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  1. #1
    orthonormal
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    I'm thinking about taking an offer in San Jose. It's a great career move but a long commute from Carmel. If I take it, we'll probably relocate. I'd appreciate a PM from anyone here living in/near San Jose with inside knowledge about the local school options.
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    San Jose is huge - where is the job and where are you thinking of relocating? You can have nearly hour long commutes each way getting from one side of SJ to the other (even though it'd take 20 minutes with no traffic).

    For example you can ride out your door to Santa Teresa if you live in far south San Jose - or it can take you 45 minutes plus with traffic to get there if you live in north San Jose. I'm in far north San Jose between 237/101/880, and it's nearly impossible to get any direction towards any trails in the afternoon/evening.

    San Jose is also growing very rapidly in some areas (particularly the far north end where giant apartment complexes are being built everywhere), and in the next decade traffic will approach full on gridlock in commute hours. Might be wise to consider what drastically increased traffic would do to your commute and location planning...

  3. #3
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    Where is the job located? Might be possible to bike commute via paved bike path.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    I'm thinking about taking an offer in San Jose. It's a great career move but a long commute from Carmel. If I take it, we'll probably relocate. I'd appreciate a PM from anyone here living in/near San Jose with inside knowledge about the local school options.
    How competitive a school do you want to put your kids to? The top tier public schools are at Cupertino 95014, West San Jose 95129, Good part of Sunnyvale 94087, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos and Palo Alto. But housing price is not cheap here. $1.2-1.5 million gets you a 1000 sq-ft 60 year ****ty old house.

    Or you can choose private schools and live in cheaper (relatively speaking) but safe areas such as south San Jose, Campbell, Santa Clara etc.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidation View Post
    How competitive a school do you want to put your kids to? The top tier public schools are at Cupertino 95014, West San Jose 95129, Good part of Sunnyvale 94087, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos and Palo Alto. But housing price is not cheap here. $1.2-1.5 million gets you a 1000 sq-ft 60 year ****ty old house.

    Or you can choose private schools and live in cheaper (relatively speaking) but safe areas such as south San Jose, Campbell, Santa Clara etc.
    You're kidding? Housing in that area has come back to the 05-06 peak level already? Here in Sac it's not there yet. Maybe 70% of where it was, I haven't looked to closely into it. I'm surprised but not totally shocked. On the occasions I have to work over in the Bay Area, traffic in the last 6 months has come back to where it was during the boom. The last few years heading over to work was a breeze, but now I've got to plan around traffic again. Traffic is heavier here in Sac, but not like the Bay Area. Relatively speaking I mean, Sac has never been as congested but the Bay has come back to peak levels much sooner.
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  6. #6
    orthonormal
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    The job is just East of the airport. 87 or 101 provide convenient access. I won't be able to afford Cupertino/Saratoga prices so I've been looking into areas of San Jose with high schools that score relatively well on standardized tests. Leland, Pioneer, Leigh, Branham, and a few others. All of these put me in the SW part of SJ or in Campbell. The main things I'm looking for here are knowledge about schools beyond test scores and commute info. Ability to get to early morning or evening rides on weekdays counts too, but not quite as much.
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  7. #7
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Another thing is what are your commute hours, does your SO work too, and where are kids needing to go for school, after school etc.
    If your job allows for slightly flexibly hours, such as arrive early and leave early, your options might open up a little.

    10 years ago I used to commute from Santa Cruz to a job near Santa Clara univ. Yes it was 10yo so traffic and real estate were very different. But i would drive over the hill early and try to leave before the main traffic rush. It was brutal, but worth being able to live in the Cruz at the time. What about Scott's Valley? Long drive yes, but quality of life there might make it beareable.

    I think that commuting from Carmel is not something you'd want to do for very long, if you want to see your kids during the week. However, nowadays it isn't uncommon for parents to work long hours with one parent maybe having a better schedule for managing weekly home duties. BUT then you're going to want to be with your kids all weekend, and there'd be no time to ride!

    Maybe the SJ locals will chime in some more, but what's it it like east of 680, down near 680/101? There's some trails over there (Alum Rock?) and some pretty decent road riding out your door.

    Good luck with your decision and move.

  8. #8
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    Leland HS is in an expensive area but some decent MTB nearby at Santa Theresa Park and other local county parks. I went to Leland long ago, great school.

    The others you suggest are in cheaper housing areas. There seems to be some correlation between housing prices and school quality. However, there is so much free education for kids in Silicon Valley that I don't think school quality matters. Parenting and imagination are far more important.

    I have had decades of working with teens in Boy and Girl Scouts, Junior Achievement, foster care, and hosting exchange students. School quality as measured by test scores is meaningless to me. Parenting and mentors is all that matters.

    I'm in Santa Clara near the university now. Boring place to live as in no downtown street life but very convenient for techie events and jobs and relatively cheap. If my wife and I leave before 3:30 PM we can be riding on Skyline Ridge in 40 minutes by taking Saratoga Ave all the way. Well, this summer there are two construction sites on Highway 9 above Saratoga that slow things down but 40 - 45 minutes is the usual.

    Campbell is a great little town and we would like to move there or Los Gatos someday. They have more of the small town charm you are used to in Carmel but without the tourism, or beach. The more west you live the better access to trails. However, the commutes get longer.

    I'm a native of San Jose and returned to this area after 20 years in Alaska, Russia, and Seattle (yuck) because I enjoy the tech activities here and it is the best place to start tech based companies. I need more intellectual excitement than other places offer. My wife has a short commute into downtown San Jose and I have a home office. If you keep your commute short then the quality of life here is one of the best.

  9. #9
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    I lived and worked in San Jose for 12 years, believe me school choice matters even with the extras mentioned above. Many neighborhoods (even nice ones) have bad schools where your kid would need to join a gang to survive. Crime is on the rise there thanks to a "fiscally conservative" mayor that cut the police force by 30 percent. Consider Campbell or even Santa Clara or better yet Scott's Valley. I think I'd stay in Carmel.

  10. #10
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    First off, you'll need to get used to the heat. Coming from Carmel, where you have the natural AC it is a eyeopener how hot it gets around here, especially in South SJ.

    All of the schools in the West and SW SJ have improved over the past 10 years because of people like you and me who cannot afford to move into LG or Saratoga. I grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains and went to LGHS. I now live 2 blocks from the LG border in the Cambrian Park area and the schools are fantastic and are becoming on par the LG schools as far as test scores. Unfortunately, the more the scores goes up, the higher the home prices go. Just recently 3 houses in my neighborhood went for over or just under a million. It is a great area with lots of activity and access.

    As JMP said above, Campbell is becoming quite the happening little town. The DT is now like the new "hot spot" at night and then becomes your quaint, friendly, little town in the morning.

    Willow Glen has beautiful housing and the neighborhood feel is top notch. The DT is really nice and they also have lots of activities (festivals, farmer's markets, etc.). The housing prices aren't as high as the rest of the area due to the schools. It is also convenient for your commute.

    I used to ride the local trails, but once I was enlightened to the trails in SC, I have barely ridden around here since. I am not a strictly XC rider, so if you are into XC there are quite a few options all within biking distance. I ride twice a week in SC which requires a drive, but to get to the some of the best trails in the world, I'll do it.
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  11. #11
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    House prices have come back to their bubble peaks, and maybe past it in some places around the bay. I would be leery of buying a house now. The economy is hitting on every cylinder around here.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  12. #12
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    House prices have come back to their bubble peaks, and maybe past it in some places around the bay. I would be leery of buying a house now. The economy is hitting on every cylinder around here.
    Yes, make sure you wait until the prices go up another 20 percent!

  13. #13
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    Which grades/ages are you looking at? Sorry, I have no information for you, but hopefully others in the SW SJ/Campbell area does. I'm in SJ, but my kids go to private school even though my neighborhood schools rank very high.

    In terms of generalities, I would look in West SJ, bordering Cupertino. There are some areas that go to Cupertino schools, which rank very high in terms of academics. I can try to find out from friends. Another is the SW part of Campbell, bordering Saratoga and Los Gatos.

    Edit: closer reading, you mentioned high schools. Cupertino is the way to go. I'll try to find out the West SJ area that goes to Cupertino high schools.

  14. #14
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Yes, make sure you wait until the prices go up another 20 percent!
    Or capitalize on falling rent.
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  15. #15
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    the road rides in the hills on both sides make that area worth it

  16. #16
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    Which grades/ages are you looking at? Sorry, I have no information for you, but hopefully others in the SW SJ/Campbell area does. I'm in SJ, but my kids go to private school even though my neighborhood schools rank very high.

    In terms of generalities, I would look in West SJ, bordering Cupertino. There are some areas that go to Cupertino schools, which rank very high in terms of academics. I can try to find out from friends. Another is the SW part of Campbell, bordering Saratoga and Los Gatos.

    Edit: closer reading, you mentioned high schools. Cupertino is the way to go. I'll try to find out the West SJ area that goes to Cupertino high schools.
    From what I can tell on realtor.com, I won't be able to afford anything in the part of SJ that attends the Cupertino schools.

    I have two daughters. They'll be starting 10th and 8th grade in the fall. They're both very into performing arts; theater and choral music. Carmel HS is huge in those areas and I don't know if I'll find anything comparable for them up there.
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  17. #17
    Wēk Sôs
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    It will be hard to beat Carmel high. The closest would be Lincoln High in SJ. Lincoln High School | San José, California Academics are not great though, and performing arts is a very tough life if you have nothing else to fall back on though most artists seem to take flexible gigs like a waiter/service job.

  18. #18
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    I've heard good things about the Campbell school district, and you'd only be a 25-minute drive from Santa Cruz. But home prices are high...
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  19. #19
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    One way to "get best of both" is to supplement. Focus on academics for school, and use after school programs for others. My son plays competitive soccer, and does so after school and weekends. My daughter is into ballet, and does the same, and studies with SJ Ballet. It's more time and money though, but could be a solution for you, as it is for me.

    CMTSJ - Children's Musical Theater San Jose |

    Some of my kids schoolmates perform there and other kids theaters. I can find out more about those programs if you are interested.

  20. #20
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzaro View Post
    Or capitalize on falling rent.
    Aren't rents going nuts in most of the Bay Area? We're on the front end of our cycle (AKA bubble) and it's a great time to buy. You'll be waiting a decade or more for the next bottom.

  21. #21
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    From what I can tell on realtor.com, I won't be able to afford anything in the part of SJ that attends the Cupertino schools.

    I have two daughters. They'll be starting 10th and 8th grade in the fall. They're both very into performing arts; theater and choral music. Carmel HS is huge in those areas and I don't know if I'll find anything comparable for them up there.
    What's your budget? If you're willing to commute, Pleasanton could be a good option with great schools for the money. All these places will be culture shock to your kids if they've been raised in Carmel. You'll be giving up a nice lifestyle for the rat race. People nearly kill each other to grab a chunk of cheese at Trader Joe's in Santa Clara County.

  22. #22
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    If you're after a good school district, you can look up south Fremont (Mission San Jose). It's a great school district, and your commute will suck somewhat (880 is awful). The riding sucks, but you'll have Mission Peak at your doorstep for those aerobic, sometimes anaerobic, climbs.
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    Yeah, the student ethnicity of a school can tell you A LOT about it.
    Lincoln High: 70% Hispanic, 18% White, 4% Asian. API score: 761
    Lynbrook High: 3% Hispanic, 14% White, 81% Asian. API score: 946


    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    It will be hard to beat Carmel high. The closest would be Lincoln High in SJ. Lincoln High School | San José, California Academics are not great though, and performing arts is a very tough life if you have nothing else to fall back on though most artists seem to take flexible gigs like a waiter/service job.

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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    If you're after a good school district, you can look up south Fremont (Mission San Jose). It's a great school district, and your commute will suck somewhat (880 is awful). The riding sucks, but you'll have Mission Peak at your doorstep for those aerobic, sometimes anaerobic, climbs.
    I think that hood is in the million dollar club now because of those great schools.

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    One of my neighbors rented out their house (4 bedroom, 1600 sq-ft, 60-year old house, original bathroom, remodeled kitchen) for $4500/month. This is Sunnyvale. 5 years ago, you could only get $3000/month for this max.

    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Aren't rents going nuts in most of the Bay Area? We're on the front end of our cycle (AKA bubble) and it's a great time to buy. You'll be waiting a decade or more for the next bottom.

  26. #26
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Aren't rents going nuts in most of the Bay Area? We're on the front end of our cycle (AKA bubble) and it's a great time to buy. You'll be waiting a decade or more for the next bottom.
    I don't really know but with everybody buying doesn't that mean less folks are renting?
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    I think that hood is in the million dollar club now because of those great schools.
    Sure is. All good school districts are at least that much nowadays. I think it's insane and not really sustainable, but that's what it is today.
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  28. #28
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    Sure is. All good school districts are at least that much nowadays. I think it's insane and not really sustainable, but that's what it is today.
    All this has lasted way longer than I thought it could. You can get a few better deals up in Marin or Sonoma, but anything close to the valley is crazy.

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    Dude...there are many options out there. If your kids are competitive in terms of grades and test scores, there is a great public charter school in gilroy, Dr. TJ Owens Early College Academy (competitive admission). API Score is 932. Home prices in Gilroy are FAR less than SJ/Los Gatos, and you are only 40min away from Aptos for riding, 10min away from Henry Coe and Harvey Bear.....50min away from Demo forest and Santa Cruz.

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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by ssalinas View Post
    Dude...there are many options out there. If your kids are competitive in terms of grades and test scores, there is a great public charter school in gilroy, Dr. TJ Owens Early College Academy (competitive admission). API Score is 932. Home prices in Gilroy are FAR less than SJ/Los Gatos, and you are only 40min away from Aptos for riding, 10min away from Henry Coe and Harvey Bear.....50min away from Demo forest and Santa Cruz.
    Commute will be brutal to North SJ and it's like 115 in the summer.

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    30-45min. 115 for like 2 weeks.

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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by ssalinas View Post
    30-45min. 115 for like 2 weeks.
    In perfect traffic! It can take that long from South SJ.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    In perfect traffic! It can take that long from South SJ.
    Indeed. 60 would probably be the norm. It is probably 40 miles to his work, then metering lights, and the typical backup on 101N just north of Gilroy and local traffic in SJ itself after the exit. That is assuming he doesn't have to drive the kids and he is close enough for them to walk or a short bike. From South East SJ, it takes me, on average 40 minutes to travel 20 miles. My morning routine, with kid drop off, is about 1:30, and that is only going 30-35 miles total.

    Commute home? LOL. Even worse than the morning commute.

    That is a good school though, and is half way to SJ from Carmel. I'm not sure I would trade Carmel for Gilroy though.

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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    Indeed. 60 would probably be the norm. It is probably 40 miles to his work, then metering lights, and the typical backup on 101N just north of Gilroy and local traffic in SJ itself after the exit. That is assuming he doesn't have to drive the kids and he is close enough for them to walk or a short bike. From South East SJ, it takes me, on average 40 minutes to travel 20 miles. My morning routine, with kid drop off, is about 1:30, and that is only going 30-35 miles total.

    Commute home? LOL. Even worse than the morning commute.

    That is a good school though, and is half way to SJ from Carmel. I'm not sure I would trade Carmel for Gilroy though.
    Call me crazy, but If I were going to commute 2 hours a day to SJ, I'd rather live in Aptos and walk out my door at night to the beach. I do 90 minutes to more than 2 hours a day, but a Mt. Tam trailhead is only a block away from my very humble house. At some point you have to wonder why you're doing all this ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    At some point you have to wonder why you're doing all this ...
    To make money man. A lot of us are still trapped in the rat race. This mountain biking hobby simply makes us feel a little bit better.
    Oh, well, this thread is pretty depressing.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    The job is just East of the airport. 87 or 101 provide convenient access. I won't be able to afford Cupertino/Saratoga prices so I've been looking into areas of San Jose with high schools that score relatively well on standardized tests. Leland, Pioneer, Leigh, Branham, and a few others. All of these put me in the SW part of SJ or in Campbell. The main things I'm looking for here are knowledge about schools beyond test scores and commute info. Ability to get to early morning or evening rides on weekdays counts too, but not quite as much.
    Commute from Scotts Valley is roughly 40 minutes each way if you're out the door between 7 and 7:15. I did it for 4 years until I found a local job.

    Schools are freaking rad (why we moved here)....and access to trails is even better. Also it's a super safe town with great community vibe.

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    You wouldn't want to live in Pleasanton. That commute is the suck.

    It's not 115 in Gilroy ever, let alone for two weeks. Maybe Phoenix. It does get into the 90s pretty often, but it cools down in the evenings.

    I live in Morgan Hill. I doubt the "scores" are high, but the schools are nice. Sobrato HS is almost new and they have a performing arts program and a very nice theater.

    Don't forget the CalTrain/Bike option. The years I did that commute were my favorite.

    The car commute from Morgan Hill is awesome. I leave around 8:30 and drive 79mph in the 2nd lane usually all the way to hwy 280.

    The valley is totally worth dealing with. My salary would peak at about 65% of what I make in almost any other market and I was making a lot more as a consultant.

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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Pleasanton schools completely blow away anything in south Santa Clara County ... just saying. I wouldn't trade Carmel for any of it however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    Commute from Scotts Valley is roughly 40 minutes each way if you're out the door between 7 and 7:15. I did it for 4 years until I found a local job.

    Schools are freaking rad (why we moved here)....and access to trails is even better. Also it's a super safe town with great community vibe.

    My .02
    Quoted for truth. I moved to Scotts Valley for the schools - the middle school is ugly for your 8th grader but she'll be safe and well educated while they build the new school around her.

    I will stay here for everything else. The commute sucks, but it is not worse than Morgan Hill or Redwood City for your job location. The "other side of the hill" is booming again and congestion is on the rise. Whenever I pull down our road and smell the redwoods my shoulders relax and my eyebrows unknot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    The job is just East of the airport. 87 or 101 provide convenient access. I won't be able to afford Cupertino/Saratoga prices so I've been looking into areas of San Jose with high schools that score relatively well on standardized tests. Leland, Pioneer, Leigh, Branham, and a few others. All of these put me in the SW part of SJ or in Campbell. The main things I'm looking for here are knowledge about schools beyond test scores and commute info. Ability to get to early morning or evening rides on weekdays counts too, but not quite as much.
    This is a costly alternative, have your daughter got to Stevenson. Keep the house in Carmel and vacation rental it out. Rent a place in one of the many new apartment complexes in North San Jose. Other option is sell the Carmel house and don't buy now. You really don't want to buy in this high market unless you have to. The prices will come back down again.

    Also if you thought Cupertino/Saratoga was expensive then you can Skip on Almaden(leland territory) and Los Gatos. Both of those are in the same ball park also.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    I have had decades of working with teens in Boy and Girl Scouts, Junior Achievement, foster care, and hosting exchange students. School quality as measured by test scores is meaningless to me. Parenting and mentors is all that matters.
    My wife is an educator and you're correct the test scores really only measure the teachers ability to teach to the test. Learning is so much more then teaching to a test. The size of the class and the number of teacher aids is another thing to consider. For example, if their are 36 students in a class and no aids their will be problems in the learning process. But if that teacher has good parent support......ie parents that volunteer during the school day then teaching and learning will be more affective.

    Remember the teachers union controls the public education process in the state of California. I 100% support private education....pick your flavour

  42. #42
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by 2clue View Post
    This is a costly alternative, have your daughter got to Stevenson. Keep the house in Carmel and vacation rental it out. Rent a place in one of the many new apartment complexes in North San Jose. Other option is sell the Carmel house and don't buy now. You really don't want to buy in this high market unless you have to. The prices will come back down again.

    Also if you thought Cupertino/Saratoga was expensive then you can Skip on Almaden(leland territory) and Los Gatos. Both of those are in the same ball park also.
    You'll be waiting 7 to 10 years for prices to come down again. We are at the front end of the real estate cycle. Renting and keeping your house is a good idea in case you don't like San Jose compared to Carmel which is almost certain.

  43. #43
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    Unless you're about to make some serious coin on all the useless crap that silicon valley is selling I'd stay in Carmel. The quality of life here will be far below what you're used to.

  44. #44
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by beaverbiker View Post
    Unless you're about to make some serious coin on all the useless crap that silicon valley is selling I'd stay in Carmel. The quality of life here will be far below what you're used to.
    You're life will suck compared to Carmel. Everything is harder in San Jose, stores are far, traffic and parking a nightmare and crime is on the rise. You better be making bank to have it pencil out.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    You're life will suck compared to Carmel. Everything is harder in San Jose, stores are far, traffic and parking a nightmare and crime is on the rise. You better be making bank to have it pencil out.
    Where in Silicon Valley is parking a nightmare?
    Crime is on the rise in the bad neighborhoods (east side of town) but San Jose is still one of the safest cities in the country.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzaro View Post
    I don't really know but with everybody buying doesn't that mean less folks are renting?
    "With everyone buying" means there are fewer places for rent. I rent out a room in Santa Clara and get more now than I did during the peak of the .com boom.

  47. #47
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    Considering a job in San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by dugt View Post
    Where in Silicon Valley is parking a nightmare?
    Crime is on the rise in the bad neighborhoods (east side of town) but San Jose is still one of the safest cities in the country.
    Everywhere, at least during my 12 years in SJ. The city is still pretty safe, but cutting the police by 30 percent didn't exactly help San Jose.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Everywhere, at least during my 12 years in SJ. The city is still pretty safe, but cutting the police by 30 percent didn't exactly help San Jose.
    I rarely have trouble finding a parking spot here unless it is prime time and then I just have to walk a little further. Things have changed a lot here during my 35 years in Santa Clara but I still like it here. I still spend half my time here even though I have another house on a beautiful pond in Truckee.
    Last edited by dugt; 06-14-2014 at 04:21 PM.

  49. #49
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    On my 36 pound (or thereabouts) fat heavy cruiser-slicked (24"x3.45") singlespeed “commuter” (Surly 1x1) it takes me roughly 1 hour and 4 minutes to get to 1st street/Tasman from Almaden Valley… roughly 18 miles. I live a convenient 3 miles from both Santa Teresa County Park as well as Almaden Quicksilver, and perhaps 4.2 miles from the Kennedy trailhead in Los Gatos. Plenty of options. Very rideable area whether it be for work or recreation. You’ll like it here… just be sure to move closer to the hills to get away from all the morons.
    QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given Brewtality too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.

  50. #50
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    Lots of good info here, thanks everyone. I do understand what I am potentially giving up but this would be a very big career move for me. I'm fortunate to have a very supportive wife and kids.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

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