8.4 out of 10

North Valley

Ranked 4th best neighborhood in San Jose
37.3762688395578 -121.873338468421
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Schools
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Pest Free
  • Clean & Green
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Tourists


5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5

"Nice neighborhood for families"

Housing is definitely cheaper here, fresh air, nature, beautiful mountain views , far away from pollution path. The schools are average and above and some 8 out of ten schools. Since housing is a lot cheaper here, many people from this neighborhood send their kids to private schools. They get both excellent schools and excellent homes. The prices are however going up, because Bart is coming to Beryessa.
It is a good mixed nice neighborhood, old and young people. Many academics from PhD software engineers, doctors, hardware designers, retired people, construction business, sales associate ....

A group of academics get regularly together, and interestingly, the decision to buy property in this area was based on the furtherst away from Highways but still the convenience to be able to commute to Palo Alto, SFO, Santa Crz and Berkeley. This is a hot spot and we very much enjoy living there, even after 15 years
  • Nature
  • Clean air and away from traffic
  • Mixed community
  • Affordable Trailer Parks
  • Good Schools
  • Nice Neighborhoods
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers

"Wide range of middle-class"

Bounded by Highway 680, Highway 880, US Route 101 and Montague Expressway, North Valley is a bustling San Jose neighborhood. The district also hosts a number of differing neighborhoods, industrial zones and office parks. Although not recognized as a central commercial hub, the area employs thousands of people, pumping blood into the veins of Silicon Valley. Its big drawback is its residential life. The area consists of dozens of foreclosures, due in large park to Silicon’s direct correlation with the IT bubble burst and accompanying economic decline. As a result, many homes are sold at affordable prices, which can make North Valley a steal if you look in the right places.

While consisting of a variety of neighborhoods, North Valley is hard to define in one single breath. For prospective residents, the district is loosely middle class. You can find anything from a couple groupings of mobile homes to average-looking apartment complexes that don’t tend to tip the scale in how nice or crummy they look. Homeowners tend to live these boxy, 1950-1970 California-ranch style homes that can be a bit rundown looking. Some have these -adobe walls and red-tilted roofs that can turn homebuyers on, but small yards and stumpy driveways don’t tend to thrill. There are some well-ordereed town houses along Notting Hill, which quite frankly, might be your best bet. As for each residential asking price, apartment complexes and condominiums are priced around $400,000, give or take a $100,000, while medium house values circle around $500,000 (but can vary drastically from neighborhood to neighborhood). Of the 74,000 residents who call North Valley home, the average household tends to rake in about $83,000/year.

North Valley’s commercial real-estate is the district’s main draw. There are a few dozen office parks within the district’s bounds. However, they tend to be a bit anonymous to the local community. Most people just merely pass them by as if they’re dust on the road. Other commercial activity consists of the Great Mall (just up the road a block) and random businesses including medical equipment shops, financial advisers, auto body shops, etc. But the district as a whole looks a little drab with its handful of mediocre motels, ugly trailer parks and boxy storage facilities that pepper the community

Since the neighborhood’s large land area, North Valley ‘s academia varies by location. Most locals aren’t that thrilled with the mediocre rankings (for San Jose’s standards) it tends to get on various scholastic websites. Schools like Independence High School has not faired well. It received a 3-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org. For entertainment, -he San Jose Municipal Golf Course lies within the district’s bounds, but it is not really well-maintained and its pretty run-of-the-mill.
  • Affordable Trailer Parks
  • No Nightlife
  • Ugly in Spots
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"A Ciy Onto Itself"

Squeezed between Highways 880, 680 and 101 on the west, east and south respectively is the North Valley area of San Jose—a location so diverse that in most regions it would probably simply be considered a city onto itself rather than just a section of a larger whole. Here in San Jose, however, this is just one of many parts—“neighborhoods” doesn’t seem adequate to the task here—that make the whole of the third largest city in California (Los Angeles, San Diego are 1 and 2).
It is perhaps easiest to further subdivide the area into individual parts to see the full expanse of this area which contains within it several residential groupings, office parks, and industrial zones. So let’s start in the northwestern end of North Valley:

The northwestern mobile park: Shouldering the rumbling Nimitz Freeway on it western end, this is an expansive mobile home community of the kind that comes to mind when you think of the mobile home communities you expect in Florida. This is one of those communities where the streets are permanent and the mobile homes actually have street addresses. At the center of the park is a tiny lagoon and a one hole golf green made from Astroturf. There is also a smallish pool area and a sandy playground on the northern end of the playground so that the community kids can enjoy themselves. With prices ranging from $20K to $100K there is certainly no beating the prices for one of the homes in this community.

One of the drawbacks of the area is the elementary school Orchard Elementary, whose test scores are consistently mediocre.

Northern Office Park: Just to the east of the mobile home community is a large office park section filled with lesser known companies that no doubt are part of the extensive support network for better known tech titans. You will not find any Google’s or Cisco’s here. But you will find smaller companies like Bearing Engineering, Infinite Machining, Genuine Machine Tech and Rapid Precision Manufacturing—the kind of companies that don’t make the headlines for their contributions to the well-oiled machine which is Silicon Valley, but which employ thousands and keep the economy humming.

The area is well served by bus lines along north/south arteries at Oakland Rd and Lundy Ave. and east/west along Montague Expressway on the northern end. (There are also VTA lines east/west up by the Great Mall Pkwy just to the north in stinky Milpitas.) So, commuters who want to do their part for the environment and save themselves the dead time sitting in their cars, can definitely do so. In addition, there are plans to expand BART to the San Jose Airport just to the west which will once and for all connect SF and San Jose in one system.

Brooktree: On the northeastern end of North Valley is the Brooktree residential neighborhood, named after the park and elementary school resting at its heart. On Brooktree’s northern end is a micro-neighborhood called Country Brook lagoon—which distinguishes itself from the Brooktree neighborhood only in having dark tiled roves and small artificial ponds scattered about. (Streets are also perhaps a bit cozier.)

The rest of Brooktree distinguishes itself for its pleasant, professionally kept streets (there is clearly an well-funded effort by the neighborhood organization to maintain a pristine appearance throughout). Homes here invariably have light pastel colored adobe walls and red-tiled roves—though it doesn’t really have the feel of Mediterranean architecture as you might expect from this description. The homes are not identical beyond this each having a slightly different set-up. The front lawns also vary with various homes having uniquely sculpted topiary and varying tree species (from palm to bushy vines).

This high level oversight gives way to a classic 1970’s style Ranch home neighborhood—though not of the dingy rundown kind. These homes look much like they did in the 70’s—that is, they look new still.

What do home prices run Country Brook/Brooktree? In Country Brook you find prices ranging from $250K to $500K, with over half of homes being on the market due to foreclosure.

In the red-tiled section of Brooktree, where homes are larger and slightly newer, prices jump into the $500K to $700K range, and virtually every home seems to be on sale due to foreclosure.

In the Ranch home section of Brooktree, homes drop to ~$450k with more than 80% being foreclosures.
Despite this volatility, Brooktree Elementary at the heart of the neighborhood remains strong consistently testing in the above average range.

North Flickinger: Just to the south of Brooktree is another planned community area: the North Flickinger neighborhood. The Spanish red-tiled roves and adobe style facades of Brooktree give way to dark, smaller tile roves and paler pastel colored facades of the North Flickinger neighborhood. The feeling here is older than in Brooktree and less well-controlled in terms of community management. Lawns are tinier (more to fulfill the requirement of having a front lawn than for any use) and front trees are more mature than in its newer northern neighbor).

The North Flickinger neighborhood also hosts a leafy apartment complex—Fair Oaks. It is one of those apartment complexes where parking spaces have canopy covering for shelter but which require you to run to your building on rainy days because the walks are open air.

Home prices in North Flickinger run in the $400 to $600K range, with over 80% being foreclosures. (Although the Townhomes in the Fair Oaks area are considerably less expensive at ~$250K.)
The division between North and South Flickinger is marked by Flickinger Park, a green space devoted to athletic pursuits such as baseball and tennis, though also including a play area for younger children as well.

South Flickinger: South Flickinger, in sharp contrast to the planned regularity of the north, is all Ranch homes of various styles and periods. Yards vary, with unkept lawns next to immaculately trimmed greens, and dead blotches next to carefully shaped shrubbery. Overall it is your basic middle class neighborhood, similar to a 1000’s of others in California alone.
Homes in South Flickinger run mostly in the $400Ks with similar foreclosure rates as its northern neighbor.

Vinci, North and South: To the west of Flickinger is yet another residential neighborhood filled with Ranch style homes. In terms of home prices, there is a considerable difference between North Vinci and South Vinci with the homes in north going for ~$500K while homes in the south go for ~$350K. I am not sure what accounts for this difference other than the homes in the north being slightly newer than the homes in the south (1980’s v. 1970’s).

The local elementary that serves both the Flickingers and the Vinci’s is Vinci Elementary in southern Vinci. It is solid—maybe even slightly above average according to recent test scores.

Golf Course and Environs: At the center of North Valley is the San Jose Municipal Golf Course and its surrounding neighborhood’s: McKay Ringwood, Carmine Parkmont, Townsend, Notting Hill-Royal Crest, and Gordy.
Each deserves a brief summary.

McKay Ringwood: This is basically a grouping of apartment and condominiums—some quite nice with pools and attractive artificial lagoon area. Prices here run the gamut from $200k to $600K, with foreclosures accounting for ¾ of all offerings.

Carmine-Parkmont: Townhomes galore—dating from the 1980’s. Virtually all foreclosures. ~$500K.

Townsend: East of the Golf Course. More townhomes/condos/apartments surrounding Townsend Park. Tennis courts, pools and leafy walks. 100% Foreclosures: $200K to $600K

Notting Hill—Royal Crest: On the south of the golf course. More townhomes—very nicely maintained and organized. (Kind of like Orange County gated communities without the gates.) Same price range as Townsend—mostly foreclosures.

Southwestern North Valley: Things are decidedly different on the southwestern end of North Valley. Here you find economy motels, trailer parks, and storage complexes. You will also find lots of peripheral businesses here such as event planning agencies, medical equipment companies and machinists.

On the far southwestern end, you hit North Valley’s rust belt, where you will find container yards, refuse heaps, proof that “rust never sleeps” as Neil Young pointed out. Flooring, tires, autobody, auto mechanics, and a men’s shelter round out the kinds of businesses that make their homes here.

Put simply, this is a city onto itself with a little bit of everything from townhomes and houses to commercial offices and heavy manufacturing. The only thing missing is serious entertainment options, but given the proximity of San Jose’s many offerings this should not be a major concern.
  • Nice Neighborhoods
  • Good Schools
  • Affordable Trailer Parks
  • No Nightlife
  • Ugly in Spots
  • Busy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Travelling to North Valley?

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Best Streets in North Valley


Berryessa Rd

"One of the best flea markets in the US."
37.3727535835745 -121.874537106047

Oakland Rd

"Best place to catch lunch"
37.3810142193647 -121.895346014302

Unranked Streets in North Valley

"Country Apartment Complex"
37.3756002212345 -121.882026952623
37.3665279300792 -121.888803623121
"An Industrial Business Park"
37.369475539622 -121.897376110693

Four Oaks Rd

"This Road runs through a couple of nice Neighborhoods"
37.392771568382 -121.875098437738

Hostetter Rd

"Quiet street in the center of North San Jose"
37.3910945279206 -121.879051792441

McKee Rd

"The retail sector of North San Jose"
37.3606560134977 -121.856925887369

Ribisi Cir

"Nice Quiet Neighborhood "
37.3790603079064 -121.868906340651

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