with Google looking to build a new campus, $$ are continuing to rise!
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [GatorRacer] [ In reply to ]
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Sounds good.
How is access to trails / rides from Campbell and Saratoga? (already checked Los Gatos (seems good))


GatorRacer wrote:
I moved here 2yrs ago and Campbell was my pick. Its a bit "younger" and often referred to as what LG used to be.

Campbell, LG, and Saratoga are all great. They generally are in a linear rise in age and $$ in that order. All 3 offer what you are looking for so i think it will come down to purely which house you like/can afford in those 3.

I also really like the Almaden area south of 85.

Its tech central and with Google looking to build a new campus, $$ are continuing to rise!
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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Phenomenal but i guess its all relative. The Los Gatos Creek trail, while busy with walkers, is a great way to access most good routes safely. (its not a training trail but a commuter trail) The LG Trail basically connects those these neighborhoods.

The riding is so good around that area, that if you're concerned about tri training, id select by access to pool...The biggest thing for me was to make sure your commute is a reverse commute at all costs! a 15min drive can be a 45min drive in no time in rush hours.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [GatorRacer] [ In reply to ]
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I like what you say there. I always tried to find reverse commutes wherever I lived or have really short commutes.
What is the general flow in the area? What puts me in "reverse commute" relative to SJC?


GatorRacer wrote:
Phenomenal but i guess its all relative. The Los Gatos Creek trail, while busy with walkers, is a great way to access most good routes safely. (its not a training trail but a commuter trail) The LG Trail basically connects those these neighborhoods.

The riding is so good around that area, that if you're concerned about tri training, id select by access to pool...The biggest thing for me was to make sure your commute is a reverse commute at all costs! a 15min drive can be a 45min drive in no time in rush hours.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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There are none.

It's a fucking pit of crushing overpopulation, blindly living life in the fast lane, soul-swallowing traffic, and astronomical living costs. Any enclaves you find that are improvements on one or more of those metrics have significant compromises on the others.

Get a couple drinks into me and I'll tell you what I really think.

Eliot
blog thing - strava thing
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [renorider] [ In reply to ]
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I hear you. That is exactly my impression from my visits there.
But since my impressions are just from visits I was hoping to learn that there are places that have less of the overpopulation and, while there obviously will be traffic everywhere, maybe find some good commuting route. I do realize that it will be expensive.


renorider wrote:
There are none.

It's a fucking pit of crushing overpopulation, blindly living life in the fast lane, soul-swallowing traffic, and astronomical living costs. Any enclaves you find that are improvements on one or more of those metrics have significant compromises on the others.

Get a couple drinks into me and I'll tell you what I really think.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [renorider] [ In reply to ]
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Don't listen to renorider. If renorider had lemons, he wouldn't make lemonade, he would just kill himself.

It's expensive because it's amazing to live here. I hate rat races, and over population, but I don't notice it that much because I do so many things that I truly love. I just moved 5 miles from work and now I avoid traffic. I avoid the 101 so now I am happy. I embrace my $4500/mt mortgage because the life here is awesome and I can bike all year round. I lived in San Diego for 2 years, and would choose San Jose area over any place in the country.

I have been in SJ for 6 years now. I work a block from SJ Airport. I lived in Los Gatos (rented) for 4 years, then bought in SJ (Willow Glenn neighborhoods). I (tri) train 10-12 hours a week, so environment for me is everything. Hands down, Los Gatos is the best. Out your front door, you have access to the best cycling (epic scenery and climbs) and LG High School now has masters swimming. Running is also very nice. I would do the LG Trail for flat runs or tempo sessions, and then Lexington Resevior for hills and dirt trails.

Now in Willow Glenn, so I now have to drive to bike spots. Last week I drive to LG to start my bike. Uhg. I miss LG.

If I could buy any where else, I'd want to be near Canada/HW 280 in Redwood City. Epic riding near there, but over 20 miles form SJ.
Last edited by: p3: Oct 7, 17 15:04
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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BrickMick wrote:

I like what you say there. I always tried to find reverse commutes wherever I lived or have really short commutes.
What is the general flow in the area? What puts me in "reverse commute" relative to SJC?


GatorRacer wrote:
Phenomenal but i guess its all relative. The Los Gatos Creek trail, while busy with walkers, is a great way to access most good routes safely. (its not a training trail but a commuter trail) The LG Trail basically connects those these neighborhoods.

The riding is so good around that area, that if you're concerned about tri training, id select by access to pool...The biggest thing for me was to make sure your commute is a reverse commute at all costs! a 15min drive can be a 45min drive in no time in rush hours.

Seriously, any house that's north of $2million is pretty much a reverse commute. If it's under 1.2 million, likely not.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
Menlo Park/Redwood City is pretty cool, got a good friend that lives there with his 3 teenage kids, well two are left now. But he says it was a great place to grow up for the kids. Of course anywhere in this area you are bidding against the dot com newby rich kids who work in Silicon Valley. Hope that new job is a good one...

Psst....he’s moved to Santa Cruz. :-)

But yes, Menlo Park is awesome. Bring money.

Ian
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [renorider] [ In reply to ]
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renorider wrote:
There are none.

It's a fucking pit of crushing overpopulation, blindly living life in the fast lane, soul-swallowing traffic, and astronomical living costs. Any enclaves you find that are improvements on one or more of those metrics have significant compromises on the others.

Get a couple drinks into me and I'll tell you what I really think.

I second this... I work in Fremont and live in Pleasanton.. traffic is barely tolerable for me and I work some early hours to miss the peak traffic times.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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BrickMick wrote:

How is Campbell?

When you say 20 min from San Jose Airport can you say the exact cross streets. Based on that, it can vary substantially where you end up living based on your criteria and a disaster commute. My 2 cents if unless you are going for CxO positions and have high school age kids and unless you are not transferring from an equivalent housing market, then it makes zero sense to move to Silicon Valley if your current house is say $500K. To get the same, you're spending $1M - $2M more. Unless we are talking RSU cash outs in the $1M to $8M range, you just end up in corporate slave mode.

Better to live somewhere else and have all that net worth liquid and not tied up in housing and have flex to spend it how you want to get to nice weather and places you need to go to. Nothing worse than having the corporate yoke around your neck and having to be a yes man because you need the next paycheque, or have to hang on for this year's low end RSU cash outs in the sub CxO range in most companies. I was asked multiple times to relocate but turned it down each time. The math never worked out.

That being said, I am at the point that I would consider it given that my son is done in college in the spring. That's a different phase of life. I don't need to get tied down in the housing market (and keep my investments in the stock markets), just rent and get paid enough that it's a wash.

Dev
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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Welcome! As you've quickly realized from other replies, it's very expensive to live hear. I'm up near Oakland and even that is expensive.

Commutes pretty much suck at all hours. There is simply too many people here. If you can, I would consider a smaller place closer to work - though by the airport is kind of a sketchy place to live.

On my comment about being close, think about how much time you could have to be with the family vs not when considering 60-90 minute commutes each way. Depending on where you go, that might be reality for something as close as 20 miles away. Keep that in mind - if you move too far, the house might be great but you could also end up not being able to watch the kids up and all that.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [spntrxi] [ In reply to ]
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I agree as well. I live in Marin and commute to SJ two times a week (down from four) and while I did consider looking in the south bay that time has long passed. It's less expensive now for me to commute than relocate and try to find something reasonable. It's ridiculous. It's also ridiculous that I find living in Southern Marin more reasonable than the south bay.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [daswafford] [ In reply to ]
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daswafford wrote:
Welcome! As you've quickly realized from other replies, it's very expensive to live hear. I'm up near Oakland and even that is expensive.

Commutes pretty much suck at all hours. There is simply too many people here. If you can, I would consider a smaller place closer to work - though by the airport is kind of a sketchy place to live.

On my comment about being close, think about how much time you could have to be with the family vs not when considering 60-90 minute commutes each way. Depending on where you go, that might be reality for something as close as 20 miles away. Keep that in mind - if you move too far, the house might be great but you could also end up not being able to watch the kids up and all that.

One thing I would add given that the OP is triathlete, is just pick where your family needs to live and just ride to work. The shoulders in San Jose are awesome (my relative perspective is riding around in Taipei at rush hour during a biz trip with my folding bike), and you can ride all year in shorts. No reason really to even get in a car, unless you have to use your car for work to visit customers/partners/suppliers/investors etc.

So if you choose to ride, you can take the commute out of the picture.....60 min ride each way is 18+18 miles per day.....10 hours of riding per week, 300K per week, zero time in the car, pick a slightly cheaper place to live, spend zero on gas, get extra training in. Everyone wins. If I lived in the Bay area this what I would do. It baffles me how few people ride to work there compared to my Greenland Iglooland deep freeze zone in Ottawa Canada where tons of people bike commute in crap weather. Almost no reason for a triathlete with teenage age kids to not be able to leverage the bike to get to work. It's not like you need to drop kids off and pick them up from daycare.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [sneeuwaap] [ In reply to ]
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He might want to try Atherton and move in next to Joe Montana's house.
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Re: Best places to live in SF Bay Area [BrickMick] [ In reply to ]
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though you can't commute to San Jose, Marin is the best. i have to choose whether to ride by redwoods or oceans so i usually choose both. there is more protected open space to run in than developed areas. we can walk to school, grocery store, etc and yet on any given day there are deer, coyotes, quail, turkey, etc out our window. i count my blessings every day that i live in heaven
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