Moving to Castro Valley

Hi! our family is currently considering moving to Castro Valley with our 2 young children for the schools and a more peaceful neighborhood.  Before we pour our life savings into a home, I want to make sure we know what we are getting into.  We would like to have our kids attend public schools and are drawn to the CV public schools, and we are just generally looking for a safe and quiet place to raise our kids.  We have heard great things about CV being a safe and family-friendly town, are there any parts of town that we should avoid?  Does the fact that the city is unincorporated have any impact on day-to-day life?  thank you in advance!

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RE: Moving to Castro Valley ()

Hi there!  I've lived in Castro Valley for 30+ years and raised our family here, and can certainly recommend our little town!  Castro Valley has a small town feel. I love the proximity of natural beauty such as Lake Chabot park and the hiking trails of the East Bay Regional Park system. My kids went to Chabot Elementary and the teachers were caring, the school was well maintained, and there were lots of opportunities for parent involvement. Other strong elementary schools are Proctor, Independent, Jensen Ranch, and Palomares. It would be a really great idea to walk/drive the neighborhoods around the schools just to get a feel for the communities--they are all quite different!  There are the "hills" and the "flats" of Castro Valley, older (meaning from the late 50's-60s), and newer/new-ish subdivisions, and more "rural feeling" areas with horse stables. There are 2 middle schools, a large comprehensive high school, and a smaller alternative high school. It's fair to say that the m.s. and h.s. have had incidents of racial intolerance *and* the admins there and the district don't shy away from confronting those issues. Being unincorporated, CV is served by Alameda County Fire and Alameda County Sherriff dept. so there aren't issues with safety; being unincorporated has meant that the town itself hasn't had the same kind of civic leadership that has helped many other communities to vitalize their downtowns in a more integrated way, but good things are happening in terms of development.  The town is sweet without being bougie. Feel free to p.m. me and I'd be happy to talk more directly :)

RE: Moving to Castro Valley ()


I grew up in Castro Valley and really had a wonderful experience there for the most part. We lived in the "old" part of CV off somerset, but there are lots of new developments popping up in the area. I can't speak to the kind of people over there, but over on our side - we also had awesome neighbors with lots of kids on the block. We had block parties every summer (that my parents still attend even though all their kids have moved out). The schools were well funded because the property taxes are high to help out with the schools. CV elementary has really upgraded their facility and they offer preK now. 

Some downside is the proximity to Hayward and San Leandro which can have some rougher crowds. My friends and I were trapped in our car once by a gang of guys harassing us at the San Leandro theater... But that kind of stuff can happen everywhere. It's also not very culturally diverse -or at least wasn't growing up and from what I can tell, still isn't now. There were some more liberal thinkers, but it definitely trended toward conservative white politics and opinions.

Good luck! 

RE: Moving to Castro Valley ()

Hi there,

My husband and I purchased our home in Castro Valley in 2019 with the intention of raising our family here (no kids at the time). One thing you’ll want to make certain when you’re looking is to be sure that you’re on the right side of Castro Valley for the school district borders, there are some parts that are in the Hayward school district which is suffering pretty badly with the closure of several schools. 

As far as neighborhoods are concerned, I feel like it’s pretty quiet for the most part and I live on a busy street. Downtown you might get more action than elsewhere. As far as culture is concerned, it is quite boring, we find ourselves going to Oakland and SF every weekend for things to do because there’s just not much going on.

It’s a big trade off, we’re expecting our first in May and kind of wish we waited to move to the burbs, rather than diving in head first without kids in tow.  

Best of luck in your search!