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.