As you begin to search for a Berkeley home for sale , it becomes obvious, when looking around, that in addition to considerations about the home itself, the neighborhood surrounding that home is certainly worthy of serious evaluation as well.  Whether you are looking around the University of California, or down by the Berkeley/Albany home border, there are some things that need review.

Each family, in  beginning the search, has different priorities as to what things comprise their most important needs.  For some, it will be the school district, for others closeness to family or friends or work.  However, when all is said and done, each family member wants to feel safe, comfortable and welcome in their new home.

Two important issues arise for most families:

1. Consideration of School Quality--For many families of young children, this is one of the highest issues to be addressed before purchasing a home.  A suitable school that meets the needs of all the children-whether elementary or high school, is a must.  Here are some suggestions about getting this information:

a. Consult your local school district and get a firm understanding of what school assignments are made for your potential neighborhood home address.

b.Talk with friends and neighbors and coworkers who live in your future neighborhood as to their opinion of the suitability of the schools there.  They are a valuable source of information, since they often have the day to day feedback from their own experience or contacts.   

c. Go to  This site allows you to check the rating of California schools by city.  It also gives you an Academic Performance Index Score.   It is an excellent means to compare and contrast various areas, and the schools that serve them. 

2. Consideration of Neighborhood Amenities--All families want to have their needs met with convenience.  Certain basic elements make homes practical and desirable:

a. Is the home close to pleasant and safe shopping areas, libraries, beaches, parks and recreational facilities?

b. Is it desirable in terms of transportation facilities, roads and access for the daily trips that must be made to school and work each day, or will it be a chore each day?

c. It is important to visit your potential neighborhood during different times of the day, once you are considering it seriously.  What seems like a quiet afternoon calm can be quite chaotic with an early morning commute as everyone there is trying to exit in the morning, or in the afternoon when the streets may be filled with children playing basketball or racing bicycles.

In Part 2-we will consider some economic considerations in evaluating your future home. 

Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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