Home Buying in Redwood City>Question Details

 MM, Real Estate Pro in

Can anyone tell me more about Redwood City, CA? Is this a good location?

Asked by MM, Tue Mar 11, 2008

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/[700-799] Warrington Ave Redwood City CA 94063/?

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One of the big problems these cities face in bringing in anchor tenants is parking. The bigger stores require a lot of parking, which is limited in these older downtown areas. I know there were a few larger tenants that were planning to come to RWC, but backed out at the last minute because of a lack of parking.

Another problem is that many larger tenants already have stores in Palo Alto, Burlingame, and a few malls in San Mateo and Foster City. They really don't have the need to put more stores on the peninsula...especially since most of these locations are right on the caltrain route and are a 10-15 minute train ride away.

Any increase in shopping in RWC and San Mateo will most likely be of the boutique variety...small individual or family owned retail shops. These types of shops bring a lot of character to these areas but lack a specific use.

I did hear that downtown San Carlos is about to get a Peet's Coffee, Jamba Juice and Cold Stone...not really anchor stores that you are talking about. However these types of places help create a sense of community. They provide a destination for city residents to mingle and meet each other and create a closeness in a community that does not exist without places like this. I know I can walk along Laurel Street in San Carlos at almost any time and run into people I know and meet new people. It really does make a big difference in providing the small town feel in the middle of our metropolitan bay area.

If I hear of anything, I will be happy to pass it along. My wife works in downtown RWC so she hears things from time time.

If you are planning to move somewhere on the peninsula, it would be worth your while to talk to someone you know...or me :-)...about the lifestyles each city provides...and the lifestyle you are looking for. This will save you a lot of time in the long run and allow you to identify and focus your time and energy on the specific areas that truly meet your needs.

Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

Dan Robinson
RE/MAX Today
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Hi there

I recently moved to Redwood City, and bought a house in the Mt Carmel area. Our daughter goes to John Gill Elementary (K) and we are very happy living here. We chose RWC becuase:
- downtown is undergoing re-development (and we believe in the growth potential - based on what's happened in past few years and what's planned - see the city's website)
- good schools (in our neighborhood)
- proximity to downtown and mass transit (caltrain)
- best prices on south peninsula for all the above

We're very happy here! Hope this helps!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
Downtown RWC is a little more active during the week and weekend nights. It is mostly restaurants and bars with minimal shopping. The Fox Theater and Little Fox are both fun places to see various bands. During the summer/fall months you will see more activity especially after they start their summer concert series.

San Carlos is probably a more lively place to go during the day if you are looking for downtown weekend shopping. It has been rated by a couple newspapers of having the best antique shops in the bay area. San Carlos also has a summer concert series in Burton Park, and a Farmers Market on downtown Laurel street on Thursday evenings in the summer.

Burlingame and Palo Alto have very nice downtown shopping areas, but are much more expensive places to live. Both are an easy train ride from RWC.

However it is still a bit early in the spring to get a lot of people outside doing things. The best weather on the peninsula is July through October. That is when you will see the most activity in the downtown areas.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Well, "vibrant" is a relative term no doubt. It's not like the Triangle, or South of Market up in SF. Compared to what downtown Redwood City USED to be, what they have now is a breath of fresh air. Not a lot of clubs/bars per se, although you can occasionally catch some smokin' bands at the Little Fox. Right now there's more eating choices than shopping choices -- the development of downtown RC is still a work in progress, and supposedly more retail anchors will be coming to town (though now, with current economic uncertainty, who knows when that will happen). Lots of good restaurant choices (Flaming Fresco, Mandaloun, Tarboosh)...check out my reviews on Yelp (http://edgory.yelp.com)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Having lived here in Redwood City for 16 years, I can tell you that from a dollar-per-square foot perspective, this area, kind of Middlefield / North Fair Oaks, is probably the most affordable area of Redwood City. But, in terms of resale value, it's definitely been more of a volative area -- lots of short sales and bank-owned properties. Consequently, as with many homes in those types of distressed state, former owners have deferred maintenance on their homes. So while you may see some nicely kept homes in the area, you're more likely to see some homes that are quite the opposite (the "Sanford & Son" theme song seems to come to mind). Probably also a greater percentage of rentals in this area as well, relative to other areas of Redwood City
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 11, 2008
Redwood City is a city of about 90,000 people located on the SF Peninsula about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. As with all cities this size it has it's nice areas and its not so nice areas. The downtown area has been going through a complete transformation over the last few years and has become somewhat of a destination on the peninsula. As with most areas, the quality of the schools is a large variable in determining housing prices. RWC has some good elementary schools, but most are ranked at or below average, adversely effecting it's property values. The average price for a 3 bedroom 2 bath single family home sold in the last year in Redwood City is about $935K.

To the south of Redwood City are the towns of Menlo Park and the Palo Alto. The average prices for 3/2's in those cities are approximately $1.5--$1.6M. Each has excellent school systems and are considered upscale communities.

To the immediate north of Redwood City are the towns of San Carlos and Belmont. Both are smaller towns of about 28K residents that have highly rated schools. Both are very popular for families with children. Because of this, you will get an average price of a 3/2 of about $1.1M...a little less in Belmont mostly because it does not have a local downtown area.

I would recommend that you seek the advice of a local agent that can help you become familiar with these areas so you can make an informed purchase. If you would like some on-line resources, drop me an e-mail and I will forward you some more information.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 11, 2008
Having worked and lived in Redwood City since 1970 I can tell you it is a great place to live. The best weather and the biggest bang for your buck in the housing department. The history of Redwood City is unsurpassed by only San Francisco and San Jose. San Francisco was built twice from the Redwoods in Woodside that were barged up to San Francisco through Redwood City and its deep water port. If you are interested in Stats please go to my blog: CliffNotesOnRealEstate-dot-com. As always the axiom for real estate is location location location and that is no exception to Redwood City. Good Luck on your home search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008

That would be awesome. It just feels like the downtown area has a lot of potential,. but it's not really there yet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2008

Those are good observations. If you have any other information or links to what is supposed to pop up at Redwood City downtown, please pass them along. It is funny: San Mateo downtown has lots of restaurants and (bad) bars.. but very little shopping as well. It seems that it is hard to bring in the anchors to these spots.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Is the downtown really THAT happening? I went to check it out this Saturday afternoon and the place was a ghost town. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of shopping, aside from a Cost Plus and a Shoe Pavillion, either.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Redwood City is a great city with some of the best weather anywhere. They have revitalized their whole downtown and now it is quite a happening place to be with great restaurants, movie theatre, shops, etc. I have a listing right near the one you are looking at 1099 Haven in RWC and it is a nice neighborhood, quiet and quaint. It is close to 101 and shops and very centrally located. I hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 11, 2008
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