Founded November 29, 1777 (as Pueblo de San Jose), San Jose is California’s first civilian settlement and the site of the first state capitol. As the hub of Silicon Valley, San Jose has become a popular destination for tourists and business travelers as it offers a wide variety of exciting cultural, recreational, educational and entertainment opportunities. San Jose is a city proud of the cultural and ethnic diversity of its population and workforce. The city sponsors numerous cultural festivals, and numerous ethnic chambers of commerce are active in the community. As the third largest city in California, the population is approximately 894,000.
There are endless things to do and places to visit in various pockets of San Jose. The Winchester Mystery House, The Tech Museum of Innovation, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, Santana Row and HP Pavilion are just some of the sites to see. The variety of food and dining experiences is also abundant. For an all-around nice place to hangout, definitely check out San Pedro Square Market (SPSM) in downtown San Jose. This public market has over 25 unique vendors selling a variety of food, coffees, beers and cocktails. The Peralta Adobe is the oldest building in San Jose and offers outdoor seating for a relaxing evening. If you’re looking for a show, you can catch a performance at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts or a comedy show at the San Jose Improv. Before heading to a fan-favorite Sharks hockey game, definitely be sure to grab dinner at Henry’s World Famous Hi-Life for some of the best ribs in the area.
Since San Jose is such a large city, there are various neighborhoods in the community that have different schools and local cultures. Areas like Willow Glen, Cambrian, Evergreen, and Almaden Valley have distinct neighborhoods that many people know, but the rest of San Jose can typically be classified as West San Jose, East San Jose, Central San Jose, and South San Jose.
- West San Jose is distinct because many of the homes in the area are zoned into the Moreland Elementary School District or the Cupertino School District, which have much higher rankings than the nearby San Jose Unified School District. Students in this area will attend high school in either the Campbell Union High School District or the Fremont Union High School District. West San Jose is nearby a large percentage of retail centers and amenities such as the Westgate Mall, El Paseo de Saratoga, and Santana Row, which is a popular local destination. Generally this area includes the 95117, 95129, and 95130 zip codes in San Jose.
- East San Jose including Berryessa and Alum Rock is located on the east side of Highway 680, and known for it’s relatively affordable housing. The Berryessa area has it’s own elementary school district with excellent test scores for the majority of schools in the district. The Alum Rock area also has it’s own school district, but the level of academic performance is not as high. With the forthcoming BART extension into this neighborhood, the economic health and vitality of this region could see a significant boost into the later part of the decade. Both areas are served by the East Side Union High School District, and this area is defined by the local Realtors as MLS Area 5 for Berryessa, and Area 4 for the Alum Rock neighborhood.
- Central San Jose includes the heart of Downtown San Jose along with the areas between 880, 87, 280, and 680. North San Jose is lumped into the Central San Jose area for housing review purposes since the majority of North San Jose is industry. The central region is primarily served by the San Jose Unified School District. Schools in the area vary in quality, and it is very important to look at local school boundaries within this region. The San Jose Unified School District is the largest district in the region and has been working on steps to increase proficiency and reduce the opportunity gap each year by modifying classroom sizes and curriculum for their students. This area is defined by the local Realtors as MLS Area 9.
- The South San Jose area is generally bounded by Highway 87 on the West, Highway 101 on the East, and extending down to the foothills. The Northern area of this region is served by the Franklin-McKinley School District, and the Southern area is served by the Oak Grove Elementary School District. Both of these districts have a wide range of school quality, and there will be distinct home price differences in neighborhoods as a result of school boundaries. This area is also served by the East Side Union High School District, and is defined by local Realtors as MLS areas 11 and 12.