Far Fringes of the Bay Area

I remember the good old days when we talked about the Bay Area and suburban/commuter cities: the southernmost tip was San Jose; Mill Valley and San Rafael made up the northern border; to the east was Oakland and Hayward; and the Peninsula held the westernmost commuter cities. Slowly that area has expanded and over the years Morgan Hill and Gilroy have endured (enjoyed?) a huge population growth, with more affordable housing for the southlanders and improved freeway access with the addition of Highway 85 and the widening of Highway 101. It is not uncommon for people to commute from Santa Rosa into the city. Contra Costa County has exploded in the east and BART and railway systems make it easier for those commuters, and with the improvements to Highway 92, coastal cities now have an increase in non-farming parcels and suburban-type developments.

Home prices in these expanded areas can be more reasonable than in the core Bay Area that we once knew. But the real price you might pay for a cheaper home, a larger home, a larger lot, is in your commute time. If you are not fortunate enough to actually work in the community in which you live, then you can spend up to 4 hours a day on freeways or public transit, many times in frustration due to traffic conditions, road construction, and breakdowns of buses, trains, or BART. For many, the commute is worth it–maybe their spouse can afford to quite work and stay home with the kids, maybe the school system is better, the elite soccer teams more abundant, the trip to a vacation spot a bit closer. If you are thinking about househunting in outlying areas, here are a sampling properties to chew on, all under $750,000.

South: Gilroy
758 Gettysburg Way, 2/2.5, 1682 sf
Price: $479,000 ($285/sf) – End-unit townhouse – new paint and upgrades.

7860 Dickens Way, 2/2, 1055 sf
Price: $549,000 ($520/sf) – One-year old home.

501 Sherwood Drive, 3/2, 1305 sf
Price: $640,000 ($490/sf) – Completely upgraded to the tune of $175,000. Killer outdoor entertainment area.

North: Santa Rosa
1020 McMinn Avenue, 3/1, 1203 sf
Price: $369,900 ($307/sf)
Cutie with a white picket fence.

1835 Rhianna, 3/2, 1188 sf
Price: $438,000 ($369/sf)
Solar energy installed in this light and bright 13-year-old home.

2349 Providence, 4/3, 2096 sf
Price: $565,000 ($270/sf)
Can’t beat the price per square foot!

East: Concord
1718 Ravenwood Dr, 3/2, 1176 sf
Price: $449,950 ($383/sf)
Close to BART and the freeway.

4175 Pickwick Drive, 4/2, 1930 sf
Price: $568,000 ($294/sf)
Updated Cape Cod cutie.

3395 San Gabriel Drive, Concord 4/2.5, 1769 sf
Price: $664,000 ($375/sf)
Well-appointed two-story home bordering Walnut Creek.

West: Half Moon Bay
296 Amesport Landing
#103, 2/2.5, 1215 sf
Price: $608,950 ($501/sf)
Nice townhome near the downtown area.

146 Bark Court 3/1, 960 sf
Price: $679,000 ($707/sf)
Secluded home close to the beach!

1250 Loryn Lane 3/2, 1460 sf
Price: $749,000 ($513/sf)
Remodeled, close to beach and hiking, plus there is a price reduction!

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