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Bay Area Living
updated: Jan 30, 2013, 11:18 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Any advice on living near Mountain View?

My husband's job has taken him from Florida to Santa Barbara to Denver and now maybe to Mountain View. Santa Barbara was by far our favorite place, so I'm hoping some of you Santa Barbarians have advice on where to live near Mountain View. We lived in Goleta because we felt like the housing was a bit more affordable, we loved the schools, and we liked being near other families. Is there a suburb of Mountain View that would be similar?

Thank you so much!

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 369006 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 11:24 AM

If you thought the SB area was expensive, just wait. No beautiful coast spitting distance away either to make you feel better about the price you pay. At least you have SF nearby which is far better than LA as far as cities go. I could handle living there, SB is just hard to top after you've lived here.


 COMMENT 369007 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 11:25 AM

Atherton is really nice. Very affordable housing.


 COMMENT 369011 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 11:34 AM

007 is kidding, Atherton is one of the most expensive communities in the country. Mountain View *is* a suburb, essentially, the "Santa Barbaras" in that area include Los Altos, Los Gatos, parts of Palo Alto (but not East Palo Alto), maybe Sunnyvale. Atherton is Montecito, so are Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley, Woodside. Los Altos has very good schools, but so do many of these areas. Contact Marc Roos (www.marcrooshomes.com), he's a fantastic realtor.


 COMMENT 369013 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 11:36 AM

I love Mtn view. Also consider Woodside if you can find a good deal. Just stay away from Redwood City.


 COMMENT 369019 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 11:48 AM

at first i thought you were asking about mountain view street, off carrillo. :-)


 COMMENT 369035 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 12:31 PM

Mt View has a nice downtown, good restaurants around, but the main thoroughfares are congested, urban. It's all suburb there.


 COMMENT 369037 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 12:33 PM

Having lived in both Mountain View and Santa Barbara, I can say that Lizbeth is correct in her assessment. Mountain View homes are generally priced lower than the other ares she mentioned, but it is still considered a great area to live in. If you need to take a step down in price from there, try Cupertino (apparently great schools; some houses there are pricey but others are not) or Sunnyvale.


 COMMENT 369045 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 12:52 PM

Los Altos has good schools, neighborhoods with lots of trees, and open spaces just across the main expressway. It's a bit more pricey than Mountain View, but well worth it.


 COMMENT 369054 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 01:10 PM

Mt. View is nice - it is reasonable compared to nearby cities but know this....traffic is really bad in that area. Northern Cal sticks to the belief that if you don't build it, they won't come. Freeways are choked with cars and there are no shoulders. You spend a lot of time driving to your job....like the SB to Goleta distance....it just takes 75 minutes to get there. Public transport is, of course, a lot more progressive there and they have lots of everything everywhere (meaning stores near you have everything you need unlike here). The sole detractor for me when I was trolling in the 408 was the traffic. Wish you well in your search.


 COMMENT 369070P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 01:49 PM

When I first applied for a teaching job, it was to San Mateo County and then Santa Barbara. The first question the San Mateo County personnel director asked me is "Why should we hire you, when we have more applicants than we need from Berkeley and Stanford?" Fortunately for me, Santa Barbara hired me without such a question. Interesting and good to read Edhat readers have positive comments about the school system up there.


 COMMENT 369117 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 03:24 PM

I grew up in Los Altos, right across the Mt. View border. I think I have truly lived in two of the most beautiful places. I would suggest the Mt. View area near Springer school. It is in the Los Altos School district, and a great elementary school. Good luck to you!


 COMMENT 369147 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 04:11 PM

Get used to busy busy, fast fast. It's not a central coast lifestyle at all.

That said, downtown Mtn View is very walkable, tons of cafes, wine bars, grills, etc. The CalTrain tracks bisect every flatland community near the bay. Los Altos is a bit farther up the hillside as is Atherton, Los Altos Hills, Portola Valley. Those are the toney areas.

Traffic will drive you crazy till you figure out the short cuts and leave El Camino. Good public transportation. Lots of cultural diversity. too. A trip to Target will net you a dozen languages to eavesdrop, if you're multi-lingual. Big bonus is that SF and Berkeley are so close. Lots to see, do and try.

Santa Cruz is not too far away if you yearn for sand between the toes, but it's crowded too. Avoid Highway (NEVER say "the..." up there) 17 at commute times and you'll be fine. it's just "take 101, 17, 280, El Camino" etc. You will come to love the dining scene up there. SO much choice. Everything from dynamite taquierias to top Asian. Get to know the locals on the Chowhound.com 'SF BayArea' board. They will not steer you wrong, especially Melanie Wong or RWOrange.


 COMMENT 369149P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 04:17 PM

while it's not the same as looking at islands, the view across the Bay to the east bay hills from the top of the Stanford campus is breathtaking and never gets old. I hope you have a wonderful time there.


 COMMENT 369175P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 04:45 PM

having lived both in the bay area and santa barbara my entire life i'll echo what seedlady said, busy and fast. i miss the food diversity and quality in the bay area (especially the beer) but it's not enough to bring me back to all the violence and traffic in the area. oh and the water quality is stellar up there too.


 MTNDRIVER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-30 06:39 PM

I love that whole area, all the towns mentioned, but as SeedLady mentioned, the traffic is very different from here! I find as soon as I get a bit north of Gilroy and turn off onto the 85, boom, people are driving fast and aggressively. Also on the streets in the towns. Good luck to you. If I didn't have a million connections here, I would be looking to live in that same area.


 COMMENT 369321 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 07:56 AM

I lived in both Sunnyvale and Belmont and much prefer Belmont. We found Belmont to have great schools and small residential communities. The topography contributes to this fact and overall the people seemed better educated and better neighbors. it's not a snobby community. Commuting to Mountain View isn't bad because you are going opposite to the major commute flow.


 COMMENT 369323 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 07:57 AM

Go up there and drive around and check out the areas yourself. You are going to rely on edhat suggestions for where to live?


 COMMENT 369338 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 08:22 AM

I went to law school at Santa Clara before the giant silicone valley explosive growth. Mountain view was nice as was Los Altos and particularly the Los Altos Hills and the hilly parts of Palo Alto (all very expensive then and probably out of sight now). They had just opened the 280 and there was hardly any traffic on it going up to the City. It was really nice and a scenic drive. I taught school at West Valley College as one of the jobs I worked to get through law school and I always liked to go out to Los Gatos, a tiny community at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains just off the 17. Probably expensive to live there as well. In terms of affordability, Sunnyvale is probably a better choice.


 COMMENT 369339 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 08:22 AM

Sunnyvale is a fine small city. Again, opposite the flow for most things. And for affordable, Lakewood Village (101 & Lawrence Expy). Forgettable tract homes but most have been remodeled and the lots are big. Good school district but you won't pay the "Cupertino premium." (I lived there for 30 years, but childhood and later adult here)


 COMMENT 369624 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-31 06:45 PM

OP here - thanks for all of your helpful responses! Denver feels too busy, fast, and crowded for us... thank you for pointing out that the Bay Area is great yet has a different pace of life than SB.

323, the company will fly us out for wining, dining, & exploring before we'd even consider moving. Edhatters are really useful in helping us narrow our search for neighborhoods when we get there.


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