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I would love to read some updated reviews on living in Vallejo Ca. I am interested in owning a single family home with 'character' with the goal of someday turning it into a rental property. I'm seeing prices I can afford and cute looking houses in downtown Vallejo. I like that Vallejo has the ferry to SF. Am I missing something about this town? Why are the prices so low? Who is living there and who is renting there? What is life like in Vallejo? Are there any landlords who can comment? Curious about Vallejo!
My sister owned a beautiful old Victorian on Georgia street. And then she had kids.
She tried staying for a few more years after her first was born. She wanted to love Vallejo. However, there were 2 murders in a matter of months right in front of the house over drugs. She was constantly calling police on the pizza place down the street, and her house was broken into more then a few times. Problems with neighbors, drug dealing in broad daylight, etc., etc.
You want to love Vallejo because it could be so much more - and it did almost make it. But recent economy troubles and budget woes in the city government, increased crime, etc. have thrown it into more turmoil.
My mother is a real estate agent and lives in Benicia (minutes away from Vallejo) and has spent many years working in Vallejo, Benicia & Solano CO. My brother is a recovering meth addict who spent many years living on the streets in Vallejo, because of easy access to drugs and not a lot of hassle from the cops.
There ARE better places to live in Vallejo then downtown. But you really need to know your neighborhoods well. Feel free to email me. lauren
What I don't love about Vallejo is it is a little more crime-ridden than I'd prefer. While we have never really had a single problem here, it does have a bit of an urban feel that keeps me on my guard more than I'd like. The other thing I don't love is the lack of upscale ANYthing - no gourmet food stores, no terrific restaurants and zero nice hotels.
The ferry is great and so is the carpool and its nice to have Benicia to go to for events & such. Our kids are in public school and we love it - I disagree with all the negativity about vallejo schools as we've had a great experience.
Good luck with your decision! Hope this helped. Debbie
My parents are looking to buy a home in Vallejo or American Canyon. Can anyone provide advice on good neighborhoods in these areas? Also, how hard does American Canyon get hit by traffic to and from Napa? They are retired so schools and proximity to public transportation are not an issue, but safety and proximity to good medical facilities would be (they have a Blue Cross PPO). Thanks in advance for any advice. Lisa
We bought the house with retirement in mind. If commute on I-80 and school are not the concerns. Vallejo could be a place to consider.
Vallejo does not have the best of reputation but just like Berkeley and Oakland, there are good areas.
We bought in the St. Vincent Hill neighborhood. It is a historic district with many older homes. Home price is very reasonable. A house just recently closed on our block, it is a 2-2 with view of the water and mountain and was sold under $200k. Good house do move very quickly usually within a week.
The weather is excellent. Warmer than Berkeley and much cooler than inland cities. (e.g. Davis, Sac, Tracy...)
Also our house is within walking distance to the Vallejo ferry terminal to San Francisco. If you like to spend a day in the city you can take the ferry. There are also people working in SF downtown and use the ferry everyday.
Another area worth checking is Vallejo Height. It is further north from ferry terminal about 5 min. drive. The houses there are newer, price somewhat higher but still very reasonable. Also on a hill next to Napa river (same as St. Vincent hill).
My neighborhood is very mixed - with white, black, Asian and Hispanic. On one side of my house, I have a young black couple with two young kids. Working for PG+E. Very nice , friendly and responsible. On the other side, I have two grad students from Touro University. My backdoor neighbors are a musician and a dancer. It is not very homogeneous and I found it very interesting and I like it.
There is no Whole Food or Trader Joe's in the city. There is a farmer's market within walking distance from my house.
I hope this give you some insights. KenVA
I wanted to recommend Cary Bourland who works for Century 21 Schutjer Realty, Inc. In the city of Vallejo
He was a very pleasant Realtor. He sold my parents a home in East Vallejo. He is very helpful and will go above and beyond to make sure you are a happy 'CLIENT' I am happy to recommend him to anyone out in the Vallejo area looking to buy a home. He is a very knowledgeable person.He knows Vallejo really good.
Call him and let him know Monica Durham reffered you! Cary
Re: Cheaper but "safe enough" neighborhoods
Glen Cove in Vallejo. Next to Benicia. Doesn't even seem like we live in Vallejo. I take the daughter to Benicia for swiming, recreation, etc. Easy commute to San Francisco on the ferry or there is a casual carpool, bus to BART, etc. Take a drive out, we are off of 780 (Glen Cove Exit). Clean, safe neighborhood with good views of the Carquinez Strait and low housing prices. Local elementary school is O.K., but will probably send the daughter to private as she would be out of the neighborhood for middle school. BUT, for what we are saving on housing, we can afford a private school. Glen Cove Fan, Lukewarm on Vallejo
My partner and I are considering buying a home in Vallejo. Although we only discovered it recently, it has lots of affordable (relative to Berkeley, SF and Marin) housing, much of it Victorians and craftsman bungalows that need updating. My daughter will be going to private school in Berkeley so that's not an issue, but there seems to be very little in the way of ''infrastructure'' as far as supermarkets, pharmacies, not to mention anything approaching decent restaurants, bookstores, movie theaters etc. I don't think there is even a Starbucks, and I thought they had colonized the whole planet by now! Does anyone have experience in this area/neighborhood (also as pertains to safety, etc.)? For the time being, we could travel to Berkeley or Napa for Trader Joe's, Barnes & Noble and other totems of ''civilization.'' It would be nice to have a home the size of which we would never be able to afford in the Bay area. And maybe this is the next big thing and we could get in on it early before it's discovered by everyone else???? Or do you all have different experiences and opinions? Thanks. Future Vallejo girl
Be patient. Soon Vallejo will have more shopping choices and restaurantes. Wait 10-15 years. Anon
Just for the record; Vallejo has several Starbucks! But that's where the buck stops! Attempts to get more upscale supermarkets (e.g. The Nugget, Trader Joe's) to come here are all thwarted.
There are plenty of restaurants to be found, but not one of them is excellent. You need to either go to Napa or cross one of the bridges to find those. Several new home developments have sprung up in and around Vallejo (Hiddenbrooke, Mare Island, etc.), but the city doesn't seem to be willing to sustain these new citizens. Many of us thought that Vallejo was on the brink of changing, but several of my friends who moved here 5 or 6 years ago, realized that nothing is happening. We have two friends who bought a Victorian home in the historic district and both families are moving because of the prostitution and drug dealing in front of their homes!
There aren't any great parks to go to. Literally all our friends drive to Benicia, because they have wonderful parks. The city has tremendous potential, but they don't seem to be able to get anything done. The waterfront area (by the Marina) was supposed to be developed more than 10 years ago, but nothing has happened to date.
Children's Wonderland was shut down more than 10 years ago for a renovation and it is still shut down. A small play ground area has opened (you'll need to pay a fee to enter it), but it'll probably be another 5 years before that is finished. A group of parents are attempting to open a charter school in this district in order to create choice for parents.
The school district went bankrupt a few years back, so the state took over. The district is now run by a state administrator and several disgruntled board members who have no power to vote. Attend one of the school board meetings and you'll get a really good feeling how this city is run.
So these are all my opinions, but the truth of the matter is that I don't feel safe in this city. Do yourself a favor and take a stroll downtown on a Sunday afternoon. It is creepy! It'll be you and a few shady people hanging around. BPN will probably not let me write all this negativity, but it's the truth and I'd hate to see another parent go through what I and so many friends have gone through. Make sure you do your homework before you decide to move here. Go shopping at one or more of the supermarkets, check out some restaurants and visit a park or two. You'll get the flavor!- anon
In Vallejo, there are some nice area like Hiddenbrooke, American Canyon or Mare Island, and Green Valley between Vallejo and Fairfield. However, these are more bedroom type of communities, where people come home at night and go in their houses. If you are looking for a pleasant, suburban, affordable area, you may like Solano county. If you like more a community feeling, where people are out, you can walk places, etc, that is more the exception than the rule. (For example Benicia, a very cute town.) Of course this is just my experience. There may be some revitalization of the downtown areas, I am keeping my fingers crossed. Oh, and there is a Trader Joes in Fairfield off Travis Blvd, about 10 minutes from Vallejo. in the donut hole
I'm looking for information on what it's like living in Vallejo.
How are the schools and parks? What's the political climate and
how's diversity in terms of culture and religion? How's the
commute to SF and SJ? I love where I currently live but it's so
expensive that our family can't quite get ahead of living like
college students. Thanks for any input you can offer.
We're thinking about moving to Vallejo, where we can afford to
buy, from Berkeley, where we can't. I was surprised to see
nothing in the archives about neighborhoods, schools, etc., but I
know that there a number of BPN members in Vallejo. Do you like
where you live? Where do you recommend we look? Our ideal
neighborhood would have lots of kids and good schools, be near
parks and shops, preferably a vibrant downtown, and be tolerant
of my contractor husband working from the garage. Interesting
architecture (i.e., not tract homes) is preferred, but
negotiable. Does such a neighborhood exist in Vallejo? Or
anywhere else affordable?
Another economic emigree
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