As I sit at my desk putting thought to keypad, I am watching the sunset over the East Bay Regional Park near the Parkridge trailhead. Although the hills and Mt. Diablo in the background this year are sadly shades of tan spotted by the greens of oak and bay trees, it is always an awe-inspiring view. For this mid-western transplant, I am reminded daily how fortunate I am to look out our windows to the serenity that is part of the old Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
Beginning at Joaquin Miller Park, a four-lane road easily winds up the Oakland Hills turning into Skyline Boulevard. At this point, you are struck by the impressive city and bay views on one side while being lured into the canyons of the parks on the other. Along the boulevard, you easily meander past bicyclists and joggers, see people beginning their hikes, having a picnic or walking their dogs.
At the Cascade at Joaquin Miller Park, you may see a wedding. You’ll pass by an amphitheater where every summer you can catch a show under the stars. It’s often then that people realize Oakland’s best kept secret is that you can live in the midst of all of the natural wonder that is the East Bay Regional Park system with views of the world’s most beautiful city across the bay for lots less than struggling to make it there!
Oakland and the East Bay real estate market are poised for a very active spring season. Coming off of a record year where most neighborhood real estate values surpassed their highs of ’07, it is worth noting that the true value in the hills has a median price of $695,000 for a spacious 3 bedroom 2 bath home, with an average of more than 2,000 sq. ft. and a great sized yard for BBQ’s, gardening, and play space! Acquiring a home with a view of the bay, the park, or both, could be yours.
The neighborhoods between the Joaquin Miller/Crestmont areas, through Skyline-Hillcrest Estates to the old Sequoyah Country Club, define quintessential East Bay suburban life. This is where you’ll find a variety of home styles ranging from cottages, condos and townhomes to mid-century modern Eichler’s and rambling ranches zoned for horses. Yes, there are private and public stables with a thriving horse community and a world famous golf course all along the ridge!
It takes mere minutes to escape the wonderful, craziness of urban life from the city below. The peace of mind and tranquility that you can have in your own backyard are priceless and will last a night, a weekend, or for the rest of your life when you make the Oakland Hills and the East Bay Regional Parks your home.
John Wesley, a realtor at The Grubb Company, has over twelve years of real estate industry experience defined by exceptional professionalism and client service. He and his partner Gene Boomer, along with dogs Smokey and Coco, live in the East Bay.