Why Invest in East Bay Real Estate?
The East Bay region of Northern California is generally defined as the area to the east of the San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay. There are about 2.8 million people living in the two counties (Alameda and Contra Costa) that make up the East Bay region. In addition to being in close proximity to the US central tech hub Silicon Valley, the East Bay has one of the top 10 busiest ports in the US—the Oakland Seaport—which is said to discharge about 99 percent of all containerized cargo goods in Northern California.
East Bay houses many large US corporations, in industries such as healthcare (Kaiser Permanente, Sutter, John Muir), gasoline/oil (Chevron, headquarters in San Ramon, ranked #11 on the Fortune 500), consumer goods (Clorox, headquarters in Oakland, #477 on the Fortune 500), grocery/food (Safeway, headquarters in Pleasanton), entertainment/animation (Pixar, headquarters in Emeryville). For those who decide to live in the East Bay and commute into San Francisco, the rail system, BART, will get commuters to and from the city via the Transbay Tube.
The NorCal region is highly urbanized, with some suburban neighborhoods mixed in as well. The weather is usually about 10 degrees warmer than in San Francisco The East Bay Division of the League of California Cities includes 33 medium- to large-size cities, with Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, and Concord among the largest. In addition to many outdoor activities such as hiking, trails, parks, and more, East Bay is also home to two major league sports teams: NFL’s Oakland Raiders and MLB’s Oakland A’s.
Northwest East Bay
The Northwest region of the East Bay includes Richmond, Berkeley, and parts of Oakland. Berkeley is not only home to the top national institution, the University of California, Berkeley, it also has one of the best school districts in California (#24 for most diverse and #72 for best school districts). It has a population of over 110,000 residents, and median home value is $1.26 million, with median rent at about $3,800.
- Tilden’s Regional Park
- UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley (on the UC campus)
- Lawrence Hall of Science
Oakland’s median home value is $752,275, with median rent prices listed at around $3,000, which is $300 less than the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metro region. Popular Oakland neighborhoods for homebuyers include West Oakland, Dogtown, Jingletown, Temescal, and Jack London Square.
- Oakland Museum of California
- Redwood Regional Park - 1,830 acres of forest and wildlife
- Oakland Zoo, inside Knowland Park
- Chabot Space and Science Center
- Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate
Northeast East Bay
Concord and Walnut Creek are just steps away from Napa Valley wine country, with many golf courses and open spaces for outdoor adventures. Concord is a burgeoning arts and cultural city located very close to many award-winning wineries. It’s one of the most affordable cities in the East Bay, with average home value listed as less than $575,000.
- Briones Regional Park
- Diablo Foothills Regional Park
Walnut Creek boasts many award-winning schools and a myriad of outdoor activities. It’s also an affordable place to settle down with family: Home values average at just under $800,000, with rental properties averaging $2,900.
- Proximity to Mount Diablo State Park
- Lindsay Wildlife Museum
Southwest East Bay
Just across the bay, the southwest region is an area perfect for singles and families. Hayward is an affordable and centrally located city in the East Bay with great views of the Bay Area and beyond. Home values average at about $660,000, and median rent is about $500 below the metro area’s median of $3,300.
- Japanese Gardens in downtown Hayward
- Garin Regional Park features spectacular vistas of the Bay Area
- Sulphur Creek Nature Center - wildlife rehabilitation center that is free and open to the public
Southeast East Bay
Centrally located in the East Bay, Pleasanton and San Ramon are great commuter locations for many locations in the Bay Area. Further south, Fremont and Milpitas are adjacent to Silicon Valley. Pleasanton is a more upscale suburban neighborhood in the East Bay, with home prices averaging over $1 million and median rents around $3,500. It’s about 25 miles east of Oakland has been ranked in various best places to live and raise a family lists (such as on USA Today).
- Home to headquarters of Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Safeway
- Augustin Bernal Park - 237 acres in the hills of Pleasanton
- Alameda County Fairgrounds - hosts annual county fair and home to a racetrack
San Ramon is a smaller city with a population of 76,000. Homes average about $1.2 million in this popular city for families, with several golf courses and outdoor adventures.
- Las Trampas Regional Wilderness
- Forest Home Farms Historic Park
East Bay’s Fremont is close to Silicon Valley, with a median home value of $548,385. With nearly 200,000 residents, Fremont is a family-friendly city known for its many parks and it has easy access to Silicon Valley and nearby universities. Milpitas is also directly adjacent to Silicon Valley, with home values averaging just over $1 million and rental prices averaging $3,400.
- Ardenwood Historic Farm (Fremont)
- Aqua Adventure Water Park (Fremont)
- Great Mall (Milpitas)
- Ed Levin County Park (Milpitas)
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