17 items you NEED to know FIRST before living in Pleasanton California – moving to PLEASANTON CA?

Warren Oberholser
Warren Oberholser
Published on December 12, 2020

Are you considering moving to the Sunny town of Pleasanton, CA? If so, then these are the things you MUST know before moving to Pleasanton, California.

Hi, I’m Warren Oberholser. I’m a realtor in the East Bay Tri-Valley area in Northern California. My goal is to help both buyers and sellers get maximum results for one of their biggest investments, their home.

All right, let’s get the blah-blah-blah over with first. My wife and I moved to the town of Pleasanton about 40 years ago. We raised our two beautiful children here and we love this area. We love the city. We love everything it has. And that’s true. But you know what? It may not be right for you. And that’s why we’ve got to go through all 17 items first before you know if it’s right for you to move here and live here.

Here are the 17 items you need to know first before living in the town of Pleasanton.

Number one, Pleasanton neighborhoods. Pleasanton’s neighborhoods are beautiful, quiet, and safe. I posted several property tour videos on my YouTube channel that feature specific Pleasanton neighborhoods (Vintage Hills, Vintage Heights, Vintage Heights II, Foxborough Estates). The key items that separate one neighborhood from the other is age, size of the property, and of course, cost. You’ll find the majority of Pleasanton neighborhoods are in good order. There are a few gated communities in Pleasanton. The two main ones are Golden Eagle Estates and Ruby Hill.

Pleasanton weather is awesome-no snow, fog and humidity

Number two, Weather. Pleasanton has amazing weather. There’s no snow, there’s no fog and there’s no humidity. Yes, it does get hot in the summer. And occasionally temperatures can go over a hundred degrees. However, it usually starts cooling off between five to 6:00 PM. And again, there’s no humidity and no mosquitoes. The winter months are pretty mild here. The biggest rainfall month is February with an average total of 3.6 inches.

I want you to know with no snow means that the roads aren’t salted in the winter, which equals less corrosion to your car.

Pleasanton cost of housing is approx. 50% less than the Silicon Valley

Number three, Cost of housing. Pleasanton by far is not the cheapest area to live. However, if you compare the average price of a 1500 square foot home in Pleasanton and compare that to comparable property in the South Bay Silicon Valley area, such as Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Menlo Park, Cupertino. These are the cities that have the tech headquarters for companies like Google, Apple, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. . You’ll see Pleasanton’s average sales cost is a little over a million, which is $668 a square foot. But the South Bay cities I just mentioned, the average sales price is about $1,900,000, which is $1300 a square foot. That’s almost twice the price for a comparable home in Pleasanton.

Community traffic can be a challenge

Number four, Pleasanton’s commute. Pleasanton is known as a bedroom community, which means it’s a ‘suburb inhabited largely by people who commute to other cities for work‘. What does that mean? Let’s just say, if you live in this town, you most likely don’t work here. So where are the cities you’d commute to? Well, as I just mentioned in the cost of housing, the South Bay, which is Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Menlo Park, Cupertino. This is only a 30 minute drive from Pleasanton. However, in commute time, it can take up to two hours each way. This sucks!

Many companies offer commute buses with WIFI for their employees

Fortunately, there’s several ways you can get there in style and comfort. One way is a commuter bus. Many tech companies offer their own commute coach bus. They usually have comfortable seats with wifi. There is also the ACE train. Once you get there, you can take a Lyft or an Uber to your location. Some companies offer private shared buses that offer regular scheduled pickup and drop off services. Now, if you’re going to Oakland to San Francisco area, there’s BART. Let me give you an example. My wife works in Emeryville, which is a city next to Oakland. She’s been there over eight years. She’s never driven once, she takes Bart everyday she goes to work.

Just 4 hours away from the Sierra Mountain range (Lake Tahoe)

Number five. Pleasanton is close to everything. If you like skiing, hiking, and camping, we have the spectacular Sierra Mountain range, which is located in the beautiful Lake Tahoe area. It’s approximately a three to four hour drive from Pleasanton. If you like the beaches, we have Santa Cruz, which is about an hour away. And if you want to do some sightseeing like in the San Francisco area, that too is about an hour away. When my wife and I want to change of scenery, we’ll go visit the famous San Francisco Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf area. To make it easy, we’ll just take the BART train right from the Pleasanton station. And this means I don’t have to have a hassle of driving in and the headache of trying to park. Now, if you’re in the mood for wine tasting, the Napa Valley Wine County is just two hours away.

Pleasanton offers numerous activities including parks and walking trails

Number six, Local activities. Let’s start with golf. We have numerous public golf courses in and around Pleasanton that are no more than a 25 minute drive(Top Golf Courses in the Tri-Valley area). Now let’s talk about wineries. You don’t have to go up to Napa. We have the Livermore Wineries, and they’re just 25 minutes away from Pleasanton (Top Livermore Wineries). Pleasanton has great bike and walking paths. Pleasanton also has 44 neighborhood (Kottinger parks, Tawny park, Vintage Hills Park and community parks. These parks offer a variety of amenities from baseball, soccer, and general exercise fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, aquatic water park, dog park, and some have restrooms, picnic tables, and barbecues. Pleasanton also has approximately 24 miles of trails and 600 acres of undeveloped space.

Pleasanton’s downtown has numerous activates to choose from including their Farmers Market

Number seven. Pleasanton’s downtown. Pleasanton’s downtown main street area has numerous activities such as their famous Saturday morning farmer’s market (Facebook Farmers Market), their weekend street fairs and parades. To find out more about upcoming events, please visit Pleasanton’s downtown.

Alameda Country Fairgrounds-Goodguy Car Show

Number eight, The Alameda County Fairgrounds. Alameda County Fairgrounds host several events throughout the year to include the annual county fair, the summer car Goodguy Car show. And in the fall they have the haunted theme park Pirates of Emerson, which is a Halloween tradition. And during the fair season, they have horse races.

Downtown has many restaurants to choose from

Number nine, Restaurants, Pleasanton has numerous restaurants along their downtown main street area. You’ll find a variety to include Asian, Greek, Italian, and Mexican foods. To really appreciate all the charm and unique restaurants and stores main street has to offer, just take a stroll down the street and make sure you include both sides. You don’t want to miss anything. You’ll also find several shopping strip malls that feature popular chain restaurants, such as Chili’s, Panda Express and Habit Burger.

Stoneridge shopping mall

Number 10, Pleasanton Stoneridge shopping mall. Stoneridge mall is a beautiful laid-out indoor mall. They host numerous chains like Apple store and Macys. They also have restaurants such as PF Chang’s, The Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen.

San Francisco dining and entertainment-Fisherman’s Wharf

Number 11, San Francisco dining and entertainment. You’re just an hour away, whether you choose to drive or take BART. Now there are numerous restaurants along Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf and The Cannery . And of course, once you get to know the San Francisco area, you’ll find numerous restaurants throughout the city. For entertainment you have many events to choose from such as plays, concerts and sporting events. Now don’t think you have to spend any money to have a good time. You can find amazing street performers in and around the Pier 39 area. And one item I must mention before I leave this section, is the annual San Francisco fleet week event. It’s usually held the second week in October, and it concludes on the weekend by the spectacular aerial performance by the Navy’s Blue Angels. This event again is free. However, I do recommend you take BART in due to the traffic and trying to find a place to park.

Pleasanton schools have great ratings

Number 12, Pleasanton has great schools. One of the biggest selling features for families in Pleasanton is their award-winning schools. No need to go to private schools. Their public schools are excellent. For all the school information go to Pleasanton Unified School District.

Number 13, Pleasanton is a super pet-friendly town. Again, Pleasanton has numerous parks and these parks are all dog friendly. Now, if you’d like your dog to run off leash, we do have Cubby’s Dog Park. As you go through the city, you’ll see everyone walking their dog around the neighborhood.

Pleasanton has ‘pet adoption day’

On most Saturdays, weather permitting, at the main street farmer’s market there’s pet adoption day.

580 and 680 Freeways

Number 14, Pleasanton’s freeways. Pleasanton has easy access to the two freeways that surround the town, which are 580 and 680. To help assist in the traffic hours, both freeways have been upgraded with commute and toll lanes.

The Bay area has several professional sports teams

Number 15, The Bay area’s professional sports teams. For baseball, we have the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletic A’s. If you don’t want to drive and hassle with parking, you can take BART right from Pleasanton, it’ll go straight into Oakland. And for San Francisco, there’s a muni-metro transfer, and it’ll take you right to the stadium. For football, we have the San Francisco 49ers. They play at their new state-of-the-art Levi stadium in Santa Clara. For ice hockey, we have the San Jose Sharks and for soccer we have the San Jose Earthquakes, both teams play in San Jose. And for basketball, last but not least, we have the Golden State Warriors, which are just about to move to their brand new stadium in San Francisco.

Number 16, California property taxes. Under Prop 13, the annual real estate tax on a parcel of property is limited to 1% of its assessed value and not to exceed 2% annually. This 1% limits the amount of how much the state can raise your taxes per year. Here’s an example. Let’s say you purchased a property in California for $200,000 and your annual property taxes are $2,500 a year. Now providing you still live in that same house, let’s say you stay there for 30 years and it appreciates to 1.2 million. Yes, it can happen, especially in Pleasanton. Your annual property taxes after 30 years will be approximately $4,600, as opposed to being taxed on the current assessed value, which would be $15,000 per year. You’ll find this is a big California homeowner benefit. Please consult with your tax specialist for all the details and how it will affect your particular tax situation.

Pleasanton is a very friendly and community focused town

Number 17, Pleasanton is a very friendly and community focused town. Probably one of the main features that separates Pleasanton apart from other towns, is its local connection with this community. As I discussed earlier, their downtown main street area hosts numerous events throughout the year from street fairs, farmer’s market, Friday night concerts, parades, et cetera. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Pleasanton offers much more. The city of Pleasanton recreation department has several different sports programs to include basketball, baseball, soccer, swimming, skateboard, tennis, outdoor hockey, golf. The list keeps going. They have programs for all ages, from kids to adults.

Firehouse Arts Center

One more item to mention for Pleasanton’s performing arts is held at the Firehouse Arts Center. They host numerous types of events to include concerts and plays. So when you put this all together, you’ve a good size city that has a small town feel.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please let me know if you have any questions. Warren


About Warren Oberholser:

Hello…I work with both buyers and sellers in the Tri-Valley area of Northern California. The Tri-Valley is comprised of 6 cities: Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo. To better understand what each city has to offer, I have created a Pros and Cons video and BLOG for each – (Pros & Cons for Pleasanton, Pros & Cons for Livermore, Pros & Cons for Dublin, Pros & Cons for San Ramon, Pros & Cons for Danville and Pros & Cons for Alamo). If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a home, please reach out to me by text, phone, or email. If it is convenient, I can schedule a Zoom chat so we can discuss your home goals. Wishing you all the best on your home journey. Cheers!

Warren Oberholser

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