Wes Duenow moved into his home on Willowgate Street in April 2008. Three months in, the Caltrain station moved the horns from the underside of the train to the top. The noise grew louder, reverberating through the neighborhood.
"We thought that we had made the worst decision ever," he said.
But Duenow eventually found his reasons to stay.
"Ten minutes to Central Expressway and close to other highways," he said. He also cites the easy access to downtown Mountain View, Jackson Park and Stevens Creek Trail.
And the noise doesn't bother him as much anymore.
"We only notice it when we're paying attention," he said.
Duenow lives in a subdivision of five houses called Willowgate Villa located within the larger Willowgate community.
"I know these neighbors very well," he said, referring to the row of houses on his street.
There is a neighborhood association and a mailing list that connects these five houses. Besides from this, Duenow feels that there is not much of an association with the larger Willowgate community.
"I identify myself more with my subdivision or Mountain View," he said. "I wasn't even aware that there was a Willowgate neighborhood.
That sentiment appears to be the same for Aimee Everitt, who moved into the 57-unit Cypress Point townhouse community in 2000. She is proud of the volunteer-driven board, which represents the townhouse complex and maintains an active mailing list.
"We do not have a company that runs this area. We have people who volunteer to be the president, vice president, and take care of all the various things. So our rent is not as much as we would have to pay if we were to hire a company."
Everitt moved into her townhouse from San Francisco and plans to stay for as long as she can.
"It (the townhouse) is exactly what I wanted. I wanted privacy, a little garden, a pool, peace, and quiet."
Like Everitt and Duenow, Patrick Hsieh is a member of his subdivision's 11-unit neighborhood association. He moved into the Willowgate Gardens townhouse in 2009.
Hsieh appreciates the improvements that the collective action of the neighborhood association has brought about.
"The street was darker and now they added more streetlights so it's brighter," he said.
Hsieh's favorite aspect of the neighborhood is its proximity to Caltrain, allowing him easy access to work in San Francisco and Palo Alto.
Like fellow Willowgate neighbor, Duenow, the train's noise is a downside.
But Hsieh has found reasons to be happy about life in Willowgate as well.
"Normally if you're in the house, it (the noise) is not that big of an issue," he said.
-- Hiay Le
COMMUNITY GARDEN: $42 for plot permit, 650-903-6331, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the waiting list for a plot
FIRE STATION: No. 1, 251 S. Shoreline Blvd.
LOCATION: bordered by Central Expressway, West Moffett, Moffett and Highway 85
PARK: Jackson Park, Jackson Street and Stierlin Road
POST OFFICE: Mountain View, 211 Hope St.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mtn. View-Whisman School District -- Landels Elementary School, Crittenden Middle School; Mtn. View-Los Altos Union High School District -- Mountain View High School
SHOPPING: Moffett Boulevard, Downtown Mountain View, Sunday farmers market at Caltrain parking lot (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year round)
MEDIAN 2012 HOME PRICE: $855,000 9$785,000-$899,580)
HOMES SOLD: 4
MEDIAN 2012 CONDO PRICE: $765,000 ($516,000-$780,000)
CONDOS SOLD: 4