FAQ: Living in Redwood City

When clients are looking to buy a home on the Peninsula, Redwood City is coming up more and more as a possible location. Naturally, a lot of questions come up about what it's like to live here, or buy or sell a home here. I thought it might be helpful to put together a series of FAQs with some of my thoughts on the different neighborhoods, the schools, the community, and the local market. To kick off the series, here are some of my favorite things about living in Redwood City and on the Peninsula.

Why do you like Redwood City?
It’s history, diversity, community, architecture, and weather.  If you take its neighbors to the north—San Carlos and Belmont—and its neighbors to the south—Menlo Park and Palo Alto—and compare them to Redwood City, they are very different. Redwood City definitely has a more urban feeling, while still being super family friendly. Redwood City is also fairly large and there are so many interesting pockets and neighborhoods to explore. It's also a very walkable city, even if you live in the hills you can walk down the street to get a cup of coffee. With that said, there are so many options for restaurants, shopping, cafes, and nightlife. Finally, the location can't be beat. Redwood City is perfectly situated between San Francisco and San Jose, putting it right at the heart of Silicon Valley, in my opinion.

What do you like least about Redwood City?
I’m not going to lie, I'm a huge fan of Redwood City. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have started this blog and I wouldn’t live here.  It does make me sad that this area, Redwood City included, has gotten so expensive to buy a home. It's hard when people I grew up with can't afford to buy a home here or people who have been here for a long time are being forced out with rent increases. 

What are some things we should check out in Redwood City?
If you're new to the area, I would definitely check out Downtown Redwood City, specifically Broadway and Main Streets. Some other places to see include Stafford Park, the Bay Trail in Redwood Shores, Handley Rock, Edgewood Park, Mezes Park, Emerald Hills Golf Course, and Emerald Lake. To get a sense of all the neighborhoods here, I would also check out 5th Ave and Middlefield and Marsh Manor. It might be because I'm in real estate, but my wife and I always like to see local architecture when we're exploring a new place. So if you want to see some beautiful residential architecture, head over to Edgewood Park/Wellesley Park (Edgewood Road and Arlington between El Camino Real and Alameda) and Mount Carmel (Whipple to Jefferson, El Camino to Alameda).

What kinds of people live in Redwood City?
One of the best things about Redwood City is there is a lot of diversity here. Sometimes I joke that Redwood City has something for everyone, but I really think that's true. There is a range of housing options for a range of income levels, ages, and families. There are nine distinct areas with so many different neighborhoods in Redwood City and they all have something offer. I don't think you'll find that same level of diversity in our neighboring cities.

What other areas do you like on the Peninsula?
I grew up on the Peninsula and have lived in several different places over the years including San Francisco, Burlingame, San Mateo, and Woodside.  Natalie and I lived just off of Burlingame Avenue for a couple years before we bought our first home in Redwood City.  Walking around town and being so close to San Francisco was something we really appreciated about living there.  Downtown San Mateo and Laurel Street in San Carlos are also great places to hang out.  We also lived up near Skyline for a little while. Woodside and Portola Valley allow you to feel like you’re on vacation, when in fact you’re only 15-20min away from Redwood City.  The views, hiking, and country feel are amazing.