Select Page

Historic Fox Theatre in Redwood City - photo courtesy of SerenoRedwood City is a vibrant Silicon Valley city. It is a popular place to call home for many reasons! Here are a few quick highlights:

  • Downtown enjoys great shops, eateries, cafes, and the landmark Fox Theatre.
  • Mediterranean climate: this area has milder summers than the inland valleys (but not cold summers, like San Francisco) and is a temperate region with only a few wet months each winter and many dry ones. With hills on the west and the bay on the east, many homes have fabulous views.
  • Tech leads the way here with established and startup technology companies, but the economy is diverse , including healthcare, biotech, education, and many other employment sectors. As with all of Silicon Valley, entrepreneurship and innovation are highly regarded.
  • CalTrain comes through RC, making it a great way to travel to SF or to points south, such as Palo Alto, Mountain View, Santa Clara, or San Jose. There are major freeways, 101 and 280, running north – south, as well as El Camino Real for shorter journeys and bus routes. This city is not far from a small airport (San Carlos, just north) and a marina, too. BART does not come this far south, though.

Below we’ll go over information on  home prices, schools, neighborhoods / areas, and much more!

Other details on location, history, and employment centers

Redwood City is located in California’s San Mateo County about twelve miles south of the San Francisco Airport and ten miles north of Palo Alto.  It is one of the more affordable areas of Silicon Valley. The cities adjacent to it are San Carlos, Woodside, Menlo Park, and Atherton.

Incorporated in 1868, Redwood City is the county seat of San Mateo County and its third most populated city. Diverse and with a variety of housing styles, this community offers everything from cottages to castles. The older sections sport charming smaller homes while the newer neighborhoods, including Redwood Shores and Emerald Lake, offer beautiful upscale living with views of San Francisco Bay.  The city stretches from the bay to the hills near highway 280.

There are a number of high-tech firms in Redwood Shores with Oracle and Electronic Arts being major employers. The San Francisco Airport, San Mateo County’s largest employer is close by and two major highways—Highway 101 and Highway 280 offer reasonable commutes.

Redwood City real estate and neighborhoods

There’s a lot of diversity topographically and otherwise in this city, as part of it sits directly on the bay’s shore and other areas reach up in the Farmhill area near Highway 280. The city has 7 council election districts, which you can see via the link, and many more neighborhoods within them.

 

Redwood Shores houses - scenic setting for boat lovers especially - photo courtesy of Sereno

 

Neighborhoods and major areas include (in no particular order):

  • Redwood Shores – adjacent to the bay
  • Bair Island
  • Edgewood Park
  • Centennial
  • Downtown
  • Friendly Acres
  • Redwood Village
  • Redwood Oaks
  • Palm
  • Central
  • Mount Carmel
  • Stambaugh Heller
  • Roosevelt
  • Eagle Hill
  • Canyon
  • Woodside Plaza

Parks and Recreation in town

This community is home to a number of parks and playgrounds as well as 20 public tennis courts.  (There are ice skating rinks not to far away, but the one in this city is now closed, sadly.) For the nautically inclined there are several marinas in town as well as a yacht club.  An especially nice outdoor space is Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve, offering hiking trails and beautiful views.

It hosts various community events, festivals, and markets, such as a Farmers’ Market and a Music in the Park series during the summer months. On the weekends, residents can enjoy a number of recreational activities.

Redwood City home prices

This scenic city by the bay has experienced housing affordability challenges due to high demand and limited supply. This is true for Silicon Valley and the Bay Area generally.

  • The average single family home price is about $2,200,000
  • The median single family home price is about $2,150,000
  • In Redwood shores, the numbers are a little higher than the rest of the city, with the average and median prices for SFH sitting a little over $2.3 million

Check out the most current numbers, updated monthly, for RC on our Real Estate Report. (This report places Redwood Shores separately, and you can navigate there easily on this site by clicking on the CHANGE button on top.)

Real estate prices and rental rates will be influenced by many things, including the exact neighborhood and the local public school scores. There’s a big range in the Great Schools scores for schools in this area, but don’t just use that one site, or use it only superficially. One score often doesn’t tell the whole story! Being in close proximity to high scoring schools will cause prices to be higher.

Redwood Shores, a large neighborhood east of Highway 101 and right next to the bay, may have homes with water views or easier boat access, and they may command a premium.

Being close to downtown, in what many call a “walkable area”, often drives home prices up as it’s so convenient and parking becomes a non-issue.

The Farmhill neighborhood and some of the hilly areas may have water issues (some homes even have wells). Water is wonderful, and it’s best if we keep it away from the foundation and home, which can be a challenge if there’s a high water table and / or a slope toward the house.

Redwood City Schools

Several different school districts serve this municipality, including the Redwood City School District, Belmont-Redwood Shores School District, and the Sequoia Union High School District. There are charter schools, also. Please see this page for the whole list.

There are magnet schools available as well as bilingual programs at RC elementary schools. Some elementary schools offer after school care. With a variety of resources available and class sizes being reduced, students tend to score very well in testing with scores ranging from the mid to upper percentiles.

For higher education, residents can attend Cañada College, situated right on the city’s border.

Close to so much!

This is a great city all by itself, but what’s also great is how close it is to many other desirable places! Love horses? Woodside and Portola Valley are nearby neighbors. It’s a quick trip to Palo Alto and Stanford, and a fairly short drive to San Francisco, to Half Moon Bay, to the South Bay, to the redwood forests, and of course to the coast generally.

Natural Hazards in Redwood City

Be aware that most of the areas east of 101 have some natural hazard issues, such as liquefaction zones, flooding potential from bay waters rising, and more. These areas all have a very high water table. I’ve seen more foundation issues in Foster City, Redwood Shores, and the eastern part of San Mateo close to the bay than in most areas of Silicon Valley.

Much of the hilly area near Hwy 280 and Emerald Hills is in a “Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone”, which you can see by looking at the CalFire map. Insurance companies have their own maps, but they appear to use similar areas for deciding the risk from fire, and insurance costs have skyrocketed in the areas deemed at greater risk. If purchasing a home in these areas, be exceedingly thorough in checking out your ability to obtain homeowners insurance at a cost that you can afford before committing. Some home owners have been shocked by the steep price increases or in policy cancellations.

 

Cal Fire designated Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone in Redwood City and nearby.

 

Homes for sale in Redwood City

 

 

This city is centrally located, so if you’re moving to Silicon Valley and are wondering where to begin, this is a good place for starting your life here. For more information on relocating to Silicon Valley, check out our relo site, Move2SiliconValley.com.

An excellent city with lots to offer, this is a place to visit in person!  The city’s website has loads of info – check it out:  http://www.redwoodcity.org/

Ready to sell or buy a home on The Peninsula or anywhere in Silicon Valley? Please reach out to us – we’d love to connect. The best way to make initial contact is by emailing me at mary@popehandy.com (my phone number is advertised and I get an inordinate number of spam calls and spam texts, so email is preferred).