Living in Livermore
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Moving from Europe for a job in Livermore
We are moving from Europe back to the Bay Area. A huge overwhelming move. My husband has a job in Livermore, I have yet to find a job, and we are trying to figure out where we are going to live. We used to live in Oakland, but that was 10 years ago and before we had kids. Plus it would be nice to live where we work rather than commuting.
So does anyone have insights into the Livermore/Dublin/Pleasanton area? (I see one review of Livermore here, but it's quite old.) Which is the best or most affordable community in that area? What are the good and bad points? What's the best way to find a rentals there? What are the schools like? Much thanks in advance for any insights you have. Sara
Hello, and welcome back to California. I just started a job with the city of Livermore, and I really love it. The city is motivated to grow and has a great action plan, based on their results. Downtown is pleasant and remarkably active, and large lots of free parking are packed full on the weekends but you'll still find a spot. They have really invested in the downtown atmosphere and it's quite pretty and lively. I hear that the city hires musicians during the weekends to play downtown - usually at least several different groups so as you stroll, you can hear live music.
Median home price is surprising - at over $600k. I'd guess that more homes available will be more recently built, but I've seen some beautiful vintage homes, as well (I prefer older homes).
For rentals, I found Padmapper.com to be really helpful since they show where apartments and homes for rent are located on a map, and then you can get the details about each rental. Especially since you haven't yet lined up your job, renting is a good choice.
You can check school ratings at www.greatschools.org and keep in mind it's just a number. Most schools are 7-9 rating out of 10. Your child(ren) can attend any local school provided there is room in the desired classroom, so that gives you options to seek out the best teachers. (Check out the city and school district websites).
People in Livermore are friendly and polite - more so than those I've worked with in Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, etc. Diversity is pretty comparable to local cities when you look up demographics data (I did recently).
The main library is beautiful - be sure to check it out. I like the Lodge style, and it's full of natural light and they have a great collection.
The town is more spread out than most in the Bay Area, and it's on the outer edge of the Bay Area, so you will get warmer summers and sometimes cooler temperatures in winter. I think the city's proactive management is pretty impressive. They've done a great job of attracting businesses and they have a wine growing and making industry that started even before Napa/Sonoma.
Downside: you'd be wise to avoid driving West on 580 in the mornings and East in the afternoons/evenings. And an accident or problem on 580 can really tie up traffic for hours. Only one freeway means a lot of people stopped and stuck, unable to try another route. If you're staying in town, no problem. That's where you really feel like Livermore is so far out there in the East. But then, all of us Bay Area residents tend to avoid freeways at certain times of the day if we can.
Hope this is helpful, and I hope some locals chime in with more info about neighborhoods, etc. Liking Livermore
Considering Livermore, husband works there
My husband and I have been searching all over the entire Bay Area for a place where we can buy a moderately priced home with a yard in a decent neighborhood. Having looked at everything, we are considering Livermore because my husband works there, and we could afford a house there. I am a little scared to move so far into the subarbs (we live in Oakland now)-any advice? Does anyone have any experience with Livermore? Is there anything out there? We have a new baby on the way as well. Any help would be much appreciated, Oaklander
I grew up in Livermore, my father, like many parents, was a ''labbie.'' I'm now early 30's and live in Oakland. My parents are still in Livermore so I'm out to visit often.
What I liked about growing up there:
I could ride my bike anywhere - to soccer practice, to school, to play in the creek, etc.
Diverse, but not in the way we mean in Berk/Oak. Livermore is an agricultural center as well as an intellectual draw with the Lab (and now many other high-tech). The schools and community supported this range of interests well with e.g., after-school gifted programs, Opera Society, and strong FFA and 4H. The ethnic diversity is not as much as here, but I ''white'' had many hispanic and asian playmates.
At least in our circle, there was lots of ''involvement'' in the community - meaning you didn't just drop your kid at the summer science classes, you were involved in making sure the classes were going to happen.
lots of nearby open parks or field to run and play in. I was either reading a book from the 15 or so I'd check out from the library every week or was outside playing at something.
What I didn't like then:
Mom wanted me to ride my bike to school :), I wanted a ride.
As a teenager most friends said ''it's boring here'' but I gather teens say that EVERYWHERE! I personally wasn't so bored with Livermore but have friends who've sworn it off.
What about now:
Livermore has a lot more strip stores now (target, Mervyns, walmart) which is a plus and minus. There are fewer open field for wildflowers to grow, but you don't have to drive to Pton/Dublin either. It used to be the chinese food and pizza capital (Round Table Pizza in Livermore was the highest grossing in Northern CA), eating out meant going to Pton. There are now nice Italian, Thai, mexican, wineries restaurants. If you golf there's now courses beyond the two municipal ones. I don't know how the schools are now, lots from my classes were Ivy league and UC bound. There's good parks for a stroll or a hike. It gets HOT in summer and foggy in winter, you will scrape frost from the windshield some mornings. BART is now in Pton, you can more easily get to Berk/SF for culture you can't find in Livermore.
I didn't move from Livermore because I disliked it, just following the job growth and ended up here. My husband surprised me recently by saying he would want to move to the TriValley before our kids enter school. Why? I know many on this list have debated the ''moving over the hills'' choices - my husband feels that there is a quieter pace of life in Tri-Valley, thngs were easier to get to/use. And what he's read about the schools in either area made him strongly in favor of suburbia. But I was happy to hear this. I loved being able to play outside, either in our yard or at parks. Education was good and the cultural options, while not the same as here, certainly enriched my world.
There are many over-educated (?) folks in the TriValley - first from the Lab and now for all the other high tech and whenever you get some good brains together, they'll develop good programs to keep the brains active!