6.3 out of 10

Sunnyvale

Ranked 69th best city in California
37.3692584287427 -122.027412636074
Great for
  • Safe & Sound
  • Shopping Options
  • Schools
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Parking
Not great for
  • Public Transport
  • Pest Free
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"Just another large, middle-class Silicon Valley town"

Sunnyvale is one of the major cities that makes up the busy high tech industry of Silicon Valley. The area is also part of the greater Santa Clara County and bounded by portions of San Jose, Mountain View, Los Altos, Santa Clara and Cupertino. For perspective home buyers, it comes with a clean suburban aesthetic and a quality public school system. It also has an enormous population, hosting over 140,000 residents and covers almost 23 square miles of land. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup of Sunnyvale is very diverse, with 43% white, 40% asian and a mix between two or more races. It also leans democratically in popular political polls. And on top of that, the town enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate and coastal winds (from the nearby Pacific Ocean) throughout most of the year.

Sunnyvale is made up of about 5 unofficial neighborhoods. Of these residential quarters are a mixed bag of middle-class aesthetics. On one block, you’ll be met with plain, one-story homes with unpolished house fronts while another block you’ll see stumpy, tree-covered, two-story homes with attractive front lawns. According to the 2010 US Census, $88,000 is the estimated median household income while housing prices are tabbed anywhere between $400,000 and $1 million. And according to the FBI crime reports, Sunnyvale consistently ranks among the top 10 safest cities, with respect to its size and population. In 2009, Forbes magazine ranked it 7th among US cities over 100,000 residents.

While Sunnyvale’s southern half is predominately residential, its commercial real-estate has a lot to offer. The area mostly lies just north of Highway 237, and is dominated by neighborhood cuisines and cafes. In the past couple years, its downtown quarters has been undergoing redevelopment (and continues to be a work in progress with streets closed off somewhat frequently). A couple of its most notable companies that are headquartered in Sunnyvale are Yahoo, Maxim Integrated Products and Palm. The city’s largest employer is Lockheed Martin, an aerospace, defense and advanced technology company that serves worldwide interests. In fact, the industrial area boasts a handful of these aerospace/defense companies. Its second is that of Yahoo!, which employs just less than 5,000.

For commercial needs, there are over 49 neighborhood and regional centers, including the vastly popular downtown shopping and dining facilities around Murphy Avenue. Elsewhere, you can find a variety of theaters, concert halls, museums, libraries, art galleries and other cultural activities nestled along popular intersections.

For your education needs, Sunnyvale is ahead of the curve. The area hosts over two dozen schools, everything from preschool to high school. It is also within close proximity of many top notch colleges, including Stanford University, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University and within driving distance of University of California, Berkeley. One of the city’s other perks is its convenience to the popular Caltrain. The rail serves the city well and connects residents up the San Francisco peninsula and into the busy financial district. For non-local travelers, Sunnyvale has three close airports: San Jose International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport (listed by proximity).
Pros
  • Good Newer Homes
  • Safe and Sound
  • Strong Schools
Cons
  • A Bit Boring
  • Lots of Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Newer Homes, Same Old Suburban Boredom"

Sunnyvale, just to the south of Mountain View and to the north of Santa Clara, is deep within the Silicon Valley. Although Sunnyvale is right at the heart of the Silicon Valley, home prices these days have become relatively moderate by Peninsula standards. The average home price is only about $425K and very few homes (maybe 5%) break the 1 million dollar barrier.

This actually seems like about where you would expect for this neighborhood whose homes are pretty standard Ranch style homes. Almost half the homes in the area seem to have been built since 1990. (And a good portion of the rest were built during the 1960s. The homes are not spectacularly large, for the most part, but they are mostly solid homes on flat streets in fairly well kept neighborhoods.

This is a safe neighborhood with about half the levels of crime of the US overall and solid schools across the board. In addition, the flat neighborhoods with sidewalks also make this an ideal neighborhood for kids as well (they can ride bicycles without getting run over and that sort of thing).

Although this looks like a pretty typical suburban city, you do get a number of high end restaurants like Alexander’s Steakhouse, Sawa sushi, and Le Papillon. There are also some bars like Bogart’s and the Peacock Lounge which are for the most part nothing to write home about.

Overall, since the housing crisis has brought prices down somewhat in terms of housing, Sunnyvale has become the kind of place that upper middle class folks can afford to live.
Pros
  • Strong Schools
  • Good Newer Homes
  • Safe and Sound
Cons
  • Some Good Restuarants
  • A Bit Boring
  • Lots of Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids

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