Why did you move from berkeley/Oakland to Lamorinda?

Hi all

we currently live in the Oakland hills and want to learn from families who made the move from berkeley or Oakland to the Lamorinda area.  (For reference, Hoping to stay in the $1.6M range for a 3BR/2BA.)

what do you love?

what do you miss?

how are your kids public school experiences different?

Thanks

Parent Replies

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kids aren't in school yet, but we recently made this move, and love the space and clean nice big parks and lots of kids around. don't love driving everywhere and i miss the views from the berkeley hills, and walking to work. our house is literally 3x bigger (it was more $$ though) than the old one and we have a pool now, so that makes the move worth it!

'We left Richmond hills for Moraga and  lived near the Campilindo High neighborhood. We thought it was closer to the freeway but not in a high

traffic area or we thought, that the neighborhood HOA pool was a great bonus (it was), and that the schools were rated higher.  

My son was 3 when we went and he enjoyed it untll about 10 years of age when boys became racist and mean.  My son is a Happa, although looks all Asian. 

During the 9/11, some of my friends who have middle eastern backgrounds faced racism also.   I liked  the pool but found parents too pushy about getting kids to 

compete and swimming and meets take over the entire summer for many.  We believe he got a good education but he could have gotten it elsewhere also.

In Moraga, I could not tolerate the traffic out of town each morning.. so unpredicatable.. either 7 to 10 mins or sometimes 25 to 40 mins if there is a problem. 

It is very hot in the summers.. in the 90's often and I walked my dogs after 10 or even 11PM when it got cooler.  Winters are colder... by about 10 to 20 degrees 

and many plants will die there like bouganvillia and Princess trees usually cannot be grown there.    I did not like the extreme temps, esp the heat in the summer & early Fall. 

We moved back when my son left for college to this side of the Tunnel and we LOVE the diversity, which you don't get over there.  Ethnically, you have mostly white, asian, and 

eastern Indian, some Middle Easterners and that's about it. There are also many priviledged kids who get whatever they want and it was stressful to raise our child in a less entitled 

way without making him feel that we were simply holding out and being "mean."  Most parents we knew were paying for tutors for their kids.  Actually, I see that here in the Oakland Hills also. Maybe I'm old school in that way.. seems excessive to get a tutor for every class so the kid can get the best grades rather than hiring a tutor for the class(es) are most difficult.

Although there was some burglaries and car break-in, the crime is MUCH lower than here in Oakland and Berkeley.  All in all, we are glad we moved back here because we love the ethnic restaurants, Berkeley Tennis Club, the amazing cooler weather in the summer and warmer weather in the winter... the neighbors are more engaging here and friendly but it may be the luck of the draw on who are neighbors happened to be on each side of the tunnel.  

The competition for grades is much harder over there in the Lamorinda area, so your child will have to work harder to get the same grades as in the Oakland and Berkeley area.  Even though there is some slight adjustment by colleges on where you went to high school, unless your kid is a stellar student, they may not do as well GPA wise overall in terms of getting into the college of their choice in the Lamorinda schools and I've heard this from many parents and counselors also. 

All in all, who knows.. maybe our son got a much better education in Moraga than he would have in a charter school closer to Richmond-El Cerrito. We are grateful that he still has interest in learning and the educational system and may go on to higher levels of education.  One thing I must say is that the Moraga Unified School District's Bruce Burns is a fantastic superintendent.

Moved from Oakland hills to Orinda.

What I love is there's a lot less crime and murders. You don't have to have your guard up when walking down the street.  No broken car windows and stolen backpacks.
I miss Oakland's weather.  It's way too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.  I really miss people in Oakland not caring about money, the make/model of car they drive, country club, and not being self centered.  People in Oakland are not a fake.  Do you really not know about the difference in the schools?  When we left Oakland, the parents club at the elementary school raise the most money they every had, around $4,000.  The smaller Elementary school in Orinda where are kids went raised $425K the following year.  Just looked and last year the parents club at the same school brought in $725K.  The difference between the Oakland and Orinda schools is just as huge and the amount of money the parents club raises every year.  I don't think you'll find anything in the $1.6M range... I could be wrong.   We still have a house in Berkeley.  I think we would move there if it were not of the CoB politics, the homeless and how run down everything is.

A previous poster commented that winters are 10-20 degrees colder in the Lamorinda area. Not true at all! It can be a few degrees colder - barely noticeable. You can look up the climate yourself.