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  • Writer's pictureKevin Peterson

How To Find The "Best Home" in the SF Bay Area? (Top SF Bay Area schools and neighborhoods)

Updated: Oct 20

As of October 2023 - In response to this question posed to me from a SF Bay Area mom,


"Where can I move to in the SF Bay Area so that

  • My elementary school child goes into a well rated middle school and high school while simultaneously

  • being surrounded by ethnically diverse cultures in a loving and friendly neighborhood and

  • also having homes that have some decent yard space"


Let's break down the process to finding the top SF Bay Area schools and neighborhoods in this blog.


First, we need to find where we can actually have a yard to play in. Homes on steep slopes should be excluded in my opinion so let's use this topographic map as a starting point. I use a different and more sophisticated tool for identifying each lots slope and usability. If interested, DM me.


SF Bay Area topographic map to find top SF Bay Area schools and neighborhoods


Next we need to see where is the highest ethnic diversity, based on 2000-2020 data.


Most racially diverse to find top SF Bay Area schools and neighborhoods


Third, let's use Redfin to identify a decent sized lot and the Greater Schools Ratings.


Top SF Bay Area schools and neighborhoods. Greatschools.org score over 8 and lot size over 6500 sqft.

  1. Find all single family homes that are For Sale with lot sizes over 6,500 square feet (average lot size in the peninsula is 5,000 square feet). Also, adjust the Great Schools rating for middle school and high schools to be 8+.

  2. Double check against those that sold in the last 3 months.

  3. Peninsula

  4. Burlingame

  5. Redwood Shores

  6. San Carlos

  7. Palo Alto

  8. Los Altos

  9. Cupertino

  10. Los Gatos

  11. South San Jose

  12. Sunnyvale

  13. East Bay

  14. Alameda

  15. Castro Valley

  16. Pleasanton

  17. Fremont

  18. Piedmont

  19. San Ramon

  20. Danville


The results for top, diverse SF Bay Area schools and neighborhoods?


Finally, let's combine all of the above factors -lot size, yard usability, racial diversity, and school rankings. From this data, we get the following...


If buying under $3M, here are the options as of October 2023...

  1. Peninsula

  2. Redwood Shores

  3. Sunnyvale

  4. East Bay

  5. Castro Valley

  6. Fremont

  7. San Ramon

  8. South Bay

  9. South San Jose

  10. East San Jose


Best SF Bay Area homes in great school districts and neighborhoods under $3M



If buying over $3M, then here are the options as of October 2023...

  1. Peninsula

  2. Sunnyvale

  3. East Bay

  4. Fremont

  5. South Bay

  6. South San Jose

  7. East San Jose



Best SF Bay Area homes in great school districts and neighborhoods over $3M


Bonus - We've come to notice those with a higher quality of work / life balance typically live near hiking or biking trails. So from Open Space Trust, we see the following trails near Redwood Shores, Mountain View / Sunnyvale, and South San Jose.









We hope this helps your SF Bay Area home search.






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