Associated with Silicon Valley, Fremont is located 25 minutes northwest of San Jose, on the southeast side of San Francisco Bay. San Francisco is 55 minutes northwest, across SR92, the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge. Whether you’re moving to Fremont for a high-tech job in nearby Silicon Valley, or for its proximity to San Francisco or San Jose, Fremont provides all of the luxuries and amenities you and your family could want. Known for being the site of many silent films (including those with famous actor Charlie Chaplin) and influencing the development of Hollywood’s film industry, today, Fremont is a charming, family-friendly town with sophisticated culture and high-end taste.
The diverse and highly educated Fremont demographic is made up of more than half Asian ancestry. Approximately 51% of residents are Asian, 33% are White, and 15% are Latino. Fremont has the largest concentration of Afghan people in the country.
From the beautiful natural landscape and weather to the gorgeous hilltop homes, posh restaurants, and bustling downtown district with art galleries, festivals, special events, it doesn’t take much to persuade anyone to move here, if you can afford it.
Living in Fremont, CA: What to Know Before Moving to Fremont
The picturesque city of Fremont, in Alameda County, is about an hour southeast of San Francisco and closely associated with Silicon Valley. Home to an estimated 234,962 people, Fremont’s natural and cultural amenities make it an ideal place to live, whether you’re married with a family, or you’re a rising single professional.
Pros and Cons of Living in Fremont
- Outdoor and cultural activities — Fremont’s geography and nearly perfect weather set the stage for frequent events and festivals, and lots of outdoor activities.
- Proximity to San Francisco, San Jose, and Silicon Valley — Big names cities are conveniently close.
- Weather & Climate — With a bestplaces.net comfort index rating of 8.8 of 10, Fremont is one of California’s most comfortable cities in which to live.
- Diverse Culture — Diverse ethnicities bring diverse cuisine. Dim sum, kebabs, falafel, and tacos – Fremont has almost any cuisine you’d want.
- The high cost of living index — Like all of California, the cost of living index here is higher than in other parts of the country. The US average is 100; the Fremont cost of living index is 227.3.
- Expensive housing market — Housing prices are almost quadruple the US average.
- Long commutes —In Fremont, the average one-way commute time is 33.6 minutes.
- Heavy population density — Fremont has seen a population increase of 10.4% over the last ten years, and today, the population density is 2,982 people per square mile.
- Property Tax: The Alameda County property tax rate is 0.79%, which is a bit higher than the Los Angeles County rate of 0.75%. If you own a home in Fremont valued at $700,000, you can expect to pay about $5,495 annually in property tax.
- Sales Tax: The combined state, county, and city sales tax rate for Fremont is 9.25%. The CA state sales tax is 6%, the Alameda County sales tax is 0.25%, and while the city of Fremont assesses no tax, the government does collect a special tax of 3%. The US average sales tax is 7.25%, so Fremont’s sales tax rate is high.
- State Income Tax: The average California state income tax rate is 9.3%, almost double the US average rate of 4.6%. If your household income is $120,000, just under the average for Fremont, you can expect to pay about $8,004 in state income tax, according to smartasset.com.
The majority of Fremont residents are homeowners; only 35% of residents rent their homes. As of December 2019, zillow.com reports the median home value in Fremont is $1,065,700, and the median price of homes currently on the market is $980,499. Home values decreased 0.6% over the past year. The median monthly rent is $3,250.
Your dollar will go a little further in some more affordable Fremont neighborhoods like Blacow, Central District, Cherry-Guardino, and Parkmont.
Cost of Living
Bestplaces.net uses a cost of living index to evaluate housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare costs. The national average index score for any of these categories is 100. In Fremont, CA, the overall cost of living index score is 227.3, over twice as high as the US average of 100, and also much higher than the index score of 149.9 for the state of California. Some of the higher individual expenses that account for this higher score include housing, with a score of more than quadruple the average at 486.1 and transportation with a score of 124.5.
According to the EPI Family Budget Calculator, a family of four would need to earn at least $123,310 per year to live comfortably in the Fremont Oakland, CA metro area.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Rated as one of the most comfortable California cities to live in, Fremont has beautiful year-round weather. According to city-data.com, Fremont only experiences two seasonal fluctuations: long, dry summers, and mild or cooler rainy winters.
According to US Climate Data, the two warmest months are July and August, with average high temperatures of 78 and 79, respectively, and an average low temperature of 57 degrees for each. December and January are neck-in-neck for the two coldest months, with an average high of 58 and an average low of 42 for both months. Fremont sees about 17 inches of rain each year, with February seeing the most. But residents never see snow. The San Francisco Bay mediates temperatures and helps keep the climate mild.
Fremont is vulnerable to four natural disaster threats: earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, and mudslides. According to an ABC news article published in October 2019, experts predict a 67% chance of a 6.7 magnitude earthquake or larger in the Greater Bay Area within the next 30 years. For this reason, many residents are encouraged to take out a separate earthquake insurance policy. While the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services declares that Fremont is outside of a designated fire-concern zone, and is in and near only a low hazard of flooding, residents are still encouraged to prepare for a natural disaster. New residents can learn more about natural disaster preparation by visiting the Cal OES MyHazards online tool.
Economy & Job Market
A higher-than-average income per capita and projected future job growth, coupled with a lower-than-average unemployment rate, indicates a strong economy for Fremont. The income per capita is $40,815, with an unemployment rate of only 2.6%. The US average income per capita is $28,555 and the average unemployment rate is 3.9%. Fremont has seen a 1.4% job growth increase just over the last year, and experts project an additional 37% increase over the next ten years.
The major industries include technology, architecture and engineering, research sciences, healthcare, and management, with many of these industries centered in Silicon Valley. The top employers with 250 to 1,000+ employees include Tesla, Lam Research Corporation, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Seagate, Synnex, and Western Digital.
New Fremont residents who work in any of those industries shouldn’t have any trouble finding a job, though you may face some serious competition for these high-paying positions. If you’re aiming to get in with one of the major employers, try to rely on direct professional referrals or by working with the appropriate recruiters. Otherwise, new residents will be able to connect with hiring managers through local career fairs, online job-matching websites, like LinkedIn.com or Indeed.com, and local networking events.
Traffic & Transportation
With a walkscore.com public transit score of 36, Fremont is a car-dependent city. But if you’re planning to rely on public transportation, you’ll have a few solid choices. The City of Fremont’s website provides a complete list of your transportation options, and they primarily include the train and subway system through BART – Bay Area Rapid Transit. BART operates 44 stations throughout the Bay Area and 609 railway vehicles. The Altamont Commuter Express is another train line with ten stations in and around the Fremont area, and the Alameda-Contra Costa Transportation District provides bus service. The Fremont bike score of 49 is a bit higher than its transit score, so getting around on a bicycle is an option. Fremont’s walk score is 44, with the most walkable neighborhoods including Irvington, Centerville, and Sundale.
The major Fremont thoroughfares include I-880/Nimitz Fwy, which runs north-south on the west side of town, and I-680, which runs north-south on the east side. With such a high population density and proximity to other large neighboring cities, understanding Fremont’s traffic and rush hour patterns could save you a lot of headaches. Rush hours are between 7 am and 9 am, and 4 pm and 6 pm. According to a report of the Bay Area’s ten most congested freeways, Fremont residents want to avoid taking I-880 North or I-680 North during evening rush hour or south in the morning.
What to Do
Whether you like being active in the great outdoors, exploring art and culture, or enjoy more culinary pursuits, Fremont has something for you. Some of the most popular outdoor excursions include hiking to the top of the Mission Peaks, where you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of the city; going for a jog, or hosting a BBQ picnic at Lake Elizabeth; or spending time hiking or biking outside at the Coyote Hills Regional Park.
Art and history fans will enjoy visiting the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, the Children’s Natural History Museum, and the nearby San Jose Museum of Art. Fremont residents can enjoy a plethora of dining options as well since Fremont has over 25 Indian restaurants, and while most cities have a ‘Chinatown,’ Fremont has a ‘Little Kabul,’ which serves as a small city hub for Afghani food and culture. Thai fusion, fine Italian, and traditional French cuisine are also available in Fremont, and if you love craft beer, you’ll enjoy a visit to the California Craft Beer pub. For a more rotating selection of activities, Fremont always has special events and family-friendly festivals scheduled. From weekly farmers’ markets, to ‘Pumpkin Palooza,’ to jewelry shows and holiday parades, residents will never be bored.
While Fremont may not have its own professional sports team, the San Francisco Bay area offers convenient access to professional baseball, football, and hockey games with the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco Giants, and the San Jose Sharks, to name a few.
Schools & Universities
The highly-rated Fremont Unified School District serves Fremont. The district has 44 schools PreK-12 and serves about 34,852 students with a 25 to 1 student-teacher ratio, according to greatschools.org. With a 92% graduation rate and the ranking of #16 ‘Best School District in the San Francisco Bay Area,’ according to niche.com, the schools in Fremont offer high-quality education. Some of the top schools within this district include American High School and Mission San Jose High School, which are both ranked a 10 out of 10 on greatschools.org; Irvington High School, Forest Park Elementary School, and John Gomes Elementary School, all ranked a 9 out of 10; and John M Horner Jr High School and Thornton Jr High School, both ranked 8 out of 10. If you’re moving to Fremont with school-aged kids, you’ll have no trouble finding a quality school for them to attend.
Those interested in nearby colleges and universities also have several options. Some of the local four-year colleges include California State University, East Bay, located 11 miles north of Fremont in Hayward; Santa Clara University, located 18 miles south in Santa Clara; San Jose State University, located 17 miles south in San Jose; and Stanford University, which is 15 miles southwest in Palo Alto. For local two-year community colleges, you’ll find Mission College in Santa Clara, 15 miles south; Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, about 17 miles south; and Chabot College in Hayward 12 miles north.
According to bestplaces.net, the property crime index for Fremont is 29.6, lower than the US average of 35.4, and the violent crime index is 13.0, much lower than the US average of 22.7. Neighborhoodscout.com features a crime map that shows the highest incidents of crime. These areas include Sundale Dr and Logan Dr, Irvington District, the area by Peralta Blvd and Fremont Blvd, and the city center.
- Gas Service — Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is the primary provider of natural gas in Fremont. Click here to get started setting up gas service for your new home.
- Electric Service — Pacific Gas & Electric is also the primary electric provider for this area. It’s one-stop-shopping for gas and electric. Click here to set up your electric service, too.
- Water Service — The Alameda County Water District supplies the residents of Fremont with their household water. Follow this link to contact customer service and get started setting up your account.
- Trash Pick-Up/Recycling Service — Republic Services of Alameda County will handle all of your trash pick-up and recycling needs. Click here to get started setting up your trash and recycling pick-up services.
- Internet & Cable Service — AT&T and Xfinity are the two main high-speed internet and cable providers for Fremont residents. To contact customer support about internet and cable options with AT&T, click here, and to view internet and cable options with Xfinity, click here. Dish Network is another option for Fremont residents. To contact support at Dish and learn your options, click here.
Best Neighborhoods in Fremont, CA
Wondering which corner of this lovely town to call home? Here’s our take on the best neighborhoods in Fremont:
If you’re looking for a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood with well-lit sidewalks, manicured lawns, and nearby parks, then you’ll love living in Ardenwood. This neighborhood, with a population of about 15,893, is located five miles northwest of downtown and borders Lowry Rd to the northwest, Ardenwood Blvd to the southwest, and I-880 along the eastern border.
Housing in Ardenwood is primarily mid-sized single-family homes, some dating back to 1979, but you’ll also find some condo and attached properties as well. On par with Fremont’s overall higher cost of living, homebuyers can expect to see Ardenwood median home list prices closer to $1.09 million, and median monthly rent prices at $3,300, according to realtor.com. The median age of residents is 34, and many choose Ardenwood because of its proximity to Highways 84 and 880, as well as the highly-rated nearby schools.
The schools closest to Ardenwood include Forest Park Elementary School, ranked 9 of 10 on greatschools.org; Ardenwood Elementary, ranked 8; Thornton Jr High School, ranked 8; and American High School, ranked 10 of 10.
Known as being a quieter neighborhood, you won’t find much hustle and bustle in Ardenwood. Instead, you’ll find several community parks and recreation areas for enjoyable outdoor activities. Nearby parks include the Karl Nordvik Park, Fisher Park, Union Landing Park, and Deep Creek Park. Also within Ardenwood is the Patterson House, a Victorian-era home with tours, animals, and seasonal events; and Ardenwood Historic Farm, with seasonal events, festivals, and an operational farm that uses traditional farming techniques. Bombay Pizza House and Yum’s Bistro are some popular local restaurants on Paseo Padre Parkway, and getting into downtown is an easy 12-minute drive.
Similar to Ardenwood, Weibel is another safe, quiet neighborhood adorned with mostly large, high-value homes. Located about five miles south of downtown, Weibel borders Durham Road to the north, Mission Boulevard along the east and south, and I-680 running along the west.
Ninety percent of the estimated 6,199 residents who live in Weibel own their homes, and realtor.com reveals that the median list price for a Weibel home is $1.6 million. Weibel is a slightly older neighborhood, both demographically and architecturally, with a median resident age of 52, and the community dates back to 1964, resulting in a slight mix of housing styles. The closest schools include Fred E Weibel Elementary School (ranked 7 of 10 on greatschools.org; John M Horner Jr High School, ranked 8; and Irvington High School, ranked 9.
Although a bit removed from downtown activity, Weibel still has some convenient local amenities The Arroyo Agua Caliente Park sits right in the middle of Weibel, and is a great place to stroll, jog, walk your dog, or play basketball. Old Mission Park, just a mile north, is also a nice place to walk or have a picnic.
Weibel residents have convenient access to dining options just a short drive south on Mission Blvd to Warm Springs Blvd, where you’ll find everything from ‘festive Indian’ at the Chaat House to fusion Korean at Spoon Korean Bistro, to Mediterranean at Zorba’s Mediterranean – plus many of the traditional chain restaurants. To explore more options, you only have to hop onto Paseo Padre Parkway for a short 12-minute drive north to downtown.
If you’re moving to Fremont with children, you may want to consider living in Warm Springs. About 60% of the estimated 9,500 residents have children under age 18. Warm Springs is a safe, though slightly dense, family-friendly suburban neighborhood with a great community feel.
Located 9.5 miles south of downtown, Warm Springs is bordered by Mission Boulevard to the north, Scott Creek Road to the south, and I-680 along the east. The median list price for a home, according to realtor.com, is $999,000, and the average monthly rent is $3,500.
For nearby schools, you have several high-ranking options. Warm Springs Elementary School is ranked 9 out of 10 on greatschools.org; John M Horner Jr High School is ranked 8 of 10; and Irvington High School follows suit with a ranking of 9 of 10.
Booster Park and Lone Tree Creek Park offer walking, playground use, or picnicking. Warm Springs Plaza and the Fremont Galleria offer a variety of shops plus a plethora of dining options, from Thai and Indian to Mediterranean and Mexican. Residents of this neighborhood enjoy seclusion and safety while still having convenient access to nearby activities and events.
Central District (Downtown)
Perhaps one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Fremont, the Central District, is in the middle of all of the action. Bordered by the Paseo Padre Parkway to the south, Fremont Boulevard to the southwest, and Mowry Boulevard to the northwest, this young urban neighborhood is home to nearly 14,923 residents with a median age of 35. According to realtor.com the median list price is $599,000, much lower than many of the other Fremont neighborhoods, and monthly rent averages around $2,000.
Some nearby schools include Parkmont Elementary School, ranked 9 of 10 on greatschools.org; J Haley Durham Elementary School, ranked 7; Centreville Junior High School and John F Kennedy High School, both also ranked 7; and Washington High School, ranked 8.
Living in the downtown district means having convenient access to activities, events, festivals, restaurants, and shops – and this is why so many choose to live in this neighborhood. You can spend time outdoors fishing or jogging at nearby Lake Elizabeth or visit Central Park, a large community park with a golf course, four playgrounds, and boat rentals. You can catch a movie at the Cine Lounge Fremont 7 Cinemas, study or research at the Fremont Main Library, or meet friends for a meal at any of the restaurants along Fremont Boulevard. The Aqua Adventure Water Park is located just south of Lake Elizabeth and is a great place to spend the day with your family. If you choose to live in the Central District, you’ll be right in the center of all the action and activities.
If a single-family home neighborhood near downtown is what you’re after, then you may want to consider Mission Valley. Located just 3.5 miles east of downtown and right next to the Central District, Mission Valley is home to about 6,947 residents. The neighborhood borders Driscoll Road to the north, I-680 to the south, and Mission Boulevard runs right through the middle.
Mission Valley dates back to 1954, and housing is mostly high value. Mid-sized homes represent a variety of styles and periods, adding a sense of character not often found in the other more modern neighborhoods. A search on realtor.com reveals a median list price of $1.57 million, and zillow.com states an average monthly rent of $4,850. Mission Valley offers a safe and quiet community feel while still being close to the downtown action.
Some of the highly-rated schools include Joshua Chadbourne Elementary School, ranked 9 of 10 on greatschools.org, Mission Valley Elementary School, ranked 7; and Mission San Jose High School, ranked 10 of 10. John M Gomes Elementary School is located just outside of this neighborhood and is ranked 9 of 10.
Mission Valley is conveniently close to activities and events, but when you want some tranquility it’s removed enough from the action. Residents can enjoy a short drive to the nearby Museum of Local History, Aqua Adventure Park, Lake Elizabeth, the Sabercat Creek Trail, or Central Park. Craft beer lovers will delight in having the California Craft Beer pub, a local spot with over 400 craft beers, just south of Mission Valley. Wine lovers will enjoy Nella Terra Cellars, a local winery with fine estate wines and food in a relaxed, secluded atmosphere. For additional dining, shopping, and entertainment, Mission Valley residents can drive north up the Paseo Padre Parkway into the downtown district.
Niles is great if you’re seeking a tranquil, historic neighborhood. Located just 3.4 miles north of downtown, Niles is bordered by Niles Canyon Road and Alvarado-Niles Road, with Mission Boulevard running through it. Offering easy access to several community parks and outdoor destinations, Niles offers lovely surrounding natural landscape.
The neighborhood dates back to 1915, so the single-family homes have a mixed-historical look and feel that many potential homeowners seek. However, there is a mobile home park that offers more affordable housing. Realtor.com shows that the median list price for a home here is $999,000, and the monthly rent can be as high as $4,000. Niles is home to about 7,387 residents, the median age is 42, and 58% have children under the age of 18
If you’re considering moving to Niles with school-aged children, you’ll find several high-ranking schools nearby from which to choose. Parkmont Elementary School is ranked a 9 of 10 on greatschools.org; Niles Elementary School and Washington High School are both ranked 8; and Centreville Junior High School is ranked 7.
New Niles residents won’t have to travel far to connect with nature. Several parks offer fishing, picnicking, boating, and great places to walk with your dog. Some of these include the 471-acre Quarry Lakes Regional Recreational Area; the Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park, a quaint area with expansive walking trails, a seasonal barn center, and a creek that runs through; and the Niles Community Park offers an off-leash dog area.
The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum commemorates several movies starring silent film actor Charlie Chaplin. Residents can enjoy pizza at Bronco Billy’s Pizza Palace or ice cream at the popular Niles Ice Cream Sweets & Eats.
Similar to Mission Valley and Niles, Glenmoor Gardens is another safe, quiet neighborhood comprised of mostly mid-sized single-family homes. Just two miles west of downtown, Glenmoor Gardens borders Fremont Boulevard, Nimitz Freeway, Mowry Avenue, and Central Avenue.
The neighborhood dates back to 1953, and although it’s not as old as Niles, you’ll still find an interesting mix of architectural styles. Realtor.com states the median list price for a home in Glenmoor Gardens is $1.1 million, and if you’re looking to rent, there are several apartment complexes nearby with rents ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 per month. Glenmoor Gardens is home to about 12,322 residents, and according to areavibes.com, the crime here is 24% lower than the CA average.
Some of the schools located in this neighborhood include Washington High School, ranked 8 of 10 on greatschools.org; and Centreville Junior High School, John F Kennedy High School, Tom Maloney Elementary School, and Glenmoor Elementary School, all ranked 7 of 10.
While Glenmoor Gardens may not have rec centers or parks, residents have easy and quick access to parks and other downtown activities and events in nearby neighborhoods. Glenmoor Gardens is a 10-minute drive from Aqua Adventure Water Park, Central Park, and Lake Elizabeth. The Children’s Natural History Museum is in this neighborhood, and residents have some great grocery store choices, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Sprouts Farmers’ Market.
You’ll find a plethora of dining options available along Mowry Avenue, including several popular Indian and Biryani restaurants, as well as Asian-Fusion and noodle restaurants. For those looking to do some biking, running, or even horseback riding, the Alameda Creek Regional Trail is just eight minutes north. A short five-minute drive south you’ll find the NewPark Mall, a large shopping center with 119 stores and some eating options.
Cherry-Guardino is located just a mile north of downtown and has a population of about 8,000. Cherry-Guardino is bordered by Mowry Avenue to the north, Mission Boulevard to the east, and ends right by the Always Dream Play Park to the south. Realtor.com states the median list price for a single-family home is $659,000, much lower than home prices in some of the other Fremont neighborhoods. The median monthly rent, according to areavibes.com, is about $2,000.
Some of the highly-ranked schools are Parkmont Elementary School, ranked 9 of 10 on greatschools.org; Centreville Junior High School, ranked 7; and Washington High School, ranked 8.
Residents have no shortage of activities and things to do, from relaxing outdoor activities to late-night entertainment and family-friendly options. You can bring your kids to the nearby Always Dream Play Park, a large playground located in the neighborhood, or spend an afternoon at the scenic gardens of the Shinn Historical Park and Arboretum. The Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area is just nine minutes west and offers 471 acres for picnicking, swimming, and boating. Lake Elizabeth and Central Park are a mile south. You can also catch a movie at the nearby Cine Lounge or dine at any of the popular eateries along Paseo Padre Parkway. The Counter Fremont is a popular contemporary burger spot with customizable gourmet options, and the Smoking Pig BBQ has highly-rated BBQ dishes and live music. If you’re looking for a more affordable and balanced neighborhood, without compromising on amenities and options, you may want to consider Cherry-Guardino.
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