Bay Area House Type Map

So the idea is to start with the green area, trade up to the yellow, and finally made it to the red-carpet premium area?

Interesting. Fremont doesn’t have much starter left and even more yellow than Santa Clara. Do you know what’s the price range each category is?

Starter is around 700K. Not sure about the other two.

I am very bullish on Fremont, and not only because I own a SFH there. Tesla is there and a lot of young techies are moving in there to get started. Some say, why buy a fixed product like in top dollar PA when I can buy in Fremont and help to make it good? The upside is there. The lots are huge so even if your house is tiny you can remodel later once you have the cash or the equity. Just get in and stop bleeding rent money which does nothing for you!!!

The fact is, all of the people moving there are highly educated so the schools will get better. They simply have to when you have such driven parents who are active and involved.

The 3/1 I got there for under 500k under 2 years ago should easily go 650K now or 700K+ if I expand to 4/2 which should be easy as many neighbors have expanded.

Wut? Who said that??

It was a figure of speech talking to a young couple at a Fremont open house that was near my place as I was making my landlord rounds. It is the classic, buy low, sell high. The last time I looked, there is nothing low about PA…except inventory

So millbrae is consider starter home? really?

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Millbrae is overrated in my opinion. It is the new Chinatown and frankly I am not impressed with their supposedly great schools.

It’s a bit fuzzy, but is the green area San Bruno and SSF? Millbrae and Burlingame is no way starter home.

I was one of the type of people you are talking about. I bought a property in Fremont 3 years ago as my SFH. Some of the schools in the area we are looking at that was elementary 9/10, jr high 8/10, high 8/10, they are now all 10/10/10 this year according to GreatSchool.

And let’s be frank. I told my prospective tenants that hey now my home does not rate as high as the almighty Mission San Jose schools. They didn’t care. They had the confidence in themselves as active/involved parents to know that they will do everything humanly possible to help get those scores up. That meant pushing their lil kids hard…real hard.

It is a sure fire strategy that sounds like it paid off for you. I am sure that Fremont house is up big time. Awesome!!!

Now, can we do something about Oakland though??? Verdict is still out on that one…


Nah. The categories are based on the price of the home. Not on the build/quality or other features. This is especially distorting in the BA. I’m sure if we created the same graphic using neighborhood median sales price over the last two years or so, we’d get a very similar result.

When we tell young people to buy a “starter home”, although we do mean less expensive, we also mean smaller and basic. They can “trade up” later to something larger, with more features or a better community using the equity from their “starter” to leverage into the more costly trade up.

That probably has more to do with the change in testing after implemenation of Common Core. One of our schools jumped from 2/3 to 5 over night. Wasn’t a sudden change in demographics for sure.


I beg to differ. The people actually buying in this community are the young professional couples who work in tech. That means they are replacing probably older folks who were blue collared. The people moving in are not blue collared simply for the fact that they generally speaking can’t afford to buy here. Let’s be frank, the people moving in are majority Chinese and Indian. That is all you need to know. Every prospective tenant that showed up on my doorstep was white, asian and indian. I ultimately rented to a white family whose breadwinner is in tech. These people point blank told me they weren’t concerned about the current state of the schools in my neighborhood because they probably thought they would/could do better. And I don’t doubt it because I see how involved they are with their kids. Again, why would folks buy/rent into a less than desirable school district neighborhood if they didn’t think they could make changes?

The fact is, we have already made money on this strategy. Proof is in the pudding, Terri.

In the long run, I think your point is correct.
However, in terms of today’s school rating, I am sure ratings are very much inflated with last year’s common core tests. A lot of school which used to be 7 range (like Prospect High school in West San Jose) jumped to 9 over night as Terri said. Gentrification cannot happen over night or even over a year. Before common core test, school rating 9 corresponded to top schools like Palo Alto High, Cupertino High and Los Altos High.
If I am a new buyer, I would definitely look at past API scores (before 2014) instead of today’s school rating.
More precisely, I would look at the test scores by ethnic groups and see how school demographic looks like.
On top of that, I would look at AP test results for neighborhood high school to evaluate the academic aspect of neighborhood schools. There are many neighborhood with great elementary schools but not many with great middle and high schools. Obviously, education quality (like teacher quality and % of advanced classes) varies wider in middle and high school than elementary school.
What I found during school research (from pure academic perspective) is that school’s average test score correlated with “ethnic demographics” the best (which matches your point). However, I don’t think ethnic demographics changes as fast as we imagine. I am maybe wrong but that was what I found.


When we bought our house I looked at the 2011-2013 API scores, did some simple data analysis to buy our house.

Greatschools is a private company. I will probably go by whatever new system the California department of education will come out with. 2017 ratings should be out next year I presume.

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sfdragonboy, I agree with what you’re saying strategy wise long-term 100%, but Jane is right–a 2-3 point jump doesn’t happen overnight without a change in testing, and that testing change definitely happened.

Sudden jump in high school rating is due to Common Core, no debate.

In the long run, higher return for high school rating 8-9 than 10 because of gentrification and Obama’s education policy.


You’re not the only one who bought SFH with high school rating = 9, me too, up more than SFHs with rating = 10.
Btw, you’re born in the year of the dragon?


I believe it was myo who commented that he bought in Fremont where school scores went up. My scores where my property is, is not as strong as everyone else’s but again not a concern over the long haul. It is like buying the cheapest house in the best neighborhood. Eventually, you will benefit from everyone else.

My pseudo name essentially tells anyone who cares 5 possible things about me. Hence, my never posting on the introduction string.