Hayward, California

Heart of the Bay



Sunny Days: 257
75100 Affordability
89100 Schools
34100 Diversity
76100 Safety

The Bay Area is so beautiful, I hesitate to preach about heaven while I'm here.
—Billy Graham

The Best Thing About Hayward

The Bay on a "Budget"

This isn’t to say that Hayward is going to be cheap, mind you, but compared to the Bay Area behemoths around it, Hayward is survivable. Rent in Hayward is one of the most affordable within an hour drive of Downtown San Francisco. Commuting from Hayward is pretty simple on account of its proximity to BART (Bay Area Railway Transit) which gets you to downtown Oakland or San Francisco without switching lines.

A local's note about costs in Hayward:
I live in the Hayward Hills and we bought here because of the CCAs, low HOAs, and planned communities make it very scenic. Someone compared it to Woodlands, CA on the peninsula. Also, my husband was reared here.

There has been a major rejuvenation recently with the new federal administration. Lots of demo and building along Mission Blvd which used to be a sea of unsightly used car lots or vacant buildings. Could it be that the City of Hayward Building Division is finally releasing its grip of red tape?

The Worst Thing About Hayward

Not the Bay You’re Thinking Of

Those who are used to cities with a lot of excitement in-town are going to need to familiarize themselves with BART for more than just commuting if you choose to live in Hayward. There isn’t much to do here for young professionals. Things don’t get all that much better for families, with not much to do with the kids after school either. Speaking of schools, public schools in Hayward are hit or miss and many families elect to send their children to private schools in the area.

Here's a local with a mixed review about Hayward: Not going to lie there’s not much to do IN Hayward, but downtown sometimes throws street festivals during summer that can be entertaining. Other than that you’re pretty much in the middle of the bay area so there’s so much to do outside of Hayward.

Lifestyle of Hayward

Residents say that living in Hayward is like living in a dense suburb. It’s more sprawling than the urban meccas around it, but without the nightlife options. Hayward does have decent dining options that locals love and support. Unlike other areas with the term “suburb” attached to them, Hayward is incredibly diverse and residents claim it is extremely welcoming to people from all races/ethnicities/geographies. The city has made pushes to build out a vibrant Downtown Hayward, but locals will tell you that significant strides are needed to address a run down infrastructure and prevalent homeless population (very common for California cities).

To see what locals get up to in Hayward check out the calendar of events:

Why You Should Move Here Now?

California On A Budget

If you’re looking to move to the Bay Area and don’t want to cough up thousands per month on rent, or multi-millions on buying a home, Hayward should be on your shortlist. In fact, it may realistically be the only option you’ll get to consider if you’re managing a limited budget.

Neighborhoods in Hayward

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Young Professionals/DINKs/SINKs

Hayward is not an obvious place for young professionals or young couples to choose. Ridiculous prices in San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco though drive people to live wherever they can afford. For this reason, Hayward does get some SINKs/DINKs looking to make a go of it within reasonable distance from a major set of cities. Downtown Hayward has a pretty cool older historic district near the BART station. These blocks are filled with nice older cottage style homes and Victorians and big beautiful trees. This is also where there are apartment/condo options for those who want to walk to BART and avoid any daily driving. If you’re young and looking this is likely where you’ll start your search.

  • Downtown
  • North Hayward
  • Burbank

Mt Eden/Eden Shores


One of the newer neighborhoods in Hayward is Eden Shore. The homes were mostly built in the last few years and so everything is modern and fresh and for the area, affordable. While Hayward does not have the best school ratings overall in the Bay Area, this is one of the areas that have the better public school options. It’s a master planned community with some views of the Bay Area. It has a beautiful community park with basketball, tennis courts and a great path along the shoreline. There is an older section of Eden Shore with homes built a couple decades ago with homes that range in the million dollar range so there is some variety of pricey and “reasonable” by Norcal standards.

  • Mt Eden/Eden Shores
  • Hayward Highland
  • Mission-Foothill