Warning, don’t move to the Tri-Valley area until you read the pros and cons first. It’s all coming up!
Warren’s top Property Picks:
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.
This BLOG is all about the pros and cons of living in the Tri-Valley area. If you’re considering moving here, then this is the right video for you.
What is the Tri-Valley? The Tri-Valley area is a triangular-shaped region of the Eastern San Francisco Bay area. It’s 18 miles Southeast of Oakland and 33 miles from San Francisco. It’s comprised of six cities which are Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo. The three valleys which it takes its name is the Amador Valley, Livermore Valley, and San Ramon Valley.
Now, if you’d like to know about each city individually, you’ll find a link below for the pros and cons for each one:
Some subjects I’m not going to discuss in this video are schools, restaurants, and shopping. The reason being is they vary too much from city to city so, as I just mentioned, please visit one of my pros and cons for the specific city or cities you’re interested in.
Let’s get started. Here are the pros of living in the Tri-Valley area.
Number one: The weather is amazing. The Tri-Valley climate is mild, with no snow, fog, or humidity to speak of. Yes, it gets hot in the summer. Average summer month temperatures range between the low eighties to the nineties and occasionally temperatures can reach over 100 degrees. However, it usually cools off in the evening and, again, there’s no humidity and there are no mosquitoes.
Number two: The Tri-Valley offers so many outdoor recreational offers options, including community and neighborhood parks, museums, education learning centers, miles of walking, bike and horse trails, dog parks, and thousands of acres of undeveloped space. Below is are links for parks, learning centers, etc. :
- Alviso Adobe Community Park
- Blackhawk Museum
- Brushy Peak Regional Preserve
- Del Valle Regional Park
- Dublin Hills Regional Park
- Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site
- Forest Home Farms
- Iron Horse Regional Trail
- Las Trampas Regional Wilderness
- Little Hills Picnic Ranch
- Livermore Valley Wine Country
- Morgan Territory Regional Preserve
- Mount Diablo State Park
- Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park
- Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area
- The Wave Waterpark
Number three: The cities in the Tri-Valley are close to everything. If you like skiing, camping, and hiking, 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. If you like beaches, we have Santa Cruz which is about an hour away. If you like to do some sightseeing in the San Francisco area, that too is just an hour away. Now, if you’re in the mood for wine tasting, the Napa Valley vineyards are just two hours away.
Number four: Local activities. residents in the Tri-Valley area have numerous activities to choose from such as golf, Saturday farmer’s market, 4th of July parades, street festivals, and outdoor concerts. Now, you don’t have to drive up to Napa County for wine tasting, the city of Livermore has many fine vineyards to choose from. Hey and, by the way, a couple of towns even offer an annual ghost walk in the fall.
Number five: San Francisco dining and entertainment. You’re just an hour away from San Francisco whether you choose to take BART or drive. There are many restaurants along the Fisherman’s Wharf, The Cannery, and Pier 39. Of course, once you know the San Francisco area, you’ll find many restaurants throughout the city. For entertainment, you’ll find events to choose from such as plays, concerts, and sporting events.
Number six: BART. BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit. These are electric trains that travel from the Tri-Valley area to specific Bay area cities, including Oakland and San Francisco. Now, the trains don’t take you to Silicon Valley. What I recommend you do is take the commuter train from Pleasanton to Santa Clara, San Jose area. From there, you can take a bus or a Lyft to your destination. Many of these companies have their own commuter bus which takes their employees from the Tri-Valley area all the way to work. The two BART Tri-Valley stations are in Pleasanton and Dublin. If you live in Livermore or San Ramon, you’re just a few minutes away. If you live in Danville or Alamo, probably the closest one you’d go to is Walnut Creek, which is just a few minutes away as well.
Number seven: The Bay Area professional sports teams. For baseball, we have the San Francisco Giants which play in San Francisco. The stadium they play at is right on the San Francisco Bay. For the East Bay, we have the Oakland Athletics which play in Oakland. By the way, if you don’t want to drive to the stadiums you can take BART. For football, we have the San Francisco 49ers which play at the new, state-of-the-art Levi Stadium in Santa Clara. If you like ice hockey, we have the San Jose Sharks which play at the SAP Center in San Jose. Last but definitely not least, is the Golden State Warriors who are just about to move to the new stadium in San Francisco near the Chase Center.
Number eight: California property taxes. Under Prop 13, your annual real estate tax on a parcel of property is not to exceed 2% per year inflation factor of its assessed value. What does this mean? It basically means there’s a limit to how much your annual property tax can be raised per year as opposed to raising them annually based on your property appreciation or value. This can be a significant benefit for California homeowners. Being this as a tax subject, please reach out to your CPA or tax attorney for any questions you may have.
Number nine: The cost of housing in the Tri-Valley area is much less compared to the Menlo Park area. Now, why am I singling out Menlo Park? Menlo Park is one of the major cities in Silicon Valley. Now, Silicon Valley is a major tech center in the world so many residents who live in the Tri-Valley area commute to Menlo Park. Therefore, if you compare Menlo Park’s cost of housing to the cities in the Tri-Valley area, let’s use Dublin for example, it’s 60% less expensive compared to the Menlo Park area. The big factor is the average home price.
Okay, that concludes the pros. Now let’s look at the cons of living in the Tri-Valley area.
Number one: The high cost of housing. Yes, compared to the Silicon Valley, the Tri-Valley area is much cheaper. However, if we compare the same town, which is Dublin to Tracy, California which is about the same distance from Menlo Park, you’ll see Tracy is 43% less expensive than Dublin, and the major factor here is housing.
Number two: Summers can be hot. If we look at average summer temperature across the Bay in the West Bay region, let’s use Burlingame for example. If we compare that city to Livermore, summer temperatures in Burlingame rarely get above 75 degrees compared to Livermore which can exceed 100 degrees.
Number three: The commute traffic. Commute traffic to the Silicon Valley and San Francisco area can be brutal. In fact, pre-pandemic, it can take up to two hours each way. What most commuters do is take Bart if they work in Oakland or San Francisco. For those who commute to Silicon Valley, most employers will offer some kind of commute bus, and that usually has comfortable seating with wifi.
Number four: No nightlife activity. The Tri-Valley area doesn’t have many nightlife activities, it’s basically a quiet area. Now, I’m not sure if this is a con. However, if you’re planning to go out in the evening to enjoy dancing, comedy, concerts, you won’t be able to do this on a regular basis.
Okay. Well, that wraps up the pros and cons for living in the Tri-Valley area. Obviously, the pros outweigh the cons over two to one.
If you found this video interesting, I highly recommend you read (and watch): How to Avoid Making Mistakes When Purchasing a Home in Pleasanton. The information in this video pertains to all the cities in the Tri-Valley area.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Please let me know if you have any questions. Warren
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!
DRE # 01861944