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I have read the postings on the Web site about Hercules but most of the information is five years old. We are considering buying in Hercules and wanted to hear from current residents. We are curious about which areas to buy in Hercules for a good school district and how long the commute is to both SF (via public transport) and Walnut Creek (via car) on weekdays and weekends. Can you buy a decent 3 bed/ 2 bath for $600,000? Is the planned ferry to SF something that will become a reality or is it just a dream of the city's? Amanda
I will be moving to Hercules soon. I would like any feedback about their community center classes/programs, pediatricians or alternative practicioners, events, Westcat transit center, etc. Any tips or input regarding Hercules would be appreciated. Melissa
We have seen the previous recommendations but would like more advice. My family is thinking about moving to one of the homes in the new Promenade complex in Hercules but we are very nervous about our decision because you have to make a commitment before the homes are built (the models aren't even complete yet). Any advice about this particular housing complex (Western Pacific) or surrounding area, city plans for this area (ie town-center), school districts associated with this area and general comments about Hercules will be highly appreciated. We have an 8 mth old daughter and we need to make a decision v. soon.
One thing to consider is the commute. I work in Berkeley and bring my 2 kids to daycare/preschool in Berkeley, so we use the carpool lane - takes about 25 minutes on a normal day. There is the local transit center in Hercules, but my husband, who works in the financial district in SF, drives to the Richmond Parkway transit center, and takes the AC Transit Transbay bus to the city. There are busses that serve Hercules that go to the El Cerrito BART, and while convenient, takes a bit longer.
All in all we are very satisfied with our decision to move to Hercules, and into a brand new home. There is a sense of community there that I have not experienced in a long time, and I am optimistic that the city's plans will succeed. Also, it appears that our home has already appreciated quite a bit since we moved in, which is a good thing!
Good luck! Jennifer
We are considering moving to Hercules, but don't really know much about day-to-day living there. Any advice/comments about daily commuting to SF, local public and private elementary schools, community, etc.? Thanks.
The commute to Marin ranges from 30 minutes to 65 mintues depending upon the traffic, but if you time it well, 45 minutes is normal. Commuting to the city is a bit more unpredictable. If you're willing to do casual carpool from the Hercules Transit parking lot, then it isn't bad at all. You can count on getting there in about 45 minutes. But, then you have to take Bart back to the El Cerrito station and then a bus to Hercules to get home, since casual carpool coming back isn't as simple (have to wait a long time to find someone coming to Hercules in the city). My husband and I paid for a hotel for a night before moving here just so that we could try the commute in the morning and get a sense for it. It helped us determine if we could stand the commute or not.
There are three elementary schools in Hercules. All are considered to be OK, but of the three, Hanna Ranch Elementary test scores are significantly better. We decided to buy in only in the Hanna Ranch district, so that our child will be able to go there (she is now only 5 months old). The community is quite active in school issues. My husband and I went to a meeting last year about the schools here at the community swim center and were amazed at how many people attended. The gym was packed!
Day to day life in Hercules is pretty slow paced. Very different than what we were used to in the city. Lines aren't very long and parking is always available! We were worried at first that we'd miss the city, but we don't at all. We love it here. People are very friendly everywhere we go. The only thing that we really miss is the restaurants. There are almost no restaurants here (besides fast food), so if we want to go out for a nice meal, we have to drive to another city. But, we've found this is actually a good thing on our budget, since we don't go out nearly as often! All the basics can be found very close by -- hair salons, copy shop, grocery store, post office, dry cleaners, banks, movie theater, etc -- all within 10 minutes.
Finally, the other thing that we like very much about Hercules, is the diversity of people. There is a mix of many different races and cultures. Our neighbors are black, Filipino, white, hispanic, and Indian. We like this very much! anonymous
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