Shopping for a Home in the Right Neighborhood

“Neighborhoods”: The magnet that still draws our attention in searching for real estate.

Lauren Holloway is on vacation - today's column is courtesy of Guest Columnist Tom Kortizija. Tom is a top producer at Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 925.286.9000 or visit his website.

It is easy to focus on square foot cost and possible return on investment, but the draw of a desirable neighborhood and accompanying lifestyle are worthy of careful consideration when shopping for a new home.

Neighborhoods are where “social networks” were formed way before the Internet was even dreamed about.

Communities are created in neighborhoods, which are strengthened by top-rated schools (even if you don’t have children), security, and access to parks, shopping, transportation, community centers and local events. 

These factors combine to keenly deliver the “quality of life component” in your new home. Here are a few homes that would merit consideration for the wonderful neighborhood amenities and desirability as much as the home itself.


1655 Diablo Vista is located on Alamo’s west side. Offered by Chris Campbell of J. Rockcliff. Technically not a neighborhood, but truly the “west side” is an identity all its own. Alamo remains a highly sought after community and features many wonderful neighborhoods. This home straddles the center of the 680 corridor in between Walnut Creek to the north and Danville to the south. Access to the Iron Horse Trail and the hills of the Las Trampas ridge will appeal to the discerning buyer. This 3,820-square-foot home built in Modernist style features five bedrooms and three and a half baths appointed with clean lines, impeccable detail and exquisite materials all on a level .85 acre lot, priced at $1,719,000. See this unique home for yourself by viewing the virtual tour. To inquire about this fabulous home contact Chris Campbell at 925-838-5700.


107 San Thomas Way is a listing of mine. This home is in the Glenview neighborhood of Danville. Perhaps a community, which you haven’t heard of much, but nonetheless beautifully situated, near the Iron Horse Trail, top-rated Baldwin Elementary and Charlotte Wood schools. Memberships to the Glenview Community Pool Association are available. This classically original single-story home is situated on a third of an acre lot and features 1,939 square feet with four bedrooms and two baths. It is filled with natural light and has a pleasant open kitchen/family room combination. See the virtual tour. Priced at $725,000 and open Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., or call me for a private showing at 925-286-9000.


Shannon Arterburn of Coldwell Banker offers 3475 Rimini Lane. Situated in the master planned community of Dublin Ranch with easy access to community parks, walking paths and nearby Hacienda Crossings with shops, restaurants and theaters. This home is a beautifully upgraded Toll Brothers built home. Featuring four bedrooms and three baths in a superbly appointed floor plan. A bedroom or office with bath is configured downstairs, the kitchen features granite slab counters with full backsplashes along with an island and breakfast bar. Stainless steel appliances, upgraded 20-inch tile floors downstairs and elegant use of crown molding along with an upstairs laundry add to the welcoming and enjoyable lifestyle matching the wonderful neighborhood. See the virtual tour.  Priced at $699,999, call Shannon for more information or a showing at 925-989-2008.


Pat Griffin of Keller Williams Tri-Valley offers 995 Kottinger Drive. This home is situated in the highly desirable Pleasanton neighborhood of Kottinger Park.  Kottinger Park itself is nestled against Vintage Hills, another highly desirable neighborhood in Pleasanton. This beautifully situated neighborhood is not far from downtown Pleasanton and all the lovely attractions and vibrancy that Main Street has to offer. The home looks directly across to beautiful Kottinger Park and features three bedrooms, two baths and 1,628 square feet of single story living space. A beautiful picture window brings the beauty of Kottinger Park into the living room. The entertaining yard beckons with a waterfall, stream and abundant fruit trees. Have a look for yourself by accessing the virtual tour. Priced at 598,000, to schedule a showing please call Pat at 925-426-3844.

San Ramon

Joe Cuttone of Coldwell Banker offers 1256 Ustilago Drive. This home is in the Bridges community of San Ramon. Perched in the low hills above the San Ramon Valley this is easily one of the finest neighborhoods in all of San Ramon. Schools are fantastic, Bridges Golf Club is nearby and the community features greenbelts, pools, playgrounds and tennis. Moments to and from the freeway and major transportation arteries make commuting easy and many options abound for shopping, dining and recreation. The home features 2,225 square feet with an inviting front porch & great yard. Stylish décor and upgrades make this home special. Updated kitchen with granite counters, stainless appliances and maple cabinets. Hardwood floors through the main living area, dramatic high ceilings and designer window treatments complete the special nature of this home. Please review the virtual tour. This home is priced at $799,999. Please contact Joe for more information or a private showing. Joe Cuttone, 925-831-3311.

This is but a small sampling of the great neighborhoods and homes that abound in the area we have chosen to live, but by no means the only ones. Search out your own and please remember... the neighborhood does matter.

Lauren Holloway November 27, 2011 at 06:51 PM
Tom, thank you so much for filling in for me while I was away. I read your words about neighborhoods from my parents’ home in Port Townsend, Washington where they received nice Thanksgiving email messages from their neighbors. One said, “I always tell people how I love my neighborhood.....I trust you all and appreciate just knowing you are there if needed...” and another read, “I would like to say what I'm thankful for: the intelligence, creativity, humor and energy of each of you who happen to dwell in this neighborhood. I am thankful to be in this place and in this time with each of you and your families.” Good neighbors are a key ingredient in any neighborhood, and my parents are lucky to have such warm ones!


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