Can you show me the way to San Jose?

I’m moving to San Jose and I’ve never been there.

We meet with a realtor in a couple of weeks, does anyone have any advice on where we should look for a home?

Me, 29. Hubby, 33. One kid, 8.5 months.

Many thank yous.

Sue: perhaps this link would help some http://www.sjmercury.com .

It’s the San Jose Mercury News website.

Here a small map of San Jose…

San Jose

here’s where is it in Northern California…

[San Jose in Northern CA](http://aol.vicinity.com/aol2/citymapsresults.hm?&FAM=aol2&CMD=MAP&SEC=citymapsresults&GAD3=San+Jose%2C+CA&IC=37.304:-121.849783:aolstar:&MA=1&GC=X:-121.849783|Y:37.304|LT:37. 304|LN:-121.849783|LS:300000|c:San_Jose|s:CA|d:807|p:USA&GEOMC=4&LV=7)

and here’s where it is in California (right below San Francisco)…

CA map

Hope that helps.

Did you also know that San Jose with 838,744 is the largest city in the Bay Area? Yep, even bigger than San Fran. It was the state capital from 1849-51.

For more details

[b[i"]CLICK HERE FOR SAN JOSE INFO***

OOOPS let’s try again

CLICK HERE FOR SAN JOSE INFO

For the words to the song Do You Know The Way To San Jose ***CLICK HERE ** *

I live near there. try www.mapquest.com for directions to/from any citiesin the USA.

Plus, where are you coming from? shrug.

Hope you got a lot of bucks. That city is sandwiched betwixt the two most expensive counties to live in USA, SF & Monterey county.

Sue,

Unfortunately, you provide the wrong statistics, which indicates you may be in for a shock. Your ages and family population count won’t do; how much money you have does. (Not how much you WANT to pay - how much you have and what size loan you can qualify for. Period. And sorry about that.)

One question is: where will your husband and yourself be working? If you want to minimize your commute time, live near work. Get onto mapquest.com or one of the other similar sites and search for your employers’ addresses. If you commute during the peak times (7:30 to 9:30 AM, 4:30 to 6:30 PM) on the freeways, you can figure on averaging 30mph in my experience. Of course, if you can avoid any of the various bottlenecks, or use the Light Rail, it will make a difference.

If you are more concerned about the neighborhood, talk to your realtor. My impression, however is as follows (I will later address my own experience):

Generally, prices are highest, and cities are most desirable, on The Peninsula, and decrease as you move SE. That means San Mateo/San Francisco are high, Mountain View and Sunnyvale somewhat less so, down through south San Jose and the Coyote Valley to Morgan Hill. (None of these are BAD, they’re just “less desirable” as determined by the market.) Around San Jose, West is generally “better” than East, with Cupertino and Saratoga (cities) more desirable than Evergreen (too far) or east San Jose (which has usually been considered the “wrong side of the tracks”).

If you want that “old town” feeling, tell your realtor; the Rose Garden or Willow Glen might do it, or Santa Clara (city). If you’re looking for the top school districts, expect to pay top dollar - you’re back in Cupertino/Saratoga. If you’re looking for the best climate, then the closer you are to the Bay (or the mountains on the west side) the cooler, the farther you get down into the Almaden Valley the more unbearable it will be.

Last things to remember here is that a lot of this is changing, and timing is everything. Milpitas (city) was always “almost east San Jose” until fairly recently; now their mayor is a realtor, LOTS of development has gone on, and in the last year especially prices have jumped. The Coyote Valley is the site of much future development, which will push prices in Evergreen and Morgan Hill (city) up, as well as Almaden Valley. As for timing: avoid the “hot seasons” (in the real estate sense), where a house can easily sell for 10-20% over asking price as anywhere from 3 to 10 bidders fight to see who gets it. Fall/December is usually a Good Time To Buy.
My experience: I have lived in West San Jose for the past 20 years (6 as an owner myself), in what is referred to as Westgate. This is a small spit of San Jose sandwiched among Campbell, Cupertino, and Saratoga cities. It was considered fairly desirable, but less pricey (as is Campbell) than its richer neighbors. Two blocks south of me the addresses became Saratoga - and added at least $100,000 for a not-quite-as-nice house on 10 to 20% more lot. Arguably the best private academy in the South Bay (Harker Academy) just moved its elementary school to within walking distance of my house.

We sold our house there this month and moved to south Fremont, just north of Milpitas. We paid slightly more than we got, for more house and newer on a similar lot, and a slightly less-respected school district. My commute has gone from 30-45 minutes (17.5 miles) to 10, and my company is about to move within walking distance. By the time my newborn daughter is ready to go to school, anything could have happened to the district. The Westgate house had an air conditioner, which we used one week per year; the Fremont house has none and probably doesn’t need it (close enough to the Bay). Our friends in the Almaden Valley seem to run their air conditioners all summer long.

You are unlikely to find a perfect fit unless money is no object. (If so, then you are looking at Los Altos Hills or Atherton, or Marin County north of San Francisco - but then, you wouldn’t have asked your question, either.) I got my old house and yard pretty much right, then sold it. The new house is pretty much right, but the yard isn’t - I figure I’ll be busy for a year or two on that.

So what can you expect to pay? Under $200,000, you are looking at Tracy and a 2 hour commute (each way). $350,000 to $500,000 will get you a nice-ish house, with the level of work required to bring it up to nice-and-right depending on how much you compromised to get into your desired neighborhood. In Morgan Hill or Fremont, that’s nice. In Sunnyvale or Saratoga it’s a definite fixer-upper (and still might be in the $500,000 to $700,000 range).

For a map showing most of the references I’ve given, try [http://www.mapquest.com/cgi-bin/ia_find?link=ia-map-result&event=change_map_size&map_increase=1&mscsid=&uid=umc600s2ea40q5pj:2glrys0ub&random=816&SNVData=7%3D*%26:%3D*%26^^j9m4jqr^LV^^a^E%26:x0-r09a1w*%3D2l1-2wgz7n*2vv(at5gur%3Bn16-)ual9fza%249de7m|x06,pjo6p7%3Ba0l.3mad3-g.gv82s-1.WIKudyx1|l%24HQJ9oxiwo5-1.WIKu337%3Bbaqy25%24HQJ92lu(%3D2l1u100.fjnWIK%3B.2%3B.cri%3Btlua:%3D*%26:%3D"]Extremely large URL removed : Click here](http://www.mapquest.com/cgi-bin/ia_find?link=ia-map-result&event=change_map_size&map_increase=1&mscsid=&uid=umc600s2ea40q5pj:2glrys0ub&random=816&SNVData=7%3D*%26:%3D*%26^^) If that doesn’t come up as a link on the SDMB, paste the whole thing into your browser without spaces or line breaks; it should work. The star at the center of the map is Atherton; the Coyote valley and Morgan Hill are off the map to the south on highway 101.

GOOD LUCK!
[Note: This message has been edited by Eutychus55]

Hmm… perhaps someone could fix that so I can read it all at once?

The address above works, but I had to paste the whole thing into Notepad (Windows) and take out two spaces in the middle, plus one at the end (after :%3d). Concerning the map, Willow Glen is about at the 87 near the San Jose dot; Evergreen is at the 101 at the bottom right corner; Almaden Valley is the G8s at the bottom right. And East Palo Alto is VERY different from Palo Alto. Los Gatos is nice, not hot like Almaden, and will give you that old town feeling, too.

David, thank you! You gave me a lot of great info! It was exactly what I was looking for…just some honest opinions on neighborhoods.

We’re currently living in the burbs of Boston, so traffic couldn’t possibly get any worse than we have it now. I don’t work…and as long as my husband can get to the airport (anyone who knows Logan will understand) he will be happy.

We’re hoping to be able to afford a 3-car garage, a view and a good school for The Peanut, but we’ll see. Ernst & Young’s partner relo is pretty awesome…but everything has it’s limits.

Many thanks.
Sue.