I live in the "hilly" part and it's quite a different vibe up here. In fact, if you're headed down Edwards toward the bay, the feeling changes dramatically as it turns into 73rd and goes down the hill. Even sections within the Eastmont Hills are different in terms of crime. Sunkist seems to be a dividing line.. West of Sunkist seems to have more criminal activity than east of Sunkist toward 580.
I live east of Sunkist in King Estates area and I can tell you that it's got a great neighborhood feeling with people who are vested and involved in making the neighborhood a safe place to be. Lots of dog walkers, kids playing, neighbors who know and look out for each other, people who take care of their homes, wave when you drive by, etc. I love my street and know most of the people. So if you like that sort of traditional neighborhood thing, it's a good place for that.
Ok all that said..we do experience robberies, vandalism and the occasional violent crime. But, I don't think it's any more than other areas in the Oakland Hills based on crime maps I've viewed. So, I would say the biggest drawback of the Eastmont Hills is not the crime, but the distance to areas for shopping and the ability to take a walk to get a cup of coffee or hang out. In the years to come, that might all change with the Oak Knoll plan to develop retail/living space on the old hospital property, but that could be a ways away.
I can attest to the streets from Sunkist up to Fontaine, Keller, Mt. Blvd and those that run through those hills and the cottages and homes are very sweet and charming. Check the subdivision names for example Melrose Highlands Subdivision has some sweet cottages and is not bothered too much with crime...nothing major.
I think realtors would find that buyers, sellers and other realtors would have a much easier time of it if they went to the description listed on the title/deed of the property and give people the specific subdivision... hope this helps!
I too am from the Seattle area. When moving down I had never been to the east bay and rented an apt in the Richmond Marina. When my rent got jacked up matching a mortgage payment, I decided to buy a home instead of continuing to pay someone else's mortgage. I was looking for something centrally located. Eastmont Hills/Kings Estate seemed to be best option in my price range. I bought my house on Sunkist about a year ago... Dec 2013. I have noticed that OUTLOOK is a major dividing line and Sunkist divides it even more. Overall I am happy with the location though if money was not an issue I would have bout on the other side of 580. I agree that the walkability is getting some getting use to. I do miss having to decide WHICH of the three local coffee shops I would walk to. However, the sunshine here vs Seattle more then offsets that problem.
You are right that the commercial/shopping selections nearby are lacking. You may consider areas such as the Laurel and Dimond districts above 580 -- prices are still relatively affordable, and they both have walkable, pleasant shopping areas in the neighborhood. Someone mentioned Maxwell Park --I like that neighborhood, but it's also directly adjacent to some more dangerous neighborhoods.
Feel free to reach out with any questions - I live in East Oakland and know the area well. Most of all, good luck with your search!
Realtor, Keller Williams - East Bay
Let me know if we can be of further assistance, we would love to earn your business!
Antonio H Matier
President, The Orion Group International
Eastmont and Millsmont can offer some great homes at affordable prices. Hillmont, Mokelumne, Sunkist and Simson are streets to check out and drive around. These streets and the surrounding areas have some nice homes in move-in condition and many have amazing views. I suggest that in addition to pulling crime reports, you take the time to drive the area and talk with neighbors.
Typically in Oakland as you move up the hill, these areas are considered more "desirable". There are some very nice pocket neigbhorhoods in and around the Eastmont Mall area that may be worth your while taking a look at.
The Kings Estate area and the Millsmont areas are close to the Eastmont Mall area and have some very pleasant neighborhoods. Depending on your price point there may be other options as well for you depending on your needs in a home.
Without knowing your price range, it is hard to guage exactly where best to concentrate your area of search. Have you determine what mortgage payment you ar comfortable with? If you are new the home buying process, a lender whom I highly recomend and I are holding a free online buyers seminar if you would like to attend. There is a link to the class under the buyers section of my website: http://www.LisaCartolano.com
Please let me know if you have any other questions regarding the area around the Eastmont Mall.
Hope this helps!
Alain Pinel Realtors
The hills above Eastmont are much safer. I am in contract right now with a buyer in the lower hills there, just a few blocks above MacArthur. She did her due diligence and checked out the crime stats and more importantly, took the time to talk to all the neighbors.. Her report back to me was that they felt it was a good place to live with few problems. If you search the Oakland Crime Mapping site and other related online, you'll see the exact locations of various types of crime and you can judge for yourself. It is difficult for realtors to answer these types of questions because this is all subjective. My opinion is neighbors will give you the best sense of a neighborhood-as well as seeing with your own eyes how a neighborhood looks: Notice: Are the houses well kept? Are there bars on all the doors and windows? The hills above Eastmont transition into King Estates, which is a fantastic area.. great homes, desireable area, people out walking around, block parties People there love it! I sold a house there last year to a retired couple who I visit regularly. They said they are totally at peace and happy living there. They know all their neighbors and are actively engaged in the neighborhood. Good luck.
Check out http://oakland.crimespotting.org for a better, visual representation.
I am very familiar with this area and would be happy to assist you. Please feel free to contact me directly.
Cameron Platt, JD, CRS
Platt Inc. Real Estate
(510) 708-4137 (cell)