Lafayette can be broken into four distinct areas: Reliez Valley, Happy Valley, Downtown Lafayette, and Burton Valley. Each has something unique to offer to potential buyers, and none of them really have any weaknesses. It just depends on what you want because regardless of what it is you’re looking for, you can find it somewhere in Lafayette.
This article aims to highlight the strengths of each quadrant, while also taking the time to address the performance of public schools in the area but, spoiler alert, all schools in the Lafayette area are far above national averages. Keep reading to find the perfect place to scout out houses for sale in Lafayette.
Houses for Sale Lafayette: Explore the Reliez Valley
Along Lafayette’s northeastern quadrant lies the Reliez Valley, Lafayette’s most pastoral area where many homes back up to scenes of rolling hills and seemingly endless landscapes. However, there are also many established neighborhoods perfect for growing families or people looking to be a part of a welcoming community. Whatever your search criteria may be for houses for sale in Lafayette, you can find it in the Reliez Valley. Whether it’s a gated community, restored farmhouse, townhome, private estate, single story or craftsman home, you’ll find it here. Indeed, diversity runs untethered, yet there’s an undeniable harmony to the flow of everything. It doesn’t have the appearance of a mismatched concrete jungle, but rather a diverse, well-manicured garden.
Need more nature? Briones Regional Park is just a few minutes’ drive away and is considered to be one of the most beautiful parks in the United States. More than 6,200 acres of hills, grasslands, and sloping mountains and home to a thriving ecosystem of gentle wildlife, it’s great for hiking, running, horseback riding, and unwinding with your dog after a hard day’s work. Because of the unique layout of the park, there are numerous peaks where you can’t see any signs of civilization in all directions. Indeed, the panoramic views will recharge your batteries within moments.
If you have some little ones and are concerned about the schools in the area, allay those fears when looking for houses for sale in Lafayette’s Reliez Valley. Springhill Elementary School outperforms most schools not only in California but the nation as well. On state standardized tests, Springhill has an 85% proficiency in English, 80% in math, and 86% in science, which are all well above national averages. In other words, students who attend Springhill Elementary School score, on average, 37% better on tests than students elsewhere. They are not only at but are usually above grade level in all subjects. So forget any thoughts of private schools. Your kids won’t need them.
So if you’re looking for houses for sale in Lafayette, you can’t go wrong living in the Reliez Valley. Not only is the area simply stunning and provides numerous things to do, but it’s safe. You and your family can experience the best that life has to offer without feeling like you’re sequestered and removed from the world.
Search for Tailor Made Homes in Happy Valley
Happy Valley is a great region for people who want to be in Lafayette, but who also want their houses to be a little more spacious and unique. Just about all of the houses for sale in Lafayette’s Happy Valley is custom made, so consequently, the houses have a bigger price tag. Ranging anywhere from one million to ten million, you can get just about anything you would want out of a house if you have the cash. Some of the houses rest atop the hills overlooking all the wonders the city of Lafayette has to offer, while others sit at the bottom of the valley amidst diverse and wondrous landscaping and natural vegetation. This is not to say that all of the houses in this region are cut off from other homes. Some are a part of communities with other houses nearby, so your kids can have someone to play with, or you can have the opportunity to meet that perfect neighbor who invites you over for barbeques and pool parties on the weekends. But if you need some space, you can find that too.
Just as the Reliez Valley harbors the exceptional Springhill Elementary, Happy Valley also sports a renowned elementary school. With a 10/10 score on greatschools.org, Happy Valley Elementary School actually beats out Springhill when it comes to test scores. Springhill’s national averages for math, English, and science are 80%, 85%, and 86%, respectively. However, Happy Valley’s scores are a bit better: 88% for math, 90% for English, and 92% for science. What does that mean? That means, on average, Happy Valley students’ test scores are 44% better than students elsewhere. That’s a big number and is effectively the dividing line between the hoi polloi and the movers and the shakers. If your primary driver for looking at houses for sale in Lafayette is a good school system, Happy Valley is an ideal place to start.
Happy Valley is also near BART (or the Bay Area Rapid Transit), so if you hate driving, but don’t mind using BART, Happy Valley may deserve a spot on your shortlist. But if you enjoy your morning and evening drives, Happy Valley is also close to the freeway. Also worth taking note of is how close you’d be to downtown while in Happy Valley. It is just a few minutes’ drive from Happy Valley, as is the Lafayette Reservoir and Oakwood Athletic Club. In Happy Valley, you are essentially close to everything Lafayette offers, but can also be a bit off the beaten path if you thus choose. Indeed, it’s the perfect balance of energy and tranquility when honing in on houses for sale in Lafayette.
Browse Downtown Lafayette’s Houses for Sale
Downtown Lafayette is, perhaps, the most diverse quadrant in Lafayette. Here you can find more modest housing options intermixed with larger custom-made homes. However, if purchasing a house is something you plan to do in the near future, and you need somewhere to stay in the meantime, then you can also just as easily find affordable rental apartments. Convenience is a commodity that attracts many people to look at houses for sale in Lafayette’s exciting downtown.
The advantages of living in Downtown Lafayette are pretty obvious. You’re close to shopping, restaurants, and numerous local events each month. So if your heart desires to be surrounded by arts and culture (plus only a stone’s throw away from things to do), this is definitely the place you should be looking. The kinds of things happening in downtown are too numerous to list, so to get an accurate idea, go to Downtown Lafayette. See how many things happen not only each month, but each day? You can also filter out results so you only see things related to kids, music, theatre, art, etc. You’ll never be bored! There’s always something going on.
Lastly, let’s talk about schools for a moment: Though its test scores aren’t as high as either Happy Valley Elementary or Springhill Elementary’s, Lafayette Elementary still boast scores way above the national average (and truthfully is only a few digits away from the previous two). Parents and family can’t speak highly enough of this school, and frequently comment just how involved both teachers and local businesses are. Moreover, each member of the administration makes a point to visit with as many classes as they can every day, and are all at each and every event the school holds. It should come as no surprise, then, that every teacher working at Lafayette Elementary is certified, and 96% of those teachers have been teaching for longer than three years. Parents should not hesitate for a single moment whether or not to send their kids here. It’s a solid school with a supportive and involved community, making it a great start for finding houses for sale in Lafayette.
Houses for Sale Lafayette: Find Community in Burton Valley
Though Burton Valley shouldn’t be considered ‘downtown,’ it is close enough that many residents ditch their cars and take an extended stroll to Downtown Lafayette from time to time. So not only would you still be close to things in Burton Valley, but you would have the added benefit of more affordable housing options. Here, it’s not dotted by sprawling mansions and custom-made homes. Instead, the houses for sale in Lafayette’s Burton Valley are often the single-level, ranch homes that you find throughout much of California. If you have a budget and a growing family, Burton Valley is a good place to start hunting.
Just like the previous three quadrants, Burton Valley’s schools are strong and high-performing. However, unlike the other three, Burton Valley Elementary is pretty large, and is the biggest of all the Lafayette schools. As of this writing, it has 771 students, but, surprisingly, the student to teacher ratio is still 21:1, which is the same as the previous three. Its scores aren’t as strong as Happy Valley’s, but are on par with Lafayette and Springhill Elementary, meaning it far outperforms other schools in not only California, but the nation as well (we’re talking over 30% again). What truly makes Burton Valley Elementary stand out amongst the others is the size of its campus— it truly should be thought of as its own park. There are a lot of facilities for teachers to utilize with their students, and there is a large amount of acreage for families to enjoy in the afternoons.
As has been the case with much of Lafayette, Burton Valley is a close knit community. Halloween is no joke, and entire neighborhoods show up for local sporting events. If you want to browse family-friendly houses for sale in Lafayette, start in Burton Valley.
Whatever you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with purchasing a house anywhere in Lafayette. Its motto ‘Green Hills, Great Schools’ couldn’t be closer to the truth, for the topography is dazzling, the arts and entertainment sector leaves no one wanting, and the community is forward thinking and embracing. How it is not internationally known is a mystery, but that’s OK. Everyone deserves a little piece of heaven, and the residents of Lafayette have found theirs. Find yours by searching houses for sale in Lafayette with one of our experienced real estate agents.