Few things are as overwhelming as moving to a new city and knowing nothing about it. Often, the first thing that comes to mind when considering a new city is the type of neighborhood to live. Choosing the perfect neighborhood for you and your family is almost as important as picking the perfect home itself.
Each city comes with the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes the horror-movie-scene-kind-of-ugly. Rest assured, if you’re considering moving to O-Town (that’s slang for Oakland, better get with the culture early), there are still some pretty awesome neighborhoods to choose from.
While there are always stereotypes attached to cities, it is important to get proper research done and not rely on biased opinions. You’re off to a great start by reading this.
Besides the beautiful warm weather, the City of Oakland is also known for its diversity when it comes to housing options. With a much lower cost of living and more attractive amenities, it comes as no surprise that Oakland has seen an influx of young residents trying to escape the hustle and bustle of San Francisco.
Check out these top neighborhoods to consider if you’re planning to live in Oakland!
Favorite feature: Waterfront living options
Grand Lake-Merritt is easily one of the best neighborhoods for both young professionals and families to live in. It wasn’t always like this though.
After the City of Oakland gave the entire lake a makeover, cleaned up the area and lifted its gloomy outlook, Lake Merritt quickly became that popular girl in high school that everyone wants to talk to.
With a median rent of $2,200 and a median home price of about $440,000, it is also one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Oakland. Besides the beautiful waterfront housing options, the area is known for its top bars and restaurants, and even a varied local wildlife.
Favorite feature: Accessibility
Directly east of Lake Merritt, Cleveland Heights offers ease and accessibility to restaurants, bars, and activities in Oakland. Since it borders the lake, you will often find locals running and exercising outside. For times like these where gyms are limited or closed, this accessibility to nature and outdoor space is essential.
Cleveland Heights is often overlooked by people when they initially begin their search for a home in Oakland. Naturally, people gravitate towards Temescal, Rockridge, and Crocker Highlands.
There are a variety of homes in Cleveland Heights, and local residents are usually amazed by the up-scale vibe that shines through in certain parts of the neighborhood. It tends to get more expensive in the northeastern section of Cleveland Heights, where you will find 2-3 story buildings lined with freshly manicured front lawns. You can also find highrise apartments and condos nearby the lake.
Favorite feature: The Temescal Arts Center
Initially, Temescal stood separate from Oakland as its own town. Now, it falls under Oakland neighborhoods but still manages to stand out with its vibrant arts scene and hip coffee shops.
Both visitors and residents love visiting the Temescal Arts Center where art performances are dished out for all to enjoy. Through the neighborhood’s MacArthur BART station, residents are provided with easy access to the Bay Area.
As expected, homes in this area don’t come as cheap as those in Lake Merritt, with the median home value pegged at over $1,000,000.
Favorite feature: Bungalow-style housing options
Rockridge is not one of the most popular areas in Oakland just because its name sounds good. The area features amenities such as antique shops and top restaurants, putting it on a whole different level from its neighboring areas. Likewise, its housing cost is up a notch from other nearby neighborhoods, with the median home price at approximately $1,700,000 and the median rent at $5,500.
This makes it a more expensive option, but not without cause. It is easily a hot spot for millennials, but families looking to live in a more upscale neighborhood can consider Rockridge for its large homes and excellent schools.
Favorite feature: Great outdoor freedom and parks
Now here’s the perfect neighborhood for families looking for a serene, chic and suburban area where you can take a stroll and enjoy the simple things of life.
Piedmont also offers more affordable housing options with a median rent of about $2,300. The area features up to five parks and playgrounds for a great picnic or fun day out with the family.
And there you have it folks! When it comes to O-Town, you can’t go wrong with these neighborhoods. So, be sure to consider the one that suits your budget and living conditions best.
Alex Capozzolo is the owner of the Brotherly Love Real Estate blog and a content writer for the real estate industry. Our focus is on helping people through one of the most important investment decisions of their lifetime by seamlessly providing fast, honest and professional real estate services.