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A major suburb identified by the U.S. Census as one of the wealthiest middle-sized cities in the nation, Pleasanton, California is widely regarded as one of the best places to live in the United States, appearing in Money Magazine’s list of the ’50 Best Cities to Live 2014’, 24/7 Wall Street’s list of ‘America’s 50 Best Cities to Live’, and ranking #31 on Money’s annual list of the Best Places to Live, and #9 on the publication’s list of the Top Earning Towns in the nation.

AVERAGE Home statistics
3 Beds
2.5 Baths
1,200 Sq. Ft.
2009 Build
Average Home Prices
$955k Low
$1.36M Avg
$2.78M High
AVERAGE Home Price Per Square Feet
$515 Low
$614 Avg
$1300 High


Despite its accolades (which are actually a lot to list), Pleasanton has a surprisingly modest population, with just a little under 82,000 residents as of 2018. While off-putting to a few, this just helps Pleasanton in maintaining its small-town charm.


The city was indeed a small town, being preceded by a place called Alisal, which was then also  known as “The Most Desperate Town in the West.” Eventually, it became Pleasanton, and was meant to be named after Union army cavalry Major General Alfred Pleasonton (with two O’s), but a U.S. Postal Service employee made a typo, which led to the city’s current name.


Being adjacent to the major markets of Silicon Valley, San Francisco and the Central Valley, Pleasanton also became widely known as a ‘bedroom community’, or a place largely inhabited by residents who commute to other cities for work.  But following a major economic boom in the early 1980s, the city these days is associated with the development of a number of business parks.


While not quite like the aforementioned Silicon Valley, Pleasanton has its own share of thriving business communities. These include over 4,000 companies, ranging from Fortune 500 to home-grown innovation firms. Among these is the city’s current top employer, Kaiser Permanente, a managed care consortium that employs around 4,000 people in the region.


The rest of the businesses in Pleasanton range between software and biotechnology companies to professional services providers that utilize over 15 million square feet of office and industrial space in the city.


Of course, it’s never all work and no play in Pleasanton.  Although the convenience of Interstate 580 and Interstate 680 gives residents commutable access to nearby cities like Fremont, Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose, Pleasanton offers plenty on its own and is actually even visited by residents from nearby communities.


With 1,200 acres of surrounding parks, open spaces and trails with spectacular vistas and abundant recreational opportunities, the city has something for everyone—including some of California’s best homes for sale.

Homes for Sale in Pleasanton

While the choices for residential properties in Pleasanton are relatively varied, one thing to expect in almost all of the listings in the city is that they are of great value. Although buying a home in Pleasanton sounds expensive, there are actually plenty of affordable options in the area.

By ‘affordable’ however, don’t expect to find ‘low-income housing’ in Pleasanton. What you can look forward to discovering is better, as the city offers plenty of  high-quality luxury living spaces that are priced favorably and will make you feel that you’ve gotten more than you paid for.


The choices are abundant, and whether your search is for luxury apartments, modern condos, or top class houses, you are likely to come across not only the home that meets your needs and preferences, but one that offers more. Sifting through the different listings of properties for sale in Pleasanton is a good problem to have, and probably one that you’ll need help with.


To make sure you find the best of the best among the homes available, at a price that makes your mortgage worth every penny, it is always good to work with a reliable real estate agent like Peter McDowell of the McDowell Homes Group.


With over 17 years of experience in residential realty sales, Peter has extensive knowledge of the different neighborhoods in Pleasanton, helping you to pinpoint not only which homes are the best to buy, but also which neighborhoods most suit what you need and prefer in a place to live.


These include neighborhoods that feature luxury homes–exclusive properties for sale which you would otherwise not see in more generally available home listings. Among these are a luxury home with a chef’s kitchen featuring an authentic pizza oven and European cabinets, and another is a place with both a home gym and home theater, to name a few.


Buying a home in Pleasanton is buying for the long-haul, and once you reside in the city and discover what it has to offer, you’ll hardly ever want to leave, and will never think of getting a home that is for the short-term.


So if you are in the market for a newly carpeted three-bedroom, 1.5-baths condo or a five-bedroom, six-bath, four-garage home that is situated at the end of a cul de sac with views of Mt. Diablo and its own personal vineyard, the McDowell Homes Group is where you want to ask about Pleasanton’s best homes for sale.


Nice properties coupled with good job and business opportunities are not the only reasons to come over and live in Pleasanton. Whether you are looking for a place that is ideal to raise a family or is just comparatively more laid-back than busier Northern California cities, any reliable real estate agent will tell you: Pleasanton is exactly what you are looking for.

The Two-wheeled, Pleasanton Lifestyle 

Comparatively more laid-back than San Francisco and Oakland, and boasting of perpetually nice weather and plenty of community parks and regional spaces, Pleasanton offers much in the way of outdoor recreation. The city’s outdoorsiness is even reflected in the way many get around in its different neighborhoods.

Topping the list of bike-friendly cities in California, Pleasanton makes it easier and safer than ever before for residents to bike around a city. According to the city government, Pleasanton continues to update its ‘Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan’,  making efforts to add green bike lanes and constructing a protected intersection.


Years in the making, these and other initiatives are part of a cumulative effort by the city to improve conditions for Pleasanton bikers. As a result, the city continues to see a huge number of cyclists who enjoy a great degree of traveling freedom in Pleasanton compared to almost anywhere else in the state (and even the country).


So whether you ride for enjoyment or to get around, consider getting a new bike or two when you buy a real estate in Pleasanton, as a few new sets of wheels will prove to be a similarly beneficial investment.

The State’s Best Parks

There is not much that can compare to spending time with the family at the park and enjoying North California’s mild and sunny weather. Now imagine doing this in one of the state’s best parks. In Pleasanton, there are great California parks to choose from.


Among the most popular of these is Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. A 9,090-acre playground of preserved natural land,  the park is a favorite among hikers, equestrians, and–yes–bikers and cyclists. If you’re not keen on activity, Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park also has breathtaking views of Pleasanton and the Livermore Valley.


Another park to frequent after you’ve moved to Pleasanton is the Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area. A public park on the border of Pleasanton and Livermore, forming part of the East Bay Regional Parks system, the 80-acre recreational park has picnic facilities and a lake with a sandy beach that also supports fishing, recreational boating, and year-round swimming.


If you have a penchant for history, you can also visit The Alviso Adobe Community Park. Registered as a California Historic Landmark, it is a fully restored seven-acre park that was built around an adobe house constructed by Francisco Alviso in 1854 and was continuously in use until 1969. It is recognized as a rare surviving example of an early American adobe, and it is even furnished in the style of the 1920s.


Then, there is also the sprawling 270-acre Alameda County Fairgrounds, which is home to as many as 300 tradeshows and community events. These include the annual Alameda County Fair, which has been running since 1912. Also located on the property is the Pleasanton Fairgrounds Racetrack, the oldest horse racing track in the United States.


Of course, an outdoorsy city isn’t quite that without arguably the outdoorsiest activities there is—golf! Within the Pleasanton Fairgrounds Racetrack’s infield is a 9-hole golf course. If you prefer playing on a longer golf course with more holes, there is also the Callippe Preserve Municipal Golf Course, which is looped around by the 3.75 mile Callippe Preserve Trail.

While these seem plenty, they barely scratch the surface of the superb outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed in Pleasanton. Despite living in the digital world, residents of the city still have places where they can raise their kids the old-fashioned way—playing outside and interacting with their friends.

California’s Top Schools

Family is a top priority in Pleasanton, and apart from being a great place to search for and invest in family-friendly realty, it is also a choice place for children to grow up and get an education.


Many of the city’s educational institutions continue to be hailed among the top in the state, and both of Pleasanton’s two high schools—Amador Valley and Foothill—have even ranked among the list of top 400 high schools in the entire nation by Newsweek.


In addition, schools in the Pleasanton Unified School System continue to earn high rankings on GreatSchools—an organization committed to helping parents review public education institutions. With an average rating of over 9/10, Pleasanton’s schools indeed receive high praise across the board, and its caring and dedicated teacher force is surely deserving of being among the highest compensated in the country.

As a parent in Pleasanton, you get to rest easy knowing you have great partners in the community who are similarly committed to the continued growth and development of your children.

There’s Hardly Ever a Dull Day in Pleasanton

As relaxed as Pleasanton is, residents and visitors can hardly ever get bored in the city. From several retail and lifestyle centers, to museums, farmers’ markets, and the previously mentioned parks, there are indeed plenty of things for you to do and see in the city.


To start, there is always Downtown Pleasanton, a charming historic destination featuring a mix of unique shops, restaurants, and landmarks. Among these is the Museum on Main Street, a Smithsonian outreach program that documents and presents the history of the Tri-Valley region from Native American habitation through to modern day.


Nearby at the intersection of Interstates 580 and 680 is Stoneridge Shopping Center.  Featuring over 165 specialty stores and restaurants, the popular retail location continues to meet the shopping needs and preferences of both Pleasanton locals and the residents of the entire surrounding Tri-Valley area.


If you are more keen on purchasing locally made products as opposed to items in commercial retail, Rubino Estates Winery is a great place to start. A Californian-Italian winery that produces award-winning wines against a backdrop of picturesque views of the Livermore Valley, Rubino Estates offers a range of complex yet smooth wines for every occasion.


Of course, a place is only as good as its local fare, and the over 200 food establishments in Pleasanton more than prove that it is indeed a great place to live in. Among these is  Organic Coup, the first USDA-certified organic fast food restaurant in the United States. Another is De La Torre’s Trattoria, a quintessential neighborhood Italian trattoria and local gathering spot located in Val Vista Shopping Center. It is worth going to for its seasonal menu of traditional Italian specialties and wood-fired pizza.

If you fancy making your own meals but doing so the Pleasanton way, there is also The Pleasanton Farmers’ Market where you can get the freshest local ingredients. Held every Saturday all year round, it features a range of goods, including fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, honey, prime cuts of meat and chicken, ocean-fresh seafood, artisan cheese, almond butter, and various nuts.


Along with supporting local producers, buying from the Pleasanton Farmers’ Market also means helping it support The Open Heart program, a non-profit meal service which collects donations of fresh produce for meals.


Indeed, while Pleasanton is a comparably modest-sized city, it is full of places to go to and activities to participate in. As a resident, you know your mortgage is well-worth it, because you not only get a great house to live in, but a city that offers you something new and different almost every day.

The Bottom Line

While you likely feel all that was previously mentioned was already a lot, it is but a small sample of what Pleasanton has to offer and why those in the know consider it one of the best places to live in the country.


From being one of the best school districts in the United States to also being considered one of the safest neighborhoods in the country, there are more than enough reasons to consider taking out a mortgage to plant roots and raise a family in Pleasanton.


As the city’s name attests, living in Pleasanton can indeed be pleasant, thanks to its mid-sized city charm that is accentuated by its beautiful and numerous outdoor spaces.


In the unlikely event that you miss the fast-paced lifestyle of big cities, there is always nearby San Francisco and Oakland that you can easily visit from Pleasanton. Linking the city to the region are two BART stations, the Altamont Corridor Express commuter train and regional bus service.


Yet at the end of the day, Pleasanton is the place to come home to, not only because it is a place that is safe and secure and kid-friendly, but also because it continues to be one of the best examples of what a truly complete city is.


Sounds a little too good to be true? Don’t just take our word for it! Feel free to call 925.596.8731 or send an email to mcdowellgroup@venturesir.com so you can have experienced real estate agent Peter McDowell tell you everything you need and want to know about investing in a home and living in Pleasanton, CA.


From searching for homes for sale in Pleasanton to applying for a mortgage to complete the purchase of your chosen property, you can count on McDowell Homes Group to help you with all your Bay Area California real estate needs.

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