Cambrian Park: Good Schools, Low Crime, Close to Los Gatos and Campbell
Cambrian Park, or more broadly, Cambrian, is a west San Jose neighborhood or district and is one of the more affordable, high-value areas in Silicon Valley. The schools are good, the crime is low, and the commute is not too bad. For people relocating to Santa Clara County, this is a place to know about since quality education and affordability are often high priorities!
What’s the compromise for the more reasonable prices of homes for sale? Well, Cambrian doesn’t have an interesting, upscale downtown area like Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, or Willow Glen.
But it does have tons of shopping & restaurants and even a Farmer’s Market. It also enjoys a top notch hospital (Good Samaritan) and plenty of parks as well as a fantastic rec center with a large park adjacent to it, the Camden Community Center, which has tons of programs (including an after school program for youth), classes, and a fabulous pool. (My family and I lived in Cambrian in the “Cambrian Gardens” neighborhood for 10 years and loved it – our kids made great use of the community center too.)
Altogether, there are about 75,000 to 80,000 residents in Cambrian, spread throughout the three zip codes of 95124, 95118 and a little tiny bit of 95008.
If there is a “central Cambrian Park”, it would have to be near the original Cambrian Park Shopping Center, which was the first actual mall in San Jose! That area is sometimes known as Cambrian Village. People sometimes use the three names interchangeably: Cambrian, Cambrian Park, Cambrian Village.:
Where is Cambrian Park? Map of approximate Cambrian Boundaries:
View Cambrian Area of San Jose in a larger map
Cambrian Park is a west side suburban area, part of the city of San Jose for the most part (there are a few county pockets, a bit now covered by Campbell, though), which is located adjacent to Campbell, Los Gatos, Almaden Valley, Blossom Valley and Willow Glen.
The Cambrian Park boundaries are, approximately, Foxworthy Avenue, Bascom Avenue, Carlton Avenue, Blossom Hill Road (except for a jut up in the Vista Loop area), Camden Avenue, the Guadalupe Creek (between Coleman Ave and Blossom Hill Rd.) and Almaden Expressway. There are many many zigs and zags, especially with the Los Gatos border, but I sketched out the approximate boundaries so that readers could get a rough idea of the area we call Cambrian Park – see the map above.
What are the schools in Cambrian?
Cambrian is served by 3 elementary school districts: The Union School District (in the area closest to Los Gatos), the Cambrian School District (the part to the north, closer to Campbell) and San Jose Unified School District (covering most of the 95118 section). High Schools are served by Campbell Union High School District if the homes are in the Union or Cambrian schools area, or San Jose Unified in the rest of Cambrian. (Some school districts are elementary and middle only, with a separate high school district. Others are “unified”, covering K – 12.)
The newest API scores for Santa Clara County’s public schools have been released as of Nov 29, 2011. If you are unfamiliar with how API scores work, it’s on a scale of 1 to 1000. The target number for the county is 800, so anything higher is considered good. Getting close to or over 900 is rare and is the mark of an exceptionally excellent school.
Cambrian came out even stronger than in years past, particularly in the Union School District, where 5 out of 6 elementary schools were in the 900s and the other 1 school was at 878.
The middle schools in the Union area of Cambrian Park also scored high in 2010, with Dartmouth at 900 and Union Middle at 881. For some reason there are NO scores for 2011.
In the Cambrian School District there are 4 grammar schools, 3 of which slipped from the previous year and 1 of which went up. Bagby was at 905 this time and the rest were in the 8s. Price Charter Middle School held steady at 864.
The high schools in this region (the Campbell Union HSD) all went up from the previous year, but only one of them, Leigh, is over 800 (Leigh has a strong 822 API).
Maps for the school district boundaries and school of attendance in Cambrian:
Map of the Union School District (loads slowly, please allow more time than seems reasonable):
Map of the Cambrian School District of its boundaries (zoom in for better view), showing school of attendance maps also (they include the Farnaham charter School):
The Cambrian elementary schools covered by the San Jose Unified School District are:
Almaden Elementary (782 API), Hacienda Science/Environmental Magnet Elementary (872) , and Reed Elementary (844). The middle schools in Cambrian or covering Cambrian for the SJUSD are Castillero (795, slipped a little from the previous year – this school is in Almaden Valley) and John Muir (782). The map of this district is not very helpful – cannot seem to zoom in:
The History of Cambrian, via the Cambrian Community Council
A friend & past client of mine (who purchased a home with me in Cambrian) very kindly told me about a wonderful article on the history of the Cambrian area which can be found on the Cambrian Community Council website.
Cambrian Area: It was always about the schools!
As with many parts of California, interestingly, the name itself goes back to the naming of a school (Cambria being another name for Wales). This happened in the mid to late 1800s. The details of the founding of the Union School District and the Cambrian School District are shared there, too. It’s funny to think that more than a century later, the high quality schools in this San Jose neighborhood are still of prime importance and a main driver in home values.
Where was Cambrian originally?
The article further explains that the Cambrian area was an enormous stretch of land, and that Cambrian Park is within that general area (as is “Cambrian Village”, found at the crossroads of Union and Camden Avenues in San Jose). The boundaries got defined differently at various points in time, and at times has included part of Los Gatos. (I read elsewhere that Cambrian was said to extend as far as Dry Creek Road at one point.) Some areas that were originally Cambrian are now part of Willow Glen or part of Campbell. Our local Realtor MLS defines the area as going roughly from about Foxworthy to the north to Blossom Hill in the south, Almaden Expressway to the east and Bascom Avenue to the west. (It touches Los Gatos, Almaden Valley, Willow Glen, and Campbell.)
If you live in this wonderful part of Silicon Valley, I encourage you to visit the CCC website and enjoy their colorful article, History of the Cambrian Area.
Cambrian Park Neighborhoods
Because I sell a fair amount in Cambrian and lived there, I am very partial to this area and have begun doing posts which are Cambrian neighborhood spotlight pieces. I hope you will enjoy them. More posts are to come but here are a few to get you started:
How’s the Cambrian Park Real Estate Market?
You can read about the Cambrian real estate market (as well as other Silicon Valley real estate markets in Santa Clara County) on my REReport, which is updated in the first week or so of each month.
What is my Cambrian home worth?
If you live in Cambrian now and are wondering about the market value of your home today, there are two approaches you can take. You can request from me an online valuation (which will be approximate only as it’s “sight unseen”) at either of two places:
Price Your Home request on popehandy.com or at SiliconValleyHomeValue.com
Both of these come to me and I run the numbers personally for home owners who request them (sorry, this offer is not for home buyers). I can usually turn the info around within a day, but sometimes it takes a couple of days if I happen to be travelling or otherwise overly busy. If you make a request and for some reason don’t hear back from me within a couple of hours to acknowledge your request, please email or phone me! Once in awhile, technology doesn’t come through and I don’t get an email alert when I should.
Alternatively, if you do not wish to share your contact info with me at this time, you can also simply browse the sold real estate listings in Cambrian on my Property Analysis page of the RE Report. Just input an address (it’s not saved, I won’t see it) anywhere in Santa Clara County, and you’ll be able to view nearby sold, pending and available homes for sale close to your property.
What do houses cost in Cambrian?
If you’d like to buy a Cambrian home, you can browse the MLS listings of Cambrian Homes for Sale on this blogsite. I have them listed by zip code on separate posts for houses, and below this section are the currently available condo and townhome properties which are on our MLS.
What do townhouses and condos cost in Cambrian?
Below, please browse MLS listings of Cambrian condos for sale and Cambrian townhouses for sale in 95124 and 95118:
[idx-listings zip=”95124″ propertytypes=”328,329″ orderby=”DateAdded” orderdir=”DESC”]
[idx-listings zip=”95118″ propertytypes=”328,329″ orderby=”DateAdded” orderdir=”DESC”]
Tags: 95008, 95118, 95124, Cambrian, Cambrian Gardens, Cambrian history, Cambrian homes for sale, Cambrian Park (SJ), Cambrian real estate, Cambrian Village, good schools, homes for sale, Neighborhoods, ranch homes, Real estate, Relocation, san jose, san jose homes for sale, San Jose real estate, Santa Clara County, Schools, silicon valley