Why aren't there any BIG houses in Albany?!?

Asked by Seth, Albany, NY Tue Jul 17, 2007

I've heard the schools in Albany are great, but it seems impossible to find a 3 bedroom. Like many others who would like to attend Albany schools, I have a big family (3 kids), but cant seem to find any larger homes for sale...

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Jamie Edson, Agent, Benicia, CA
Mon Jun 7, 2010
Keith is probably correct in his assumptions about the original development, but It's not just the schools that keep people in Albany. Another factor in the cities plan may have had the goal to create a large enough population base to be self supporting.

As an Albany native I would highly disagree with his blanket description of the houses themselves. The majority of the homes were built in the 1920's although there are a smattering of Victorians and some newer homes. I have been in many homes over the years of my friends, and truthfully i have watched some them be altered in perhaps not always the most desirable of ways.

However, originally, most of the houses had beautiful hardwood floors, fabulous fireplaces and Deco style ceramic tile. When I speak to current residents of Albany, they talk about their lovely homes with pride, and just try to get one to sell!!

Either Craftman style homes appeal to you or they don't, but they are called Craftsman homes for a reason. It's not just the schools that keep people in Albany.
0 votes
John, , Albany, CA
Tue Apr 20, 2010
We were in the same position five years ago. Three kids, needed some extra space but wanted Albany schools and amenities. We just looked really hard for a long time, and overbid by quite a lot, to get our place. We have never regretted it. The schools are really good, and Albany is a great community. We lived in San Francisco for 20 years, owned a lovely Victorian on Dolores Street, but the quality of life in Albany is much better for a family with three active daughters. Safe, walkable, lots for kids to do, nice places for dog. We got a 3-bedroom house with a 5,000 sq ft lot, big living room, decent yard, two garages, room to remodel. Cost a bloody fortune, but worth it in the end.
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Sachee, Both Buyer And Seller, Albany, CA
Sat Aug 15, 2009
Right now there IS a 3-bedroom 2 bathroom house in Albany with:

- 3Bedrooms/ 2Bathrooms
- Attached garage w/ interior access
- 1416 sq.ft/ lot size 3800 sq.ft
- Large backyard with fruit trees (Lemon, Apple, Orange, Plum)
- Gleaming Hardwood floors/Double-Pane windows
- Fireplace in Living Room
- Updated Kitchen (New floor, New Granite Countertops, New Tiles, New stove/oven range + hood)

The address is 1225 Brighton Ave, Albany CA-94706, and


You can see the photos/property details/contact info of realtor etc at the url:


or on the Realtor's website:


Or you can call her at: 510-612-5546.
Web Reference:  http://www.1225brighton.com
0 votes
Geoff, Home Buyer, 94612
Sat Aug 2, 2008
There are quite a few 3br ONE ba places in Albany. One common design allows for a full or half bath to be added downstairs, but to be honest, the places I've toured feel like a little too small for your situation and a little too big for mine.

Btw, Keith is right and to add to it, there was a heavy reliance on the old KEY train system so many places within walking distance of Key Route were built to support easy use of this old resource.
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Keith, , Berkeley, CA
Thu Aug 30, 2007
I've wondered about this too - from what I can gather, it is because Albany's roots are very working class and I'm guessing that the developers originally built housing for that demographic. I think my cousin also mentioned that some of the housing was built long ago as secondary housing for some of the San Franciscans.

I totally agree - great city (schools, retail, feel), but the housing is substandard (small sq. footage, tiny lots, no character/charm/design, and hideously expensive for what you get!!). Most homes that are larger are really smaller homes that often have poorly integrated additions. Bummer!!

The prices in Albany make North Berkeley/Berkeley Hills look like a bargain (well, sort of...) (but of course, you don't get the high-scoring Albany schools....)
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