I have a client who is pondering this question. What is more important to him? He works on Palo Alto. We started looking in the San Jose area for a townhome but when a co-worker started looking in Hayward he was finding huge single family homes at the same price.
Wanting to make sure my client “turned over every rock” so to speak I headed to Hayward to view 10 homes under $400K. A couple of homes were really nice. One in particular was grand but when I looked down from the master bedroom window at the neighoring yards they were filled with junk and poorly constructed sheds. From that I started to ponder the likelihood of the neighborhood to appreciate in the future if 4 of the 5 backyard looked like the local dump already. Then I added drive time to his commute and he had to make his decision.
All I can do as a Realtor is present the facts and my viewpoint from lots of experience how the different areas might perform over time. Also I can add what I have seen from past clients who say bought in Livermore to get a better price but ultimately got a job over there because the commute was a nightmare.
I have to tell you this client has all the iPhone applications to help determine drive time and recent sales, etc. Now we are putting in the practical part of actually seeing the homes then the real world of “what is important to me” comes through.
We will see what he ultimately chooses. Isn’t it great to have choices!