Home Buying in Oakland>Question Details

Katie Daire, Home Owner in Piedmont Pines, Oakl...

Living in Montclair/Oakland Hills with a baby?

Asked by Katie Daire, Piedmont Pines, Oakland, CA Wed Sep 12, 2012

We're considering houses in the area, but are not sure about the kid-friendly nature of the 3 story houses and intense hills. Any recommendations/experiences that might help? We're considering the Lamorinda area, as well.

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Hi, I live in the Montclair hills. You are right to be concerned, as many of the properties do have steep and often unusable lots, and may of the streets have no sidewalks, are twisty, have poor visibility, and are frequented by fast cars and bikes. It would be dangerous for a toddler to have unattended outdoor access from the front of many of the homes. Also, many of the homes have decks with railings that might also pose risks (especially if they are out of code, as many are).

All that said, it is certainly a very beautiful, generally peaceful area with many families with young children living near me. The tradeoff for the steep lots is often incredible views. Although I am not a parent, the local primary schools have excellent reputations from all the reports I hear. Finally, although somewhat rarer, there ARE properties available that are on flatter lots, or are upslope from the street and have some flat protected back yard area. In fact, my friends with a newborn recently bought just such a property and are very happy. And of course, because of the tradeoffs like not necessarily being able to walk to a shopping area and having to be careful on the streets, houses here are generally cheaper than for comparable properties in similar quality neighborhoods in the flats. Hope that helps!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 10, 2012
Hi Katie,
The Oakland hills can be lovely and very earthy feeling with lots of nature for kids to grow up around. The neighborhoods there can also feel a little isolating. Think about navigating the hills and trees in the dead of a winter rain storm with a baby in the stroller or car. If the thought delights you, by all means, go for it. Maybe you’re the type of person who can really unwind and relax in a beautiful and private setting. It’s such a personal call. I’d say go to open houses and see how it feels to drive around the streets. Ask friends of friends who have kids how they like it. And then, ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourselves how living there will be.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
Several families with young children live in the area, and they will probably tell you, "Come! Life is good here!"

Know that our climate in this neck of the woods is simply amazing. Most of us don't have air conditioning -- we don't need it

Several places to choose from....depending on your requirements, budget range, lifestyle. For example, Rockridge is another wonderful possibility. And of course, there's Piedmont.

Here's a good start: Montclair Village of shops, restaurants, etc is an excellent way to discover the area. Come during the Farmers' Market and discover for yourself
http://www.yelp.com/biz/montclair-village-farmers-market-oakland

Let me know if you need more information and how I may help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
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