What's it like living in Danville California: Pros and Cons
What’s it really like living in Danville, California?
Pros and Cons
I’m going break it down into the top 5 pros, and then we're gonna take a look at the flip side and the top 5 cons of living in Danville, California. I’ll also share with you three places that you probably want to visit if you come take a look at Danville, California.
Just for perspective, I just want to share a few things about Danville. Danville has a population of about 44,000 people as of census 2020, and it covers almost 19 square miles of land space. Danville, California has been named the safest place to live in 2021. 2021 was not the first year for this award, as it has received it for a few years now. Check out the article here. In addition to the safety that it offers the residents, Danville has come to be known as one of the best places to raise a family here in the Bay Area.
Here are my top 5 Pros and Cons for living in Danville California:
- There is so much to do so close by. You can get to Napa. If you want to taste some wine in under an hour, you can get to lake Tahoe and go skiing in three hours, you can get to Carmel-by-the-sea or visit the aquarium in Monterey in under 2 hours. If you need amazing outdoor views and nature, Yosemite is only 4 hours away. If you're feeling you need a city vibe, well then to get to San Francisco, it's only 35 minutes away. If there's no traffic, if there's traffic, it's going to take a little while longer, but you can go there. You can enjoy the arts, take a stroll in Chinatown and have some of the best Chinese food that the Bay Area has to offer. Even though Danville is a small town, you've got proximity to some of the best pro sports teams around as well. You could go see a football game -San Francisco 49ers, basketball - Golden State Warriors, baseball – Giants or Hockey - San Jose Sharks.
If you want to stay local in Danville, there's also tons of things that you can do. We have one of the most amazing downtown shopping areas in the East Bay. It exudes charm and character throughout. We don't really have big box stores in Danville, it's mostly smaller, locally owned "ma and pa" shops. Danville has 14 parks, including Mount Diablo, which is just under 4,000 feet of elevation. You can hike there or bike there. You can do just about anything there. One of my, my personal favorites is the Iron Horse Trail. The Iron Horse Trail is 32 miles long and it goes from Pleasanton in the south up north to Concord on the north end. The trail stops off right in the middle of downtown Danville. The Danville Library is located downtown and is one of the most trafficed libraries in all of Costa County.
So, the flip side of all of this is that because there's so much to see and do in and around Danville, the traffic can get really "hairy". I suggest that if you're going to a ball game or anywhere else downtown, you consider taking Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). I'll put a link down below so that you can see exactly which cities BART services. We don't actually have a BART station in Danville, but we do have one up north in Walnut Creek or down south in Dublin/Pleasanton. Both of them are usually hard to find a spot to park however. So, I usually go to the Danville park-n-ride. You just put your car there and take a bus over to Walnut Creek and you catch the BART into the city or wherever it is that you want to go.
- Schools in Danville are outstanding. Let's start off with public schools, Danville has some of the best public schools in all of California. San Ramon Valley Unified School District actually has their offices in Danville. Danville is home to 2 high schools, as well as 3 middle schools and 6 elementary schools. We also have 3 private schools here in Danville, if you prefer a private education. San Ramon Valley Unified School District gets an A+ on Niche for rankings.
The flip side to that or the con is that the schools are really tough! Those kids who do well academically, absolutely thrive in San Ramon Valley Unified School District. My suggestion or hack for that is don't just look at a website and take a look at a number and decide what school you want your child to go to, dig in a little deeper. I always suggest that clients and friends go and actually talk to the school administrators, talk to the teachers and even more importantly, see if you can't talk to some of the parents. You'll have an immediate feeling about whether or not your philosophies and educational needs align with what the school has to offer.
- Hands down >> Weather. No brainer, right? Actually, we have significantly better weather than San Francisco. San Francisco tends to be a cooler and a wetter. Danville is very dry and very sunny. We get our hot season from June to October. And the hottest month that we see is in July with an average temperature of 80F. Our cool season runs from the end of November until the middle of February, when the average high is 59F. Our coldest month is January, and sometimes it gets down around 41F during the day, but the mornings can even hit freezing around 30-34F. One of the toughest things to get used to about living in Danville is the difference between the morning temperature and the afternoon temperature. We get our heat from the sun. So when you wake up, it could be 30 degrees, and by the middle of the day, it could possibly be 60/70F. We see get those large temperature swings, which is why everybody says "wear layers" so that as it gets warmer throughout the day, when the sun comes out, you can just shed a layer and be completely comfortable. We get the most amount of rain during the month of February, up to an average of about 8 days where it rains in February, and that is our wettest month.
The flip side/con to that is no secret to anyone. California does have massive droughts during the summertime. These can cause wildfires. We usually recommend is 2 things to home buyers, one is to make sure that you talk to your insurance agent about possibly getting wildfire insurance. The other thing is to make sure that when you're looking at a home, you're very familiar with the natural hazard map for the area, which should be able to tell you if you're in a high fire hazard zone or a very high fire hazard zone or no fire hazard at all.
- Activities are everywhere - you can do just about anything just about any day of the year in Danville, California. We have 3 local golf courses, 4 public tennis courts and a tremendous amount of hiking just about everywhere you look in Danville. Another activity that "Danvillians" love to do is to swim. Many homes in Danville, actually have their own private swimming pools. Some of the homes that don't have private pools, have shared pools within their developments. Another popular outdoor sport in Danville is soccer, which is the home of Mustang Soccer. Mustang soccer club has roughly 4,700 students a year coming to learn soccer from their amazingly talented crew at Mustang. Horse Riding is a popular activity too. When you get to the Eastern part of Danville, you'll find that there are quite a few stables where people board their horses, so that they can ride them on the weekends. There's a farmer's market in downtown Danville, every Saturday from 9-1 where nearby farmers come and bring their goods, whether it's flowers or fruits and vegetables, sometimes even baked goods, as well as coffee. Every once in a while, you'll see a knife sharpener show up as well. There is a ton of biking in Danville. You'll see folks riding their bikes along the streets and even at Mount Diablo. Bicyclists are everywhere and they usually travel in large groups of people. Just about anything you can do outdoors, you can do in Danville, year around. We also have six community parks with dog parks in them, batting cages, Bocci ball , sand volleyball, soccer, baseball, walking trails, and ponds.
It's hard to find a flip side or a con to that, right? But if I have to find one, I would say that people's biggest complaint is that sometimes there's a lot of bikers on the main roads. And so when you're driving, it can be scary if you're not looking around every everywhere. Most bikers follow the rules of the road and bikers and motorists have come to have mutual respect for each other.
- Lastly, home appreciation. Most people who bought their homes 10, 15 years ago have made over a million dollars on appreciation in their home. Danville residents have experienced tremendous appreciation. If I take a look at the house values in December, 2020 and compare it to the house values in Danville in December, 2021, they have risen 31.8%. That's right folks, 31.8% in 1 year.
Obviously, the flip side and con to this is quite obvious. It's really tough to get started buying a first home in Danville. And one hack for this is to be able to take a look at homes that aren't on the market yet, or maybe will never come on the market. These are called "off market" listings. You need to find a realtor that you trust and someone who's willing to stay connected to all the realtor and find off market opportunities for you. These homes will sell oftentimes before you get to see them on Zillow or Redfin or Compass.com.
If you’re planning to visit Danville, California, please consider stopping by these places to give you a feel for living in Danville California.
- Peets in downtown Danville. This is a great way to start your day, I've never been there when there hasn't been a ton of people. It is always buzzing. And it's a great way to start your day with high octane at Pete's coffee. After that hop on over to >
- Blackhawk museum, famous known for its custom car collection, but it's not just custom cars. They have a great exhibit for China. They have a Western lower exhibit, an African art exhibit, as well as an animal exhibit. It's not where locals land, but you'll get to see the amazing Blackhawk Plaza center where locals frequent. Blackhawk Museum is really pretty cool. So to finish off your day, head over to >
- the Peasant & the Pear in downtown Danville, you can get an amazing meal. They have a fabulous wine list. They also have some pretty great cocktails that they're really well known for like a Pear-tini, a pear flavored martini. So check it out The Peasant & the Pear.
So what's your favorite thing to do in Danville, California?
Hopefully, this gave you a great feel for what it's like to live in Danville, California. Please let me know if you have any questions at all.