We are fortunate to live in a geographical area with lots of interest and equal hype. Oakland has been touted as the “New Brooklyn”. Piedmont was recently voted one of the best suburbs for raising a family. And Berkeley also has its own throngs of admirers.
We live here and tend to agree. We live here, so we also tend to notice what is missing from the national press. We think the best bay area city that you never heard of is Albany, California. With a population around 19,000 occupying 5.5 square miles, Albany is a friendly place to live for all ages. Albany has great public schools; averaging a score of 9. It has low crime and great walkability. There are great parks (Memorial Park and Terrace Point) and green spaces (Albany Hill and The Albany Bulb). The main shopping strip along Solano Avenue extends without interruption into Berkeley and offers fantastic restaurants and many boutiques. It also offers unusual curiosities such as the Bone Room (displaying real bones of all types) and Casa Oaxaca (crafts from Mexico).
On the northern border of Berkeley, Albany offers proximity and many of the joys associated with Berkeley– with a more affordable price tag. The median price for a home in Albany according to Zillow is $822,100 versus Berkeley’s median of $971,100. Krista Miller and Rosie Papazian of Berkeley Hills Realty currently have a three-bedroom home in Albany offered at $779,000. It is well-located 730 Stannage Avenue, and open this Sunday, November 22 from 2-4:30.
(Note: Open house on Sunday, November 22 is cancelled.)