Pleasanton Val Vista and Valley Trails - Water Treatment Plant Around Town, posted by Brian, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2008 at 10:18 am
We are looking for a home in Pleasanton and thought we had found the perfect and affordable neighborhoods for us, which are Val Vista and Valley Trails.
We knew there were some foundation problems in both of these neighborhoods with Valley Trail foundations more commonly having issues, so we are told. However, we just found out there is the Water Treatment plant just north of these neighborhoods.
We would like to hear from anyone who lives or has lived in these neighborhoods. How bad was the smell, how often, and did/does it affect your home resale value?
What is the general perception in Pleasanton regarding these neighborhoods? Do you equate them to a Milpitas? We understand these are the "entry level" neighborhoods for Pleasanton.
Posted by Anne, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2008 at 12:22 pm
A couple of years ago, the smell got really, really bad and you could smell it when you were shopping at the Home Depot on Johnson Dr. and surrounding areas. I'm not kidding, I had to cover my nose in the parking lot it was so bad. Of course, you'll hear "it wasn't that bad" from other homeowners in the area, who are also concerned about their home values going down with that disclosure. But honestly, you could not sit in your yard and enjoy a bbq with that stink! I would never buy a home over there, just to have a P-town address. I'd rather move to Dublin or Livermore!!
Posted by Brian, a resident of another community, on Apr 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm
Anne, thanks for your reply. I imagine you no longer shop at that Home Depot?
I read somewhere that an engineer had redesigned the way the waste was being treated. I wonder what this has done and how bad it still is.
It is amazing to me that it would be that bad and still have home values remain steady for many years. It also amazes me where the plant is period. Also the Val Vista and Valley Trail homes are sound of the plant. Doesn't the air typically blow west to east with an occassional southwestern track?
Hope to hear from the many other residents in Pleasanton.
Posted by Gatetree Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm
I used to live in Valley Trails on Mammoth Cave Court. I can count on one hand the number of times I smelled anything from the treatment plant during the 6.5 years I lived there. Most of the "stench" involves those homes immediately adjacent to or North/Northwest of the plant.
Valley Trails or Val Vista will NEVER appreciate at the rate of most other neighborhoods in P-town due to their "stigma" for foundation problems. The flip side of it is this -- You get the best dollar per-square foot value when buying in those two subdivisions.
Did it impact our resale? No -- because we took the step to have a foundation inspection done when we bought the home and had it re-inspected prior to sale. I created a little binder about my home with straightforward disclosure of everything I knew about it. A potential buyer could see the home had has NO movement in the 6 years we lived there by comparing liquid level measurements.
Bottom line, I ended up with a bidding war on my home. Course, the market has changed significantly since that time. I've been gone from Valley Trails for 10 years now.
However, you will always get the "turn your nose up response" of "Oh, you live in Valley Trails" from everyone else in town. If only they knew what a great little neighborhood it is for starter homes.
Posted by Gatetree Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2008 at 12:19 pm
One more thought -- Valley Trails has a greater reputation for settlement issues primarily because the homes built there then to show it more when they are "split" or "Tri-Level" homes.
Val Vista has as many problems, its just not as evident when you drive by one ranch-style home after another. IMHO, Val Vista is a boring neighborhood. Ditto Jensen Tract. A bunch of single story homes -- one after another after another, with the only real variety being those who chose to add on and go up.
Posted by aaron, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2008 at 1:36 pm
valley trails, foundation problems are there, when we 1st moved to pleasanton we had moved to cumberland gap ct, in the trails. our spa was sinking in and decided to sell and move to muirwood. In val vista, you only notice it on those hot summer days. the junction helps with the smell, but on 100+ degree days it can be bad. There are a few REO bank owned properties in pleasanton, which might help with the affordability. livermore has tons, and a few in dublin. but val vista's smell can be tough some summers. the valley trails has extra insurance needed. if interested i could send you a listing for pleasanton that are REO's. better value than your general purchase.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm
I love that photo because most of the gravel pits are not there yet. Where the photo is marked "flood waters" is the general location of the old seasonal Tulare Lake, covering a much larger area that Valley Trails. The canal system in Pleasanton has largely made the flooding problem (and the lake) go away. My understanding is that because of some design flaw of the canals near Valley Trails, water could back up and flood the area.
The foundation problems in Valley Trails are supposedly due to poor grading by the developer.
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2008 at 11:41 pm
Anyone know where I could obtain an "overlay" of the various neighborhoods in Pleasanton. I've lived here for over 25 years and still can't remember the location of some of the neighborhoods. Any info would be appreciated.
Posted by Brian, a resident of another community, on Apr 22, 2008 at 8:10 am
Wow, thanks for all the great feedback! We have decided to stay away from Val Vista and Valley trails. From the Sewage plant, to foundation, flood zones and now a the new BART station we don't think these are the best 5 to 10 year home investments.
We are also weary of the neighborhoods in the North East becuase this would require a 580 to 680 commute to Santa Clara.
I did quite a bit of research over the weekend, but not historical. More what each neighborhood is like now.
Pleasanton is not unaffordable for us, however we relocated from the east coast 2 years ago and it took about a year for the sticker shock to go away. It took us a little while to figure out WHY Val Vista and Valley Trails were lower priced, but we understand now.
I think many spill over neighborhoods including some in Pleasanton are in for a very rough ride this year. We will watch patiently through this busy season and we are certain there will be many left overs to choose from at market correct prices.
Posted by Gatetree Resident, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Apr 22, 2008 at 9:34 am
Brian -- I know if a home in Pleasanton Valley you could buy directly from the homeowner if you are interested. This would avoid Realtor commissions, thereby reducing the asking price for the house right off the bat.
If you are interested, write me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Angie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2008 at 11:13 am
Hello, your responses have been so helpful. I was also considering buying a property in the Val Vista/ Valley Trail neighborhood but have changed my mind after doing further research. I am not too familiar with Pleasanton so I was wondering if anyone could let me know of some affordable yet nice Pleasanton neighborhoods? Thank you.
Posted by mary, a resident of the Civic Square neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm
How grateful I would be just to own a home...no matter where.....just a little spot to call my own, no matter how big or small, no matter a smell or not, no matter the "entry level" neighborhood, just a little place I knew was mine...How grateful I would be.....
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2008 at 12:12 pm
Until you have to pay tons of money to fix foundation problems that aren't even guaranteed to stay permanent. It would somewhat be like purchasing a lemon. No, you'd really want the best value for your money (or the bank's money), no matter the size or smell or location.
Posted by Gatetree Resident, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Apr 22, 2008 at 12:46 pm
Stacey - I know of one foundation correction firm that will guarantee their work. For something so expensive, why would anyone enter into work like that without a guarantee? IMHO, I'd rather have to disclose foundation work than listen to the never ending sound of 680 in my backyard if I lived on Amberwood Circle, Linwood Court, Joshua Circle, Elmwood Circle, Lemonwood Way, blah, blah, blah.
Foundations can be corrected. Freeway noise only increases.
Posted by aaron, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2008 at 5:10 pm
there are many houses in the area, that are below the market right now. great time to buy. if not pleasanton, look into dublin, livermore, san ramon. if you need any help locating these my email is email@example.com, and would be happy to assist.
Posted by On a positive note, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Jun 30, 2008 at 11:21 pm
Val Vista is a wonderful community with approximately 1050 homes. 90% of the homes are owner occupied. In the center of Val Vista is a wonderful sports park and Donlon Elementary school. The neighborhood is centrally located and many homes have views or the Pleasanton Ridge.
Yes, its true we do have expansive soils in Val Vista but those same soils are found throughout the Tri Valley and in many other neighborhoods in Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon and Danville.
Val Vista homes are now 40 years old and any settlement issues happened years ago. There are very tell-tale signs if a home has settled and it's not something that can be hidden. For the most part many of the homes do not have issues if attention has been paid to drainage and landscaping throughout the years.
In addition, when the business park was built drainage canals were put in place along 680 highway and Stoneridge thus removing most of the development from being located in a flood zone.
Years, ago the sanitation plant was an issue but now it is carefully monitored and when there is an odor it is a slight sulfur or egg type odor. It has never affected our BBQ's or outdoor parties.
Val Vista continues to be a wonderful place to live and I would encourage anyone who is looking for a home to have all the proper inspections and to look to the professionals and not to a few individuals who have never in in Val Vista before.
Posted by Greg, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 10:30 am
First of all, the first comment by Anne is really surprising I have lived in Val Vista (my house is close to Lucky's) for almost 6 years and have NEVER SMELLED ANYTHING from the sewage plant, in fact I didn't even know it was there till a few years ago when I noticed it from the Stoneridge exit. I have also been to Home Depot and have never smelled anything, in fact to be totally honest I have not once smelled any odor from that plant. I think Anne is just being a snob or should get her nose checked by a doctor.
As far as the foundation problems go, some houses do have problems. Usually they seem to be on the end of a cul de sac or the first house on the block, however only some blocks seem to have the problem and you can easily notice it, I would say its not common. I have heard it is much more common in Valley Trails.
I think a large reason for this is because the owners did not drain their water away from their houses, and perhaps let the water build up underneath and around the house. Most owners know that the soil in this area is clay and that it's expansive so most home owners installed drainage pipes or have some pipe extensions from the gutter spouts and have the water flow out to the curbs. This seems to alleviate any problems.
Bottom line most homes here have been remodeled, are nice, the yards are kept up or landscaped, in fact it's a vey nice area. Its heads and tails nicer than most parts of Dublin or Livermore and the schools are rated much higher than these areas. And there is no sewer smell, don't listen to snobs like Anne, I really don't know what her problem is.
I guess you just have to make sure if you buy a home here that the owner was smart enough to drain the rain gutters out to the street or at least away from the house foundation. And get a decent home inspector to check for any problems. I would guess that most of the houses would pass any inspection and that only a few would fail.
Posted by dscottd, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2009 at 5:27 pm
6356 Alvord Way: A vacant home for sale, I was looking at the house with my Realtor, the floor is noticeably uneven, must be related to the foundation problems in this neighborhood. I have no problem buying and living with the issue as long as it has stopped moving.
What have other people experienced? Have the house-settling issues long stopped or are they still moving?
Posted by KimJ, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2009 at 11:12 am
Regarding 6356 Alvord Way. I am the former owner. The foundation was inspected and new footing placed/replaced when we lowered the floor in the kitchen (November 05). If you have questions about the home, please feel free to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by dscottd, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Sep 24, 2009 at 11:17 am
...well I ended up contacting for former owner (VERY nice person) and bought the house. Have been in it since May and it's great and the former owner did a lot of work and had a lot of work done on it, it's like being in a new house. I need to do some drainage related work though, it shows evidence of the soil under the house as being 'soupy' in the past. Dry as a bone in the summer of course.
Re: The sewage plant odor... I did not detect anything until recently and the pattern I see is on hot summer nights something happens around 11pm and it is gone within 10 or 15 minutes. I want to find out if there are public announcements or some public policy related that, as an owner in the neighborhood I can be informed of this issue (if it's really happening). It can be so faint that it might just be my imagination, not sure yet.
Posted by Mike Kuizon, a resident of the Foothill Place neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm
Hi, our family would like to purchase a home in Pleasanton. We love the feel of the community and we think it would be a great place to raise our kids who are now 2 and 10 months. Unfortunately, many foreign cash (mainly investors) has ruined for many of us. I have lived in the Bay Area for 37 years and this is the worst I've seen it as a buyer. We expanded our search to Dublin and San Ramon, but our heart is set on Pleasanton. Any advice of getting a home in this wonderful town?