First time home buyer - Fremont / Almden Valley/Cambrian ? 1.5M budget


rinkas: have you commuted for an hour before (is 1hr 1 way or roundtrip?)


1 way, I have some experience i take city shuttle from mountain view which takes 1 hr 10 mints.


you have the patience of a saint :slight_smile:


Also check out pockets of 95051 that are in CUSD


Agreed!!! @Jil has some explaining to do…:slight_smile:

I thought Fremont San Jose schools were so good that it was “worth” it. No? Are the schools in Sunnyvale and MV close enough or even better than Fremont San Jose schools that the commute factor makes Sunnyvale and MV the pick?


I am not telling Fremont is not to buy in absolute scale. Comparing Cost, Fremont is good as you can get it cheaper within Bay Area.

Considering commute from Fremont to Sunnyvale or Palo Alto, It is worst or nightmare traffic.They will be spending more than 1 hour daily on each way, bumper to bumper, esp 880 hwy to 237…etc or dumbarton bridge

With OP family having jobs, both in Sunnyvale and PA, worth buying TH in MV, Sunnyvale or even SFH in Redwood City (but school district is an issue) or Santa Clara (but school district is an issue) .


WSJ is a no brainer… good schools and proximity.


But the price is gone above 2M…for SFH .

TH is fine either Sunnyvale or West San Jose, considering traffic and schools.


Not really… some SFH can be had for under 1.5M in WSJ.


You mean prospect schools (95130…etc) are but not Lynbrook area.


Ok, but if it were me, a TH is out of the question. I ain’t paying 1.5M for a TH. I don’t care where it is. I would rather do like my Fremont tenant who is into cloud computing and just suck it up for a few years while he is hoarding cash so that he can buy my place one day or buy something bigger but certainly not a TH. He does the commute and I have heard him complain yet he does it. On the schools, he and his wife did not care. In their words, we will make the schools here better and I am sure they are already.


Yes, no sacificing SFH for commute nor school in SV. Although, someone sold his TH in Cupertino for a SFH in evergreen and has been regretting that decision ever since… :wink:


Schools need lot of parent’s involvement during work hours. They need to allocate 4 hours working hours when there is meeting or consider coming early to pick up from school or day care,…a lot of hassle keeping school long distance from office.

Even if they pay 1.5M for TH in MV or SV, when there is a downturn, price will be held up as this is near by office. Same is the case for good school district SFHs, but commute will remain same, with less traffic.


TH is good choice when school + Commute is concerned.

SFH is good choice considering school, but not commute.


So what’s the definition of a good school district? Does anything in San Mateo or RWC–Orion/Roy Cloud work?


Well, the relatively cheaper living expenses via renting or maybe buying in a place like Fremont allows the mom (3 kids) to not work and be actively involved in the kids development and she loves it. She doesn’t need to work to support an ugly mortgage. Works for them…



In a high market, the TH will still have value. Only so much commute people can take. I wouldn’t even consider an hour commute each way with kids in school. I know people who sold in East Bay to rent in Peninsula because the commute was killing them and the kids.

I really want an SFH, and I especially value the green space of a backyard after having lived in industrial parts of Boston, but I’d absolutely do a TH and 15 minute commute over a SFH and 1 hr commute. Any day.

The BIGGEST problem with TH it is extremely difficult to get either a 4BR and/or >1800 sq ft. I’d bet you that that is the showstopper for most families looking to spend 1.5M. There are some complexes that have a shared grassy area where the townhouses all have their little backyards open to it. Some have a pool. Great design, and if I could find one with 4BR and 1800 sq ft, I’d buy it over an SFH because it actually offers more space and a safe area for kids to play with neighbor kids.

Also, with 2 people working and 2 kids who will likely end up in different schools, the HOA maintenance might be desirable.


We both are old timers, count value for money, but never care if there is a job or not…! We do not even buy new homes, but look for old homes with bigger lots…etc.

People with young children needs to avoid commute, schools will have parent teacher every 3 months, day care pick up.etc one parent must remain near by school or stay at home.

Companies won’t keep them if they are telecommuting or not working at office. They are the first hit in lay off notice when firing or economy issue.

Compromise in home style (from SFH to TH) is better.

BTW: In the long run, double income is safer for financial independence faster than Single income. Once they reach Financial Independence, they can drop off one income.


I only counted two kids.

Question is whether the mom wants the freedom not to work. Some moms will work regardless.


Not necessarily. In an emergency having a house that relies on that second income means that anything that requires someone to stay home long ter turns into an emergency. Anyone sick–kid in a car accident, husband has a heart attack, and you’re screwed. (Read The Two Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren.)

Also, the second income may or may not add anything to the overall savings. Really depends on the second salary. I have an excel spreadsheet I put together with salaries and the costs of childcare and eating out since there’s no time to cook. Really adds up especially with the high COL when taxed starting at the first income’s tax bracket. Some families actually lose money with the second person working.


Agreed, we are both old school but I think where we differ is how we view the importance of schools. I just don’t lay it all on the schools or their reputations to do a parent’s job of raising and pushing a kid forward. My siblings all went to public schools in SF, all went to Lowell High and all went to Berkeley or UCLA. We all turned out to be fine, productive individuals who own homes in SF to RWC to Saratoga. Frankly, effort and drive are more important to me. As someone who reviews and interviews job candidates on a regular basis I want someone who is hungry, not some spoiled brat who may be book smart but unreliable.