Need Info for San Jose Area in CA

Updated on June 07, 2011
K.K. asks from McKinney, TX
12 answers

My husband is looking at a job in the San Jose area........I am native to Texas and am needing all info can find on how people afford to live in that are the schools? Where do we not want to consider moving to? What is your experience in this area???? We would have to move so this is a big deal for me..........just not sure what I need to or should know.....anyone from this general area that can offer some advice?????

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So What Happened?

You ladies have been so gracious with the information you have shared.......we will see what happens in the next week on the job opportunity.....I am so grateful for the information.....if anyone has realtors they recommend, please pass their name to me. Is there a service for helping a family find a rental too? We will know in the next week if this is going to become a reality for us......thanks again.....I have been researching based on your information so any other info is appreciated too.

UPDATE: as of right now we will not be moving to CA.....I sincerely appreciate your help...this one was close and was moving too fast......I am kind of sad now that I have looked at so many different beautiful areas you ladies live in......thanks so much. I definitely think we have to plan a vacation out there......since I am not moving there. :-)

More Answers


answers from San Francisco on

I live in the Willow Glen area of San Jose. We rent. The house we rent costs us $2100 a month. It's old and could use some TLC but it has a HUGE backyard (which was a priority for me and why we are paying a higher rent than we would in other areas of San Jose. I would say the average rent for a 3 bedroom home (with a smaller yard is than ours) is about $2500.
My husband moved us up here a couple of years ago so he could work at the family business.
He makes less than 80k a year. We are a single income family with 3 kids still at home, one in college and we are doing just fine financially. I do have to say though that we have no debt outside of our car payment.
Our kids go to Willow Glen High School and Middle School and overall we are pleased with the education they are getting.
I too was afraid that we wouldn't be able to afford to live here but after an adjustment period of a few months we have figured out how to live comfortably.

Another nice area is the Cambrian area. My MIL has lived there for almost 40 years and thoroughly enjoys it.

I definitely encourage you to do your research though and if you do move up here rent a home for a while. Houses are too expensive up here to lock yourself into a neighborhood you might not like.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I'm from the Bay Area and my parents live in San Jose. I really miss the area but we just couldn't afford to buy a house there. When we tried in 2001, we were bidding on 450k dumpy, small, old homes with terrible inspection reports and getting outbid! It's not as crazy anymore but prices are still insane.

Another downside is that it's a workaholic type of area. I didn't know anyone who just worked a 40-hour work week. Long hours are expected, especially in high-tech.

A good realtor can point you to the best areas for schools. Willow Glen, Cambrian and the Silver Creek gated community are all nice if you want to live in San Jose. There are good public schools in San Jose if you get into the right neighborhoods.

There are a lot of pluses to the area. Fantastic mild weather, a lot of activities (including for kids -- tons of places to go with kids), great restaurants, an educated population. You're in close driving distance to the beach, Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley. It really is a great area to live, if you can afford it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I live about 35 minutes from San Jose on a good traffic day. I don't know that area but it is expensive out here. Be prepared! My husband used to work in San Jose and I would go to his office sometimes but still I don't know the lay of the land well.

We moved to Livermore almost 2 years ago. I did alot of research about schools on line. I got a realtor from the area and we drove around neighborhoods near the schools we liked. We love where we are!

I don't have any answers for you...just sending some good luck. This area is beautiful, has great weather and has so much to offer...but it is expensive.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hi there, like CAmom, I'm a Bay Area native. I totally agree with the areas she suggested in San Jose. Please come visit before you commit to moving, if possible while he's out on the job interview. There are vast differences in communities that are not too distant ( think microclimates).

In general, the tempo of life is very work focused and it definitely requires two incomes unless one is an executive earning in the $200ks or the if you got in to the market before 1995.

Good luck with your decision!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I grew up in San Jose and now I live in Santa Cruz, but I work in San Jose. San Jose and surrounding areas is a huge place with many options. It is an expensive area for housing. Best schools are in Saratoga, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Almaden Valley. East San Jose has always been a rougher part of town so I wouldn't move there, though that is where the housing is more affordable.


answers from San Francisco on


agree with most of the areas already stated... some of where you want to look really depends on where your husband is going to be working and how much of a commute he wants- and whether you are going to be working. South San Jose is great (Campbell, Cambrian, Willow Glen) but you will pay more for the "name" on these communities- their are others in the South San Jose area that don't carry the name but are really good. go to it is a real estate site that also shows where all the schools are and their ratings- this should give you a descent idea on where to start. Also I would highly recommend- if you were not thinking this way already, to rent for a while when you first get here so you have more flexibility while you get to know the area. I can e-mail you a map with the areas zip codes if you would like with the "better" ones highlighted. You can also message me if you want more info.




answers from San Francisco on

Willow Glen is a nice area, Campbell is good. Stay out of the East side of San Jose you want to be more south of San Jose and on the outskirts not in the city. Do some research because there are a lot of bad areas but some really good ones too. High schools are really touchy, make sure you are in a nice area. San Jose can be a fun area but you just have to watch out where you live. My advice do not live in San Jose but the surrounding cities around San Jose, like a couple i mentioned above. Good luck to you.



answers from San Francisco on

Morgan Hill is a beautiful just south of San Jose. 36,000 population, small-town feel, with only 25 minute commute into San Jose's South Side. If you're husband's job is anywhere in South, Central, or West San Jose, I would recommend Morgan Hill, as the commute as far up as Central or West San Jose is really not that bad. You're hearing lots about East San Jose, which is true. However, the "Evergreen" district is in the southern portion of the east foothills of San Jose and is a very nice community. If looking at anything in the east, don't go west of White Road or north of Tully. Because San Jose is such a large city there are multiple school districts and school districts are funded by taxpayers in their jurisdiction. This means that there is a large disparity between school services in rich vs. poor neighborhoods. However, if you look in the smaller, out-lying cities of San Jose (Morgan Hill, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Milpitas) you are looking at cities with one school district - meaning that funding is consistent no matter which school you go to. Of course, parental participation issues always make a difference in school quality too. A working class community will have lower parental participation than an affluent community because higher numbers of households in a working class community will have both parents working out of the home and unavailable to be a supplemental resource to the school... so you still want a school in an affluent community if you can afford one. If not, go for single-distict cities. This has always worked for me.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,

I was born and raised here and have lived all over. How old are your kids? If you have high school age children you need to pay close attention to the corresponding schools. I believe Leland has the best academic reputation. It is located in Almaden, which is a very nice area (priced accordingly). Craigslist is the best place to find information about rentals which will give you a feel. As a general guideline (although there are exceptions) you want to stay South of 280 and West of 87 - definitely stay west of Monterey Rd. A lot of places advertise "Willow Glen" but are further out and not particularly nice. As mentioned, Willow Glen is ideal. Cambrian and Campbell are nice and slightly less expensive. Los Gatos and Saratoga are very nice but even more expensive. Cupertino is known for it's schools but it you have to check out the neighborhoods. I like Blossom Valley as a more affordable option. There is a mix of people so some blocks are nicer than others but overall I think it's pretty family friendly and more reasonably priced. I would not recommend Gunderson or Oak Grove for High Schools. Santa Teresa and Pioneer are alright - I'm not a fan of public high schools in general. Let us know if you need more specific information!



answers from San Francisco on

I have always lived in San Jose and gone to the schools, but things and areas change. But as mentioned, you will not want a house on the eastside. It is not a very nice area. Certain areas of downtown you may want to stay away from too. We are in South San Jose, and the houses are affordable and the neighborhoods are decent. As mentioned the desirable expensive areas are Almaden, Silvercreek, Los Gatos, Palo Alto. Willow Glen is okay, but the homes are from the 50's. I rented a duplex that had a drop down ironing board. So some of the homes in that area are old. But talk to a real estate agent and look at more than one place before you purchase.



answers from Cleveland on

San Jose is a great job center for tech but as said, it's incredibly expensive and CA ranks very close to last in spending per student. Many many who can afford to send their kids to private. I don't know if your husband has to find a job there or just wants to but if he doesn't really have to, unless you have a lot of money, it might be a tough move.



answers from San Francisco on

Look to live in Scotts Valley. It's maybe a 1/2 hour commute depending on where your husband works in San Jose. You'll love the small town family oriented feel. Great schools ,great weather and your close to the beach and won't have to join the masses driving the hill escaping the rat race to come relax at the beach. When you want big name stores to shop you head over to San Jose. There's a Costco in Santa Cruz which from Scott's Valley is only 10 minutes at most. Scott's Valley is probably one of the most centrally located towns. Everyone is out walking their dogs ,running, bike riding . I highly recommend investigating this town. We live even farther down from Scott's Valley and it's still worth it for my husband to commute and come home to a relaxing pace of life.

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