An Overview of East Bay Cities and Real Estate!
Historically, home prices have been greatly influenced by the commute distance from Silicon Valley. Now that Silicon Valley has enveloped most of Alameda County, pricing is less dispirit. If you compare the cities east of the Sunol Regional Wilderness and the Diablo Range (the hills bisected by the 680 freeway) the housing can be best characterized as newer in a well-tended suburban setting. Commonly referred to as the Tri-Valley, these cities include Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon, Danville and Dublin. Pleasanton tends to be the more expensive housing market. This is largely a product of excellent schools, a charming downtown area and the pleasing appearance of a master planned community.
The cities west of the hills generally have an older housing stock (35-45+Yrs) with a less homogeneous look common to many neighborhoods. The Tri-Cities include Fremont, Union City, Newark and parts of Hayward. Fremont tends to be the more expensive real estate market and its Mission District housing is comparable to pricing in the Pleasanton area.
Where are the most desirable Neighborhoods?
South Livermore is caressed by grape vineyards and local wineries. New housing is available from the $700,000s. Local elementary schools are quite good including Smith and Sunset schools. The Middle and High School, Mendenhall and Granada respectively, are also higher scoring. (See our links to Schools) Older housing is also available starting in the low $400,000s for a 2 bedroom ranch style of approx. 900 Sq. Ft. Downtown is currently undergoing revitalization including new cinemas, restaurants and a Performing Arts Center. The city is moving towards an Up-Scale Country Living Look! Very low crime.
North Livermore has newer housing starting in the mid $700,000s. Can be a rigorous commute however if you are employed south of the Livermore-Pleasanton area.
All of Pleasanton is a high demand housing area. Quaint but dynamic city of which most neighboring municipalities are taking their cues from. Loaded with great schools and numerous parks. Schools can be impacted (overcrowded). Hacienda Business Park is the largest business park in Northern California. The Downtown is a delight with numerous restaurants, coffee bars and shops. New housing is available starting in the low $900,000 range for single family detached and it goes all the way up. Major mixed use housing development at Bernal Ave and 680 fwy. Further east, Ruby Hill Country Club tends to lead the East Bay pricing with custom homes running as high as $6.5 million.
San Ramon Hills have expansive newer housing tracks like The Bridges Golf Club starting in the $800,000 range. Unfortunately, with most new construction comes abbreviated lot sizes. Like Pleasanton, schools are great and crime is very low. San Ramon is in search of a Downtown but most residents don't seem to care! Entry level housing starting in the mid $500,000 range for a 3 bedroom ranch style detached home built in the 70s or older. San Ramon is located between Dublin and Danville and the three cities flow into one another. If you can't find what you are looking for in one city, just drive to another. Major shopping can be found at the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton. San Ramon is served by the San Ramon Valley School District which also serves Blackhawk, Danville, Alamo & Diablo.
Danville is located in the center of San Ramon Valley just north of San Ramon and has housing price similarly to San Ramon. Look is considerably more country sheik as compared to San Ramon's shiney upscale. Horse property is more common. Quaint downtown area. The city is close to two large regional parks and Mt Diablo. Almost zero crime. Danville contracts with the Alameda County Sheriff for police services. Eugene O'Neal wrote some of his finest plays while working from his west Danville home.
Dublin is located at the junction of Interstates 680 & 580 in what was once commonly called Amador Valley. Dublin Ranch is just east of Pleasanton. Brand new hilly self-contained with regional shopping, new parks and new elementary school.. New housing available from the high $600,000s. High density housing, however, even at most higher end housing developments! New Golf Community of Dublin Ranch by Pinn Brothers Construction. Dublin schools have traditionally been the lower scoring in the Tri-Valley although most scores today are in the 80s and 90s percentile. The city of Dublin has embraced commercial development in a big way. It's highly questionable if road and highway infrastructure will be adequate. Dublin traffic tends to be the more congested in the Valley. Dublin still lacks an identity without a discernable downtown.
Fremont is the largest city in Southern Alameda County with a population of 210,000+. City is an aggregate of 5 hamlets that incorporated themselves together in 1956. Fremont's Mission Area has long been known for it's very good schools at all grade levels. South Mission area recently redistricted to Irvington High which left many residents incensed. Mission High has long been the preeminent school in the Mission and Tri-Cities. Mostly older housing with the exception of newer semi-customs in South Mission built when stock options were prevalent. Quickest commute to Silicon Valley's core. Small quaint Mission Village area home of the San Jose Mission. Talks are ongoing to bring the Oakland As baseball to Fremont. It looks like it will happen! Housing starts in the low $400,000 for an older 3 bedroom 1 bath detached home built in the 1950s. Fremont has a BART station making it a popular spot for working couples, one commuting into the city, the other to San Jose Area.
Affordable housing can be had in nearby Tracy which is just over the Altamont Pass, 15 minutes east of Livermore in San Joaquin County. New homes starting in the low $500,000s. Newer schools and plenty of parks. Commute is no picnic! We cover Tracy and it's worth considering if you will be commuting to the Tri-Valley area!
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