This mid-sized city enjoys metropolitan amenities alongside rural beauty with a small-town feel. A gem in the foothills, Pleasanton boasts excellent schools and an active community, but at more affordable home prices than comparable nearby communities. Part of the Alameda County, Pleasanton borders the cities of Dublin, Livermore, and Hayward, as well as a large portion of unincorporated county land. Within Amador Valley and surrounded by the foothills of the Diablo Range and the Pleasanton Ridge, this inland community enjoys excellent sub-tropical weather with an average high around 89F in summer and an average low around 37F in winter, more extreme than areas on the water.
It has been ranked one of the top places to live by USA Today and Forbes. Here we’ll have a look at Pleasanton homeownership and what living in this charming city is like.
For a slightly longer commute Pleasanton home buyers get more for their money than in similar areas. For around $1m here, you will currently be able to get a home with 3-4 beds, 2-4 baths, between 1,400 – 2,400 sqft (avg 1,800 sqft) on a lot between 1,600 – 10,000 sqft (avg 5,900 sqft). Most of these homes will be between 20 – 60 years old, but some in this range are brand new construction. Homes in this price range typically sell between $480/sqft – $700/sqft with an average of $563/sqft. Buyers looking for an inexpensive starter home will find a regular market for single family homes between $700,000 – $900,000 here. On the other hand, if you’re looking for large lots and large homes, you can get more for your money in this market with 6-7 bed homes on 7,500 – 59,000 sqft lots selling from $1.45 – $4.3 million (averaging around $2.7 million). The average price per square foot over the last half year is $572/sqft with a median of $561.3/sqft. Let’s compare that to another market. Over the last quarter, Pleasanton home sales averaged at $579.49/sqft while Fremont sales averaged at $697.17/sqft. That’s 120% higher cost per square foot in Fremont!
Of course the market is constantly in flux, so below are some live charts by Altos Research graphing the median price by quartile for Pleasanton with live weekly updates.
Of course, like any market there are micro-markets, so we’ll look at these quartiles again but by each zip code independently, beginning here with 94566. This is the market with the biggest price range.
Travel and Industry
Public transit includes BART, ACE (Altamont Corridor Express) trains, and the Tri-Valley WHEELS buses, giving access to the entire Bay Area. Major roadways include I-680 which runs through Pleasanton, with I-580 at the north border, and a portion of the city butting highway 84 to the southeast. These roadways provide a high level of accessibility, but the hills bottle neck just south of Pleasanton at the infamous Mission Pass, aka Sunol Grade, which can have terrible traffic around rush hour.
While many residents commute, there is plenty of industry within the city of Pleasanton. Home to the headquarters of brands like Safeway, Workday, Ellie Mae and other major employers such as Kaiser Permanente and Oracle, the city has a strong and stable economy. It has ranked as one of the wealthiest cities on lists by NerdWallet and by the United States Census Bureau.
The Pleasanton Unified School District has a reputation for excellent public education. In 2020, Niche voted the Pleasanton Unified School District #5 in the best school districts of the San Francisco Bay Area. Niche also ranked Amador Valley High School #8 (student-teacher ratio 24:1) and Foothill High School as #11 (student-teacher ratio 25:1) of the best public high schools of the Bay Area. Schools maintain small teacher-student ratios with high schools roughly 25 students per teacher. Another great resource, GreatSchools.org, also shows very high ratings for Pleasanton public schools with these high schools ranking 9/10 and 10/10.
So Much to Do!
The historic downtown area is a hub of activity. Some buildings hearken back to the gold rush days when this area truly was the wild west. Today, downtown is mostly home to restaurants and boutiques, with special events like the weekly farmers market, the biannual Antiques & Collectibles Faire, wine strolls, beer crawls, and a holiday parade. Nearby Firehouse Arts Center, opened 2010, hosts art and performance art and is home to the annual Ignite! festival of art and innovation combining music, art, and science. Just north of the downtown is Amador Valley Community Park, which holds 3 months of weekly free Concerts in the Park during summer, as well as summer Movies in the Park, and the annual Shakespeare Festival by SFShakes. It’s an active community whether you’re looking for family fun or a night out.
Downtown boutiques aren’t the only place to shop in Pleasanton. A number of shopping centers around town are an easy distance for every neighborhood. Grocery options range from big box stores to fresh produce specialists and international markets. For avid shoppers and the budget-conscious, it also boarders the San Francisco Premium Outlets to the northeast.
The Great Outdoors
Pleasanton is a great place for outdoors activity! To the east, beautiful rolling hills are heavily parkland including the expansive Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, as well as Augustin Bernal Park, and acres of open space preserve. Neighborhoods enjoy 44 community parks and miles of trails. Unique park amenities provide ample entertainment, like Val Vista Park which features a skatepark, climbing wall, playgrounds, baseball and soccer fields, community garden, and even a roller hockey rink! The Alviso Adobe Community Park has a focus on local history and education, with interactive demonstration areas, free and paid tours and special events programs, and scenic hikes with valley views. Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area between Pleasanton and Livermore is a popular spot in summer for its water features: a sandy beach lake with swimming, boating, and fishing. So whether you’re interested in taking in trails on horseback, flying down a 50 foot slide, or BMX biking, you can enjoy it at Pleasanton public parks.
Golfers don’t have to leave the city to find plenty of options for clubs with a variety of courses. The Castlewood Country Club near Augustin Bernal Park was once home to George and Phoebe Apperson Hearst, and the mansion acted as the original clubhouse until it was victim to a fire in 1969. One interesting court is within another Pleasanton landmark: the Alameda County Fairgrounds which hold the annual county fair. The fairgrounds include an amphitheater, the oldest horse racetrack in the USA, and the Pleasanton Golf Center’s 9-hole course which sits in the middle of the racetrack! In addition to golf, there are plenty of community sports, including youth and adult swim teams, basketball, volleyball, and softball leagues.
Additionally, Pleasanton is a modern city. It continues to install new charging stations and solar throughout. Residents can use mobile apps like the Mobile Citizen app to report city maintenance issues or request services, or STQRY to find and explore public artworks. The city has a Climate Action Plan and provides resources to residents to develop a more sustainable community. And there are opportunities for new construction for homeowners and businesses.