Pleasanton, California is a charming city nestled in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area. A vibrant and modern community known for its excellent quality of life, world-class vineyards, and beautiful tree-lined streets, Pleasanton is an incredible place to call home.
Locals enjoy the sunny climate, diverse amenities, and a neighborly community. Whether you’re looking for a place to raise a family, further your career, retire, or toast the good life, Pleasanton ticks all the boxes.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the best neighborhoods in Pleasanton, its housing market, and what you might expect as a new resident.
WELCOME TO PLEASANTON!
Located in Amador Valley, Pleasanton covers 24.3 square miles of total area, roughly 24.1 square miles of which is land. It’s adjacent to the neighborhoods of Hayward, Livermore, and Dublin. Shadow Cliffs Regional Park lies to its east, and Pleasanton Ridge to its west.
Pleasanton is a city of many faces. At once modern and pastoral, it’s home to both sprawling natural landscapes and high-tech corporations. Many large companies have headquarters in Pleasanton, including Workday and Safeway. Over the past few years, its downtown has been transformed into an upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment hub. However, it still retains its rustic charm.
Getting in and around Pleasanton
For residents who work in the Bay Area, Pleasanton offers a prime location just 40 minutes west of San Francisco and northwest of Silicon Valley. Many transportation options make it easy to get in and around the city, including:
- Public transportation. Pleasanton is served by the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), and County Connection bus system.
- Commuter rail.The Altamont Corridor Express (ACE), a commuter rail line, connects Pleasanton to the Stockton, Tracy, and San Jose areas.
- Car services such as Uber, Lyft, and traditional taxis are available as well.
- Bicycle. Pleasanton is widely known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in California, owing to the development of many bike lanes and trails.
- Walking. The city is largely pedestrian-friendly and encourages locals to get around by foot through well-maintained sidewalks and walkways.
BENEFITS OF LIVING IN PLEASANTON
If your idea of the perfect community is a well-developed town close to business hubs, nature, and incredible schools, then Pleasanton should be at the top of your list. Here’s what you can expect from living in Pleasanton:
- Excellent weather
- Diverse housing options
- Quality education
Pleasanton enjoys a mild climate year-round. Temperatures here rarely exceed the mid-80s and lows rarely dip below the mid-30s. Additionally, the city enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine per year, making it the perfect place for outdoor activities and recreation.
From single-family homes and condos to townhomes and apartments, there’s something for every buyer in Pleasanton.Homeowners enjoy a location adjacent to some of the Bay Area’s most prominent cities like San Francisco and Silicon Valley without having to pay the expensive housing costs.
A number of excellent schools, both public and private, can be found in Pleasanton. With a strong academic focus and a wide variety of extracurricular activities, Pleasanton’s schools are widely regarded as some of the best in California and consistently earn distinctions nationwide. They include:
The Tri-Valley is home to California’s oldest wine regions, and Pleasanton is no exception. Known for picturesque vineyards and world-class wines the city affords locals a taste of some of the most delicious blends in the area.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT LIVING IN PLEASANTON
- Pleasanton was formerly called Alisal and was one of the major routes to the gold fields. Local legend says Alisal was full of outlaws and bandits, earning it the nickname “The Most Desperate Town in the West.”
- The first known settlers were the indigenous Ohlone tribe who were native to the Bay Area. The first white settler, Augustin Bernal, didn’t arrive until 1850.
- The place was originally renamed Pleasonton in 1851 by John W. Kottinger after General Alfred Pleasonton. Its current spelling is the result of a recording clerk’s uncorrected error.
- In 1869, Pleasanton opened its borders to trade and tourism with the establishment of transcontinental railroads. The population grew as an increasing number of ranchers were drawn to the city’s climate and abundant water supply, which were ideal for dairy, vegetable, and wine production. Pleasanton became Amador Valley’s agricultural base.
- Developments continued at a rapid pace throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Once the 1980s rolled around, Pleasanton was decidedly more urban than rural, with fields and farms replaced by schools, corporations, and residential neighborhoods.
Many factors make Pleasanton attractive to commercial investors: major job markets, a highly skilled and educated workforce, and a location close to key Bay Area spots, to name a few.
It’s known for being the headquarters of both well-established companies and innovative startups. As of data from 2021, four largest employers in the city are from the tech, healthcare, and science sectors. These are Workday and Oracle, two of the country’s most successful software companies; Kaiser Foundation and Stanford Healthcare Valleycare, health institutions with thousands of local employees; and Roche Molecular Systems, a diagnostics laboratory.
With over 4,000 businesses supporting nearly 53,000 jobs, Pleasanton’s economic horizon looks rosy, indeed. Its long-term growth has outpaced that of the Tri-Valley area and East Bay with an impressive 63% increase in employment through 1995 and 2009. Pleasanton also boasts a robust innovation economy, attracting entrepreneurial action and major investments in the tech sector.
Pleasanton has gained praise for its top-ranking educational institutions. Two high schools in the city, Amador Valley High School and Foothill High School, made it to Newsweek’s list of Top 400 High Schools in America. It’s also close to many reputable universities offering a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs.
The city is served by the Pleasanton Unified School District, one of the highest-performing school districts in the Bay Area. Excellent public schools in the school district include:
Graduates can then proceed to attain a first-rate college education at schools only minutes away from Pleasanton.
The world’s #1 public university, University of California, Berkeley, is less than an hour’s drive from Pleasanton. The public research institution is known for its academic prestige and stellar undergraduate programs in the fields of biology, science, and economics. Many influential individuals call Berkeley alma mater, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and acclaimed writer Susan Sontag.
California State University offers over 130 undergraduate programs in diverse fields of study and has a student population of over 14,000. Its East Bay campus, located in the city of Hayward, is only over 20 minutes or roughly 17.3 miles by car.
From regional parks to county fairgrounds, here are the top attractions in Pleasanton, CA you won’t want to miss:
- Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is a 9,090-acre natural playground offering an abundance of outdoor recreation. Adventurers and nature enthusiasts can explore the park’s scenic hiking routes and challenging bike trails. Those who wish to relax, on the other hand, can do so at the park’s many picnic areas.
- The Alameda County Fairgrounds is a 270-acre venue that’s home to the annual Alameda County Fair. Locals can indulge in classic fair food, live music, car shows, and equestrian events. The country’s oldest one-mile horse racing track can be found here.
- The Pleasanton Farmers’ Market is a bustling open-air market held every Saturday on Main Street and West Angela Street. Here, you’ll spot local vendors selling the best of what California has to offer: fruit, vegetables, meat, and seafood. Visitors and locals can sample some of the Valley’s freshest herbs, baked goods, nuts, honey, and cheese in one venue.
Restaurants and wineries
STEAKS AND PIZZA.One of the most popular restaurants in Pleasanton, CA is Hap’s Original Steaks and Seafood. The famed dining spot serves some of the best steaks in the city as well as fresh salmon, shrimp, and salads. If you’re craving the best pizza in town, head to Gay Nineties Pizza Co. Found in one of Pleasanton’s first ever commercial buildings, this quaint restaurant is known for its incredible food and unique lore.
FOR MEXICAN CUISINE, Blue Agave Club on Main Street offers incredible Southwestern food at a beautiful location. This is the top place to go if you’re craving chicken enchiladas or authentic handmade burritos. Brava Garden Eatery is another well-located dining spot where you can enjoy Pleasanton scenery alongside a lovely meal. Small plates, fresh pasta, and seafood are served at this family-owned restaurant, as well as a delectable lineup of vegetarian-friendly options.
FOR DRINKS, Beer Baron is a whisky bar and kitchen featuring over 20 taps of craft beer sourced from different parts of the Bay Area, as well as an extensive whisky list – over 200 bottles. Middle 8 is a great place for live music, celebratory drinks, specialty cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Even nearer Downtown Pleasanton is Pairings Wine-Bar Restaurant, which boasts an extensive wine list, charcuterie, desserts, and shareable plates. Cellar Door is the city’s hidden gem, located on Railroad Avenue just off Main Street. The place is known for wine, signature cocktails, and happy hour specials.
HOMES FOR SALE IN PLEASANTON, CA
In December 2022, there were over 70 properties on the Pleasanton housing market, including single-family homes, luxury estates, and vacant lots. Homes, on average, were sold after 50-60 days on the market.
Homes for sale in Pleasanton had a median listing price of $1.5 million, and sold for about the same price. Properties were varied, allowing homebuyers flexibility in choosing their desired residence. Home prices ranged from $195,000 to $7.5 million.
The Tri-Valley housing market was hot in 2021. Home inventory peaked at less than 40 properties and homes listed for an average of two weeks, sometimes less. This shifted in 2022 when, after years of historically low rates, buyers were faced with climbing interest rates and significantly less purchasing power.
With buyer enthusiasm waning and the market slowing down, sellers began to drop property prices. The year 2022 ended with a median home price of $1.5 million, a significant dip from March of the same year, which recorded a median value of more than $2 million.
So, what’s in store for 2023?
Much like 2022, the housing market in 2023 is expected to reflect wider economic changes. Experts predict:
- Stabilized mortgage interest rates
- Increased opportunities for buyers to negotiate
- Movement towards a more balanced market
- Properties may continue to stay on the market longer
- Home prices are projected to climb at a more moderate pace than previous years, even though the demand still exceeds supply
As of February 2023, Pleasanton was a seller’s market. This means housing inventory is lower than the demand for homes. As a buyer, you’re more likely to face competition for a highly desired property, and you may even encounter bidding wars. With this in mind, it’s important to exercise caution and have a trusted Realtor by your side to help you navigate the homebuying process.
Those looking to settle down in a traditional single-family home will find Pleasanton perfect. The housing market is dominated by single-family houses with a few townhomes and multi-family properties.
Common architectural styles in both residential and commercial properties are Mission Revival, Cape Cod, Moderne, Craftsman, and Spanish Colonial Revival. Many homes tend to take elements from a mix of these architectural styles to create the signature Bay Area look.
Popular amenities found in luxury homes include:
- Solar paneled roof
- Private tree-lined driveways
- Walk-in closets
- Spectacular views
- Chef’s kitchen
- Lush landscaping
- Private pool
- Built-in fire pit
NEIGHBORHOODS IN PLEASANTON
- Downtown Pleasantonis the heart of the city. A vibrant and bustling neighborhood, this part of Pleasanton is where you’ll find a majority of the city’s shopping districts, restaurants, and tourist attractions. It also offers a glimpse into the city’s past with tree-lined streets and brick buildings adding a historic atmosphere. Many of Pleasanton’s oldest homes were built here.
- If you plan to work in Pleasanton’s business hub, look for a home around Hacienda Business Park.The commercial center hosts the headquarters of esteemed tech companies like Oracle and Workday, among other startups, businesses, and entertainment venues.
- Ruby Hill is an exclusive neighborhood in Pleasanton and one of the most prestigious communities in the city. The gated neighborhood is saturated with custom luxury homes overlooking a beautiful Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Homes here rarely go below $4 million. Browse homes for sale in Ruby Hill
- Castlewood is a private enclave located in the hills of west Pleasanton. This affluent neighborhood is known for its pristine views, exclusive golf courses, and historic country club – the former home of philanthropist and suffragist Phoebe Hearst. High-end homes in this area range from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet.
- Pleasanton Valley is a small suburb ideal for those who want to escape the noise of the big city without sacrificing convenience. Many single-family properties are located in and around this area, and about 74% of residents are homeowners. As a pet-friendly and community-oriented area, many young families, pet owners, and elderly residents call this neighborhood home. Property values are typically within the $750,000 to $1.2 million range.
- Del Prado is located in central Pleasanton and is a serene residential community with easy access to community parks, a tennis court, and top-ranking local schools. All make it an excellent neighborhood to raise a family. Most properties here are suburban single-family homes with 3 to 5 bedrooms.
CONNECT WITH AN EXPERT IN PLEASANTON, CA REAL ESTATE
At Venema Homes, business is more than just sales – it’s the people we connect with along the way. I’m Liz Venema, a luxury real estate agent, and I can’t wait to help you find your dream home in Pleasanton, CA!
Our team believes real estate is about relationships. We pride ourselves on exceptional client care from start to finish, leveraging our market expertise and negotiation skills to provide best-in-class services.
Specializing in luxury homes for buyers and sellers across the East Bay, our team at Venema Homes is one of the most trusted in the region. This is seen in our many distinctions, including:
- The top-producing team in Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley
- #1 Team in Sales Volume at Keller Williams Tri-Valley Realty
- Quadruple Platinum Award for Outstanding Team Sales in 2020
I’m also a founding member of Keller Williams Tri-Valley Luxury International and have been recognized as one of the Top 1% of Realtors in the country.