Transitions | The Observer | Roz Rogoff | |

Local Blogs

The Observer

By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

View all posts from Roz Rogoff


Uploaded: Feb 29, 2016
I moved to San Ramon six months before my 55th birthday to take a job as a Tech Writer for a software company in Bishop Ranch. I never heard of San Ramon before I moved here. All I knew is that it was near Walnut Creek, which I had heard of.

I rented an apartment at Cedar Pointe (now called The Seasons) off of Alcosta Blvd. near the Dublin border. It was a one bedroom on the first floor. The rent was only $700 a month back then.

The apartment was convenient to my job, and Cedar Pointe accepted pets. It took about a week to move all of my stuff, including two cats, from Morro Bay to San Ramon.

There was a 55+ senior community called Sunny Glen near Cedar Pointe. I liked it and I was almost old enough to buy a house there. The prices were 15-30% less than the rest of San Ramon. My house in Morro Bay was on the market and I couldn't afford to buy another one until that one was sold. I was also six months too young.

When I turned 55 in October of 1997 I started looking at homes for sale in Sunny Glen. I was seriously considering a 3 bedroom on Tangerine Street. It was rather pricy at $195K, but it was 1100 sq. ft. which was one of the larger designs. Most were two bedrooms around 900 sq. ft.

I was also looking in Castro Valley and had a broker there. She had a listing of a small house in San Ramon on Mangos Drive. It was a little over 900 sq. ft. for $196K. It seemed way too small for me.

The house next door came up for sale shortly after the small one sold. This one was a little over 1000 sq. ft., but had a better floor plan. The broker said it was a very good opportunity and I should take it.

I don't remember the price on it, but I stood in the driveway and pointed to the one across the street and said, "I'd rather have that one because it has a view." These little houses in south San Ramon were selling right and left because the real estate values were going up at that time. So sure enough the one across the street, which had no rear neighbors and a panoramic view of the hills at sunset, came up for sale a month or two later.

The owner, who was using it as a rental, was asking $230,000. I couldn't see it being worth that much, but my house in Morro Bay had just sold and I had $80K for a down payment. I offered $228K. There were four bids on the house; mine was accepted because of my large down payment.

I kept my apartment at Cedar Pointe for a few months after close of escrow to make some renovations to my new 25 year old house. I had it painted inside and out, new appliances put into the kitchen, new fixtures in the main bathroom, replaced the wall furnaces with central heat and air conditioning, insulated the attic, and replaced the old aluminum windows with dual pane vinyl windows. Then I was ready to move in.

That was almost 18 years ago and the house could use another face lift. Even though this house is small, I don't need this much space.

I took a tour of Villa San Ramon last week, and I'm considering selling my house now and moving to an apartment there. Villa San Ramon is age restricted to 65 and up and includes breakfast and lunch in a restaurant-style dining room with semi-monthly cleaning and laundry service.

When I attended Carnegie Tech in 1960 I lived in a dormitory. Villa San Ramon is like a dormitory for seniors. Instead of transitioning from my parents' home into a new world of college students, I would be transitioning from my house into a new world of old timers. That might be exactly what I need right now.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 29, 2016 at 8:36 am

It's actually a STEP-UP! hanging out with SENIORS! HOORAY!

I completely enjoy being in the company of other seniors. Hopefully, you will make new friends, hang out with new buds, and enjoy your new digs. One thing about seniors, most will not beat around the bush re: their opinions about much of anything. You can get away with more and have fun to!

Good Luck on the sale of your home. Consider bringing the kitchen and bathroom up to date. It matters and buyers will pay more. Consider your yard and new plants that don't need tons of water.


Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Feb 29, 2016 at 9:31 am

Your title, " Transitions", applies not only to your potential move, but also to life in general, and the wisdom and joy that comes with age and experience. Although I enjoyed growing up in the Midwest, and nothing was better than a " snow day" when school was closed and we spent the day sledding and having snow adventures, the few times I have been back since have convinced me that the Midwest winters are only for the young to enjoy.( and why 3,000 sq foot homes are still worth less than $300,000)

I agree with " Cholo" that transitioning to a senior community can be an exciting and pleasant experience, filled with joy, and not simply a place to " wait for God". I worked in a retirement home during the summer before law school almost 30 years ago, and was surprised at how friendly and happy most of the residents were, and excited to greet each day. I think transitioning to an independent senior community first, and years later moving into more of a retirement home setting, helps make the change less stressful and traumatic, and creates opportunity to make new friends and stay physically and mentally busy. I think you are making the right decision, and am rooting for you.

Posted by rosalindr, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 29, 2016 at 2:10 pm

rosalindr is a registered user.


Most of the younger seniors, in our 60's and 70's are very active. The older seniors in their 80's and 90's and up (like my mother) need a lot more care. That's why these places are usually designed with "Life Stages," to move from Independent Living to Dependent Living, and at my mothers place, Nursing Care. I'm hoping I wouldn't need Nursing Care for many, many years. I will probably move to my mother's place in a few years anyway.

They are adding a new Activity building with heated enclosed walkways between the buildings, so residents never have to go outside to get from one building to another. The only time I might have to go outside in bad weather is to take the shuttle into Portland or Scarborough, and the driver makes that access as short and quick as possible.



Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 29, 2016 at 2:17 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

My beloved Aunt lives in Somerset senior community out in Brentwood and she loves it. She's 82, extremely active, and is the VP of the community social group.

I could only hope I have some of her longevity genes in me.

Brentwood is a lovely little town and is quite lively. Would consider a move there for retirement because I'd be closer to the delta.

Roz, perhaps you might like that area?

Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville,
on Feb 29, 2016 at 2:26 pm


Good for you! Being active and social will help you to have the quality of life so many miss out on in their later years. These should be good times and you are in charge of these transitions so enjoy them on your terms.

All the best,


Posted by rosalindr, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 1, 2016 at 5:33 pm

rosalindr is a registered user.


I looked up Summerset in Brentwood and it's like Sunny Glen or Sun City, mainly small houses for purchase. They have independent living style apartments too, but I'd rather stay in this area.


Posted by beach bum, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 2, 2016 at 7:53 pm

All the best to you Roz in whatever decision you make for the coming years. I don't always agree with you but I do enjoy your columns! Cheers.


Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Community foundations want to help local journalism survive
By Tim Hunt | 20 comments | 1,676 views

I Do I Don't: How to build a better marriage Ch. 1, page 1
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,314 views

Pop open the beer at the holiday table
By Deborah Grossman | 3 comments | 825 views