7.8 out of 10

Alamo

37.8603078293134 -121.969785529901
Great for
  • Schools
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Safe & Sound
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Public Transport
  • Cost of Living
  • Pest Free
  • Nightlife
  • Eating Out
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Singles

Reviews

4/5
2yrs+

"Super Ritzy and Pricey but Almost No Crime"

With its stunning scenery, excellent schools, and strong equestrian culture, the Contra Costa community of Alamo is a favorite among families.

Alamo is part of the highly ranked San Ramon Valley Unified School District. In 2012 the district earned an overall state Academic Performance Index score of 927 out of 1,000.

An unincorporated community of 14,600 residents, Alamo relies on the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District for emergency services. Alamo offers an easy commute with convenient access to Interstate 680.

The area is primarily residential, with stunning views of Mount Diablo and the rolling Contra Costa hills. The Alamo Plaza shopping center houses various stores, including a Safeway supermarket, and a variety of restaurants.

Other favorite eateries include the Alamo Cafe diner, Yan’s China Bistro, and Forli Ristorante. For a wider array of options, Alamo residents head to nearby Danville or Walnut Creek.

The 17-acre Hap Magee Ranch Park in Danville is a favorite spot for hiking and picnicking. The park also has a water feature for children and a dog park.

Founded in 1959, Alamo’s Round Hill Country Club offers golf, tennis, aquatics, and a restaurant. Homes that back up to the club golf course remain especially popular, Anderson said.

Other sought-after Alamo neighborhoods include the Stonegate community, Round Hill Estates North, and Alamo Ridge.

In March the average price of Alamo homes for sale were up nearly 6 percent from a year earlier at $1.13 million for single-family residences, according to MLS data.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Shady Redwood Lined Streets
Cons
  • Very Expensive
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Nice Bedroom Community"

Alamo is one of the super affluent neighborhoods, with leafy, immaculate streets of the kind that you usually find in the Peninsula, but which are a little less common here.

It is easiest to think of Alamo by dividing it into two sections: the section of Alamo west of the freeway and section to east.
The western half of Alamo is where you will find the shopping district of Alamo where you have everything from the supermarket to the local eateries. This western section is relatively flat—especially near the freeway, though less so as you start heading up into the hills of Las Trampas Regional Wilderness.

The streets here are relatively straight and grid-like, and shaded by tall redwoods and evergreens. The homes tend to be Ranch homes with wood thatched roofs (though they give way to more Contemporary style homes as you head up into the hills). These are the larger Ranch homes we associated with the early 60’s rather than the older smaller variety that are so common in so many older neighborhoods.

East of the freeway, it is much hillier and newer, and homes tend to have better views though they mostly tend to only be views of the western Alamo area. Home styles on this end of Alamo tend to vary a lot more (although in some areas you do get those kinds of homogenous homes that are so common in modern home architecture these days). Although these streets up here in this hilly eastern portion of Alamo are still green, they are not quite as shady or wild as they are on the western end.

Alamo is definitely million dollar home territory. Although you will find some condos in the under $500 K range down near the center of town, single family homes start at $525 K (usually due to foreclosure), and rise up into the multi-million dollar range territory as they climb up into the hills. About a third of homes sell for below $1 million, and about a tenth sell for $1.8 million or higher. The top is around $3.25 million, for which you get 5600 feet and 5 bedrooms, in a quiet 2.5 acre lot.

(There are also currently some $5 million, 3000 ft. on 20 acre properties for sale, but it is unclear whether the market here can sustain this level of pricing yet. )

As you might expect in an affluent neighborhood like this, there is a country club right in the middle of the eastern part of Alamo—Round Hill Country Club. Round Hill has basically everything you expect from a country club: a swimming pool, a sprawling golf course, tennis courts and the rest of it (even live web cam so you can watch matches going on the tennis courts).

Downtown Alamo has a sort of faux small bucolic town feel to it. It’s also has all that you could ask for such a town from banks to a vet hospital and a supermarket. When I was just out of college, I temped at an accounting office down here for a couple of weeks.

There are a dozen or so restaurants in the downtown area—nothing too impressive but enough so that you can eat in town if you don’t feel like cooking but don’t want to trek up to nearby Walnut Creek.

It goes without saying, of course, in a city like this that the schools are great and crime is virtually non-existent.

Overall it is one of those slightly boring bedroom communities that is great for families if you can afford it. Not unlike Orinda, where I live actually.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Shady Redwood Lined Streets
  • Nice Big Ranch Homes and Contemporaries
Cons
  • Very Expensive
  • A Bit Dull
  • No Public Transportation
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish

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