If you love older residential areas with classic architecture and a canopy of street trees, you’ll want to know about the Buena Vista neighborhood in San Jose.
Situated between downtown San Jose and the Valley Fair & Santana Row areas, there’s a lot going on that’s not far away.
Buena Vista neighborhood location
Where is Buena Vista? Roughly, it includes areas north of Hwy 280, south of San Carlos, east of Leigh and west of Meridian. It is considered part of Central San Jose by the local MLS.
The eastern half of the area is in the 95126 zip code, and the western section is in the 95128 zip code.
Nearby neighborhoods include Burbank, Shasta – Hanchett Park, Sunol – Midtown, and Rose Garden on the north side of 280. South of 280 lies Willow Glen and the Sherman Oaks neighborhood.
What are homes like in the Buena Vista neighborhood?
This is an older residential area that consists largely of homes between 60 and 110 years of age. There are some houses which are younger, and some fully rebuilt, but the majority of homes are older, modest (2-3 bedroom), single family houses. (The oldest homes seem to be mostly located in the northwest quarter of the neighborhood, and generally closer to San Carlos than 280.)
Older homes can exude charm, enjoy wide doors, abundant use of moldings, hardwood, and sometimes built ins. They may have partial or full basements that make wonderful storage or usable areas. They could also have special issues due to cripple walls, water intrusion into basements, old electrical or plumbing, etc. It’s imperative that you inspect any home that you want to live in, but even more so if it’s from an historic era.
Buena Vista Neighborhood Association
This historic district has has a voluntary neighborhood association, Buena Vista Neighborhood Association, or BVNA, for members, with extremely low dues, though residents who are not dues paying members may attend the monthly meetings. The BVNA website has a wealth of information on the area, including photos of “then and now,” maps (also historic and current), minutes and newsletters and much more. Please have a look to learn more about this corner of Silicon Valley with lovely old homes and tree lined streets, or check out the YouTube video below, which is also on their site:
Are there any special concerns in the Buena Vista area?
Older homes can need more TLC and money than younger homes. You may be faced with the need to replace or upgrade important and expensive components of the home, such as heating, electrical panels, plumbing and drain lines, etc.
The house could have cripple walls that need reinforcing.
Doing upgrades can be more expensive if there is lead paint or asbestos present, and that is often the case in pre-1978 built homes. Foundations may or may not be bolted, or if bolted, may be to 1950s or 1960s standards.
This area is served by the San Jose Unified School District. The local schools are not high scoring and that may be a concern for some buyers.
Detached garage on the property line?
Aside from property condition, in some cases there may be garages built right on the property line as it was allowed when they were built. If they burned down, you may not be allowed to rebuild today due to the setbacks required today.
As with all of Silicon Valley, but especially central and downtown San Jose, check the crime stats online, check the Megan’s Law database, and do any necessary research to make sure you’re comfortable with safety, security, noise levels, and any environmental issues there.
Homes for sale in Buena Vista or sold in the last 3 months
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See all Buena Vista neighborhood of San Jose, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 9/24/2023)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
Other nearby San Jose neighborhood profiles that might interest you:
Altura neighborhood (young townhomes on the Santa Clara border)
Cory neighborhood (near Valley Fair, also on the Santa Clara border)