People like to compare Manteca with Pleasanton and Livermore.
They get higher marks on their downtowns by far and rate significantly higher on every other scale that most people use.
They also rank high on another scale — the cost of housing.
Based on data gleaned by Zillow, the median price of homes that have sold recently in Manteca is $352,500. Compare that to $720,900 in Livermore and a nosebleed $1,000,700 in Pleasanton.
Given that housing is the biggest cost of a household budget — it’s between 30 and 40 percent for a typical California family — Pleasanton naturally squeezes out those on lower runs of the income scale.
It also helps explain why Pleasanton — my favorite downtown in the greater region — is loaded with dozens upon dozens of neat dining spots. Households have bigger incomes and more disposable cash. It explains why a vegetarian lunch burrito at my favorite downtown Mexican resturaunt is just over $20 while the same style of dish with the same type of sides at my favorite Mexican restaurant in Manteca is less than $10.
Granted the Zillow statics are weighed heavily on homes that have sold in recent years as it is based on closed escrows. Even so it reflects reality for people who are going to buy. Someone may have bought a home for $85,000 in 1989 but I guarantee you when they go to sell they will want — and will get — current market value.
On this side of the Altamont places that currently have a higher median housing value on the Zillow scale than Manteca is Tracy at $431,900 and Ripon at $392,300. Notable communities that are lower than Manteca include Lathrop at $339,000, Turlock at $281,700, Modesto at $243,000, and Stockton at $235,700.
Pleasanton and Livermore in terms of amenities are very livable.
The question is whether you can afford to live there.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org