Northern CA Riding Lifestyle - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 Old Apr 16th, 2012, 8:18 am Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
homewrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Northern, CA, USA
Posts: 113
Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

A little help needed. I'm considering an offer within my company to relocate back to the Bay Area. The main office is in San Jose, but I'm only needed there about 20% of the time. We have other offices I will be going to in Salinas, Benicia, Sacramento, Fresno, Reno, Portland, and Tacoma.
I'm a native CA born in SD and I grew up in the San Fernando valley. I've spent over 600 days earlier in my career in the Bay area on business and I've been back at least once a year since around 1995 so I'm still pretty familiar.
I know some of the probable great rides through Napa, down to Monterey, out to the Sierra Nevada, etc.
What are some good towns to live in that are fairly affordable? I live in a close to comparable area in Fairfield County, CT but I'm going to buy something conservative and potentially "remote" community.
What do you know about living in Benencia, Fairfield, Vacaville, American Canyon, Tracy, Concord, Martinez, Novato and maybe down in Morgan Hill or even over to Watsonville or Seaside?
Other suggestions? Thanks in advance.

2011 R1200 RT
2006 HD Night Rod-VRSCD
2004 Moto Guzzi Breva 750
1998 HD Fatboy
2001 Honda Rebel (wife's bike)
1991 Kawasaki Vulcan
1979 Honda VF Sabre
homewrek is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old Apr 16th, 2012, 10:05 am
Senior Member
 
MarinPhil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: San Rafael, Ca., USA
Posts: 293
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by homewrek
A little help needed. I'm considering an offer within my company to relocate back to the Bay Area. The main office is in San Jose, but I'm only needed there about 20% of the time. We have other offices I will be going to in Salinas, Benicia, Sacramento, Fresno, Reno, Portland, and Tacoma.
I'm a native CA born in SD and I grew up in the San Fernando valley. I've spent over 600 days earlier in my career in the Bay area on business and I've been back at least once a year since around 1995 so I'm still pretty familiar.
I know some of the probable great rides through Napa, down to Monterey, out to the Sierra Nevada, etc.
What are some good towns to live in that are fairly affordable? I live in a close to comparable area in Fairfield County, CT but I'm going to buy something conservative and potentially "remote" community.
What do you know about living in Benencia, Fairfield, Vacaville, American Canyon, Tracy, Concord, Martinez, Novato and maybe down in Morgan Hill or even over to Watsonville or Seaside?
Other suggestions? Thanks in advance.
I live in San Rafael so here r my suggestions. American Canyon, about in the middle btwn Sac and San Jose. fairfield-ok town but ech. Tracy-too far from any of those places you list. Concord-little depressed now, Martinez-nice-have a daughter there, Morgan Hill-pretty far south for sac area, Seaside and Watsonville ech and too far south for Sac area.. Novato nice-in the middle for your commute. Good luck with price shock in Bay Area-still much higher Real Estate prices compared to rest of country.

Phil in Marin
2013 K1300S-30 Anniv ED. sold
2006 K1200GT-Blue of course-sold
2005 Ducati 999-the I-talian princess-sold
2004 K1200GT Gen-1, Orient Blue
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
gone
2016 Triumph Thruxton R
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

2000 R1100RT.
MarinPhil is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old Apr 16th, 2012, 10:32 am
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Sacramento, Ca, USA
Posts: 115
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

I agree with MarinPhil. You might also take a look in the Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore area. Mountain House is a fairly new community on the east side of the Altimont. Kind of windy in that area but might be nicer than Tracy while still reasonalbly priced. Good Luck with the hunt.

09 GSA
09 CRF 450 - my moto bike
11 Razor S - my all around fun toy
patsmith is offline  
 
post #4 of 15 Old Apr 16th, 2012, 11:59 am
Senior Member
 
JayJay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Menlo Park, CA, USA
Posts: 2,046
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

I relocated from the Sacramento Valley to a new job in Palo Alto (~15 miles from San Jose) about a year ago. Have not yet bought a house. To put this into perspective: I will have to pay close to twice as much for half the house I have in Davis. And Davis is considered to be about +20-30% over Sacramento. My $0.02 worth regarding affordability:

Commute to San Jose - forget about anything in the greater Bay Area (east bay, peninsula). Livermore or farther east might be OK but you're facing an ugly commute on I-580/I-680 unless you can do it off-peak hours. South (Morgan Hill, Gilroy) or west (Santa Cruz Mountains) would be preferable. If you don't lane-split already, learn how.

Benicia/Fairfield - you're looking at commuting even farther on I-680 than from Livermore, and you'll pick up some of the SF/East Bay traffic as well. Big huge snarl at the I-680/CA24 interchange at Walnut Creek.

American Canyon - you have the I-80 corridor to Berkeley, then I-580 or I-880 south to San Jose. Even worse idea than starting farther south. Or you can take I-780 to I-680 at Benecia, see above.

Vallejo - right next to American Canyon. Fairly afforable but it's a city that declared bankruptcy in 2008. There's a reason it's affordable. Nuff said.

Many companies, including the Federal Government, pay a differential of up to 15% or so to cover the increased cost of housing in the Bay Area. It is ugly.

But - the motorcycle (and bicycle) riding is fantastic!

An alternative: if you only go to San Jose occasionally, consider living somewhere way outside the Bay Area but on the Amtrak Capitol Corridor train line, and take the train. I did that for 11 years. A little longer, but it beats driving in Bay Area traffic all to pieces.

Good luck.

JayJay

JayJay
******
'09 R1200 RT
'73 R75/5 Toaster (gone)
'07 Honda Rebel (gone)
Kids (gone - graduated and employed!)
'81 Honda Gold Wing (gone)
'75 Honda CB500 Twin DOHC (gone)
'77 Honda CB750 (gone)
Bride (going strong)
BMWMOA 159659
IBA 63871


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
JayJay is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old Apr 16th, 2012, 6:42 pm
Lifetime Supporter
 
McWideglide's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: San Mateo, Ca, USA
Posts: 323
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

Why waste your time commuting? Gas is high, your off time must be worth something. Wear your auto or cycle out commuting? If you can afford to live closer to work, there is more free time. As to the price of housing, I can't disagree that the farther you go from the Peninsula ,the cheaper houses get.But, your investment will appreciate faster here than those distant places. Local news paper S J Mercury had an article this past weekend talking about the depressed housing market in the valley. My 2 cents worth. Plus Hwy 9, 35 and the PCH can't be beat.
McWideglide is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old Apr 16th, 2012, 9:58 pm Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
homewrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Northern, CA, USA
Posts: 113
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

Thanks folks. A couple of other things of note...
Right now I live about 35 miles northeast of NYC in Fairfield County CT so sticker shock with No. Cal isn't going to phase me. Where I live vs. some of those more remote areas is on a par or actually less than Fairfield County.
Commute isn't a factor. I'm only in San Jose maybe 1 day per week on average and I can commute from someplace further out and spend a night in a hotel if I have to on the company dime.
I'm environmentally responsible but gas prices mean nothing to me anyway. I have a company gas card covering all business fuel expenditures.
I'll be traveling between offices we have as far southeast as Fresno and southwest as Salinas. The northern most office to the west is Benicia and to the east is Reno, NV with Sacramento in between. I'll also be flying up to Portland and Seattle every few weeks.

I can really live within a 100 mile radius of San Jose so it brings places like Vacaville, Novato, American Canyon, Tracy, Fairfield, Martinez, etc. into play. I could probably stretch it and justify Sacramento but I'm probably not willing to go that far from the Bay.

My daughter currently lives in Alameda and goes to law school in San Francisco so there is some motivation to be somewhat close to her too.

Thanks for the 411 on some of the towns and your opinions.

2011 R1200 RT
2006 HD Night Rod-VRSCD
2004 Moto Guzzi Breva 750
1998 HD Fatboy
2001 Honda Rebel (wife's bike)
1991 Kawasaki Vulcan
1979 Honda VF Sabre
homewrek is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old May 22nd, 2012, 11:27 am Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
homewrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Northern, CA, USA
Posts: 113
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

It's on. We are coming out there this Thursday, the 24th through next Wednesday and looking at a couple dozen properties in several communities. The company has made a firm offer in writing and it's 100% in my court to decide if we are making the move.

The biggest concentration of listings we are seeing are in Fairfield and Vacaville. We are also looking in Tracy/Mountain House, Brentwood, Pinole, 1 house in San Pablo, Benicia and Vallejo.

2011 R1200 RT
2006 HD Night Rod-VRSCD
2004 Moto Guzzi Breva 750
1998 HD Fatboy
2001 Honda Rebel (wife's bike)
1991 Kawasaki Vulcan
1979 Honda VF Sabre
homewrek is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old May 22nd, 2012, 11:36 am
Senior Member
 
amarider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Brentwood, CA, USA
Posts: 5,849
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by homewrek
It's on. We are coming out there this Thursday, the 24th through next Wednesday and looking at a couple dozen properties in several communities. The company has made a firm offer in writing and it's 100% in my court to decide if we are making the move.

The biggest concentration of listings we are seeing are in Fairfield and Vacaville. We are also looking in Tracy/Mountain House, Brentwood, Pinole, 1 house in San Pablo, Benicia and Vallejo.
Hey Brentwood is nice, quiet and central, nothing exciting though. I live here and commute up the river to Sacramento - great ride.

John & Cathy
Northern CA
01 K1200LTC Basalt - Moose


Posse #2

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

If you don't know where you're going, you might end up somewhere else
amarider is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old Jun 25th, 2012, 4:20 pm Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
homewrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Northern, CA, USA
Posts: 113
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

Update on the process. I've officially accepted the position to relocate with my company. The start date is up in the air, pending hiring my replacement in the Northeast and a couple of weeks of training that person. We've got 3 solid candidates so I'm expecting someone to be hired no later than July 15th and starting no later than August 1st.
This would probably make August 1st my official start date, but not traveling there until August 15th. I wouldn't anticipate moving until September 15th or possibly October 1st.

We went out and looked at several communities and houses over Memorial Day. We are going back mid-July with the intent of buying.

We don't have a favorite community because each has it's own merits that work for us while each has some downside too. If I were to rank it wouldn't necessarily be where I think we will be but here is my list:

1. Benicia (ideal location and love the town, but market in my price range is limited)
2. Brentwood (We like the community and the versatility of the various commutes I'll make works well)
3. Fairfield/Vacaville-(They are different communities but closely related)
4. American Canyon (Some houses here that we really like, if they are still on the market)
5. Vallejo (Has to be the right neighborhood, but we aren't ruling it out)
6. Tracy/Mountain House (Good for some commutes. I'm not a huge fan, but it works well overall)
7. Contra Costa options-Concord, Pinole. Hercules, Oakley, Discovery Bay. Actually not ruling out one or two sections of Antioch either.

We will probably look at 30+ houses again and narrow it to probably 1st choice in each area and rank those with #1 getting first offer. Intent is to go back on Day 4 of our trip to our 7 or 8 favorites and not leave down without a deal by Day 6 and going back east.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

2011 R1200 RT
2006 HD Night Rod-VRSCD
2004 Moto Guzzi Breva 750
1998 HD Fatboy
2001 Honda Rebel (wife's bike)
1991 Kawasaki Vulcan
1979 Honda VF Sabre
homewrek is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old Jun 27th, 2012, 8:47 am
Senior Member
 
Dan-A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
Posts: 1,439
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

I spent a good amount of my growing up in the "valley".

Dan-A
-----> BMW MOA # 137114
HDDC

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

2013 R1200GS LC
2009 HD XR1200 Sportster
Dan-A is offline  
post #11 of 15 Old Jun 29th, 2012, 10:25 pm
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Posts: 8
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

Caution: Pay close attention to foreclosure rates and real estate devaluation. Tracy, Mountain House and Fairfield have struggled throughout the downturn. Brentwood and the whole 680 corridor is nice, if a little 'suburban boring'. Your daughter is in Alameda, yet you don't mention that delightful town. It is fantastic and has some high-end neighborhoods in the Gold Coast and Harbor Bay. It's central to everything you seek. You also seem to have skipped the penninsula where you'll find some of the finest neighborhoods in the nation: Saratoga, Portola Valley, Woodside. And it has the best mcycle roads in the area and it's close to SJ. Finally, as much as anything else, consider the climate. Climate/weather-wise, the coast is a different planet from the bay which is a different universe from anything over the hills. In the summer, there is often a 50-degree temp difference between Orinda and Oakland.
Baloo2 is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old Jul 2nd, 2012, 7:50 pm Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
homewrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Northern, CA, USA
Posts: 113
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baloo2
Caution: Pay close attention to foreclosure rates and real estate devaluation. Tracy, Mountain House and Fairfield have struggled throughout the downturn. Brentwood and the whole 680 corridor is nice, if a little 'suburban boring'. Your daughter is in Alameda, yet you don't mention that delightful town. It is fantastic and has some high-end neighborhoods in the Gold Coast and Harbor Bay. It's central to everything you seek. You also seem to have skipped the penninsula where you'll find some of the finest neighborhoods in the nation: Saratoga, Portola Valley, Woodside. And it has the best mcycle roads in the area and it's close to SJ. Finally, as much as anything else, consider the climate. Climate/weather-wise, the coast is a different planet from the bay which is a different universe from anything over the hills. In the summer, there is often a 50-degree temp difference between Orinda and Oakland.
I have spent many days and many nights in Oakland and Alameda (40+ year Raider fan). I've spent even more time on the Peninsula. My price range won't touch the Peninsula for the type of house that we want to live in and my wife wouldn't live in Oakland or Alameda. She's seen the good, bad and ugly of the East Bay and it just isn't her desire to live there.
As far as climate goes, I'm more of a Peninsula guy without the extreme high temps, but my wife loves the heat and has no problem with a few weeks of 100+ days. We'll end up compromising with some in between. I know all about the foreclosure rates in place like Tracy, Fairfield and Valejo but it doesn't bother me. The prices bottomed out around 6 months ago and it's not going lower anytime soon. People are buying the foreclosures and short sales in the area for what amounts to 50 cents on a dollar. A lot of cash purchases and people are upgrading the homes they are buying so it's coming back big time.
I'm definitely not buying a house based on where my family and friends are today. My daughter has 2 years left in law school and she is engaged so it's no telling where she will end up. My guess is someplace between the East Bay and Sacramento so anywhere I buy in my range is going to be reasonable distance from her.
I've got friends that live in Antioch, Brentwood, Mountain House, Livermore, Vallejo and Vacaville as well as the Peninsula and East Bay so I'll be in good shape there.
They all have biased opinions so that is why I've been looking for unbiased ones.
Thanks for the feedback....

2011 R1200 RT
2006 HD Night Rod-VRSCD
2004 Moto Guzzi Breva 750
1998 HD Fatboy
2001 Honda Rebel (wife's bike)
1991 Kawasaki Vulcan
1979 Honda VF Sabre
homewrek is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old Jul 3rd, 2012, 1:42 am
Senior Member
 
LTFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
Posts: 253
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

Have you considered Davis or western parts of Elk Grove. Both are reasonably commutable to the bay area and not very expensive. I live in Elk Grove and travel to Pleasanton daily. Travel to Reno is approx 2.5 hours as well.

Another good area is El Dorado Hills overseeing the Folsom lake.

1996 Kinetic Pride 75cc - First motorized cycle at age 16.
2002 Yamaha Enticer 125cc - First brand new cycle bought from the first salary at age 20.
1984 Honda Shadow 1100cc
1999 BMW K1200LT
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
LTFan is offline  
post #14 of 15 Old Nov 25th, 2012, 5:17 pm Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
homewrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Northern, CA, USA
Posts: 113
Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

Believe it or not.... I'm still moving to Northern Cal. It's been a long process that isn't finished yet, but I'll be there permanently no later than 2/1/13, probably closer to 1/15/13.

I've been traveling between both coasts since August 1st where I've spent 7-10 days in our San Jose office and the rest of the time in Connecticut or our Massachusetts offices.
My interim position ends unofficially on 12/31/12 so I can finally devote full time to my position based in Northern California.
We have been working on a short sale in Tracy since the end of July. Two lien holders made it complicated, but the 2nd lien holder finally provided approval on November 16th after dropping the file for the previous 4 weeks. We should be closing right around Christmas.

Tracy is a really good location for me because it enables to get to our offices in Benicia, Sacramento, Modesto and San Jose within 90 minutes and the other offices are overnights or plane travel anyway.

I'm so looking forward to the variety of rides available and hope to meet some of the group that I know rides out of the Sacramento area and other rider groups as well. I'm in with my 2011 RT.
See you guys in a couple of months...finally!

2011 R1200 RT
2006 HD Night Rod-VRSCD
2004 Moto Guzzi Breva 750
1998 HD Fatboy
2001 Honda Rebel (wife's bike)
1991 Kawasaki Vulcan
1979 Honda VF Sabre
homewrek is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old Nov 25th, 2012, 6:55 pm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,317
Smile Re: Northern CA Riding Lifestyle

Looking forward to you joining us for HDDC dinners !!!!! And a few rides....grin.
brasters is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the BMW Luxury Touring Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rather longish, but good tips & info! vvk Bike Talk 7 Jun 19th, 2011 4:43 pm
DUI Interesting article! vvk Bike Talk 69 Nov 13th, 2008 6:39 pm
First impressions riding an LT – long jdsd-tourteam K1200LT 19 Oct 25th, 2008 9:02 am
Riding Thru Fall: Virginia Style: Part One the_rocketman Ride Tales 2 Oct 15th, 2007 8:38 am
Best riding body position ??? Frenchy K1200LT 11 Jul 19th, 2006 2:42 am

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome